Know How... 108 (Transcript)
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On this episode of Know How we are going to be doing a little brain upgrade for Project Lunchbox, and then it is all about 3-2-1 Super Backup.
Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to Know How. It is the Twit show where we build, bend, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: For the next 30 to 45 minutes we are going to be taking you through some of the projects that we’ve been working on so that you can fill your knowledge hole.
Bryan: Fill it to the brim. We’ve got the knowledge hole and the know hole. The secret lair.
Fr. Robert: Nobody knows about this. But at some point we are going to take you downstairs to the… what should we call it? A cave?
Bryan: The speak easy?
Fr. Robert: We’ve carved it out. Speak knowledge?
Bryan: The catchiest name has been the Know Hole.
Fr. Robert: It is a cool little area where we’ve been building some of the Know How projects. We now have a place to do it inside the building. The Know Hole itself is actually a cool project.
Bryan: I have a feeling that you are a nester. You like to build up little systems.
Fr. Robert: It is fun because we’ve basically built a man cave where we can get some work done.
Bryan: Well we did the essential first. We set up the xbox, the gaming PC.
Fr. Robert: Our own network with the power there. Got the bean bags. We have a place where we are supposed to build stuff but we haven’t actually done any building yet.
Bryan: Well you’ve got to get the base down and then feel relaxed while you’re there.
Fr. Robert: Let’s get right in to the show. The first bit today is a little bit about something that is near and dear to our hearts. That is getting Project Lunchbox some brains. Did you read about this at all?
Bryan: I did. So this would be a way of automating the Lunchbox.
Fr. Robert: Some very innovative folks have taken Arduino, which is an open source project, a micro-controller that can do so many things. Arduino, along with Raspberry Pi kind of kicked off the whole craze of why use a PC to something when you are only using a fraction of the power so you use Arduino or something like a Raspberry Pi and custom build something for a particular application.
Bryan: Yes. And this application would be using GPS and giving AI capabilities to a Lunchbox or any other device.
Fr. Robert: A company by the name of 3D Robotics and they’ve been making a multi-platform auto pilot for everything from planes to boats and automobiles. They actually came into prominence when they built the APM and Pixhawk, they were auto pilot boards that actually won a competition for building a UAV in 2012, at the Outback Challenge. They are now taking this same technology and given you the ability to build it into a remote control model that has standard servos. For example our Project Lunchbox, we chose because it has a large platform and we want to squeeze a lot into it. What you can see is all this empty space is where we are going to be building projects in the future. The APM would go between all of the ESC, the motor control, the steering servo and it allows you to program in a course that the vehicle will follow via GPS or, my personal favorite, you can pilot with a remote control. The receiver actually plugs into the APM and then it will replay at the course. It is actually pretty cool. Good technology.
Bryan: The first thing I thought of using this for though was to go and fetch me things. So it would drive to get me a sandwich and then bring it back or something.
Fr. Robert: With a little note, here’s the money and this is the sandwich I want?
Bryan: Just drop the sandwich into the Lunchbox.
Fr. Robert: I probably would do that. If you build that, I would use it. Now the other cool thing about this whole design is that they are using off-the-shelf components, so if you go to their website they will show you how they built the project. One of my personal favorite part is they’ve got a section where you can build then infrared sensors for obstacle avoidance. So it is not just going to follow the GPS track it is going to look around and say well I can’t drive around that, and I can’t drive around that so I'm going to take an avoidance path. This is exactly the kind of thing that I was trying to do with the raspberry pi. I can never get the Rasperry Pi to have enough processing power to do what I wanted to do because again it is running Linux underneath. this is a dedicated processor and I think this has a lot of promise.
Bryan: Well I think it is time to start making our own Google autonomous vehicle like they have.
Fr. Robert: Except 1/12 scale.
Bryan: As long as it brings me back sandwiches.
Fr. Robert: Speaking of sandwiches, you know what if you could get a sandwich for your best friend?
Bryan: For my buddy? My buddy Tibs?
Fr. Robert: Thankfully we can do it now because we have a brand-new sponsor on Know-How, and that’s right folks it is Bark Box. Have you ever wanted to get a little something special for that best friend, that is what bark box lets you do. Bark box is happiness in a box for that special pet that you've got. Bark box is a multi-subscription box with high quality, fun and healthy treats and toys and goodies for your dog. Each bark box contains 4 to 6 awesome full-size products. Everything from innovative toys to treats that are not just good but good for your dog. Your dog deserves the best. All treats are sourced from the US and Canada. Chews are made in the United States, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand. A bark box edible products do not include rawhide which is awesome because the first time I heard that Rawhide had formaldehyde, a chemical I want nowhere near me, I thought why am I giving this to my dog? Why am I giving this to my bud? Bark box edible products also do not include glycerin, wheat, gluten, soy or fillers which is important if your dog is on a limited diet. So rest assured that everything is paw tested by their office pups. And your dogs will love it. That is the job I want, overseeing some dogs. Here is how it works. Go to and select get started, then select the size of your dog and choose between four different subscription plans. We’ve got a special offer for fans of Twitter. You can save 20% off when you sign up for a new subscription at and use the code twit at checkout. Bark Box also gives 10% of their revenue to local rescues and shelters across the United States and Canada. So your subscription will also help dogs in need. That is . And we thank Bark Box for their support of Know How.
Fr. Robert: You know what else is hard to resist?
Fr. Robert: Good backup.
Bryan: Good backup? What about super backup?
Fr. Robert: How about super duper backup?
Bryan: This isn’t just regular backup.
Fr. Robert: No, this goes just a little extra mile. We talked a little about this sin episodes past when we talked about 3-2-1. We talked about how this is what it means to have three different copies of a single file, into different types of media with at least one of them being off-site. That is sort of the ideal. That is what you want out of your backup solution because it makes sure that you will always have a copy of your file when you need it.
Bryan: Right. And different iterations of it.
Fr. Robert: Well, what has made this slightly confusing is the fact that the cloud storage has become incredibly popular.
Bryan: Yes. Dropbox, Google Drive, one drive.
Fr. Robert: And everyone’s got a product that allows you to store things in the cloud. Unfortunately I've got a lot of people, some of them count on me for their IT support, who say I’ve got a copy in the cloud so I don’t need to make backups. I don’t need that off-site because it is off site.
Bryan: And then, uh-oh it got deleted on one of my linked computers.
Fr. Robert: There are a lot of things wrong with cloud storage as a backup. The biggest thing would be what we call sync poisoning. Because there is actually a famous case that involved a writer who had allowed his son to play with an iPad. The iPad got owned, the attackers actually deleted the files off of the iPad which repeated the sync process in all the devices. So He saw the files disappear from his iPad, then from his MacBook and then his desktop. That is what we call sync poisoning and the problem with that is if you have an issue with one of the sync points, it is going to synchronize across all the others. If you have a corrupted file it doesn't matter. The sync only knows that his more recent so therefore I am going to copy it across everything. That can be an issue. There is also a problem in that there is no long-term versioning. So for example if I am working on a dissertation and I want to be able to step back in time to give a previous version of the document. Let’s say I really screwed something up or I wanted to remember how I had written previously. A sync doesn't do that. It is going to keep the most recent version. And that is also an issue. And then there is cost. Now, sync storage is very expensive. In fact the price of storage is going down to zero but when you start looking at some of the traditional cloud storage platforms like one drive and drop box, they can be a little expensive. Dropbox did just drop their price so that $9.99 a month you can now have 1 TB of storage. But this is sort of the storage wars so all of the providers are going to be dropping their prices. And it does get a little pricey if you are going to be storing 2 TB worth of data up in the cloud.
Bryan: At the moment, I’m a basic user for Drop Box so I just have the free 5 GB that they allotted me. I don’t think I need a terabyte.
Fr. Robert: Which is good. So let’s talk a little about this. Let’s talk about how you could set up your perfect 3-2-1 backup. Your super backup. We are looking for a few things in a super backup. First we want a solution that is inexpensive to buy. Second we want a solution that is inexpensive to run, it does me no good if it is going to cost me $40 in electricity and $20 worth of monthly fees to have everything backed up. I need something that is relatively inexpensive so that I don’t have to constantly be thinking can I ditch the backup?
Bryan: That is where the $99 a month for Dropbox might not be too bad if you are using your desktop PC that uses 300 W constantly, then your electric bill is going to make up the difference.
Fr. Robert: We also want a solution that doesn’t slow down my network experience. I don’t want to have something that is installed on my computer or in my NAS box that is going to use up resources. Because that is silly. That is just a way to constantly slow everything down. I want to keep as much speed as possible. I also want a solution that gets away from sync poisoning and is solution that is going to deal with revisioning.
Bryan: So we are talking about a simple way and a low-cost way to keep all your cloud data backed up.
Fr. Robert: And most importantly I want something that requires no user intervention. Once I create it, once I set it into motion, I wanted to back up everything for all time.
Bryan: Cool. So we’ve got some of the pieces to that puzzle right here.
Fr. Robert: This is a typical set up that I might be running. I’ve got these two NAS drives. This is an IO Safe N2 and this is a Synology 713 plus. Now, oddly enough this is essentially this.
Bryan: Right. But this is like the indestructible version?
Fr. Robert: This is the armored version. So, IO Safe partnered with Synology and put the technology for this Synology disk station inside this armor. This can survive something like 30 minutes in a fire.
Bryan: And get run over by a tractor.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. We have tested these extensively on Before You Buy, you can see all the reviews they are just to show how indestructible they are. The first part of my backup solution is that I have these two synced. so this one actually sits near my desk, this one is in the basement somewhere. But they are both connected to the network. The nice thing is that the software is built into Synology and Synology is crazy fast. It is quite possibly my favorite NAS at the moment, just because of price and performance. But also because of the reliability. This has the option built into automatically sync every single bite of information between this array and this array. So that happens in real time. And the nice thing is that even though it is still a premise, this almost acts like an off premise backup because it is so hardy. It is so difficult to kill. So that is the first part of my backup solution. The data is not the big part. The big part is that I use a lot of cloud storage. I use the Google drive, I use Dropbox and I use one drive. I actually have it set up so that I have a little bit different on every one of them.
Bryan: And you want to tie all those together and back them up.
Fr. Robert: I want to tie them all together and I want to back them up. I want to make sure they are all immune to sync poisoning or immune to bad revisioning. So if something happens to the sync and I lose everything I want a copy that is not vulnerable to the sync. now to make this all work, I went ahead and I bought this. This is a Acer netbook. You may remember these. They were really popular a couple years back.
Bryan: Atom processor, with a gig of RAM probably?
Fr. Robert: Not so fast but I was able to buy this one on eBay for about $35.
Bryan: Right. And you’ve got it running Windows 7.
Fr. Robert: This is running Windows 7 professional and I got it. So it is nice because it means I can use RDP, we talked about that a couple episodes ago. But also because of this. This is how much power it is using. It is really priming. I've given it a couple of tasks so it is just cranking out. And at cranking out it is only using 10 W. I think it is action closer to five or 6 W.
Bryan: So less than most light bulbs.
Fr. Robert: Yes. This is going to be nice and fuel efficient. But it is what I have done with it. What I’ve done is I've used Remote Desktop protocol which we talked about in a previous episode, to set up a way for me to easily get in and I’ve installed Fast Glacier on this desktop.
Bryan: So we talked about Glacier a few episodes ago.
Fr. Robert: Fast Glacier allows me to connect to an Amazon glacier account. And now what I am doing is that I have also mapped all of my drives to it. So my NAS is mapped to this, all of my cloud syncing storage is also on this computer. So it all comes into one box. And then what I have done is that I have gone ahead and set up a system by which everything that is on this box, my cloud storage, my NAS drives can automatically be backed up to Amazon glacier. So, hey Josh. If you are not too busy let’s go ahead and see how you make your 3-2-1 Super Backup.
Josh: The first step is to create a folder on your backup PC that will be become the repository of all your cloud storage services. Now we need to install the clients for our cloud storage services of our choice. In our demonstration we will be using Dropbox and one drive. Download and install the clients for your selected cloud storage services and make sure to configure the clients to store their data inside the folder that you just created. We want all of the sync folders within one subfolder to make back up a little less complicated. Now we need to map our network attached storage box to the drive on the PC. Make sure that you have enabled connection at startup so that the drive will still be mapped after a reboot. You can continue adding cloud storage clients and network attached storage devices, as many as you need, therefore this demonstration we are only using the two clouds storage clients and a single NAS mount. Once your cloud storage clients have completed their sync, it is time to configure Amazon glacier and fast glacier. Logging into your AWS control panel, create a new vault that will contain your new super backup this is where all of the various drives and folders will be backed up to once the backup system is running. After getting your security credentials for the new vault, opened vast glacier, give your backup account a name, then input the access key ID and secret access key that you obtained from AWS. In our example we are only backing up the cloud storage and the NAS so we will need to folders. Bet you can customize the backup to suit your needs. Now, we need to learn the command line for Fast Glacier. the Fast Glacier command line is exceptionally powerful and flexible. Much faster than the GUI. But it requires you to follow its command structure. To invoke the fast glacier command line you need to type glacier/sync and then the name of the account you made in fast glacier. Then the name of the local directory or drive that you want to backup. Then the region code of the AWS server you will be uploading to. Then the name of the vault you have created in AWS Glacier the end that backup parameters. There are six backup parameters that you can enable. N will upload files that are new to a backup directory. C will upload files that were changed in the backup directory. D will delete files from the Glacier vault that are deleted from the local directory. K Will keep older versions of uploaded files. H Will use file hashes to verify an uncorrupted upload the file. And S will start synchronization without waiting for a command prompt. In our demo we want to enable all these options so I would type glacier/sync cranky_backup c/cloud storage us-west-2 cranky_backup/cloudbackup ncdkhs. You can customize your command line to suit. For example if you want to keep all revisions in a file, remove the delete command and fast glacier will not remove deleted files from the AWS vault. Giving you a time machine for your data. You can test your command lines in a DOS prompt to ensure that they will work. Just make sure that you have navigated to the fast glacier folder. Once you have confirmed that your command line sequences will do what you want them to do, it is time to generate scripts that will automatically sync your backup as needed. Open Windows task scheduler. Now select create basic tasks. Give the task a name that you will remember and a description, then click next. Choose how often you want the sink to take place. Daily, weekly, monthly or on a specific event and then click next. When it comes to time, I suggest having the task sync when the network is at its least utilization. Make the selection and then click next. When you get to the action setting select start a program and then click next. In the program/script field click browse. And then navigate to glacier/sync.exc in the fast glacier directory. In the add arguments field add everything from your command line string after fast glacier and then click next. Verify your settings and then click finish. Repeat the process for as many drives and folders that you want to sync. Once you are done you can find your newly created tasks under active tasks. This is also where you go if you want to delete your tasks. That is it. The PC will now automatically backup the folders and drives you selected at the frequency and time that you specified with the options that you enabled. Your super backup is ready to run.
Fr. Robert: Now the reason why I like to go with this solution over another one is because it gives you flexibility. If I install a client on my NAS, maybe it means I can back it up to Carbonite. Or maybe it means I can hack my way to backing up to glacier. That in using a dedicated PC, a low-cost PC, one that has a very small SSD and it it is not going to break easily. It gives me the flexibility to backup to Dropbox, back up to glacier, backed up to Carbonite. I can basically pick any service I want and make that my backup. It also means I have the flexibility to pull the data from whatever source that I want. Do I want it to take up my laptop? Do I want it to pull data off my desktop? That is why I like this super backup.
Bryan: I like the idea that you can just remote into it when you need to. And you are not taking up resources that is on a machine that you use on a daily basis.
Fr. Robert: I will say this, because I installed one of these in a Jesuit house on the East Coast. It was running really well and then they started complaining to me that the backups aren’t being updated properly and we don’t see them all in glacier. And so I would remote end and then found out that somebody had figured out there is a computer sitting in the closet and they had loaded a torrent on it. This is already a low powered PC, don’t put anything else on it. It is going to be chugging away with the backup.
Bryan: It is too bad you didn’t have an IO Safe for just the laptop to put inside it.
Fr. Robert: Lock it in and say you are not getting in here? I think what I learned is don’t give them passwords next time. This is a magic box. Just make it make sure it stays that way. So, if you have a super backup that you really like how about this? Get into our G plus group and tell us what you use for your 3-2-1 super backup. This is an example of something that I have developed over the years and it has worked very well for me. But I know there are a lot of geeks out there who have the perfect way to keep all their backup up-to-date. Hopefully you will share it with us.
Bryan: Or you might be like Josh and he says that it is basically when the hard drive fails…
Josh: Tragedies happen sometimes and you get rid of all the garbage. You might lose some stuff you really want, but that's what happens and tragedies.
Fr. Robert: Either back everything up or act like Josh and just say hard drive crashes are part of the big circle of life.
Bryan: IM imagining a Smokey the bear like characters saying only you can prevent hard drive fail.
Fr. Robert: If it was only in one place, you didn't really want it did you?
Bryan: All those family pictures that you had? Forget it.
Fr. Robert: Now speaking of saving memories and gaining knowledge over time, we are glad that we have another sponsor of know how that helps us to do that. What do they do? They fill…
Bryan: The knowledge hole? Yes they do. The ever expanding knowledge hole.
Fr. Robert: Of course we are talking about . is the place you want to go when you need to find something online. And it doesn’t have to be about technology. Is filled with courses about business, and skill development, and everything from computer technology to photography two things that you might want to do for your copy. That is the wonderful thing about which is that it is just about knowledge. now is an easy and affordable way to help you learn. You can instantly stream thousands of courses created by experts on software, web development, graphic design and more. Works directly with industry experts and software companies to provide timely training, often the same day. New versions or releases of the popular software and suites that hit the market. So they are always up to speed. All their courses are produced at the highest quality, not like the homemade videos on YouTube which we love, but sometimes you want the good sound, sometimes you want the good lighting. The courses are broken into bite size pieces so you can learn at your own pace and learn from start to finish. Or just find a quick answer when you need reference. Tools include searchable transcripts, playlists and certificates of course completion which you can publish to your LinkedIn profile. Which is great if you are a professional in the field and you want people to understand, to see, to know what you have learned. Whether you are a beginner or advanced has courses for all experience levels. You get to learn while you are on the go with with apps for iPhone, iPhone and android. One low monthly price of $25 gives you unlimited access to over 100,000 video tutorials. Now premium members with a annual plan can download courses to their iPhones, iPads and androids and watch them all off-line. Premium plan members can also download project files which lets you practice alongside the instructor with the exact same assets. also has courses on getting you up and running with Arduino and the Raspberry pi. Which means that if you want to do something like ad brains to your lunchbox, is the place to go. For any software you rely on, can help you stay current with all software updates and learn the ends and outs to be more efficient and more productive. So here is what we want you to do. We’ve got a special offer for you to try lynda. All access to all courses free, for seven days. Visit to try free for seven days. We thank Lynda for their support of Know How.
Fr. Robert: We know that we have kind of neglected the Google groups for a while. We haven’t pulled any segments from them. So we want to make that up to you. We promise that we would be bringing in something every episode or every other episode and I think it has been like two months since we’ve done it.
Bryan: We make a lot of promises.
Fr. Robert: But there are a few things in the group that I think we should talk about. The first one came from a couple of people who wanted to know where they could get the parts list for project lunchbox.
Bryan: Well, for the lunchbox in itself we just got that off of Amazon.
Fr. Robert: We got that off of Amazon but there are a couple of related pieces that we got along with this. For example, this is the kit. If you buy the kit you are going to get the electronic speed control, and everything you need to put in the chassis. But, for example we put ball bearings into this kit.
Bryan: It is a little bit of an upgrade.
Fr. Robert: So if you look at the basic kit, this kit from was about $115. It is going to include the 540 motor, the electronic speed control, and it is going to include everything you need to get the kit on the wheels. But we added a ball bearing set which is going to cost you about $15. The ball bearing set as we showed you during the build is totally worth it. It really decreases the amount of rolling friction and it just makes things last longer. So this is a kit that you want to hold on for a while, you probably want to get that. We also got a Futaba two channel AM remote control. This is about as cheap as you can go. We spared every expense to get this thing. This was $44. It works pretty well. There are far more advanced models but if you wanted to save money just get the basic one. Then we also needed to get batteries because this gives you the rolling chassis, this gives you the control, but it gives you no way to actually power. Which is why we bought two of these. These are 7.2 3800 mil amp batteries. We got a set of them. We also got this Tenergy quick charger. Which is dual load. I can either charge it quick or fast.
Bryan: Quick or fast?
Fr. Robert: No. Quick or triple charge! Because sometimes you want your batteries to charge quick so they can run again, but that is not the best way to charge it. You actually want to charge it slower. Now this charger is nice because it has a thermal probe so it can actually figure out when the battery is getting too hot. But that whole set, the two batteries, the charger cost about $60.
Bryan: When I was using the battery, it is about a good 20 or 25 minutes of continuous running.
Fr. Robert: Now, that gives our total project lunchbox price at $234. It is a little bit more than some people are willing to pay so we are going to give you the cheaper way to do something like Project lunchbox. The first part is don’t get a lunchbox. By a grasshopper. It is the same company and believe it or not it is the exact same transmission. It is a different chassis, but if you want to build the transmission from the lunchbox this has the exact same assembly.
Bryan: So you are saving about $30?
Fr. Robert: It is a slightly smaller motor but it is also easier to drive because it is not this monster truck. It is not so bouncy. It will stay low to the ground. It is a little less expensive to build but it has all the same steps. You still have to get the same radio. I searched and apart from getting something used or from eBay, I can’t find something lower than this to channel Futaba radio.
Bryan: I thought it was fine. But then again I don’t have a lot of experience using other controllers.
Fr. Robert: It works just fine. I can’t get anything lower than the $44. Instead of the two 7.2 3800 milliamp hour batteries and the quick charger, you could get a 7.2 3800 milliamp NiCad battery. So it is less than half, it is like a 1/3 of the power that you are going to get from the other. But it is $11.94 and tie that together with a triple charger which will cost you about seven dollars. That means you can get the total kit price down to about $157.
Bryan: That is more doable. Especially if you are just trying to get into it and see if you like it.
Fr. Robert: In the nice thing about that is if you decide later on that I do want to put ball bearings, you can go back and disassemble the kit, but the ball bearings backend. If you decide that I want the more advanced batteries those are easy enough to buy. But if you want to start off, $160 is a very good start. I guarantee you you are going to want to do more.
Bryan: It is fun. I've had a lot of fun playing with this and I’m looking forward to doing other upgrades like the oil filled shocks and we’ve got to paint it. But I think we have to clean it first.
Fr. Robert: We are going to go with shocks, and there are a couple modifications that will work either for the lunchbox or the grasshopper. And we are also going to be doing things like automating it. Which would also work with the grasshopper.
Bryan: I want to put a go pro in it too. And let it record from inside the cockpit or the chassis or whatever but also stream to your phone or something and hook it up to the controller so it is like you are driving inside the car.
Fr. Robert: And by the way, the grasshopper will use the same transmission. They are actually interchangeable. Just a smaller motor.
Bryan: I’m surprised at how fast the lunchbox is.
Fr. Robert: Because most people when they think of a remote control car they think of those ready to run little toy units that they buy that kids get for Christmas or their birthday.
Bryan: These really bit more serious.
Fr. Robert: These are a little bit more serious. If you put the hammer down on this thing it will take off.
Bryan: It’s got enough torque that it does wheelies every time if you reverse it back a little bit.
Fr. Robert: And that is what it’s for. You can’t do that with the grasshopper by the way. Which is one of the reasons why I chose this. Plus it has an engine. If you put this engine in a grasshopper he will probably destroy it. All right, other questions from the G plus group. We actually had a really good question from Michael Zimmerman who wanted a way to share multiple cameras on his lan. Now we talked about this back in episode 101. We talked about port forwarding right?
Bryan: And how you could handle most of them on other devices.
Fr. Robert: Right. You’ve got a 65,416 ports to play with, so why not use those? You can attach as many devices as you need and just assign that to a device so when someone hits your outside address with that port assigner they could get to that particular device inside your network. He liked it but he had a question, he said you know, I want to do this but I want to make it easier to do. Because I don’t have a website to go to, I probably have an IP address every time the cable modem restarts. So if I want consistent access to my devices what am I going to do?
Bryan: So you are going to need a dynamic DNS?
Fr. Robert: Absolutely. And actually he had the answer. He said should I use a dynamic DNS? Yes you should. Super easy to use. Now let me explain what a dynamic DNS does. If I go to twit.tv, send out a request to a DNS, a domain name server, that says I want to go to twit.tv, what is the address? And it will say 45….. blah, blah, blah then your browser will connect to twit.tv, right? because that is what it actually uses. It only understands the numbers. Well a dynamic DNS is the same thing as the standard DNS system except they will allow for almost an infinite number of names. Depending on how much you pay. So in other words let’s say I have a cable modem. My cable modem switches IP addresses and I can’t use a standard domain because my IP address changes. So it won’t find it.
Bryan: But you can use a dynamic DNS that doesn’t have a number that changes.
Fr. Robert: The number changes but the dynamic DNS server automatically tracks what it is changed to. So what you want, it is you want to use a service that has hooks into your router. Let me show you how this works. This is the Know How router, the dynamic DNS system right here, this allows us to choose a particular provider of our dynamic DNS. So dying.dns which is my personal preference, free DNS, no IP, these are all services that the router will work with to update your IP every time you change. So if I rent a domain from them, say , it will automatically know what my IP address has changed to so it will follow me. Now I should say that there is a slight difference between some of the different services. For example, dying.dns, which I use because they are incredibly reliable. Their lowest price plan is about $25 per year. That will get you 30 post names, so 30 different devices that you can access. And $35 per year if you want to be able to host a server on your network. There is also people who like no IP because it is free access for three different host names. But then they start charging you if you like more capabilities. I like dying.dns, because in my experience they stay up. No IP can go down quite a bit and be good.
Bryan: The price doesn’t seem too outrageous.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. And it is a good thing to play with. Go ahead and try out a dynamic DNS name and see if it works for you. If you like it, switch.
Bryan: Last night I was actually playing with my router trying to port forward for the 360. And I was playing with the DNS settings.
Fr. Robert: There you go. Now we have got another question. This one is from Nick who says he is having trouble with his wireless system. Nick has been saying he is used the Wi-Fi analyzer that came on android. It is something that we suggested because it is a free tool. He has verified that there are no overlapping channels but he's is still having performance issues and he wants me to recommend a Wi-Fi analysis tool. That is actually a good one. We covered this back in episode 76. That it is important enough that I think we can give a little refresher. After this go ahead and watch episode 76 and get the full Wi-Fi lowdown, I actually give you some tips and tricks on optimizing your Wi-Fi network. But I always use this. These are tools from MetaGeek called Wi-Spy width channelyzer. This is the 2.4 ghz only version. So this only has a radio for 802.11 in the 2.4 ghz range. This does both 5 and 2.4 but it is a lot more expensive. Now what these do is they allow you to see what is actually going on in your Wi-Fi environment. What Nick has said is that he has checked to see that there is no overlap between the channels because we talked about this and there are only three channels in the 2.4 GHz range.
Bryan: But it shows that you can pick different channels, but really there is only three.
Fr. Robert: There is only three. There is one at six and at 11. Everything else overlaps and causes major problems. We can see here in the Twit Brickhouse, we've got those three channels pretty well covered. So there is a lot of RF energy that is happening in those three channels and that is okay. But what this lets you do is it lets you see these spikes. In between channels, it lets you see any interference that might be interfering with the RF energy of your Wi-Fi devices. I’m betting that if net got one of these and turned it on he would be able to find huge spikes somewhere in these bands. And every time you see a spike and it doesn’t look like this nice curve it normally needs something like a baby monitor. Or a remote control for a drone. Because those also operate in 2.4 GHz and essentially they gather signals.
Bryan: So if you use this tool and it is able to find where the spikes are then how is he going to narrow it down.
Fr. Robert: You can actually combine this. I’ve got a video that I showed also in episode 76. If you combine this with a directional antenna so that it only takes RF from one direction you can actually find the particular signal. It is a very good way to figure out devices that are emitting RF that you didn’t think they were.
Bryan: So throw out those baby monitors.
Fr. Robert: If you didn’t want to go this route, because this is kind of expensive. The 2.4 GHz one is going to cost you $200. The 5 GHz one can cost you upwards of $1500.
Bryan: Whoa. That is cutting into my lunchbox budget.
Fr. Robert: You can ask a get something like a software to find radio, which we are going to be showing off in a few weeks here on Know How. it can show you are at the energy from everything. And that is a nice cheap way. It is like $20 with some free software. It is not as easy to use but once you understand what you are looking at it will do the same job. So that is fixing your Wi-Fi. Now the last question we had was from Eric Harrison. I really wanted to answer this because I get this a lot. He is looking at archiving 7 TB and he was thinking about getting a series of Western digital red drives, those NAS drives that I like so much.
Bryan: Right. The high-capacity ones?
Fr. Robert: The high capacity, low energy. They last a long time and have a very good warranty. It sounds like a great idea if I put that into an enclosure for USB 3.0 and firewall 800 and uses that to offload files from his Mac Pro.
Bryan: But you have a little caveat.
Fr. Robert: But I would say hell no. They look great because if it is designed to work in a NAS then it must be very robust. And it is. It is a very robust drive. That is the only drive that I would ever put in my NAS box is a Western digital red drive.
Bryan: Then why the hell no?
Fr. Robert: Hell no is because they were designed for NAS boxes. They do not work well as desktop drives. For one simple reason. They have TLER enabled. That is time limited error recovery. Great for NAS boxes but what will happen in a NAS box, every once in a while In a drive will have a sector error and if it was a desktop drive it will remap that and move the data over in order to make sure that you don’t corrupt the data. That in a NAS drive you want that TLER to be set really low because it doesn’t have to remap because there is another copy of the data on one of the other drives in the array. What the array will do is that it will say okay forget that, use this and copy it over and fix it when we’ve got time. When we are not pushing data.
Bryan: So what is the problem that you run into?
Fr. Robert: The problem that you run into is if you ran it in the desktop and it is running TLER and it tells it not to remap a bad sector, it is the only drive in the computer.
Bryan: And it’s gone!
Fr. Robert: And its gone. I have actually tested it. I didn’t know if it was actually going to happen so I filled up a red with a bunch of video files and I waited say within two or three weeks I started getting errors and files wouldn’t play or I would click the file name for one file and it would play a different file. So it actually happens. Don’t do it. Get a Western Digital Green or if you need performance get a Western Digital Black.
Bryan: That is what I use, is a black. They have a higher TLER?
Fr. Robert: It is just because if it knows it is going to be a single drive it understands I've got to move this over. Or I will lose this data. If it is a red drive, the red drive is assuming it is running in a NAS. now there are people in the chat room you are saying you could just flash it. And you could flash it but then it’s not a red drive anymore so why buy the red? Right?
Fr. Robert: That is like saying we have a problem with the Maserati it uses too much gas, but we could put a Nissan engine in there. And we could but then it's not a Maserati. Now that has been a long episode of Know How. I think we are going to call it.
Bryan: Have we hit our 30 minutes yet?
Fr. Robert: We are way over that mark. Now I know it has been a lot of information that we have been fire hosing at you. There is all this stuff from the super backup, there are the answers for the questions, there are the links for project lunchbox and so we are going to make sure that you get all those in our show notes. Which you can find where?
Bryan: At twit.tv/kh and not only can you find our show notes they are but you can find all of our past episodes, you can subscribe, download. Just basically enjoy everything about the show.
Fr. Robert: Which is important because in this episode we were referring back to previous episodes. 104 and 1054 RDP and glacier and episode 76 for Wi-Fi. There are always nuggets that you can pour into your knowledge hole.
Bryan: But you can also find us on YouTube.
Bryan: Don’t email us because we won’t read it. The best way to communicate with us is either on twitter and I’m @cranky_hippo.
Fr. Robert: And I’m @padreSJ.
Bryan: If you want to join in the Google Plus community we have over 7000 people there posting projects, ideas and answering questions that we may or may not be able to answer. That between us and 7000 people somebody is going to figure it out.
Fr. Robert: And don't forget that we do this show live every Thursday at 11:00 AM Pacific time. You can find us at live.twit.tv and as long as you write there go ahead and jump into our chat room at irc.twit.tv where you can ask us questions during the show or make fun of us. That happens a lot too.
Bryan: We make fun of ourselves a lot too.
Fr. Robert: Until next time, I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: And now that you know how…
Bryan: Go do it!