Yesterday’s snow was mostly still here, although the roads are mostly passable now. Arabic class proceeded apace, including a diversion into the intersection of marital practices and language (or rather, why ‘became engaged to’ is only conjugated in the third person feminine form in our text). Grandma is recovering from a cold, so our Thursday lunch programme required some revision.
Instead, I spent my afternoon dealing with two disparate topics: hard drives and Wahhabism. Having read Hamid Algar’s polemic against Wahhabism earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of examining Natana DeLong Bas’s apologia on the same topic. I’m very much not certain I know more about the essence of Wahhabism than when I began, but I have a rather clearer idea of the sorts of arguments partisans on either side make.

My hard drive experiment was more about trying to create a fast, effective backup system. I benchmarked the time required to transfer a 1GB file, both from internal to external drive, and duplicating to the same drive. Results were less than impressive: 8MB/s duplicating, about 14MB/s internal to external (and vice versa), and 22MB/s when using 2 drives as a striped RAID array. I’d say USB 2.0 isn’t my favorite interface for data transfer. Despite the fact that booting from an external drive is subjectively much slower than from the internal one, my tests didn’t see much of a difference there. Odd that.

The final portion of the evening (starting after dinner, at 11PM) was packing for tomorrow. Perhaps taking the 7AM bus wasn’t the wisest idea.

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