Learning Weekly

Weekly: Circuit Breaker

It has been 3 weeks since Singapore went into Circuit Breaker mode, which is pretty much a semi lock down situation. Been working from home a month or more now and I’m slowly getting really bored of the stay home lifestyle.

That said, I am thankful that I’m in the line of profession that allows me to WFH without much issue and business still goes on as usual. On brighter side of things, mentioned that I bought a new NAS last week, and it arrived this week. It’s definitely a huge upgrade over my old WD MyBookLiveDuo. (2 bay NAS). I remember that when I bought it over 7 years ago, it was the most expensive purchase in my life.

Synology DS918+

Why did I get something that was released in 2018? Well, because the new refresh for it was $200+ more and the only advantage was that it has an extra drive bay. I heard that there will be a new edition for this probably this year or next, but based on the past 5 years or so, there’s really not much performance improvements to expect from a NAS.

The configuration I ended up with was

  • Ram: 4GB
  • Drives: 4 X 6TB WD Reds
  • Cache: None (TBD)
  • Raid: SHR2 (similar to RAID6)
  • Usable space: 10.5TB
  • Network: 2 X 1gbps bonded

SHR2 stands for Synology Hybrid Raid 2, which means that I can lose up to 2 drives before I lose any data. Which is the same as RAID6, so why go with SH2? Because it allows me to mix and match drives if I need to in the future. It’s a bit more flexible by trading off a bit of performance. But since there is barely 2-3 devices that would connect to the NAS at any one time, the trade offs is worth it.

It is a little depressing to see the 24TB of storage reduced to only 10.5TB. Why do I even need so much storage in the first place? Well, I’m a bit of a data hoarder. A quick look at my current NAS shows documents that date back to 2010 onward. I also keep almost all the animes that I watch, which amounts to several terabytes across multiple external drives. But that was still okay up until recently when I finally made the switch from 720p to 1080p downloads.

720p anime comes in at around 300-500MB , but 1080p anime is a whopping 1.4GB on average. That’s like a 3-4 times increase of storage in general, and a typical season would be over 18GB. This is definitely not sustainable in the long run and I still haven’t come up with an archival plan that I’m happy with yet (will share when I attain nirvana).

Anyway, I like the NAS so far, it’s throughput is basically 2x my old NAS, which completely saturates the gigabit interface (~110MB/s), in order for it to get any faster I would need to upgrade to 5gbps or 10gbps link. Probably not in the foreseeable future as I don’t do anything that require that kind of performance, yet.

What I don’t like about DS918+ is the software (DSM). It’s great, it does a lot of things, but I think it does too many things. I understand that that’s the value of DSM to most of the public, but it just feels like it tries too hard to me, and there’s a thousand and one settings buried within the menus which can only be found if you actively dig for it. That said, this has the potential to replace my current server at home since it’s able to run docker and a whole slew of other packages. Well, my colleague had a suggestion to write an article about the useful/important features to toggle on DS918+, I might do it one of these days if my fingers get itchy.


My productivity has been fluctuating ever since the CB has started. For work, it’s still alright, but my personal projects has definitely taken a back seat as I just feel like kicking back and watching some Netflix after work, which means that the calculator hasn’t been worked on since I wrote about it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Have also been studying for the AWS Security Specialty exam, because of a recent new initiative in the company for people to pursue certifications, I decided to make extra effort to get it. I think I enjoyed studying from time to time cause it gives me a sense of purpose. Staying at home for the past month has really make life extremely mundane, and I think not really having something to look forward to is sapping my energy. The insanely hot weather these days are not helping as well.

The circuit breaker is scheduled to end on 1st June. Since the new month is starting soon, and I have exactly one month before this suffocating fiasco ends, I think my goal for May is to really work on the UX of the calculator and make it something that I can be proud of. It’ll be interesting to see I prove myself right or wrong at the end of this CB.

(I also binge re-watched the entire Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood last week)

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