Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Book Review: A Complaint Free World

I first heard about Will Bowen’s book A Complaint Free World when I read this post by Tim Ferris. The concept behind the book is blisteringly simple: see if you can go 21 days without complaining, gossiping or criticising. If you lapse at any point then reset the day-count to zero and start over again. Bowen’s theory is that, once you have managed 21days, then not complaining will have become a habit. He also makes a compelling case to say that if you stop complaining you will be a more successful and happy person.

I’m going to try it. In fact, I’ve already started. I mean, what is there to lose? Either I feel even better after 21 days or I don’t in which case I can throw the book in the bin with nothing lost. Initially I thought “21 days – how hard can it be?”

As it turns out, harder than you might imagine. Continue reading


Recovery vs. Availability: Why RAID May Not Be the Answer

Recently I decided to get a new home PC and, being the geekoid that I am, I just couldn’t resist building it myself. Before starting one key concern I had was my exposure to a hard drive failure: I use my home PC to store a large collection of photos and music that I wouldn’t like to lose.

So what to do? Simple, I thought, RAID protects against hard drive failure and a sexy RAID5 array with three 500GB hard drives will give me a cool 1TB of recoverable storage. And with that in mind I ordered all my components.

PC Build #1 (AKA Plan A)

Once all my parts arrived I put together my PC with a RAID5 array as planned. For those that don’t know, RAID5 provides resilience by spreading the data across two drives and writing parity to the third. See this Wikipedia entry for a good overview of all RAID levels.

As a test I disconnected one of the drives and sure enough everything kept running. But then a thought hit me: what if my RAID controller failed? Continue reading