Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog

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Summer Updates

Hey everybody!

So, over the last couple of evenings I’ve spent a good deal of time updating the site! I”ve added new content, a couple new pages, and most importantly of all, began posting content from Spring semester! There’s a lot going on here so let me break down all of the updates for you!


Third Year MPS Camera Shootout!

So this is the first big one! If you head over to my page under projects, you’ll see the page for the MPS Shootout! This is a whopper and all of the content from the shoots, uncluding b-roll, final analysis and our final video screened for all of RIT’s film school is posted. There’s a lot of information here, and if you’ve followed along at all, it should be pretty exciting. I found it easier to turn it into a whole page, rather than a post so it can house more information as well as be easier to find later as more posts pile up!

Raw & Order Shootout


Senior Thesis Project Update #1

The page is finally live! I have some updates to publish tomorrow so stay tuned for those! If you follow the header, it will take you to the landing page for my senior thesis project – this sucker is being researched over the summer and then the completion of research and the beginning stages of engineering will start in the fall! I’m still working on populating the page with information about the initial ideals and concepts of the project but those will be up soon as well!




As a lot of you know, I’ve recently moved over to doing all of my code versioning and revision tracking via GitHub and I think it’s pretty cool! I’ve started a couple of pages within this site to either pull from Gists that I’m working on or completed that I want to show you or from actual Git hub repos. Basic Gists can be found here and the rest of my stuff can be found on my actual GitHub page for now!



Thanks for catching up, be sure to check back to the pages as I’m adding more posts!




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FreeNAS, woo!

Hello all,

The last couple weeks have been busy but I’ve made significant progress on a lot of the projects I posted about last and figured I’d share some of the gory details from the tech spehere.

First off, the FreeNAS server is finally up and running. FreeNAS is a freely distributed version of the FreeBSD operation built specifically for engineering a personal or enterprise level Network Attached Storage server (NAS). Since I have a solid array of computers and Dropbox is very limiting, I figured that with the insane bandwidth RIT offers student, it would be an infinitely valuable addition to my computing fleet.

FreeNAS Boot Screen

The welcome screen of FreeBSD based FreeNAS

I decided to repurpose a sever that I was running Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition on. Since FreeNAS is best run using the ZFS file system which requires 64 bit, I decided to utilize one of the blade servers from my rack – a Dell CS24-SC Cloud Server header. Dual Intel Xeon quad core processors will handle all of the work, and it has enough RAM (16 gigabytes) to handle all of the serving very capably. Installed are 6 Terabytes of information (2x2tb drives and 2x1tb drives) which should be plenty of storage to host all of my common files.

Since I am using all three major operating systems to access these files (OS X, Windows and Linux) I decided to also set up a variety of shares from within the freeNAS setup. This includes a Samba/CIFS share for Windows machines to access from (one of my personal laptops and two of my other servers), an AFP (Apple File Protocol) share for my personal workstation MacBook Pro and all of the school lab machines and a couple office machines, as well as a NFS share for Linux access.

On top of this, I decided to enable SSH and FTP/SFTP access so access from pretty much any device is guaranteed! A week or so ago I migrated all of my common data over to the server once it was running and I tested the validity of the drives. Let me tell you, moving 5.5 terabytes of information takes a loooooong time! Most of the slowdown was the result of moving files over LAN rather than something like FireWire, Thunderbolt or USB 3.0, however it still clocked along at a very good pace since my apartment is very well connected – RIT gives each of us several gigabit (10/100/1000) access jacks in each apartment and the network is full fiber! This makes accessing the files remotely very, very handy since the speeds support even the most intensive tasks (even streaming Blu-Ray content from computer to computer on campus!).

My final goal for the project is to open up a drive on the server to use for various Apple Time Machine backups, I’ll keep you all posted, thanks for stopping by!

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Recently, given the massive expansion of internet interest in crypto currency, I decided to start to explore the concept and application of “mining”. This process refers to the massive application of CPU or GPU power to determine and calculate very large numerical strings that can be used as currency across the internet. 

Since I run far more computing equipment than I do graphics work, I decided to go with Primecoin (XPM) and devote a significant amount of my computing resources for a day to the process and see what I could accomplish. The task overall wasn’t too complicated, after the creation of an account at to get started (this was the pool that I decided to pick for simplicity’s sale) all I had to do was download a couple applications and get going! After downloading one of the more efficient miners <jhPrimeMiner T17v8> it was a simple matter of editing a couple Windows Batch files and slaving the units to my Ypool.Net account. This is what my setup looks like on screen now when mining at full bore.


Snapshot of my desktop while CPU mining Primecoins

Here you can see that the miner is running in the command prompt under administrator. Task manager reports that each of my PowerEdge Xeon cores are running at full throttle which is actually surprising given the individual core temperatures reported by my CoreTemp utility. Since this is an enterprise level machine, cooling turns out to be the least of my worries, which was one of my biggest concerns going into the operation. In addition to this machine, I have three other machines slaved so we will see how profitable it becomes!

Got any questions about mining? Leave them in the comments section below!

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FreeNAS Adventure!

After a full day of work with RIT and a client of mine yesterday, I sat down in the evening and began work on one of the projects I’ve been planning for a while. 

Contrary to my initial goals, I decided to convert one of my Dell CS rack servers to a FreeNAS server instead of using the NZXT case that I had. This is because once racked, the unit has far better network connections (quad gigabit NIC!) and around the clock uptime since they are hosted from a datacenter and live under redundant power and power supply backups!

FreeNAS is an awesome software distribution I’ve used pretty frequently in the past, but with the update to Version 8, a lot of new features are available making it one of the most versatile systems to date. 

Once burned to a USB drive in a live ISO form, I was able to smoothly progress through the install phase! I chose to ran the new version with the ZFS+ file system, since the Dell server unit I have utilizes dual quad core Xeon’s and has 16gb of RAM. 

After the install, a beautiful interface was presented. Pretty impressive is that the system idle’s at %99.96 idle CPU load. Combined with 8tb of storage and I’d say we have a solid serving platform, accessible from Apple OS X, Windows and UNIX!




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Upgrades, Upgrades, Upgrades

Hey All!

With my return to Rochester, New York to spend a couple weeks working before the next academic semester, I’ll be posting a lot of neat content relevant to the assortment of projects I have planned! Here’s a quick breakdown!

Moving some servers around! I’ll be converting a Windows 7 server to a CentOS server to host this website on! I’ve been using WordPress for a significant period of time and it’s been great! The problem is WordPress’s business plan and pay per add on web features when you host through their web service. After some work with CentOS, I realized I have plenty of power to be hosting else where! I’ll still be running WordPress, the new version 3.8 is pretty snappy! But I want more power with hosting and SEO and back end programming, so hosting locally it is! As a note, if this site goes offline for a couple of days, don’t be alarmed!!


Building another NAS! I have the parts, the case, (beautiful NZXT 210 Elite in sleek black) and the drives, but now it’s time for the build and setup! It’s going to be a real cool setup on the inside so I’ll be sure to post photos! I’ve been hosting somewhat of a local datacenter for my operations, clients and products but now it’s time to make a bit more of a contiguous storage pool, especially given RIT’s internet speeds here! The power supply is coming in in two days and then building will go forward pretty quickly! This should comfortably keep my storage ceiling around 20tb, even with redundancy and network shares!



On top of this, I will also be setting up my final server as a general use server, with a file system and user access panel. Currently experimenting with Windows Server 2012 datacenter Edition, but also looking into Ubuntu Server and the possibility of adding in another CentOS machine! With all of these installs, I’ve tapped out all of our networking opportunities so I’ll be installing a mid sized rack switch and firewalls. Time to take this setup to a full blown cluster now that I have the capabilities for web serving, file serving and administration and distributed rendering and computational engines. Hopefully the setup starts to look a bit more professional as well, as compared to the humble beginnings of the project, shown below!


The humble beginnings of my growing server setup.