Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

OK its time to boldly go where no geek has gone before again Captains log:- Stardate 18/12/2012 20:25 Story so Far PC Number 1 set up running windows 7. PC Number 2 set up running Windows 8 Pro. Remote access program "Logmein" installed. Cloud Solutio "Tonido" installed. Well what can I say, After wrestling with the new operating sysyem Windows 8 Pro for two weeks I have come to an Earth shattering piece of knowledge. Windows 8 is PANTS. I`ll explain myself here. I have been keeping a journal detailing the faults, System Crashes, Locked up Screens (B.S.O.D.= "Blue Screen Of Death") occurrences ,Errors, and things that just don`t work or do what you told them to, That I have Encountered whilst evaluating Windows 8 Pro. I am now on page 11 and have listed 53 seperate incidents. If I was truly just trying out and evaluating this operating system then I wuld have given up and abandoned ship for Windows 7 at about page three. However... I bought the system with Windows 8 pre-installed so I`m stuck with it. Unfortunately I do not have either a windows 7 installation disc (Well- a legitimate one) or a spare product key to install 7. And who`s to say whether the device drivers will work if I do install 7? And I intend keeping this PC for at least two years and presumably windows 8 WILL get better with updates and service packs so I want to keep my options open. When I bought the system I was pushed into buying a copy of Norton 360 Gold along with the Pro installation upgrade. two things - . 1. The DVD that you get in the upgrade pack has "Windows 8 Pro" Clearly written in bold letters across the packaging and actual DVD. - Don`t be fooled -its not Windows 8 Pro. if you install from the DVD what you get is Windows 8 . Period. It only Becomes Windows 8 Pro and has the Extra features AFTER you run an "Turn on Extra Features" Wizard and key in the Product key that is included on a credit card sized plastic card with the pack. (I nearly missed mine and threw it out..) you see - I heard about the Free offer microsoft were running offering (after being criticised for not including) the Media Centre Program. - What you do is fill in a form on the Microsoft website, Give them your E-mail address , and 72 hours later , you receive a key which you install with the above `Wizard`.BUT - it only works with Windows 8 Pro... Mine did not work so I started investigating , and in the course of looking at the specs of my machine - noticed that the Extra features of Pro were not present and the operating system was named just "Windows 8". Of course after I had run the wizard and installed windows 8 Pro , the supplied Key worked. 2. Norton 360 Gold, Despite the product being "Certified as compatible" IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH WINDOWS 8. Many of the problems I was encountering with programs not working, Metro apps not opening and desktop Applications refusing to install were traced to Norton 360. The program has entirely too much control over what you install on your system, What you Run on your system and the Web pages and E-mail that you `Surf"on your system. Its favourite trick is to prevent internet access within your web browsers (and this includes Internet Explorer). Over and over again I had to reset the Firewall rules and wipe the History in order to regain web-access. Even setting up your own Firewall rules does not work because the damned thing just "cleans shop" and re-inserts its own Blocking rules. - I set up my browsers (and IE) as trusted applications But the rules dissapeared with the next reboot. When I posted this information on the Norton support site I was given the illuminating answer that "Norton 360 does not support 64bit browsers." - At least I think thats what he said - he seemed to have been typing with boxing gloves on. I posted the same information on microsofts website and have been persuaded by a very nice moderator that for now at least I don`t need a third party Anti-virus and firewall solution. Sure enough - since I have now uninstalled and wiped my system clean of Norton 360, -The PC is running Faster, more Stable and with less problems than it was with 360. He explained to me that defender is now a much more capable anti-virus program and is deeply integrated with the operating system. Ditto windows firewall. They also have the advantage of being updated along with the regular windows updates and do not require a tandem update system / service to be installed and run. RIGHT, - Back to the Seedbox. My last Log described two programs That I have installed and their "Cloud Functions". I have been impressed with Both. The "Tonido" program has performed flawlessly and I now have all my bittorrent content, (indeed the entire computers content) is downloadable from anywhere with web access, that includes smartphones , tablets and other computers -basically anything that can run a browser. It is particularly easy to use with smartphones (Android in my case but Iphones are compatible too). You download the `Tonido` App from Google Play and as soon as you open the App, there are your directorys. -Navigate to your file,download, and bobs your uncle - theres your file in your phone-ready for use. The other program "Logmein" is pretty good as well. The only gripe I had was that there is a bit of Lag between your mouse movements and the pointers movements on screen. BUT As my `Remote` machine is working through a VPN in another country and the control signals have to travel from my house to the remote server and back then its pretty bloody good... You can do anything on your machine that you can normally do through a local keyboard and mouse. -It even relays the machines Sounds to you. Bittorrent. Last time I wrote that I was deciding which bittorrent client to use. - I was deciding between `Deluge` and `utorrent`. And I can now reveal that the client that I have chosen is....... Tixati. (and----- utorrent.... :-) After reading a lot further into the functionality and features of Tixati I have discovered that it fulfills all my needs. I have a designated directory on the windows 7 machine which I can drop files into via either my local network or Tonido, and the Tixati client qietly and efficiently downloads the torrent, and drops the finished data into a seeding directory. I have set up a windows task which automatically copys over the finished data to my windows 8 machine. - the data is already downloadable via tonido to the internet remember... :-) My only slight problem is that one of the trackers that I use - does not permit the use of tixati . I can live with that though... I don`t download a huge amount from this tracker so can comfortably run utorrent in tandem on the same machine just for the few files I do download and seed From there. (using a different port of course). My set-up at the moment is quite unique. it might seem strange but I can choose the torrents I want either from a browser or android but mostly from my Windows 8 machine. -sitting next to it is a laptop which I am currently using to remotely access and monitor the third machine (a little more to the Left) which has no screen (and will shortly be making the trip into my attic). I drop the torrets into a folder on the win 7 machine (I can do this from my phone too) and Tixati downloads the torrent, keeps a copy for seeding and then the windows task I set -up copys the downloads to my windows 8 machine. Advantages. The torrent machine or `seedbox` is hidden away from view. there are no torrent metadata files stored permanently on the visible computer. There is no bittorrent client on the visible computer. there are no physical connections to the remote computer/seedbox (wireless network) the visible computer runs on a normal full speed optical fibre connection (I get speeds of 70-100MB on this) the seedbox still has the security of using a VPN and all traffic to it is Encrypted.(Except local network traffic) The Seedbox also uses Truecrypt Encryption (on the fly) so if anything were to "Occur" all I need do is flip the power feed to the attic off and my data is innaccessible (without a 24 character key) I have also taken the precaution of running Bitlocker on the Windows 8 Machine so same applys. Disadvantages It takes a lot of setting up. it use`s a fair bit of bandwidth (but not "overmuch" -mainly the remote desktop`s heavy stream). Next post. Setting up Encryption. I am also experimenting with speech recognition but am hobbled at the moment by windows awful speech recognition program. As I have said before - I am aiming at linking torrenting and speech control. I want to be able to surf on my "clean" machine, see a torrent I want, Say "load {insert title of torrent here}", and for the PC to download and seed the torrent on the remote seedbox and then to pass the downloaded file to a directory on the "clean" machine. I am open to any Ideas and suggestions. See you soon Captain Demotricus signing off....
Uploaded: 6.48 GB Downloaded: 742.17 MB Posts: 8 Ratio: 8.94 Location: United Kingdom O.K. Captain demotricus Tiberius Berk`s Log... Star date 11/12/2012 01:46 hrs Today I finally got my systems all back to prime condition. After much fun and cursing I have Re-installed Windows 8 Pro and am happy to report that everything is now working bar a niggling network problem which is in all probability down to my crappy BT Router. (Thats job no 6 or 7 on my "Buy decent equipment instead of relying on cheap junk" list.) I am now turning my attention to the Seedbox project again and my thoughts (and actions) are on remote connectivity and cloud storage for it. As I am trying to do this without being tied to cloud storage fees or significant outlay. I am primarily looking at Free software or service`s. Today I found two gems , -The first is a piece of software that is completely free and turns a computer into a personal Cloud. -its called "tonido" and can be found at http://www.tonido.com its very simple to set up and very easy to use. First you must download and install tonido desktop onto your computer. Then you create a tonido account - the account becomes part of the URL for your computer. i.e. "https://username.tonidoID.com" where `username` is the name you chose when you opened the account. When you have completed these two steps you can access your computer from anywhere with a web connection and browser. All the files and drives become accessible. The connection is encrypted and secure. You can :- Share files and folders to guest users privately, Share files and folders publicly via web link, Share files and folders via mobile apps. And all this is Free! The other piece of software is a Remote desktop solution which (again) uses a browser to access your computer remotely, The difference with this one is that you can actually see your desktop in your browser and control it remotely. You have to open an account with a company called "Logmein". Their website is :- http://www,logmein.com and this is the actual URL you enter into your browser to use the system. There is a piece of software or a "server" that you download to your target computer and leave running in the background, then when you log on to the logmein website your computer appears as an icon in the browser which you click on to log on to your computer using your normal account name and password. Now I have only seen the `paid for` software working so far because in order to use the service you are initially `Trialling` the Pro HD version. -If you decide not to purchase the service then the service "reverts" to a free lower resolution version which IS free and carrys no charges or time limit. But what I can say is this - what I saw impressed me. When you expand the remote desktop window to full screen there is NO discernible difference to the picture you would get if your monitor was plugged into the target computer. What there is though is a noticable lag between your mouse movements and the arrow moving on screen. -My target computer (the seedbox) was connected via a VPN in the Netherlands whilst my browser on the win 8 machine was connected to my normal I.P. and although there was a lag , I still found it to be quite usable. I must add before signing off that the first solution I have described (tonido) is particularly attractive to those of you with mobile phones , be they Androids or Iphones because You can download any book, record, film or file of any description from your computer - to your device or phone with this software. So until the next installment... this is Demotricus Berk signing off...
"Never judge a book by its movie"....