Category Archives: IT

Network Attached Sweetness, BitTorrent Sync and more

I finally invested in a NAS at home for storing all my crap. I have four computers, a tablet and a phone, so my lovely collection of files is fragmented to say the least. Behold!

IMG_20130817_000848

It doesn’t look like much, but the Synology DS413j holds 4 drives; plenty for my purposes. It runs Synology DSM, a Linux-based OS. It has got a web interface for administration, and of course SSH access for those cool enough to use it. The web interface is very impressive, and reminds me more of a native window manager in a relatively modern OS rather than something actually written in HTML and Javascript.

Having a central place to store files is all well and good; but some folders is very useful to have locally as well, with a sync to the NAS. There’s literally several kilograms (measured in floppy disks) of syncing software out there, some are good, and some are not as good. I ended up using BitTorrent Sync. It’s got end-to-end encryption, it’s free, it has a linux build for various architectures so it runs on Synology DSM, and it’s by BitTorrent, the creator of the leading bit-pusher protocol in the world. And it works on Android (and apparently soon iOS for those who bend that way).

All you do to sync a folder, is to add it in the web interface for BT Sync, generate a secret key, and then just enter the same secret key on whatever client you want to sync it with. You can even create one-time keys if you only want to grant someone temporary access to your synced stuff. Pretty neat.

btsync

 

One awesome use case for BT Sync is syncing mobile photos. Whenever I have taken any photos on my phone, I have to go through the hassle of connecting the phone to get to the pictures. Now, I’m simply letting BT Sync sync the camera folder to my NAS and laptop. Much easier. I don’t have to lift a goddamn finger, and that’s the way it should be.

The big problem with having a continuous sync, or in fact, having any kind of data transfer going on at any time anywhere, is that shit breaks. Files get corrupt, files are accidentally deleted, or accidentally modified, and the RAID software happily replicates your screw-ups to all your drives. So I’ve been looking into backup solutions as well, since I’m already in a storage solution exploring spree. I got a recommendation for CrashPlan, a cloud backup service with client-side encryption and unlimited storage for $4/month. Quite nice.

Someone who calls himself “patters” created a CrashPlan package for Synology. There’s an how-to for how to install it here: http://pcloadletter.co.uk/2012/01/30/crashplan-syno-package/
After the package is installed, the service can be controlled through a client on the laptop to choose backup folders, frequencies, retention duration and so on. As default, it backs up changes every 15 minutes, and keeps each of these snapshots for a week; daily backups are stored for 90 days, weekly backups for a year, and monthlies forever.

… but it’s not very fast (maybe on purpose?) A full backup is thankfully only needed once; after that, only diffs are stored.

crashplan

 

Well, that’s it for now!

Vacation time!

It’s finally here! Today I had my last exam (Programming Languages), and I even think it went quite well. And what does that mean? Vacation time, baby! I can’t wait to get home for a few weeks. My train leaves about 8:30 tomorrow – and about 5 hours after that I’ll be home with my mom and sister. Later, somewhere in between christmas eve and new years eve I’m heading to good ol’ Dokka, with a few days with my father and old friends. I look forward to seeing you all soon! :) Although I bet it’s freezing there… *brrr*.

On another subject: I went to see see Avatar (in 3D of course) today. Man, it was such an epic movie! I loved every tiny bit of it! I watched it tonight, and it was so worth it! :)

The last week or so I’ve worked on a new little project. It’s a program to list all the new episodes of various series released on eztv.it. It’s written in Python, I’ll make it available on my programming page after I’m done writing this blog entry. Anyone interested are free to use it, of course. :) Below is a screenshot for those who are interested.

Show Announcer

Show Announcer

Last I’d like to say Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone! I hope you’ll all have a good one! :D

Gingerbread house and exams

It’s soon christmas. That entails that it’s soon gingerbread time. Actually, yesterday we made a gingerbread house here. We’re fortunate enough to have a construction engineer living here, so the result was quite awsome:

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

To change the subject completely, I finished my first exam yesterday (5th) in Operating Systems. I think it went quite well. Next one is 8th, 10th and finally 18th. Then I’m going home on vacation, and it’s going to be great. And just to be completely random: I love Chrome. With the recent support for extensions, and a usable Linux version, I use it as my default browser for the time being.

One thing I missed this weekend was Dokka-LAN. I really wish I could be there, but hey, that’s life I guess. :P  I hope everyone had fun!

Also, if you want to follow this blog in any way, feel free to use the RSS feed (http://hallgeir.org/feed/). :)

Tenshi Tsume and Chrome OS

It’s about time I updated this blog. I don’t have a lot of news, but there’s at least some.

Some may have picked up that I’ve joined Tenshi Tsume, a martial arts group at NTNUI that is a mix of various martial arts (mainly Jiu Jitsu though). On Saturday I got my yellow belt. The grading was tough as hell, I’ve never seen anything like it. I won’t go into details here on this site in case future members reads it (it’s a little secret so people don’t know what to expect), but believe me when I say I’ve never been as exhausted as when I was done. But I got through it, and passed with good margin. :D

In other news, I just tried out Google Chrome OS on VirtualBox. It doesn’t run very smoothly, but I don’t expect anything else when running it on a virtual machine.

chrome-os-test

I’m really looking forward to when it’s done – maybe even I will buy a netbook then. :P Though I see that some of the features they were very proud of (like the application tabs) will come in Firefox 4.0.

Google Gears for 64bit linux

Noen (f.eks. meg) har kanskje lagt merke til at Google ikke har gitt ut binaries for Google Gears som funker til 64-bitsmaskiner (iallefall for Linux). Etter litt søking fant jeg en kjapp how-to for å patche og kompilere Gears (med link til ferdig kompilert versjon):

http://blog.celogeek.com/linux/linux-tips-and-tricks/google-gears-compilation/

Direktelink til ferdig binærfil: http://media.celogeek.com/googlegears/r3399-gears-linux-x86_64-opt-0.5.33.0.xpi