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Waken Your Synology From It’s Slumber!


Having the facility to store data using the Synology DS1513+ and the Synology DS212 NAS units, means that I can relax knowing that I have access to all my data as and when I need it.

During the day the DS212 is used as the main workhorse, with the DS1513+ used to take all the backups of data from the DS212 on predefined time through the day. along with other devices on the network that all have their own space on the DS1513+.

At night, the DS1513+ unit is not really needed, but as it’s locked up in a secure location, going in to turn it off in the evening and back on in the morning would have been a real pain, but thankfully the Synology NAS devices have the option to set them to power down and power back up at predefined times.

While this all worked fine, I then found that I needed access to the data on the DS1513+ while the unit was powered off. Initially I thought I would just have to wait until the unit powered up in the morning,  rather than having to unlock everything to get in and power it up early, but then I remembered that the LAN ports have an option for WOL (Wake On Lan), but had never gave it much thought… until now!

WOL

As my primary computer is an iMac, I decided to look around and see what would be required to wake the Synology NAS unit from being turned off. The help section on the Synology unit itself mentions applications to do this, but does not specify anything in particular, so the reliable Google search was undertaken to see what was there.

I have to say that for the Mac, I did find it difficult to find anything, but finally found a web site: http://www.readpixel.com/wakeonlan/ that had a FREE utility called WakeOnLan.

A quick download, and installation, and I was presented with a list of devices on the LAN. A simple click on the Synology device and tell it to wake up, and a few seconds later the unit was back up and running again!

LIST

To test it again, I went into the Synolgy unit, told it to shut down, waited, and then told it to start back up again using the utility, and it did so with ease!  I did try and use the utility to put the Synology DS1513+ to sleep, but no matter what i tried it would not do this, so I just use the DSM interface to do this as usual.

So, if you are a Synology user with a Mac, and like to save a bit of money by turning things off, but have these items in a hard to get location, than have a look at WOL on anything you are using and check out this application to see if it will make things easier for you.

UPDATE: With the WakeOnLan software, go to preferences and make sure that the option to SCAN AFTER WAKEONLAN LAUNCH is not ticked once it has done it’s initial scan. If you have this on, once you turn the computer off and the NAS is asleep, when you restart the computer again it will not be able to find the NAS device. If that did happen with you, the way around this is to make sure you make a note of the IP address of the NAS unit as well as the MAC address of the unit as well. Once you have that, all you have to do is manually add the device to the WakeOnLan software and it will allow you to restart the NAS whenever you wish.

If you would like to see the video’s I have created of my Synology equipment please visit:

Synology DS1513+ Unboxing

Synology DS212 Unboxing

Synology DS212 – Breaking Raid 1 Array

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WHO BROKE MY WINDOWS?


As many people are aware, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the masses, and by all accounts there have been millions of downloads of the forthcoming operating system.

The Microsoft hype machine has been pushing Windows 8 as being the best and most revolutionary version yet of their operating system, and with this release we are all given a chance to see if this is true or not.

Windows 7 is the current desktop operating system, and nearly everyone who uses Windows will agree, it’s been the best version to date, more so if we all forget Vista and the disaster that was. With the release of Windows 7 we could all forget how stupid Microsoft was for releasing such a disaster in the past, knowing full well that there would be no way they could ever be as stupid again… that is until we have Windows 8…

To me, the purpose of an operating system is to provide you with a platform that allows you to use the applications you wish, and an easy way to organise the data you need to work with. The operating system should be simple to use, simple to move around in and easy to access your data as and when required. The operating system should never really be in the foreground when you are working, it should just be there supporting the applications you are working with and basically just do what it’s supposed to do… run, not crash and just be a front end that we see initially and then just ignore for the rest of the time.

Microsoft, however has taken the idea that we don’t want this; we want an operating system that looks like it has been designed by someone with no artistic skills, who thinks people only do one task at a time on a screen, and think people have no need to see where the applications and data reside. That is what Windows 8 is currently providing you… a nightmare scenario, which just seems to get worse the more you actually start to use the thing.

METRO: This is a word that is making the normally stressed IT people, go beyond their extreme stress levels, venturing into new dimensions of nightmares. The idea of trying to support their current desktop users switching to a Metro interface I think will see many of them just throwing in the towel and moving on to a new career… the hassle factor will not be worth the money… really… it is that bad.

Metro has no place at all in a Desktop PC working environment. For a tablet, the cheap front end will be fine, more so when you can just click the amateurish buttons and use a single application at a time, and flip between each one, but on a desktop we want to have multiple windows open at a time and easily navigate to our data, not having to click multiple buttons to do a simple task.

The beloved Start Button, or ORB is also gone…. So when you install a new package, let’s say Office 2007 or 2010, it installs fine… but then you are left with a collection of icons on the Metro interface that you need to drag around or unpin, as it shows every piece of garbage installed. Utterly stupid! A complete waste of time once again just so Microsoft can have a different look to their operating system.

Windows 8 for the desktop must have:

NO METRO INTERFACE in any shape or form.
The Start/Orb button has to be there for access to program files.

Two little things, that’s it, just two little things that will allow people to keep their sanity with a Windows product, but then…. If they do that, we just have Windows 7, so why on earth would anyone want to upgrade to Windows 8?

And that’s the real point here. Microsoft is a software company, they need to keep releasing new products that they can sell to the masses, but their complete lack of vision on what people want or need is a major problem.

They changed Office to use “The Ribbon” and nearly everyone I have spoken to in business, hates it and would gladly just have Office 2003 installed on their systems… but Microsoft tells us all that this is what people wanted, and it’s a better experience. NO IT’S NOT! It’s hacked off millions of people, and the only reason for the change was so Microsoft could make more money, and heck, while changing the interface, why not change the default .doc files into .docx and cause more misery for the business users through the world.

With Windows 8, all Microsoft appears capable of doing now is to screw up the front end, and then try to push the thing out to the masses and make out that they are the ones who asked for it, and that it’s a great move forward for us all.

Sorry, this bullshit is not going to be taken lightly this time, more so when there is also changes happening to the Server family where they are seriously thinking of having a Metro interface on that as well!!! ARE THEY REALLY THAT OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY? A SERVER PLATFORM RUNNING METRO??? ARE THEY FRIGGIN INSANE????????

There is a maniacal Captain running around Microsoft these days, who has lost complete control of his senses and what reality is like. Maybe we need Bill gates to come back and start slapping a few heads and throwing out the idiots who are currently at Microsoft, and getting in people who understand how to design a user interface correctly, who know how to design something that does not look like a chimp has drawn it, who understand what the business users needs and requires to function daily… and then, maybe then, we may see Microsoft get back on a track that will allow them to release great software that is usable, manageable, and above all else, worth upgrading to.

As it is, Windows 8 will never appear on any systems I use, nor supply. It can sit on a tablet, as that is where it should be, but Windows 7 will remain the platform of choice until someone can get this madness sorted out once and for all.

And people wonder why Apple sales are increasing? If they don’t understand why, then clearly Metro is designed for their mentality…

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