Sunday, February 28, 2010


wet sheep
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Rain. And not even a downpour but one of those steady persistent types that can last hours and hours. Hardly any colour difference in the sky, mostly solid grey. Missed a herd of male deer by about 150 meters or 3 minutes.. sheep shrink when they get wet?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Borough Market black & white

Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Shot this at London's borough market. One of the few really nice spots I found in my weekend visit.
I tried to get something contrasty here and ended up with something I like but isn't likely to draw in the flickr crowds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Synology DS110j review, part 2

Part 1 is here.
A little more than a month after I started using the Synology DS110j NAS I think it's time to share the experiences.

Web interface
It works, it works well. Only thing I had to get used to is that you need to grant access to the various applications on a different tab than where you create and manage user accounts. I do expect some changes in the 2.3 firmware which is in beta now.

A lot of question I see are things like "is 800mhz enough" and "is 128mb RAM enough?" My experience up until now is that yes it is. OK, granted, you can really stress that little box. I did so just last night by running a backup from an EXT3 volume to an NTFS volume, that conversion takes some power.

What can I say. It works, it works ok out of the box and with SABNZBD on it it works like a dream!

Hooking up an additional drive
It works. On all three USB ports. A drive shows up in the file manager tree and you can use it, that's all there is to it. Speed is decent enough although copying 45 gb of DVD images took about 50 minutes.

What doesn't work?
Well, my main problems are with audio. OK, it can share my mp3 collection, that part works. There's a web player interface that works sort of but is cumbersome to create a playlist on the fly.
Squeezebox server is installable as a service on the device. And it may work if you have any squeezebox devices but it is not a viable solution as a web player. There are various other web solutions but most of them start the installation instructions by letting your PHP and webserver out of the webroot, not something that sounds very secure to me.
The web player is supposed to get a major overhaul in the 2.3 firmware and squeezebox server may work very well in conjunction with a Squeezebox touch which should be released this spring.

Should I buy this or a bigger unit?
Well, that really is up to you. I think 120 euros for what is basically a 800mhz miniature linux system is very reasonable. It does what I want it to do. Performance is OK for my needs. Yes you can have your backup disk in the same enclosure and if you don't already own a USB disk that would make sense. Yes you can buy a DS109+ and get more CPU power. But do you need that? With 3Tb disks scheduled to be released this year and 2Tb disks rapidly dropping in price ask yourself what you really need.

Any questions, feel free to contact me.