Neutral Axis

A little more on ownCloud

by on Mar.26, 2013, under Uncategorized

I’ve had ownCloud server running for 24 hours now on a Ubuntu 10.04 system.  To get it working, I had to upgrade php to 5.3.10, which meant finding a different repository for it as only older versions are in the 10.04 repository.  I’m having trouble with the installation, but I’m not sure if that’s the cause.  Basically, it’s dead slow.  Overnight it only received about 500MB.  As a test, I’ve also installed it on a 12.04 system which has the more up-to-date php from the standard repository.  It seems to be working about the same there.  One thing that’s confusing is that syncing seems to be proceeding, while the client software still says it is waiting for a connection.  The tray icon changes from green (synced) to blue (syncing) to grey (waiting for a connection).  There’s a definite bug in the 1.2.1 client software because quite often, the tray icon and sync status don’t match.

And my first attempts at direct folder to folder sync resulted in an immediate fatal error that crashes the software.  Especially bad was that the crash happened immediately upon starting the client, so I couldn’t find a way to get to the config page to correct the problem.   I resorted to uninstalling and re-installing the client software to get back to normal. [Edit: Fixed in client release 1.2.3]

I’m in the slow process of getting a bunch of software and configuration moved from the 10.04 machine to the 12.04 machine, so over time hopefully I can continue to bash away at this and get it running smoothly.  Or at least as smoothly as the current version allows.

[Update: I realized why syncing is slow.  The computer I’m syncing from is running a newly installed copy of Carbonite and it’s still in it’s initial multi-gigabyte backup.  I’d been looking at the router log on the sending side and saw the transfer speed and couldn’t understand why so little was syncing if it was running continuous at full upload speed.  Then I thought of the Carbonite factor and looked at the router log on the receiving network and it was showing only about half the speed incoming.  This was confirmed because there was a period where I had paused Carbonite and in the incoming router log, saw that time clearly visible by a jump in the incoming speed.]

See my previous ownCloud post.

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ownCloud looks very promising!

by on Mar.25, 2013, under Uncategorized

I’ve installed ownCloud on a couple of my computers to see if it’s a viable roll-your-own version of Dropbox.  I love Dropbox, but if I can do an unlimited version of my own, well hey, why not. (continue reading…)

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Microsoft Outlook is trying my nerves

by on Mar.13, 2013, under Uncategorized

Awhile back I got Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate through a program they called “the ultimate steal”.  It was the whole shebang for about $80.  I liked my OpenOffice and Mozilla Thunderbird, so never installed it until just recently when I got a new Windows 7 computer.

The most recent versions of Word or Excel that I had used prior to this were 2000, so I’m liking the changes to those programs.  But good God, Outlook sucks in comparison to Mozilla Thunderbird. (continue reading…)

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Make a custom bookmarklet for your library

by on Feb.01, 2013, under Uncategorized

I’ve found it kind of amazing how many non-mainstream CDs my local library has that I read about online.  Today I modified a bookmarklet I found for searching so it searches my local library.  It’s not hard, so you may be able to get it to work similarly for yours. (continue reading…)

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Audiogalaxy – Poof!

by on Feb.01, 2013, under Uncategorized

Audiogalaxy, my favorite way to stream music from my own home collection went poof yesterday when, on schedule, they shut down.  They’ve been bought by Dropbox, so hopefully they’ll be back in some form.  In the meantime, I’m moving back to the combo of mt-daapd back-end and FirePlay front-end.  It actually works equally well in the desktop environment to Audiogalaxy, but not on iPhone or iPad because FirePlay is flash based.  The Crossfire web-app is the only way I’m aware of to stream with iOS, but it’s cumbersome and slow.

Oh, and by the way, while I’ve been singing the praises of Plex lately, it’s no good for use as a streaming music player.  It’s GUI has no playback controls other than pause and a progress slider.  There’s no way to skip songs short of just clicking on a different one, no shuffle play, no volume control, etc.

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Plex continues to impress

by on Jan.28, 2013, under Uncategorized

I’ve been running Plex Media Server for several weeks now with a Roku 2 XS and absolutely love it.  It’s kind of amazing that the decade plus old computer it’s running on can actually do it, but it runs fine.  Today was the first day I tried Plex/Web from a remote location, and holy crap, it works better than I had hoped.

From my office computer I connected through the custom external port I assigned, picked a movie, clicked Play, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t start playing with no hiccups.  My home upload speed is maybe 1mbps.  After about a minute of play, I started to get some buffering, so backed off the remote play quality.  By default it had been at 1.5kbps/480p.  I backed it down one level to 750kbps/320p and it’s playing perfectly.  The picture is a little softer, but better than expected.

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Plex on a Roku 2 XS

by on Jan.09, 2013, under Uncategorized

Oh. My. God. This is awesome! Even running from an old Dell Optiplex business computer, so old it has a floppy drive, Plex works perfectly streaming videos to the Roku2 XS. More on the setup later, but until then, if you’ve wondered about the combo, believe me, it’s fantastic.

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Audiogalaxy ceasing service

by on Dec.28, 2012, under Uncategorized

Audiogalaxy, the music streaming software I’ve written about previously, announced today via Facebook that they will be shutting down operations completely on Jan 31, 2013.  A blog post dated Dec 12, 2012 indicates that they have been acquired by Dropbox, so we can all cross our fingers that Dropbox will be rolling AG’s features into their product.  If not, I guess I’ll either investigate Google Music or go back to my old setup with Firefly (mt-daapd) and FirePlay or maybe give Subsonic a second look.

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Roku 2 XS first impressions

by on Dec.26, 2012, under Uncategorized

First impression! LOVE IT! Second Impression, Why the F won’t a couple of things work?! [Updates below. Both issues were not Roku’s fault.]]

(continue reading…)

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Creepy Facebook Sponsored Stories

by on Dec.11, 2012, under Uncategorized

Facebook has this thing called “sponsored stories,” which are advertisements that appear within your news feed.  It’s usually something along these lines, saying that a friend likes such and such.

The catch is that my friend who likes Rolling Stone had nothing to do with that item.  He doesn’t even know I’m seeing it.  He may object to Frank Ocean and Green Day being on the Top 50 albums of 2012 list, but it sure looks like he “liked” it.

Facebook discloses that they do this, but I think it’s creepy that they don’t include that same ad in the user’s feed so that we can be aware of when it’s happening.  The way it ought to work is, if not to ask permission first, at least make it so the user can delete it after the fact.

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