mirror volumes

Ever wonder what a volume mirror or drive mirror was?… or better yet wonder how do I backup my hard drive automatically?

Well Windows 7 has some cool features to setting up whats called a volume mirror really, really easily… which is what you want to do if your looking to automatically back up a hard drive… Doing this is also called Raid 1…

Essentially all you will need is another hard drive the same size or bigger than the one you want to back up…

1. Open up your computer case and install the additional hard drive as the instruction that came with it tell you.
2. Right click on the “my computer” icon either on the desktop or in the start menu… then click “manage” in the menu that pops up
3. Now go click on the “disk management” icon in the left hand menu and you should see all your disks available… including the new one you installed (probably black or olive in color) and the existing disk you want to backup (probably blue in color).
4. The Disks have to be “dynamic”… which you can do by right clicking on the disk# button and selecting “convert to dynamic disk”… follow the prompts until its converted.
5. Now you can click on the older existing drive with all your data on it (the one you want backed up that says D: or whatever letter) and select “add mirror” option from the right click menu.
6. Some menus will pop up and you should eventually see a menu and will probably see the new disk # you just installed as an option, which is what you want to select… it will then go about creating a mirror with that disk you selected.

and that is it… now all the data on that drive will be “mirrored” to the new drive… so if your main drive fails… you will not loose any data due to drive failure because you have the mirrored drive.

Some general notes:

  • Doing this will actually speed up your performance as well… because now when you tell your computer to access or execute a file on these drives it will have two hard drive needles (access points) to find it on your drives, rather than one access point to the file.
  • Both drives will show up as 1 drive letter in windows explorer/my computer. etc…
  • If the “add mirror” option is greyed or ggrayed or out, make sure the newer disk2 is larger in size… I had (2) 1 tb drives that i could not get this to work becuase one drive had 0.2 megs more than the new drive i wanted to back up too… if this is the case than just right clickthe original drive #1 and select “shrink volume”…follow the prompts  and make it a little smaller than the new drive that will be the backup… once its done the “add mirror” option should no longer be greyed out.
  • After you do this (depending on how big your drives are) the drive colors will be red as they are syncronizing… basically meaning windows  is automatically coping all your data to the new drive your backing up too… you should still be able to access all your files while it does this in the background.

Let me know if anyone has any questions or comments in the comments below.

The Portfolio… do I even need a papper version

I have not updated my professional portfolio in 5 or more years, and upon deciding it is perhaps time to do so I found myself asking the question… “Do I even need a portfolio on paper”

In an age of conference room computer access, and tablets… I say no, and here’s why.

The first reason that comes to mind is the size… as the feature picture shows… they can get quite large if you intend to bring originals… to the point of absurdness… Working with the construction industry for some larger projects its not unheard of for sheet sizes to get up to 48″X36″ for working documents… not to mention some artwork or master plan ideas (at least by me)… that are drawn at a similar large scale…

So we have been long in the age of digital scanners, and hence that is what most people did with large format drawings that need to become more mobile… the problem with scanning and re-printing at a reduced size is that sometimes the details that made the original lager version of the work so “grandiose” are lost in the reduction.

So you could bring in the originals in a large portfolio case as shown above, but think of how that looks to the people you are presenting it too. I don’t care what the laws say you can or can not hire an employee for, when you go to an interview you are selling your self as well as your capabilities and ideas.

Think of what the potential portfolio viewers are thinking when they see you for the first time and instead of seeing the confident, suave yet energetic future employee… they see you walking into their walls and struggling like you just came in from the marina with the sail of a portfolio you have…

Now think if they see you walking in with composure and not wrestling anything, but carrying a sleek piece of technology that says this person is already adept at the future… having the best of both worlds, your work is small enough to handle, yet with technology can be zoomed in and out of various detail with ease.

That’s how I see my future presentations of my work, and that’s why I’ve decided to not modify my paper portfolios of decades past, but instead investigate the presentation of my work digitally, both from the web and from a more portable tablet.

So I bought a couple of new domains and I plan to start developing one… so far its been a pain, not because of the digital translation, but because I am not a computer engineer by trade, and I’ve had some difficulties with my Linux server hosting multiple websites… but I think I worked out most of the bugs and plan to start actually building the site now the foundation of its interface is somewhat worked out.

As the site gets closer to launch I’ll release the domain names here on goolier.com, which will remain my blog, with the new site simply holding my professional portfolio only.

google adsense is sometimes non-sense

I have Google adsense running on my site. They generate the adds you see in the far right…

The concept is pretty easy… I set up an account with Google… I tell them what size adds I am willing to have on www.goolier.com … it auto generates the code so I can paste it right into my website template.

On the other end of things.. companies pay Google to advertise their company’s products on the internet… they’ll develop ads to display on various websites, Google will give the owner of that website money for traffic generated to the companies products through that website… easy… makes sense for all parties involved…

well… not so much… you see I had Google Adsense running for about six months…. then all of a sudden it stopped generating ads on my site… meaning I was not making any money… I went to my Google Adsense dashboard and everything seemed to be fine… the only thing that stuck out was that my payments were on hold.
I put them on hold manually for no real good reason… besides the fact that i don’t make much money through my small site and thought it might be better if I just put the payments on hold until i collected more of a hefty sum to collect…

you would think Google would not mine this as they are still getting paid by the various companies and not having to pay me my share for the moment…well you thought wrong…

So I did not know this at the time because I manually put my payments on hold, but even if they were not my payments would not get to me because of a few “check list” items Google needed. Basically they need to verify that the physical address of the business associated with the website is real. So I went through a form online where I enter my phone number and then they call it and i have to record the pin to enter it into… the mailing address form the physically snail-mail a postcard with a pin on the back for me to re-enter into my ad sense dashboard… once I did these two things my ads were being generated within 20 minutes.

In an age of electronic identities and wallets why must we still fall back to colonial methods of payments… I don’t know the answer, but I’m not necessarily blaming Google…. just venting. I am sure it has something to do with some old mandate / law by some archaic branch of the US Government. What I am blaming Google for is why they had to stop generating ads for my ad slots… they were still going to get paid for them by the companies, and they did not have to release any funds until I updated their forms anyway… which i am sure all the IRS cares about…

sometimes the easiest things that makes sense get convoluted by third parties to make non-sense I guess. Oh well…. just wand to share the story to bitch out loud and hopefully help someone else if they have the same situation and can not figure out why their Adsense ads are not generating properly on their websites.

how to get harmony remote out of safe mode

The Harmony remotes from Logitech are some of the best universal remotes available… when they work that is… I had some trouble with mine and I figured I would share how i got it working… scroll to the bottom of this post to get the answer without hearing my associated story and reason for having a harmony remote.

With today’s home enthusiasts array of various media devices hooked up to the TV a house can easily have 10 or more remotes for DVRs, game consoles, netflix enabled devices, cable boxes, BlueRay, etc… The only downside of them is the somewhat over simplified setup and their price, but once you get past that their activities buttons are god sends for grandparents that might be at your house alone watching your kids. If they want to watch TV… they hit the “watch TV” button… if they want to “watch a movie”… they hit the “watch a movie” button… after the initial setup the remote turns off and on the devices that need to be for that activity and changes and master buttons like play, pause, menu, etc… to the master device for that activity… easy as pie… when it works.

Today I was watching something on netflix, and after the show was over I grabbed the remote to see the screen at the top was blank… I just changed the batteries a couple of weeks ago, so I popped open the case removed and reloaded the batteries only to have the screen on the remote say “SAFE MODE”. No matter what buttons i pressed no command was issued to any devices.. not even power. So I hooked the remote to my computer to try and reload the software to it hoping that would fix the issue, but it only got to about 17% before giving me an error saying the software could not be updated.

This is the solution I came up with to get the remote out of “safe mode” and working again.
After some trial and error I came to the conclusions that I basically i needed to remove the batteries from the remote then plug it in to the computer. Then i started the Harmony Remote software, went to the top of the window and clicked on “Downloads”. Ten I clicked on “Firmware” and followed the prompts to update the remote firmware, then I clicked on the other button above that “software” and followed the promts to update the remotes software and all my device settings.Once that was done the remote was back to the way it was before i got the “SAFE MODE” error.

Hope this post helps if anyone is having trouble with their harmony remotes. Let me know in the comments.