Transport Sync – The hardware and the software

Since getting my Transport Sync and seeing reports that the drive when formatted by the unit may not be accessible by any other means. I thought I would investigate this further myself.

I took the external drive I was using and attached it to another Linux machine. As I expected when I did this I could see 3 partitions had been created on my external drive. The first was a 1GB (primary partition 1), followed by ~1.8G (logical partition 3 ) and the rest of the drive space (logical partition 4).

I’d heard that the drive my not be mountable outside of the unit/use. However, that’s not true. I could mount all the partitions and traverse the contents without an issue. However, the layout of the disk is not what you’d expect. See below, as your share name s in the web portal are linked to what looks to be a UUID type relationship.

# ls -la
total 48
drwxrwx---    7 embedded embedded      4096 Mar  9 21:36 .
drwxr-xr-x   18 embedded embedded      4096 Mar  9 20:20 ..
drwxrwx---    5 embedded embedded      4096 Mar  9 21:00 54f6e0afbe034963343d3082
drwxrwx---    2 embedded embedded      4096 Mar 12 21:53 54fd66fdbd1f46071996b985
drwxrwx---    6 embedded embedded      4096 Mar 12 12:07 54fd720c591f467c6196b991
drwxrwx---    8 embedded embedded      4096 Mar  9 21:27 54fd75569ac07c7e7896b97e
drwxrwx---    3 embedded embedded      4096 Mar  9 21:37 54fd77969ac07cf43196b97e
# pwd
/replicator/storagePools

Anyways, under these UUID named directories is the data that you would get under each of your shares etc.

I also pulled down a copy of the diag logs and reviewed those too, and noticed that rootfs for the Transport Sync is downloaded from connected data and is used to build the OS onto the external drive etc (including a network boot prior to that happening). Determined that Transport Sync when in a labmode or beta state would have ssh daemon enabled. Worked this out from the init.d scripts (nS50ssh) contained in the rootfs that was downloaded (rootfs-3.1.9.17914.tar).

Source: /etc/init.d/nS50ssh

start() {
    if /usr/bin/in-labmode || /usr/bin/is-beta || [ -e /replicator/configuration/ssh ] ; then
 	    echo -n "Starting sshd: "
	    /usr/sbin/sshd -f /etc/ssh/sshd_config -h /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
	    touch /var/lock/sshd
	    echo "OK"
    fi
}

I made some tweaks so that when I unmounted the drive and attached back onto my Transport Sync, it would boot and enable ssh. So I could dig a little more around, and can see the architecture information below of the system;

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor       : ARMv6-compatible processor rev 4 (v6l)
BogoMIPS        : 239.20
Features        : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp java
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant     : 0x0
CPU part        : 0xb02
CPU revision    : 4

Hardware        : Connected Data CNS3411 Portal Board
Revision        : 0000
Serial          : 0000000000000000
# uname -a
Linux cd_haven 2.6.35.12-cavm1 #14 Tue Jun 24 14:51:41 PDT 2014 armv6l GNU/Linux

The program that seems to do all the heavy lifting is “replicator” and this is something connected data has developed, and has ties to Drobo as far as I can tell also.

I recently installed Windows 10 RC and installed the Transporter Desktop client on and was surprised to see that the Transporter Library shows up in Windows 10 RC as a drive letter, this was pretty cool I thought. So my D: drive on Windows 10 RC after installing the client is associated to the Transporter Library folder.

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Crucial 256GB m550 SSD

I’ve been in the market for a new SSD, as the one I had was a little small. Just as I was about to purchase one I saw a special come up for Crucial 256GB m550 SSD. So I ordered one.

This has been installed into my Intel Celeron based NUC and it makes a massive difference over a traditional drive. I’d previously been using a Corsair 120GB SSD so I knew what to expect.

I still want to purchase another one for everyday machine, which will also be my gaming machine too. Not sure what brand I will buy for that machine when it comes time.

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Transporter Sync – Use case

As previously posted I bought a Transporter Sync, as after some review I could see a use case for it and felt it could be a good addition for me and my environment.

Below I am going to talk about my use case and provide insight on how I am using it, so that others might get an understanding of some of the capabilities of the device. This is merely a sample of the capabilities, as when you have 2 or more units you can sync data between them (including data contained in the Transporter Library folder).

First thing I should mention is the folders associated with the installation of the software, and this is something they cover on every client installation performed, however it can seem a bit confusing, but it’s really simple.

Below is a screen grab showing the welcome message from the installer.

transporter_folder_vs_transporter_library

Transporter Folder is files/folders that will exist on any computer where the client is installed, unless your use selective sync to turn them off to stop syncing on that computer.

It will also contain a folder called Transporter Library, which if any data is copied to this path will ONLY exist on the Transporter, and will not remain on your computer. So if your computer dies or the Transporter dies, data in the Transporter Library goes with it. HOWEVER, Transporter Library folder can be configured to sync to another Transporter device associated with your account.

Example below, on what this Transporter Folder might look like, note I have created several shared folders, hence I have a number of additional folders shown, blurred out for privacy reasons.

transporter_folder_windows_client

 

For example the folder above named Public, is a shared folder I created using the Web Portal that allows me to drop files into this location, and send web links to people so they can view the file and/or download the file.

transporter_web_portal_shared_folder_creation

 

The next screen from the Web Portal is the properties for the shared folder, you will note that it has Transporter Require: No, so I can create web links to any content from my Computer of any content on this shared folder.

transporter_web_portal_shared_folder_properties

Below is a demo showing me right clicking a file and showing the Transporter content menu for creating a link to a file.

transporter_context_menu_create_web_link

Below is a link to the file as created above, so you can see what it looks like;

Click here.

Created links can be viewed/managed from the Web Portal too, as shown below;

transporter_web_portal_manage_links

From here you can delete them, and set an expiring for it.

The feature of the product which I was most excited about, was Special Folders. Below is a screen capture as taken from the Transporter Windows Client where I am looking at the Preferences, where this is configured.

transporter_windows_client_special_folders

In this example, I have selected “My Documents” and what happens when I do this is that the existing files/folders in “My Documents” are moved to a folder that is named after my machines host name. Soon as that is complete, it starts to sync the entire contents to the Transporter hard drive.

At this point, if I save anything into the “My Documents” folder structure top level, and the newly created folder with my machines host name. It instantly syncs to the Transporter.

Now the magic happens when I install the client on another computer that I use, and enable this feature again on the next computer. It will again create a folder under “My Documents” that is based on the machines host name, and move all the data below this. It of course instantly syncs this data to the Transporter.

However, you will also see the folder and data from the first machine appear too. Like wise when I go back to the first computer, it will show the data from the 2nd computer’s “My Documents” folder.

The creation of the folder based on the machines host name, is stop file conflicts where both machines might have the same file name, and allows you to manually merge it all. i.e. move content back to the My Documents top level folder to create a true single pane.

Now when you save any files/folders into My Documents on either computer, both machines instantly see this due to an immediate sync, and transporter gets a sync too. Now you could access this data from the iOS and/or Android device too, once you log on with your user account used on the Transporter Desktop client installs.

Selective Sync is an option that can be used to limit what shared folders sync on other machines, so if you had 3 shared folders, you might not want all 3 shared folders to sync on your 2nd computer, so you could turn them all off, or just individual ones. As shown below;

transporter_windows_client_selective_sync

I’ll post more info and screen captures in the coming days, but I wanted to post out something to account for what I have used so far.

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Transporter Sync Ordered

After some careful consideration and additional research, as noted from my previous blog post. I ordered a Transporter Sync yesterday, as I really wanted to get my hands on one so I could honestly evaluate it.

I was a little disappointed to get a promo email after signing up that was targeted to the US market only that they can buy 2 units and only pay for the price of 1. If only we had those sorts of deals in Australia (APAC region). I also thought why send me advertising/promo emails after I signed up for a region in which I am not even the target market for. Seems a bit silly. I provided this feedback to them directly, so hopefully they improve that.

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File Transporter – Cool bit of technology

I was introduced to a device called File Transporter by a twitter user I follow. I’ll admit I had never heard of it, and I don’t know why, cause the concept is certainly pretty cool.

I had a few questions about the device, and was considering the purchase just so I could explore it further. I noticed they had a contact form, so I requested a live demo. If I am able to get a unit I will be posting a review over at Appletalk, however it will also be available here too.

Tonight I’ve spent a bit of time looking at other reviews by people on Youtube, as I still had some questions that I was trying to determine, as I was interested in how it was managed, and post installation what sort of control you had on the sync of data between the Computers and unit etc.

I’ve been able to answer a number of my own questions by reading the support articles below;

In addition to this I also signed up for an account so I could see the portal used to manage it, and I must admit even without a unit so far, I am somewhat still impressed.

I can see the value that could be obtained by having more than a single unit. Since this means the units will sync data between themselves.

I hope third party applications on IOS and Andriod get support for accessing the units, as this would be a big deal in my opinion, who knows, might even be already done. Will certainly explore this for myself hopefully soon.

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Raspberry Pi 2 announced

I didn’t even expect this, was very surprised to see that a Raspberry Pi 2 has been announced. You can read more from the blog at Raspberry Pi as found here.

I currently have a Model B+, but I will also probably buy one of the new Raspberry Pi 2 units, as I wouldn’t mind seeing how fast it is compared to the previous model and also trying Windows 10 on it too.

 

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New Case – Ended up getting an Corsair Carbide Series Spec 02

I did end up buying a new case, I actually opted to buy an Corsair Carbide Series Spec 02. I might only have a mini-itx system, but I really wanted something that would be easy to work on, and besides I can always up cycle this case to my next PC build later this year.

Thinking of getting a new CPU, motherboard and ram. Not sure what yet, but will continue to monitor new things coming out and get something very quick.

Will post my thoughts on this case, after I start to move the machine over from the BitFenix Prodigy that it currently resides in.

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PPP LCP EchoReq failures

It appears I got over 14 hour run out of my PPP connection with the new router, however it did end up dying, in a way that I believe is associated with my other router doing the same thing, as I did see this happen on old router too.

You can see a snip of the logs below, which I am running in PPP debug mode to catch the failures.

Jan 31 04:17:29 tp-link.home syslog: rcvd [LCP EchoReq id=0x29 magic=0xc7764cdf dc e9 00 04]
Jan 31 04:17:29 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP EchoRep id=0x29 magic=0xf199fdc0 dc e9 00 04]
Jan 31 04:17:45 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP EchoReq id=0xf2 magic=0xf199fdc0]
Jan 31 04:17:45 tp-link.home syslog: rcvd [LCP EchoRep id=0xf2 magic=0xc7764cdf]
Jan 31 04:18:15 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP EchoReq id=0xf3 magic=0xf199fdc0]
Jan 31 04:18:45 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP EchoReq id=0xf4 magic=0xf199fdc0]
Jan 31 04:19:15 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP EchoReq id=0xf5 magic=0xf199fdc0]
Jan 31 04:19:45 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP EchoReq id=0xf6 magic=0xf199fdc0]
Jan 31 04:20:23 tp-link.home syslog: No response to 4 echo-requests
Jan 31 04:20:23 tp-link.home syslog: Serial link appears to be disconnected.
Jan 31 04:20:23 tp-link.home syslog: Serial link appears to be disconnected.
Jan 31 04:20:23 tp-link.home radvd[12001]: attempting to reread config file
Jan 31 04:20:23 tp-link.home syslog: Clear IP addresses.  PPP connection DOWN.
Jan 31 04:20:23 tp-link.home syslog: Clear IP addresses.  Connection DOWN.
Jan 31 04:20:27 tp-link.home syslog: Couldn't increase MTU to 1500.
Jan 31 04:20:27 tp-link.home syslog: Couldn't increase MRU to 1500
Jan 31 04:20:27 tp-link.home syslog: PPP LCP DOWN.
Jan 31 04:20:27 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP TermReq id=0x3 "Peer not responding"]
Jan 31 04:20:27 tp-link.home radvd[12001]: resuming normal operation
Jan 31 04:20:27 tp-link.home radvd[12001]: received RA from fe80::706e:1fff:feb3:306f
Jan 31 04:20:31 tp-link.home syslog: sent [LCP TermReq id=0x4 "Peer not responding"]
Jan 31 04:20:34 tp-link.home syslog: Connection terminated.
Jan 31 04:20:34 tp-link.home syslog: Connect time 23711299.2 minutes.
Jan 31 04:20:34 tp-link.home syslog: Sent 409935162 bytes, received 406005108 bytes.
Jan 31 04:20:34 tp-link.home syslog: Connect time 23711299.2 minutes.
Jan 31 04:20:34 tp-link.home syslog: Sent 409935162 bytes, received 406005108 bytes.

Exetel informed me yesterday that they had an outage on Thursday relating to some equipment relating to the above happening, and that Friday AM they performed maintenance to correct it. But guess what, looks like it is still happening, just not so frequently on this router. Maybe coincidence, but I couldn’t keep the old router on when it was flaking out so frequently.

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Initial impression of TP-Link TD-W8960N wireless router

My TP-Link TD-W8960N arrived yesterday, and I cracked open the box. Configured it and installed it onto my ADSL service.

If you saw my last post, you will know I am having some ADSL sync issues, which suddenly came out of no where a week ago. Thought it might of been related to a recent tech visit and other problems, however it was also possible that the age old router I have might be responsible too.

So I got the TP-Link TD-W8960N to confirm if it too suffers the same issues. It’s now been plugged in for over 10 hours and stayed connected. My old router had dropped about 10+ times yesterday after lunch until the evening when swapped out.

Will continue to monitor this for another few days, but if this continues, I think it might be safe to say that my Billion 7800NL may be terminal, so I might crack it open and see if any caps have leaked that might explain the router being so unstable.

TP-Link TD-W8960N is not bad, I like the fact it has EWAN support, which means I will be able to use it as a spare/test unit for FTTH in the future. Assuming I find I need to replace it with something more powerful.

It’s menu layout and other options is nearly identical to the Billion 7800NL, which surprised me a little. I still can’t find where to change the routers hostname and domain suffix.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 8.20.26 am

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ADSL issues

I am having some ADSL connectivity issues, its got so bad I am loosing ADSL sync quite frequently. I only had a tech out not long ago, since that visit, it seems to have got better and suddenly worse. Loosing ADSL sync very often.

I’ve ordered another ADSL modem/router to test with, since my current router is very old, so I am not certain its the line or the modem/router. If the new device continues to have the same condition, the fault I have open with my ISP will need to be pushed back through to the field to ensure a tech attends.

Can’t wait to move, as the new house/land location is FTTH (Fibre To The Home). So will be nice to move away from copper lines that are impacted by every little thing.

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