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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Apple Remote for Iphone and Ipod Touch, kind of does wake on lan

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I recently discovered that the apple remote app is capable of waking up a computer from sleep if it has wake on lan enabled, and it can only be woken up from sleep mode, not if the machine is entirely turned off. So if you keep your media server on all the time this is a handy way to wake it up without paying for one of the numerous wake on lan apps in the app store.

time machine back up to remote macs over lan and internet

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

BACK UP OFTEN!!!!

Now that I have my mac mini set up as my home server I also wanted to backup its system drive to preserve all the configuration. I have an Airport extreme basestation that has a 500GB hard drive hooked up to it. I have used it to back up my mac book pro over the air and it worked just fine. When I tried to select it as the backup drive for my mac mini the time machine preference pane would crash every time. So I played arround with it and it appears that time machine is now able to backup to any afp:// file server. It is important that you mount it using the following instructions and not just click on it in the finder. It appears that apple does something differently when using the shares in finder.

Setting up time machine with a remote destination

This is done by pressing command + K in finder and using OS X built in ability to connect to different file servers

connect to server

connect to server

You might get prompted for user name and password. Once connected the afp source shows up in your finder.

afp source

afp source

In my case that is the airport extreme base station called chrillo.Airport with the hard drive. This could also be another mac. Now head over to your time machine preferences and the click the change drive button.

remote time machine backup

remote time machine backup

As you can see it shows up with its Ip address. In my case I used the internal Lan IP

Mac Mini as a home theater PC, a file server and a web server

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Finally Apple released an update to the mac mini product line. I finally got mine and its already up and running. I set it up to be my HTPC, file server and web server. I want to go through each of these three topics and describe the configuration I used.

Hardware:

The mac mini is way too expensive for the hardware you get. I was really disappointed at first because they even raised the price from 439?(with student discount) t0 526?. For 550 euros I could get twice as much ram and way more disk space, eSata, blueray and hdmi output easily with a linux or windows machine. BUT OS X makes it still worth the money FOR ME. I do not agree with the back and forth disccussion about macs vs. pcs. A computer is a TOOL, like a car is for transportation. There is diffrent cars with different uses and different prices. Some cars are easy to drive some require a skilled driver… Everybody has to decide for himself if its worth the money and if it will do what you want it do in the way you want it to be done. Be glad there is a choice!

1 mac mini 3/2009, 2.0 GHZ, 2GB RAM

mac mini

mac mini

Mac Mini – The mean reasons I chose the mac mini over other more powerful computer were that its really small and really really quite. The mini is inaudible and I really hated the constant buzz from my old server, even though I already spent way to much money on expensive CPU coolers. The power consumption is also quite low and since the server will be always on its a big plus. The display output options are sufficient. I use the included mini DVI to DVI adapter and connect it to an DVI to HDMI cable. As soon as reasonably priced mini display port to hdmi adapters hit the market I will change to that. I like the built in SPIDIF audio connectors and the built in Firewire 800 port. In combination witth the 2 FW800 enabled drives it is really faster than a USB 2.0 solution and not much more expensive.

2 Western Digital My Book Studio Edition 1 TB

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition – Even though I had some problems with this type of hard drive before I chose them because of their low price and their ability to shut down when not in use. For a HTPC noise is a key factor. The new drives are really quiet in the first place but if the server or just the drives are not in use they turn off and are therefor completly silent. The only downturn to this is that when you want to access the drives it takes a couple of seconds to wake up from sleep but that is not a realy problem. The drives come with a 5 year warranty. Since I already experienced the rather smooth and fast exchange process of such a drive I do not expect any major worries in the next 5 years( In 5 years I hope we will be carrying Terrabytes on our thumb drives).

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Apple Airport Extreme Basestation and Wake On Lan

Monday, September 15th, 2008

In order to cut down on energy usage I wanted my allwayson windows XP server to hibernate when not in use. My network adapter supports wakeOnLan and I also had it configured in a minute. Make sure Wake on Lan is activated in your Bios as well as in the configuration menu of the networking card.

Wake On Lan settings on the server

Wake On Lan settings on the server

wake on land settings - energy management

be sure to check all three boxes. The last box makes sure your pc does not wake up from random networking traiffc.

this is what it looks like on a mac

this is what it looks like on a mac

Then I go to my macbook pro and fire up this tool http://gsd.di.uminho.pt/jpo/software/wakeonlan/ which is a small free but fully functional wake on lan tool for macs that is able to send the so called magic packets that wake up a computer in standby or hibernation mode. There are a ton of tools like this for windows as well. google is your friend.

wake550

So within the network everything works just fine. I put in the mac address and the broadcasting IP which usually is something like 192.168.x.255 and hit go. seconds later my server is booting up. very nice.

Wake on Lan over the internet through a Airport Extreme basestation is a different story. In theory all you had to do is forward the UDP port 9 to the broadcasting IP of 192.168.x.255. So any magic package that hits your router on the wan port is automatically broadcasted over your local network in order to find the machine that needs to be powered up. pretty simple in theory.

1. Update 4.5.2009

2. Update 20.5.2009

Wake on lan over the internet

It is possible to do it over the internet on the long run. The important thing to understand is that the Airport extreme basestation still will not allow any broadcasting of outside traffic. It can be done however if you manually specifiy the ip address for the computer that should wake up. your are very likely to have your Airport Extreme Basestation hand out IP addresses to devices using DHCP. Your computer needs an IP reservation that will give it the same Ip every time it is on, so the magic package will always reach the correct machine. you can make such a reservation in the Airport utility at internet –> DHCP. The AEBS will only remeber the computer with the IP reservation for a short amount of time so it is not a long term solution.

Ip reservation

You need the computers mac address to make this reservation, usually something like this xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx. Then head over to you computer’s network settings and asign the same IP you just reserverd manually to the computer.

manual ip

Now you have to forward the UDP 9 port in the airport utility. Unlike previously assumed you do not want to forward it to the broadcasting IP but to the specific IP you asigned to the computer.

forwarding the udp 9 port

forwarding the udp 9 port

http://ifatwww.et.uni-magdeburg.de/wol/

http://stephan.mestrona.net/wol/

here is a really good german explaination of the entire issue.

Bottom Line:

it is possible to use wake on lan within your local network/subnet if you have an Apple Airport Extreme Basestation, but it is not possible to wake up your machine over the internet since the AEBS will not forword the magic packages coming in at the UDP 9 Port.

It is possible to do wake on lan over the internet and on your local lan with your airport extreme basestation. Thanks a bunch for the commenter who came up with this idea!

It is possible to do wake a lan over the internet but after a short time the AEBS “forgets” the link to the computer and it will not work any more. Sry for the messy post, I will clean it up once I have figuered the damn problem out!

How to watch Movies in Apple Front Row without importing them to Itunes

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

 In order to watch movies in Itunes you have to convert them into one of the few supported formats, which for longer movies is a lot of work. I have my home server with an harddrive full of movies and I really wanted to be able to access them with the nice remotely controlled interface of Apples Front Row, which is actually capable of playing a lot more video formats than itunes supports. In Leopard Front Row offers you the possibility to access the movies folder on your mac. I only have a 120 GB Harddrive so now way I could keep all my movies in this folder, but the solution is simple:

Simply create an alias of the folder your movies are in and place it inside the designated movies Folder. That way you can add any location from a usb Harddrive to a Windows SMB share. Then run Front Row and check the movies folder for the alias. And you are done watching all your movies without importing them to itunes.

Ipod Touch

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

ipod_touch.jpg 

My dad is flying over the US for business and is getting me an Ipod touch since apple is converting euros and dollars I:I which kind of not reflects reality when looking at the actual rate of 1.4877. That means for me in Austria I get a 300 € Gadget for 200€, which is a pretty good discount. I can’t wait to unpack the thing!! 

Macworld 2008

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

just a few more minutes till the Macworld 2008 kicks off. I am really excited this year since its my first Macworld with actually owning a mac. What do I wish for? I would like to see a G3 iphone since it would be a device that comes pretty close to

My imagniary all in one gadget

Monday, January 14th, 2008

General thoughts

Having watched hours of CES 2008 coverage without being really thrilled about any of the products I have seen, I want to make up a piece of tech that would actually get me excited to buy it. So lets start off by looking at the stuff I already have. I currently carry a mp3 player (ipod G5 30GB), a cellphone (Nokia E65) and a digital camera (Canon IXUS 40). These three devices together have pretty much all the features one may ask for, but one without the other is simply not enough. My intention is to come up with a list of features that, if combined in one device would make me buy it, and most importantly then not think about any compromise I hade to make by choosing the device over another. Anyhow everything written after this line is just my wild imagination and I am sure I have not though about every aspect.

OS

The OS that is running the device should finally start to behave like an OS. A basic platform that offers and open API for software to use the gadgets features and then stop. It does not need to do anything more really. For everything else I want to have an application that is running as an application and is not deeply stuck within the OS. So for example contacts: I am a mac user I will have a Adressbook mini app that’s running on my device and then sync with my mac. If I have a pc, want a app that is designed to work with outlook. Anyhow I want to choose like on my laptop which software I use to perform a certain task. Hearing my self write it kind of sounds like android from Google. Well we haven’t really seen much of it yet but maybe it will make my wish come true.

User Interface

I believe there is no way but using a touchscreen. I wrote above I want many different programs to work for me, but that means a basically different UI for every single app, which would probably result in the worst user experience every with exception of my first cellphone. So one more thing the OS should to is to provide a set of UI elements to be used in the programs. I am thinking about the component library from Flash. Those are not the best UI elements out there but they would allow a cohesive User experience, that can then be customized with themes.

Filemanagement & Memory

I want this device to have one piece of storage that will be used by all apps and that is accesable by all apps using a file management application of my choice. So If a want to attach a picture I just took to an email, the email app calls the file app to show up and let me select a file, without browsing in some proprietary gallery that is different for each filetype.

Browsing & Mobile Office 

It need a  web browsing app – the safari on the iphone is the best thing I have seen so far but since the system is open anyone can come up with a better app. As for the mobile office stuff I guess these apps already exist, so I only have to download them to my device which brings me to my next point.

Carrier provided Content and apps

My cellphones are packed with stuff from you carrier. For the most part these are just as annoying as the ones you get your PC with, when you buy a new one. If the carrier offers special services they should have them as web services I can access using the browser app, if I would like to do so.  

Music playback:

Being a mac user I am a big fan of the Ipod + Itunes concept with only one point of criticism and that is DRM. Like I said above I want this to be done by certain apps, so I could imagine a little mini itunes(never gonna happen since apple wont let their superglued couple be torn apart) that does all my media and then syncs with my mac. Many people dont like itunes, so they should be able to use a different app. But both apps share the resources of the devices audio capabilities

Video playback:

I want a big screen( touch screen, but I will talk about that when it comes to user interface). Today I got to play with an ipod touch of a friend of mine and found this screen to be perfect. Its big enough to watch video but its not as big as other PMPs or mini Pcs that make it impossible to fit this device into your pocket. My ipod offers only limited support for video playback since I have to import and convert everything into itunes in order to view it on my ipod. Like I said for the music, its got to be open AND that would also mean for Itunes to support more video file types.

Pictures:

  • Taking Pictures: In order to get a decent picture taken you neet two things, a camera with more than 3 megapixels and a lightsource(flash). Many mobile devices still don’t offer 3 megapixels, and most of them perform very poorly in the dark. But looking at the Nokia N95, the new LG viewety or some sony-ericsson cybershot phones we see that it is possible to pack all this tech into a small gadget.
  • Viewing Pictures: This is not a very hard task. I am personally satisfied with my ipods picture viewer, and looking at the ipod touch I think there is not that much potential for innovation. Of course as this little gadgets become more and more powerfull computers photo editing is an issue. But personally I never felt the need for editing a picture right on my cellphone or camera. The screen is to small anyways.
  • Managing Pictures: In my eyes the most crucial factor. I just recently switched from simply folder storage to Iphoto which I think is also great solution but only works for the few people that own a mac. So in order for the device to be really good it should behave like a simple digital camera, that mounts as a drive, and would therefor be usable across all platforms. Most of the software that comes with these cameras and cellphones is really bad and I don’t see why companies insist on creating software if their strength really is to build electronic devices.

Connectivity:

Well I guess its pretty simple on this one. GSM,GPRS,UMTS,HSDPA,WiFi,Bluetooth,USB, IRD … did I miss one? 

Conclusion

I developed my ideas more or less while writing the text and the further I got the more I realized I described a personal computer or tablet pc with the size of an Ipod. And thats what it should be. Give me a small computer that is simply not as powerful as my mac but fits in my pocket and does everything a pc does just on a smaller scale. I dont want a walkman phone or a nokia busniess phone with a crapy camera. Make it a small computer that can do calls, sms, mms and data with a decent camera, and by installing certain apps I decide what it exactly is.