So in the attempt to upgrade my storage/file server with some new hardware, I unintentionally (albeit intentionally when I ordered the parts months earlier) broke the CompactFlash to PATA solution I was using to serve as a boot drive for the operating system (FreeNAS). Long since I last updated FreeNAS, it came to my attention that the project has evolved from FreeBSD 7 onto FreeBSD 9, and taken on the new name NAS4Free. Since I obviously needed to reinstall my operating system for the server on a new device, and FreeBSD 9 drastically updated the ZFS feature set present in this NAS distribution, it only made sense to drink the Koolaid and upgrade to NAS4Free. Unfortunately, in doing so, I have had to take in and utilize a lot more of FreeBSD’s native features to make this system workable to my own standards (despite NAS4Free claiming support).

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It has been a slow couple of weeks. Since my parents sprung for a new computer case as a sort of birthday gift, I have been working on getting a network-attached storage (NAS) box up and running using the extra hard drives that don’t presently have a home. It is a beast of a case, but it provides plenty of room for expansion1, and it appeared to be among the quietest options available. I was heavily considering Silverstone’s LC20 HTPC case, but its lack of significant cooling means it would run loud as hell2. Regardless, I have the old parts reassembled in the new case and up and running. I’m just trying to troubleshoot some issues running FreeNAS, but it seems to be significantly easier to manage than EON or MilaX. It has done a fine job of setting up the arrays and shares (and even runs a BitTorrent server via Transmission!), but the network interface keeps tanking out for no good (identifiable) reason. I have to manually bring it up and down with ifconfig re0 down and ifconfig re0 up directly from the machine, and then it works fine again. WebGUI isn’t affected or anything. Quite bizarre!

I’ve gotten back into watching Furi Kuri (FLCL) again. I forget how funny the series is once you get past all the ridiculously convoluted plot setups. All the innuendos and references to other shows/series is just hilarious!

The food plans from the last blog post turned out fine. I would have had some pictures of the cheesecake, but it disappeared before I could snag some! I will likely make more, so I’ll sneak some pictures up once some is made again. It had just the right amount of peanut butter flavor, so I shan’t be tweaking that portion of the recipe at least! The homemade macaroni and cheese turned out nicely, but it was a little lacking with the cheese portion. I could really use a bit more broccoli in it next time, and bacon would make a fine substitute for the pancetta, especially some smoked bacon!

This week has a little more ambitious plans for cooking. I’m making my homemade spaghetti with toasted ciabatta tomorrow night. Wednesday night I’m making some crock-pot beef stroganof with egg noodles. Lastly, some other time this week I’m making tater tot casserole and homemade mac’n’cheese (yes, again, I need to get the cheese right!) when I find some free time. I have to do the casserole sooner than later so the beef doesn’t go bad, but I think I’ll leave the mac’n’cheese for the weekend.

Social plans? I think I’m doing my weekly trip to The Place, although that remains to be seen. I have no plans set up for St. Patrick’s Day, but that certainly does not mean I can’t be convinced to go out and do something last second. So we’ll see!

1I needed at least six 3.5″ HDD bays for the existing drives I wanted to put in. Ideally, I was looking for storage on the order of ten to include all of my spare drives.
2The Silverstone unit only has 2x 80mm fans pre-installed, while the Antec has 5x 120mm fans and a large 200mm fan on the top. Larger fan = lower RPMs to achieve same air flow. Lower RPMs = less noise!