Main Line Commodore User Group

Newsletter


April 2012 Issue 359

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE, ROOM 410

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 – APRIL 14th


UPCOMING MEETING

NOTE: SAC ROOM 410

ROUTER FIREWALLS (A GAUNTLET FOR PACKETS)

Are you in the market for a router? It's not very often that we are. When we are, most of us just gloss over the specifications except for the number of Ethernet ports, price, and the type of WiFi support it provides We all assume that firewall security is about the same between routers and for the most part we probably are correct. But sometimes when a manufacturer says a router says it has a firewall, it's a weak one at best. So, how do you know you're buying the network security you expect to be inherent in every router?

John M will take us on a review of this topic. We will explore the concepts of router firewalls and at the high level explore the various layers & types of firewalls Then if we have time, we'll explore some of the tools typically needed at times to breach a firewall to make our routers function to allow the software on our computers to work the way we expect.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS

1) Club membership entitles you to receive a hard copy of the newsletter and access to our email list server, which is run for the benefit of our members. Please do not hesitate to post club and computer related notices and problems to it. If we can’t solve your problem remotely, we can be alerted to it ahead of the monthly meeting where more hands-on may help resolve your problem.

2) A few of the regular attendees usually partake of lunch at the Campus Corner Restaurant near the intersection of Routes 30 and 320 just off the Villanova University campus. So, after the meeting, why not join us? It’s an opportunity to get more help and to discuss our common interests.

3) Help MLCUG go “Green”. We issue this newsletter by both electronic means through our email list server and in hardcopy format. If you find yourself not reading the hardcopy, PLEASE inform John D, the editor, so that you will only receive the electronic version.

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LAST MONTH’S MEETING

Attendance: 7 people in all attended the meeting on Saturday, March 10th.

Main Meeting Q&A: We began last month’s meeting with our normal round of questions and announcements. Among the questions and announcements:

John D -
* Showed the cracked insulation on the power supply brick cable for the old D-Link router the club has been using. Because of the insulation failure, the router has been removed from service for the time being.
* Showed the Zyxel MWR102 pocket router that John M had so graciously provided for testing and as a potential candidate for a club purchase. The router will fit in a shirt pocket & is not much larger than a credit card. http://us.zyxel.com/products/details.aspx?PC1indexflag=PDCA200920&CategoryGroupNo=PDCA201138 http://www.buy.com/videoclip/zyxel-mwr102-wireless-n-pocket-router-and-access-point/82034.html

Bill D -
* Wanted to know what a scanner was in reference to an email that had been posted to the club's list server. In fact the reference was to a scanner radio. The scanner radio web service of radioreference.com was demonstrated. http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio

Pat S -
* Mentioned his purchase of a Kindle Touch. http://www.amazon.com/kindle-touch
* Sought a recommendation for a networked file server for home use. He was pointed in the direction of NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices as his probable best solution. Pogoplug compatible devices were mentioned, but the D-Link DNS-320 became the recommendation. http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=509

Layton F -
* Wondered whether the recent failure of someone to access their Verizon FiOS connection could somehow be related to the recent solar flares. No one thought this a reasonable cause of the problem.
* Was seeking a way to trim video DVD content & burn the resulting content back to DVD without loss of quality. It was pointed out that this was an almost impossible request since any conversion of the VOB files would result in a reduction of quality. There are very few if any VOB file editors. During the discussion of VLC 2.0 & Handbrake by John M, it was suggested that Layton take a look at the Doom9 website for a variety of DVD ripping and editing tools. http://www.doom9.org/software2.htm#vobtools

John M -
* Showed his recent purchase of a TP-Link router, model TL-WR2543ND. http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?model=TL-WR2543ND
* Further discussed the Zyxel MWR102 router previously pointed out by John D.
* Spoke about his recent purchase of kdLinks HD680 set top box media player. http://www.kdlinks.com/index.php/media-player/kdlinks-hd680-extreme-network-hd-media-player-w-built-in-wifi.html
* Discussed the new 2.0 version of VLC and the impact on Handbrake users as it relates to Handbrake's use of the libdvdcss file. http://download.videolan.org/libdvdcss/last/ http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ http://handbrake.fr/ https://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=23301

Main Meeting Program: The main meeting presentation topic was "Sharing Large Files" and was presented by John M.

This was a difficult subject to present as the best solution is related to a combination of parameters including security & privacy, how frequently you share a large file, the bandwidth of your Internet connection, the number of people you expect to share with, and what if any are you willing to pay to make it happen.

John started the presentation by describing his own efforts to establish a personal website for himself, http://vaxxman.net/, which is hosted by Yahoo!, http://www.webhostingconsumer.com/index.php and how has never composed an intro web page, but instead uses the site for hosting a variety of other services including managing files.

John then delved into a variety of cloud services, some free and some not. The list of cloud services included:
* https://www.dropbox.com/
* https://order.1and1.com/
* http://www.dilbertfiles.com/
* http://www.adobe.com/SendNow
* https://hotfile.com/

There are many other similar sites, but too numerous to mention.

The last service, Hotfile, resulted in a discussion of file splitting, specifically related to the RAR archiving utility (http://www.rarlab.com/) and 7-ZIP (http://www.7-zip.org/), a free utility to unRAR files and extract other archived formats. NOTE: Not mentioned is another often used FREE file splitter called HJ-Split (http://www.hjsplit.org/).

John also showed how to calculate the amount of time it would likely take to upload a large file given the specifics of your Internet connection and reminded everyone that their upload bandwidth was likely less than their download bandwidth.

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MEETING RELATED SIDEBAR

This section contains web links & other info related to some of the subjects we discussed during our round table discussions and main presentation.

USING HANDBRAKE WITH VLC 2.0 - Posted to the club mailing list by John M...

Apparently, VLC 2.0 changes something in the way that libdvdcss is used and it is no longer available to Handbrake.   

There is a workaround.  From the Handbrake forum:

============= FWIW, "official" libdvdcss DLLs are available from Videolan too:

http://download.videolan.org/libdvdcss/last/win32/ http://download.videolan.org/libdvdcss/last/win64/

It's not quite as convenient as under OS X, however - no .pkg installer, the user has to place it manually in the folder where HandBrakeCLI resides, and must not forget to rename it to libdvdcss.dll: https://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.ph ... dvdcss+dll =============

Handbrake 0.9.5 is a 32-bit app on Windows so you should download the win32 version.  I tested this on a Windows 7 Pro 64-bit system and it worked fine.

The fix for the Mac is here:

HandBrake • View topic - DVD decryption, VLC 2.x and HandBrake

According to the forums, 0.9.6 of Handbrake should fix the problem on all flavors.  However, there is no indication when 0.9.6 will be released. It has been over a year since they released Handbrake 0.9.5.

For me, VLC 2.0 is working much better than the old version on both Mac and Windows, so I have moved to using it almost exclusively.

YAHOO! WEB HOSTING - has been in the web hosting space for decades and offers affordable and dependable web hosting packages starting at $2.50 per month for your basic package. Yahoo has developed into one of the webs leading global web hosting company offering personal and business web hosting.

Any level of experience can use Yahoo Web Hosting as the suite of tools is plentiful and a great place to build your website. Whether beginner or advanced, Yahoo Hosting offers a solution to meet your needs and service to help your website thrive. http://www.webhostingconsumer.com/index.php

DROPBOX - What is Dropbox? Dropbox is a FREE service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere, and share them easily. Any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your phone or iPad, and the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it easy to share with others. And if your computer melts down, you can restore all your files from the Dropbox website with a couple clicks. https://www.dropbox.com/static/docs/DropboxFactSheet.pdf

POGOPLUG DEVICES from Pogoplug - Pogoplug is the only cloud service that lets you host your own data. Instantly store, stream and share your files and media wherever you are, with no fees and no limits: Simply purchase a Pogoplug device, add storage and connect it to your network.

Pogoplug also offers 5GB of free cloud storage with the option to buy 30GB/mo, 100GB/mo and 1000GB/mo.

https://pogoplug.com/devices

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SOFTWARE & SERVICES WORTH A LOOK

HJ-SPLIT - (FREE, Linux, Mac, Windows) HJSplit is a popular freeware program to split and recombine files. The program is available on Windows, Linux and a variety of other platforms.

Why should one want to split and recombine files? For instance, think of a file of 50 Mb, and try to send it to a friend, post it in a newsgroup or upload it to a Website or FTP server. It is usually easier to send/receive, upload/download smaller parts than handle the entire file in one go.

HJSplit can also be useful for backups. A file of e.g. 10 gigabytes in size can be split into smaller parts which then can be burned to CD's, DVDs, copied to USB sticks or uploaded to an online backup service.

HJSplit for Windows and Linux support file sizes of over 100 Gigabytes, MD5 checksums, file-compare, "run without install" and both editions are fully portable. http://www.hjsplit.org/ .

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DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOM Meetings are in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The regular monthly sessions meet in Room 110.

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the upper level of the 2-level parking building adjacent to the St. Augustine Center, on the Ithan Avenue side of the building.

NOTE: maps on our web page - http://micug.org/

 MLCUG Meetings Schedule        Steering Committee Meetings
  April 14				April 18
  May 12				May 16
  June 9				June 13
EDITOR: John W. Deker, Jr. 2210 Lantern Lane, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2211
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MLCUG LISTSERV:		for members only...
OUR WEB PAGE:		http://mlcug.org/
PUBLICITY:		Position OPEN!
VILLANOVA SPONSOR:	Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE;
PRESIDENT: John Deker    	610-828-7897	
V.PRESIDENT: Al Gottlieb  	215-793-9725
TREASURER/SEC: John Deker 	610-828-7897	
WEBMASTER: Peter Whinnery 	610-284-5234	
DATABASE: Layton Fireng  	610-688-2080
AT LARGE:  Tom Johnson  	610-896-2434	
AT LARGE:  Wendy Emery  	215-765-3328
AT LARGE: Nelson Schrock	610-834-0117
AT LARGE: John Murphy		610-935-4398