Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

How to join a Google Group:

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

How to join a Google Group:

Official help:[]

BUT below is my experience of it:

  •[More > Groups]
  • Groups:[Search for groups or messages]:[xyz]
    • -> Groups matching xyz
  • Click on the one you want
    • -> Says “Loading…”, may take a minute or so…
    • -> Messages under that group/forum are listed:
    • xyz  a of b topics (c unread) * [Join group to post] [G+1]
  • Click blue Button:[Join group to post]
    • -> Form:[Join the xyz group]
  • Form: Enable [Automatically subscribe me to email updates when I post to a topic]

iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

My girlfriend has one of these, ethernet-connected to her router and thus available on her home network.  However, in order for any computer, Windows or Mac (what about linux?) to access it, it is necessary (aside from any hacky-workarounds that may possibly exist) to install the Iomega Home Storage Manager.   This makes volume(s) offered by the NAS appear, on the Mac in Finder under SHARED, or on a Windows machine as additional drive letter(s).

To acquire the Iomega Home Storage Manager, go to,1043 or else try and click on [Desktop Network Storage > Home Media Network Hard Drive].  May need to establish and login-to an iomega support account (free) first.

I wondered at first about enabling the NAS as a Mac OS Time Machine (backup) disk.  An iomega article I saw suggested that should be possible, for iomega firmware 2.0 and above.  But the disk as it stands is NTFS-formatted – because when it was set up we had only Windows machines.  Now that disk contains much material in that NTFS.  I guess it might be possible to partrition the disk e.g. to keep the existing NTFS and add alongside it a HFS+ partition for Time Machine to use.  But it’s guesswork that carries risks (of disruption/damage to existing contents).  We want an easy geeking-minimal life, so maybe better to repurpose that NAS and get a purpose-made Apple Time Capsule instead. Either way, the evening wears on, so I’ll shelve that idea/investigation for now…


Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams (continued)

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Following-on from my earlier post, Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams, where I considered an eventual migration from my laptop to a luggable PC, my thoughts veered (possibly having spotted cash-icebergs among them) towards an alternative solution:

  • Use the laptop for lightweight editing & compositing.
  • Use the desktop as a number-crunching RADI-attached server.

The two could be linked by:

  • Remote access / remote sessions (some of which via smartphone)
  • DropBox, e.g. have an active folder where I can drop Adobe Premiere XML and have it processed remotely by Adobe apps installed there.

Some links:

    • (There’s no equivalent “_part_1” page.  I guess it’s just “Part 2” of that guy’s story).
    • DIY virtual machines: Rigging up at home, by Trevor Pott, 11th January 2012 14:33 GMT
    • Personal Virtual Machine (PVM) (in use) for about seven years with retail boxed version of Windows XP.
    • VM has been moved from virtualization platform to virtualization platform over the years … the most recent incarnation … inside Hyper-V.
    • …nothing beats Windows Server 2008 R2. It comes with a top-notch virtualisation platform (Hyper-V), and added RemoteFX support with Service Pack 1. You can still use the desktop operating system for all your HTPC needs, and a single Server 2008 R2 Standard license allows you to run both a host copy and a single virtual instance of Server 2008 R2.
    • In my case, the host instance does little more than play movies on the projector via VLC. The virtual instance of Server runs my Plex media server, and aggregates my many storage devices into a single share using DFS.
  • Shuttle Inc (Taiwan)

Mobile Video Editing Hardware: Thoughts, Ideas & Dreams

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Want a mobile “suitcase” editing system, something more (and more expandable) than a laptop but not too expensive.  Primarily to be used for Adobe CS5.5 for media enhancement / editing / compositing etc.

Nearest I found was NextDimension’s range around $7000 I think (but just guesswork – could be way off – would need to get a quote).   That would (if true) be around £4500 at current rates.  Plus import…  NextDimension call such machines “flextops” (Maybe they coined the term? Google searches on it mostly come up with them.)

Apart from the (mil/broadcast-lite but me-heavy) price, it might possibly be undesirably heavy to lug around much.   If so (just guessing, not assuming), it would make more sense to go for a modular quick-setup system.  So, starting to “think different” in this direction:

  • Standard tower, capable of taking new CUDA etc. graphics cards etc. as they emerge, but no need for more than say a couple of disks, maybe if SSD could even get away with just a single disk? (For system and media – inadvisable for traditional disks of course, what about for SSD’s?  I have much to learn about SSD’s though).
  • “Laptop-Lite” to talk to it.  With robust shuttered-stereoscopic HD monitor.
  • Gigabit network to NAS fast storage (SSD and/or RAID ?).

Maybe in that case it would be far more logical/affordable to use an existing laptop as a client working together with a luggable tower server, sufficiently light and robust for frequent dis/re -connection and travel.  And remote access of course (no heavy data to be exchanged, assume that’s already sync’d).  And some means to easily swap/sync applications and projects (data) between laptop and tower, giving the option to use just the (old) laptop on its own if needed.  All such options are handy for the travelling dude (working on train, social visits etc.) who also occasionally has to do heavy processing.  Then would just need a protective suitcase for the tower, plus another one for a decent monitor for grading etc.

I certainly won’t be spending anything just yet, but it’s good to have at least some kind of “radar”.


Mobile Editing Blues: FW800 Unusable on MacBook via BootCamp

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

This is a problem I encountered some time ago, when I was running Boot Camp v3.1 on my MacBook Pro.  Since then I upgraded to v3.2.  I know there’s a v3.3 around but before upgrading I thought it worthwhile to see whether v3.2 had fixed that problem (especially since I couldn’t rule out the possibility of v3.3 reintroducing it).   Only one thing to do: prevaricate test.

  • Copy file from GRaid Mini (GRm) to Desktop:
    • 2GB fine
    • 12GB appears ok initially but then fails (to zero b/s transfer rate, then the Grm device “no longer exists”, at least until reboot)
  • Reverse: 2GB fails (same way) almost immediately.

OK not good thus far…

Next tried an alternative approach: run W7 as a Virtual Machine on Mac Os via Parallel.  I have Parallels v6.  Forum search revealed that there is no FW support in either v6 or v7, though the developers seem interested in knowing why people want it.

  • 2GB GRm to W7 Desktop: ok
  • The reverse: ok.

Had to stop there due to other work – and a very full W7 disk.

The next workaround to consider is attaching a NAS.  Ethernet bandwidths can be 1Gbps, hence more than FW800’s 0.8 Gbps, though I wonder if there could be any issues of lag / latency in this approach.  I’ll do some research and put up another post about this idea.

RAID Sharing Over Home Network: Works OK

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Just for the record, currently this works:

  • On Mac Pro, in Windows (XP):
    • Choose any folder. For example:
      • On the RAID, this could be either of the two partitions:
        • NTFS_RAID (an NTFS partition)
        • RAID_ProAVIO (an HFS+) partition
    • Then [RtClk > Sharing and Security… > Sharing > Network sharing and security:
      • Share this folder on the network: YES
      • Allow network users to change my files: YES
        • Because some tools create “sidecar” files e.g. audio peaks or video indexes.
  • On Mac Book, in Windows 7:
    • From a file-browser, be it Windows Explorer or part of the File>Open feature of an application, go to [ Network > aComputer > aFolder ]
      • Tested by playing file in Windows Media Player and in Sony Vegas (video NLE).  Worked fine.  Latter added a [.sfk] sidecar-file to the RAID-folder.
      • Worked both for source on NTFS partition and for source on HFS+ partition, except the latter gave rise to prolonged “hourglass” delays before the file was accessed/linked, following which the video played smoothly.
  • What doesn’t work:
    • Unable to see Mac Book from Mac Pro.
    • Also, when MacPro is in Mac OS, MacBook W7 Windows Explorer > Network lists the MacPro as [MACPRO-2E4124] yet cannot connect to it, blaming a firewall (presumably the one on MacPro).
      • Network Error: Windows cannot access \\MACPRO-2E4124
      • Tried exiting Kapersky (on the MacPro>MacOS) but no change.
      • Tried stopping MacPro firewall (via Preferences > Security) but no change.

Mac Pro: Install AirPort (WiFi)

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Set up a home network

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Here, I set up a home network.  <<Actually this happened about a year ago but only just publishing it now>>.  Already I have a small bunch of machines (of various ages) linked either physically (ethernet cable) or wirelessly (WiFi) to a WiFi router-modem onto ADSL.  Currently these machines simply use that arrangeent for their own individual internet access.  What I want to do is enable some resource-sharing, in particular onto a WiFi hub to be connected to a printer and a hard disk, but also to allow (temporary) access between machines for occasional ad hoc file transfers.

  • First, ensure all PCs have easily identifiable names and belong to the same Workgroup (the typical method is to leave this at default i.e. “WORKGROUP” but note that XP’s Network Wizard defaults instead to “MSHOME”).
    • For XP:
      • From []
        • Log on to the computer as an administrator.
        • Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
        • Click the Computer Name tab, and then click Change.
        • If the workgroup name is not WORKGROUP, change the name to WORKGROUP, and then click OK. Otherwise, click Cancel to close the Computer Name Changes dialog box.
        • If you have to change the workgroup name, you will be prompted to restart your computer.
  • Next, established whether TCP/IP communication was working OK:
    • Gathered a small bunch of computers together for testing.
    • From CMD, obtain IP numbers of each computer.
    • From each computer, try pinging each of the others.
      • Initially had some problems here:
        • None of the Windows computers were pingable from any other computer, but that the non-work Windows computers could ping the MacBook Pro.
        • The work Windows computer was unable to ping anything.
        • On the other hand, they could all ping certain external internet sites e.g.  Some others, such as CNN, reject pings (as possible attacks).
        • The problem was in the Firewalls.
          • Initially tried the crude solution of disabling the software firewalls.
            • Still protected by router firewall. A test showed all was still well.
            • Nevertheless, looked for a more finely-tuned solution…
          • Old Compaq: Disabled Windows Firewall.  Now it was pingable.  Re-Enabled Windows Firewall.  It was still pingable.  Maybe I succeede in unblocking something?
      • Now the pings worked OK.
  • On PCs, in Windows Explorer, check out My Network Places to see if the other machine showed up.
    • Desktop: My Network Places > SharedDocs on OldCompaq
    • OldCompaq: My Network Places > Entire Network > Microsoft Windows Network > Workgroup
      • It could see itself and the other machine.
      • However the other machine required a password.  What password?
        • Solution: re-run the Network Wizard on the Desktop, this time (unlike before), enable File & Printer Sharing.  Now it worked fine.
  • Also the PCs were visible on a Mac.
    • Mac: Finder > Shared
  • Now to make the Mac share to the PCs:
    • Enable Windows Sharing on macintosh.
  • Finally, looking at Windows 7 as a Virtual Machine under Parallels 5 on a Mac:
    • Its default WorkGroup name is WORKGROUP, hence it sees the other machines OK.  And it can access their shared folders.  But those machines cannot see its files.  Solving this problem does not seem so trivial, so I will work on it later and post its solution separately.

GigaBit Router

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

D-Link’s gigabit router, 802.11n (“up to 14x faster speeds* and 6x farther range* than 802.11g while staying backward compatible with 802.11g devices”):

MyBook on a multi-OS network (eg Mac & Win)

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Can use Wester Digital’s MyBook drive on a network featuring multiple OSs, such as Mac OS as well as Windows, provided one does not install MioNet (bundled with the drive).  My instincts were right then (I did not install it).

In my case, the drive is formatted as NTFS, on a Mac it simply appears automatically in Finder then Mac OS is able to read it (Mac OS is able to read NTFS).  In retrospect, maybe would have been better to format it as HFS+ since then Windows could use MacDrive to not only read but write to it.  Meanwhile on Windows I found it necessary to run the “Discover” application bundled with MyBook, which configures the network drive mapping (to a drive letter).

Home Network

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Need to establish a better home network, e.g. so Parallels on my Mac can see my Windows laptop, so it can suck the XP out of it.  Also want shared printer etc. (I have a node for that).   Just a question of setting it all up…

FCP iTheatre: play an FCP timeline straight into a chat

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Geographically separated team members of a Final Cut project can collaborate via iTheatre.   Suppose an editor is discussing with a client via Apple’s iChat.  Then the editor can play out of FCP straight into the iChat session.   It’s in FCP: View > iChat Theatre Preview.


There are some reputable video people covering this topic:


But iChat is only available for Macs.  What if the client doesn’t have a Mac?  I did some googling:

  • iChat is an Instant Messenger.
  • It is only available for Macs but it is compatible with AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), which is available for Windows.
    • ” iChat is only available on OS X” []
  • .mac accounts are just AIM accounts. Enter your .mac username with at the end while configuring an AIM account. []
  • Whatever is playing in your Viewer or Canvas window is sent via iChat to your remote viewer. []
  • But can the iChat Theatre option be used with Windows users?
    • This person believes it is not possible to interact with Windows users (I wonder if they know of the AIM option or whether it handles iTheatre) []
    • “If your collaborators are on Windows and don’t have access to a Mac, you’re out of luck.” []
  • “for iChat Theater Preview to work, both the host and remote computers much be running Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard or later. Both computers must have iChat accounts and the remote user’s account must be added to the host computer’s buddy list (more detail from Apple here). ” []
  • []
    • “… is it possible to make videoconference between a PC using google video and a MAC using ichat ?”,
      • “No, it is not possible.  Video chat is only between Gmail chat users.” and furthermore “You need … the Newer Version interface of Gmail”
  • It has screen sharing, so both parties can observe and control a single desktop

Some links about iChat itself:

  • iChat itself:
      • Overview and context wrt other Instant Messengers (IMs).
      • Has great list of add-on tools e.g. encryption.
  • How to converse with Windows users
    • []
      • “I wish MSN Messenger was supported natively as hardly anyone I know in the UK uses AIM. I’ve only got 10 AIM buddies. I have to go through a Jabber server with an MSN transport to use it”
      • “I am same as the others. I use Adium as I have MSN and Google Talk friends mostly and very few on AIM.   Sure I can use iChat fo Google Talk”
      • “It seems most of us are using Adium because iChat doesn’t connect to MSN and/or Yahoo Messenger.”
      • “Skype doesn’t intereact with any other software as far as I know but for internet-based phone video calls, it is the best because so many people use it and it is on Windows as well as Mac.”
    • []
      • Adium is what Pidgin should be.
      • Adium is based on Pidgin’s libpurple (libgaim), which is already used in Pidgin on all three platforms.
      • Adium is the Cocoa client of libpurple. Pidgin is the GTK client, finch is the CLI client, etc… Same IM backend, multiple GUIs.
      • “AIM [] is about as close to iChat as you’re gonna get on Windows. That said, a better option would be to go with something more flexible like Pidgin. []”
  • AIM
    • []
      • If you’re using the AIM service, make sure you have port 5190 open on your router, NAT, firewall, cable modem, or DSL modem. You’ll need it open for incoming connections to send and outgoing connections to receive (yes, that is the right way round: the recipient connects to the sender).
  • Pidgin
    • Is open-source, has sometimes debatable deadlines and capabilities.  Many consider Adium better, and it has been stated that they are both front-ends onto the same core.
    • (formerly GAIM) []
    • [] “Pidgin is a chat program which lets you log in to accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on MSN, talking to a friend on Google Talk, and sitting in a Yahoo chat room all at the same time.  Pidgin runs on Windows, Linux, and other UNIX operating systems”
    • There are third-party plugins for other protocols such as Skype and Twitter.
  • x

Desktop access to your remote Mac

Monday, January 4th, 2010

  1.  Screen Sharing: Drag “Screen Sharing” from /System/Library/CoreServices to the dock.
  2. A few people prefer, shareware but can be evaluated free.
  3. To cope with dynamic IP addresses, use services like DynDNS.  Also, for routers, port-forwarding. []

But “VNC by default is not all that secure of a protocol and can open you up to attack by someone who is determined to gain access to your system. For this reason you should disable VNC by reversing the above steps when it is not needed” []

Mac (Snow Leopard) setup thoughts

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Want to establish an organized plan and checklist for setup from scratch, whenever it’s required.  Here’s an initial stab at a Checklist:

  1. First-use basic config (enable internet access but don’t browse or update or download anything)
  2. Back-up (Time Machine, requires exclusive use of a volume unless using TimeCapsule (or does that create multiple (machine-specific) volumes as partitions?)
    • Ideally would like to backup this and other stages permamently, but TimeMachine backups can get overwritten and need to install other apps to backup from OSX.  Maybe a linux LiveCD block-copy (to a linux rather than Mac formatted disk, but that doesn’t matter)?  )
    • Time Machine backup failures can occur but sometimes just a retry works
    • Time Capsule
      • Time Capsule includes a wireless 1TB or 2TB hard drive1 designed to work with Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard.
      • It can back up and store files for each Leopard– and Snow Leopard-based Mac on your wireless network.
        • Does that mean it can act as common (shared) backup medium for more than one Time Machine (on more than one Mac or Mac instance)
      • It can act as a Wifi and USB-connected resource (e.g. printer or hard disk) sharing node, where it prefers to be the main node (not a client), e.g. connected (Ethernet) to an ADSL model.
    • For more information about Time Machine, choose Help > Mac Help from the Finder
      menu on a computer using Mac OS X Leopard, and then type Time Machine in the
      search field.
  3. Set up a “Default Everything” account (admin) – useful if get into trouble later
  4. Drivers (No need for printer driver – see below – but what about graphic card drivers?)
  5. Update (check what’s compatible with FCP etc. at this time?)
  6. Further configs of user account (e.g. side-oriented dock).
  7. Utils (some from :
    • QuickSilver
    • iPartition
    • CarbonCopyCloner / SuperDuper (for cloning or backing-up (as stanalone image) the Mac OS system disk)
    • WinClone (for backing-up images of BootCamp-Windows partitions)
    • VideoSpec
    • A cross-platform file-sync & backup util
    • A remote-access & mgt util.
    • Parallels
    • AppDelete ?
    • GoogleNotifier (indicates when new GMail received)
    • Handbrake (DVD ripper ?)
    • BitTorrent (eg Transmission (tips at or some people consider uTorrent easier)
  8. Generic Apps
    • FireFox etc.
    • An “Explorer-like” alternative to Finder
    • An Office Suite (probably NeoOffice – is a Mac-specific fork of OpenOffice, though how compatible is it eg interchanging “.odt” files with it?)
    • Skype
    • Twitter (
    • ScreenFlow? KeyNote?
  9. Specific Apps
  10. FCP enhancements
    • FCP Versioner
      • Automatically creates a backup every time you save your Final Cut Pro project
      • Each backup has a changelog listing exactly what changed between revisions
      • Backups are in XML format which has durability and compatibility advantages over FCP project files
      • Flexible backup management options to fully customize how older backups are purged
      • Autosaves your project file at specified intervals.
      • x
  11. x

Compaq laptop ethernet broadband “Limited Or No Connectivity” fixed

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Problem: laptop ethernet connection to broadband via router didn’t work, but connection via WiFi (to another router) did work.   The “didn’t work” behaviour expressed itself in the form of:

  • Took ages “acquiring network address” (ultimately failed)
  • Error message: “Limited Or No Connectivity”.
  • Attempted use, e.g. web browser access to Google, failed.

The solution, from

  • ” 3) Check your network card to make sure its configured correctly and working properly. Many times setting the network card to 10Mbps/Full Duplex will solve this issue. To do this, open Control Panel, System, Device Manager. Go to the properties of the Network card, click on the Advanced tab and find the Link Speed and Duplex section. Change it from Auto Detect to 10Mbps/Full Duplex.”