Friday, October 6, 2017

Drobo B800i review

Part of Drobo's latest line-up of business-focused storage appliances, the B800i takes the company's easy-to-manage BeyondRAID technology and mixes in dedicated iSCSI support plus a new management interface, with impressive results.

As with other Drobo appliances, the B800i comes in a shiny black desktop casing with a single power supply and, for those who want it, an optional rack-mount adapter. A magnetically attached front cover keeps everything tidy, and behind this you'll find eight disk slots.

There's no need for special carriers, the disks just slide into place. Another advantage of the Drobo is its ability to mix and match SATA disks in any capacity (up to 3TB) and spin speed. The temptation is to throw in any old disks you might have lying around, although for maximum performance and capacity, matched disks are advised — Drobo recommends enterprise-class products on this model.

For our tests we used a set of eight identical 500GB, 7,200rpm Western Digital drives, retailing at around £450 for the set, which we simply pushed into place. That done, getting started with the Drobo proved amazingly easy with no in-depth knowledge of disk, iSCSI or SAN technology required.

The first step was to install the Drobo dashboard program. We used a Windows server here, but an ordinary desktop PC or Mac can be employed, connected to the appliance using the supplied USB cable.

The main job was to configure the network interfaces — two Gigabit Ethernet ports are located at the rear of the unit. We opted for fixed IP addresses with the DROBO B800I connected to our test network via an Ethernet switch, although direct connectivity to a host system is an option if preferred.

We then unplugged the USB lead and did everything else via Ethernet. Not that there was much more to do, other than create a couple of logical volumes on the disks we'd put in the unit. This was remarkably easy as, at no time were we asked to choose a RAID level or anything else particularly technological. Indeed, the only remotely techie question asked was whether to protect against a single drive failure (the default) or two disks failing at the same time.

Thin provisioning is another standard feature, but again Drobo doesn't make a song and dance of it. Rather we were simply left to make our logical volumes as big as we liked. We were limited to 16TB admittedly, but we could have multiple volumes this size — which was far, far more than the available capacity on the disks in the box. The Drobo simply allocates space as it's needed rather than upfront, and will alert you to add or swap to bigger disks should capacity start to become a problem

Just about everything was taken care of by the Drobo and its dashboard, right down to mounting the volumes we created, the Drobo software automatically configuring the iSCSI initiator on our test Windows server so we didn't have to.

It was all very easy, and the end results were impressive too. We tested performance with Iometer on an HP ProLiant server running Windows Server 2008 R2, recording an average read throughput of 115MB/sec, rising to 150MB/sec when we tweaked the jumbo frames setting on the appliance interface. To put that into context, it's roughly the same level of performance as with one of the disks configured internally on the host server.

It's worth noting that these results were obtained with the appliance connected by just one of its two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Both can be used, but unfortunately not aggregated together to boost throughput, as on some high-end storage appliances. Instead, the idea is to use the dual ports to connect to different networks and/or hosts, to effectively enhance overall throughput — which, for most small-business applications, is just as good.

There's also availability to consider, and to check this out we ejected a disk to simulate a drive failure. Not a lot happened: the Drobo simply carried on with hardly any fuss, other than flashing its lights and sending out an alert to make sure it had our attention. We then inserted a new disk and a couple of minutes later we were back to normal with a full set of green lights and no loss of data.

The previously separate Drobo Copy utility has also been integrated into the dashboard, enabling us to schedule backup copies to be taken to other storage media. However this is pretty basic, and for belt-and-braces protection a full backup regime and custom application is still needed. Note also that there's no facility to take snapshots on the B800i or tier data according to application needs, although tiering is available on the more expensive 12-bay Drobo B1200i.

There were a couple of things we'd like to see changed. The dark black and grey dashboard interface, for example, looks smart, but was hard to read at times — and the screenshots in the getting-started manual were virtually indecipherable. The interface was also a little slow to respond, while a little more technical information in the manual wouldn't go amiss. Then there's the price, which is a little above the norm for this kind of small-business storage product.

Overall, though, we were mightily impressed by the B800i, which delivers top-notch IP SAN performance for very little effort. Small businesses requiring fast, flexible and easily managed storage should find that it fits the bill perfectly.

2011 Spypoint Tiny Camera Review

2011 Spypoint Tiny/Tiny W 38 count red flash 8 MP digital camera review,---When we first heard about this camera we had it added to our list of cameras we would eventually review. The first item of interest was that the minimum delay is one minute. The next Item was that the W series is not functional in video or burst mode when the box is used. With the Tiny without the black box the burst (6 multi shot) can be used to help get around some of that 1 minute delay but if that doe with the buck following comes along about a minute later he would be missed. If burst and video is important to the user of the Tiny standard model should be your choice. The W series will only work in the single exposure mode and still transmit to the external box.

Technical Information

Resolution: 8.0 MP
Trigger Speed: N/A
IR or Incandescent: IR
Number of LEDs in Flash: 38
Range: 60 ft
Video: Yes
Video Resolution: 640 x 480 AVI
Internal Memory: Yes, 32MB
Memory Card Type: SD
Memory Card Size: Up to 32GB (approximately 200 5.0MP images per GB of storage)
Memory Card Included: No
Multi-shot: Yes, up to 6 shots
Weather-resistant: Yes
Menu Type: 2" LCD
Programming Remote: No
Viewing Screen: Yes
Battery Type: 6 AA
Batteries Included: No
Battery Life: N/A
Computer Requirements: N/A
Time and Date on Pictures: Yes
Temperature on Pictures: Yes
Moon phase on Pictures: Yes
Mounting Strap Included: Yes
USB Cable Included: Yes
TV Out Cable Included: Yes
Camera Dimensions: 4.7" x 3.5" x 2.7"

To explain a little bit about the W feature mode on this camera. The camera is set up in the single picture mode and when a picture is taken and written to the card, it is also being wirelessly transmitted in a lower resolution to a remote (within 50 feet) receiver which can be hidden. Some may see this as a security feature where if the camera is taken it may capture a picture of the thief and transmit it to the hidden box. The other thought is that you could just visit the remote box and retrieve your pictures without accessing the camera and spreading your scent into that area. Eventually you would have to still clean the card in the camera to prevent the card from being completely filled unless you have the camera set in continuous mode in which case the camera will overwrite the oldest photos and continue operating. The give away is that there is an antenna on the camera, so those familiar with cameras would know that the black box would be hidden somewhere some where within 50 feet.

First we will talk about the standard camera even though both cameras are the same except for the wireless version which has a transmitter and antenna to the remote box and a built in view screen. This is a small camera which is about 3.5 inches tall and four and a half inches wide. It sticks out off the tree about 3.5 inches. The camera (like MOULTRIE PANORAMIC 150 GAME CAMERA ) is in two pieces which is a receiver (holder) which mounts on the tree and the camera which slides down into the receiver. This is a positive setup because once aim is achieved; it will remain once the camera is returned to the holder during card/battery change. It is no easy task to remove the camera from the receiver because of the latch which requires a rotating up to dislodge. The color is a nice fall brown camouflage color and with its small size and color it hides well except for the white arrays. The front of the camera has two antler shaped arrays left and right of the camera lens. Below that is the three sensor PIR setup similar to the WGI 10 X and Ltl Acorn setup. There is a 12v external battery port on the bottom that must be accessed through the holder. There is a pipe through both the camera and holder. This would lock the camera into the holder to help prevent theft. It would require the cable to be removed to access the camera for service. These cameras are also available in the flat black case. Once the camera is out of the holder the back of the camera has a view screen (W series) (2.4) and LCD (standard) series with a set of programming buttons. There is also a on off switch opposite the programming buttons. Even with a magnifier I had a hard time determining the purpose of the programming buttons. They are not marked very well.

A quick note about the tri-sensor setup, the cameras that have this setup have side sensor which pre alert the camera of the presents of movement off to the side of the camera. This allows for a very fast trigger once that movement enters the center zone. What if the movement is coming in the center zone and never makes it to the side zones? This has been tested on other brands and the trigger times exceeded two seconds. We will see if that is the case with this camera. Having that one minute delay really makes repetitive tests a pain.

The simple task of installing the batteries in this camera is a bit of a mystery. So let me just go to the book and figure this out. Hmmmm that information is a bit lacking. If I fill the battery holder and follow the markings on the tray then how does the tray go into the camera? This question came up because it can be installed either with the batteries up or batteries down. One of these positions will cause reverse polarity. By chance I installed the tray so that the top of the tray (batteries showing) was up in the same direction as the front of the camera and this proved to be correct. What ever you do is when you open the camera door to access the card or battery tray, have the door pointed up or everything will just fall out down into the ground and under the leaves. Alkaline cells (AA) are recommended and rechargeable cells are not. When external power is selected do not have internal cells installed. Optional lithium battery pack and charger are available.

Getting into the programming we see that there are three resolutions which are 3, 5, and 8MP and one video resolutions of 640X480. There is an option for burst to a 6 count which is 10 seconds apart but still will wait the full 60 seconds of minimum delay before entering the next trigger. The PIR sensitivity can be set to high, Medium, and low depending on needs. Side sensors can also be turned off if desired. Video can be programmed to the desired length 10 to 90 seconds. Flash can be shut down to only I emitter for the purpose of using one of the booster devices. Time lapse can be set from 30 seconds to 60 minutes with programmable start/stop times.

We have enjoyed for the most part reviewing Spy Point cameras because of their function. These cameras are somewhat the same but what needs help are portions of the Tinys documentation. I have three versions of the manuals, some of which were downloads and some are vendor site downloads. I could not tell by the documentation that I studied the facts about these cameras. Not until I physically had the camera powered up and preceded through the programming and function did I finally get the facts. I had thought earlier that this was a fixed 8 MP camera with two video resolutions. Well now I know that it has three picture resolutions and only one video resolution. Then there was the battery tray explanation.

This black box thing that is part of the W system needs to also be explained. This is a small wireless system that communicates in two directions. In the direction of the camera it is a range signal test and in the direction of the box it is a data receiver. And this data is in the form of pictures. While the camera is busy writing a triggered image to the camera it is also busy transmitting a smaller version wirelessly to this black box receiver. This little half of a coke can sized receiver has its own SD card slot and runs off a set of 6 AA cells. This little receiver has its own antenna and can be located up to 50 feet from the camera and if everything is alright the cameras program under the signal mode (next to view) will show a green signal icon if the two devices are in contact with each other. More than one black box can be programmed in if desired. Both the camera and receiver are rated to take up to 32 gig SD cards. You had better have small nimble fingers to remove the SD card from the black box because it is down in a crack and I had to use my Swiss Army knife tweezers to get it out because there was just enough drag in the card slot to keep it from being bumped out.

In the lab the trigger times came out around 2 seconds for both day and night. The flash range/8 plate test showed adequate flash as long as there were reflecting surfaces like small vegetation in the area. When there is just a single target with no extra reflecting surfaces there is that flashlight effect. Over all I would judge the flash as good.

Sample pictures at the HIGH setting came out sharp and clear with the color being a tiny bit washed. The night sample pictures did show some of the tunnel flashlight but still provided a good deal of center illumination. Video mode was smooth and clear with good detail. In this mode the flash definitely takes on that flashlight effect more so than the picture mode.

This camera also will do time lapse. It is a single window with intervals of 30 seconds and 1, 3, 5, 15, 30, 60 minutes. The time lapse resolution is 800X600 which converts to .48 mega pixel. This is a very small file compared to other time lapse cameras. We will post a few sample TL pictures as time allows.

10-18-2011 update: Trying to figure out our process and logical schedule on this camera again has met yet another wall. There does not seem to be a mention of the time lapse minimum interval or what the camera resolution is during this function. If it follows the 3, 5, 8 MP setting as with the picture mode then for an 8 hour daily period the count would be 480 pictures if this function follows the same 1 minute interval as found being the minimum delay. This may be satisfactory for monitoring a construction site but a food plot could be crossed by many animals in that period of time without ever being captured. The documentation does not outline this function in good detail so we are going to have to just set up and evaluate by actually getting the settings off the camera and then measuring the pictures to see what the resolution actually is. We also do not know if the external black box can be used during the TL mode. All these questions will be answered as we develop time to look at it. This review is being slipped in a hole in our schedule due to the late arrival of the BF Hunten cameras.

10-29-2011 update: We had a note from the factory people stating they were pretty unhappy with us because of the negative review. I went back through and could not find anything that could be related to what I could call a bad report. Things like where we stated that a knowledgeable trail camera person would know that a remote black box would be hidden within 50 feet if the tiny camera had an antenna caused some upset. This is just fact and not anything negative. It would also indicate that should you choose to hide your remote box then do it well with this in mind. Other things like flash are what it is and only tell the new user that camera location and aim may be somewhat more critical on this camera than maybe some other Spypoint cameras they may be familiar with. This is a good company and has good customer service so the choice is up to the consumer.

We did a series of tests in an attempt to see how well the three PIR sensors functioned. With side sensors covered and with them uncovered the trigger times remained the same. With the center covered and side sensors open the camera would not trigger. When all three are open and a very slow swipe across the PIR FOV we got mixed results from 1 to 2.1 seconds. This indicates that the report from the side sensors to the camera to activate and get ready requires a degree of time.

11-12-2011 update: After a couple days of conversation with the company we finally found the marking arrows on the side of the battery tray which say up. What this indicates is the up is suppose to be when the camera is laying on its back and then the up indicates toward the front of the camera.

12-10-2011 update: We completed the battery life on the Tiny and got under 300 pictures which means there must be an issue with our unit. Also, after finding that we had trouble with the transmission on the Tiny-W to the black box, we returned these units to Spypoint. At some point when we get replacements we will retest these issues.

01-28-2012 update: At the direction of the factory folks we are closing this review not completed. They have stated that because of the rapidly changing technology in their cameras the version we were testing is not up to date and will be replaced by a newer much improved version with another letter other than the Wwhich was the designation for this camera. When ever that happens we wil re open yet another review on the Tiny camera.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Hackers 'could target electricity grid' via solar panel tech

Hackers could target electricity grids through security flaws in solar panel (for example: SUNJACK 20W PORTABLE SOLAR CHARGER ) equipment, a Dutch researcher has said.

Willem Westerhof found 17 vulnerabilities in inverters, which convert electricity produced by the panels so it can be used on the grid.

He said internet-connected inverters could be targeted by hackers.

One manufacturer said that only "a small fraction" of its devices were affected.

After discovering vulnerabilities in devices produced by a range of manufacturers, Mr Westerhof carried out a field test near Amsterdam on two inverters made by SMA.

He told the BBC the test showed it would be possible for an attacker to remotely control the devices and alter the flow of power.

Because energy equipment on the grid needs to balance supply with demand, overloading the system could result in a power cut.
'Serious consequences'

"If an attacker does that on a large scale, that has serious consequences for the power grid stability," said Mr Westerhof.

Energy researcher Iain Staffell, at Imperial College London, told the BBC, "It's certainly a risk to electricity supply and could stress grid operations."

However, he did not believe it could cause blackouts and he pointed out that a large number of inverters would have to be attacked at once for any significant effect to occur.

SMA responded by pointing out the limitations to such an attack:
only four of its models are affected by the vulnerabilities
users are advised to change default passwords when installing the devices, though this is not required
inverters not connected to the internet are safe

"The security of our devices has highest priority for SMA in all respects," the company said in a statement.

"We already assessed the mentioned issues on a technical basis and [are working] intensively on the correction."

It added that it would publish further responses to Mr Westerhof's research in the coming days and that it was working on a report about the security of its products with the Dutch National Cyber Security Centre.

Asking users to change passwords was a way of pushing liability away from the manufacturer, said cyber-security researcher Tom van de Wiele, at F-Secure.

"The vulnerabilities are real," he said, though he agreed with SMA that not all inverters would be open to attack.

"Just because you bought one of their products and a solar array, [it does not mean] that you are vulnerable."

He added that he had seen similar security issues in other industrial products.

Mr Westerhof discovered the security flaws while working on his undergraduate thesis and detailed the research in a talk at the SHA2017 security conference in the Netherlands on Monday.

He said he had decided not to release full details of potential attacks on the inverters, to avoid encouraging malicious hackers.

"Solar producers should seek to isolate the products from the internet ASAP," said Dave Palmer, director of technology at cyber-security company Darktrace.

"And [they should] also review their physical access security to reduce the risk of a local attack from someone physically breaking into their facilities."

Friday, May 19, 2017

Natural Supplements-Are The Treatment For All Conditions

Organic Supplements

Supplements that are called natural routinely have a higher information of minerals and vitamins, which is why they're getting thus well-received. Dangerous alloys, including mercury, direct, and metal, are observed in significantly small amounts set alongside the no-natural nutritional vitamin supplements.

Numerous herbal medicines are greatest for that health of these who consider them-and work-in numerous methods to assist particular health problems and conditions. As the natural and organic complement tablets are usually the ones that are consumed, it may be definitely better to make use of the fluid selection since these are easier for that body to digest.

Not everybody will need to make use of a supplement to be able to remain healthy; nevertheless there are numerous conditions where in actuality organic supplements, nutrients, and herbs works for their optimum degree. Those people who are operating towards muscle building will discover they need the natural products to be able to create your body within the littlest period of time.

Whenever various conditions occur, natural products may be used properly. Most of the herbs and nutrients included inside the health supplements can perhaps work to alleviate again vexation, complications, along with a quantity of additional distressing medical conditions. This really is particularly true once the discomfort exists due to a shortage of the specific nutritional within the physique. Those people who are hypersensitive to a lot of of the artificial elements that are often contained in no-natural products will discover the natural choice to be always a excellent answer to get the necessary supplements to get a vibrant existence.

The fluid supplements-are usually the ones that are recommended with a physician because they are the absolute most focused. These natural supplements-are usually employed for particular problems, therefore talking to a health care provider that utilizes naturopathic techniques could possibly be the easiest way to find the products which are required for the healthier lifestyle.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

10 Ways to Increase Your Small Business Website Conversions

You’ve invested time and money into building your small business website, but are you getting the website conversions that you need? It doesn’t matter if you want those conversions to be closed sales, downloaded ebooks, newsletter subscriptions, or something else. The recommendations included in this article will help you boost those conversions.

Your website is an important marketing tool as well as a sales tool (whether or not you’re directly or indirectly selling your products or services on your small business website). That means your site has to be designed and written in a way that helps your visitors take the necessary conversion paths. The 10 tips below are easy to implement yet extremely effective in boosting website conversions.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

5 Critical Steps to Choose the Right Business Partner – Infographic

Choosing a business partner is a big decision — really, really big. This is the person you’ll work closely with for years to come if you’re successful, but you won’t have a chance of reaching your goals if you and your business partner are not the right match.

As business partners, you’ll be tied to each other. Decisions made by one partner will directly affect not just the business but the other partner as well. It’s like a marriage because you’re in it together, and the actions of one equate to the actions of both. You can’t say, “That wasn’t me – it was my business partner.”

With that in mind, how do you pick the right business partner? My first recommendation is to move slowly and purposefully. Don’t jump into a relationship because it can be hard to get out of it unscathed if things don’t work out later. To choose the right business partner for your entrepreneurial venture, follow these five critical steps:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Women Business Travellers: How To Find A Positive Work-Life Balance

There’s a major misconception about the life of a business traveller. While most believe there’s nothing better than frequently living out of a suitcase, jet setting to exotic locations, and schmoozing with the big wigs over fancy dinners, the reality speaks a different truth. The drab airport lounges, long haul flights, never-ending jetlag, constant streams of work, coupled with fleeting moments with your family while you attempt to recover from your trip before you head out the door for the next one – that’s the reality. Feeling like you’re in a continuous juggling act with your work, travel, and home life can turn you into a massive ball of stress, so how do you take a step back and manage it all?

Drobo B800i review

Part of Drobo's latest line-up of business-focused storage appliances, the B800i takes the company's easy-to-manage BeyondRAID tec...