Friday, August 12, 2016

Beetle Larva Cocoon, Backups and Pi Failures

Noticed this Beetle Larva (not sure, do you know?: ) forming a cocoon over the past few days, at this point it enters the Pupa stage where it will only be able to wiggle! I'm not sure how long this will last, and since it's in the compost bin I have to decide whether or not to disturb it (by turning the compost), or leave it be to observe!

I'm curious, over a ~6 hour period there is a significant color change in the Larva/Pupa. It's not clear to me what causes this. There's documentation about this with Butterfly Larva > Pupa transitioning, and I'm guessing it helps the Pupa / Cocoon to blend in better with its surroundings, but what process is causing this?

The Larva measures approximately 17mm x 2mm, and is buried about 20cm into the compost bin. Another reason why using a scanner is nice, we can make quick/easy/accurate measurements based on pixels.

Unrelated to the soil life, I've had two amusing technical issues over the past few days:
One: While I was toiling around with a script it looks like I deleted almost a day's worth of images. That's frustrating, but the timing of it is somewhat appropriate. I'd purchased a 1 TB drive awhile back to store images on but hadn't hooked it up in quite some time.

I think it would be appropriate to have the Pi save images to both the SD Card and the Hard Drive,  and once a day tar+gzip the files off to Amazon S3. This would afford me the option to play with one set of images knowing that if I did something horribly wrong I have a local backup.

Two: Around 1:30am yesterday the Raspberry Pi Model 2 B I was using croaked. I'm not sure what the status is beyond it not getting on the network (Hooked up via Ethernet), and an SD Card that was working in another Pi provides the same result. I'm still without an HDMI Monitor here, so everything is done headless, I'm currently unable to see what might be happening in the boot process. Thankfully a second Pi was ready to take its place.

Having a $35 computer in my case means it's easy to have a backup Pi. Thank you Raspberry Pi Foundation : )

Lessons here:
 - Have a process for swapping the Pi out when something goes wrong
 - - Backup SD Card
 - - Backup Pi
 - Have some notification that things are not as they should be
 - - Pi going off the network is not a huge deal, though is a symptom that the Pi may be down
 - - Not sure if there's a better way to alert me that there may be severe issues.
 - Have a process for saving images to two separate locations
 - - SD Card
 - - External USB Drive
 - Have a process for saving scripts in the same way
 - Automate Amazon S3 Sync of files.

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