DNS323 NAS harddisk upgrade.


I have been using a Home NAS product by Dlink (DNS323) for close to 3 years. It is rock solid and serves me well.

But, I keep running out of hard disk space. Initially i had 1TB (500+500). Then I upgraded one of the Disks to 1.5TB to have total 2TB.

And I have run out of space on that too!

So, just upgraded it to have total 3.5TB, by putting in a low power 2TB drive (consumes 50% less power).

The biggest challenge of all was transferring the existing data. DNS323 has no interface to transfer/backup contents between its two drives, though it supports an external USB drive. Had to pull out the drives and connect Hard disks (with EXT2 file systems) to a Linux system to get the job done fast.

Working well so far…

Sony & its deathwish.


In 80s and 90s, Sony was the brand I looked up to. They used to have the coolest techology, best designs and high reliability in all that they chose to produce. They used to be priced at a premium, but used to be worth the buy.

How things have changed!

Today, Sony products continue to be priced at a premium, but they certainly do not command that premium.

The user interfaces in most of their products is non-intutive. The quality is no where close to what it used to be (I have half a dozen head phones, camera and such at home to prove my case).

The last sony product I bought was their Reader PRS505. While it does its job and hasn’t died on me yet, it isn’t the best of the products out there!

When it is out of Battery, it just displays the last displayed page, and doesn’t respond at all. I’d have thought the product had died, if I hadn’t done extensive search on the web, and left it for recharge for a day, after a reset! How difficult would it have been for them to have an external light to show battery status?

Their software support for the library is atrocious. I use calibre instead of the one provided by sony. The positioning of the buttons on the reader are not very ideal either. A Year back, this seemed like a better deal than Kindle for the PDF support is better. Today, i’d blindly go with the iPad, when they support some multitasking.

I have many other products of Sony at home, one thing that stands out is the lousy user experience. If this company needs to survive (leave alone achieving the heights of 90s), then they need to reinvent their user interface skills.

Apple Monopoly?


Have been using more and more of Apple’s product in the past year or so, After owning various iPods for a long long time.

I like most of what apple has to offer, especially their breathtaking designs for their products. I had earlier used Mac for a brief while in late 90s and didn’t find them as much fun, now MacOS certainly is the best out there (Windows7 being close). The best thing I like about MacOS is the built in Time Machine, which makes sure I never loose data, or productive time.

However, I dislike the tightly held nature of some of Apples products. iPod is tightly coupled with iTunes (Never understood why!). No SD support in iPod or iPhone, why are they so scared of people adding their own memory?

iPad extends this further by not supporting certain third party products.

Ok.. They have good products, but why is it that Apple looks more and more the monopolist, and non-Apple products more open??!!

Blackrain & Blacksnow.


iPhone is tightly controlled by Apple and as with every digital device that restricts usage, iPhone gets hacked too. Each time Apple plugs a loophole Hackers find new ones.

3 Days ago, iPhone superhacker GeoHat (George Hotz) released a new hack to unlock the new baseband of iPhone (05.11.07) by name Blacksnow. He also created Blackrain earlier, the easiest jailbreak available for iPhone, which enables the use of non-apple approved software on iPhone. It hardly takes 30seconds to get rid of the locks (The older methods needed firmware changes, which were time consuming affairs). The one by GeoHat is so simple and brilliant.

Just goes to prove, locking mechanisms are just a nuisance that never really work. While companies may have business reasons to lock phones and restrict usage, it has rarely worked if the product is used by large enough number of people.

A good hacker can reverse engineer and figure a way to overcome such artificial locks. And typically this creates an subsidiary industry which thrives on breaking such locks.

Wonder if there isn’t a better way for business to be conducted than resorting to locks and other such restrictive measures.

Podfather…


Watched this lovely Documentary, ‘The Podfather’,  by BBC Four – about one of the Intel’s founder – Robert Noyce.

Noyce’s story reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book – Outliers. Here is one more example of what Gladwell calls as a Outlier. Extraordinarily gifted individual  helped by freak co-incidences of life to position him perfectly to achieve extraordinary things. In noyce’s case, build something that created silicon valley and something that has made this whole new way of worlwide communication possible.

A must watch Documentary for Computer/Electronic enthusiasts.