Archives for category: Networking

I just moved a mile down the road and brought the only viable (cable) ISP in the area, Comcast, with me. My modem was two years old, so I went for the upgrade to the Arris TG862G/CT.

Tonight, I attempted to hook up my Synology NAS and assign a static IP through the router. I hit Save with my new IP address configured, was presented with the screen saying to “Please wait” as the DHCP server restarted, and then was redirected back to a blank page at connected_devices_computers.php. This immediately seemed like the classic fatal PHP error occurring before any HTML is rendered — especially as a problem that seems to have existed since at least last December.


Power cycle the device with the static IP and it should work again.

I accessed my NAS via the dynamic IP address it was assigned, and then coincidentally restarted it for a needed upgrade. After it booted back up, I could access the NAS with my assigned IP and the View Connected Device page was visible, i.e. functional, on the router again.

User friendly? No. Technically impossible or difficult? I don’t know, but I’ve never had a router that made this task so confusing. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this “functionality” wasn’t intentional.

Did this work for you?

$ logout

I have a ton of movies. When I first got a Raspberry Pi late last year, my first thought was to use it as a media center. So I hooked it up to my high-def TV and a hard drive with some very old pirated Simpsons episodes (from the days of Napster), and installed Raspbmc on an SD card. It worked great, and despite the need to get up and plug it in, and the $10 wired keyboard I used to control it, it worked great. If I had more money at the time, I would’ve gone with a Wi-Fi dongle so I could use my phone as a remote, or at least gotten a wireless keyboard.

A few months went by before my parents came up with a spare Blu-ray player that also happened to support DLNA— finally, I could be lazy again. I hooked the Pi straight into my router upstairs, plugged in the harddrive, and installed MiniDLNA. Downstairs, the Blu-ray player picked it up and instantly I had access to all of my digital video.

But soon, I craved more. So I decided to convert my DVD collection.


HandBrake turned out to be the best software for the task, both for its abilities and propensity for any OS you’re using (like Ubuntu). Ripping is pretty straightforward:

  1. Insert the DVD, click Source
  2. I used the dropdown to select my DVD drive (/dev/sr0)
  3. Hit okay, it starts scanning
  4. Select the title with what should be the duration of the movie. If you’re having trouble, check out When HandBrake won’t rip your DVDs.
  5. I’m happy with my 90-minute movies taking up around 1 GB– my 1 TB harddrive can handle it. So I started with the High Profile preset, and made the following changes:
    1. Format: MKV
    2. Video
      1. Framerate: Constant
      2. Constant Quality: RF: 16
    3. Audio
      1. English Track – Mix: Dolby Surround
  6. Press Start and let it run in the background.

These settings were perfect for a high quality video of moderate size in a format supported by my Blu-ray player. Experiment to see what works best for you.

On my machine, it takes about 25 minutes to transcode a 90 minute movie, with my CPU load hovering around 9 or 10. I couldn’t get my 5 year old Dell with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor to complete a whole rip, though it does like to overheat a lot these days. Enjoy!

$ logout