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We are currently preparing a series of segments about RAID setups (i-TRENDS TV). As our core system is a Mac Pro running Snow Leopard 10.6.6, we had to look for a suitable eSata Raid controller card that would allow us to test external RAID enclosures (port multiplier) as well.

We will be showcasing many different setups and dive into RAID configurations as deep as needed ;) The first video segement will be airing soon, in German only.

Now to our guest today, the Newertechnology MAXPower 6G PCIe eSata RAID controller card.

For about $100 (US) this PCIe 2.0 card provides just what we need, 2 eSata connectors, with speeds up to 6 Gb/s, and the ability to drive up to 10 drives through its port multiplier support.

Supported RAID levels are: RAID level 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD (SPAN and individual drive modes).

The package includes the card, user manual, driver & software installation disk and a low profile bracket for the external eSata connectors.

Here a complete overview of its specifications:

Specifications

Type: SATA 6Gb/s

External: Ports 2 x eSATA

RAID levels supported: 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD (SPAN and individual drive modes)

Interface: PCI-Express 2.0 x1

Form Factor: Low Profile Ready

Data Transfer Rate: Up to 500MB/s total card bandwidth under optimal conditions.

Operating Systems:

Mac
Hardware: Intel-based Mac with available PCIe 2.0 or 1.0 slot
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 and later

PC
Hardware: Any computer with available PCIe 2.0 or 1.0 slot
Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP/2003 and later

Booting: Supports booting in Windows (Vista & Window 7) with AHCI mode enabled in the BIOS. Does NOT support booting on any Macintosh platform..

Warranty: 3 year warranty

Setup

As seen above, the card can be used in a Windows and Mac enviroment.

The only difference is that on a windows maschine you can actually use its HotSwap capabilities, a feature Apple does not provide (not yet or will never provide :)).

Installation is simple, locate a free unused PCIe 2.0 slot and insert the MAXPower card.

The card will run with a PCIe 1.0 card slot, but that will limit your maximum bandwith to 250 MB/s.

Close up your PC and boot. Install the drivers from the Installation CD.

On a Mac you must have all external eSata drives or enclosures " powered up" or the system will not recognize them!

Management

The card makes it really easy to manage everything through its web interface. You connect to it via a local webserver (https://localhost:7406)

The frontpage showes you logical devices and the actual physical drives connected to the system.

From here you can create new RAID arrays and rescan for new drives attached to the card.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

Device Management

The section allows you to list current attached drives and safely unplug them. It allows you to enable or disable the Read Ahead, Write Cache and NCQ (Native Command Queuing). NCQ is porvided by the harddrive and allows to internally optimize read and write commands, reducing the head movement and slight decreased wear of the drive.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

Array Management

I will only give you a short overview of the Array Management right now, as we will be diving into the different configurations, when we actually showcase and talk about the different RAID levels.

The Array management requires available disks that can be assigned to the new array.

You choose your array type, name, block size, cache policy and capacity in MB.

There are three ways to initialize the array,
quick, foreground or background initialization. Background initialization allows the volume to be created and be utilized at the same time, while a foreground initilization might take hours, depending on the size of the volumes, before it can be used.

For optimal performance you should always use drives with matching size and performance, ideally from the same manfucturer.

I will be updating this section with further details, when we testdrive all RAID options, including the JBOD configuration for external enclosures.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

Events

The event section gives you a log of event messages, that lists any errors or failing disks.
portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

Task

The task section allows you to schedule regular health checks for your drives, making sure that all drives are error free and operate properly.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

Settings

The settings provide access to the rebuild settings. Rebuilding is required if a RAID disk fails and has been exchanged. This allows you to set the priority.

You can also configure SMTP Settings for mail notifications, that are sent out when something fails within your setup. Event levels are information, warnings and actual errors.

I will be getting back to this aswell, once we go over every configuration seperately and force some errors :)

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

Storage Health

One of the most important areas is the health section of your drives. Each drives SMART checks are monitored and accessed through the card, including the current temperature.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

First Impression

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |The card from Newer Technology is an inexpensive solution to get you started with a solid high-speed RAID configuration. Installation and setup are simple and can be mastered by anyone. The port multiplier support was a "must have" for us and is provided.

The smart monitoring keeps a close eye on my system and provides another level of security for my future RAID setup.

This is my first experience with a Newer Technology product and I can safely recommend it to anyone that wants to dive into RAID setups and searches for a solid Mac compliant eSata RAID controller card.
Overall two thumbs up so far.

I can not talk about peformace yet, as we are just starting to build up our RAID structure.

I will keep you posted about our progress here.

Newertechnology MAX Power eSata 6G PCIe 2.0 Controller Card

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17. May 2011

cubicFusion Lite 2.0

cubicFusion Lite gets an update to 2.0. Updated to Smarty 3 and the latest jQuery release.

Just did a clean new site prototype for a customer in less than 4 days :) Just shows how powerful your own little toolset can be. 
I have used the Zend Framework and many other frameworks in the past, but for medium to small projects they are mostly just an overkill.

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19. February 2011

Easy way to build mobile apps

Appcelerator allows you to quickly develop apps for mobile devices, iOS, Android and many others.

Currently looking at this and some other solutions out there, to find the best way to optimize mobile development output.
I have been working with Objective-C for some time now, but the one platform approach is not enough for me. I am a huge Android fan, but no big fan of Java :)
So will see what solution might come close to what I need.

Will keep you posted.

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As our core system is a Mac Pro running Snow Leopard 10.6.6, we had to look for a suitable eSata Raid controller card that would allow us to test external RAID enclosures (port multiplier) as well.

We will be showcasing many different setups and dive into RAID configurations as deep as needed ;) The first video segment will be airing soon, in German only.

Now to our guest today, the Newer Technology MAXPower 6G PCIe eSata RAID controller card.

Review

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19. February 2011

Site cleanup

Currently cleaning up the site a bit, to make room for things to come in the future :)

Besides my regular work stuff, portalZINE TV is currently eating up all my time. 
I am actively working on new things for jQuery and just released a new internal version of my PHP Framework “cubicFusion”. 

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19. February 2011

Horizontal accordion

I know that some are wondering, if I am still here. Yes I am :) 

I get many emails asking me, if I could update that or do that for them. 
Sorry, but I am concentrating on other projects right now, that support my family.  
Many use the horizontal accordion for commercial projects, but never really thought about giving something back. 
Some sent me $1 or even less in the past, which not really motivates me to extend or fix the available codebase ;) This hardly gets me a cup of coffee ;)
I have been working on it internally, but have no open updates planned for the near future.
Cheers
Alexander

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Imagick allows you to easily add a gradient to an image.

// The gradient
$gradient = new Imagick();

// Create new Image with size x, size y, “gradient start – gradient end
$gradient->newPseudoImage( 930,20,”gradient:transparent-#838383″);

// $im would be the canvas or image you loaded before. This merges both, the image gradient at position x, position y
$im->compositeImage( $gradient, imagick::COMPOSITE_OVER, 0, 240 );

This can easily be transformed to create a reflection, by mirroring the original and applying the the gradient to the mirrored image.

Cheers
Alexander

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If you plan to upgrade from Magento 1.0 to 1.4, be prepared for some heavy lifting. Just finished a client upgrade who didnt do any upgrades for over 2 years. Not doing that ever again.

Might even stick with 1.3, as many of the old modules behave badly under 1.4.

Magento is a massive solution, but community support via Varien sucks big time. So anybody that is not ready to dig into code, should use another solution or find someone that can help.

Cheers

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Really need to find some gaming time again. really hoped for Diablo 3 this year, but as we all know that was moved to next year ;)

I should be thankful to Blizzard, as that keeps me focused on my work LOL

A neighbour took me to the side yesterday and told me that live is to short to only focus on work. Yeah well still working on my 4-hour Work week plan (Timothy Ferriss) ;)

My workload has been intense in the past months and not sure how long I really want to keep that up any more.

That is what E3 and summer does to me LOL

Take care and dont work to much.

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Thanks for all the nice comments over at the Horizontal Accordion section.

Really hope to be able to find some time soon, to deal with some much needed upgrades to the script. I fixed the anti-aliasing problem in IE on the example page, just make sure to add a background colour to the container ;)

I have been busy with many things over at portalZINE TV and a huge upgrade for a client. Also preparing new distribution channels right now for a mobile platform and satellite :)  Yeah sounds huge, but still has to deliver financially :) Seems to be my karma, always giving more than I get back LOL

Enjoying summer and parts of the WM, not a big soccer fan :)

Cheers to you all and talk to you soon.

 

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