Productive Weekend

  • Migrated about 20 web sites to my new server (actual a virtual private server rather than a dedicated server, but it seems to have most of the functionality of dedicated at a lower price -- performance remains to be tested).  This was sort of a death march as it was incredibly dull and repetitive, especially since many of the sites use WordPress as the content management system so they required database setup and migration as well.  Basically got almost everything done except this site.  I am sure after 20 smooth moves Murphy's Law will cut in on the largest and most complicated.
  • Created our Christmas / Holiday card.  Some 20 years ago I set the unfortunate precedent of trying to do something unique for our cards, so I have made this a double extra more time consuming process than it has to be.  (past examples here, here, here)
  • Made a lot of progress laying track on my model railroad.  All my track is scratch built (from rails and ties) and so it takes a while, but I have nearly all the major switches in place, which are the real time consumers when hand laying track
  • Created a second RAID for my home theater system.  Incredibly, the original 8Tb raid (5x2 TB drives in a RAID 5) is almost full.  Chalk this up in part to Blu Ray rips (which can be 30Gb each) but also to my finally ripping TV series I have on disk (Sopranos, Mad Men, Firefly, etc).  These involve a lot of disks.

At some point soon I want to write a review of my experience with the new SageTV version 7.0 software, which is an ENORMOUS improvement over their old versions.  The Sage system is still for advanced users, but the process for managing plugins and extensions (the whole point of Sage is its customizability) is greatly improved.  The new HD300 set top box is also improved, though with a flaw or two.  You are welcome to email me if you are considering Sage (or if you want something more capable than most media streaming boxes) and I can give you the pros and cons.

Now all I need is a few Christmas present ideas for my wife.


  1. Jim Hall:

    I have a friend who owns a hi-tech company back in Massachusetts. Some time back he got a great deal on a case of identical cards. So he sent the very same Christmas card year after year. He just made up a new greeting, which he printed out on a label and pasted inside. As he has a warped sense of humor, some of the messages were priceless. Getting Mike's Christmas card was always one of the high points of the holiday.

    Alas, all good things come to an end, and Mike finally ran out of cards. He doesn't send anything now.

  2. Danny:

    SageTV looks to be interesting, but how does it compare to MythTV? Is it just the convenience of having dedicated hardware instead of having to adapt your own hardware?

    Also, why not just encode your bluray vids into h.264? Much less disk space for a 5 gigs compared to 30.

  3. Ladyhawk:

    Buy her a horse farm.
    Your turn - what can I get for my husband that I don't have to have a degree in physics to choose?

  4. Dan Hill:

    A Christmas present idea for your wife - less time in the man cave and more time with her. Any one of your projects would have been enough geek time for a weekend before my wife demanded some attention!

  5. Steve S:

    I, for one, would love to see a write up on your home theater experiences.

    P.S. I thought I was a digital pack-rat, having to constantly clean out my 1 TB RAID drive of useless files, to make room for more. But you, Sir, with 8 TB, beat me easily.