UHD Premium – How to screw the consumer in favor an industry player

One of the big news during CES 2016 was the announcement of UHD Alliance Ultra HD Premium specifications. However, all said and done, it was a complete disappointment as far as consumer interests were concerned. The end result is nowhere nearer anything which can be useful for a consumer to take an informed decision on which new TV set to buy. Why? To understand, one needs to spot the questions the UHD Alliance set out to answer, and where it failed, miserably and fully intentionally.

Radmin on Mac OSX

It’s been literally years since I (and others) requested Radmin to add Mac OSX to the list of operative systems supported by the client version of Radmin Remote control. Actually one can actually see posts requesting this feature back in 2005. So much for listening to user’s requests…. … Well, enough is enough and it’s time to leave the Windows virtual machine, and use Radmin on Mac OSX through Wine and all it’s native beauty. It take a number of hours, but at the end it’s well worth the wait. Install Macports This step is only necessary if you don’t already …

Using Memcached on QNAP QTS 4.1.x

EDIT: For QTS 4.2 onwards use this guide which includes the right package.   For too long I’ve been struggling against my Semantic Mediawiki performance running on a QNAP machine. Pages were taking 10+ seconds be generated and new pages could take around 30s. Although those were certainly not the most simple of wikis, judging for the number of semantic properties and templates associated, those times were simply unacceptable, even for an Atom based hardware. After trying to improve QNAP’s Mysql performance, and upgrading to the latest available php 5.5 on QNAP (which already supports OPCache by default), all without …

ownCloud 7 on QNAP QTS 4.1

EDIT: This procedure is working as of ownCloud 7.0.2. Both QNAP and ownCloud have evolved since the lat updates, but some of the news aren’t exactly good: QNAP no longer supports customised apache config files; ownCloud 7 updater removes any unknown files from onwCloud root directory. How to fix both? Well, as for number one, there’s no good alternative, but it can be altogether worked around. As for number two, the fix (and workaround for one) is the following: edit .htaccess file present on ownCloud root dir, and add the following lines on the <IfModule mod_php5.c> tag: php_value eaccelerator.enable 0 php_value eaccelerator.optimizer …

HDMI-CEC Guide: What it is and why you should have it (and use it)

Editor’s note: HDMI-CEC is also known as Anynet+ (Samsung), CE-Link (Toshiba), EZ-Sync (Panasonic), Bravia Theater Sync (Sony) and SimpleLink (LG). Apart from any eventual proprietary extensions, all support the same basic functionality. There is a plague invading our living rooms for the past couple of years: remotes. First there was only one: the TV remote, then the VCR remote came in, but over the last couple of years, things started to go awry: DVD remote, Bluray remote, cable box remote, AV receiver remote and so forth. Typical AV setup during the years The thing is, when the TV remote appeared, there was only …

QNAP VPN access on Owncloud 7

One of the changes Owncloud 7 brought was related to security. Unlike Owncloud 6, version 7 added a configuration items which allows to select which domains can access Owncloud. This configuration is not relevant if you only want to allow access from your local network, but if you have QNAP serving as VPN endpoint (ou router) things need to be changed. This is due to the different addressing used by VPNs. For instance, local domestic networks are usually 192.168.x.y, but VPNs are often on the range of 10.0.0.x. On QNAP default values are 10.0.0.x for PPTP VPN and 10.8.0.x for …

Owncloud database migration from SQLite to MySQL – QNAP specific

One of new few features on Owncloud 7 is the possibility to migrate databases. On my case, I originally installed Owncloud on SQLite, which is fine for a small number of files and one single user, but when going into the tens of thousands of files and multi user, SQLite is no longer a solution. Then, how do we get out of SQLite without having to start from scratch ? Set up QNAP to locally run Owncloud; Create a new mysql database; Migrate database.

Installing Owncloud 7 on QNAP hardware – upgrade from version 6

Edit: If you’re getting a blank screen after upgrading to ownCloud 7.0.2 or QNAP QTS 4.1, go to this post: View. Little more the 3 months ago I published the guide for Ownclod 6 on QNAP hardware, and Owncloud 7 is upon us. If you wan’t to see how history was made, feel free to have a look at all the previous posts on Owncloud: Installing Owncloud 6 on QNAP hardware – Additional Steps for version 6. For first time install, please make sure you follow the eaccelerator step Installing and using ownCloud on QNAP hardware Owncloud database migration, also on …

HDMI 2.0 is finally here, but may not be what you were expecting

Back in September 4th 2013, HDMI Forum released the new version of HDMI, which was upgraded to version 2.0. This new version brought some very necessary upgrades in terms of supported bandwidth and the much needed new 4K resolutions. Also, as an added bonus, existing 1.4 category 2 cables would be compatible with the new standard and resolutions. On the other hand, people learned to put some salt on some technological breakthroughs and product launches, with some call vapourware or paperware. Anyways, HDMI 2.0 would have no reason to diverge from the rest of the industry best practices, and as such it brings some much needed …

Installing Owncloud 6 on QNAP hardware – Additional Steps for version 6

EDIT: Please note since QNAP QTS 4.1.x and ownCloud 7.0.2 the following steps aren’t working anymore. A new post will follow. This post comes as a following to the original Installing and using ownCloud on QNAP hardware post, and serves to users in the process of doing both clean installs and upgrades.  First of all, I need to explain the need for this post: Live was peachy, until someones decided to upgrade ownCloud to version 6.x on any QNAP hardware, both ARM or x86 based. When this upgrade is performed, the user is presented with a white screen, caused by the server …

Activating Apache logs on QNAP hardware (EDIT: fix for QTS 4.1 onwards)

This is a quick guide for those needing to debug web apps, such as ownCloud, on QNAP hardware. QNAP systems only come with an Apache error log by default, which only logs apache service errors, not page errors, which make impossible to debug problems on sites. The only way to get more detailed logs is to add a few new config files to Apache, as follows: Login to the QNAP device through SSH Enable .htaccess usage on Apache. To do this you need to create a new Apache configuration file: vi /etc/config/apache/extra/apache-myconfig.conf And add the following commands: CustomLog logs/main_log combined …

When Cisco’s IGMP Snooping stops working for a few seconds

Editor’s note: this post related to when traffic is forwarded for a few seconds even if IGMP Snooping is working. Not for instances where you loose all multicast traffic when activating IGMP snooping. For those cases, please remind to activate at least one IGMP querier somewhere on the network, and the corresponding IP address (no IP address, no querier….). Introduction IGMP snooping is a feature derived from the regular IGMP standard since version 1, however it works on a mostly independent manner, as it only works at the local switch level. Multicast traffic, without IGMP snooping enabled, works as a simple …

Semantic MediaWiki By Example – A Datacenter IP Network Manager

One of the most common tasks on one datacenter, is the management of the IP Network: assigning IP addresses, creating networks (and subnetworks), creating hosts and setting hostnames. On smaller scale, having a spreadsheet may do the trick, but as datacenters grow (both physical and virtual), both in number as in complexity it quickly underperforms. Even, with all virtualization, this task won’t get any simpler, it will actually get more and mode complicated, because at least, it needs to be performed twice: at the physical hardware level, and at guest level. So, there is the need to create a tool …

SMW’s Semantic Result Formats – Jqplotchart/Jqplotseries format – A guide

One of the most interesting aspects of Semantic Mediawiki is the data to chart integration, done though the Semantic Result Formats extension, and using the Jqplotchart and Jqplotseries formats, which in itself are based on jqPlot. However, it’s documentation and code examples are not as thorough as one can expect. Requirements To start with, just make sure you have all the proper extensions installed, namelly: Mediawiki version prior to 1.21(*) (1.20.6 is OK) Semantic Mediawiki 1.8 – Both SWM and SRF are undergoing some changes, so it’s better to keep a specific version. Semantic Results Formats 1.8 (*) There are some reports …

Bugzilla access control – Allowing one group to create and access all bugs and another only to access it’s own bugs

Now, something completely different: Bugzilla. Bugzilla is one of the most used bug tracking systems worldwide. It’s stable, somewhat customizable, and suits most possible uses, where software development is concerned, and sometimes, also outside the software world. Now, one of the aspects where is falters the most is on user access control. It isn’t because it doesn’t work, but because it is awkward and counter intuitive, until you get used to it… Let’s look at 3 scenarios: All users can create and edit bugs. Please make sure there is at least some kind of access control at network level. To …

LDAP and Apache Basic Auth – how it works and how it doesn’t work

Let’s imagine you work on an organization which uses Active Directory (just kidding, is there anyone who doesn’t …?) and on which people are forced to comply with draconian security policies, such as changing you strong password every N days (replace N for any number less than 30… why don’t people understand that it is harder for people to memorize a new strong password, than machines to brake them). Anyways, having a central location for all authentication purposes is, from any point of view, a good idea, even if coming from Microsoft :). If your organization already has in place …

MediaWiki as a Document Driven decision support system: a Memex Project

This is the first article from the Semantic Web series. Not all of them are already available, but on the works: MediaWiki as a Document Driven decision support system: a Memex Project (this one) Building an enterprise wiki (Pending) A small business knowledge manager – The advanced Mediawiki (Pending) Companies are literally spending billions each year with huge and complex decision support systems, which chew tens of gigs worth of data. However, on most of them you cannot publish a link to a web service, without putting it on a Microsoft Word file. This is as companies’ fault at it …

Installing and using ownCloud on QNAP hardware. EDIT1

Editor’s note: There is an issue with ownCloud 6 on QNAP. There is a new post with the extra steps here. As of lately, services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, are getting more and more attention, both on the cloud storage front and on file sharing and synchronization. For personal and non critical purposes, those are just fine, specially if you don’t mind the 5GB free capacity. Once you get used to it, either the 5GB storage limit, or the fact that the files are not hosted by a trusted 3rd party, might get on you nerves. On my …

User-agent adventures: flipboard

Flipboardis one of the most talked about apps of the last fewmonths. It presents itself as a social magazine, where users are to access portions of websites without having to access them on the browser, and instead get all the topics of a number of websites on one single place. Let’s call it a RSS reader on steroids. Also, there is an alternative from Google called Google Currents, which does mostly the same. Both exist for both Andoid and IOS, but Flipboard is the incumbent as is was launched earlier. From the websites’ point of view, both apps are a new …