we’re sadly dumping Drobo: recent problems, issues, nightmares

8 bay drobo unit and the 3rd generation drobo 4 bay unit

as you can imagine all this data, material and clips are stored somewhere. that somewhere was a drobo. we’ve been huge fans of drobo from day one. our current 3rd generation drobos served us well for years, and it was a genius solution. they allowed easy upgrades on drives and gave us dual protection we desperately needed with their proprietary RAID software. everyone we knew in the fashion and creative industry used them and swore by them. what we all didn’t know was the nightmare that was awaiting us.

i remember the day we bought our first of 3 drobo’s we now have, i asked the salesperson, “so you guys will continue to be around for some time, right?” i was concerned from day one that this proprietary RAID software could become an issue, simply because its proprietary. for those of you who don’t understand what that means, here it is, the layman’s version:

your drives can be read by your drobo, but once removed from the drobo they become expensive bricks, and your data is forever unreadable. unlike other drives were your data is simply accessible by any enclosure, with your drobo only drobo software can read the data. this is fine as long as drobo stays current with Mac and PC OS updates and continues to solve issues. it’s a problem if they don’t. they kept it running smoothly for years but apparently no more. calls, emails to drobo support have left us with no solution.

were not sure if drobo was originally the brainchild of some wiz who built this great brand, and sold it or left and now the current company couldn’t give a toss about its products that they’ve sold to us all, but its simply a horrible outcome. this is not some tech gadget you can throw away. your life’s work resides here and if you care about your data you should seriously reconsider where you’re going to store it off of the drobo.

drobo known problems and issues: (and you can google this and read others who are pulling their hair out now) – here’s what happened. your drobo icon on your desktop suddenly “greys” out or ghosts. in a few weeks the drobo icon disappears, gone missing from the desktop. drobo simply doesn’t mount. we managed to tap into the data by jerry-rigging it and could see it in apples disc utility but you could not get it to mount. now don’t bother telling drobo about the issues. a) they say they never heard of this and are not aware of it, meaning its an isolated case and b) even when we explained the issue and forwarded them the links to others having the same problem they could not give a damn. we’ve spent over 7 weeks trying to address this with drobo management and since no one but drobo can access the software code or understand it we have no other means to remedy the problem.

the initial calls to support resulted in nothing and we were eventually passed on to higher support via email ticketing.

drobo: “i know this may sound silly but on a new install of a Mac OSX the the connected server drives are hidden until re-enabled through the finder prefs.” we responded by: “yes, naturally this is checked as “on/ active’ in finder”

8 days later pass-the-buck and delay tactics:

drobo: “sorry for the delay. you are not connected to both firewire and Iscsi ? the drobo can only be connected with one option only. how is your IP managed DHCP or static ? whats the subnet mask ? can you tell me the version of your java?” we responded with: “connection: -we are only connected with firewire. IP: – we do not have a static ip for our internet, if that is what you are asking. but i can’t see how this relates to drobo, if the drobo have an ip, please let us know how to check. subnet mask: – we have googled this, but not sure how to find this out, please let us know what to check for and we will do so. java:- we have java 7 update 45”

no response to the above answers that we gave, they then asked us to switch firewire to usb and restart drobo even though we explained that we had our IT on the case and all standard tests were done. then it took them another week in between emails to respond. we had to send an email a week after asking what happened. finally they sent us this response:

drobo: “have you attempted to start from scratch (erase your data) and reconfigure your drop or at least revisit the steps? i would skim through the online users guide to match up screens” (they gave us a link to the drobo manual!!!!! unbelievable)”

getting nowhere with their uninterested staff and delayed tactics, we finally called drobo back via phone. we explained that the physical unit is in perfect condition and that there is clearly an issue now with the OSX updates and drobo proprietary software. we inquired if they were going to update the dashboard software and/or firmware any time soon? and if so in how long? we obviously cant wait for months with this problem… the gentleman told us that as of “yesterday” (i guess they finally realized the problem is wide), drobo will no longer issue updates for this unit and they recommended that we just buy a new one… which of course they will no longer support at some point! really great strategy guys, especially the “as of yesterday we no longer support your unit” line. we will surely spend our next hard earned $1,000+ on your product!!! really disappointing for a company that was so welcomed in our community. we’ve given up on drobo and will be on the search for a simpler system/enclosure. by ts

the jaguar xj6c: the ultimate coup

“the xj6c, the rare collectible classic, remains one of, if not the best value for money classic cars available today.”

if there is one car to own before you die it is the jaguar xj6c sports coupe. it is so extremely well proportioned i could call it one of my most favorite cars. its not as famous as the classic e-type series I, II, or II but for me its a lesser appreciated child who is just as smart and handsome. a silver with a black roof will do me just fine. be prepared to change the entire engine, electrical system but otherwise your set to cruise in style.

some history on the xjc: “the xjc is a two door version of the xj6 four door. it was the last jaguar car to be designed and built by sir william lyons. in 1969, he took a reject 2.8 litre rhd xj6 body shell (to become #1 prototype) and fashioned it into the xjc. it was tried with both 4.2 and 5.3 engines with both versions becoming known as xj33 or xj34, depending on which engine was fitted at the time. this number one prototype was supposed to be scrapped but somehow it escaped the crushers. after spending a few years in england it has been fully restored and now resides in western australia.

there was a total of only 10,426 cars produced

the jaguar public would have to wait 4 more years before production xjcs could be seen. they were first shown in september of 1973 at the London motor shows but they had to wait a total of 6 years (1975) for the first production model. prior to going into production about 20 prototypes were hand built in a combination of rhd and lhd. 1973 was the busiest year with 14 of these hand built specials being produced, 8 in lhd and 6 in rhd. the two door coupe is based on the shorter wheelbase xj series l platform. without the central window pillars the coupe body suffered from two main problems, these being structural rigidity and severe wind noise. the widening and strengthening of the rear window pillar overcame the rigidity problem.

daimler sovereign and the daimler double six

when the xj coupes arrived, they were clearly meant to be the sporty version of the xj models. in the uk, europe, south africa, new zealand and australia they were offered in four versions: jaguar 4.2c; jaguar 5.3c; daimler sovereign and the daimler double six. in the north american market, xjc’s were only offered in two forms and were badged as the jaguar xj6c and jaguar xj12c. daimler xjcs were never imported into the us. another basic difference between the two markets was the bumper bars. north america had large rubber bumper bars to comply with crash regulations, whilst the rest of the world had the full chrome bumpers. in the uk market, air conditioning and a manual transmission were optional, as were the choice of leather or cloth seats. all coupes were equipped with a black vinyl roof as standard equipment, except for the one that was specially produced for jaguars andrew whyte. the actual reason for the standard vinyl roof was not clear, but contrary to urban legend it was not because there was a welded seam in the roof!

most likely it was because the marketing folks insisted on it, as vinyl roofs were the flavor of the month in the automotive industry at that time. whatever the case, many present day owners have chosen to remove this feature. sadly the production of the xjc was all too short. after commencement in 1975 the last of these great vehicles rolled off the line in november 1977. the final 96 coupes were actually badged as 1978 cars – for whatever reason is anybody’s guess. the xjc was a victim of the times and was never really given the attention or backing it deserved. paradoxically this has helped the xjc to become the rare collectible classic it is today, although prices have never reached the dizzy heights achieved by the e type. it remains one of, if not the best value for money classic cars available today. to this day, the xjc is jaguars only two-door fixed head coupe saloon.”  by dd

some thoughts on kindness

george saunders the importance of kindness

macarthur fellow and one of my personal favorite living authors mr. george saunders reminds us (in an animated trailer by tim bierbaum) that the greatest gift we can give is to be kind. it is all too often that human beings forget this; kindness is the brilliance that transcends time. by sv

a view of things

a-view-of-things-edwin-morgan

for the inaugural day of national poetry month, here’s the view of scotsman edwin morgan. i too love hank’s string vest, and simply detest gooseberries. by sv

flash fiction

for sale baby shoes never worn

the shortest story ever told? maybe the most meaningful? i’ve read some discrepancies about hemingway’s origination of the quote, but no matter who wrote it, this is some consummate flash fiction. by sv

love song

rainer maria rilke german poet

How can I keep my soul in me, so that
it doesn’t touch your soul? How can I raise
it high enough, past you, to other things?
I would like to shelter it, among remote
lost objects, in some dark and silent place
that doesn’t resonate when your depths resound.
Yet everything that touches us, me and you,
takes us together like a violin’s bow,
which draws one voice out of two seperate strings.
Upon what instrument are we two spanned?
And what musician holds us in his hand?
Oh sweetest song.

some beautiful words from rainer maria rilke on this friday; to lighten and enlighten. by sv

“to be worth something or nothing…

albert camus and his twins…to create or not to create. in the first case everything is justified. everything, without exception. in the second case, everything is completely absurd. the only choice then to be made is of the most aesthetically satisfying form of suicide: marriage, and a forty-hour week, or a revolver.” 

when i was sixteen years old, scrummaging through my high school library while i was supposed to be researching some project; i came across the journals of albert camus. i had just read the stranger, which was quite impactful on an indignantly naive teenager, so my intrigue was boundless. to this day, it is my most cherished piece of literature, one i go back to more than any other. next thursday, the seventh of november being what would have been albert’s centenary, the journal’s message and presence in my handbag is incumbent. in other news, i thought dd would appreciate the photograph, camus and his twin daughters, catherine and jean. by sv

Glenn o’brien remembers lou reed

Lou_Reed_avedon-largeHey Lou, it’s me. “I wished I talked to you more when you were alive…”

You wrote that to Andy when he bought it. Well, fucking ditto.

I just wanted to say that you went out well. You went out on top. And the whole fucking thing…your um, oeuvre, is like, scintillating and mind-boggling and thrilling and scary. Thrills and chills, fear and loathing, and then, just when we least expected it, you pulled out a big fat heart.

I first saw Lou Reed when I was in college. It had to be the summer of ’67 because the first Velvet Underground album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, had come out in March.  The one with the Warhol peel-able banana on the inside of the LP. I had seen it in the record store. I think I didn’t have enough money to buy the album right off but I knew that the band was involved with Andy Warhol and they looked more interesting than anybody I’d ever seen before, and that was good enough for me.  There was Andy on the back cover, staring through a tambourine.  Lou was the guitar player in wraparound shades and a cop hairdo holding a guitar with his fingers bent in a weird posture, possibly resulting from taking a pill.

So I went to see The Velvets play at La Cave, a folk club on the East side of Cleveland, Ohio. I had gone there numerous times to see gentle folkies like Bob Gibson, Tom Rush, Judy Collins, and Ian & Sylvia, but I was especially psyched to see the weird band managed by Andy Warhol that had a songs called “Heroin,” “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” and “All Tomorrow’s Parties.” With the incredibly beautiful German singer who was in La Dolce Vita. Nico!

…..

  read more here

by pp.

“does good music need to be good?”

daft-punk-random-access-memories-album-cover-art“the duo has become so good at making records that i replay parts of ‘random access memories’ repeatedly while simultaneously thinking it is some of the worst music i’ve ever heard.” 

sasha frere-jones, the new yorker’s brilliant columnist and music critic wrote this article in may, and it is still looming in my conscious each time i hear a track from the “noodly jazz fusion” album. we were discussing the album here at ts headquarters earlier, and dd noted on the brilliant inconsistency, once again bringing the above words to mind. really good bad music. as usual, the french are onto something; especially since we are talking about this, months later. by sv

an immodest proposal

vice magazine fashion spread women writers 007vice magazine fashion spread women writers 006 vice magazine fashion spread women writers 002 vice magazine women writers fashion spread 004 vice magazine fashion spread women writers 005 vice magazine fashion spread women writers 00`

in their 2013 fiction issue, vice magazine is featuring the above pictures in a spread entitled the ever-so-cunning (can you sense my facetiousness yet?) last words.  the fashion spread features models, you know, doing model-y things in their haute couture, except here’s the catch: they are depicting female writers who have committed suicide!  ah yes, please, let’s procure and solidify even more glorification in this world.  women in fashion are not disposable enough, let’s juxtapose that fleeting nature with the timelessness of literature and the written word.  is anything valuable anymore?  perhaps not.  the spread, styled by annette lamothe-ramos and photographed by annabel mehran, depicts charlotte perkins gilman (with the ubiquitous yellow wallpaper, naturally), sanmao (who hung herself with a pair of stockings, so don’t you want a pair too!), virginia woolf (not nicole kidman), sylvia plath, elise cowen, iris chang (who only took her own life in 2004, but fashion leaves no room for the grieving), and dorothy parker, who maybe unbeknownst to vice DID NOT KILL HERSELF despite many attempts.  at the end of the day, am i being too harsh to expect more from the world?  is this truly surprising when gratification is often at our fingertips?  i don’t know.  what i do know, is that dorothy parker, one of my idols, deserves better. by sv