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26  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 25, 2014, 09:20:18 PM
Well folks, Abbey's next performance on America's Got Talent has almost arrived. So here's the info to vote, if you don't mind helping out. smiley

Her act is called Aerial Animation and the show is on tomorrow night, Tuesday August 26th at 9PM Pacific/Eastern Time/8 Central (it airs live for East Coasters, delayed for West Coasters). It runs for 2 hours and voting is at the end. There are 3 ways to vote, and you get 10 points *for each voting method* to distribute to the acts you like. You will be able to vote on the official AGT site here (after the show airs):

You can also do a Google search for "America's Got Talent" and you should be able to vote live on Google itself. This will be a voting "widget" on the Google search results page, you vote right there, don't follow any links. Again this will only work after the show airs. And since you're all DC-ers and you can handle complexity, I'll let you in on a little secret: you can vote 10 points for *each* Google account you have (not including Google Apps accounts). So if you have multiple you can just Switch Accounts and vote some more (if desired). cheesy

Last but not least, you will also be able to call-in (info should be on the page above, after the show). There are unique numbers for each act and it records one vote per call, automatically, then hangs up on you. It's kind of annoying, but not too bad to just keep redialing and wait a moment until it hangs up on you. I wouldn't blame you if you don't do the phone thing. But the NBC and Google site voting is easy.

Phone voting closes 2 hours after the show airs (local time, so if you're on the East Coast, phone voting is over at 1AM Eastern; they do it by area code I think), but I think Internet voting works until 9 or 10AM the next day, so if it's a little past your bedtime to vote at 11, feel free to give it a shot on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday will be the results show where we find out if she made it through. Again I think it's at 9PM. I'll post the results here afterward for anyone who doesn't want to watch (I wouldn't blame you, hehe).

Thanks everyone!

P.S. I was serious about wanting to see other people's talents. Anyone want to show anything cool? Are you a painter? Sculpter? Singer? Do you have perfect push-up form? A really interesting-looking eyeball?

- Oshyan
27  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 22, 2014, 03:21:05 PM
I'm onboard with all that 40hz. cheesy

- Oshyan
28  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 22, 2014, 10:55:32 AM
Wow, thanks you guys. smiley

Perry, she works with an animator friend of hers who uses mostly After Effects (and hand drawing, of course). She did some of the original sketches for the original 6 minute piece that was created in I think 2009. Part of that was adapted for the 1st performance while the 2nd was largely new material and animation.

wraith, yes she seems to remind many people of Kenichi's stuff from last year, which is understandable as the interaction with a projection is similar between the two. She actually did her original animation act that I mentioned above a few years before Kenichi was on AGT, but as far as the show and its viewers are concerned Kenichi invented the concept. Wink

- Oshyan
29  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 21, 2014, 03:07:57 PM
Good luck indeed Stephen! That's incredibly cool. Hopefully you'll let us all know more about it as the date draws nearer. smiley

- Oshyan
30  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Talents and talent shows on: August 21, 2014, 02:30:45 PM
Thanks everyone! I am really proud of her. She's also a pretty good girlfriend. Wink

I'll definitely post again about voting, both as a reminder and with some additional info (3 methods, etc.).

- Oshyan
31  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: August 21, 2014, 02:29:41 PM
Egads, what a gorgeous place. I have always wanted to visit. More! smiley

- Oshyan
32  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Talents and talent shows on: August 21, 2014, 12:40:13 PM
Hi folks. Guess what: my girlfriend is on America's Got Talent this year! And now she's in the semifinals, holy cow. Her name is Abigail Baird, she's an acrobat, and her act is called Aerial Animation. Here's her first audition a couple months ago:

Aerial Animation AGT Audition

And her second performance in the Quarterfinals:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
The official video doesn't include the judges comments, but it's here:

She has been working incredibly hard on this and it's pretty amazing to see her dedication and perseverance. She's been a professional acrobat and teacher for a number of years now and she has been getting by on earnings from teaching acrobatics to kids and the gigs she has been able to get here and there (it turns out making a living as an acrobat is hard!), but this could be an opportunity to perform full-time and it's tremendously exciting.

I've been pretty quiet around here lately, I have to minimize my DC time because otherwise it'll take most of my *free* time. Wink But I still consider you guys part of my Internet family and this remains one of the best communities around, so I'm excited to share this moment in my life. I know some of you have already seen Abigail on the show, so hopefully it's interesting to know she's a distant DC cousin, in a way. smiley

Abigail will be be on the live show again for the semifinals coming up August 26th, and she'll need votes to continue. If you're already watching the show, vote for your favorites, but maybe put a couple of your votes in for her even if she's not your top pick. cheesy If you weren't already watching, then you weren't going to vote anyway, right? So I figure you might as well give her *all* your votes. Wink There are 3 ways to vote and you get 10 points for each voting method. But I'll go into all that a bit more in an update early next week before the show.

Anyway, I've been encouraged to post about this by mouser and other DC'ers, but in the spirit of community involvement I also want to open this up a bit more widely. Because as it turns out at least one other DC'er has an upcoming brush with fame (you know who you are), and maybe there are more! So if you've been on a talent show before, or have an appearance/audition upcoming, or you just have a talent you want to showcase, let 'er rip! Singing, dancing, expert armpit fart noises, playing the William Tell Overture on 5 parts of your body (real talent a friend of mine showcases at parties), whatever you can do, let's see it! In the meantime I'll be posting occasional updates about my sweetheart, including shameless requests for your votes. cheesy

- Oshyan
33  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: August 21, 2014, 11:15:02 AM
Thanks everyone. Now share yours!

- Oshyan
34  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: August 21, 2014, 12:49:53 AM
I was shocked to find that there is apparently no thread dedicated to sharing everyone's travel, art, and other photo captures (if there is one, I must have missed it - point me in the right direction!). So I'm starting one right here and now with the selfish motive of sharing a gallery of images from a trip earlier this year (in March) to Iceland. But the unselfish part is I hope this will inspire others to share their own photos, whether amateur or professional, artistic or purely documentary, new or old. Show us where you've been and what you see through your lens(es)!

To kick things off here's Iceland Part 1 (of 3)


- Oshyan
35  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Nextdoor: The anti-facebook social network for neighborhoods on: August 20, 2014, 10:44:43 PM
I "use" Nextdoor a little. By which I mean I signed up a few months ago and now largely ignore the daily digest contents of posts from my neighbors. Wink I originally signed up to a different but similar service which happened to also include local crime news/reports, which I was interested in at the time (tip: you think you want to know, but you probably don't). But that original one closed down or was bought or something so I switched to Nextdoor, even though it doesn't offer the same info as I originally signed up to the *other* one for. Odd, I know.

I do kind of like the idea of a local social network, and there are consistent reminders in some of the posts of how it can be useful. Connecting with local services and professionals recommended by your neighbors, for example, or selling/gifting/trading things locally. It's more personal than Craig's List but less so than Facebook, I feel. So it definitely has a role to play IMO. But the numbers are probably quite deceptive, "1 in 4 American Neighborhoods". It only takes a few people in each neighborhood to sign up for it to be an "active" neighborhood, and there are a lot fewer neighborhoods than people in the US too. So while it sounds like an impressive level of use, it's nowhere near the level of Facebook and other social media sites in terms of number of users.

- Oshyan
36  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need help coding website with music and database on: March 26, 2014, 02:35:38 PM
Also, SoundCloud:

- Oshyan
37  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why 24-bit/192kHz music files make no sense - and may be bad for you! on: September 27, 2013, 07:10:32 PM
So we have 5-45,000hz earphones, great, that means you can do the blind testing I was referring to on your theory of sub-audibles being perceivable by other means (or subconsciously). That's been my point all along: it matters not a whit if you don't record the full range of sound unless we can demonstrate conclusively that a range beyond that which we currently record and reproduce is actually perceivable (consistently, reproducibly) to the listener. *That* would make a compelling case for expanding the range of audio recording, but that hasn't been demonstrated yet. This can easily be tested for modern equipment though. So the thing to do is get a set of those headphones and some sample Pono files and do some blind tests. Since you already have good headphones, I nominate you as our first test subject. cheesy

It's like selling 3D content that plays in a regular TV, but is way better in a 3D TV, that may never be produced.

"Way better" is highly debatable when, as I've pointed out multiple times, blind tests show that even MP3 vs. CD audio can seldom be differentiated. I would accept "but is potentially better in a 3D TV" as the comparative. But that doesn't sell it nearly as well, now does it? Wink And the fact that even this minor, incremental difference would only be noticed on a piece of hardware which may never exist... yeah, I'd rather not bother with Pono then and buy stuff over again in 10 years *if* there's a breakthrough.

It's not just that audio is "less profitable" to innovate in, it's also that it's a harder medium to push forward. Audio reproduction got a helluvalot closer to the limits of human perception than video did in a much shorter time. The gains that remain to be had are very incremental. We had nearly "perfect" audio reproduction in the home decades go, whereas for video, high definition has only become mainstream within the last 10 years, and even still it's far from "perfect", not only due to resolution and *color/brightness depth limitations*, but also due to lack of real 3D (with or without glasses), among other things. Audio doesn't suffer from the same limitations. The breakthroughs were easier to make and were made earlier (think multi-channel audio, for example).

My landline phone is just fine. Are you talking about landlines? Cell audio is crappy due both to legacy networks/tech, and the need to conserve bandwidth. There is some push forward toward "HD" call quality though, and I certainly welcome that. It *is* driven by market forces, so your argument there is sound. It's certainly not a fundamental technology limit. We could (and some people do) run Skype-like stuff over modern data networks and get better results.

- Oshyan
38  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why 24-bit/192kHz music files make no sense - and may be bad for you! on: September 26, 2013, 01:53:30 AM
Actually, it's usually the professional/producer side that drives *media-based* tech innovation. This has been true of HD video, advances in audio, etc. I have no problem with 24/192 being used in the studio, or at least being available for those who want to use it. The natural progression is then for the speakers that can reproduce it to be developed for high-end studio purposes, then be bought/available for rich people who can afford it, then it ultimately becomes mass market and cheap enough for the average person to buy. That's *if* the technology actually catches on, and *if* it can be produced in a form that is not so delicate or subject to home environment variables that it doesn't work out. So basically I'm just saying that making Pono available now as a home listening technology is pointless and wasteful. By all means keep using it in studios, but let's wait until we can actually hear the difference, at which time great, a format is waiting in the wings.

So, no, the conclusions in the Xiph article are right on. It seems like we're actually in general agreement in terms of *right here and now* and *for the home user*. You just have a different idea of how the progression of technology works. I see little value in making content available without devices that can reproduce it. This is akin to selling 3D video *content* before you have even *invented* 3D TVs! The way it actually went was 3D TVs came out and there was very, very limited content, but their growing adoption drove content production. Think about it in the context of this debate...

- Oshyan
39  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why 24-bit/192kHz music files make no sense - and may be bad for you! on: September 25, 2013, 12:39:08 AM
Hmm, how do you know the tests aren't testing for the right things? They are *not* as specific as you are suggesting. Here's how a blind audio test works: a person listens to playback of 2 (or 3) audio segments with identical *content*, but that differ in compression/bitrate/storage media/etc. They are not told which is which, but they know they are listening for a difference (sometimes they listen to 2, then a 3rd, and are supposed to identify which of the first 2 the 3rd corresponds to). If they can reliably detect a difference (or match the 3rd sample), they could correlate that difference with e.g. lossless formats vs. lossy compression. Multiple tests confirm that people are unable to make such distinctions with high enough bitrates in lossy compression (vs. CD audio 16/44.1 as a comparative). It doesn't matter one teeny tiny bit if the way they were able to detect a difference was because of "subsonic" or subconscious frequencies; they are not measuring the specific method of differentiation, only *whether there is any reliable differentiation*. There is not. Therefore the idea that they're not "measuring the right thing" is incorrect. They are measuring the *effect*, not a specific and limited set of criteria.

As I said I'm not aware of any such tests being yet performed on 24/192 audio, but since people are almost universally unable to detect a difference even between lossy and lossless 44.1 audio, I'm doubtful that the results would be any different. The only possible way they would is if you're right about the subconscious frequencies, which is highly speculative since speakers aren't built to reproduce such frequencies, and are broadly incapable of producing them even when intentionally induced to do so. The crux of my argument is focused on the limitations of audio reproduction equipment, not on whether such effects actually exist in the real world, with live sound (they obviously do). Still, I'd be curious to see the results of such a test, if only to answer your doubts.

- Oshyan
40  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why 24-bit/192kHz music files make no sense - and may be bad for you! on: September 24, 2013, 01:03:29 PM
I think you're really just making an appeal to ignorance and elevating the value of the theoretical here, which could be the beginning of science perhaps (if it inspires investigation), but is really just speculation. It is in fact fairly easy to test the limits of what our sound reproduction equipment can produce, and that is ultimately all that actually matters in this consideration because in the end all the recording, mixing, and mastering has to get squeezed through those limited speakers/headphones on the listener's end.

But even if you somehow believe the measuring capabilities we have now can't account for every possible effect, as I said above there is really a simple way to find out if any of those "woo-woo" audio stuff is *practically detectable by humans* (whether directly or otherwise!), and yet so far such tests have failed to show a difference even between existing high quality (but lossy) audio formats and their lossless sources, much less a difference between two ultra high quality lossless sources. That being said I will say that to my knowledge no one has done such a blind test with 16/44.1 vs. 24/192 audio, so if indeed these inaudible frequencies are somehow reproduced by audio equipment, even though they're well outside their rated range, and if somehow humans are able to detect them, then there may be value in Pono and other ultra high quality audio storage approaches.

But I think the problem I have with your argument is that it essentially relies on the supposed limitations in our knowledge of audio science, when in fact, as I've pointed out, we don't need to know everything about audio to test *the effects* (to *understand* the effects we perhaps do, but not to *test whether they exist*). I don't think we need to wait until some possible future breakthrough in audio science to determine whether Pono is worthwhile. This is like someone saying "Homeopathic medicine works but our existing science has no way to measure it", to which I say do some controlled studies and we'll soon see. We can measure effects even if we cannot directly measure methods of action.

So who wants to run a blind test with Pono? I can guarantee you Neil Young won't be doing any fair comparisons (i.e. blind, same audio source, multiple subjects) any time soon. cheesy

- Oshyan
41  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why 24-bit/192kHz music files make no sense - and may be bad for you! on: September 23, 2013, 04:01:36 PM
IANAAE (I Am Not An Audio Engineer), so take the following with a grain of salt. Wink

Frequencies that home speakers/headphones cannot reproduce are irrelevant without massive improvements in sound reproduction capability in the home. Given the fact that this has not happened in the last 50+ years (incremental improvements only), I don't expect it to happen in the next 50. Even if it did, the improvements would be so minor for most listeners that the cost and hassle of replacing all their equipment would not be desirable for most. By the time such a conversion was complete, it would be time to re-buy the White Album anyway, and it could be mastered in 512/4096 for all I care. In other words by the time you'll be able to actually hear the difference (due to limitations in your equipment, not necessarily your ears!), you would have likely bought the thing again anyways, i.e. there will be something better than "Pono". Buying Pono stuff now doesn't help you though.

For now and the foreseeable future, much as sub-audible frequencies may be *perceivable* and have an effect *in person*, they are not relevant for recorded music. Nor, in fact, are they relevant for *any* amplified music since there are multiple limits in place there, not least of which are the speakers, but also any live processing being done (reverb, compression, etc.). Even if your entire amplification system is analog, the speakers are still a limiting factor. As are mics that recorded it in the first place, for that matter! There is *so much compromise* throughout any music production process, whether analog or digital, that I think it's a bit silly to cling so tightly to the "purity" of reproducing the finished results with 100% accuracy. Hell, the placement of speakers in a person's room, or how old their headphones are (and thus how much wear they have been subject to, how clean and undamaged their drivers are) will likely impact the sound they perceive far more than the difference between 16 and 24 bit or 192kHz vs. 44.1kHz.

But forget all that, this is what really matters, and where real science comes into it (not the theoretical, the practical!). Multiple blind tests have been done that show that even so-called audiophiles, even self-processed "super hearers", cannot in fact hear the difference between high bitrate MP3s/AACs and original CD recordings. If that's true, how can we expect to hear difference in the even smaller (relatively speaking) quality differential between CD quality and Pono? Now you can argue theoreticals all you want, but in the end there is one great way to answer this compellingly, and that is to run blind tests with Pono, with 24/192 audio vs. 16/44.1, and let's just see what the results are. This reminds me of the Randi Foundation's million dollar prize for proof of the supernatural - so far nobody has won. cheesy

Until that happens, as far as I can see at this point you're going to be buying files in a proprietary format that are 6 times larger than they need to be, using more bandwidth and hard drive space than necessary (and probably paying more for the privilege too). It's wasteful and unnecessary.

Of course has done a far better job than me of explaining why all of this is misguided. cheesy

By the way Joe:

- Oshyan
42  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: The 2013 Game Developer Gender Wage Gap on: April 05, 2013, 03:13:15 AM
I have been sent the digital subscription for free for the past, like, 6 years, even though I haven't been in the games industry in more than 10 years. There is some more detail in the actual article, but not really the kind of detail you're asking for. I've attached a screenshot that gives an idea of their sample size. It doesn't necessarily inspire tons of confidence in accuracy, but at least they threw out some outliers (particularly high salaries, etc.).


- Oshyan
43  Special User Sections / Site/Forum Features / Re: Testing waters for radical dc ideas - feedback wanted on: December 21, 2012, 07:41:46 PM
I feel like the single biggest thing that needs to be done is obvious and should really be tried *independent of other muckings* before calling it time for more sweeping change, and that is to finally properly reorganize and CMS-ify the main site, making it a better place for software listings, updates, etc. as well as other content. Until that is done it seems silly to me to talk of totally redoing the forums, which are pretty much working fine in my opinion (and apparently other people here agree). So why not make this an opportunity for the big push finally needed to go CMS on this place? After all, if we can't even successfully make *that* happen, what hope is there of successful transition to some radically new paradigm?

- Oshyan
44  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Newzbin2 closes its doors on: November 30, 2012, 03:35:51 PM
Yeah, I'm sort of confused how Newzbin2 had subscription fees *and* had to shut down, but is free and has been doing fine for ages...

- Oshyan
45  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Help me choose an online backup service on: November 29, 2012, 11:09:05 AM
Duplicati looks very interesting, especially in conjunction with Amazon's new(er) Glacier long-term storage service that is relatively cheap. For my 2TB data set, it looks like I'd pay about $30/mo for Glacier, far more than I pay for CrashPlan, but still worth it. It would be awesome if Duplicati could somehow support the CrashPan back-end, but it being proprietary (CrashPlan I mean), that seems unlikely, hehe.

I'm also curious about the cross-platform nature of Duplicati. It says it's primarily programmed in C# and .NET. It also sounds like the dev reimplemented e.g. Rsync and some other things, but I get the impression the Duplicity Python back-end is still being used in at least some way (which would explain part of its cross platform capability). I suppose my question is how the GUI is handled on each platform. I ask because I'm inherently a bit wary of interpreted languages due to overhead and inefficiency, and both Python and Java that CrashPlan is programmed in have this potential issue. That being said it's a much easier way to get cross platform code...

Unfortunately I don't have an easy way to test Duplicati on my full backup data set, but I'm quite curious how it would compare to CrashPlan in terms of memory use. I'll see if I can get a chance to test it at some point.

- Oshyan
46  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Seeking experiences from people backing up relatively large personal data sets on: November 28, 2012, 02:32:13 PM
As far as I know almost everything you just said about memory limits in modern Windows is wrong. huh

I *routinely* run applications using more than 4GB of RAM (nevermind 2GB). I do *not* have the "/3gb switch" enabled (that was for old 32 bit windows). 64 bit applications are not the ones that need "/largeaddressaware" compile flag, it's for 32 bit apps that want to access more than 2GB (but no more than 4GB). On 32 bit Windows OSs, 32 bit apps compiled with /largeaddressaware can use up to 3GB of memory *when the /3gb switch is enabled*. On 64 bit Windows OSs, 32 bit apps using /largeaddressaware can use up to 4GB. 64 bit apps can use a huge amount more memory than 4GB.

Edit: I see 4wd essentially beat me to it. cheesy

- Oshyan
47 Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Has the time arrived for the 'Animated' Screenshots? on: November 28, 2012, 02:24:35 PM
+1 for being able to capture simple animations and output to animated GIF.

- Oshyan
48  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: In search of ... opinions on RAID at home on: November 27, 2012, 11:51:25 AM
Just compare RAID to any other backup tool (online cloud, "realtime" file synchronization, etc.), and imagine a case where you are dealing with critical data being generated/processed at a high volume.
Which is exactly what makes it suitable and potentially necessary for enterprise environments and *not* for home users. How many home users do you know of that fit that criteria, "data being generated/processed at high volume"? I am one of the most demanding computer users I know and even I don't think RAID is worthwhile on my system, and I spent more than $3000 for it, so easily could have afforded it. If by "data" you're talking about lots of small files (e.g. you're a coder), then I'd still advocate a software solution in that case, because you can use a realtime local versioning system (*not* a DVCS), which accomplishes the same goal *and* improves your work by providing back versions.

Regarding backup "performance", yes CrashPlan uses a lot of memory on my system, but then it's also doing a lot more than a RAID solution would be (encryption, non-local backup, deduplication). If I turn off some of those advanced features, it's reasonable to think memory use will come down. Certainly there are lighter-weight backup (or, perhaps better yet, sync) solutions that are a more direct comparative to RAID, and while yes they inevitably have a greater performance impact than RAID, in practice it can and should be minimal. Even CrashPlan doesn't use much CPU at all, despite its high memory use.

Besides, would you not agree that RAID is *not* backup, and you'll need to be running backup software *anyway*?

Sometimes the greater the level of protection afforded, the greater the problems created should it ever fail.

Or as a friend of mine once put it: Slay one monster and it's only a matter of time before a bigger monster take its place.
(and other stuff 40hz said)
Yes, exactly. As I said, it's adding complexity, which I think most of us can agree is generally a bad word for the home user. Sure if things are working as expected, it provides benefit, but the moment something goes wrong, even the "planned for" disk failure, it starts to diverge significantly from the simplicity of the average data restore scenario. I suppose being able to replace (install) a failed hard drive should be a prerequisite for running a RAID, at the very least. But this is not necessarily as dead-simple as the average computer hardware jockey might think. If your RAID is not external, then you'd better hope you have your drives well labelled internally, because of course they're all identical. Sure, you can try to match the BIOS or Windows-recognized SATA port with the failing drive, but it's not necessarily trivial. And that can become an issue even in the "expected" failure scenario, nevermind the loss of the controller as others mentioned, or - god forbid - multi-drive corruption.

Rebuilding a RAID array does degrade performance to a mildly noticeable degree...but restoring from backup - especially an image backup - completely annihilates it. Progress and performance are both exactly zero as you sit about twiddling you thumbs waiting a few hours to get on with your life. And that's only after you get back from the hard drive store (with the replacement) which will hopefully still be open at whatever ungodly hour the thing decides to go poof at.
Unless you keep a spare drive around in the RAID scenario, you'll run in degraded mode until you replace the drive, which is riskier. You could keep a spare drive around for recovery in both scenarios. Also, RAID on the boot volume? Another complication. I was sort of assuming we're RAIDing our critical data store, and thus "full system image" backup isn't necessary. Use a simple sync "backup", your backup drive is then a 1:1 copy of your data, and you can just flip it over to primary if your main data store disk fails. In other words, the issues you point out - if they are even really issues for the home user - can be mostly dealt with using simple software and configuration strategies. That being said, I would still contend that downtime concerns of that significance are really fairly exclusive to enterprise use. After all, what home user can't just go out for a movie while their backup restores?

So, basically, RAID1 for supplementary backup purposes only, and to aid speed of recovery, *if* it's worth the cost and potential hassle to you. But frankly I just feel like it's a slippery slope to ever recommend RAID to any "home" user. The people barney is talking about sound more like IT professionals and potentially have the knowledge to deal with anything that would go wrong, so it's a lot more reasonable for them to make the (informed) choice to use it at home.

- Oshyan
49  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: In search of ... opinions on RAID at home on: November 25, 2012, 08:52:41 PM
Sounds good. Tell us what they say! cheesy

- Oshyan
50  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: In search of ... opinions on RAID at home on: November 25, 2012, 07:17:11 PM
A reasonably good backup is better than RAID because RAID only provides 1 potential advantage, and then only when it's working well: speed of "recovery". In *theory* you can quickly and "seamlessly" recover from loss of a single drive in a RAID array by simply replacing the drive that goes bad, and you don't lose any data. With most RAID solutions there is "rebuild" time during which there will be "degraded" performance, but at least your data is there. The problems with those are several.

First of all, the chances of 1 drive in your array failing go up the more drives you have. So even though adding more drives theoretically gives you more redundancy of that data, it also raises the chances that any one component in your redundant array will experience some kind of problem. Basically, it adds complexity, and that's generally not a good thing for "home" use. Managing RAID, while simpler than it used to be, also requires more technical savvy than simple backup, again it's complexity.

Second, in order to best handle a RAID drive failure, you should keep a spare drive around to swap in. This adds to cost of the solution. Cost and complexity are both factors that tend to count more negatively in a home environment than an enterprise one, and are major reasons why RAID is generally not advisable for home use, but may be perfectly useful for business use - businesses have a higher need for consistent uptime and are willing to bear the cost to maintain that. Uptime requirements in the home are generally much less significant and of lower priority.

Third, not all RAID failure is of the expected or easy to handle variety. What if it's not your drives but your RAID controller that fails? Well, if you've done it properly with hardware RAID, you need a new RAID controller which may not be cheap, probably as much or more than replacing a hard drive, and you aren't likely to be keeping one around as a spare like you would with the drive. Also, better make sure it's the exact same controller model or it might not recognize the existing RAID array.

In the end, you need a backup of the RAID anyway, and the only thing the RAID gets you that backup doesn't is theoretical speed of recovery. But that's only if you're willing to spend the money to do it right and have a spare drive around. So you have to ask yourself, is recovering my data super quickly really that important?

The other thing is the data recovery problem is potentially easily solved with a regular backup system, assuming we're talking about simple drive failure scenarios. You just setup a frequent sync to a second drive in the system (not a RAID1, although that could be done, but is generally overkill), then if your main data drive fails, you just switch over to the 2nd. Problem solved. Or, in my case, I backup to an external drive connected by USB3, I get internal-like speeds but the unit is portable, so A: it has its own power supply and may not fry even if my computer does (e.g. my PSU does in my tower), and B: if my tower does die, I can just plug my backup drive into another computer and have my data available immediately. RAID doesn't accomplish any of that.

Bottom line, RAID adds expense and complexity that is rarely justified in a home environment. I speak from some amount of experience here, I had an external RAID unit holding a ton of my data and it died on me and I had to pay a bunch of money for data recovery. RAID is not backup, and it also doesn't always accomplish the "quick recovery and graceful failure" it promises, either.

- Oshyan
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