General computing update – week 34, 2020.

 Since writing early July about about the need to replace the disks in mainpc I have finally progressed towards this stage by purchasing the first of two disks. As noted in the earlier post, this was prompted by an I/O failure of one of the disks that resulted in it dropping out of the RAID array. However I was eventually able to add it back into the array and it has worked properly ever since. The first disk has been added to the existing array which is currently a three disk mirror. As soon as mdadm has synced this disk completely, I can then remove one of the existing disks off the array and then take it out of the computer, as I need backup disks right now. As noted at previous article the disk array will be the same size as current. I am expecting to buy the second disk in about another month and install it in the same way so that when it is also installed, the old disks can be removed completely, and all without actually copying any files. Last time when I did an installation I manually copied the files, but that was mainly because I doubled the disks from 1 TB to 2 TB; this time I will be staying at 2 TB.

Another techical task I have been working on around the house is erecting a TV aerial on the outside of the house. This has meant installing a cable duct and two faceplates between the inside wall and the underside of the soffit to take the aerial cable. That was the hard part as running the cable through the duct was very simple as was putting the aerial itself up. The TV itself is wall mounted and the cable comes through directly behind it. As I am in a prime reception area, the aerial does not need actual line of sight to the transmitter – there is actually another house in the direct line, but the signal is so strong that there is enough signal to get a good picture on every channel.

A few weeks ago I had some problems with a new package-based version of Qgis that would crash every time I tried to run it, on more than one computer. I had to install a flatpak-based version of Qgis, although I could have also run it in a virtual machine. The project developers built a new release after several weeks and it started working again, as did the next edition. Due to the disruption, I have implemented an extra precaution of testing every new release on a VM before installing it onto a working computer.

Google has again heaped glory all over themselves by implementing an arbitrary and dictatorial change to the Youtube platform. As of last week, they stopped making it possible for Youtube to send out notification emails whenever a new video is uploaded or streamed onto a channel. This has left a lot of people, including me, very annoyed by the decision. It is similar to the nonsense of the new Blogger user interface that is badly broken and which has forced me to copy and paste all my posts from another editor like LibreOffice. As I am doing right now with this post. Contrast that with the approach taken by with a new editor system introduced a few months back; it was pushed through, but they did a lot of consultation with their users. In this case, Google has just announced the changes, but if there are any issues, it’s a one way conversation filing a problem report, just like the way you cannot actually have a conversation with Facebook about bugs or problems on their platform most of the time.