Constant Thinking | Technology Thoughts for the Quality Geek | by Constantin Gonzalez

Seven Useful OpenSolaris ZFS Home Server Tips

14.02.2010, updated: 03.10.2017

AMD Athlon II X2 240e

A lot of people have read last year's article "A Small and Energy-Efficient OpenSolaris Home Server" (Thanks a lot to Andre Lue from the EON project for linking to it!) and there was quite some discussion on different RAID options as a result of my RAID-Greed article.

So let's continue the theme and have a look at the following home server tips that helped me a lot during my own home server planning, building and installing:

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I give a lot of presentations to customers and I tend to create a lot of new slides for the presentation decks I use. I'm also a huge fan of Presentation Zen, the bookand the blog, as well as Duarte Design's blog, with their excellent slide:ology book. When giving technical presentations about computer hardware or software though, sticking to good presentation principles is tough at best.

But there are a few simple tips that everyone should follow when preparing a presentation, and I hope to collect a few of these in this new category. Today's topic is simple, almost trivial, but powerful. And I see too many slides on an almost daily basis that violate some basic graphical principles:

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Science Fiction stretches our imagination and makes us dream about cool, future, distant worlds and realities. And it's fun, too.

But Science Fiction also serves an important purpose: It prepares society for the future. What will happen when technology X becomes available? How will our work, social and emotional lives change? What challenges and opportunities will we face, once certain new technologies become available?

There's also a feedback circle around scientists, engineers and SF writers: Scientists discover new laws of nature, engineers apply them to create new technologies and SF authors show us the possibilities, inspiring the scientists and engineers where to look next, what new principle to explore and which new technologies to make real.

Here are my top 3 Science Fiction, but realistic novels of all time that help us prepare for the future. They are all based on solid futuristic research, still they are mind-boggling and thought-provoking. When you read them, you'll get a true glimpse of the future - and view the present and the past in a new light.

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A book goes electronic. Sort of.

2010 is going to be the year of the ebook. If it wasn't obvious before, it became so overnight after Apple entered the ebook reader and distribution market big time.

I've been eying ebook and ebook reader developments for some time and decided to become an ebook early adopter: Over the holidays, I bought myself a Sony PRS-600 Ebook Reader. In this new blogging category, I'll explore a few aspects of ebooks, formats and the ecosystem while trying to figure out what's in it for you and me and the geeks in us.

Before we dive into ebook-land, it's probably useful to figure out what the point of ebooks is in the first place, what we want from them and what we should expect of them. This is useful because today's consumers, vendors, and the whole industry seem to be distracted by features, hype and old habits, sometimes missing the point.

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Disks in a circle. How cute.

After moving my blog to its new home and getting my hands dirty with Drupal, it's time to continue my series of blog articles about setting up a home server. Remember? We talked about home server requirements, then I presented to you my small and energy-efficient, still ECC-protected and powerful AMD-based home server. Now it's time to explore some different ZFS disk pool RAID strategies.

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DrupalKey

Yesterday, I had two hours in a cafe, a Cappuccino on my table, a piece of lemon cake and free WLAN. "Cool", I thought, "I'll write an entry for my blog!". How romantic. Right after I entered my blog user's password, it dawned on me: The connection to my blog wasn't encrypted! Anyone able to sniff on the local WLAN would have been able to catch my password as I entered it and steal my blog user ID! It took me some time (slightly more than the 2 hours I had...) to figure this out, so here's a howto on how to make your login/admin tasks secure for a Drupal instance running on Strato as the hoster.

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DrupalLightbulb

When creating this blog, I faced the question of what blogging platform to use: Hosted blogging, Wordpress or one of the many CMS systems out there? Here's a discussion about blogging options and why I chose Drupal as my platform of choice, plus a couple of really useful resources that helped me tailor it to my blogging needs.

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Welcome to Constant Thinking

06.01.2010, updated: 03.10.2017

Constantin Gonzalez

Dear reader, my name is Constantin Gonzalez, and welcome to Constant Thinking!

This blog is about useful technology for the quality geek. As the name implies, I'm constantly thinking about technology, trying to figure out where it leads to, and how to get the best out of it. I try to learn, create and share useful technology stuff every day.

About the Author

I've been playing with computers since the early 80's, and with Unix and the Internet since the early 90's. I've created and installed websites since 1994, started working for Sun Microsystems in 1998 and as of now, I'm now a Principal Field Technologist at Oracle through their acquisition of Sun. My job is to provide Technical Expertise to customers in Germany, and help with other customer projects in rest of the world. My focus areas are SPARC processors and systems, Solaris and Cloud Computing.

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Welcome!

This is the blog of Constantin Gonzalez, a Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services, with more than 25 years of IT experience.

The views expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my current or previous employers.


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