I was having an issue where only a 3 of my networked computers were showing in the Windows Network Neighborhood (or at least they used to call it Network Neighborhood).
All computers on the network were visible from all my Mac and Linux computers and running software such as LanScan showed everything proudly announcing itself on the network. So the problem pretty clearly was with Windows 11.
This is a blog where I wish I specified a FIX to the problem but the truth is, I’m not sure what fixed the problem, but this blog may not be a total waste to anyone else with this problem.
First of all, I’m not new to the geek stuff, but I am newly returned to Windows. I bought an Acer Aspire 5 laptop specifically to run a program called Vectric VCarve Desktop for my CNC machine. Also my CNC machine firmware can only be updated from a Windows computer. Also since I design my SVG files on a Mac and store them on a couple of servers I HAVE TO HAVE NETWORK ACCESS WITH MY WINDOWS LAPTOP WHILE I’M IN MY WORKSHOP TRYING TO CNC SOMETHING.
I had a fit when I found out that the Justice Department was “threat tagging” American citizens who dared to speak out at school board meetings. It was at that point I knew I needed to go dark on my personal communications.
Now, don’t think I went into full Prepper or Patriot mode. I still have a few regular email accounts and I’ll still use them for various things. I use gmail for a spam trap. And getting emails from Amazon and all the other marketing crap can still come in through good ol’ dot Mac.
But if you are a human carrying out conversation with me, especially any kind of business or family business or especially communications with lawyers………….our email is going to be encrypted. I even changed the email address on my “Contact Me” tab of this page.
So lets talk about the service I’m using………….ProtonMail. I’ve had a ProtonMail account for years, but I almost never used it. I got it because I was going to hire a lawyer for something once and the first thing he did was direct me to get a ProtonMail account so our communications would be private. Continue reading →
Now more than ever in this Social Media day and age I think it is important to encrypt your private communications. Most people think they are boring but as the current news feeds amplify, if you dare speak out on a subject you may be a target. I won’t get into details beyond that but …….why not encrypt your on-line conversations? No one needs to know what you like and don’t like, and what you stand for or don’t stand for. Or what your vaccination status is.
If you think Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo are not spying on you there is no hope for you. You need to move on from here. Email encryption is nothing new and in fact I remember the first consumer grade stuff ………Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) in the mid 90’s. It was super cool but people just would not take the extra steps to do this. I suspect they still won’t. But they should.
There are several secure email services and in this blog I will focus on ProtonMail They use end to end encryption and if you have a ProtonMail account and you email someone that doesn’t…….you can still create an encrypted environment.
ProtonMail is web based, and for most of you that isn’t an issue. You are used to logging into your Gmail or Yahoo account on a web browser, so don’t let this scare you. You’re simply using another service except this one is more secure.
You should NEVER hook up to a free wifi hotspot. EVER. If you MUST then you should instantly connect to a VPN to create an encrypted tunnel for your traffic to keep you safe.
Trouble is VPN’s either:
Or are difficult to configure
Enter Tailscale which advertises itself as a zero configuration VPN and for the most part……….that’s true.
Basically, you install the app or program on your phone, tablet, or computer (easy) and then log in either by making an email account, using a Google or Microsoft account or a Github account. I personally would only do Github or the private email.
I’m ready to start ripping DVD’s on my newly built Unraid server. In order to do it efficiently I ordered a SATA Optical Drive and my case (Fractal Node 804) has a slot in the front panel for just such a device.
In the interim, I have an old Apple USB Superdrive. I plugged it in the server ……….and ……….nothing happened. The disk wouldn’t insert. It was like it was dead. I plugged it in my laptop and it worked fine. The dirty dogs at Apple make it so that their proprietary drive needs a wake up command that the Mac OS of course gives it.
SSH into your Unraid server and issue the following command. If there is a disk in the slot it was auto-magically get sucked in.
sg_raw /dev/sr0 EA 00 00 00 00 00 01
In order to rip DVD’s directly into your file system in Unraid you need to add an app called “MakeMKV”. Once installed click on the logs to view. We are looking for something specific.
MakeMKV Logs (click pics to enlarge)
Scroll through the logs until you find the section that deals with check-optical-drive.sh
Your house may have numerous computing devices which means you probably have data you want backed up. Yes, there are all manner of cloud services (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.) that you can utilize and they are indeed handy but your data now exists on SOMEONE ELSE’S COMPUTER. And maybe that is what you want because there is something to be said for off site back up’s. If there is a natural disaster and something tragic happens then you may lose all your data if it is stored locally.
That is a subject all in itself but back when I was working I built two small, identical NAS servers and just took one to work. Because there was no private internet connectivity besides a phone hotspot, I would just bring one from home and take the other one back home to update it. Again, off site back ups are an entirely different subject.
Another very common reason you might want a dedicated locally controlled server would be to rip all those DVD movies, and CD music you have to a media server. Or a NAS server can act as storage for your security cameras (to hell with paying some company a monthly fee for your video) or for DVR. I have a couple favorite old shows that I record currently from over the air (OTA) TV to my media server.
And if you build a device that is probably going to be on 24/7 you probably should exploit the heck out of it and make it do stuff. Let’s build a NAS, shall we?
I heart LogitechMediaServer (LMS). What is it? It is a streaming music platform. Back in the day it was among the first of the internet radio platforms.
Now we have Sonos. Nothing wrong with Sonos if you are rich. Big money for crappy sound.
Logitech made a line of “Squeezebox” devices such as the Touch and Radio, etc. You can still find the same things basically with Sonos and Grace Digital Internet Radio.
LogitechMediaServer abandoned its hardware stake some years ago and now the software is community maintained and Open Source.
So you can essentially run the same streaming services FOR FREE and your clients can be small, low powered devices such as Raspberry Pi or essentially any computer you have.
So I install LMS (with the S meaning SERVER) on a Raspberry Pi and a music PLAYER called Squeezelite. The newer Pi’s such as the Pi 3 or Pi 4 work pretty good but with some heavy use and network traffic you might experience a slight hiccup or two because of the relatively low CPU power and memory of a Pi.
Let’s move our LMS SERVER off the Pi and onto our REAL server. I use Unraid at my house. This blog won’t be a full installation blog but rather the “gotcha” I experienced.
Finally got around to pulling my old NAS server out of the moving box and hook it up. It had been out of service for about 3 months.
IT WOULDN’T BOOT.
One of my 4TB Western Digital Red Hard Drives gave up the ghost and also FreeNAS is now TrueNAS. I didn’t catch that change because my server was kind of “set and forget”.
I decided to move to Unraid which uses Docker containers rather than “Jails” such as are used in FreeNAS. Jails were always kind of hard for me, especially upgrading.
Unraid is a snap to upgrade the container and it runs all the stuff I want to run such as HomeAssistant, Emby, Plex, Apple Time Machine, etc.
Since I’m upgrading it was tempting to get cutting edge stuff. However, in server builds faster and sexier is not always better. Why? Because a server is on 24/7 and that bleeding edge motherboard and chip and power supply and 5 or 6 huge case fans will put a dent in your power bill.
Unless you are doing something crazy you really should consider a platform that SIPS power. Serving files and streaming your movies on the network really doesn’t take that much overhead, especially if you have plenty of RAM.
I personally like motherboards with the Intel Atom chips. Let’s pro and con the motherboard I chose. The Asrock C3558D4I-4L