Sunday, December 24, 2006

Buffallo Networks Linkstation Pro - LS250GL

(This is not how to hack your Linkstation Pro - Google for that - there is lots of good info on doing such a reasonable thing.)

The Linkstation Pro is a really nice affordable network attached storage device. But for some reason it comes with a CD. Nothing in my experience with the product demonstrated a need for it.

Step number one: Do not install any software on the CD. Disregard "Step 3" of the Quick Setup Guide. Do not install any software that the "Link Navigator 1.0" prompts you to install. It just isn't necessary as the LS250-GL performs fine without it.

For a "Quick Setup" plug the linkstation into your Microsoft LAN and use the explorer to go to the network neighborhood. That is fast. Why? The linkstation is a host that will get an IP address from a DHCP server an advertise its name on the Microsoft network. A default name is set (check your DHCP tables to find its IP address). It can be found on the admin webserver's basic or network page.

Can't see it on your network? Explore to file:////ls-glcb6. Still can't see it? Take a look at the IP address your DHCP server gave. If file:////[your linkstations] IP address doesn't work, well try and install the Linkstation Pro software that came with it. That software should autodiscover the linkstation.

Don't read the manual - especially the PDF on the comes with the linkstation. Around page 12 of "Manual.pdf" the author starts to refer to the "TeraStation" instead of your new Linkstation Pro. And you probably bought a Linkstation because you couldn't afford a Terastation which makes the error a bummer.

But this leads us to wonder to what exten a Linkstation Pro has Terastation features and firmware. At the very least the "Printers and Faxes" icon appears in the Linkstation host directory in the Network Neighborhood. But the Linkstation Pro is not supposed to support a USB printer - or is it? Maybe especially if their engineers are as copy/paste oriented as their tech writers! More exploration later.

Couple other salient points for those listening and not reading the manual or installing the CD that comes with the Linkstation Pro.

- Plug it in. It has a gigabit Ethernet interface and autodetects and re-wires cross-over situations. (In other words, don't worry about ethernet cabling and your configuration)
- It has a web server. It is accessible by http://ls-glcb6 (or name you gave it) out of the box.
- The backup features in the web interface are inexplicable and will take some playing to get a feel for how they work
- admin/password is the default username password for the web interface

If you get all that working, then there are tons of NAS features to be used. One thing to do is look at directory authentication. Be very slow in setting this up - make sure the Windows user accounts exist and that the Linkstation Pro is reboot before configuring those accounts in the Linkstation. The other important one are the backups. Never mind that there are two "Overwrite Backup (Complete/Differential)" options. Not sure what the difference is!

(Don't throw out the media that came with your linkstation pro - there is a key for Memeo Backup Software (whatever this is) that is included.)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Oracle 9.2 - XDB Port Collisions

You might not be a DBA but you might want to download Oracle 9.2, install it and try and do web development. But beware, the XDB feature gobbles up ports that we have gotten used to as users. For example: 8080.

Set ports to zero should turn off the services. Do this as system/system@oracle (connect as sysdba)

call dbms_xdb.cfg_update(updateXML(dbms_xdb.cfg_get(), '/xdbconfig/sysconfig/protocolconfig/httpconfig/http-port/text()',0));
call dbms_xdb.cfg_update(updateXML(dbms_xdb.cfg_get(), '/xdbconfig/sysconfig/protocolconfig/ftpconfig/ftp-port/text()',0));

Logitech diNovo Keyboard, Mouse and Bluetooth Wireless Hub

Logitech Bluetooth diNovo Keyboard ultra-flat keyboard, MX 900 Optical Mouse and Hub

Mouse p/n 852011-0000
Keyboard p/n 867328-0100
Hub 830916-0000

When I saw this Bluetooth product, I imagined how nice it would be to replace my existing keyboard and mouse, wirelessly, and also add a bluetooth capability to my PC.

Not a bad piece of hardware. But pretty bad software. The primary problem was the time it took for the mouse and keyboard to respond after a reboot. Frequently I had to plug in an old keyboard (after a while left it plugged in) to log in and play with the Logitech software to get the keyboard and mouse paired.

I gave up on the product, and deinstalled the Logitech software figuring on getting rid of it. When the Logitech software was removed and Windows rebooted things got interesting. Windows recognized the USB device (the Bluetooth Wireless hub) and then everything could not have worked better. Keyboard, mouse paired up, work and there are no problems using them.

But I still can't manipulate the BIOS on boot - still need the good old ps/2 keyboard.

If you have this product, try the product with Windows XP and without Logitech's software. Couple caveats: I'm guessing the Media Pad (don't use it) will become a glorified Bluetooth calculator and I haven't tried a clean install of WinXP without having ever installed the Logitech software.

This experience leads me to the following piece of advice: Never install any CD that comes with a peripheral you have purchased.

Reboot Daily: there is no other choice

The Net has helped me an incredible amount to figure out how to fully use the software and consumer electronics I've encountered. This is an attempt to return such help.

Hopefully this 'blog' is indexed well and serves as a useful database of fixed problems.