Blackberry not so bad

For my work I user a Blackberry Z30. at first I was a little sceptic about it.
I’m using it for 6 months now, and I begin to wonder: Am I a fan of BlackBerry?

I have used many phone over the years and thanks to my work I am able to test a lot of Mobile OS’s.
Windows phone was good, but it lacked apps and editing, iOS… I’m NOT a fan of Apple.
Android; a lot of options. I like it a lot, but i costs me to much time playing with it.

A phone for me shouldn’t have to be modified to much. And blackberry works great out-of-the-box.
Thanks to the android shell I can use app I’m missing in the Blackberry Store. But i most say, I don’t need al those apps. Games I don’t play at all.

The one big downside about using a BlackBerry device.

You have to defend your choice to anyone who sees it.

Cloud storage not suited for backup

For English I had to write an essay about an article. The essay is posted bellow.

I’d like to share some personal experiences with backup to a personal cloud storage provider.

I red that Microsoft offers 1TB! of cloud storage when you are buying a Office 365 subscription. Because I am a student this was nog expensive for me (4 years for €90)
I wanted to use the space that was given to me for backup of my personal files that I can’t lose in case of a fire at home.

It was a real hassle getting OneDrive to accept all the files from a backup share i created on my NAS (see the blog about Synology).

At the end I scheduled a zip job in the CLI that packages all the backup data in 99MB zip files. these password protected/encrypted files are stored on OneDrive with Synology Cloud Sync.

Not an ideal solution, but it works for me!

“Cloud storage not suited for backup” verder lezen

Synology DiskStation

Since a couple of years I’m a fan of Synology. 

Synology provides consumers hardware, especially NASses.

NAS stands for Network Attached Storage, but over the years is has become a lot more than the name implies.

The first NAS i bought was a Conceptronic CH3SNAS with two 750GB HDD’s. this was a simple device strictly used for storage (shares over the LAN). It was running a Linux based OS, which could be tweaked so that is was able to run software (for example SABnzbd). although is was some work to get software up and running, is was worth is. The PC didn’t have to be on to download content to the NAS.

But then..

Thanks to my formal employer I could get my hands on a big NAS for a small price. The Synology DS411+II!

a new world opened before my eyes, this NAS had so many features. And i was planning to play around with all of them!

The NAS is 4 years old nowadays, but the firmware/software keeps getting updates. resulting is more and more features.

Recently is replaced the HDD’s for  four 3TB disks in a RAID5 configuration.

The devices is currently used for the following purposes:

  • Storage (Shares and NFS)
  • DNS & DHCP server
  • Downloads Station (SABnzbd, CouchPotato and SickBeard are providing all the Movies and Series, I already bought off course)
  • Streaming source (Audio and Video)
  • Surveillance (webcam)
  • Backup everything from my laptops/desktops and mobile devices.
  • Firewall.

I couldn’t live without is anymore (a bit overdone).

CoinOPS

Today i’dd like to tell you something about CoinOPS.

CoinOps is a system build for the first xbox, what is does is, it combines all the lose emulator that already exist for the xbox. It also adds an interface where all the dffrent games are combined. 

I myself like to play the old NES and SNES platform games. I still have an old NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) but if i use it it could break and swapping games is more work then simpy selecting them from the menu of CoinOPS.

The first Xbox is very useful for running emulators, it contains (a nowadays small) hard-drive a DVD player en is easy to modify to run home-brew software. The original Xbox games are also stored on the hard-drive. the graphics are outdated but the fun I have is not!

I’m not an die-hard gamer at all. I did buy and Xbox 360 years ago but the first Xbox is still making the most game hours. Especially when I have friend over. We play Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda, Duck Hunt and many others like it’s 1995!

CoinOPS menu

XBMC (now Kodi)

As you might know i’m using a RaspBerry Pi for streaming video-content from my (Synology) NAS to my TV.
The software that facilitates this is XBMC (in the near future named: Kodi).

This awesome software was developed for the first Xbox (before the 360) for purposes like watching video, playing games and listening to music form the local hard-drive or a location in the home network or even online.
Since then a lot has changed, the first Xbox is no longer supported, (however there is still a fork available via xbmc4xbox, more info about that later). And new features have been added.
One of the best features is downloading subtitles while you are watching a video. This makes it a lot easier than looking for the subtitle files manually.

Here’s a screenshot of the software:

As you can see, the content is categorized by TV Series, Movies and Music. There are lot’s of add-ons (like Apps) available for streaming content from the internet.

I hope i made you as enthusiastic as I am for XBMC, till next time!

RaspBerry Pi

Today is is decided to write my first English blog ever.  It wasn’t really hard to find an interesting subject for it.

Then I thought about my RaspBerry Pi mini computer. This is an sort of hobby for me. The RaspBerry Pi (RPi) is a small computer that can be user for many things. One of them is a media player, thanks to the HDMI port on-board.
The operating system (OS) is installed on an (micro)SD card. there are many flavors available. Here are a few examples:

RetroPi: an OS to play old (retro) games.
OpenElec, Rasbian, RasPlex, an OS with XBMC or another meidaplayer for playing HD video on a TV.
The RPi can also be used for domotica. This might be an subject for another blog.

As earlier mentioned, I user my RPi mostly for playing movies and series.
When I wan’t to experiment with other uses for the RPi, I simply switch the SD card with one that contains an different OS.
For performance reasons I sometimes use an USB 3.0 stick.
On the next blog i’m gonna tell you something about XBMC or Kodi.

Till next time!