Jordan Westhoff

Jordan Westhoff's Blog


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Website Domain Disparity

I’m taking a brief break from a good deal of programming and figured I’d clear up some recent questions I’ve been getting about disparity in my web domain names. Currently, I hold the leases to this domain and also http://jordanwesthoff.me – why is this?

First off, I’ve had this domain for a long time. I first decided I needed to develop a web presence way back in high school when I was a wee lad. I’m glad I did. I was less busy than I am now and it gave me a great way to learn about the ins and outs of basic web hosting and all of that fun stuff. That being said, I was a less informed wee lad and decided to host directly with WordPress – it seemed like the perfect combo! For ~$40 yearly I get hosting and a domain and it’s borderline idiot proof! Just what high school me needed.

Over the years though, WordPress has been making a steady decline. I don’t mean the WordPress platform itself – that’s alive and doing incredibly well! It’s their business side of things – their hosting practice and whatnot on the WordPress.Com side of the border. Shortly after buying the domain and getting everything set up and pretty, WordPress notified me I could do some cool new customizing. This seemed like news to me but I checked it out and sure enough, for bolt on pricing I could do a little extra customizing. This was worrying, sure, but  I didn’t need the customization so I let it slide. Two years later, WordPress graciously let me know that they were going to start putting ads on my site. MY site! The one I pay for! Unless, of course, I paid their $89 Premium fee which would remove all of those ugly suckers from the domain and hosting I already pay for. Not cool and certainly not acceptable.

That being said, I started to realize earlier in the year that I love having a blog, and quite frankly, that is more of what this site has been doing anyways. But I still wanted an elegant way to pass information to other parties as well as generally represent myself on the internet. As a result. I set out to make a FrontPage. In my opinion, a frontpage is essentially, a simple, elegant page that has just the most important information about myself – especially now that I’m embroiled in career hunting. I wanted something I could very quickly manage and I found a great HTML5 skeleton to build off of and manage through GIT. I love it – and I think it looks really slick. I’m probably going to keep it, even after I find a career.

frontpage1

Finished title page on my new domain!

I’m still at a bit of a loss of what to do though – I probably won’t touch this blog besides updates until I graduate. However, I’ve become to really hold resentment towards the once Mighty WordPress and will probably set up my own hosting and a custom install of WordPress post grad once I settle into a job in a couple of months so stay tuned for those updates! Once I have some static servers back up and my firewall and stack back online, hosting my own site locally will be no issue at all – something I’ve been looking at doing for a very long period of time.

frontpage2

Some more sample imagery from my new site.

Long story short though: Jordanwesthoff.com (the page you’re on now) is here to stay and is going to serve as a professional blog for my work and major projects!

Jordanwesthoff.me is the flashy front page with essential information, a new, slick design and links to all of my thesis work! Thesis work will be posted here too, but it can’t hurt to have some information bridge between sites! So go check out my new front page and let me know what you think and in the meantime I’ll keep blogging here!

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Disk Speed Testing on Linux

Hey all,

In the past I’ve spent a bit of time talking about the merits of RAID and other high speed disk setups. Several years ago I also published posts about dual drive setups and did some surgery on my MacBook Pro in an effort to scrap the optical drive in favor of adding an SSD. (Psst, the old article is still available here)

All in all, the overall speed of a computer can be attributed to the combination of all of its internal parts working together to get more work done in less time. This is especially true of high performance machines, servers and drive array machines. While a wonderful utility, known as the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test, is available for Windows and OSX, it isn’t available for Linux. While I am sure there are a plethora of GUI disk speed utilities for Linux, there is one that I’m particularly drawn to, due to its simplicity and ease of use from the terminal. Since Linux is focused on being minimalist in the pursuit of performance, it only makes sense that installing a whole new utility just for spin testing is a bit wasteful.

As a result, I’ve written a basic script that does a pretty accurate disk speed test via the command line. The utility should work with all flavors of linux, I have been using it and deploying it across my fleet, all of which are either running Debian, ARCH or centOS 6.5.

The script is far from complex, merely taking a user input of how large a block of info to write to the disk and then it both writes and reads that size block of info and takes a time measurement. It is, however, pretty handy and works as fast as your drives can spin. Here, you can see the output of the script. I ran it with an argument of 2048MB across a single Western Digital VelociRaptop 15K RPM drive in one of my servers here in the rack.

WD Raptor Disk Speed Test

Not too shabby for a single 15K drive!

The code isn’t proprietary, you are free to use it how you like as an easy sysAdmin tool and it is easily modified to work however you please. Enjoy!

 

 


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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!

alienware

 

GitHub!

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!

git

 

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