Apr 26 2013

Howto: Show S.M.A.R.T. Report on Synology NAS

I started getting email notifications that one of my hard drives in Synology DS211j had bad sectors. I could run S.M.A.R.T. analysis on the drive using the admin account DSM but I wanted to print the detailed report and send it with the drive to the manufacture’s repair shop. I mean the full log. Here’s how to do it. Continue reading


Apr 12 2013

Howto: Speed Up Old Laptop with SSD

Intel SSD Drive

My mother had a 10-year-old laptop that had become really slow because of the constant updates to Windows XP. I decided to buy her a newer second-hand laptop and install an SSD drive to speed things up even more. Since SSD storage blocks wear off in use, the operating system needs to be tweaked to minimize write/read operations to the disk. Continue reading


Mar 12 2013

Howto: Ignore Facebook App Requests

Fecebook Requests

Recently I have been bothered by constant, I mean daily, requests from a Facebook App called “Movie Blitz”. For a while I clicked the blue “x” to remove the request – every friggin’ day. Of course after couple of weeks I got tired and tried to search the “Requests Page” where I could say that I don’t want to receive request from Movie Blitz, once and for all. However it is not easy to find because there is no direct link to it, unless you have pending active requests. Yes, you need to have more than one request pending to be able to view the link.

There are two “Requests Pages”, the old one is https://www.facebook.com/reqs.php and I am not sure how long will they support it. The new one (the one in my screenshot above) is https://www.facebook.com/appcenter/requests. Ah, there you can find “Ignore all” requests for Movie Blitz. If you use the new page, you need to click “Ignore all” and then click “Block” in the opening dialog. Done.


Dec 31 2012

Review: Xiaomi Mi-2 Camera

The Xiaomi Mi-2 has pretty amazing camera specifications. The main camera has an 8 megapixel sensor and 27 mm wide-angle optics with a large 2.0 aperture. Its speed is unparalleled: 8 frames per second. The video camera can record full-HD 1080p at 30 fps and “HD Ready” 720p resolution at a staggering 90 fps. Only professional equipment has had similar speeds – until now. Even the secondary camera has a large 2 megapixel sensor. Continue reading


Dec 13 2012

Review: Xiaomi Mi-2

The smartphone community has been mesmerized by a Chinese newcomer Xiaomi and its latest high-end Android phone, the Mi-2. Packed with an amazing set of newest hardware and priced about the half of its better-known counterparts it has quickly become a daydream of technocrats around the globe. In this review I will write sections as I use the phone more and test different aspects of it. I welcome you to visit the review later on to see more qualities of it covered. Continue reading


Oct 16 2012

Howto: Virtual Hosts in Synology DS211j (Apache)

Sometimes, when developing for a web site for instance, you may need to get the site running in a virtual host in Apache, in order to test how it functions in a production environment. If you don’t use the virtual host technique, you need to manually insert paths in order to get for example CSS styles working properly. That is because in a production environment it is common that the references paths start from the domain and not having a directory in the beginning. Follow these steps to enable virtual hosts in Synology DS211j. Continue reading


Oct 08 2012

Howto: Updating WPML From Free to Commercial

I tried to manage with WPML 2.0.4.1 – the last free version of WPML. It works great with WordPress up to version 3.2.1. However, I soon discovered that I need to update my WordPress because of some security fixes introduced in the newer versions. This also meant that I needed to buy the commercial version of the great plugin.

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Oct 05 2012

Howto: Restart Apache on Synology DS211j

This one is easy if you know where the script is located. Login as root and execute:
/usr/syno/etc.defaults/rc.d/S97apache-user.sh restart

That’s it, enjoy!


Sep 23 2012

Howto: Working Directory in Synology DS211j Shell Prompt

Synology DS211j has ash as the default shell. It has some basic features, such as tab-complete. However one of the features in other shells (such as bash) is missing: dynamic display of working directory in shell prompt. The default prompt is noninformative “DiskStation>“. Fortunately it is easy to change it to display current working directory. Here’s how:

  1. In your home directory: vi .profile
  2. vi editor is not very intuitive so you first need to enter “edit mode” by pressing “i” (insert).
  3. Comment out the line: PS1=”`hostname`> “ by adding a dash (#) in the beginning of the line
  4. Then copy-paste the following lines below it:
    PS1="`whoami`@`hostname | sed 's/\..*//'`:\w"
    case `id -u` in
    0) PS1="${PS1}# ";;
    *) PS1="${PS1}$ ";;
    esac
  5. Exit edit mode by pressing Esc.
  6. Save and exit the editor by typing :wq and hitting Enter.
  7. Log out and log in again and there you have it!

Enjoy 🙂


Feb 24 2012

Howto: WordPress reCaptcha Plugin Localization

The Background

CAPTCHA is a technique where an input (a.k.a. web form) is protected by a picture challenge to prevent bots from writing spam messages to forums, blogs, etc. Google digitizes books and old newspapers using scanners and OCR software to convert the images into text. Sometimes the software cannot interpret the word correctly due to a typo, bad quality in the printing, etc.

Continue reading