Unsolved problems

Unsolved problems

What better day than New Year’s Day to compile a list of problems and annoyances that weren’t solved in 2012, just as the years before.

  1. The storage dilemma
  2. The Windows problem
  3. The movie problem

The storage dilemma

This one’s probably more a personal problem than one of mankind, but that doesn’t make it less complicated, at least for me :)

In a perfect world, I’d have all my data on all my devices, encrypted and also backupped.

A bold claim, but it won’t work:

  • My main machine has enough disk space, most of my devices don’t
  • My laptops are encrypted, my main machine and my phone aren’t
  • I can’t keep a basement file server like I used to have, the flat has no room for it
  • Said file server would have too bad a connection to make my “own private cloud”
  • I’m not putting all my data onto a dedicated server out of my physical reach, for cost and paranoia reasons
  • I do keep backups, but I’m not really sure everything will work or is backupped
  • I probably fail at backups like everyone else, having too many copies of some data and too few of other data

So, where do I stand now?

  • Everything written (emails, text) is stored in git or somewhere with daily off-site backups, that’s a start
  • At least for Linux boxes, my homedir is in git, stripped of all sensitive information (a pain in itself, but it works)
  • Main machine gets backupped sporadically, most annoying is the MP3 collection of all my CDs/digital purchases, as it is quite large
  • I totally fail at backupping anything Windows-related. Too much registry voodoo and special files, plus savegames being put anywhere
  • Firefox and Chrome sync are a good start, plus keeping bookmarks at pinboard.in and RSS in Google Reader

Oh, and while the solution to this problem is already easy or done to some, I simply can’t foresee how I can solve it without a huge investment of time, money and restructuring year-old workflows.

The Windows problem

So, my main machine and one other machine (desktop workstations) are running Windows 7, as they’re mostly used for playing Games. As mentioned above this presents a lot of problems, first and foremost lack of encryption (my last test of TrueCrypt for full disk encryption didn’t end well) and second, backups.

  • Games I play don’t run on Linux, for the most part
  • I don’t have a problem with Windows per se, just that I can’t work - all non-Java development at home happens via PuTTY + VIM
  • There’s still the security problem and booting up a Linux box for every homebanking use really sucks

For many people I know these and other reasons led to an exodus to pure console gaming, but I’ve noticed that it’s not for me.

I do have an Xbox 360 S and am quite happy with it, actually, but all of the games I’ve played most in all the years are PC titles. Since 2004 (iirc) most of my gaming time is used up my MMORPGs, a typical PC genre. I’m also running those windowed whenever I can and my second screen is for irc, browser, mail and all the other usual things. This is also why I’m not worried at all by the hugely inflated /played number on some of my WoW characters. It’s just not 100% gaming time for me, I’ll often leave the client running for hours just chatting with a few people from time to time. That said, those /played numbers still look horribly high ;) But as I said, The Xbox 360 is fun, but as with the GameBoy Advanced before it and the SNES before that I’m just not the die-hard console games freak. Before I played MMOs I mostly played EgoShooters, which didn’t even exist at the time (according to Wikipedia, Halo 1 was released in November 2001).

Oh, and I didn’t even mention how I switched on my Xbox a few days ago to play a new game, only to be greeted by Error 68 (broken HDD) and am still unsure whether I’ll get to keep my Savegames on the USB stick after replacing the disk. (I lost them once already because on the second day the first USB stick I had used now only contained garbage…) Just got it working again, btw. \o/

The movie problem

I used to be an avid watcher of movies, but recently do not enjoy it as much. From time to time I end up buying DVDs for Movies with the real intent to watch them as soon as possible, but most end up not being watched for months.

Yep, I’ve already cut that back, so I spent around 20 EUR for 3 DVDs in 2012 and even watched one of them already, that’s hardly worth mentioning in terms of money, but I still wonder why this development happened and why the interest is still strong enough to think watching a certain movie might be a good idea. Which it usually is, can’t remember ever buying a movie (or going to the cinema) and hating it.

Conclusion

So, that was one major problem, one annoyance and one nitpicking, so I’d say I’m pretty thankful there’s not more to rant about right now (although it could be fun…)