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Archive for December, 2012

Controlling fan speed and hard drive APM settings on Synology DiskStation

There is a file in /usr/syno/etc/scemd.xml which controls the fan speeds and trigger temperatures corresponding to the setting at Control Panel > Power, as well as drive APM settings (for hard drive head parking issues. More information for this issue can be found by reading this post). Feel free to edit the file to your needs, but remember that settings may not be preserved during DSM updates.

On my DS211j running DSM 4.1-2668 the file contains the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<scemd>
 <fan_config period="20" threshold="6" type="DUAL_MODE_HIGH" hibernation_speed="STOP">
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="ULTRA_LOW" action="NONE">0</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="VERY_LOW" action="NONE">52</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="LOW" action="NONE">54</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="ULTRA_HIGH" action="NONE">58</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="SHUTDOWN">61</disk_temperature>
 </fan_config>
 <fan_config period="20" threshold="6" type="DUAL_MODE_LOW" hibernation_speed="STOP">
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="STOP" action="NONE">0</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="ULTRA_LOW" action="NONE">40</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="VERY_LOW" action="NONE">52</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="LOW" action="NONE">54</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="ULTRA_HIGH" action="NONE">58</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="SHUTDOWN">61</disk_temperature>
 </fan_config>

<fan_config hw_version="Synology-DX5" period="20" threshold="6" type="DUAL_MODE_HIGH_EBOX" hibernation_speed="UNKNOWN">
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="NONE">0</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="NONE">45</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="NONE">55</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="SHUTDOWN">61</disk_temperature>
</fan_config>

<fan_config hw_version="Synology-DX5" period="20" threshold="6" type="DUAL_MODE_LOW_EBOX" hibernation_speed="UNKNOWN">
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="NONE">0</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="NONE">45</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="NONE">55</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="SHUTDOWN">61</disk_temperature>
</fan_config>

<fan_config hw_version="Synology-DX510" period="20" threshold="6" type="DUAL_MODE_HIGH_EBOX" hibernation_speed="LOW">
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="MIDDLE" action="NONE">0</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="HIGH" action="NONE">48</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="SHUTDOWN">61</disk_temperature>
</fan_config>

<fan_config hw_version="Synology-DX510" period="20" threshold="6" type="DUAL_MODE_LOW_EBOX" hibernation_speed="LOW">
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="MIDDLE" action="NONE">0</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="HIGH" action="NONE">48</disk_temperature>
 <disk_temperature fan_speed="FULL" action="SHUTDOWN">61</disk_temperature>
</fan_config>
<disk_control>
 <disk model="ST9120821A">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="HTS722020K9SA00">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="ST980811AS">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="MHV2060BH">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="MK6034GSX">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="ST9100824AS">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="HM250JI">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="MK1637GSX">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="ST9100824AS">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="ST9120822AS">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="ST9160821AS">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="WD2500BEVS-75UST0">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="HM250JI">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="WD2500BEVS">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="WD1600BEVT">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="HTS543232L9A300">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="WD1600BEVE">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="MK2546GSX">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="MHV2080BHPL">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="WD1200BEVE">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="HTS543225L9A300">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="WD3200BEVT">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="MK8025GAS">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="ST9200420AS">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="WD3200BEVT">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="HTS543216L9SA00">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="MK4058GSX">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="WD6400BEVT">APM_254</disk>
 <disk model="ST32000542AS">APM_255</disk>
 <disk model="ST95005620AS">APM_255</disk>
</disk_control>

</scemd>
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Switching from ActiveSync (Microsoft Exchange) to IMAP and CardDAV for Google Gmail on iPhone

Since Google is discontinuing it’s ActiveSync services, which allowed iPhone (and other handhelds) to sync account data using ActiveSync, you may want to reconfigure your devices now, or simply remember how to do this for the future. Note these steps are iPhone-specific, but can be easily adapted for other phones.

I’ll explain how to delete the ActiveSync setup, then how to add an IMAP account configuration for mail and calendars, and a CardDAV setup for contacts. If you only want to add a new setup, simply skip the first section here.

Deleting the existing ActiveSync setup

You can delete the existing ActiveSync setup by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and locating the account under Accounts. Touch the account name, then scroll to the bottom and click Delete Account. This will remove the data associated with the sync from your phone.

Creating the sync accounts

You’ll want to create both a Gmail IMAP account (for mail, calendars, and notes) and a CardDAV setup (for contacts). If you want reminders as well, you’ll have to create a CalDAV setup.

Creating the Gmail IMAP setup

Creating this sync account is very easy on the iPhone. First, in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, touch Add Account….  Next, touch Gmail, and enter your account information.

Creating the CardDAV setup

Similiar to the above. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, touch Add Account…, then scroll down and touch Other. Touch Add CardDAV Account. For Server, enter google.com, and continue with the rest of your account information.

For CalDAV, choose Add CalDAV Account instead of CardDAV, and follow the same account information.

If you use two-factor authentication for your Google account, be sure to use your application-specific password instead of your account password.

Google Apps setup is exactly the same as a standard Google account, just substitute your full email address for the username.

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Disable and remove .DS_Store files stored on network locations

So today I was going through my Synology NAS and noticed .DS_Store files all over the place.

These are actually files containing extended attributes created by Finder in Mac OS X. But, since they get written out to network locations, they can cause backup and versionining issues.

To disable them from being created on network locations, open a Terminal and run the following

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

(Note: This only affects the currently-logged-in user)

Now in my case, I had these files all over my Synology NAS, so I was able to easily get rid of them by SSHing into the box and running the following:

find / -name .DS_Store -delete

And… done.

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Fixing “Failed to open Group Policy Object” on Windows 7

When trying to run gpedit.msc, the following message may appear:

Failed to open the Group Policy Object on this computer. You may not have appropriate rights.

Details: Unspecified error

Fix this by deleting the contents of the c:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy folder.

This will reset your group policy, but it’s already corrupt.

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Disable indexing and generation of @eaDir directories on Synology NAS

Various forums throughout the Internet have users stating that even though they’ve disabled media indexing the @eaDir folders are still being generated, and even outside the indexed folders.

In order to completely stop the generation of @eaDir folders, it’s necessary to disable the services that are generating them.

Note that after a DSM update, these services may be re-enabled.

To disable these services, log in to your Synology NAS via SSH, then do the following:

cd /usr/syno/etc.defaults/rc.d/
chmod 000 S66fileindexd.sh S66synoindexd.sh S77synomkthumbd.sh S88synomkflvd.sh S99iTunes.sh

After disabling the services, you may want to delete all the created @eaDir directories.

Any feedback on the above is welcome, please leave it in the comments section below. Thank you!

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Getting rid of the @eaDir folders on Synology NAS DSM

The @eaDir directories contain extended attributes and thumbnails that take up quite a bit of space, not unlike Windows Thumbs.db files.

Here’s how to get rid of them easily from the command line.

First, SSH into your Synology NAS box and log in as root, then type this to locate the @eaDir folders:

find . -name "@eaDir" -type d | more

If you’re happy you’re not going to accidentally delete something important, then make it happen:

find . -name "@eaDir" -type d -print0 | xargs -0 rm -rf

Note that after deleting the directories, you may also want to disable the services that created them.

Do you have any feedback on the above? Please leave it in the comments section below. Thank you!

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Socially-awkward life lessons learned from RPG games

RPGs, or Role Playing Games, are a genre of games I’ve always been a fan of, even as a kid. But I realized at a certain point that some things you learn from them aren’t great life lessons, they’re actually rather socially-awkward.

Here’s a run-down of a few that made my list:

  • No matter what the request or how urgent it is, it can wait

There’s a large monster about to set fire to the city? Ahh, you still have time to hit the shop, craft a few items, and head out to the field to level. That monster will wait for you. In fact, almost everything will wait for you.

  • People are lazy

Citizens will always ask you to do some quest for them, like run off and get them something. The city guard will ask you to go kill monsters they can’t handle, or just don’t feel like doing anything about. Yep, people are lazy, and they want you to do everything for them. They want you to fix their problems for them. No one else, just you.

  • Heros are overrated

The almighty legendary hero wants to join your party and help you kill some notorious monster? That’s great! Except, he’s level 10 and hasn’t raised any of his skills. How’d he get to be such a legendary hero, anyway?

Like Dunban in Xenoblade Chronicles. But he was bed-ridden for a year, so I guess that’s an excuse.

  • Talk to everyone. Twice.

You never know what useful piece of information someone wants to give you. Only, they don’t. You have to talk to them to get it, usually more than once. Which leads me to my next one…

  • People are boring

People say the same things over and over again, every time you talk to them. They’ll stand there and wait for you to go over and start a one-sided conversation with them, and you won’t be able to get them to shut up.

  • Never throw anything away

That’s right, be a hoarder. You never know when that one item you picked up at the beginning may be needed for a quest two-thirds of the say through the game, or be needed as a craft item, because you sold it or traded it and won’t be able to get another one just like it. Keep absolutely everything, forever.

  • Shopkeepers are stupid, or smart. But mostly stupid.

People who run shops are stupid. If you sell something to them, you can’t buy it back. What did they do, throw it out? Keep it? It’s not worth anything if they won’t sell it. Also, they don’t appreciate the real value of items. Hey shopkeeper, I have an item you can give to the guy across town to get a sword that I’m going to sell to you for thousands. You don’t want it? That’s a poor business decision. Also, how do you stay in business carrying goods only people in my party can buy? You don’t have very good business sense there, shopkeeper.

In NetHack, shopkeepers are especially strange. They keep everything on the floor, but you can shoplift under certain circumstances.

  • Kids can go anywhere and do anything, and they don’t die or get attacked.

What’s that? Your kids ran off into a very dangerous place and you want me to go get him? That’s fine. Until I find out he’s in the back of a cave full of level 40 monsters that aggro on sight, and my party is fully equipped and we barely made it to him alive. How’d you get back there without being attacked, kid?

  • People don’t need to eat, drink, or sleep. Except you, and that’s only sometimes.

People are out all day and all night, never eating, drinking, or sleeping. They’re just up and moving about all the time. Unless they’re at a bar, then they’re drinking all day and all night and never needed to use the toilet.

But you, you’re a hero. You eat and drink to recover, and you can go days without sleeping. Weeks even. Unless it’s to recover, then you can stay at an inn. Or maybe under a lamp in a field, but only once.

  • You can run everywhere without getting tired.

Especially across large fields, deserts, and mountains. Yep, that’s you, hero of all. You never get tired or thirsty.

  • The weather doesn’t matter. Neither does washing your clothes. Or wearing deodorant.

What, it’s raining? Snowing? Scorching hot? Who cares, wear the same clothes you wear everywhere else. Oh, and never take them off to wash them. Just buy new ones and sell or throw out the old ones.

In Final Fantasy XI online, you can deodorize yourself. But you only care because the monsters pick up on your smell, never the townspeople.

  • People move really fast when you’re not looking.

So that someone you’re supposed to follow just left for that place you’re supposed to go only moments ago, and now you’re going right after them. But they’re gone now, only to be waiting patiently for you at the very end, mysteriously untouched by all the high-level baddies you had to fight on the way in.

  • People are freeloaders

I went and worked hard to buy you that set of equipment, and not even a thank you? And you’re just going to leave the party and keep it? What jerks.

In Final Fantasy IV, Palom and Porom go so far as to turn themselves to stone wearing gear you gave them. No appreciation.

  • Size doesn’t matter. Weight does, but only if you’re wearing it.

I can’t carry around more than 12 feathers, but I can carry 12 wooden tables? That makes sense. So does the fact that my equipment weight only matters for equipped items. So, I can only equip light armor but I can carry 12 sets of heavy plate armor with being encumbered. That’s cool.

However, NetHack factors in the weight of everything in your inventory, not just equipped items.

  • Invade people’s privacy and break their stuff

Oh yeah, so-and-so won’t mind if I search through his cabinets and dressers for anything I might find useful. Like gear, money, or healing items.

In Neverwinter Nights people lock their dressers and trunks, but that doesn’t stop you! In pretty much every Zelda game ever made, people keep money in their vases. Break them!

  • Money is no object

No, seriously. It takes up no space in your inventory and doesn’t weigh anything.  

So there you have it. Have any specific game examples of the above, or any games which differ from these? Got any of your own socially-awkward game teachings to share? Please do so in the comments below. Thank you!

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Controlling the front LEDs of a Synology NAS via ttyS1

You can control the front LEDs (as well as triggering other hardware events) on a Synology NAS by sending certain values to /dev/ttyS1, either from a script of from the CLI via Telnet or SSH.

These commands “force” the LED state, and therefore the LEDs can’t be used as status indicators after being forced. You can, however, simply reboot the NAS to restore normal operation; the settings do not survive a reboot.

Below are a list of commands that can be run from the command line (if you are logged in as root) or incorportated into a script. Note that the # character and everything after it are comments, and some characters require escaping.

These are only the commands I could get to work on my NAS.

echo 1>/dev/ttyS1 # Immediate power off (not graceful)
echo 4>/dev/ttyS1 # Power LED on solid
echo 5>/dev/ttyS1 # Power LED flash
echo 6>/dev/ttyS1 # Power LED off
echo 7>/dev/ttyS1 # Status LED off
echo 8>/dev/ttyS1 # Status LED on solid green
echo A>/dev/ttyS1 # USBCopy LED flash
echo @>/dev/ttyS1 # USBCopy LED on solid
echo B>/dev/ttyS1 # USBCopy LED off
echo C>/dev/ttyS1 # Immediate reset (not graceful)
echo :>/dev/ttyS1 # Status LED on solid amber
echo ;>/dev/ttyS1 # Status LED flashing amber

If you know if any other values to send to ttyS1, or anything else you’d like to share regarding this, please feel free to do so in the comments below. Thank you!

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Google puts an end to the free version of Google Apps

The free version of Google Apps is sadly no more. Just a few minutes ago I received an email from the Google Apps team, which included this:

Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free.

Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month.

You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the Enterprise Blog.

Link to Google Apps for Business.

Here are a few possible alternatives to Google Apps for hosted Email:

And an alternative for Google Apps for Docs, or document collaboration:

And this workaround has been demonstrated for getting Google Apps tied to your domains for free, but it’s probably only a matter of time until Google puts an and to it, as well:

I’ll add more alternatives as I find them, but you’re welcome to share your own  n the comments below. Your comments are always welcome below.

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Automatically disable wireless (Wifi) when Ethernet is available

Having Windows prefer a wired connection is preferable in a number of situations: When your wired connection is faster, or your wired connection needs to be preferred because it’s a private LAN, etc.

As far as I am aware, there is not a way to completely disable the wireless adapter when an Ethernet connection is available, but you can have Windows prefer the Ethernet connection over the wireless, effectively doing the same thing.

To do this in Windows 7, do the following;

Open Control Panel, then Network and Sharing Center, click Change Adapter Settings, then tap the Alt key to show the menu. Click Advanced, then click Advanced Settings.

On the Adapters and Bindings tab, in the Connections pane, reorder the connections using the arrow keys, putting the most preferred (wired) connections on top. This will have Windows automatically prefer the wired connection over the wireless.

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