SVMUG Monthly Meeting December 19, 2016: OWC - ThunderBay and SoftRAID products

posted Dec 11, 2016, 9:24 PM by Pam Ailes   [ updated Dec 15, 2016, 10:04 PM ]

Potluck details of "Who is Bringing What" is in a separate post to this site.


Hello svmug members & friends! 

The next meeting of the Silicon Valley Macintosh User Group (svmug) is on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 7:00PM. As always, meetings are open to the public and free to attend. Bring a friend! We are in our “usual” room: BODEGA BAY TECH TALK ROOM at Google in Mountain View, CA. There will be some special holiday raffle items this month too! See below for details and directions. MAPS and a copy of this email can also be found here:

DECEMBER POTLUCK:  Did someone say FOOD?? This is the month for our annual potluck. Something homemade is always appreciated. You can bring whatever you are able to bring that you think others will enjoy. You can see the updated list of the items people are bringing on the svmug site.

DECEMBER TOPIC:  ThunderBay and SoftRAID

Otherworld Computing (OWC) will be with us in person to show their ThunderBay and SoftRAID products. Why is this important? With the appearance of Thunderbolt on Macs, it is easier than ever to attach many disks to a single Mac.  We now routinely have 20 - 100 TB of storage directly attached to our computers (on 4 - 16 disks).  This can result in huge business losses when disks fail.

This session will go through some of the studies on disk drive failure (with 10,000 to 100,000 disks) and explain how we can use those studies to help predict when a disk is more likely to fail.  We will also cover some steps you can take to avoid disasters and review what we've learned while supporting our customers during the past 20 years.


Tim Standing has been writing drivers and storage utilities for Mac OS since 1986. He is the creator of SoftRAID for Mac OS X and is currently VP of Engineering at OWC Holdings, Inc., the company which develops and sells SoftRAID.

OPEN SOURCE:  Google DeepMind - Robert Brown

“Alphabet Inc.’s artificial intelligence division Google DeepMind is making the maze-like game platform it uses for many of its experiments available to other researchers and the general public. DeepMind is putting the entire source code for its training environment -- which it previously called Labyrinth and has now renamed as DeepMind Lab -- on the open-source depository GitHub, the company said Monday. Anyone will be able to download the code and customize it to help train their own artificial intelligence systems. They will also be able to create new game levels for DeepMind Lab and upload these to GitHub.”


We will be meeting at Google, in the Bodega Bay Tech Talk Room. If you have not been here before, please allow for some extra time to find the room. There is a long line of EV car parking in the parking lot near where the Bodega Bay Tech Talk room is located. There is also a Google employee (only) cafe next to the Bodega Bay Tech Talk room. If you are lost, call (408) 480-1690 and we will try to get you to the right place. Please make a note of where you parked. 

Bodega Bay Tech Talk Room

Google - Building 1950

1950 Charleston Rd  (same as 1950 Amphitheater Parkway)

Mountain View, California 94043

NOTE: We have heard that the regular car/phone map instructions can be confusing so please use the interactive google map url below so you can see the target building and surrounding areas. Once you get there, all the buildings tend to look alike and you may not see the building numbers as you are driving around the parking lot.



If you log into the svmug yahoo group, click on the Photos link to see photos of the svmug sign, the big white hair-cut van and the side area of the Google building near where the usual meeting room (Bodega Bay), as well as other building maps and rooms. If you are not yet a member of the svmug yahoo group, you can easily join from this link by clicking the "About" link and then click "Join Group".


-- From Highway 101, take the Amphitheater Parkway exit, which is also Rengstorff Avenue; Head North.

-- Turn right (East) onto Charleston Rd.

-- Turn left (North) onto the Google complex, at the 3rd driveway entrance. Look at the map to verify the driveway's location since it is hard to see in the dark.

-- Look for the meeting room shown on the map.

NOTE:  From 101 and the N Shoreline exit. Go Left onto Charleston Rd.

Look at the Interactive Google Map (above) so you can find the creek as a landmark. If you are coming from the other direction on Charleston (coming from the East and driving West), once you cross the creek's bridge, turn RIGHT at the first driveway and go along the right side of the Google building. You'll most likely see the big white hair cut van or black mobile fitness truck called “HIIT” parked there. You want to park near here. Look at the map to verify the driveway's location since it is hard to see in the dark.



6:45 PM - Doors open around this time; Get a Visitor Badge from our host.

7:00 PM - Introduction

7:05 PM - News 

7:30 PM - Main Presentation - OWC ThunderBay TB2 Dock, and SoftRAID

8:15 PM - Open Source - Google Deep Mind

8:30 PM - Potluck Party Time

9:30 PM - All done! Clean up after ourselves and go home.


Jan 23 (4th Monday) - TBD

Feb 27 (4th Monday) - Wally Cherwinski - Video with iPhones

Mar 20 - TBD 

Apr 17 - TBD


Dec 19, Building 1950, Bodega Bay

Jan 23, Building 1900, Asilomar

Feb 27, Building 1950, Bodega Bay

NOTE:  We are busy working on getting speakers for future months! Is there a new product or technology you think the group would like to know about? Who would you like us to bring back? Do you have a contact for us? Let us know.

NOTE TO ATTENDEES: For December, we will have some special holiday raffle items for you to win. You’ll receive 2 raffle tickets when you bring food to share. Please feel free to bring in items for raffle if you have them or obtain them from a vendor. When in doubt, ask one of the volunteers if the item would be good for raffle. If you have something else that you think would be good for the FREE pile, bring it, mark it FREE and place it on one of the tables near the food table. Just be sure to remove it at the end of the meeting if it does not go to a new home. We have enough to carry in and out each meeting. Thanks!



SVMUG (Silicon Valley Macintosh User Group)

SVMUG meetings occur on the 3rd Monday of each month (with some holiday exceptions such as Jan and Feb). Meetings are free and open to the public. Audience members may arrive or depart at their convenience, so feel free to arrive late, or leave early if you wish.

SVMUG started as the South Bay branch of the Berkeley Mac User Group (BMUG), and lives on after the dissolution of the main organization. We hold monthly meetings on the Google campus in Mountain View, focusing on user support, vendor demonstrations, and community contacts.



Did you know that we have a Yahoo Group Email List? You can join here:

The email list is where the announcements are sent and members can ask questions at any time. You can set your email settings to get individual emails or a daily digest or only the special announcements like this one. Or, if you prefer no emails, you can just go directly to the yahoo group to read the messages there. You can always check the website for announcements.

LOCAL MAC GROUPS (If yours is not listed, let us know!)

Silicon Valley Mac User Group, at

Santa Cruz Mac User Group, at

Stanford/Palo Alto MUG, at 

BMUG West, at 

East Bay Mac User Group, at 

San Leandro Mac User Group, at 

North Coast Mac User Group, at 

Planet Mac User Group, at