Sunday, October 15, 2017

iOINK

If you remember my previous comments on iTunes, this post will come as no surprise.

I like to make my own ringtones. With Android, this is a piece of cake. Just find/create an mp3 file and e-mail it to yourself. Save it on the phone and then set it as a ringtone. Done.

As noted in the above referenced post, iTunes can accomplish this in 16 easy steps.

Ok, so I realize that I have to use iTunes with my iPhone 6s.

But I don't have to like it.

Recently I wanted to copy a couple of TV shows that I had recorded to my wife's iPhone SE. I converted them to M4V. Then I added them to my iTunes library.

But they didn't show up in the library. Consequently then they didn't sync to the iPhone.

Why on earth?

After a couple of hours of Google searches I finally came up on this forum post from 5 years ago:
I did believe that I have figured out what is going on though. In Itunes>Preferences>Store there is an option to keep playback synced between devices. I needed to uncheck that before the movies would show up in the itunes interface. Once that happened, I could go in and change the media type and organize it the way I wanted.
So if you want your home videos to sync in iTunes just uncheck the option to "keep playback synced between devices."

Why didn't I think of that?

Oh, now you want to WATCH these videos? Apple has removed the Videos app and put that function in the TV app.

Why didn't I think of that?

Sunday, October 08, 2017

iOS 11.Oh No!

Along with the iPhones 8 and X, on September 19, 2017 Apple released iOS 11. While it was full of new features it seems it is also full of bugs.

Apple quickly released 11.0.1 to fix a problem that Outlook/Exchange users couldn't send e-mail. It also contained other "bug fixes and improvements."

Apparently not enough.

On October 3, 2017 Apple released 11.0.2 to fix problems with iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus users hearing a crackling sound during phone and FaceTime calls.

Now Apple has released a beta of iOS 11.1.

A word to the wise, avoid iOS 11.0.x like the plague.

If you're already getting nagged to upgrade here's some help.

Steve Jobs must be spinning in his grave.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Firefox Send

I'm a regular listener to TWiT's Security Now podcast with Steve Gibson. On a recent podcast Steve mentioned Firefox Send, a new service from Firefox. ZDNet also covered it here (beware of auto-playing video with sound).

...you can securely send files to a contact using a link that only works once. The encrypted file, which is stored on Mozilla's server, is destroyed immediately after it has been downloaded once or after 24 hours have elapsed. 

This also works on Chrome and Edge and supports files up to 1GB. The files are encrypted before uploading, can only be downloaded once and deleted after 24 hours. Within the 24 hours you can revisit Firefox Send and you'll get a status page of the files you have uploaded that haven't been downloaded.


The page does say "Firefox Test Pilot, web experiment" so I wouldn't bet the farm on it for now.

If you're really geeky, look at the URL that Firefox Send gives you and then listen to Steve explain it.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Microsoft's Resilient File System - Part 2

In a previous post I laid out the background for Microsoft's ReFS.

A recent article in How-To-Geek provides more details and compares ReFS to NTFS.

The points covered are:

  • What Is ReFS?
  • ReFS Protects Against Data Corruption
  • ReFS Drops Some Old NTFS Limitations
  • ReFS Can Be Faster, Sometimes
  • ReFS Can’t Replace NTFS (Yet)
  • How to Use ReFS

There's also a good video explaining ReFS.

And a series of really technical blog posts covering ReFS.

In a related event, Microsoft has "corrected" an error that allowed OneDrive to use ReFS. The same "error" impacted older file systems, such as FAT32 and exFAT, as well.

Winaero has reported that in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Microsoft has "removed the ability to create ReFS partitions from regular retail editions of Windows 10. The updated list makes the ability to create new ReFS partitions exclusive to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and Enterprise edition."

Hmmm.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AT&T Messages

I didn't know you could do this!


Just go to https://messages.att.net.

It's a little bit clunky and AT&T seems to be deprecating some of it.

For example, you can click on the phone number in a message and a dialog box pops up offering to "Create New Contact" but that doesn't work.


And messages sent from this application don't get pushed back to the phone.

Still, pretty nice.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

LAN Diagram

I thought that I had posted about my LAN configuration before but I can't find it.

I'd been following Steve Gibson's Three Dumb Router solution to IOT insecurity. But I've also come across several discussions of using Ubiquiti's EdgeRouter X.

My equipment closet had become a rat's nest with long Ethernet cables wadded up behind all the equipment. Of course they were either not labeled or had the wrong labels on them.

So I redesigned my LAN segmenting it into a home (safe) network and Internet of Things (IoT) (unsafe) devices.

I bought color coded patch cables from Monoprice - red for Internet, green for home and blue for IoT.

To manage the connections to each segment I added a 8-port Gigabit switch to each segment.

I haven't implemented the EdgeRouter X yet so I'm actually not yet isolating the 2 segments. The dashed lines represent the current configuration.

Update: Did you find the problem in this configuration? Look again. Look closer. Then scroll down.















The NETGEAR ProSafe FS108NA is 10/100 mbps, not gigabit. I discovered this when I copied a large amount of data to the Drobo 5N. It was SLOW.

I have since replaced the NETGEAR with a D-Link GO-SW-8GE.















Sunday, September 03, 2017

AT&T Microcell

I upgraded my wife from an iPhone 5s to an iPhone SE over Christmas. Ever since she's been complaining about signal strength.

I called AT&T and they admitted that one of the towers near my house was down and had been down for a couple of weeks.

I whined at them for a while and finally convinced them to give me a free microcell.
The AT&T MicroCell acts like a mini cell tower in your home and connects to your existing broadband Internet service. You receive improved cell signal performance for voice calls, texts, and cellular data applications like picture messaging and Web surfing.
After a couple of odd interactions with AT&T a Cisco DPH154 arrived.
Activation was easy.

And it worked. Really well.

Before

After
An improvement of 45dB! Also, notice the difference of the indicator in the status bar, i.e. "Wi-Fi" vs. "M-Cell".