Networking

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Turn Off Cloud Access to your WD My Cloud Device NOW

The technical press (like Engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/05/wd-my-cloud-security-exploits/) is publishing info about a vulnerability that impacts WD Networked devices that have cloud access enabled. That’s great, but they aren’t providing info for non technical users on how to check their settings and turn off this access is needed. So here is that information:

1.Access the My Cloud Dashboard. To open your My Cloud Dashboard: Windows: Open a web browser and type in //devicename/ (or device IP address) to the browser address bar. If your device is named WDMyCloud, you’d type in //WDMyCloud/ and hit enter. The web page should open. You may need to login (hopefully you’ve password protected your device)
2.Click on the settings option on the top menu.

3. Scroll the page to Cloud Access and verify it is set to off (or turn off if it is on).

wdmycloud

While you are on this page, check the Firmware Update tab on the left and make sure you are on the latest firmware. Upgrade if needed.

Roomba!

I’m a geek and proud of it, so when my 26 year old canister vacuum’s motor seized up and died and ugly death, it was a choice of which “connected” vacuum to purchase and not a “should I” purchase decision. There were only two to consider, iRobot’s Roomba 980 and a Neato Botvac Connected Vacuum. While Neato’s vacuum was cheaper, iRobot has been in the business a long time, and I ultimately used that plus reviews and am the happy owner of a Roomba 980.

roomba

There’s no question that these Wi-Fi controllable robotic vacuums are expensive, but using my (admittedly skewed) justification math, if I value my time at $50 an hour (a low ball as I know my time is worth more than that) and compare to a Dyson, or an Electrolux, the extra $$ don’t seem very large. And I get back a couple of extra hours a week that I don’t have to spend dragging the old canister around my home. And if I didn’t mention it, I loathe vacuuming.

Roomba does an awesome job on my carpeted and linoleum floors, switching transparently from carpet mode to floor mode. And Roomba is actually quieter than my old canister.

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Turn on legacy File and Folder Sharing on Surface 2

 

I’ve got lots of computers and devices on my home network. Many of which don’t use the Microsoft Homegroup so I use password based folder and file sharing so that everything has access to all devices and computers.

One of the first things I wanted to do was copy some files TO the Surface 2 from another computer that was using password based file and folder sharing, but the Surface 2 was unreachable. Ah, I thought, I need to share a folder on the new Surface 2 and then my problem will be solved.

But when I checked the properties of the folder I wanted to share, there was no Sharing tab, let alone an Advanced sharing button. What in the world? I know Microsoft presumes that everyone will use a Homegroup and use SkyDrive for sharing, that just isn’t real life. What if I’m going someplace with no Internet connectivity or just don’t want to use the Cloud. Let’s say I want to copy a 2GB+ mkv video to my Surface 2 for offline viewing? And want to copy it using the computer that hosts it TO the Surface 2?

Turns out that Microsoft ships these devices with the (legacy) Server Service set to disabled. It’s absolutely required for password based sharing. Here’s how to turn it on:

 

1. On the Start screen, search for “services” and then select View local services.

 

surf2net0

 

2. In the Services window, scroll down to the Server service and open it.

surf2net1

 

3. By default, it is set to disabled. Select the dropdown next to the word disabled and specify either Automatic start, or Automatic/Delayed start. Then Apply/OK the setting as changed.

surf2net2

4. Restart

 

After a restart, from the Properties tab of any folder, the Sharing functions will be visible and usable.

Windows 8 on my iPad

Sort of. Thanks to Splashtop streamer and the iPad mobile client.

win8.iPad

I was a little frustrated as all my existing RDP clients on my iPad (Logmein, VNC RDP, etc. would only show me a black desktop). I ask the Splashtop folks via Twitter if their product ($4.99 in the app store, at least for now) would work with Windows 8 and received a “yes”.

So, now I am up and running with Windows 8 on an iPad. Still experimenting, but at least I can see the Metro desktop and navigate.

DIY Home Automation

I’ve recently written 5 posts about "do it yourself home security". Another piece of the puzzle I wanted to solve involved home automation, both for security and convenience. I’ve had some X10 lighting controls here for a while, but X10 is not 100% reliable and integration with a home network involves expensive third party software.

So I started looking around and doing some research on the other technologies like Z-Wave, UPB, Insteon, etc. One of the biggest issues I had with X10 (and Homeplug) was that I reside in a multi electric phase home where it was nearly impossible to send signals through home wiring (even when filtering power strips and UPS units were removed). Insteon had some interesting capabilities with dual band (RF and home wiring), phase coupler/access points and had some reasonably priced hardware. Another plus was that there are a few iPxxx free apps available to control Insteon enabled devices, both while at home and while away from home. I spent a fair amount of time at the Smarthome website deciding which components to order.

I ended up with an Insteon system that included a network control module, two access point/phase couplers, and several lamp/appliance control modules. I have web browser access for complete control from anywhere in the world, and I can set a schedule to turn lights on and off for security or convenience. I can dim lights for home theater use, and I can turn devices on and off from my iPxx devices from anywhere.

 

That comes in handy when I arrive home after dark, have armfuls of groceries and no spare hands or light switches. I simply turn on some lights from the car. 

I’ll be adding a couple of posts his week with the details of the equipment and configuration.

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