If you know what Dynamic DNS (DDNS) means, you probably also know that the most popular provider of DDNS services is terminating its free plan. For years, Dyn (formerly DynDNS) has been the go-to service for anyone wanting to access their private LAN though an easy to remember (sub)domain name. I don’t use their service frequently enough to warrant moving to a paid account, so I’ve been looking for an alternative.
No-ip.com is often recommended, and is probably a great service. They say it’ll be free forever, but I guess that’s what Dyn used to say. I’d prefer something a little less commercial. That’s why I liked DuckDNS. Duck has a fun name, a slightly clumsy website, and no apparent business model. Its update clients aren’t as polished as Dyn’s, but they’re still pretty easy to set up. With the website’s help, I’ve set up a cron job on my NAS that does the updating.
You get four free domains, but there’s no paid plan. If you donate (which I certainly will), you get bumped to ten domains. Plenty for home users and small businesses. Easy, simple, fair.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve become somewhat of an enthusiast photographer. Ever since I got my first DSLR camera, I’ve been proud of some of the images I’ve managed to capture, and I love taking my camera on all sorts of trips. The problem with this is that my Canon 1100D isn’t very pocketable. I used to carry it around in it’s own holster-type bag. But on most trips, my family and I would also take a small backpack for things like snacks. Carrying two bags just isn’t fun. Case Logic has a bag that cleverly combines the two, and they were kind enough to send me one to review.
More Case Logic Reflexion Backpack review
In the shared office space where I work, there’s an old 2nd generation iMac that we use to play music. It’s hooked up to a decent set of speakers, and plays music from the web or the local network. Over the last couple of years though, software support for non-intel Macs has all but disappeared, so we’ve been looking for alternatives.
Enter Volumio. The idea is really simple. Volumio transforms a Raspberry Pi computer into an audiophile music player. Simply install it onto an SD card, put it into the Pi, and you’re good to go.
More Make your Raspberry Pi sing with Volumio
I need a new laptop. My trusty old Asus UL30A is starting to feel slow, and I’d love to have a better screen and an SSD. Because I mostly work from my desktop PC, I don’t need anything to-of-the-line. A mid-range i5 will do. Touchscreen is optional, but I do need 8 GB of RAM. Surprisingly, it’s not easy to find these specs in a 13 inch form factor. Which is why I was happy to see Lenovo’s announcement of the IdeaPad U330 touch. Unfortunately, it seems to have all but disappeared…
More The case of the missing Lenovo U330 Touch
WordPress is often accused of being slow, and you can definitely get it to grind to a halt if you try. But in true WordPress fashion, it also comes with interesting building blocks that helps speed it up to all the way to ludicrous speed. WordPress is like Lego, and I’ve been playing with a couple of interesting new bricks that promise to seriously improve performance.
More Experimenting with Memcached and Batcache
There are three computers that I use daily. My media center (a Linux box that runs XBMC), my laptop, and the desktop PC in my office. Last week, that last box fired a warning shot across my bow. After a day of processing very large Photoshop documents, the power supply died. When I retrieved the original invoice, I was surprised to find that I’ve been using this machine since April of 2007.
More Choice is probably still the best reason to buy a PC
Last April, in an effort to lure my wife away from the Apple ecosystem, I got her a Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus. Based on the ‘classic’ S2, it seemed like a perfectly fine mid-range Android phone. Dual core processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM, and a 4.3″ screen, all acceptable specs. But unlike the original S2, the ‘Plus’ only has 8 GB of internal storage. And Samsung has managed to make that into an absolutely terrible problem.
More Samsung’s Galaxy S2 Plus is a terrible phone
On October 5th, 6th and 7th, I attended the first ever WordCamp Europe. As I’ve come to know them, WordCamps are usually city-based WordPress events where developers, designers and bloggers meet to listen to talks, discuss the future of WordPress and – of course – party. In many ways, WCEU was no different. Except for scale. Around 700 people attended, from all over Europe (and far beyond).
More WordCamp Europe 2013
A little over two years ago, I wrote an a quick “first impressions” post about the Linksys E4200 router. At the time, I was very happy with it. I needed high WAN-to-LAN speeds, and initially, the E4200 delivered. But the first generation of Linksys’s flagship router (of the time) turned out to have serious stability issues. Mine soon started getting really hot, causing frequent slowdowns and crashes. After two years of frustration, I decided it was time for yet another new router. I picked the Asus RT-N66U, and I’ll try to – cautiously – post some first impressions.
More My current routing champion: the Asus RT-N66U
My favorite tech site here in the Netherlands posted a brilliant article (sorry, Dutch only) on UHD television last week. In it, they theorized that in order to see the difference between normal Full HD and UHD, you’d need to be closer than one meter from your 40″ TV’s screen. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I watch TV. I like to sit back on my couch, which is a good three to four meters from the TV.
More There is such a thing as “enough” pixels