Archive for May, 2006
All I can say is yupieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee … ok back to where I left off yesterday:
After posting to my blog I had a couple of suggestions… ok one. That was Jame’s idea of “you could try the old stick it in an air tight freezer bag with some silica gel and bung it in the freezer for 30 minutes trick.”. Which I slated him at the time but i’m slowly coming round to the idea. But still seems a bit radical. I’m sure silica can freeze as well and not soak up the damp as well…
Anyway I needed to test my last theory. Because the drive wasn’t being recognised by WinXP it maybe the controller card in the lacie drive which was not working. So the drives could be fine and dandy. The data could be fine. its just the interface to the computer which isn’t working. So in desperation I purchased ANOTHER Lacie 1TB Drive. The theory being that the hardware would be the same so I could swap the disks around and basically “replace” the controller card, and hopefully it would all work. Anyway posted my theory to Lacie to see if it was possible and got this back:
As long as both drives are the same make and model and both devices are Bigger Disk EXTREME devices bought around the same time, then yes in theory it will work.
Any variation of that it may not work. We don’t test this, for we don’t do any data recovery. Some bridges are only made to support particular models of drives. Drives newer then the case may not work. In the same regards certain makes and models will not work with certain cases.
This is of course in theory. We do not have a direct answer for you. This is not something we test.
Right so in english… maybe if I’m lucky. There was one minor flaw in my plan. The new lacie that I purchased was a tripple interface (USB2, Firewire, Firewire-800). My old drive was just a double interface (Firewire, Firewire-800). So the interface/controller was already quite a lot different, just need to hope that the RAID disk controller part hasn’t changed. Also it looks like Lacie have swapped disk manufacturer. As the disks in my old lacie were Seagates and the new system was maxtor, this maybe because they were having so many problems with failed disks in the past. So the harddisk params could also be different if they are not auto detecting the drives … the RAID array setup could be different connecting all the drives together as one… loads of things could go wrong and all kinds of chaos could happen… Also the backing plate screws are under a “Do not break this seal or your will invalidate the warrenty” so by openning up both of the drives will invalidate the warrenty on both. Anyway for £400 quid per drive to save my data. It was worth the price…. ok so I started to job, and hey if I was right and the disks were working I could easily put them in another machine so i’m not loosing the disks.
Here is what I did because I couldn’t find any photos etc on the net of what the lacie looks like inside and how easy it actually is to do:
1. Firstly I took the 4 screws out of the backing plate.
2. Removed the outter cover as you can see from the photo, by sliding it up and way from the front, looking down on the lacie drive you can see the double interface.
3. As you can see from the image above its in two parts a fan in each. Each side of the lacie holds two harddisks with the controller on one of them. What you need to do is unscrew is one little screw at the other end of the unit.
You can see that i’ve already taken the screw out. Then all you need to do is shift the two harddisks towards you and that “unclips” the two drives from the front panel. Make sure you take off the side with the controller attached to it, then you only have to remove two drives rather than all four.
4. Make sure you take off the ribbon cables and power cables carefully. I actully had to unscrew the drives from the chassie to get the power cables out.
5. You basically now just swap all the drives over with each other so you end up having all your old disks using the new controller… and put everything back together again. Both the double and tripple interface drives had exactly the same insides. The only difference was the fact there was three interfaces connected to the board… anyway a lot easier than I thought it would be
OK then came the big switch on. I replaced the lacie cover, plugged everything in … switched it on… the lacie seemed to boot up ok. Then plugged it into my computer and… BINGO! It worked WinXP regognised it and all my files appeared. So in my case it was the controller that was broken, not the disks. THANK GOD! Now i’m trying to get Lacie to send me out a new controller card for the drive which is “just” in warranty but isn’t really anymore because i’ve broken the seals to get into the drive. But even if they can send me over a new controller for 50quid i’ll do it.
I’m now copying all the stuff off my drive onto a mates lacie drive so I can then rebuild the new lacie that I just purchased. He’s also keeping a backup of some of my stuff… just incase
Ok before I get to the nightmare that is my lacie drive a mate sent me this saying how proud he was to work for Phillips. Its a funny site and make sure you check out the other vids in the menu
Ok now back to the pain… All I can say is AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH… My 1TB lacie hardidsk has stopped working. I plug it into Windows XP and it just does nothing… WinXP isn’t even detecting it, nada, zip. Oh boy am I happy… not. It has ALL my digital compositing work on it, and of course no backups as its a 1TB disk, its quite hard to backup.
I’ve tried every combination of switching the lacie on, with the computer on… off, with the lacie on… off switching it on with it plugged into the computer, without then plugging it in.. you name it i’ve tried it and I tried everything!
Next… the search of the net
Ok I recommend against that, all you find are stories of wo. People crying over broken hardware and general upset people, mostly blaming lacie for selling drives that have no way of cooling down properly and blow up within 6 months. A perfect example is D’Arcy Norman’s Blog, he had so many comments to it he had to switch them off because it was getting too much!
What to do. I checked the lacie.com website, downloaded the lacie tools knowing that it wouldn’t work because XP can’t even see the drive so how would the tools work.. anyway tried it… failed. Also they say if you return it to them their standard process is to format the disks as they don’t do disk recovery. So sending the drive back to them was a no-no if I wanted to get the stuff off again.
They recommend sending it off to a disk recovery centre like OnTrack who do data recovery services and are infact about 20mins drive away from where I live. Anyway gave them a call and they said basically it would cost £300 for them to inspect the laice and between £1,500 and £11,000 to recover the data. BLIMEY! Their must be another way!
… to be continued
A mate of mine does art of a living and thought his gallery needed special mention He makes some awesome stuff. Anyway check it out if you get the time. Hit the round circles at the top to see more… (its not immediately obvious).
Found a good show Reel on YouTube for Digital Compositing Work:
This is quite a nice example of some camera stabilisation work. Nicely done, you can do this kinda thing using the stabilise node in Shake.
Within the next two months the new edition of Steve Wrights book “Digital Compositing for Film and Video” is going to be on the virtual shelves to buy. I’ve had a sneak peak at it and it looks a lot better laid out than the previous verison. You don’t have to keep referencing the images in the middle of the book as the entire book is in colour! yupiee! It was only the very smallest of speak peaks tho.
I can only find the old version of the book on amazon but for some bizare reason it has the new cover on it. Its definatly the old version tho.
This is a classic! The BBC accidently put on air a cabbie who was waiting to pick someone up from BBC reception. BBC thought he was a technology expert. You have to see the vid for the cabbies reaction! You can see the vid here.
More Snow in NZ! Mount Ruapehu has had quite a big first dump, more info at their website.
Ok this is just bizare… the top 10 strangest robots! I particlarily like the Cockroach Controlled mobile robot, and the chair robet that rebuilds itself … I just have one question.. Why?
Ok I’ve seen this around before, bit hey it really shows that spelling doesn’t really matter If you can read this, you have a strange mind too…
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.
Linux Bang Commands:
Some cool little linux shortcuts to help ya out. Most modern shells support csh's bang commands - bash, tcsh and zsh all do. While some bang commands don't work in all those shells, all of the following do. The plus side to using them is that no matter what shell you're using, these shortcuts will work. For the purposes of these tips, every tip will assume these are the last three commands you ran: % which firefox % make % ./foo -f foo.conf % vi foo.c bar.c Getting stuff from the last command: Full line: % !! becomes: % vi foo.c bar.c Last arg : % svn ci !$ becomes: % svn ci bar.c All args : % svn ci !* becomes: % svn ci foo.c bar.c First arg: % svn ci !!:1 becomes: % svn ci foo.c Accessing commandlines by pattern: Full line: % !./f becomes: % ./foo -f foo.conf Full line: % vi `!whi` becomes: % vi `which firefox` Last arg : % vi !./f:$ becomes: % vi foo.conf All args : % ./bar !./f:* becomes: % ./bar -f foo.conf First arg: % svn ci !vi:1 becomes: % svn ci foo.c Various shells have options that can affect this. Be careful with shells that let you share history among instances. Some shells also allow bang commands to be expanded with tabs or expanded and reloaded on the command line for further editing when you press return.
Interesting sites found this week:
How to write copy for Websites
Screen shots of Firefox Alpha 2
Signs your a crappy developer
This is a nice little use of AJax and Google maps, visual mapping site… kinda cool.
Its come to that time in the year when everyone in the visual effects industry finishes the films they are working on and goes on holiday! Ready for the next lot of films to be worked on in the next month or so. Effects houses are going to start looking for new talent over the coming months. So all my compositing mates time to start looking for new companies to work for!
Found this cool site www.topcoder.com, the basic premis is that topcoder put up a request for a component to be built and you supply a design or code for it. It then gets reviewed and if it is passed you get the dosh. topcoder then uses the code in one of their client projects and put the code in their repository for everyone to download and use. Found one Guy who calls himself adic and he’s made over $81,000, kinda crazy money.