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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Setting Up a Droplet on Digital Ocean

The next order of business after securing a Domain Name was to set up a virtual machine or Droplet as its called in  Digital Ocean.

After checking out numerous options in the application tab, I created a MEAN instrumented Ubuntu instance.  This is very straightforward and just following the directions at Digital Ocean the process is painless.

The hostname is anything you choose, say; Test1.

The trickier part is to establish the DNS mapping. In the DNS tab I created a new record called test that was mapped to the digital ocean droplet's ip.

A few hours later it pinged fine.

Getting the Domain Name

I've decided to stand up a virtual machine out on Digital Ocean, a New York based cloud provider.

My first step was to get a domain name and I decided to buy it at NameCheap.

Having decided on a name and finding it wasn't taken, I needed to point that domain to Digital Ocean like so;

So far so good.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Free DNS providers


On Tasks that Require Higher Skills

Here's a quote that I liked and needed to store somewhere:

"The less skilled guys wait for the better skilled guy to get frustrated and quit so they can do what they always wanted to do anyway.  This happens a lot."
- Billy Newport, Distinguished Engineer, IBM

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Synology NAS Observations - Ubuntu

I'm currently setting up a Synology dual disk NAS unit.

Synology comes with a client application called Synology Assistant that connects the NAS server to your machine so that it can be accessed using a web administration application (webman).

Webman allows you to upload files from your computer to a number of reserved directories; music, pictures, and video. I uploaded my pictures first and that went well-enough.

But when I uploaded music files to the NAS, things started getting flaky. One problem is that I have a machine with an IDE primary drive and filesystem. My music directory is on the secondary SATA drive not on the primary. Using Firefox 4.0.1, the webman interface refuses to recognize the SATA drive.

So I moved some files to a directory on the IDE drive just to test the critter. Sure enough I could upload music files to the NAS 'music' directory. But just about any interruption of the upload process such as switching tabs would cause a browser crash.

I decided to create a Symlink to the SATA music directory on the IDE drive. Firefox refused to acknowledge it.

So I tried Google Chrome. Chrome not only recognised the symlink but crashed far less frequently.

Then a funny thing happened. Webman refused to open the music directory on the NAS. I got 'Failed Operation' messages. Oddly enough, I could create a sub-directory under music to upload music files to but the music directory looked empty otherwise. I'm still trying to unravel this mystery.

However, I tried to get to the NAS from my Android Thunderbolt phone. The default Android browser failed to connect to the NAS server. I tried the Firefox browser and it worked fine. Not only that, when I accessed the music directory Firefox revealed the missing music files on the music directory. Very strange behavior. Webman appears to be buggy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lotus Notes Webmail on an Android Device

My Android device is the newly released HTC Thunderbolt model. I've had it for about a week and I wanted to know whether or not I could get to my business webmail running off of Lotus Notes using the Android.

I have two browsers on my phone. One is the default and the other is the freely downloadable Dolphin browser. The difference in the two is that the Dolphin pushes out some commercial info bars. A nuisance but not painful.

I sat with the Lotus administrator at work and he directed me to the webmail url that the company uses. The first attempt resulted in Lotus opening up into its PC screen mode - wholly untenable on the Thunderbolt.

So the administrator found an "ultralight" skin setting for webmail. He enabled it on my account and we tried again. This time we got a beautiful mobile device skin that worked flawlessly on both devices. I could open the webmail listings, click on them, and read the content. So far so good.

Next I tested webmail attachments. I created three documents. One .txt. Another .rtf. and the last a .docx document.

Both browsers opened the .txt document without a problem.

The default android browser on the Thunderbolt locked up at a screen that said it needed to downlod the .rtf and docx documents. It just hung.

On the other hand the Dolphin browser downloads the .rtf and docx documents and opened them without incident.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thunderbolt Smartphone Battery Life

Last week I switched out my old phone for the HTC Thunderbolt. I had planned on waiting for the Bionic but quite frankly I was tired of waiting and I'm fairly convinced some other model would be even more compelling (with more waiting).

And the only trepidation I had about the purchase were the pernicious rumors that the battery would be problematic. And by problematic I mean to say that the battery would quickly exhaust itself.

So one of the first things I did was fully charge the battery before using the phone. And after a few days of use, I conducted an experiment to see how long it would take to exhaust the battery under normal conditions for me (phone calls, occasional surfing, and poking around on the internet).

I took the phone off the charger at about 7 a.m. on Wednesday and left it on continuously - using it as I normally would. On Thursday evening, after about 40 hours of use the phone displayed the message that it needed recharging because the battery was 15% or below charge capacity.

At the office this raised a few questions. First it was observed that the phone was using 3G, not 4G. And speculation mounted that maybe the 4G components would drain the battery faster and less efficiently. This remains an open question.

The phone in 3G operational mode is extremely fast and impressive.

Update: I took my phone to New York City for a weekend recently and the battery under a heavier urban load lasted from morning till late evening before needing recharging and after a short night's charge only lasted til mid-afternoon the next day before needing recharging.

Once home and with a full charging cycle the phone is once again lasting lasting well into a second day.