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Hitradio OE3



I was just wandering the Mariahilfer Street (german - yes, it has a wiki entry... astonishing.), as some guy walked up to me and offered me something that didn't look like the flyers i can't stand anymore (why are they handing out flyers when the poster with the exact same content the flyer has is hanging around everywhere, anyways??), i asked what that thing is, and he said 'it's a radio' and passed it to me. oh well. a radio. whatever. i stuffed it in my pocket and kept walking, so that none of the flyer handout people see my moment of weakness and think i'm an easy target.

Back at home, i took a closer look at the object that is rumored to be a radio.

- It has earphones, but they are hardwired, so you can't use them separately
- It has 1 Dial and 2 Buttons. 1 Button is labeled "Scan", the other is labeled "Reset", and the Dial is labeled "Off/Volume + .oO" (the .oO is symbolic for the 'increasing in this direction' sign)
- It is designed in Gray/White/Silver shades, except the earphones, they're black with a little silver.
- There is a slide cap on the rear bottom that makes it look like a little oversized usb stick
- Underneatht the slide cap is the battery - a 3V cell battery, the slim all silver ones

Hey, i thought, this could actually _be_ a radio! Optimistic, i wanted to plug the earphones in - and look for the 'R' or 'L' letter on any of the plugs - nope. nothing there. I looked for almost 30 seconds, then i just put them in in any order. Like it matters - crappy FM radio signal, anyways. So i turned the dial in the direction pointed to by the .oO sign, and being the industrial fan not frightened of full power static noise, i - of course - turned it all the way up. It made "blop" once. Then: silence. I started pressing those 2 buttons, first scan, then i waited a little, then reset... nothing.

And that's all there is to it. End of story. Great marketing campaign! Those batteries are really good to recycle, you know, oh, and, the best thing is this: i actually paid for this non-radio. Yes. The people picking up the non-radios probably don't realise that OE3 is paid for by the "GIS", they get a fee from everyone who owns a radio, and a bigger fee from everyone who ons a tv or a tv and a radio. So thanks again for wasting money ment to be spent for making good, neutral, journalistic radio shows!

Giving people small radios that don't work won't stop people from listening to ipods. Really kick-ass radio shows would. *shrugs* oh well...


TEAC HD35-NAS customer review



Hi, it's been some time, but here i am again, with a customer review of the TEAC HD35-NAS, a network hard drive minus the blinky-shinynes of most other vendors. The casing is made of aluminium, and is a little bigger than you are used to from usb-only drives - i guess because it doubles as heat absorber, the cooling fins suggest this. Despite of those, there still is a small, yet pretty loud fan in the rear of the casing...

klickst du groessa

It offers SMB and FTP Access to the disk, and doubles as a USB drive, though you can't use both methods at the same time. As soon as you connect the USB cable, the network is disabled. It can be configured to do DHCP requests, and user managemenet for FTP and SMB is possible on a per-directory basis. This, of course, is not enforced if used as USB disk, so you still need to block physical access on LAN parties and the like if you store sensitive data nex to your pr0n. This is especially true because the passwords of configured users are stored in PLAIN TEXT in a file called nasuser.cfg in the root of the drive!

Another odd thing, the 'public' directory is re-created in the root of the disc on every boot-up. It's not shared automatically again, it's just created. Helloo~oo, this needs to be called 'pub', not 'public'! ;-)

Network access speed is lame. I never got more than 2.5 MB/s out of it. So i ended up attaching it to my router via USB, and sharing it via the router's samba. Not quite what i wanted... i don't get why most of these devices don't have Gigabit ethernet, anyways - if i really need Gigabit ethernet for anything, it's network disks! The device was so slow, I couldn't play back movies using the Freecom Network MediaPlayer without stuttering, they would play for a few minutes without any problems, but then I needed to pause and resume constantly. The 2.5 MB/s was measured with FTP and SAMBA, both under Linux and Windows.

The Firmware is updatable either via the Web-Frontend or via TFTP. I wouldn't really suggest you try updating to the latest firmware, NAS-BASIC41, though. It screwed my device. And with screwed i mean, it's now a usb-only casing with a much too loud fan. No, there don't seem to be any rescue bootstrap tftp requests. Even the power-light behind that big blue button doesn't light up anymore. And yes, i had the prerequisites they mention on their firmware upgrade page. So i tried posting a support request on their web page, which didn't yield a reply. Still searching for a solution, i wrote a mail to support@teac.com which bounced with "599 Mailbox access for support@teac.com refused", so i tried support@teac.de, which was delivered on the 4th of July (which is not a holiday here :) at 14:10. Here is the Mail:

From: Thomas Jakobi <thomas dot jakobi at hpc dot at>
To: support at freecom dot de
Subject: HD35-NAS BASIC41 firmware upgrade

hello,

a few months ago i bought a HD35-NAS, and despite the relatively slow network performance i was satisfied and the device fit my needs.

last week i noticed the firmware update to NAS-BASIC41, published on the 2nd of June 2006. As i already did the firmware updates to NAS-BASIC32
and NAS-BASIC34 without any problems, i immediately fetched the image. i had the required LOADER 067 (i double-checked) and tried to
upgrade.

The upgrade didn't seem to do any good though - my device does not do DHCP requests anymore, and a (pretty time-consuming) scan in the default
IP range (192.168.x.x) showed it hadn't allocated any of those, either.

It still works as a USB drive, but the blue led behind the 'power' switch doesn't even light up anymore!

I'm used to some kind of rescue TFTP GET built into embedded devices like these, but i couldn't see any using tcpdump.

HELP! Please don't tell me my disk has degraded to an oversized usb-disk! What are the magic buttons i have to touch so i can bootstrap the
firmware again?

The serial number of the device is: 50XXXX

Thomas

P.S.: i already wrote a message on the support sheet on your web page, but i didn't get a reply. please, don't make me feel sorry for my decision
to buy teac!

P.P.S.: i build embedded hardware myself, so you may just skip the marketing and redirect this to a technician, i will understand him/her.



No reply as of now. I'll let you know if they do. I don't think they will, i waited 2 weeks after posting a simliar text on their web page.

In summary, as you can guess, i do NOT recommend the drive.

A driver hunt



boy, am i pissed.

i own a crappy wireless lan access point branded "EpoX EWL-A11". go find drivers and utilities for it - epox seems to deny it ever had anything to do with wireless lan hardware, it seems to be just bluetooth for them now.

so i dug and dug, i even clicked through all the download pages on epox.cn, to no avail.

finally, i stumbled across their ftp server, where there is a directory called "archived driver files", with something i suspect is what i have been looking for:

A11-Driver.zip

and

A11-Utilities.zip

as you may have guessed, this blog entry is just a reminder for myself, because i know the driver cd will never show up again, and i will forget to backup these files, so...

What a day...

oh boy, what a day. at least roller now *seems* to be working...

this day really started with a sleepless night, i hate it - rolling from side to side, thinking about stuff and hoping to fall asleep, looking at the watch from time to time and calculating the maximum amount of sleep still possible...

first thing at work was converting the existing handful of cvs repositories to subversion - a task that seems easy, as long as you don't work on important data after your first cup of coffee. man... don't get me wrong, subversion rocks - but i don't consider it 'normal' to run a database recover 4 times a day... and then the fact that viewcvs needs write access to the repositories.. *shivers*

but it worked - i hope - and i just wanted to get some more important real work (i.e.: code) finished, as the food arrived. time seemed to work against me - the moment i finished the meal i had to leave in a hurry to arrive to my meeting with a bank guy on time. i wanted to open an account, and my boss already called there a few times, my company's bank account is also hosted there, so he should have some reputation, and he kindly asked the person in charge to set things up beforehand (like, he mailed a copy of my id card and stuff).

being 10 minutes late due to routing instructions diverting from reality, i prepared to excuse myself, but first off i had to wait for 20 minutes. that pretty much made me feel not so sorry about being 10 minutes late.

when that guy showed up, he just told me he is still talking to some other customer, and i should talk to somebody else. well, fine. the guy who then was supposed to give me advise was a living example for incompetence. he showed me a leaflet with the 3 offers the bank has, and began reading out loud what's printed in the leaflet.

do i look like i can't read??

okay, i have to admit, i'm not a customer anyone would feel comfortable with, but as a geek, i'm pretty confident of what i do, and why i do it - and i expect people supposed to give me advise to be like that, too.

the 3 offers of course didn't match my need, and the guy wasn't able to help me with that, but he told me that the guy i was appointed with originally may be of more help. already annoyed by the way i was treated, i agreed to wait. so i sat down in the lobby again, stared at people and tried hard to become an annoyance, so they'd get pressured to get rid of me.

again, 20 minutes later, a third person, a female, this time, walked up to me, and basically told me that i mustn't wait anymore, because the person i'm waiting for already has the next appointment to catch, and unfortunately, he doesn't have time for me.

that's when i decided to not open account at that bank, not even for free. who am i, making an appointment and then just being set up? i'm a customer, i was willing to give them money for a service 5 - 10 competitors are offering, too!

for the records: the bank i am talking about is the 'raiffaisen zentralbank' in vienna, the guy i was appointed with originally, and who didn't think i low-life would be a worthy investment of his time is called 'Mr. Michlitz'.

don't go there. the raiffeisen zentralbank is by no means comparable to the raiffeisenbank in germany, which i have always been very satisfied with.

i felt really pissed, so pissed, that i may eventually call his boss and tell him about it. i have to talk to my boss about that first, though, i don't want to be responsible for any trouble regarding the company i work for, they are the good guys, you know ;)

honestly, i was so upset, i couldn't concentrate. so i let work be for today, not having written a single line of code, and left for '~', hoping that i could talk to clifford about that, ranting around, dissolving aggression. but clifford isn't here - it's interesting, since i live in his flat, we come to see each other maybe twice a week for a few hours or so... a busy man, indeed. but it may well be me, being more the stay-at-home-alone type.

so i was facing the big black hole of complete depression - and decided to finally install roller, a thing i've had on my todo for a few weeks now (the 'fake does austria'-blog). installing roller is pretty straight-forward, even compiling it is simple (at least for me). what finally made my day was an XFS error on this server - with kernel stack trace and all - without an obvious reason. i had the joy to get to know xfs_repair, which filled my lost+found a bit, all in all, exactly what i didn't need at that time.

but i think i got a hold of it. and i also found out how to deploy 2 web applications in 2 different tomcat instances to the ROOT-context of 2 virtualhosts - i had to move the uri: sections out of workers2.properties and into the virtual host configs, adding group parameters to all of them. i like the syntax even better than the previous all-in-workers2.properties solution. nice.

having skyped with holli and timo, i finally found out why my laptop seemed so slow lately - don't laugh - cpu throttling was enabled by default, and skype really sounds terrible if it doesn't get as much cpu power as it demands. i still am confident that skype is evil, but it has one big advantage: any n00b can easily install it, click-here-and-there, and it works.

so now i'm gonna have one more cigarette, and hope tomorrow... err... today will be a more enjoyable fragment of my life.