SSD acquired

I’ve been tempted to purchase an SSD for my home desktop system for sometime. This is the same system I use to run a number of virtual machines and for playing battlefield3.

Got the SSD on Monday. Purchased a Corsair 120Gb Series 3 and reinstalled Windows. The time it takes for Windows to boot to logon screen is only about 12 or so seconds.

Below is how my Windows Index scores changed, and I knew this change for my boot drive would bring the score up quite a lot. So knew it was worth a purchase.

Game play via BF3 seems better too, although only early days. I need more time to play some more. I installed BF3 onto the SSD too, and have installed VMware Workstation to a 7200rpm traditional internal drive.

HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L

As per my post a few days back, ordered a N40L.

All I can say is it’s a great bit of kit. I’ve installed Debian 6.0.4 amd64 and have configured it to do a number of services and other tasks.

So good to be running a dedicated physical linux host on my network again.

I installed Debian  on the 250gb drive it shipped with, and carved it up so I have about 200gb left over for data storage via samba (and nfs soon as I configure it up). I dropped in 2 x 500 7200rpm Samsungs I had from my desktop, and setup those in a mdadm raid1. I also put in a 2Tb WD Green to also share out via samba (and nfs).

Running quite nicely. Thumbs up. Think I need another one 🙂

New hardware purchases

I ordered a HP N40L Microserver on Saturday night. It should arrive in the next day or so. Have been wanting to get one of these for a while and with the recent decrease in pricing, I just happened to have some spare dollars from a recent Kogan refund (against a 22″ LED TV that had several major issues).

In addition, anyone in Sydney that might be interested in a Synology NAS, let me know, as I’d like to sell my Synology DS109+ Single bay NAS (without disk).

Plans for the N40L include installation of Debian to setup some internal dns services, and mail relay etc. I also going to deploy the Ubiquiti UniFi controller software on it, so I can manage the UniFi hardware I have been testing (and still completely impressed with). Would love to buy some more Ubiquiti gear to test a point to point link in my street.

Kogan 7″ Andriod Tablet

My wife and I picked up a Kogan 7inch Andriod Tablet via the ebay store they have for a really good price, so we purchased it for Darwyn to use.

I’ve installed a 16Gb microsd card in it and put on the entire Octonauts series for him in mp4 format. Plus a few other programs he likes.

I rooted the device using the details at the XDA link here. This allowed me to backup the factory firmware using SuperOneClick. I next installed MoboPlayer via alternative method, as any attempts to install via the Market app on the device resulted in it not being seen. The process to root it was super easy. I even put Cyanogenmod7 on it, but later removed it, as it’s not really designed for a tablet, but indeed worked (although some things didn’t i.e. camera etc).

EDIT: Sorry clockworkmod backup is installed first, so you can do a backup of the firmware from factory + rom. The SuperOneClick is the app ran on Windows for example to root the device.

BURP is not bad

I installed BURP and had a bit of play with backing up and was impressed. I’d really love to see this BURP server/client binaries available on say my Synology NAS. Think it could be very good addition.

I started to cross compile it and ran into issue each time. As I resolved one, something else came up.

I found that a fellow who has built Transmission and a number of other packages for Synology NAS units has released a build environment, and I have started to use that. However still having issues. At this stage I will put this project/playing around on hold for a few weeks, but will go back to tackle it again. As it would be good to have the BURP server running on say the Synlogy NAS (DS109+) in my case, but could also be compiled for other models with the correct tool chains etc.

Router issues sorted

After playing around with the Billion 7800NL I managed to sort out something that solved my problem.

It appears the default setup doesn’t include any sort of QoS, so I played around and managed to create some rules which see to be performing what they should.

It wasn’t running out of connections, it seems to have just been starved of bandwidth at various times. Post those QoS rules being done, it’s now been stable for over 5 days. So that’s made me quite happy.

Internet Routers

It would appear our household really hammers the router, in fact so badly it doesn’t seem to cope after a few days.

I’ve got an old Pentium 4 here, so after running up pfsense on it for a 2nd time, it seems to handle things so much better. Plan is to use this machine for the next 6 or so months, while I continue to eye off a lovely ALIX 2-3 unit to take over from it. It’s just a matter of time before I buy one, as pfsense certainly seems to handle things nicely. I guess future purchases will be smart switch again to make use of the VLAN tagging (which will go nicely with our Ubiquiti UniFi Access Point too).

Will post picture of the ALIX 2-3 and other details when I do actually purchase one, it’s just a matter of timing on my part.

New Digital Camera Canon DSLR 600D

Wife and I have been reviewing DSLR’s for a while now. We settled on a Canon 600D twin lens kit. As this was the model that had the features we wanted.

Took a few photos with it and very impressed so far. Now all I need to do is to understand all the features. Might have to do a bit of a course on how to best use it.

Decoding TiVo files as downloaded from TiVo series 3

I’ve always been meaning to determine how one can decrypt the *.tivo files as saved out from the TiVo units by the TiVo Desktop application.

Turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought, just took some research. Found an application called tivodecode, but the binary I found I couldn’t get to work. But I eventually came across the page here. Which linked to a java application called kmttg, which is a good app to use instead of the TiVo Desktop one. However, the tools zip file they provide has the tivodecode binary that works on my Windows 7 x86 host.

When it rains, it pours

Probably not the best start to the new year. Turns out my Mac Mini is having some serious memory issues, looks like I have a problem dimm socket. Opened it up to see if things had been seated correctly, appears the lower dimm socket on side clip is not right. Guess I got a dud, might explain the issues I have been having. Booked into Sydney Apple Store for Tuesday 9:30am.

And to top it off, if you run hdhomerun unit and don’t get any video out of Windows 7 Media Center from your tuners, it’s the latest nvidia drivers to blame. Attempted to go a beta set, and when start having lots of panic issues. Rolled back, and still had the same issues on the versions I use to run.

So set about reinstalling Windows 7. Lucky I have a extra drive in the system, means I can rebuild onto it, and not blow away old system drive until all copied/setup on new install.

New hardware geek toys

Well I know I said I was going to get a SSD, but when it was all said and done I decided not too. As my machine is already fast enough when I play bf3. So thought I’d get something else.

I nearly got a hdhomerun when they first hit australia 3 years or more ago, but held off for other reasons, but I thought, I will get one of these instead. So told the wife to buy me one for my Birthday.

Intend on using it with Mythtv, and EyeTV on mac. It will be good to use Mythtv again, as I use to use it with Twinhan tuners years ago and wrote some wiki pages on it at Mythtv. One of those pages is here. Can’t seem to find the other one I wrote years ago.

In addition, I am also going to buy a Ubiquiti Unfi 802.11n internal access point, as those things look awesome and the features look great too. Will post my thoughts on it once I have it configured, really interested in the guest stuff it can do. Not to mention the controller/management software available.

OSX Lion on 2Gb ram is painfull

Since my ram went fubar in the Mac Mini, all I can say is that running Lion on 2Gb ram is painfull.

Can’t wait for the other ram to arrive that I ordered, as going back to the original factory memory will kill me. It’s like the machine is constantly swapping, which it probably is based on the sort of work I need to do on it from time to time.

Mac Mini 4,1 Kernel Panics

Been having some very odd issues on the Mac Mini 4,1 system I have. It looks like the mouse started to play up, and oddly enough new batteries never changed the issue. Soon as I removed the ram, and put back factory memory. It all came good. It’s safe to say the 2 x 2gb modules I got have some issues. Think I will bin those, as they had no warranty.

It looks like Other World Computing ( has some great prices. Might order from them some replacements.