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May 17, 2011

Torrents

This is all about how to download/upload encrypted torrents.

OK... I'll try keep this simple, but comment if you have problems.  Sorry it's so long, I tried to keep it detailed - if you read the whole thing first you will see it is reasonably straight forward.
You need to download a program called uTorrent from http://www.utorrent.com.  This allows you to download torrent files.

(Detail: torrent files contain a list of trackers/computers for the associated file you are trying to download.  For example you download an Ubuntu torrent; you use uTorrent to open the downloaded Ubuntu torrent file, uTorrent reads the file and connects to the tracker sites, this in turn connects to hundreds of people with the file and downloads bits from everyone - reducing bandwidth costs to any one user and speeding up the download.)

Before you download any torrents, open uTorrent and choose Options - Preferences, then in the pop-up window go to the bittorrent screen.  From the protocol encryption section choose Forced in the outgoing option and uncheck 'Allow incoming legacy connections' - this means your downloads are encrypted in both directions (outgoing and incoming):


When your downloads are encrypted this means your ISP (internet service provider) cannot tell what you are downloading or uploading (sharing) but only that you are using torrents.
When your torrent has finished (100% complete in uTorrent) you should right-click on it within uTorrent and select remove torrent, this means you keep the data you downloaded, you just don't share it anymore - less likely for you internet provider canceling your service due to bandwidth usage, due to constant sharing.
You can also set up rules to stop seeding (sharing) once you have reached 100% which decreases your upload and visibility using torrents.  By going to scheduling, the following screen shows seeding till 150% (downloaded the file, and shared it back 1.5x):


Now there are several sites out there where you can download torrent files - but I would just use https://www.btjunkie.org isoHunt › the BitTorrent & P2P search engine https://piratebay.se.  Two reasons, it's good, and the https means it is encrypted, so ISP doesn't know what you are clicking on really. I don't think???

Couple of things to note about torrents:
  • Torrents sites usually order torrents by seeds - seeds are the amount of people sharing the file who have the whole 100%.  The larger number of seeds, the quicker you will get the data probably.
  • Leeches are people trying to get the file, you are initially a leech until you have the entire file - then you are a seeder.  You still share your data while you are a leecher, helping people retrieve the chunks you have, that they don't.
  • Anything you download should be checked for viruses, best free software out there is MSE.
So I should probably mention, using torrents you can download almost anything; music, movies, tv shows, and software.  Say you download a movie or tv show, to watch it on your PC you should use a program called VLC - it's free and will pretty much play any filetype/codec.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html

Hope you can understand this, and it helps!

Downloading Copyrighted material is illegal.

May 15, 2011

SSL Certificates for Free

The following site will provide free SSL certificate, these can be used for securing a connection - but should not be considered 'trusted', as only the domain name and email are validated.

http://www.startssl.com/?app=1

This looks like it would probably minimize the hassle in creating your own self-signed certificates.

I created my own self-signed certificate using OpenSSL (http://www.openssl.org/), I don't remember the exact steps - and I wish I wrote them here, I thought I did???  The site will no doubt have all the information you need.

Mar 9, 2011

Slow iTunes Response with Network Located Music

So I sourced this information from another site, it was referencing iTunes 8.x, however I am using 10.2.
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/5-ways-to-speed-up-your-slow-itunes/

My problem:
Slow response to starting/stopping application, as well as initiating playback

Setup:
iTunes music stored on FreeNAS box, one iTunes users DB is remote, the others is local.

Solution:
Disable unrequired display columns:

iTunes Columns

Removing unused smart-playlists.
Disabling live updating of playlists:
Playlist Settings
 Disable looking for shared services:
  • Libraries
  • Shared Setting
  • Remotes/Speakers

iTunes Preferences
Outcome:
SUCCESS - I have seen a noticable improvement in my iTunes performance for both users.

Feb 13, 2011

Streaming music

I have an iPhone and I used to use an application called SimplifyMedia to stream all my music across the nets to my phone - freeing up space on the device.

After about 4 months of using it, I guess, SimplifyMedia was acquired by Google and took their service offline, so I needed to fine a replacement.

In steps Subsonic (http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp), a great little service that can run on a variety of OS, including my FreeNAS box if I chose to.  I currently run Subsonic on my Ubuntu box, I have donated to the cause allowing me to use the API's (when I say me, I mean I can use apps that use the API's).

Along with Subsonic, I use iSub 3.0 (http://isubapp.com/) currently on my iPhone, the whole thing has been such a success I bought the application for my wife's phone.

I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty here, but Subsonic allows you to access your music (and video to some extent) through an encrypted connection via the web or supporting app.  Once connected the user can access any of the folders available to subsonic, make playlists, rate tracks, and scrobble tunes to last.fm (apps have some limitations, but it is mostly catch-up to support APIs).  iSub allows me to see what others are playing as well as chat to them, once scrobbling is implemented I am laughing - oh and the caching feature of iSub is awesome too, along with the desire to implement video streaming!

To implement the whole solution, will cost about $14.99 before tax, $10 (min) donation to Subsonic, and $4.99 for the iSub app - well worth it!