The End of a Great Week, End.

I dare say that spring has sort of sprung, albeit the weather is still on cool side. The year’s accumulation of snow is melting fast, as our temperatures climb higher. Rain is in nextweek’s forecast, so will accelerate the melting of the snow. For example, to hit 15C in down town Terrace, BC, and we had high clouds with periods of Sun light poking through. So getting out was on everyone’s mind, and with that, the country side was loaded with people as they ventured around. 

So last week was a busy one, as it was a short week for most, I worked the holiday, as my employer does not recognize a few of religious holidays. Once Friday rolled by, it was sweet pure relief to start this weekend. Last we were getting periods of snow, this week appears to be the warm up. However, since this is the North Coast, once there is full on spring, there is full on rain, what I call the deluge season. Once the rain starts, then spring has kicked in, and behind that the torrents of mosquitoes. But enough of all this bad news, lets talk about the a good stuff…

Saturday was the 2018 North West Wellness Expo Workshops, where Suzette helped here friends out at the “Peace Infusion” booth. This year, it was held up at the Terrace Sportsplex Arena, where there were fifty other society’s, groups and businesses set up. Suzette loved it. While she stayed at the booth, I watched a moving on meditation, which was about an hour long. It was good. And I think Suzette had a great time at the booth too. I have a great photo of her there, but I want to get her permission before I post it here.

Today, (Sunday) was more of a casual day for us. We did not meet up until 2:00pm, as we both had our morning chores to do. One time on today’s agenda was a strip to the Ice cream Building. Not sure what the name of the company that operates it, but it sure was nice to have a slew of awesome flavours on a waffle cone, on a nice 15C afternoon. We did a bit of shopping to. Suzette bought some more seeds at Canadian Tire like potatoes, onions, more flowers and we hit the Dollar Store too.

Looking forward to the news week, and spring. I have holidays soon, so looking at deciding what to do with the time off from work. I have plans, but nothing scribed in stone yet.

Life Goes On–Blue Skies Ahead

Great news, if you are living on the North Coast, we are at the leading edge of a possible week’s worth of awesome, but cool, weather! The snow seems to be behind us now, as a nice high pressure area parked above us, and will hold for a while. But enough about the weather, let us talk about life, mainly my life. It is going good. On all accounts, I would say, things are moving along quite nicely. The job is awesome, I am meeting new people all the time and the money is good. The leaps and bounds I have made here are impressive comparing it to my time spent down in the Lower Mainland–life is good.

In typical North Coast fashion, the days are getting longer quite noticeably. Already, at 7:00am, I noticed the sky getting lighter, and by 8:00am, it is practically daylight. I remember the spring seasons from my younger days, and spring hit with a bang. Though at least three weeks behind South, the spring season erupts with explosions of green as the trees ignite their buds all at once. I am waiting for that moment—with camera in hand.

With my holidays booked for the year, it seems that this will be the very first job in which I get mandatory vacation time within six months blocks. When I asked to submit my holiday time, I had only a a couple weeks to figure what times I wanted. The only caveat was that it meshes with the person who flies up North to cover my time away. Other than that, I had free rein of choosing when, not by some complicated formula on a calendar.

Before I forget, the computer is better than what I expected. The faster RAM and CPU are awesome. My rendering times for 3D Graphics are a lot faster. In a way, I should of done this earlier when I was doing simple animations. The image in this post took less than fifteen seconds at 500 samples in Cycles on Blender at 1080 pixels.

So, to wrap it up, today is looking great as I start the weekend. Once the stores open, I am going to do some shopping and perhaps buy some lamps for the apartment. It needs more light.

Back Up and Running!

It works! I am typing this post out on my main PC, and it feels so good. I just got this machine (PC) running a few minutes ago, as I was waiting for my RAM, 8G, DDR4 chips set, that arrived in the mail today. Luckily all my hardware and software works with it too! I am so freaking happy about this. OH, yeah, the weather–need to talk about that too. Oh my,  the weather is just as freaky as my happiness right now. But Ya, I have my good computer working again. Feels so nice.

Back to my personal computer news. So it is confirmed, I killed the main board. So I had to buy another one. Sadly, my old main board is no longer made any more. Along with it, I went for newer CPU too, and then the RAM. The price of RAM is through the roof–all due to Bitcoin Miners–I should point out. I went with upgrading instead of trying to replace everything with totally new gear. I kept the specs as close as I could being that I was trying to recover my hard drive in process. It all paid off! Not only do I have a faster main board with a faster CPU, but the RAM is fast too, and it works flawlessly with the way my hard drive is–OS and all. I did a benchmark render with my 3D software to test out the hardware, and I noticed the render time is about twenty to thirty per cent faster then before with my old hardware. This is awesome–$300.00 of awesomeness.

OK, the weather around here has been unreal, at least for me. People who were born here, this was–meh–whatever. Since January 28, 2018, we have had well over 110cm of total snow fall. The worst was on Friday, when we had over 48cm of snow in twenty-four hours. However, today was just as weird as well. The snow started late last night, and we were only forecasted to have a sprinkle of 10cm of snow. Instead, we had a dump of over 20cm, but it came down hard, and I feared that we were looking at another February 9th dump. The big difference was, we got up to 4C. But this was when it got weird. South Terrace, BC was getting snow, while East Terrace was getting hard compact snow, though only 8 to 10cm. It was Thornhill, BC, just across the river, where it was raining–hard. Right now, there are patches of blue sky, and my home thermometer says 4C, and the rain/snow has stopped.

So, back to my playing on PC! Yay!

Computer Crash – Motherboard Died

Well, just as luck would have it, my main PC died. It appears that the main board on it died, so I wait for parts that I had to order. Right now I am using my laptop, which is very slow, and I hate typing on it–the keys are so weird. Anyway, I tried to find parts here in town, but none of the local stores had anything close to what I needed.

The CPU seems OK, but no one in town has a main board that fits my AMD 3+ CPU. So on-line I went. It took me about three minutes to find what I needed, but the wait will be a nail-biter. Sadly I have no idea how long it will take for the parts to arrive.

Salvaging what I have, should save me a bit of cash. I noticed that RAM was through the roof. My contact in Richmond, BC told me that the RAM prices are so much because of the BitCoin Data miners buying up the good RAM. It appears that 8G of good RAM is almost a hundred bucks now! Unreal!

I hope I can get my system back up and running soon.

Added Some More Photos!

I spent the morning today cleaning up my Weblog. It needed it, and non too soon, I must say. I cleared about 1.5GB of old photo files that I felt have out-lived their time, and perhaps should be left in the archives, and presented another time and day. Plus, I fixed up my photo galleries–that in itself was a monumental task as well–gobbling up three-quarters my morning from that alone. And the rest of my time was spent doing cosmetic work, and basic editing in places where it needed it.

The photos I uploaded onto my Blog are from just a few weeks ago, on the last day of the 2017. Me and Suzette went out to Lakelse Lake and took a walk out on the ice. I put the slidewhow of it here in the post, but if you want to see in a lager format, look to the side menu, and find “North Coast Terrace British Columbia” under “The Photo Gallery,” and from there the photos should be about 900 x 600 pixels in size.

A huge problem I had was having to relearn how my Photo Gallery plug-ins worked…, again. I am kind of kicking myself becuase I had forgotten how most of the functions worked. Also, terminology, and the software’s semantics, used in some of the help files threw me off. I got through it, laughing a little, keeping it all in good humour.

Now Comes Warmer Weather; Me Gets the Snow-Shove Ready

The rumour is, some snow is on the way. Right now, we are in the tail end of an arctic outflow weather pattern that has plunged us back into the deep-freeze, but not as bad as before. Hopefully, by tomorrow, we should start to see it warm up a bit, maybe taking us to just above the freezing mark. We can hope. But sadly, the weather prognosticators say some snow is in the forecast as well, as the next weather system is part of the Pineapple Express that will hit the coast.

Hard to say as what I should do. Get the show shovel ready, or the umbrella. Either way, there is a change coming in the weather pattern, and it could be nasty.

As you can see, I brought Mr Egghead back. It has been nearly six months since I last used him here on the Blog, so I thought it was time to bring him back. Actually, I totally redid him in 3D Blender, becuase most of the files I had before were missing from my last hard drive crash back in November, 2017. He has arms now, and I redid his armature for a more streamlined pose when animating him. I still have a more work to do, but I had some time to kill this afternoon, so I worked on Mr Egghead.

A Cool and Cuddly Passed Weekend

So it is Wednesday, or “hump day,” as I sometimes call a typical Wednesday, and with it, the happiness knowing it is the halfway point in the workweek where we are moving towards the next weekend, a sense of hope that Friday is getting nearer. So, having said all that, what I wrote below, was written last Sunday, and rewritten Monday night, with proof reading and corrections done. So forgive me on my past tents, and wondering sense of time, in my use of grammar. This is, after all, my personal Weblog, so I get to make up the rules as I see fit, yet trying to conform to the standards that I was taught.

Friday night is somewhat a night to myself. I did my laundry, cleaned up a bit around the apartment, and prepared for tomorrow.  I have a couple of emails to send out, and some matters on Evil-Bay that are pending. Mostly, my online to-do list is small this week. It is the month-end, so I paid all of my Bills on-line (November 30), and made sure that my Bank statement balanced out with my records; it all works out, right down to the penny (though Canada no longer has pennies). I also bought a large size bar of chocolate–do not tell–it was my treat for a week well done. Somehow, chocolate has gripped my needs and wants in the food department. For the record, chocolate is not just a “Female” food, we Males get the cravings too. 🙂

Saturday was spent working on the PC, getting it’s software all up to date and fixing some of the on going bugs that have popped up in the last couple of days. Then I spent the rest of the morning reading some Court Documents that I want to study. These are rather touchy for most folks who live in and around the North Coast of British Columbia, so I will not include any details here on the Weblog. But, I did spent over six hours pouring over them, and I learned a lot. But having said that, I see even the Courts are a long ways from finishing this matter, as there are so many questions still yet to be answered. About high noon, Suz., called, and said she is on her way to pick me up, as we wanted to check out the weekend’s community craft events. The craft fair at the Kitsumkalum Centre was the best one, in my humble opinion, as it was packed and had more goodies to offer. In all, we had a great time. To end the night off, it was movie night at Suz.’s place. A fun and relaxing evening, even the Cats enjoyed curling up on my lap, playing chaperone on the couch, as we watched the show.

Sunday was spent with more morning reading, though not as deep as the morning before, but the rest of the Court Documents that I had with me, I finished. Later on, the plan was having dinner with Suz., and her parents, as we were celebrating her birthday. The dinner was awesome, and I was very full. We had Chinese at the Golden Star Restaurant, in down town Terrace. I have to plug this place because they are great, and me and Suz., go there often. Then I left for home early, so I could have a great start for Monday at my work. 

This was an abbreviated version of my weekend. So much more happened, of course, but this is all I need to write. I would also like to add that my car went five weeks before I needed to fill it up with fuel, and my heating bill was under seventy-five dollars (electric heat). Now I know we are getting ripped-off down in the Lower Mainland as far as bad Land Lords and local Governments goes. Shame on you! Just so glad I moved away from all that nonsense. But, you all have a great week, and as always, “stay out of trouble.”

Slush, and the 3D Printer

As the title says, slush seems to be the word of the day, as the weather warmed up to the point that we had rain on melting snow, where lakes are forming in back yards. Just messy! Also, last night, me a Suz., went to the 3D printing gathering at the Terrace, BC Library to get citified to used the printer there. So a happy and exciting day mixed in with the wet and messy outside of an early winter season. Yes, driving around was nice until you had to get out and walk on the sidewalks.

The weather has changed to the extreme yet again as we now move into rainy days, with warmer temperatures, after the 50 plus centimeters of snow from a few days ago that still sits on the ground. Now, I have to say, snow removal here in the Skeena Valley is far superior to what I experienced down in the Fraser Valley. Roads are clear, and most public driveways are completely bare from snow, with snow banks safely pushed away off the roads ways. Driving a small car through the streets of Terrace has been awesome. But, if you are a “walker,” then you might be a little disappointed, as the majority of walkways and sidewalks are either untouched, or flooded with melting snow and rain. Most people walk on the roads anyway, so as a driver, you really need to watch out for pedestrians, especially at night.

Last night, me and Suz., headed down to the public library in Terrace to get our certification for 3D printing at their facility.  The Terrace Public Library held a certification program for their 3D printer where we were given a tutorial on how to create and print our 3D creations. More or less, the theme of last night’s meeting was just to get you “up and running” with the printer. The instructor did not go into any details on using software for creating 3D objects, but rather just covering the different types of software that the printer uses, and where you can find free stuff to print from various websites. We had a short demonstration, seeing the printer work, and a bunch of 3D printed objects that were printed by it, but over all, I have a more clearer idea of 3D printing, and whether or not I want to buy one. We had a great night there.

…and I have a library card too! 

Fixed the Broken Hard Drive

After nearly two weeks, and many frustrating hours, I recovered about ninety-three percent of my data from the broken hard drive. What I lost did cost me, some valuable files, and my emails were mostly complete, but they suffered too as the archive file had to rebuilt with a loss of about four percent. Just to create the four tare-byte image took one hundred and twenty-six hours. Then another eighty hours to recover the data from the image. I had to buy a six terabyte hard drive just to capture the image onto it with. So, a lot of patients, worrying and money.

The program I used is called Testdisk, a mainly Linux command program that runs on the Terminal. The idea is to clone the hard drive, one byte at a time, into an image onto another hard drive. The programs ignores any bad sectors, and will keep copying until the whole drive is done–including the empty spaces. Once done, I can begin extracting the data left in the image on a healthy drive. This usually takes less time than creating the image, but still, a four terabyte drive is huge; a time vampire.

I was impressed at how much data I was able to get. I had about nine hundred and eighty gigabytes worth of data, and was able to recover nearly nine hundred and sixty. Not bad at all considering the damage to the drive. The hard drive would not mount–period.

Now, I should point out that the file structure was corrupted, so Testdisk was not able to create that for me, so any files that were recovered was renamed, and almost randomly placed in order of the placement from the image. But the key main files I wanted were found. In fact, files that were deleted, were also recovered. That was freaky to see. So remember, when you thought you deleted something, think again. Unless you copied over top of it, the file is still on your hard drive.

I am still a little sore about having the hard drive crash on me–OK, a little angry and foolish–it was an emotional time. The external hard drive was almost brand new, maybe less than five hours on it. But at least I could recover most of the data–thinking positive.

Next time, two back up copies, and use drives that I know are in good condition. Even though upgrades are fairly routine with me, I should have take more precautions. Maybe even transferring valuable data onto a live PC for good measure.

Rescuing The Dead Hard-Drive

Two weeks ago, I started an upgrade on my main PC, totally redoing the operating system, and starting with a fresh machine. I wiped the hard-drive, and installed the latest version of Linux Mint. Like a good user, I backed up my data, including my web browser’s data, email and four other programs I use often. Everything was going tick-it-eey-boo, until it came time to add the data files back to my PC. I posted on this before last week about my broken four terabyte external hard-drive. 

 Today, my brand new six terabyte internal hard-drive arrived! So the work began. I knew my data was on the four terabyte expansion drive, but it had dead sectors on it, preventing it from mounting. The only way was to either fix it, or try and crudely recover what data I could get from it. I could not fix the bad sectors. Also it was not enough to extract the files; my files I wanted were to big for Testdisk/Photorec to work. On my PC, I had a one terabyte drive, so not enough to image the expansion drive. Now with the six terabyte drive, I can image four terabytes with no troubles.

Let use pause for a moment. I have tried several forensic software programs in the past. When I was in university, I had access to the same programs as the Government had, sometimes even better. I concluded that the Linux forensic programs worked just as good as what the university had as far as data extraction goes. Instead of a nice fancy GUI, in Linux you use command-line software. In the end, I found that running this sort recovery software through a terminal is way better, and being “free” does not hurt either.

So let me introduce you to Testdisk. I will not go into how the program works here, but it is good and powerful. I think it is very straight foreword, but it will be very intimidating to the first tine user–but fear not! 

Recovering four terabytes is a long…, (make that a) “very long” process. The analysis of the drive took nearly one hundred and twenty hours. So far, imaging the drive, at twenty-five percent, has taken ten hours. So this is something you let run in the background, and make sure you turn off all power saving settings on your PC when you go to bed. 

So hopefully, by Thursday, I will have my data. I will write a post after I have completed this process. I think there are not enough help files to guide people through this. So stay tuned.