#2 Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: RAID, UnRAID, Wuala, HTPC’s and Streaming Media

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From the Guys who brought you the Home Tech Podcast, and a production of the Average Guy Network, Rich’s RPG is a weekly show about the world of technology hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil. Using Google+ hangout to meet up with technology guys and gals, they discuss whatever is hot, current or frustrating them at the moment. No outlines, no agenda, no worries.

This week, Rich and Jim are joined once again by Mike Howard ofjpeg2RAW fame. Rich and Mike talk about general RAID configurations, settings and hardware that they use with their respective home servers. Rich, new to RAID, is using a HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 in his Windows Home Server 2011 machine, while Mike uses a SuperMicro SATA card in his UnRAID server. What is UnRAID, you ask? From the Lime Tech web site:

“unRAID Server is an embedded Network Attached Storage server Operating System designed to boot from a USB Flash device and specifically designed for digital media storage.”

Basically, UnRAID does not stripe the parity of an array across all drives as a RAID5 does, but rather assigns one fixed drive as the parity drive. It also does not stripe data across the drives as RAID5 does, but rather writes files in their entirety to a single drive which is NTFS formatted and easily readable on any system. The down side of UnRAID is that the performance (the writes, anyway) is lower than a single drive’s. This is because parity calculations are being done at the same time. Overall, though, UnRAID is a pretty robust storage solution.

Ever thought about backing up to the cloud but hesitate because of the cost of online storage? Jim and Mike talk about using Wuala to create a free backup network using your friends’ PC’s.

If you’ve ever been watching Netflix and had Windows updates break in on the movie, you understand that an HTPC and Windows Updates do not mix. Rich tries to convince Jim to shut off Windows Updates, along with other app updates such as Flash. If you don’t use your HTPC to browse the Internet, and most people, Rich suggests managing updates manually or skipping them altogether. This’ll put an end to annoying interruptions and increase WAF.

In the show this week: Mike Howard, Jim Collison, RIch O’Neil

Jim’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jcollison

Contact the show at podcast@theaverageguy.tv

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Intro and Exit Music used by permission from “"In the Shadow Of The Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos