After my return from a trip to the Lake District, to be chronicled here at some point, I powered up the house. There’s quite a bit to do with IoT lights, Google Home, wireless speakers and the NAS Drive.

The NAS drive is where I have stored all my music, movies and photos for just over six years. I’ve replaced the hard disk drives once but never really thought I’d have a problem with it. So, I powered it up and went and did some stuff. When I got back to the black box I noticed there was no power light on. I checked the lead and socket power. It was all on. I pressed buttons but nothing. I then tried taking out the power lead from the box to then plug it back in. This was the second sign of trouble.

The power cable didn’t really want to leave the black box. When, after some good tugging, I got the lead out there followed a small spark, some smoke and general bad things that happen to electrical goods. Bugger.

After a quick check to see that it was definitely dead I panicked about getting the data off the HDDs. So, I ordered a USB Sata connection to join the drive to the PC. This seemed reasonable. When finally connected the PC didn’t want to read the HDD drive the drive was formatted in Linux and also had a RAID configuration. I was now starting to feel sick. The most recent photos are backed up in the cloud. But I have loads which are only on the NAS Drive. I thought I was protected because the HDD were in RAID1 configuration so the data should have been backed up in case of HDD failure.

More importantly I think was that my entire music library, along with the 100s of hours of organising it, was on the NAS. This has been a labour of love and the SONOS system uses the NAS as the music library along with iTunes [which I hate passionately].

The whole point of the RAID configuration was to make sure my data was safe. I hadn’t really considered the black box was going to be my downfall. It has died.

So, I now have some data recovery software and it has found 250GB of data but the file names are gone. I have those files transferred to the PC at the moment but my main hope is that I win a NAS enclosure the same as the one I did have. I will use this to get the data from the HDD assuming I can just plug the drives into the enclosure and it will be happy to let me read the data from them.

Reading online there are people who keep three or four copies of their data. This is something I am going to do in the future. I will have copies in the following locations:

  • PC
  • NAS Drive
  • Large capacity USB
  • Cloud

This will take a little organising but seeing as I was only at around half a terabyte on the old NAS I think I’ll be ok for a while. One of the disks I have taken out the old enclosure will be fitted into the PC and be used as the PC backup disk. I will use a USB stick plugged into the NAS to back that up and I will generally transfer stuff to the cloud as often as possible. I am currently a little sad about it all and I’m hoping that in a week’s time I’ll be fixed, up and running and generally a lot more cheery. There will be updates.


While on my trip to Washington DC I met someone who asked me for my opinion on a bracelet / wrist band thing they had bought. I was worried at first because these things tend to be utter rubbish, woo if you will. There are many performance bands that are supposed to interact with your body’s vibrations and improve your coordination and these are all fraud. They don’t work and they never will. If someone like Powerbalance can show that their bracelet works then we will have to re-write all of modern physics [similarly if ghosts exists then what are they made of? Get me the proof and we’ll develop new physics].

I had just been introduced to the Up by Jawbone wristband. A movement (not position) tracker. It has a gizmo inside that measures how much you move and then you can upload that data to your iPhone or android device. I was so excited by this that I went and bought one from the Apple shop in Georgetown [DC].

Up By Jawboen

The device is easy to use. You wear it on your wrist and then upload the data to your phone app twice a day. You don’t have to upload the data that often but it seems about right.

I have to say I have been really impressed with the data I can collect. The Up band will time and measure the distance of a run, it’ll buzz me when I’ve been inactive. It can tell what sort of sleep I am having and when I got up to look after my boys.

The big question is how to use the data. It’s all very well collecting this stuff but it’s another knowing what to do with it. I have no idea how to use this data to inform what I should do in the future. The walking and running data is fair enough, I know I can aim to move around more but the sleep data? I can only sleep how I sleep. Perhaps I need to search the interweb thing to see if I can find out how to improve my sleep without having to give up alcohol! I love my wristband. I love the information it collects and the graphics it shows me. I’m just not sure what it tells me!