[Part 3] Building NAScrate

I pinky swear it doesn't take 4 months to build the NAScrate. I actually had it done and dusted in couple weeks - most spent waiting for the components with couple evenings spent with Onshape trying to figure out how to fit everything in a small crate. I just didn't have enough time to properly document it, hence the delay in updates.

This last step only took couple hours at most - and that's including re-designing and re-printing some of the parts. Building next one with all the parts ready is 30 minute job easily. So let's give it a go.

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[Part 2] NAScrate design

Is this even feasible? There's one way to find out! Well.. there's probably more than one way, but here's what I did. First thing I tried was to model and print rough miniature models of all the components I need to fit inside the case. (which I've printed as well) This gave me general idea, how to put the components in, but it's not accurate enough to see if we have enough free space around the components to actually fit in mounting brackets and all that other stuff. As we'll see later on, in reality there's just few millimeters gap between the components, so anything in the 1:10 scale just isn't going to be accurate enough.

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[Part 1] NAScrate - the budget for the budget NAS

The idea is simple really: Build a NAS out of readily available PC components inside Knagglig crate sold by IKEA. As for "why?" - it's the usual answer - to see if it can be done in a practical way. The other part of that motivation was, that I can now print parts of the construction, so it was a good training for my design and construction skills, that are, honestly, quite lacking.

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Why would you want 3D printer?

Why?

I only have 3D printer for about a month and people asked me that question multiple times already.. It's the question every early adopter gets. (is it really that "early"?) Back in the old days of feature phones, people were wondering why I got Symbian phone that was quite a bit more expensive than regular Nokia brick. That was years before iPhones were a thing, so the answer wasn't as obvious to non-techie people out there as it might be today. (and remember, when it was released, even iPhone wasn't all that smart, no app store, no multitasking, no Bluetooth even) Back then the simple (and real) answer was:

"Because it's cool!"

—Me

And that's really the reason why I got my 3D printer. However I feel like the real answer is different. I no longer feel that the 3D printers are cool for the same reason the pseudo-smart mobile phones with proprietary OS were cool. And to explain that feeling, I have to go few years back.

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Automatic SD card backup with USBmount

As I've mentioned before, I'm using HP Microserver Gen8 as a small home NAS. There is a lot of stuff stored there, but the primary reason why I actually started using NAS (back then slow, but hackable D-link DNS-323) was to store my photo collection. With ZFS, mirrored drives and extra backup to off-site location, the data on it should be reasonably safe, right? However that's not all that useful if most of the recent photos reside on the SD card inside the camera on in the case somewhere, just because I didn't have time to copy them to the NAS yet. So what can we do about it if we have 15 minutes to spare? Let's automate it a bit!

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Rebuilding NAS with ZFS & Docker

It all started with tripped breaker. In fact it tripped multiple times before I got home. Luckilly the spinning rust drives with data survived that without any issues, but the flash drive didn't. So with system FUBAR and some (little) time on my hands, there's only one thing to do - upgrade.

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Pushing the check states from Xymon to Graphite

Motivation

Chances are, you never heard about Xymon (formely Hobbit), so let me give you some idea. It's actually pretty decent monitoring system - if you still live in 90s. :D But hey, let's give credit where it's due, compared to other systems at that time, it was reasonably fast, has quite easy to understand configuration, comes with many standard checks out of the box and comes with a web interface. Probably that's why some people still use it to this day.

In our company it's one of those legacy systems, that we need to replace, so as a first step, let's see if we can get some of the data out while we're still using it.

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