Raid-10 on an Icy Box IB-3740-C31 – 4-bay USB-C case

Just got an Icy Box IB-3740-C31. Packaging was thankfully good as it was not delivered in a brown box around it.

Adding 4 SSD drives was a bit of a fiddling, but once the two screws per drive were attached and the sliders were in the case it was fine.

Starting up, all 4 SSDs were directly detected by my MacBook Pro.

Noise level is not super silent but ok, maybe I switch the fan later on.

Setting up a RAID-10 with Apple Disk Utility

In Disk Utility, go to File > RAID Assistant…

Who would know that once you have 4 drives you can’t just create a RAID5 with the disk utility? The only obvious options are RAID0, RAID1 and JBOD.

But there is a trick here if you want to use the RAID Assistant. Just create a RAID-10 out of 2 RAID-1 combined by a RAID-0.

First, we create a RAID-1 with 2 disks:

For my use case I used the largest block size and named the first RAID-1 raid1_1.

Then I did the same steps again with the second two disks, named it raid1_2.

Now as you have 2 RAID-1s, it makes sense to combine them to a RAID-0 – set the same block size and works fine. Named it raid10 (finally).

Benefit

  • If you have 4 drives you get 50% of the capacity (e.g. 4x 1TB -> 2TB to use)
  • up to 2 drives can fail here and it would still work (1 on each RAID-1)
  • better fault tolerance than a JBOD
  • fast(mirrored & striped) compared to JBOD, single drives
  • a lot cheaper than a NAS
  • faster than a NAS with up to 10 Gbit/s via USB3.1 (Gen2, UASP)

Drawback

  • a software raid on top of another software raid, not sure yet if you can move it between macs?
  • RAID-5 would give you 75% of the capacity (e.g. 4x 1TB -> 3TB to use), but only one drive can fail there
  • Only attached to one computer compared to a NAS – but possibly more speed

Conclusion

The Icy Box seems to work fine so far, and it feels quite fast (no scientific test/speed runs here) to copy large files around – it’s definitely a lot faster and responsive than the NAS in the same room. Looking forward to video editing on it.

Would have loved to go with a RAID-5 but for now I can always use the provided system tools.

Raspberry Pi: Time sync

When I tried to do a regular update on a Raspberry Pi 1 with sudo apt-get update, I got this error message:

E: Release file for http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian/dists/buster/InRelease is not valid yet (invalid for another 1d 14h 44min 54s). Updates for this repository will not be applied.

Checking the date I saw that the Pi was not in sync with time. Adjusting the date is easy:

$ sudo timedatectl set-time "2019-11-09 21:25:00"

and now it worked again. Thanks Patric Fromaget / raspberrytips.com for the solution I found with a quick web search.

MacBook Pro: full resolution

A fresh MacBook Pro 15″ 2017 with MacOS High Sierra. However, the cool resolution of 2880*1800 is not available to the mere user, even with usage of holding the option key.

Found the tool RDM which enables all those resolutions for me to choose.

Now on to testing responsive design with 5k resolution.

SWE2018

Back from the tour around south west Europe. We travelled around 5000 kilometres in May with the Jeep and everything went fine. Basically we did a tour around the Iberian Peninsula. Besides work, the goal was La Manga to visit a wedding of dear friends. Many different experiences, kind people and interesting weather – at first quite chilly and then still mild temperatures in the south was unexpected.

We stayed in different kinds of places, hotels, AirBnBs and we also did camping with the roof tent of the jeep.

Just to provide a short wrap-up of the locations we stayed:

From Germany we went via a small piece of Austria at Bodensee to Switzerland where we could travel fast and good to France where we stayed in Oyonnax just around the corner of Geneva. Next stop was on the other side of France at the Atlantic Ocean: Bordeaux. We stayed there for two nights to get a bit of an experience of this lovely city. Via Biarritz we moved on to northern Spain and stayed on a Camping ground near Santander where we also visited the Palacio de La Magdalena. Next stop was Santiage de Compostela, the place where pilgrims swarm to on the path of self-reflection. Then it was time to hit nature in northern Portugal where we stayed a couple of nights in a hut.

In Porto we checked out the vegan scene and walked around that very nice city. Via the highways 1 and 2 we went south to the Algarve and the southwest point of Europe near Sagres. We stayed at two locations at Algarve before we moved on to Cadiz, the oldest city of western Europe. In Almeria we had a short stop before staying at the wedding area of Cartagena and La Manga for a week including a short visit to Murcia.

Then it was time to drive back home via Barcelona, where we stayed for a night and did the walking tour. Andorra on the way to Carcassonne was quite interesting, however the building style did not meet our favours. In Carcassonne we discovered La Cite, an UNESCO world heritage site. On the way to a night in Aix-Les-Bains we checked out a single vegan eatery in the middle of meat world of southern France. From there it was straight back through Switzterland with a big traffic jam in Zurich and we were back home in Munich.

 

 

Lightroom Classic CC 7.3: Here are the Fujifilm Presets

After updating to the current Adobe Photoshop Lightroom version, I did not find the famous Fujifilm presets like Velvia, Classic Chrome etc. anymore. As Adobe changed and extended their own Presets, I was eager to find the Fujifilm ones – and found them.

Let’s quickly look at where they are now in three easy steps.

First, go to the Develop module. On the right pane, open the Basic tab:
Second, you will find the Profile option, default is Adobe Color. Here you click on Adobe Color and a small menu opens:Third, click on the Browse option and then you found it again. Now open the Camera Matching tab and you will find the specific Fujifilm color profiles:

Best regards and have fun with the settings.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Hups, didn’t know that – my old wireless keyboard is updatable for some years and I missed that? Not really, as it happened already automagically. Here you can check which device you have: How to identify.

My firmware version of the 2011 wireless keyboard is already up-to-date: Firmware Version: 0x0050

Needs update: gfxCardStatus

gfxCardStatus is used to manually switch between integrated and discrete graphic cards on the MacBook Pro. My 2011 model had some issues in the past (before fixed by Apple) and I prefer turning off the discrete graphics card if not required. The app does this automatically (f.ex. no external monitor at work).

After using gfxCardStatus for quite some years, the app seemed to stop working after my latest OSX update run. As the latest version 2.3 by CodyKrieger has not been updated for years. However, steveschow updated and optimised it and that version works with OSX High Sierra.

Mixing Fujifilm X-T2 with Minolta MC and MD lenses via mount adapter

Fujifilm offers a Leica M mount adapter for the X-Mount cameras including the X-T2. As I am currently not in possession of a M mount lens this might be a bit impractical. However, the idea is quite a good one and a short web search brought me to K&F Concept who offer a vast amount of different adapters to camera systems. I opted for the Minolta MD/MC to Fujifilm X mount adapter to use my available lenses. Benefit of using the Minolta lenses: as the adapters make the lenses only manually usable the Canon lenses without manual aperture ring would not work in a practical way (change setting on Canon camera, move it to Fujifilm camera) and also the benefit of the lightweight system would be absurdly dispensed with.

The test subjects

I have three Minolta lenses, which all fit perfectly on the adapter. Now to a sample picture per lens. Please note that the first sample picture has one of the famous settings by Fujifilm applied, Classic Chrome.

  • Minolta MC ROKKOR-PF 58/1.4
    • excellent bokeh
    • focusing takes some time
    • looking forward to portrait work (87mm equivalent to full frame)

  • Minolta MC W.ROKKOR-SG 28/3.5
    • focus ring easy to use
    • fast to focus
    • not so fast regarding aperture, but sharp and for the sunshine
    • almost a default lens (42mm equivalent to full frame)

  • Minolta MD TELE ROKKOR 200/2.8
    • long focusing time
    • steady hand required
    • quite a tele (300mm equivalent to full frame)

Color Profile: Camera Calibration section in Lr

Adding a Color Profile after shooting with RAW is still possible via Lightroom in Develop mode, Camera Calibration section on the right hand side:

Alternatively you can use the Fujifilm RAW Studio which does the job with the camera processor.

Conclusion

So far I am extremely pleased with the K&F Concept adapter and the Minolta lenses on the Fujifilm X-T2. It is quite some joy to use the old Minolta lenses and the results are very good indeed. Combined with the Fujifilm Color Profiles, this is just wow. The adapter is solid, no wobbling, no nothing and just works as expected. With the Minolta lenses the camera is also not front-heavy, they fit in size quite well (maybe except the 200/2.8). Despite that the 58/1.4 is of course quite a fast one and the 200/2.8 is like a good tele but requires a bit setup time – probably tripod mandatory.