Yeah, this is primarily for my own reference in case I need to rebuild but it might be useful for someone else. The night theme in ttrss is actually *meant* for night time use, and the developer has *gradually* added support for images to be monochrome. I use it all the time, and want colour. The fix is simple – open up preferences and customise your stylesheet and copy and paste the following lines in. The important bits are the “greyscale(0)” (they’re set to 1) and this overrides the default setting.

body#ttrssMain .cdm .cdmContentInner img,
body#ttrssMain .cdm img.tinyFeedIcon,
body#ttrssMain .cdm .cdmFooter img,
body#ttrssMain #feedTree img,
body#ttrssMain .postContent img {
filter: grayscale(0);
-webkit-filter: grayscale(0);
filter: url("data:image/svg+xml;utf8, }

And it was a minor pain. Everything is supported out of the box (even the emmc that makes older kernels apparently pitch a fit) *except* the trackpad.For some reason fedora (kde?) dosen’t support touch pads out of the box, and I didn’t have a spare mouse handy. Its detected but a pain to configure without a mouse

I did the install from a liveusb to another liveusb, using the keyboard to select between install options, then realised I could fire up a launcher with alt-f2, and use that to enable tapping to click. Still working out how to do clicking to click (since the touchpad is clicky).

Wireless, bluetooth, most shortcut buttons and the like work fine. Even airplane mode (which I need to see if I can disable in linux since its the same key as my dropdown terminals!)

 

I’m not sure if the netbook is a Phoenix rising from the ashes or a zombie. The very small, low powered system with a *proper* keyboard is pretty handy, and while I won’t go as far as calling tablets a fad, a fancy touch screen is no match for a proper keyboard IMO.

I tend to prefer smaller laptops in general – I’ve used an X220 for the past couple of years and its a great, well built machine (and well, lenovo hasn’t made another thinkpad I’ve had the same amount of desire for since), and I’ve always wanted something small and cheap I could throw into a bag and use on a train or on a bus.

The HP Stream is probably one of the first of a new breed of fairly cheap, plastic laptops with tablet cores, soldered in everything, and surprisingly low pricetags. Chromebooks are probably the same class, but the wintel netbooks seem to be a lot cheaper.

So.. what does 310 dollars get me? What’s essentially a copy of office 365 personal (so.. ~100 dollars in value), 25 dollars in windows store credits (which I can’t really find anything to spend on), and a slightly flawed, but very charming piece of hardware.

I’ll start with the two main annoyances – the screen isn’t that great, and once you have installed that copy of office 365, you only have 6gb left. If you’re a display snob (and in my line of work I see some *lovely* screens), you’ll likely get annoyed. It leaks light into black areas on the screen in the dark, its kinda uneven, but most of the time, unless you’ve got a completely black screen and are using the laptop in the dark, its not too bad. I guess it was a compromise to keep costs down. As for the storage, its an emmc, its reasonably fast, but its *tiny*. I’d note it *could* be worse – HP’s used a little trick meant for low cost tablets that puts many system files in a WIM disk image to save space. Nonetheless, I use the SD card for secondary storage, and for apps I don’t need running all the time. If only office 365 could install there… but apparently MS dosen’t think people need to install office on secondary drives. I’ll likely remove it once office 365 expires, or see if I can move the subscription to a more powerful system in future. The onboard webcam also seems a bit junk, but that’s not really a major issue for me.

Build quality is great. While its cheap, it doesn’t *feel* cheap. Its almost as if HP’s proud of thing thing – There’s almost no flex in it I can feel, and its a really *good looking* machine. The keyboard is *fantastic* despite being an island keyboard – Maybe its the spacing, and the nice, very reassuring light clickiness. There’s a few nice touches – a power/charging light on the left that’s orange when its charging, and white when its full, an orange mute light on the mute button and a power light on the side (which is nice if your system is on when your lid is closed). function keys do ‘additional’ functions such as volume or brightness control by default, which mostly works great (other than me fat-fingering f4 for switching monitors when I wanted to f5 for refreshing. The horror!). The onboard storage is *reasonably* fast, and considering that these things are lightweight, probably the best compromise they could pull between price and weight. Battery life seems insanely good, with only 20% usage after 2 hours or so (granted on fairly light duties, wifi, IRC and a few chat sites – basically what I normally do with my netbook).

7kkZUWT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base system build is fairly sparse, you get a copy of mcafee (TOSS!), an installer that pulls in office 365 if you want it, some HP software for making rescue disks and such, and a few metro/modern UI apps. There’s a traveladvisor link in IE, but other than that its pretty clean.

While video is slightly dodgy, sound quality is good. The onboard speakers are surprisingly good for the size, and the headphone out is excellent once you turn off the dts equalizer.

While there’s reports that the touchpad is a bit insensitive, it works well for me, both with basic gestures and tapping. I might have actually preferred it if they hadn’t made it a clicky touchpad.

I’d also add, its a pretty good looking machine.

IMG_20150227_205228385

It looks almost 70sish, with the bright blue basic colour, the *really* polished chrome HP badge, and the fairly obvious branding on the back.

right panel

 

 

 

 

The right panel. One USB 3.0, one USB 2.0. I do believe the platform supports one more USB 2.0 interface, and that’s being used for the SD card reader. Yes, cheap laptops have HDMI now. The 3.5mm port is a combo port and a smartphone headset should probably work there. And you only get these two ports – with almost any system on this platform I suspect

left panel

 

 

 

 

And the left side. One light (which tells turns amber when its charging). The SD card reader is USB attached as I mentioned and a realtek so don’t bother getting a really fast SD card if you want to use it for more space. I just grabbed a spare and popped it in.

kbraw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the keyboard .  The caps lock light dosen’t bleed *as* badly in real life, and f6 is a lovely orange. I probably should not have used my moto G for this. It really is a lovely keyboard.

On the whole, the HP Stream is a *slightly* flawed machine, but the things I love about it (size, cool running and keyboard) kinda outweigh the cons (More hard disk space, and a better screen). Its probably a perfect second, or third machine, the sort of thing you’d toss into a bag on a whim and forget about. I was literally wrapping it in a reusable shopping bag, dumping it in my backpack and bringing it on my way to work for about 2 weeks with little issues.

I’d also add this entire review, other than photos was typed out on this, so clearly, I do consider it a very usable machine.  Its not a powerhouse by any measure but its *good enough*, and the price – which I suspect is partially due to both MS and Intel trying to gain market share is pretty hard to argue with. Its an awesome, surprisingly practical geek toy. I’ll need to see if I can get linux on a USB boot (Well, I could try installing it over the MMC since I have a backup but one at a time), which should expand the possibilities for fun.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the cover is a pencil case from daiso. The cloth bag seemed a bit undignified.

 

I tend to maintain two types of systems – high-mid range gaming PCs, like my lovely core i7, and low powered home servers. My old atom server is getting noisy, and I wanted to get a new toy. Ended up looking around and picking up a gigabyte brix – specifically a N2807

Unlike the systems based on a more mainstream processor, the celeron based brix (and possibly its NUC cousins) lack a msata port. It has a single, non standard port on the board that breaks out sata data and sata power for a single 2.5 inch hard drive. It also has a single slot for DDR3L ram (which I populated with a single 4gb stick), unlike the two slots the more capable core i3 based NUC class systems do. In short, this is a small box with the heart of a tablet, the IO options of a laptop, and a need to stay firmly teathered to a wall. Its passively cooled, so you *cannot* get any quieter. Its an awesome, simple HTPC.

I went with fedora on this system, since I’ve been toying with moving off ubuntu, and fedora has all the shiny toys. I’m using BTRFS for the system.

The system comes with a single band, single channel wifi card, which also does bluetooth 4.0. Not played with this much yet, though locking and unlocking it with a phone sounds fun. You also have a gig-e capable nic.

Output wise, I have the standard HDMI and VGA ports, 2 USB 2 and one USB 3 port and a single combo out. Sound quality is decent, since it uses one of those practically ubiquitious realtek audio codecs.

I also wanted a decent, cheap display. Rather than going for a regular display, I ended up buying a 10.1 inch display off DX. Its actually a rather odd unit, the display seems to be wrapped in electrical tape at the edges, the backlight has a translucent screen (which is annoyingly desirable, since it gives me bias lighting. Any logical way I can think of mounting it involves covering up the back). Its insanely sharp, and lovely when its the right resolution. Which it often isn’t(it defaults to 1024×768 on the computer). I ended up creating a script that fixed that.

Total cost so far, about 500 dollars – 90 dollars for the hard drive, 250 for the brix and ram, and another 90 for the screen. I could have gone cheaper (I had a 40gb hard drive I spent a tenner on), or gotten a cheaper hard drive, and in a HTPC setting, you could probably forget about the screen.

Now here comes the fun part. Plug this little thing into a TV, install steamos or steam on linux, and its basically an awesome little streaming console. While steam streaming does seem to open up (and gets wierd when you move) a game on the ‘server’, so it dosen’t *quite* let you use the server for other things while you’re at it. I
t might make a ton of sense if you do a lan party house style setup (or even run a central server with more than one video card running KVM. Oh, the ideas.

The NUC class systems also seem to be decent for virtualisation. While ESXi is a finicky, grouchy thing, – There’s reports the core i3 and better versions do ESXi fine, but the realtek NIC on this isn’t supported, and a driver modded boot disk fails horribly on my celeron. KVM runs gloriously however, and was trivial to install on fedora (install virtmanager and its dependancies, and… well, that’s about it.)

One thing I had issues with with fedora was font rendering – I installed freetype-freeworld from rpmfusion, turned sub-aliasing and sub pixel rendering in the ‘fonts’
control panel, and set sub pixel rendering to RGB and hinting style to medium. I also installed corefonts and set most of the fonts in firefox to the same defaults as firefox on windows. This was also helpful since steam apparently needs some of those fonts.

One final annoyance is that selinux basically makes it a pain in the rear to install samba. You need the semanage command. This is installed through policycoreutils-python. Do not bother with the gui – edit your samba.conf file, and make sure your selinux permissions are set correctly. You need to run

 semanage fcontext -a -t samba_share_t '/<shared path>(/.*)?'

then

 restorecon -R /<shared path>

.

Still, this is a fun, low cost system with reasonable performance and great usability. Its no raspi, but try running windows, or steam on one. 😉

(I’m talking about a bunch of different hardware here and as such, I’ve chosen to link the specific devices in question. These are things I bought, and have used, and I’m linking these as a reference in case people are curious)

I’ve been working on fixing a few annoyances I’ve had with my home network.There were a few areas that weren’t covered, most of my systems were only accessible over wireless, which in a large apartment block, takes a lot of tweaking to get right and I had bandwidth between the wrong systems. I also had issues with my trusty old DD-WRT infused WRT 54GL,(Which inexplicably stopped working wirelessly) and switched it for a shiny newish Asus RT N56U – It is an older model, but with no 5GHZ gear, a AC router would be overkill. Having fixed up my WRT54GL (did a 30 30 30 reset), I figured I’d tackle the dead zone in my apartment. Putting in proper ethernet cabling isn’t an option for now, so I ended up getting a pair of homeplug AV 200 mbps adaptors. – I picked up a pair of HL113es from Aztech. They worked fine for testing initially, but on hindsight, the miniature models arn’t that useful. I ended up going with a Homeplug AV 500 4 port gig-e switch (also from Aztech) and a 500 mbps TP-Link unit. I guess there’s a few odd things I came across here, that are worth considering if you’re looking at adding a few homeplug AV units.

I had a few issues getting it to work, mainly cause of some of the oddities for the standard -and how its managed

Firstly, homeplug AV is a black box. This is perfectly fine when it works. When it doesn’t though, there’s almost no diagnostic options. You have the blinky signal light. Its green when everything is perfect, orange when its meh, and red when its horrible. When it dosen’t work, it *should* be off, but I had a system where it would be solid green, and go on and off every 10 seconds or so. This is not in the manual. This is not in *any* manual. This tended to happen when the dryer was on, on my gig-e switch, when I was using one of the 200mbps adaptors in a specific location. I can change the network name using a utility, but not check the network name I am using now. I can talk to these units, but they don’t *talk back*. This makes diagnostics when things don’t work a pain in the rear.

And when I say ‘any’ manual, Its because homeplug units seem to have the same type of chips, with the same, reskinned utilities. Don’t bother installing multiple utilities – find one thats reliable (Aztech has different versions for different models which are of varying reliability. I’ve tried 4-5 different utilities for science and they all work the same. I like the tplink varient, the power packet utility, or the Aztech homeplug utility 5.11 – Aztech’s 4.0 series is rubbish). They’ll work together as long as you don’t mix legacy 15 and 85 mbps units with newer ones.

These manuals are also useless. I realise that as a standard with multiple implementations there may be minor differences. However, I can’t find a definitive answer to what happens when I mix 200 and 500 gear – some say it depends on how the traffic flows, and a 500mbps and another identical unit will talk at 500 mnps, and they will drop down to the speed of the slower unit if its between dissimilar units, and other say the whole network will run at the lower speed. I’ve found there seems to be a speedup from using only the faster units, but the units never seem to test as well as they rate. I’ll do more tests as I upgrade the network to something that can cover my needs with entirely 500mbps units

I went with mini plugs cause they were cheaper and I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. The passthrough units arn’t that much more expensive, don’t take up a socket, and filter any device plugged into the socket. Since powerline networks are sensitive to line noise, and switch mode power supplies are noisy, it makes a LOT of sense to use one before a powerstrip where you’re connecting your main network to a powerline network. Don’t bother with mini units – just spend the 10 or so dollars more and get a passthrough unit

Location is everything. The issues I had with the dryer went away when I moved the homeplug unit to a socket further from the dryer. If you are in an electrically noisy environment with big electric motors, you may want to consider isolators or simply moving the homeplug units. I’d test moving units one by one since with the ‘ring’ topology homeplug has, you may have unusual effects from noise – I had a nearer unit have issues, while a further unit still worked, yet that move improved signal quality throughout the network.

Homeplug units come with a default network name. They assume you don’t change them (which is unacceptable for me), or set a random network name. I ended up using the utility to set the network name to a specific one, since the button press method dosen’t actually give me any feedback to whether they are working. Its actually easier for me to do this than to use the ‘simple’ one button system where you need to press the button for *exactly* 1 second or 3 seconds or…. You get the idea.

Once I got it working, and sorted through the noise issues, its pretty decent. With careful rearrangement of my homeplug units, I managed to get a strong, stable connection, Its reasonably fast (I’m seeing about 40mbps each way on lan speed test with the current arrangement, while my old arrangement was ~ 2 downstream – and 4 upstream). I’ve even got it to stop cutting out whenever the dryer runs. I currently have 3 nodes – one at my router (You probably don’t want 2 there, might cause the router to loop in on itself and cause all reality to self destruct).

On the whole, I rather have ethernet, and you almost always have wifi. Homeplug’s a pretty good way for reaching places that don’t have either. Complaints about documentation aside, its a pretty useful addition to a network. I’d suggest getting a starter kit for the cheapest hardware per unit you can find and testing, since you’re rarely going to hit theoratical speeds. Better ‘classes’ do seem faster.

 

After yet another internet disconnection (at random) on my HTC one V, and needing to reboot it, I ended up deciding to get a new phone. I wish I could say I made an informed decision based on my needs and requirements

I didn’t want to pay too much for it (since I’d be buying it off contract), I was buying it off contract since I had a grandfathered 3g plan that gave me a whopping 12gb of data that I hardly used. It wouldn’t need 3g. I wanted something that wasn’t loaded up with unremovable applications from telcos from *every country in the region* . I sort of liked the size of the one V but the chin made it arkward on the pocket.

I wanted something fast, stable, and not likely to decide to suddenly, and oddly decide that it couldn’t find a DNS server.

I’d decided to get the moto G anyway, and well, it ticked all these boxes. I wouldn’t say its entirely stock – it has a camera application that took a while to get used to (and is one place where I’d miss the one V for a while), but there’s no silly application from telekom indoglossia cluttering it up. The biggest tradeoff, I suppose would be the SD card. I’ve tended to put the biggest microsd card I could ‘in case I needed it’. On my tablet, its usually proven quite useful since I occasionally watch movies on it. Even on the One V, I never really ran out of space. Considering I have wifi through the local free wifi network, and more network bandwidth than I can use, I’ll survive. If I need a load of space, there’s always a USB OTG adaptor and a USB key, no? My retailer threw in a flip-front case. Apparently they didn’t have black, so I went with blue. It replaces the back cover, and is an integral part of the phone, which is a lot slicker than a third party case.

I’ve always been of the opinion that <4 inch screens were the ‘right’ size. I used to have those tiny tiny candy bar nokias, and considered them the ‘perfect’ size. On the one hand, I found that typing with the screen on a keyboard that size was a pain. On the other hand, an excessively large screen meant you’d need both hands to operate the phone. I kind of like the 4.5 inch screen on the Moto, since its large enough for someone with reasonably large hands to use one handed (or as I call it, pawfriendly), yet pocketable.

The moto has a lot of good reviews and with good reason. While long delayed, the moto is one heck of a polished, fast and usable device that probably punches above its cost-bracket. Pity it’s the last generation of google/moto phones with the lenovo acquisition, but lenovo takes a while before they start mucking with things from my experience.
As for my One V? I suspected that the problem was with the firmware, and HTC dosen’t seem terribly inclined to update it. I got it unlocked, installed clockworkmod recovery, then went over to HTC dev and experimented with a few roms. The Pomega rom seems to work (other than the camera app), and another one didn’t work wirelessly. While the phone bit works, I ended up switching it over to  flight mode, and turning on wireless.

Its a lot faster feeling and cleaner, so it was probably worth it. Its still a decent spare phone.

This pair of headphones and I have a long, convoluted history. I bought it on the recommendation of two of my friends who have the non TI model (and they bought it based off my research when I was looking at replacing my ATH M50). Lets start with the trivial stuff.

 

This alone is epic. BEST WARRANTY CARD EVER.

 

The headphones came in a nice fabric case, with 2 different headphone cups (leather and velor), a headphone cable that connected to either cup and the headphones, in a nice shaped foam insert. Pretty awesome *usable* packaging.

 

 

 

 

 

This is how it was packaged. The other cups are below and are pretty easy to swap out. Embarassingly, I haven’t tried them yet.

 

 

 

 

Build quality is nice and solid – the cable is easily replaceable (and apparently there’s clones of this with different cable lengths) and it feels sturdy, and comfortable on my head (but I don’t have a monster noggin).

Sound quality is excellent. Sound quality is also highly subjective I guess. I’m not one of those folk who can wax lyrical about a pair of headphones but there’s a few things I can say. Its crystal clear, has good, tight bass, and I occasionally hear something off these phones and assume its someone behind me. I’d initially assumed my laptop onboard sound card struggled to power it but a few experiments later, I realised it just sounded ‘off’ compared to my better gear – the FA003 is SLIGHTLY unforgiving of totally crap soundcards – but unless you’ve got some badly designed one, or something off a laptop that dosen’t sound all that great anyway, its a non issue. I do regularly use it for non audiophile things like gaming and youtubery off my desktop. I generally pair it up with a desktop amp, and a external DAW for music, and run it off the amp and my onboard soundcard for everything else. These work *great* with a nice amp and sound card, and they don’t need to be terribly expensive.

One final note – I special ordered it. The other two guys I know who have it got it online. Its a pain in the ass to get – unless you can find someone to shut up and take your money

I used to be a google reader user before they shuttered. I then switched to the old reader – they had one hell of a site, but had scaling issues, the poor dears, and decided that they couldn’t handle us refugees. Lets be honest here. I could move again, but at this point of time, I have trust issues. I want a reasonable amount of control, the option to move to another server, taking my feeds with me, and the knowledge that I won’t have to switch providers for reasons I can’t control.

The alternative thats currently the best loved, and maintained is ttrss. While it will run on a standard LAMP stack, apparently it works better on postgres – so I figured I’d go with ubuntu, lighttpd, postgres and php. I also decided to document the whole process. The web stack setup is based off howtoforge’s guide on setting up a lighttpd/myql/php stack  I’ve modified the instructions to use the things I use, and streamlined it a bit. I *do* assume you’re building off a barebones VM – you’ll need to adjust the instructions if you’re running or planning to run something like Apache or Ngnix.

Firstly, the packages you’ll need

sudo apt-get install lighttpd php5-fpm php5 php5-pgsql php5-curl php5-cli postgresql

Lets break this up into what these packages are for. You have your web server, and the varient of php its running – in this case lighttpd and php5-fpm, with php5 being a prerequisite for pgp. You have the postgres related packages postgresql and php5-pgsql, and finally you have php5-curl and php5-cli – the latter is a suggested prerequisite for ttrss and the latter is needed to run the update script for ttrss. Naturally, if you’re running another web browser, switch the appropriate group of packages for alternatives.

The default configuration for lighttpd assumes you use spawnfgi rather than fpm for php. You will need to make two changes to the config files to make sure things work fine. These are identical to what is done on howtoforge’s tutorial.

First, you need to enable cgi.fix_pathinfo in /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini. To do this, open up /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini with your favourite editor, find a line that says

;cgi.fix_pathinfo

and remove the semicolon to enable it.

Next, to set up php-fpm

sudo su
cd /etc/lighttpd/conf-available/
mv 15-fastcgi-php.conf 15-fastcgi-php-spawnfcgi.conf
nano 15-fastcgi-php.conf

Then paste in – for ubuntu 12.04. Annoyingly this will fail horribly for ubuntu 13.04 and you need to look up the appropriate, sockets based alternative here

The rest of the instructions are identical, so meh, do your homework ;p

# /usr/share/doc/lighttpd-doc/fastcgi.txt.gz
# http://redmine.lighttpd.net/projects/lighttpd/wiki/Docs:ConfigurationOptions#mod_fastcgi-fastcgi

## Start an FastCGI server for php (needs the php5-cgi package)
fastcgi.server += ( ".php" =>
        ((
                "host" => "127.0.0.1",
                "port" => "9000",
                "broken-scriptfilename" => "enable"
        ))
)

Now that the configuration is done, we need to enable our new configurations and reload lighttpd and php-fpm

lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi fastcgi-php 
/etc/init.d/lighttpd force-reload
/etc/init.d/php5-fpm force-reload

at this point, our environment should be ready for the install to start. A good way to check is to create a php information script, and take a peek

Create a file in /var/www/ called info.php and paste in

<?php
phpinfo();
?

Go to your webserver and check if it works – if it does, check for entries saying ‘pgsql’. If they are there, we’re ready to create the database.

sudo -u postgres psql postgres

should throw you into the postgres shell
It looks something like

postgres-#

You need to create a new user

postgres-# CREATE ROLE ttrss WITH LOGIN ENCRYPTED PASSWORD 'password' CREATEDB;

then create a new database with the new user as an owner

postgres-# CREATE DATABASE ttrss WITH OWNER ttrss;

and just to play it safe

postgres-# GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE ttrss TO ttrss;

Download and unpack ttrss from http://tt-rss.org/redmine/projects/tt-rss/wiki
I tend to do this using sudo wget url, since I have had little luck doing it any other way. Probably not best practice. You’ll likely also want to change the folder name to something friendlier, and change ownership to www-data (so you can automatically have ttrss set the config file it generates)

At this point, go to the website, set some sane defaults and get cracking – you can pretty much coast through the rest of this.

Upgraded my VPS (which this runs on) to a newer ubuntu LTS – this was suprisingly simple. My database is hosted elsewhere so that was a non issue (I need to do a test of the migration process at some point). As such all I needed to do was copy /var/www and /etc/ (though I didn’t copy over everything), dump a copy of my installed packages (which i ended up not using ;p) reinstalled, and copied over what was needed – in my case web server configs and pretty much nothing else.

 

Suprisingly painless!

I’ve never been a fan of the oldschool linux way of seperating parts of the file system – keeping /home might make sense, but I generally went with a single, large drive. Ironically, on windows, I’ve chosen to go for a non traditional file hierarchy of boot+applications, storage and transient files on seperate drives, and I find it works very well.

Systems accumulate garbage. Desktops fill up with icons. Downloads are left uncleared until space is critical. I’ve more than once found ancient cryptic files that thankfully arn’t digital copies of some old evil tome. While ideally, avoiding clutter is good, I’ve chosen to segment the clutter out of the way.

Traditionally I’ve gone for a boot drive of reasonable size, and a large storage drive. This gives me a place to do backups on the system itself, and to some extent, keep clutter out of the main drive – I would tend to download files directly to the data drive.

I recently had my laptop HDD replaced for bad clusters and a reformat fixed it. I figured I’d run it to failure, and then replace it. Having a seperate drive for downloads is *brilliant*. I have seperate directories by source – firefox or torrents for example, and can then move it over to the storage drive as needed. This kind of lets me actually organise stuff as it goes into the storage drive. Sure, I could have a sub-directory, but lets admit it, I just tend to pile stuff up one on top of another.

There’s a few realizations I made – firstly, that a large quantity of the data we work with is transient in nature – assignments for example, are only really needed for term time (and can be archived or deleted later). Software installers are used once, then deleted. Seperating out transient storage makes sense!. The second is that having per application ‘download’ folders helps declutter things a lot. Things I download from firefox often has a shorter useful life and often are smaller than stuff on a torrent. I only have a seperate disk because I had one spare – anything from a folder of folders to a partition makes sense. Its not just a technical fix – it creates a seperate ‘bin’ for files like this, and you’re more likely to keep things neat.

YMMV – I only run 4 disks on my desktop cause I’m a packrat, and ended up accumulating disks – from my standard 1+1, then added a seperate disk for linux since I didn’t know if it would play well with windows 8, and a 4th disk off my laptop. It works VERY well, but naturally not everyone would have spare disks or space to mount them.