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HOW TO: Install VPN server on Ubuntu when server is behind firewall

The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network. To start off yo...

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.


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.

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

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

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
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!