Backups and Things to Put Them In

19 November 2011

It dawned on me about a month ago that in the whole time I’d had my desktop, I’d never done a full backup. Which doesn’t sound like the end of the world, until I realise I brought Karexi in February 2010. That’s a whole lot of data to lose.

Backups on SilverDragon involved about 3 days of tidying up files and swapping out CD-R’s, so I can’t say it’s a job I particularly look forward to doing. Which may explain why I put it off for so long. But it all seems a bit daft when you realise Windows 7 has an automatic backup facility which just requires plugging in a portable hard drive on the right day of the week and leaving it to it. To be honest I’ve never been a fan of the thought of using hard drives as a backup medium, but seeing as my track record proves I probably wouldn’t bother most of the time it’s better than nothing, as long as I remember to crack a DVD out every now and then just in case. So one quick trip to Staples and a portable hard drive later, everything was backed up. Yay.

I’m sure we all know by now what another new toy means; time to make a new case to put it in! I rather liked this <a href=””>iPod Nano Case Tutorial by Petchy</a> so I went with that, adding an extra pocket in for the USB cable. This design doesn’t hide the side seams like I usually do, so I liked the idea of trying something different.

Aaaaand that was over a month ago. My iron was messed up for a bit so I couldn’t finish it and then I put it off for ages but it’s finally done.

Portable Drive Case 1

Everything I’ve touched this afternoon has given me grief, and this case was no exception. Sticking the extra pocket in and sandwiching the felt between two pieces of fabric with interfacing on the outside layer made it too thick to go through the sewing machine. I couldn’t handsew it because with the side seam stitches visible backstitch would look too messy on the reverse side. So I had to take the whole thing apart and cut the felt down small enough to clear the seams.

Portable Drive Case 2

I also screwed up the ribbon, stiching it under the side seam at first and having to unpick the whole side, and when I finally got it in it’s 5mm too long. I must’ve caught it on something when trying to sneak the stiching in underneath. But it doesn’t matter, it’s not like this drive is destined to spend much time on the move so having the top flap a bit loose is something I can live with.

I’m a stupid perfectionist so there’s a lot of things about this case I could pick holes in but screw that, positive thinking time; I love the blue fabric, and it’s finished! Yeah, that’ll do.

Portable Drive Case 3

As an aside I have no idea what the lining fabric says; it’s French, has matrices, Pythagoras triangle geometry drawings and the odd refence to Nottredame on it but I never did figure it out.

The Mopani Root Monster

6 November 2011

I’ve always wanted wood in my tank, but decided against it due to the sheer amount of time and mucking about it takes to prepare the stuff. It seemed like too much hassle when getting the tank started. But it’s been a while since then, and when I spotted a nicely shaped piece of mopani root for £1.99 in an outlet store I brought it home and stuck it in a bucket, where it’s spent the last month soaking.

Mopani Root - Top View

Submerged wood releases tannins, which turns water into the colour of tea. The purpose of pre-soaking the wood is to extract as much of the colour as possible before the wood goes into the main tank. It’s been a pain in the butt changing the water in the bucket day in day out, but it’s finally got the the point where the worst of it is out and the root is ready to go in the tank. It will still continue to release tannins into the water so there will be a permenant brown tinge, I’ll have to see what I think of that. I’ve got some unused bags of carbon from the old filter I can chuck in if I need to which should remove the colour from the water if it’s too powerful.

Mopani Root - Side View

Fishies were somewhat apprehensive of the giant dark brown sprawling monster that has taken up residence in the centre of their tank, but while I’ve been pulling the terrible photos off my camera Kio’s gone in for a closer look. I thought I’d have to keep an eye on them to see if they get used to it, but I think it’s okay. I’ve tied what’s left of the Java Fern onto it; the plant hasn’t been doing well and I haven’t figured out why yet. It’s an absolute pain tying knots in cotton with cold hands, but I think the end result was worth it.

Pictures another time; artificial light and camera aren’t playing ball.