July 20, 2012

Why use a NAS (network attached storage) device over a PC File Server?

Here's why. Time and stability. And size.

image from blog.synology.com

Synology DS112j unboxing video

Love Synology! Check out this unboxing video of the latest 1-drive Synology NAS.

 

And a video on the secret sauce of the DiskStation - DownloadStation!

 

July 18, 2012

Synology Hacking - Run a DNS Server from your NAS

If you have a Synology NAS you may have realized you can install all sorts of open source software on the box by ssh'ing in and using ipkg to install just about anything. I am thinking of installing bind to run my own DNS server. Working to get rid of my dependence on any hosting provider (good bye 1and1!). I feel the Synology NAS can do a better job with lots more control and capability.

In any case this website has over 30 hacks on making your Synology do some amazing things. As if the "apps" capability is not enough, here is more!

UPDATE: There is now a commynity of Synology hackers online with their own repository called SynoCommunity. And this fellow has made several very interesting products run on Synology.

July 17, 2012

Congratulations Marissa Mayer - Illinois Institute of Technology Commencement Address

This commencement address at the Illinois Institute of Technology by Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo!, competes with the Steve Jobs commencement address. In fact I think for young people graduating, Marissa's address is even better in many ways, more pragmatic and down-to-earth. Enjoy. She is reaching places no female engineer has ever been - an engineer running a company at not much more than 40 years of age. She is also expecting a child in October 2012 and starting as a CEO at struggling Internet giant. Good luck Marissa! With this advice, you just can't go wrong.

 

July 07, 2012

Getting Joomla properly working on 1and1

If you are installing Joomla on your 1and1 hosting account please make sure you read this thread on the Joomla forums. If you are having problems getting the install to work with PHP errors or if you are having problems with Internal Server Errors (error 500) after your install works you have to make sure your .htaccess file in the root of your installation folder is properly configured. (And you must call it .htaccess with permissions 0755, not htaccess.txt!)

Namely you must

1) make sure PHP v5 is used (rather than v4). This code will make that work:

## One and One force PHP5 setting
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
## END - One and One PHP 5 Settings

2) make sure the Rewrite Base directive is set

 RewriteBase /

Here's a copy of my .htaccess file if you need to replace yours and give it a try, in case it works. Note you may need to rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess before it works.

Also note that remote MySQL administration (like MySQL Workbench) DOES NOT work with 1and1. You will need to use 1and1's web based interface to administer your MySQL. I have also not figtured out a way to browse the Joomla logs directory other than to FTP in to my server and read it directly rather than navigating to myjoomlasite.com/logs. 

This thread, while long, can be useful if you can make out the signal from the noise. The major steps are

  1. download the joomla .zip file
  2. setup a home directory for your joomla install
  3. point a subdomain at this directory in 1and1 control panel
  4. upload the .zip file there and uncompress it to get the install directory
  5. edit the htaccess.txt and rename it to .htaccess and make the edits above
  6. create the MySQL database in the 1and1 MySQL Administration settings
  7. note the particulars for your MySQL database once it has been created - you must get all this information right
  8. hit the subdomain created in #3 above and follow the installation wizard -- you will provide your database credentials here
  9. if all is well you will have  a working Joomla site sample (aadev.newpathconsulting.com for example).

July 06, 2012

Solution for spinning clock problem on Blackberry (Torch or OS6)

Is your Blackberry driving you insane? My Torch will have a black spinning watch at least 20 times per day, pausing what I am doing, and simply "freezing" me out of using it. The issue surprisingly is with a feature called "content compression". Newer Blackberries have media cards (microSD cards) that can be used to store data. Emails can be stored there as well. If you have lots of pictures, emails on your device (say multiple email inboxes too), content compression will force all content to be, well, compressed.

This is a CPU intensive procedure, and causes the freezes. The device starts to compress the files (much like when you make a zip file), and it does this many times per day. If you have this problem turn off content compression with these steps:

  1. Select the Options (wrench icon), then Device, then Storage option.
  2. Then turn off Compression. Here's the screen on my Torch with Compression disabled -- you may find this option in General/Security or General/Storage settings on your Blackberry. Look for content compression or just compression under storage options.Capture11_31_45
  3. Click the return button and then click the save button.

 

Many tell you to erase the handheld and restore the backup, but this is just not required. This option, when your Blackberry is really full of data, slows down the normal operation. Resist the urge to turn this option on!

This option really doesn't work well with lots of data on your blackberry, so turn it off!

June 25, 2012

Blader Runner Turns 30 on June 25 2012. We are 7 years away from its potential future.

Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's vision of the future turns 30 this year. This vision of the future was released on June 25th 1982 and continues to live on, I believe, as the closest portrayal of our world's future. There are so many fascinating conclusions that this film makes: technological, political, physical, psychological. And the predictions in the film are even more bang on -- it's as if Scott had a crystal ball to look into the future and filmed us an infomercial of a potential world,  warning us to "Be careful of what you want. You may just get it."

Enjoy this short "documentary" on Scott's vision filmed in 1982. This adds yet another layer to a must-see film. See Blade Runner every year as we approach 2019, to remind you that the decisions we make every day lead to our eventuality.

 

And this never before published letter from Philip K. Dick, the author of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", the short story on which Blade Runner is based:

image from www.philipkdick.com
And for some Google/Nexus humour:

DECKARD: What’s this?

BRYANT: Nexus 6. Runs Ice Cream Sandwich. Incept date 2012. Flagship model. Optimum self-sufficiency. Probably the leader.

[new phone appears rotating on screen]

BRYANT: Galaxy S. Talk about ‘Beauty and the Beast’ — she’s both.

[new phone appears rotating on screen]

BRYANT: LG Genesis. Your basic pleasure model. They were designed to copy the iPhone in every way except for their applications. The designers reckoned that, after a few years, they might develop their own smartphone ecosystem. You know, cases, boom boxes, charging docks… so they built in a failsafe device.

DECKARD: Which is what?

BRYANT: Four hour talk time.

 

June 19, 2012

AR.Drone 2.0 - Fly. Record. Share.

Quadcopters from Parrot that record HD videos and are controlled from an iPad or Android tablet.This is one of the coolest product videos I have seen in years. Must. Get. One.

 

June 15, 2012

Tim Cook, Apple CEO fascinates at All Things D

Enjoy, fascinating discussion esp at 22:00 on US manufacturing.

 

June 13, 2012

Newly announced and highly contested ICANN gTLDs tell a story

Do you see a pattern in the most contested gTLDs once you categorize them in grammar order? There are a few missing from the full list announced. Sorry. This should be interesting. UPDATE: It is interesting. Digital archery a no go. ICANN announced technical issues.

Nouns

- ! 'APP : 13 '
- ! 'ART : 10 '
- ! 'AUTO : 4 '
- ! 'BABY : 6 '
- ! 'BASKETBALL : 3 '
- ! 'BEAUTY : 3 '
- ! 'BET : 4 '
- ! 'BLOG : 9 '
- ! 'BOOK : 9 '
- ! 'BROADWAY : 3 '
- ! 'CARS : 3 '
- ! 'CASINO : 4 '
- ! 'CASA : 3 '
- ! 'CHAT : 4 '
- ! 'CITY : 3 '
- ! 'CLOUD : 7 '
- ! 'CLUB : 3 '
- ! 'CRICKET : 3 '
- ! 'DATA : 3 '
- ! 'DIET : 3 '
- ! 'DEALS : 3 '
- ! 'DESIGN : 8 '
- ! 'DOCTOR : 3 '
- ! 'DOG : 3 '
- ! 'FAMILY : 3 '
- ! 'FASHION : 4 '
- ! 'FILM : 3 '
- ! 'FLOWERS : 4 '
- ! 'FOOD : 3 '
- ! 'FORUM : 3 '
- ! 'GAME : 5 '
- ! 'GARDEN : 3 '
- ! 'GOLF : 4 '
- ! 'GROUP : 5 '
- ! 'HEALTH : 4 '
- ! 'HELP : 3 '
- ! 'HOTEL : 7 '
- ! 'HOME : 11 '
- ! 'HOSTING : 3 '
- ! 'INSURANCE : 4 '
- ! 'LAW : 6 '
- ! 'LIFE : 3 '
- ! 'LOVE : 7 '
- ! 'MAIL : 7 '
- ! 'MAP : 3 '
- ! 'MARKETING : 3 '
- ! 'MEMORIAL : 3 '
- ! 'MEDIA : 3 '
- ! 'MOM : 3 '
- ! 'MOVIE : 8 '
- ! 'MUSIC : 8 '
- ! 'NEWS : 7 '
- ! 'PIZZA : 4 '
- ! 'PLAY : 4 '
- ! 'POKER : 4 '
- ! 'PROPERTY : 3 '
- ! 'RACING : 3 '
- ! 'RADIO : 4 '
- ! 'REALESTATE : 4 '
- ! 'RESTAURANT : 4 '
- ! 'RUGBY : 3 '
- ! 'SALE : 5 '
- ! 'SALON : 4 '
- ! 'SHOP : 9 '
- ! 'SCHOOL : 4 '
- ! 'SECURITY : 3 '
- ! 'SHOW : 4 '
- ! 'SITE : 5 '
- ! 'SOCCER : 4 '
- ! 'SPA : 3 '
- ! 'SPOT : 3 '
- ! 'STORE : 7 '
- ! 'STYLE : 5 '
- ! 'TAXI : 3 '
- ! 'TEAM : 4 '
- ! 'TECH : 6 '
- ! 'TENNIS : 4 '
- ! 'TICKETS : 5 '
- ! 'TIRES : 3 '
- ! 'TUBE : 3 '
- ! 'VIDEO : 4 '
- ! 'WEB : 7 '
- ! 'WEBSITE : 3 '
- ! 'WEDDING : 3 '
- ! 'WINE : 3 '
- ! 'YOGA : 3 '

Verb

- ! 'BUY : 5 '
- ! 'CHAT : 4 '
- ! 'HELP : 3 '
- ! 'LIVE : 3 '
- ! 'PLAY : 4 '
- ! 'SEARCH : 4 '
- ! 'SUCKS : 3 '

Adjective

- ! 'FREE : 5 '
- ! 'FUN : 3 '
- ! 'GAY : 4 '
- ! 'HOT : 3 '
- ! 'GREEN : 4 '
- ! 'LIVE : 3 '
- ! 'MOBILE : 3 '

Adverb
- ! 'NOW : 6 '
- ! 'ONLINE : 6 '

Brands

- ! 'MERCK : 3 '

Interjection
- ! 'WOW : 3 '

Acronym

- ! 'CAM : 3 '
- ! 'CORP : 6 '
- ! 'CPA : 6 '
- ! 'ECO : 4 '
- ! 'GMBH : 6 '
- ! 'IMMO : 4 '
- ! 'INC : 11 '
- ! 'LLC : 9 '
- ! 'LLP : 4 '
- ! 'LTD : 7 '
- ! 'MED : 4 '
- ! 'MBA : 3 '
- ! 'MLS : 3 '
- ! 'RIP : 3 '
- ! 'TECH : 6 '
- ! 'VIP : 6 '