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Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap
by Bruce Ure at 10:38 18/02/08 (Forum::Technical Advice::General)
So you spend vast sums on a Thecus N5200 Pro NAS RAID box with a view to making a resilient backup of all your donkey porn DVD rips and stuff, and partitioning it into a single vast RAID array takes 16 HOURS.

But then you discover that NFS / CIFS / SMB don't allow certain characters in filenames, and whilst investigation alternatives (AFP among them at this stage) you discover iSCSI.

So you investigate the iSCSI feature of the NAS box and discover a free, unsupported, iSCSI initiator for OSX and you think - brilliant! Mount a huge remote NAS drive and it appears to the OS as a locally attached external SCSI drive. Perfect. Time Machine would (presumably) work, so would anything else you'd expect to work on a local drive. And a quick test shows that it mounts quickly, transfers quickly, looks resilient.

So you repartition the RAID in the NAS for this purpose, which takes another 16 HOURS, then when you get round to making your first test bulk file transfer to the iSCSI volume, the Mac freezes a gigabyte in to the copy.

So that's good and stable then.

So it's goodbye iSCSI, and hello AFP.

Except... and this is so painful I can hardly stand it, when copying files via AFP, their creation and modification date is reset to whatever time and date the file was copied.


It's fecking APPLE FILE PROTOCOL, with an APPLE talking to it.

Web searches indicate that this is a very common gripe with regards to Macs. Even using 'cp' with the option to preserve as much metadata as possible (-P? -p?) fails, FFS. And so does 'ditto' and so (apparently) does rsync.

Desk - head - bang - repeat.

I think the answer is going to end up being to mount a sparseimage on the remote volume which has been mounted via SMB. This SHOULD (yet to be tested) surely preserve all metadata, but has the drawback that it will not be accessible from non-macs in the house, which is to say the Linux boxes, which is a pisser. Although possibly iSCSI is as dodgy on Linux as it would appear to be on this NAS box.


<< Is it me or... localhost.localdomain and send... >>
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Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Bruce Ure - 10:38 18/02/08
Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Simon - 11:01 18/02/08
Er, why do you care what time and date the files have?
Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Bruce Ure - 11:09 18/02/08
Tsk, Simon, what happened to 'never throw data away'??!

I'm trying to stave off entropy as long as possible.

Er, but seriously... because I use file creation dates and times, have done for ages, have become used to being able to rely on them. It could be anything from 'when did I download that file' to 'when did I take that photo' to wanting to know which is the earlier instance of a file... as opposed to the instance that was copied to the disc first, which probably bears no relation.

Also some programs use these dates and rely on them.

Maybe I could undo my reliance, but it'd take some adjustment and basically be a PITA.

In fact I'm quite surprised you ask... surely you use file dates / times?? Are you winding me up? :)


Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Simon - 11:33 18/02/08
For my local work-related stuff, sure - I sort by date modified all the time. I don't much care when it comes to backups of media files.

But I'm puzzled - I've just mounted my home dir from an ancient RedHat 7.1 box on this G4 powerbook via AFP and copied across to it a file that came along as an attachment to an email today at 11:14. It's now 11:32 but the datestamp showing on the copied file is 11:14 as I'd expect.

OS X 10.4.11 at this end, netatalk afpd v1.6.4 on the Linux box. About as bog-standard as you can get (mainly 'cos I hate fscking around with netatalk's conf files).


Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Bruce Ure - 11:41 18/02/08
Cheers for trying that. I reckon it's Thecus then. Certainly there are myriad ways in which it is crap; perhaps this is just one more :-(


Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Gordon Hundley - 05:17 29/02/08
Use tar?
Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Bruce Ure - 14:28 29/02/08
I considered using a 'tar rainbow', not least because I love the name, but in the end I didn't need to. Thanks though.

How's life your side of the pond?


Re: Apple? Thecus? Well someone's crap Gordon Hundley - 16:23 29/02/08
We're doing alright. There's four of us now, because we got two cats - a lazy orange tabby who we called Lister, and a lunatic over-playful black cat who we called Magenta. I've been trying to get Lister to make a Flickr album of cat photos for me, but he hasn't got around to it yet.