Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Scaling your Databases

We have already discussed on the general ideas behind High Availability architecture. The scaling of databases is a very crucial component of the implementation of high availability architecture. In this post, we would explore the various techniques of scaling up databases. The distribution models discussed here apply to both relational and non-relational (NoSQL) databases.

As is the case with other components of high availability architecture that I would discuss in subsequent posts, it is imperative that the database solution that you plan to implement should be optimal to the needs of your product or application. Let us first see the need of scaling databases. (more…)

Tonido user survey- winning comments

Thank you all for your overwhelming participation, support, and comments. For small company like us,  your comments provide the necessary encouragment to work hard to improve continously. Though each of your comments were very valuable, we picked following feedback for thoroughness that took into account every aspect of the product. We will soon ship a Tonidoplug to the user.

 

Hi Tonido Team,

I purchased a Tonido2Plug several weeks ago and I enjoy using it every day. Yesterday, I received an email from you, asking for feedback and suggestions, where you offer a prize of a TonidoPlug2 for the best feedback or suggestion. I’m am happy to provide you with feedback and would be even happier to win the prize if you think my feedback or suggestion is worthy of such an honor.

My Feedback:

Unboxing everything went well. I was pleased with how the items were found in the box and how easy it was to understand how the device was to be connected to the router, the external USB drive, and to the power outlet.

I could not figure out how to open the Tonido2plug to insert an internal drive. I learned later that the directions were not correct.

The graphic in the directions made it easy to understand the order of the connections, and I was able to get everything connected in less than 5 minutes.

There were parts of the printed instructions that I couldn’t read because of a combination of font size and font color — the blue color that you use for the links was especially difficult to figure out. One of your online pages asked for the device’s MAC address. I couldn’t read it — the label printed on the device was printed in very small text, and some of the characters were not legible
After I got it all connected, the device would not work and I could not figure out why. It took me a few attempts of trial and error, then I added a “help me” post to your forum and had to wait for a response, then I had to call my internet provider (they told me to reboot my cable modem). After that, it worked and I have had no issue since, except for …… I can’t get the wireless to work. I have followed the directions the best that I can but it’s like a trial and error puzzle where I don’t seem to get the settings done correctly. I have a wireless printer that I set up with absolutely no issue, and my family members have several other wireless devices and each of those devices were easy to set up or configure. I haven’t given up but I’m frustrated with this.
My Ratings (scale of1 to 10 where 10 is best):

Packaging and Unboxing: 10

Connecting: 10

Printed Directions:4

First Use: 2

Troubleshooting: 4

Usage after issue was resolved: 10

Owner settings: 10

Setting up a guest account: 10

Guest usage: 10

Ongoing use: 10

Wireless Configuration: 3

 

My Suggestions:

Reprint your instructions so the font is a bit bigger and change the color from blue to something else that is easier to read.

Correct the instructions. There is at least one part that is wrong (instructs you to hold own a switch to open the device, and that isn’t necessary).

Put the instructions on your web site.

Add some videos on youtube or your own site that show how to gt set up (how to connect the parts, how to open the device and insert an internal drive)

And finally, one request: My ultimate goal with the Tonido2plug is to create a mini web server, to host a family web site, and I’ll need to use all the parts of xampp (apache, MySQL, PHP, etc) plus maybe even install wordpress. It doesn’t look like the directions
to do that are written for a person like me (I’m not a software developer or programmer) so it would be great if there were some simple and clear and easy instructional material available to explain how to do that.

I have already recommended your product to one of my co-workers and he says he will place an order, and I think most of my other team members will want one too, so we can have a somewhat distributed file-sharing network at work, protected by the firewall. But we can’t use any device at work unless the IT department has approved it. So if I win a Tonido2Plug for best feedback, I will hand it to our IT department so they can check it out.

CES 2011 in Pictures

Pictures from our recent visit!

Hyundai's Futuristic Concept

Hyundai's Futuristic Concept

Modular Computers

Modular Computers

Multiple Credit Card Accounts in a single card

Multiple Credit Card Accounts in a single card

Free slick MMORPG meets Strategy

Free slick MMORPG meets Strategy

Movie Prop

Movie Prop

Could I have those?

Could I have those?

and those?

and those?

Tron Themed Car

Tron Themed Car

3D TV was big news as usual

3D TV was big news as usual

How many tvs can you fit in a wall?

How many tvs can you fit in a wall?

That's a nice StarCraft2 setup

That's a nice StarCraft2 setup

CES for Dummies

CES for Dummies

Personal Cloud anyone? Everyone is talking about the Personal Cloud!

Personal Cloud anyone? Everyone is talking about the Personal Cloud!

What is CES without some zany costumes?

What is CES without some zany costumes?

Ditto!

Ditto!

Double Decker Shuttle Buses are Fun

Double Decker Shuttle Buses are Fun

Nice iPhone Case

Nice iPhone Case

Happy Holidays from Tonido

In this season of gratitude, we are thankful for your continued support and for making 2010 a great year for us.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

Happy Holidays from Tonido

My Top Apps to install on a new PC

Recently, I took advantage of the lull after our new release to update my 2 year old desktop that runs Windows XP to Windows 7. Yes, I still run Windows and it is due to 2 good reasons.

  1. Tonido development requires C++ and Microsoft’s Visual Studio Development platform still is the best development environment if you want to be efficient
  2. I am old school and still play gobs of games that will never be possible on a console

The upgrade was reasonably painless and Windows 7 actually is pretty nice. Quite snappy and as responsive as Windows XP. I like many of the features that allow me to switch rapidly to other apps. It seems less cluttered and I seem to be a bit more productive. (I think)

In anycase, I started installing the apps I would need on a clean PC and thought it is a good list to share with others in case you ever need to do a clean install. Note, I endorse these apps because I use them, not because someone paid me to.

Here’s my list of essential apps:

General

Firefox, Chrome: I used to use FireFox exclusively for a long time, but I am beginning to grow into Chrome as FF seems to be more unstable and slower. But FF remains my primary browser.

skype1

Skype: We run CodeLathe on Skype, it is the #1 pure, no-nonsense communication tool.

avast1comodo1

Avast AntiVirus, Comodo FireWall: Believe it or not, I used to run Windows without antivirus for a few years, until I got hit by a worm in a USB stick. Now I am extra careful.

workrave1

Workrave: After being affected by a debilitating RSI type injury to my hands, I now depend upon Workrave to be my mindful companion which reminds me to take breaks as and when needed. Highly recommended.

adobe

Adobe Reader: Adobe Reader has got a whole lot less annoying in their version 9 and has maximum compatibility with PDFs.

vlc

VLC: To play all those weird video formats out there

izarc

IZarc: Handy uncompression utility that handles pretty much any format you throw at it. I like the UI much better than 7-zip.

treepad

Treepad: I have a ton of treepad files over the years and it is extremely handy to store various odds and ends of information that would be too hard to store elsewhere.

office

MS Office: Google Docs doesn’t cut the mustard for any complex document. And even though I like to support OpenOffice, MS Office simply towers over it without equal. This single app keeps me away from Linux sometimes.

truecrypt

TrueCrypt: Creates encrypted files that appear as disks that you can mount in Explorer and use as a normal file system. Nifty for stuff you want to keep away from prying eyes.

tonido

Tonido: Of course, I run Tonido. Jukebox is my main music player that runs all day and I use Webshare for sharing files, folders and screen captures working with the dev team. I also use Thots and Workspace.

stea

Steam: A few years ago, I would have nodded in disbelief about buying games via a digital service instead of physical CDs. But it turns out that this is better. Tons of games, nice community features make this a must have.

rawshooter

Rawshooter Essentials: Sadly, this is discontinued, but I shoot RAW CR2 files and I use it for my batch processing of those files. Essential for a stream lined work flow.

filezilla

FileZilla: Best SFTP solution and open source to boot.

primopdf

PrimoPDF: This is the easiest way to convert any document to PDF.

unlocker

Unlocker: Windows Explorer annoys me to to no end when it complains about files in use and not allowing me to delete them. Unlocker allows me to remove the file handles quickly allowing me to workaround the problem.

paintnet

Paint.NET: The best free small image manipulation out there. You can do a lot of things in Paint.NET.

Programming

visualstudio

Visual Studio 2008: For C++ development, this development environment is peerless. It is trivial to debug crashes, figure out memory issues and so on.

virtualbox

VirtualBox: A very cool VM solution for running the myriad configurations Tonido supports.

virtualpc

Microsoft Virtual PC: Useful for some Windows VMs that I run.

svn

TortoiseSVN: Yes, we still use Subversion.(not Git) And Tortoise SVN works pretty well.

notepad

Notepad++: The best notepad replacement ever. It is light, has syntax highlighting and a ton of features that I haven’t even explored before. It single-handedly weaned me away from my beloved Emacs!

putty

Putty: SSH Client and much much more. You might have to ask what it doesn’t do. Pretty much a few putty sessions run all the time on my desktop. It is the most used app in my desktop.

mysql

MySQL Workbench: Handy for working with MySQL DBs.

It turns out that the list of my essential apps is smaller than I thought. It probably is because of the advent of webapps.

Did I leave anything out, what is your essential list?

Convenience is mother of all transforming inventions

A few months back, I was explaining to someone in a mixer event about TonidoPlug and the convenience that it offers to consumers. The person (may be a self proclaimed tech guru), whom I was explaining to, said “people don’t care about convenience. You should focus on a fist pounding need.”. His conviction started make me believe what he said might be correct. However, when I got back home, I realized how wrong he was.

Let us take an example. One night in 1949, when Frank McNamara finished his dinner in a restaurant, he realized that he didn’t have enough money to pay the bill. He starting thinking ‘is there a simpler way to carry cash?’ and went on to invent Diner card, which was the first step towards credit cards. In 1940s, no one complained about carrying cash and no one was pounding their fist to find an alternative for money.

Credit card was born out of convenience. Would commerce have grown across globe without credit cards? I doubt ecommerce would have been possible without invention of credit cards. In 1950s and 60s, no one would have imagined how credit cards will revolutionize shopping and will enable consumers to buy things without actually visiting stores.

I’m pretty sure that when wheels were invented, not everyone in the tribe was working feverishly on the problem of solving for a wheel. Probably, a smart lazy guy thought “why should I carry all these things? How can I make my life easier? Can’t I push things by placing them on top of logs?” thus wheels were invented. Wheels were born out of convenience and unknowingly pushed human race ahead.

Inventions that are born out of necessity fill a small immediate need and can’t be transformational. On the other hand, inventions driven by convenience revolutionize the world and opens doors for possibilities that can’t be imagined currently. If I extend this argument one step further, laziness drives people look for ways to make things convenient. Hence we owe all the growth not to people who were aggressive and zealous but to people who were lazy and were trying to make their life easier.

Similar to Dos Equis commercial, my comments are “Stay lazy, my friends. Unknowingly we are changing the world!!”

Announcing TonidoUser.com Public Wiki

We’ve got forums, we’ve got a blog, and, of course, we offer support. But there was one thing missing: a place for Tonido and TonidoPlug users to share their knowledge, tips, and tricks. That’s why we are launching TonidoUser (http://tonidouser.com/), a wiki that covers all things Tonido and TonidoPlug.

Whether you have been using Tonido for some time or you just got your shiny new TonidoPlug server, chances are you will find here some useful information that can help you to get started and get the most out of the Tonido software and hardware. Right now the wiki contains only a few articles, but you can help to make it a fountain of knowledge for all Tonido and TonidoPlug users.

To make things a little more interesting, we also give you a chance to win a TonidoPlug unit. Head to the wiki for more details and start contributing!

Are you working for a startup and don’t know when to quit?

jobIf the following relates to you, read further.

  1. You are working for a start-up
  2. You are receiving a salary less than your market value
  3. You have worked for a reasonable number of years and in a dilemma of when to call it quits
  4. You have developed a strong bond with the management and don’t want to disappoint them by quitting.

I understand you have invested some years at your current company and have developed an attachment to the company’s success. But, this is the time for you to make a decision that is right for you and your family. Let me aid you in making the call.

If it has been more than 5 years and the company has not become profitable, quit. Take your losses. Invest your experience and time in another company. Even better, start your own company.

If the company is profitable, but still hasn’t made to the level to be bought out, then go through the following check list.

  1. Estimate your market value. Check out www.salary.com. Do not overestimate. Also, check the job market condition.
  2. Estimate the value of your options. Underestimation is good. Don’t let your emotions judge the value, checkout a competitor that got bought out recently. Make a realistic judgment.
  3. Calculate your income per year using the below formula:

Income = Current Salary + Options Value

If your income is greater than your market value, stay and re-evaluate in a year. Otherwise, talk to the management to increase your salary or options. If you can get an options or salary increase to make your income greater than your market value, stay. If not, quit.

Good luck with your career.

Reset your internet router now

If you have not powered off/on your home internet router for a while please do so. It might speed up your connection and save the internet as well.

Protect your children

Would you let a stranger come into your living room and browse your children’s photo album? If not, why would you use online storage services to share your children’s photos?

Every time you upload your children’s photos online to share with your friends and family, you are exposed to the risk of sharing them with unwanted strangers. Not only are you compromising your personal life, but you are letting the online services index your life.

What I mean by indexing your life is, your online activity is monitored without your knowledge. Please don’t be naive and buy into false claims of online security and privacy made by online services. Just to test your online privacy type in your name in www.pipl.com. You will get information of the online accounts you have opened and more. I am sure that when you opened those online accounts you wouldn’t have thought about yourself being exposed. These online services are selling your personal information even though they might claim they don’t.

Share your children’s photos with your trusted family and friends, not with everyone. Take control of your digital life in a better and safer way.

For safer sharing, checkout www.tonido.com