So Many Wicked Witches Of The West But She’s The Best

Another jaw dropping presentation of everything that is wrong with my beloved & missed United Mistakes of #Americant. This time, though, it’s not all about $hitbag republicans and uglies of President Stupid. Indeed. An old wicked witch of the west, a Senator from the pseudo-democrat state of Califukia, just blew her ugly goo all over a bunch of kids on account she’s unable to see the future–or even the present. To think that so many old-school Dems are angry at the likes of AOC getting elected and thereby on the defensive because they can’t grasp the green new deal… Nomatter. This and her uglies deserves everything she gets when the gates of hell open up and pull her in. Or maybe not. I mean, as cynical as my bitter a$$ is, I don’t have much hope for the green new deal. Unless, of course, THEY can turn it into a GREED-new-deal. For that’s the ticket, eh, dear worst-reader? Put greed in front of anything and those #Americants will jump on it as though it were the wizard-of-jizz itself. Gulp. Gulp. And on that note, I do die-gress.

Rant on.

-T

via WATCH: Kids Stand Up To Sen. Feinstein’s Arrogant Response To Their Green New Deal Petition | Crooks and Liars

Cross Fire Part 2.5 Or So

How many times can a Faux-Newz $hitbag be called-out for being the devil incarnate or, at best, a representative of my beloved & missed #Americant… the LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID? I mean, Jon Stewart did a pretty good job of calling out this particular Faux-Newz a$$hole… How many years ago was that? Nomatter. Jon Stewart has sense seen the light and disbanded himself from that which is one of the pillars of my beloved & missed LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID: TV. Does anyone miss Jon Stewart? Fcuk no. But give credit where it’s due. Stewart did kind of start a thing where the $hitbags of #Americant, i.e. republicans and conservatives and, of course, most Neo-liberals, can be called-out for being, well, being $hitbags–on evening pseudo newz programs, aka comedy news shows. With that in mind, why is it that a $hitbag like the Faux-Newz host in the linked article below can survive so long on TV? I mean, is this guy really popular within right-wing ugly circles to have his own show? Is he really that popular? Does he really have an audience? I mean, do actual human beings watch him? Well, of course they do. It’s the land of President Stupid, WWE as a form of not just entertainment but #Americant household interaction of all sorts, etc. Oh. And, let’s not forget: it’s the land #MAGA. And that should say everything. But I don’t suppose that really matters on account I’m sure that most trailer-trash supporters of #Trump and WWE and, of course, #MAGA, only watch any particular Faux-Newz host on account they’ve been brainwashed to do so. That’s how Faux-Newz works, right? That’s how #Americant rolls, eh! Yet, when a Dutch historian is able to call-out a $hitbag Newz host and thereby literally grab him by his ear and drag him across a room because, well, he is the petulant man-child oh-so-deserving… It’s hi-larry-us! No. Seriously. I laughed my a$$ off watching the video. But that’s not what we’re here for. Here’s what we’re here for. How is it that the Dutchman was able to get so far with this Newz host? I mean, was/is the Newz host so clueless about the obvious opposing ideology of a Dutch historian who’s become famous for spewing radical left-wing idears (i.e. taxing the rich) at the most recent Davos meeting? Oh wait. The reactionary, $hitbag, Faux-Newz host, was thinking of some other kind of ideology, right? That’s right. He was trying to take the dialogue somewhere else, don’t you know. Ain’t that the trick, dear worst-reader? I mean, this is where republicans and Faux-Newz make their connections. For you see, dear worst-reader, this Faux-Newz host thought just because his guest is Dutch and a Historian doesn’t mean that he’s also a Marxist–or whatever it is right-wingers in #Americant are calling rational thinking people these days. I mean, if this guy was a radical then Davos certainly wouldn’t have invited him. And perhaps that’s what tricked the Newz host. Or? But that’s not why worst-writer is here either. No. The reason I’m here is because the $hitbag Newz host thought he could align himself. You know, he thought he could get a rational thinking #Eurowastelander to join him in spewing and vomiting right-wing political propaganda, or at best twisting and turning it, that is and has been so anti-human from the get-go. I mean, it’s not about Capitalist (greed-monger) or Marxist (taxer). No. Maybe it’s just about a Dutchman being able to finally, finally, finally put a dumba$$ American in his place. But on that note I die-gress.

Rant on.

-T

Link that motivated this post: Video: Tucker Carlson’s Unaired Meltdown After Rutger Bregman Calls Out Fox News

How To Bring Silence And Greetings From President Stupid

Yeah, it’s getting hard, dear worst-reader. This expat thing I’m living is indeed a struggle. I mean, it’s bad enough when I travel from #Eurowasteland to remote vacation destinations–you know, for scuba, for sailing lessons, for even more lazy days on a beach with too much sand and those silly little crabs that crawl all over the place, etc.–and I am consistently greeted by Egyptian or Moroccan or Thai airport authorities with smirking questions about why my beloved & missed United Mistakes #Americant, as a tried and untrue passport holder, is travelling on a German airline to…. Yeah, it’s getting tough. Then again, there are moments where I feel somewhat rectified in my life choices of having dumped the burden of living in the LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID. You know, the choices that lead to willingly, wantonly, needly, becoming an expat. Perhaps the days are coming, though, where I don’t have to cringe anymore as my German wife goes through rational passport lines and I’m relegated to the passport lines where they let in… the stupid people. But all is for naught, dear worst-reader. If only I could have attended the recent conference about world safety in Munich. The moment where Vice President Stupid sends greetings from President Stupid is a moment to cherish. In the video you can almost feel the awkwardness in the room. Most certainly Vice President Stupid felt that awkwardness. I mean, I will give the man a bit of credit here–even though I find him just as repulsive as his dear-leader. For you see, dear worst-reader, Mike Pence is just another shitbag, religious nutcase, most surely unable to know/feel the awkwardness of THIS moment. Or? Indeed. For awkwardness among the religious shitbags is probably why they’re religious nutcases in the first place. Remember that this is a man that publicly claimed, because of his belief-system, that he would NEVER dine with a woman unless his wife was with him or there was a chaperon. And so. As we laugh and giggle at the smart people in the room that can see through the mis-politics of #Americant and thereby don’t applaud, let us also recognise that a once great experimental nation-state has regressed back to the middle-ages and is now: LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID. And the rational world is not amused.

Rant on.

-T

via PAINFUL: Pence Mentioned Greetings From Trump At A Speech In Munich And Got ZERO Applause | Crooks and Liars

How A Vid Interrupted My Constitutional

Trying to get away from posting videos here from that you-know-who video website. Reason? I don’t like WordPress’ use of such links and its mis-direct embedding of the video. Seriously. I’d rather that just the link appeared. Yet in this particular case, I can’t help myself but enjoy what WP conjures. And by-the-buy, while on the $hitter the other morning, reading through the newz on my phone, I came across this video. It is a video, indeed, dear worst-reader, that wakes up that part of me that refuses to get old. (Even though I welcome ageing as a whole process and precursor and prep-show to the ultimate human task: death.) This video that is nothing but a pop-song nightmare is so stunningly beautiful that my first thought was: why do men exist? This is why! I don’t know if it’s the same look these two women have, the same dress (indeed the shades they wear don’t matter) or the art of stylish singing. But the entirety of these un-identical twins performing for money, money, money, etc. as they do, (for that is all a Grammy award is, or?) reminded me of why I get-it-on with women in the first place. It wasn’t to have relations, bear my soul, concoct sympathy by wanting to be the other half of something un-whole (as a human beings are), no! It was because of the passion and lust and physicality I felt when ever a woman I was attracted to came near, nearer, inside me. For the fulfilment of humanity is not procreation, dear worst-reader. No. It is that feeling you get just before you own her or she owns you and suddenly you realise… what a soul is.

Stunning. Stunning. Stunning.

Rant on.

-T

Other link appropriate to this post:

Too Much Fun With Stephen Fry

Below is one of Stephen Fry’s shortest chapters in his book Mythos. Even though I’m reading them out of order, his sequel to this book really motivated me. So far this book has not been a disappointment. I hope I’m not breaking any rules by posting the whole, short chapter here. But I got as much fun out of typing it as I did reading it. Indeed. This text really took me for a loop. Even though it may or may not be just another retelling of a story told many times, Fry’s writing is fantastic.

From the book Mythos, chapter Apollo Reads The Signs, by Stephen Fry:

“Hermes may or may not have known it, but on his first night on earth he had travelled quite a distance. All the way from his birthplace on Mount Cyllene north through the fields of Thessaly and as far as Pieria, where he had found and rustled the cattle. And back again. In baby steps that is quite a distance. §What Hermes certainly could not have known was that the white cattle belonged to Apollo, who prized them highly. When news reached the god of their disappearance he set off in a fury to Pieria in order to follow what he assumed was a vicious gang of thieves to the their lair. Wild dryads or fauns gone to the bad, he imagined. They would regret taking property from the god of arrows. §He lay down in the cattle’s field to examine the ground with all the thoroughness of an experienced tracker. To his astonishment the brigands had left no useful traces at all. All he could see were random brush marks, meaningless whorls and swirls and–unless he was going mad–one tiny infant footprint. Any impressions that might have been formed by the cow’s hoofs seemed to be heading, not away from the field, but towards it! §Whoever had stolen the cattle was mocking Apollo. They were practised and expert thieves, that much was clear. His sister Artemis was the most skilled hunter hew new: would she dare? Perhaps she had devised some cunning way to conceal her tracks. Ares didn’t have the wit. Poseidon wouldn’t be interested. Hephaestus? Unlikely. Who then? §He noticed a thrush preening on a branch not far away in one smooth action drew his bow and brought the creature down. Slitting open the crop the god of oracles and augury peered forward to read the entrails. §From the colouration in the lower intestine, the kink in the right kidney and the unusual disposition of the thymus gland it was clear at once that the cattle were somewhere in the Arcadia, not far from Corinth. And what was that clot of blood on the liver saying to him? Mount Cyllene. And what else? So! It had been a baby’s footprint after all. §Apollo’s usually smooth brow was drawn into a frown, his blue eyes blazed and his rose-red lips compressed themselves into a grim line. §Revenge would be his.”

Rant on.

-T

Generation Zero At The Helm Of #Americant

Screenshot 2019-02-10 at 15.58.45
Governor of VA looking around for a place to dance??? Whaaaaa?

Don’t quite know where to turn, dear worst-reader? Well, get a load of this. What’s becoming clearer and clearer to worst-moi is how the so-called baby-boomer generation is starting to show its true face. You know, that face of Stupid-Galore. Seriously. For most of my useless-eater adult life, I’ve always blamed conservatives and, of course republicans and the approximately thirty to fifty million base of what’s left of the middle class for the ills of my beloved & missed #Americant. That group is the true greed-monger-monster, don’t you know. Yet, if President Stupid’s electoral college election means anything, it’s this: as the other side should rise-up to the occasion, separating itself from the ills and miss-wills of political conservatism, it hasn’t been delivering. Don’t get me wrong, though, dear worst-reader. I’m not a both-sider-ist. The democrats aren’t or the Democrat party ain’t the problem. If/when I vote, though, I never vote republican or third-party. Reason? Unlike many of the so-called progressives, I don’t believe that change (to the system) can come from with-out. In other worst-words, the change that’s needed has to come from with-in. In fact, all that need be done, even if the process is as slow as the Republicans have done it with their right-wing bat$hittery for the past thirty to forty years (more?), the same has to happen to Democrats. With that in mind, post President Stupid’s electoral college election hasn’t brought out the best or the brightest. Then again, maybe the reason there’s no best or brightest is on account they’re all just f’n stupid. Case in point: did you get a view of how the governor of VA handled himself recently for wearing blackface in the 1980s? I’m don’t mean how he handled himself because of his inherent racism. I mean, hell, he’s from VA! I loved in that f’n state for a few years. It’s full of so much stupid that…. Wait. I’m off subject. What I’m trying to get at here is that moment during a press conference where this idiot, this man-child of the mind, this person that is obviously incapable of ration thought, actually considered–heck, he even looked around for a spot to do it–demonstrating that it’s ok to wear blackface, dress-up like Michael Jackson, and then dance the f’n moonwalk.

Search: “northam press moonwalk” if you want to see it. Pic above is screenshot from the moment.

You know, dear worst-reader, I started to actually question the validity of an entire generation when this guy looked around for a place to dance. Yeah. Sure. That’s right, baby. Could it be that the entire baby-boomer generation, nomatter the political affiliation, is actually made up of a bunch of f’n morons? I mean, a democratic governor of a pretty important united-mistakes-state, actually considered proving to a reporter that he can… moonwalk. Luckily his wife knew how stupid her husband is and she stopped him. But the damage is done, eh. At least it’s done for worst-moi. Indeed. The entire baby-boomer generation (of which I’m on the tale-end, i.e. born 1963) is a generation of stupider than all stupid.

Wow. Go figure.

Rant on.

-T

NAS Hell – And Almost Part 2?

pine64-rockpro64-nas
Pine64 NAS Case and RockPro64 SBC.

A kinda update to this post is here.

As noted here and here, I’m having a bit of an ordeal with my home digital storage situation. In short, I’ve been trying to avoid having to purchase a NAS (network attached storage). Reason? Well, I hate stupid technology. To worst-moi, there is nothing more stupid than a monopolised industry trying to find more & better ways to rip-off consumers. But who or what is stupid in the case of over-priced hard-drives stuck in suck-cases with even suckier software? Well, in this case, I think the NAS industry is stupid. I mean. Come on. Because a NAS requires so much CPU power, due to their being pseudo-PCs, relegating the industry to being stuck in price-point-hell that, just like PCs, is also dependent on monopolies (e.g. Intel), manufacturers have chosen the cheapest possible route for making HDD enclosures masked as über smart drive bays. Yeah, that’s the NAS industry in a nutshell, don’t you know. Or am I the only one to have this sort of perspective? For example. Just have a look at the vastness of stuff out there regarding how one can avoid having to buy over-priced bling-bling NAS devices. Enter the world of SBCs (single board computers). I, for one, have been following the SBC world for some time. To my surprise (and luck) the advancement of SBCs has been the main reason why I hate the NAS industry so much. As I’ve noted here, although the Raspberry Pi is a great solution for network storage–and a great solution for many other client/server needs–it is a very limiting device when it comes to NAS function. Still, the DIY NAS has taken on a life of its own. And that has to say more about the NAS industry than what I can worst-write about it. so I’ve been riding the SBC bandwagon with great hope. On the other hand, I have to give credit where it’s due. There is the whole issue of convenience that DIY sometimes just can’t deliver. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve re-flashed micro-sd cards, re-installed OpenMediaVault, changed from one Linux distro to another, etc., all to find out I installed a 4TB HDD into a USB2 case and for what ever reason linux can’t mount it. Or I’ve screwed this or that with either incorrectly installing software or fiddling too much with hardware. Non-the-less, the NAS industry has, I guess, lowered its prices somewhat since 2018, which means there is a an argument out there for wasting Euros in order to get some convenience. Or? In fact, I recently purchased a warehouse-deal NAS. It was a frustration purchase–cause I couldn’t get an RPi to be a Plex media server. Disappointed with the purchase, though, I subsequently sent it back after realising as a piece of hardware it was just as krappy as the limited performance of an RPi. That worst-said, yeah, I’d prefer the limited performance of a cheap SBC than the the limited performance of an overpriced drive-bay. Yeah. The warehouse purchase turned me off more than it turned me on. And on that note, let me die-gress.

A few days ago I finally gave up on yet another attempt at getting OpenMediaVault (OMV) to work on the RockPro64 SBC. I just can’t get the software to work. Here’s a short-list of the problems I had with this version (Stretch Armhf 0.7.9) of OMV:

  • couldn’t write more than 3TB of data on a 4TB disk
  • raid-0 setup (w/ two drives) didn’t work
  • ethernet connection was constantly failing
  • SMB shares were not properly recognised on my Mac
  • ditto with AFP shares
  • TimeMachine didn’t work
  • Plex very unstable and terribly slow
  • Update Manager always showed errors, etc., etc.

The thing is, I really wanted OMV to work. Even though the Raspberry Pi is the SBC that got me hooked on this stuff, more hardware power is needed. The RockPro64 is probably one of the best SBCs on the market right now for just such a task. At least it is according to hardware specs. I suppose in the near future they will get OMV to work on the RockPro64. But with all the tinkering I’ve had to do without any good results, enough is enough. Or? Wait. There’s something else I’ve learned of late. Maybe it’s time to start changing my point-of-view about home storage? I mean. I’ve got a half dozen or so HDDs lying around (after selling my old MacPro). I have three or four old powered USB cases, too. Since I’m a Mac fanboy, do I really want to do things like rely on foreign file systems to save my data? And what about the whole RAID-thing? The only time I’ve ever trusted or even relied on RAID is when I’m using an old USB2 dual-bay case that has hardware RAID-0 or RAID-1 onboard–and that thing ran Apple’s file system without issue. Do I really need a NAS–as I mistakingly, confusedly indicated in this post?

Answer: I don’t know. Or. Never say never?

Continuing the tinkering, I dumped OMV and re-installed DietPi on the RockPro64. Since I was able to format and copy my media files to 2x 3TB drives (but was not able to copy the same data to one 4TB drive!) using the previous OMV install, I put those drives into the Pine64 NAS Case. Btw, there were times with all this tinkering that I thought the power source (12v-5a) was not enough to power two 3.5″ HDDs in the Pine64 case. But that’s another post.

Rethinking my need for a NAS–or giving up on the whole idear–I decided to give DietPi another try. To get things started, and to keep things simple, I just installed Plex and thereby turned the RockPro64 into a media server. Long story short: it worked immediately. In fact, between testing Plex on an RPi 3b+ and the previous OMV-Plex install on the RockPro64, I could never stream any of my movies to either my Mac or one of two RPi’s I have as media clients. That was/is very frustrating because I know that these little SBC’s have aplenty to deliver. By-the-buy, my previous media server was an old Mac Pro–which I do not regret selling it. The reason for getting rid of something that worked–and thereby replacing it with stuff that might or might not work–was the simple fact that I wanted to simplify my life. I didn’t feel like maintaining the MacPro anymore. Full of drives it weight something like 30kg. Plus it’s an energy hog. But I’m off subject.

From the get-go, the RockPro64 with Plex Media Server worked like a charm. For the first time I was able to not only stream a movie to multiple devices, but I was also able to transcode an MKV blu-ray (ca. 30GB). To push it even further, I was able to play four different video streams on four devices. The fourth device did have a few hiccups, though. To say the least, three functioning streams is good enough for me. The thing is, I finally got something to work on these little computers and thereby taking full advantage of gigabyte ethernet and plenty of storage capacity–both of which are problematic with RPi. Of course, that all being said, I now don’t really have a household file storage solution. To deal with that, I think I’m gonna just return to my trusted Apple AirPort Extreme wifi routers with attached USB drives. They will suffice as second-level TimeMachine backups–until the itch hits me again to get a friggin NAS. First-level TM backups are with external HDDs attached to our Macs.

As of this worst-post, I’ve been constantly streaming my media library to my Mac, iPad and iPhone for about two days. Other than one or two hiccups, it works. I’ve also taken the liberty of turning the RockPro64 into a pi-hole DNS anti-ad server and I’ve installed a WordPress iteration where I hope to be able to have a local backup of this blog. If this holds up, the day might come where I don’t have to bitch & moan about hating the NAS industry anymore.

Rant on.

-T

The Eating Of Themselves

kronos eating his son
Kronos. What the rich and powerful are really up to.

As I may or may not have worst-written before, the only thing great–as in #MAGA–about my beloved & missed #Americant having turned itself into The Land of Free To Be Stupid, where greed has most certainly extended exponentially the fail-upwardness of the race-to-the bottom, is watching the rich eat itself. I mean, what else can you call it, dear worst-reader? Or am I the only one to remember President Stupid’s–then candidate–promise to clean the swamp? In fact, he’s done quite the opposite, don’t you know. Yeah. Sure. I also never thought you could turn a swamp into a river of slime. Speaking of slime. Did you get a load of that bald Doctor Evil whipper-snapper’s appearance in front of congress the other day? What’s his name? Whitaker? Boy did he steal some of President Stupid’s methods of smart-assery. But let’s not get too far off subject.

I’m not a fan of Amazon. Nor do I think Jeff Bezos is anything special. He is, in fact, just another has-been driven by a certain form of ambition and he was, indeed, in the right place at the right time. Ok. Maybe I’m being too stubborn. I mean, Amazon is an example of the end-times of the tech revolution. It is not in anyway an innovative company, nor has it changed the world. It has simply latched on to technology and thereby bypassed the #Americant middleman principle of business. For you see, if the founders of Walmart were smart, they too could have done what Amazon did. But. Again. I’m off subject.

Credit to Bezos is given, though. He is a filthy rich dude and he got that way through the new & improved #Americant acumen: compulsion. With that in mind, I actually feel for the guy a bit with the recent revelations that he, like so many other men, is basically driven by nothing except his cock. And to think that AMI, the parent company of yellow-newz-galore, has dick-pics from him…. I don’t know if I should laugh my a$$-off or give a thought or three to that former congressman Anthony Wiener who was just as stupid to send pics of his dick to some bimbo. I mean, come on, dear worst-reader. I’m into naked chicks. Boobs are a great to gawk at–especially if you need to rub one out. Goodness knows the Interwebnets has more than fulfilled its role in that realm. But to actually take a picture of my dick and then send it to someone… Whaaaaaaa? How stupid can you be? Or, better put: isn’t that enough proof that Bezos, like so many other rich people, isn’t really rich because of smarts. Indeed. So functions the world of greed and grime and hate and spite and and and….

Then again, after reading Bezos’ blog post where he stands up for himself against the system that made him so rich, I’m actually wishing his form of being an a$$hole lots of luck. In other worst-words, pick your enemies. Of the $hitty rich and privileged that have ruined what was once a great idear (America), maybe its best if we hope that the likes of dick-pic Bezos finally step in and take over the $hitshow.

But I die-gress.

Rant on.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Welcome To NAS Hell

Update to this post here.

Pseudo alternative subtitle: Years of digital living is hard to leave behind. But behind it must be left.

As mentioned here, I’ve been telling myself for years, and thereby avoiding a certain kind of reality, that I need a NAS (networked-attached-storage). Although I was able to circumvent having to own such a system till recently, after accumulating around four to six terabytes of personal data over the past twenty years, reality has crept in. Circumventing this need, by-the-buy, meant nothing more than instead of buying a NAS all these years, I just owned a bunch of computers. About three years ago, though, I started to cave-in. I was simply tired (and bored) of having to manage all the data on all those computers. Indeed. Three computers, multiple iPhones and iPads and lots of data confusion. Did I back that up, or this up, or what-up?

In order to protect all that data I habitually only trashed stuff I knew I didn’t need or could download again and again from the Interwebnets and then I maintained at least two copies of everything using TimeMachine. By-the-buy, I haven’t lost any data since a devastating disk failure about ten years ago. Since then I’ve lost several HDDs, though. That means, for each computer, I had at least two TimeMachine backups. But then there was all my media data. Since my media library was too big for any TimeMachine backup, I had to use separate HDDs to back it up.

And now for a short mute issue.

Of the three computers I owned, one was a massive 2010 MacPro. You know, the cheese-grader Mac. It was/is quite a machine. After about five to seven years, though, it really started to lose its lustre. Reason? It was useless as a desktop machine–compared to the agility of modern laptops–and it just didn’t cut it as a file server or NAS. I tried using Apple’s MacServer app with it to up its game, but that turned out to be nothing more than bloated and weird Apple dependent Krapp-software that screwed-up two of my HDDs with unix permissions! What I needed was a better and more flexible server that wasn’t all about Apple. I especially needed a way to serve SMB shares because I had long since chosen AGAINST Apple’s continued iTunes krapp and its subsequent Music streaming service. The most important thing I wanted was to be able to stream, on my home network, my personal digital music library to two different Raspberry Pi Hifiberry audio clients. And nomatter what I did, I couldn’t get that to happen with the Mac–unless I used iTunes.

Btw, iTunes sucks!

In its day, the MacPro was a great device. But, as Apple made it more and more obsolete, its graphic card was practically worthless when it was deployed in 2010, by 2015 it was a nightmare. Heck, I couldn’t even render 720p iPhone movie clips on it without wasting part of day waiting for it to finish. Long story short, it was not the do-everything server and headless Mac I was hoping it would be and it was definitely not a viable desktop machine anymore. Why keep it? So I sold it along with a MacMini, my trusted MacBook Air (i7), and gathered enough cash to pay most of the cost of an over-priced, jewellery-like netbook device known as a 2017 12″ MacBook. More on that here. Indeed. Part of getting rid of all that krapp was that I was just tired of how heavy it all felt. And boy is this new MacBook light!

Back to NAS hell.

Since round 2016 I had been looking for alternative hardware for my home network file management. Obviously one of them branded NAS devices was the only solution, right? Having used multi-bay hard-drive cases and even fiddling with a DroboFS a few years back–which I subsequently threw in the friggin trash on account it was so slow and cumbersome–I concluded that I would put off going that route for the foreseeable future. Indeed. That future has arrived. And get this: all those multi-bay hard-disk devices… they are all built like $hit and they all cost way too much. But then I came across some stuff on the Interwebnets and kept on reading and reading and reading. Enter my world of cheap SBCs. Soon one thing lead to another and since I already had a bunch of HDDs lying around, by 2017, I was an avid Raspberry Pi fiddler–as a means of subverting the idiotic NAS industry. It was exactly that little foray into the NAS world that caused me to realise, my world will only change if I make it so.

Apple’s eco-system wants not only all your consumption but also wants to consume you. Thank goodness we live in world where a 35€ credit card sized PC is a way around all that. -Worstwriter dot com

The foreseeable future task is to get out of the old world of monolithic branded computing and enter a world of something new. It was also about weaning myself from all that media data I had accumulated over the years. You now: ripped DVDs, Blu-Rays, my entire audio CD collection, etc. On the other hand, since 2015 I’ve digitised my whole world. But in the last few years I’ve realised that once you move form analog to digital, there’s no need for access to analog anymore. Or am I wrong?

Have the cloud and streamers won?

Between prime-video and/or renting movies with an AppleTV, I just don’t need the hassle of buying disks and digitising them anymore. Then there’s the peace of mind that it’s not all suddenly gonna disappear because, well, HDD makers all make $hit, too, I somehow screwed myself by not backing it up.

For the hell-of-it, and still pondering what I was gonna do with a half dozen or so HDDs lying around, most of which included copies of all my movie and tv files, could I, should I, finally break down and buy a $hit NAS? The SBC (and RPi thing) was working but something didn’t feel right about it. Yeah, a world of all-things beta just ain’t reassuring. Also, when I get bored, I have to consume-to-survive, don’t you know. So come on, worst-writer. Buy something!

Side note: Btw, all my personal and important data is now in the cloud and no longer solely dependent on HDDs. Although I still maintain HDD copies of it all, I’ve finally given in to the Apple’s iCloud being part of my digital life. So what about all those media files?

Break on through to the other side.

Since 2016 I’ve fiddled on/off with Raspberry Pi and a few old USB2 external HDDs. To my astonishment, the RPi as a NAS is viable. The only issue I’ve had using them is the size and capacity of external USB2 HDDs. Both 2TB and 3TB eternal HDDs seem to work but not 4TB. But that’s ok. Or? Also. TimeMachine backups using OMV work great. Of course, the little RPi couldn’t transcode a Blu-Ray ripped MKV file for my iPadAir but that just doesn’t feel important anymore.

Oh. Wait. Another mute-issue.

The RPi thing got my lips wet. So I thought I’d up my game and last year I gave an RPI killer a try. To my astonishment, the Rock64 SBC, offered by Pine64, was really, really cool. To my disappointment, though, the Rock64 ain’t ready for prime-time. External USB HDDs were unstable, ethernet was always falling off, and OMV (OpenMediaVault), compared to how it worked on the RPi, was wishy-washy at best. But those little Pine64 devices did prove themselves to be plenty more powerful than an RPi. Hopefully the software for the Rock64 will get out of beta soon. We’ll see.

Back again to NAS $hit.

Right after Xmas 2018 I started seeing various NAS offerings on sale on that you-know-who online retail site. For the heck of it, knowing with Prime I can always send it back, I purchased a mid-range 4-bay NAS through a warehouse-deal. It was a WD device from around 2015. But after reading various reviews and watching a couple videos, I thought: what the heck. When it finally arrived I filled it with four drives and waited for it to set up a RAID5 configuration. About two hours later I then plugged in one of my backup media drives to its “copy-now” USB3 port and hit the copy button. It took about eight hours but eventually it copied almost 3TB of movie and tv files. I then plugged in another drive with all my music files. After four hours that was done copying. I then went about setting up the NAS to be a Plex media server.

And here we go with all-things-worst.

Long story short: the WD My Cloud EX4100… sucked. The thing couldn’t even transcode one MKV blu-ray ripped movie to my iPadAir. At least it couldn’t do its anybetter than my RPi could. When I utilised both of its gigabyte ethernet ports, setting them up as some kind of duel connection to my home router, it only marginally improved file transfer speeds–but video was still choppy and broken. How is it that WD can even make such a krappy device and then make claims that Plex runs on it? So I erased Plex and gave the WD device’s internal DLNA capabilities a try, thinking that maybe Plex was just too bloated for the minimal specs of this device. Using VLC on my new MacBook and on my old iPad as a client, things only improved slightly. Nomatter what I tried, as far as I’m concerned, that piece of krapp NAS failed at everything–except being a basic file server from the early 2000s. Humbug!

So. Is there room for regret here? Should I have kept my old MacPro? At least that thing handled all the transcoding I ever needed. Heck, that thing could deliver transcoded movies and tv shows to four or five devices on my home network. So do I miss it? The honest answer is: No. I haven’t ripped a DVD or Blu-Ray since 2017 and I had no plans to do it in the future. Those days are gone. I’m committed to that change in (my digital) life.

I guess my worst-point about all this NAS ranting is this: WD, Drobo, Synology, for what they cost… suck-a$$. Too expensive or too slow–makes them no different than the world of PCs for the past thirty years. That’s why I’ve long since given into the MacBook I’m worst-writing this on right now and then simple fact that it is just my/a glorified typewriter that allows me to do lots of research, watch a video or three and manage files here and there. Which is all I need. Which also means: I’m slowly freeing myself from digital hell.

But all is not lost. I returned the krappy WD device and have gone back to the drawing board with those SBCs–as I’m not quite ready to dump all those media files yet. Heck, I even bought a super SBC from Pine64, its RockPro64. It took about three months to get here and when it finally arrived I could feel all my digital boredom making way for some renewed tinkering excitement. Considering I have spent less money for three different SBCs than I spent for a warehouse-sale on a branded NAS device that worked like $hit… And I’m not sure I give a hoot about all that media data anymore…

Yeah, it’s time to bravely move on and while doing so continue tinkering to my hearts ill-content.

Rant on.

-T

No. Seriously. Bought Because Of The Name.

 

 

Another subversive purchase by my better half. Most of these purchases are regrettable–except for the purses and shoes, of course. When it comes to electronics, though, she slips one in there every once-a-once that is a doozy. This Roomba, iRobot, fancy-pants vacuum cleaner, for instance. After just over two years of use, it has proved itself worthy of frivolous consume-to-survive hot-wife choices. The only problem with such a device is that’s most certainly not hand-free. Not only does it require regular care–as in emptying its tiny residue holder. But it also requires regular maintenance of its fancy moving parts–of which there are a few. Once you get the hang of that, making sure you have a regular supply of replacement parts, it’s a piece of cake household appliance. Heck I’ve even dropped it on my couch to let it sweep-up dog hair–on account, well, it’s actually the dog’s couch. Oh yeah, worst-writing of dog hair. The scooping rollers underneath this thing are especially good at picking up dog hair–or even my better-half’s thick, blonde, Germania hair. But then there’s the bumbling, ditzy way it bumps into everything. I remember one day filling up on wine and just letting this thing go for a while. You know, as a form of stress relief. How mesmerising it is, don’t you know, dear worst-reader. I stared at it for an hour which then culminated in the following question: who programs this krapp? Then it got stuck in a tight place and couldn’t get out. (See vid above.) How is that possible? How does it get in such a place but then can’t get out? I’ve also come home and it was stuck underneath a toilet bowl. I mean, it couldn’t get itself unstuck? And there’s all the cable entanglements. That’s why, usually before every start, I make sure there’s not loose on the floor. Although it’s supposed to know how to avoid things like loose cables, it doesn’t know anything. There are, in fact, quite a few things you have to get out of its way for it to work. It would probably be best if any room where it’s supposed to work would just be empty. But. Then again. All-in-all, just letting this thing do what it does, especially when you’re out and about, i.e. not in the house mesmerised by it, it’s pretty cool. And the battery is still going strong, too. Yeah. Gee. This was a worthwhile purchase. So it gets a worst-writer recommendation.

Rant and consume on.

-T

Never Quite Knowing Exactly What You’re Doing–The #Americant Way

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

Disclaimer: some poignant and verbose language is in this post. Good luck.

Yeah, dear worst-reader. We’re here once again. It’s time to get it on about my beloved & missed #Americant, the Land Of Free To Be Stupid, where dysfunction wallows in a toilet bowl that some think is a swamp and will never, ever, be cleaned. So what’s on the ranting plate this time? More mis-newz about the greed $hitshow of dysfunction that is the realm where college grads do their automaton corporatism at the behest of hierarchy, spite and, my favourite, sweet-bitter-schadenfreude. And what corporation best exemplifies it all? That’s right. You guessed it. Apple.

So. Like. I’m walking Beckett the killer pug and listening to the latest MacBreak Weekly podcast the other day and suddenly the pseudo-bourgeoisie talking-heads of Silicon Valley start talking about an article that tries to explain how #Americant can’t manufacture anything anymore–even if it wanted to, let alone follow the delusions of President Stupid. According to the article (see link below), the delay of delivering its über-expensive, trash-can über-Mac back in 2013 was due to the #Americant assembly plant’s inability to either get or make special screws that were required for the device. This caused Tim Cook & Co.–Tim is a specialist, by-the-buy, in manufacturing and sourcing, he is not a business or tech guru!–to have to resort to some extreme actions and order the screws needed to make this thing… you guessed it… In the end in order to make anything, even make something in #Americant, it can only be done via China.

Whoop-dee-fcuking-doo, eh.

Now. That’s all fine and dandy. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have made heads or toes about the issue. But then the Silicon Valley talking heads starting to ramble on about why #Americant can’t make the screws–instead of getting on about what the real issue is–what the real issue should be. For you see, dear worst-reader, it’s not about whether or not Tim & Co. can source the parts they need from inside the US in order to make the claim that an Apple product is made in US. The real issue, and the thing Apple doesn’t want anyone talking about, is the simple fact that the screws for the device are part of the companies ever lasting desire to monopolise everything. You know, as in, make everything it does, everything it sells, everything it shows, EVERYTHING, proprietary.

screwed screw
Apple proprietary $hitty screws from 2010 MacPro HDD trays.

The problem is, when corporations get so fcuking greedy and resort to this level of, well, GREED–I mean what else is it really?–then things go awry. The reason they go awry is because customers don’t want to be burdened with proprietary stuff that shouldn’t be proprietary. I mean, we’re dealing with screws here, dear worst-reader. I get it that Apple owns its software and hardware technologies and it is the anthesis of open-source… But screws??? Seriously?

As you’ll note in the pic above, I’ve already scorned Apple for this level of bull$hit. Although the cheese-grader MacPro (I owned a 2010 MacPro until recently) was the best piece of hardware ever–and I wish I could have kept it–Apple’s lust for making great products obsolete has no boundaries (hence the reason I got rid of my MacPro). Of the four trays I had on my MacPro, each with four special, non-standard Philips screws made out of some form of soft-metal, at least two of the screws on each tray were stripped because I couldn’t get the proper screw-driver for them. Why? Why would a company do this? What purpose does it serve? Obviously Apple’s college edumacated bull$hitters–all of whom have probably never created anything–could answer that question toot-sweet–with more bull$hit. My point, though, is this: they don’t have to do this. Just like President Stupid doesn’t have to be an a$$hole and #Americants don’t have to be… #Americants… Then again… If everyone’s an a$$hole…

They’re just fcuking screws, man. And because the screws don’t meet the whims of corporate $hitbags that couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag… The reason Apple can’t make its $hit in the US is because workers in China are better slaves than #Americants–but just give #Americants a bit more time. Plus shareholders and hoarders and greed-mongers love things the way they are. Ain’t that right, dear worst-reader? On that note, typing this worst-post on a new MacBook, I hope Steve Jobs is getting fcuked in the a$$ down in Hades lair right now.

Rant on.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Everything Greek Mythology Galore

screenshot2019-01-31at10.55.07

Alternative title to this worst-post: How Stephen Fry read it all so I could finally cheat-it-all and thereby get a grip on some seriously ancient literature stuff. Thank you Stephen!

Question: Were you there, dear worst-edumacated-reader? You know. Were you there… while you was in college? Or was I the only one fiddling around with my girl’s button-downs (while in college) and thinking I was gonna get me some edumacation? Seriously. Was I the only one drinking too much at the local pub after every $hitbag tutor session from you-know-who professor that must have been so much like just another Harvey Weinstein? And after it was all said & drunk… Was I the only one trying to pay attention to whatever ENG201 or LIT301 class at University of… How To Fill The World With $hitbags?

Yeah. I’m sure you were there. In your college. Or is there another way to read worst-writer dot com?

But here’s a question for all my worst-readers: While attending so-called higher education in order to make a buck or three in a future of no-fate, did you ever ask yourself this: was it really your intention to become just another college grad $hitbag automaton that would steer the world to where it is today? Or did you have something else in mind?

Indeed. And enough with worst-writer’s non-sense about how the edumacated have ruined everything for the rest of us by thinking/assuming they learned something/anything during those years of post-adolescence put on hold. Then again, I’m dreary at times, if not inebriated, when I think of those days gone, days long gone, where I had my way with that one girl’s button-downs who was really my everything–and she got away. And on that note, I do die-gress.

Although I had hoped college would be different than high school, not unlike Barry-O’s presidency so many years later, I was wrong. The only difference between high school and college in my beloved & missed #Americant–you know, the place that has given way to Stupid-Rule (as opposed to the lie of Democracy)–is that in college, as they say, you are of-age. That is, you don’t have to worry about parenting anymore by erstatz-parents, aka teachers and school authoritarians. You also don’t have to worry about $hitbag siblings or dirty uncles who do funny things with fingers in your body parts, etc. In college the only thing you have to worry about is the police–and their being the final score in raising you to know who’s boss in this world of how little freedom you really have. Of course, there’s another form of authority you have to deal with post high school $hitbaggery. In other worst-words…

I quickly realised what it is like to be part of the lower middle classes once I got to college. College forced me to really get to know my poverty. You know, as in, the financial police are dictators of behaviour as you starve for a few nights in order to afford being able to purchase reading material so that you can listen and adhere to even more dictates of some $hitbag tenured professor who would rather be fiddling with your girl’s button-downs. Wait. In other worst-words…

I remember reading Oedipus Rex in college and having somewhat of a good time with it–because, other than a good time in #Americant, there is nothing else to do in college. That is, even though I had already read Oedipus Rex, whereas most of my colleagues read CliffNotes of it, I decided to turn my knowledge of the play into an attack on that $hitbag tenured professor–who thought he owned me. In fact, I still have the used paperback version of the play that I bought for a previous class and was subsequently scolded by the $hitbag tenured professor for trying to save money thereby not buying the recommended book for his class–which would have cost three or four times more that what I could afford. While professor $hitbag scolded me and said that I wasn’t playing along in his $hitshow and that would result in my final grade, I proceeded with a written and oral argument about the illegitimacy of Oedipus Rex being a king because he, ultimately, he is not part of a kingly bloodline. And since I knew my professor was a semi-professional priest, I proceeded in making a Jesus vs. Oedipus comparison that would rock his world. I argued, in line with Greek mythology, that Jocasta was nothing but yet another tainted and über-angry woman–married to a tainted and über-angry man–and no one quite knew where the key to her chastity belt was. Unlike Jesus’ mother, though, everyone knew where her chastity belt was. I then threw in a few examples of ancient Demi-gods and how those Demi-gods were nothing more than the result of war-torn booty-calls–especially booty-calls from the likes of Zeus & Co., who all have the eternal keys to not just war-torn losing side females, but also their tainted chastity belts. And so… Like all Greek mythology, the entirety of Christianity is a narrative for suckers and blind believers and/or those unwilling to not only question EVERYTHING but to even think critically about answers found or avoided by questioning EVERYTHING. And so… I really pissed off that tenured $hitbag professor with my pseudo comparison that was also a bloated $hit on his religious beliefs. You know, he was a devout evangelical #Americant $hitbag who couldn’t keep his lying eyes off my girlfriend’s button-downs on account his wife was probably more frigid than Zeus’ ice-cock. So at the end of my oral argument I said something akin to Oedipus shouldn’t even be studied anymore on account it does the same damage to unquestioning minds that the fcuking bible does. But enough of my sentimentalising about how much I hated having been edumacated in #Americant.

After five or so years of struggling with tenured $hitbag professors who never taught me a thing, I finally gave up on college. Degree-less and wanton of something other than becoming just another automaton, I swore then and there that there were two things that I would never trust for the rests of my life. The first is systematic and collective edumacation. I had attended three colleges in my beloved & missed #Americant. I attended a fourth college in #Eurowasteland. Considering that college is a stepping stone (or is it step-ladder?) to get anywhere in life in the past thirty to fifty years, it’s no wonder that the world is so fcuked up. I mean, can you believe it, dear worst-reader? Look at all those college grads! Look at all those higher-edumacated dunces running corporations, governments, the media. Even President Stupid, über-$hitbag #Trump himself, proudly claims that he is edumacated from an elite and privileged class of… University of Free to be Stupid. Yeah, just look at what school can do. But here’s the real-sad thing about my days trying to get some knowledge on.

  1. All I wanted was to learn and I wasn’t allowed to do so because I’m actually poor.
  2. I wanted, potentially, possibly, to become a teacher because, while failing in college, I did realise that I loved the interaction of teaching and learning–and I wanted to be a teacher that wasn’t a $hitbag.
  3. Even though, for all practical purposes in the game of getting by in life, I learned nothing from either high school or college and to this day, there is something seriously wrong with that.

I know. I know. Perhaps I’m a bit idealising that whole learn(ing)-thing. Considering the meritless situation the world is in right, learning might not be all it is cracked up to be. Still. Every few weeks or so, I yearn to get a book in my hands–as it’s been my sole source of learning for the past thirty or so years. Heck, I’m even so far & wide with reading, I yearn to download another book on my iPad if I go a few weeks without reading something–even if there appears to be nothing out to read. Yeah. Ain’t nothing wrong with reading books on hand-held computers out boredom. Or? Nomatter.

The other day I came across a book that I just had to give a try. After reading a few sample pages of it (electronically) and then seeing that purchasing the paperback version was cheaper than the electronic version, guess what? I bought Stephen Fry’s “Heroes”–in real book form. As in… I bought a physical book. As soon as it arrived, though, it sat on my coffee table for about a week before I picked it up to actually read it. Reason? It’s the first time I ordered a physical book in two or three years. It took time for the whole idear of having purchased a real book to settle in. I actually swore way-way back that I was done with physical books. So. When a real book arrived with snail-mail, I kept staring at it while it rested on my coffee table. It’s actually real, I thought to myself. I mean, don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. In 2018 I bought new bookshelves so my better-half and I could finally combine all our physical reading material in one place. You know, a bookshelf for decorative and sentimental reasons. Our own little library, if you will. So I didn’t stop buying real books because I have something against them. No. It’s just that…

bookshelf
Our physical/real library!

Once I started reading Fry’s brilliant re-write of Greek mythology, I couldn’t stop. Reason? From beginning to end, I can’t recall ever reading something so familiar but, at the same time, reading something so new. In fact, I killed the over four hundred pages of this book in three days. Just before worst-writing this worst-post, I re-read the chapter on Bellerophon, too. So get this…

I did not know anything about Bellerophon. Of course, I knew about Pegasus. I even had a vague recollection of Pegasus’ birth out of the neck of Medusa. But Bellerophon? Whaaaaaaa? And Fry doesn’t stop there teaching anyone willing everything that need be known about Greek mythology. I did not know that Heracles freed Prometheus from that whole side-of-mountain thing during one of his labours where a bird eats his liver every day. Whaaaaaaa? And then there’s Medea. Wow. What a witch-chick that one was, eh! Anywho.

Fry really nails it with this book. If anyone is interested in a concise and precise cliff-note-like, yet beautifully narrated summary of everything Greek mythology, this is the book. What a joy.

Rant and read on.

-T

PS Although out of order, reading Heroes first, has lead to reading Mythos next, which is Fry’s first book of the two. Yeah, out of order is fine.