More Unifi Fun

Just tweaking around and I’m looking at getting a switch which will make fixed line management via ethernet a whole lot easier – side note, funny enough I was thinking, “maybe I need to get a hub” then I Google’d and realised just how out of date I am when it comes to how switches have replaced hubs. A 5 port gigabit switch from Noel Leeming costs around $44.99 because right now if I do a reset I have to use my old router as a makeshift switch that really does a shitty job as it given the experience isn’t always consistent where as I need something that does behave like a proper switch.

Another thing I noticed is that I didn’t have mdns enabled (aka Bonjour) or uPnP (which helps with the likes of Skype etc).


set service upnp2 listen-on eth1

set service upnp2 wan pppoe0

set service mdns reflector

set service upnp listen-on eth1 outbound-interface pppoe0




Funny enough, enabling this has also addressed the Skype issue I’ve been having so hopefully everything will be working great form now on.

Edit: Just updated the information as of 29/11/2015 as I found out how to configure upnp since not all software supports upnp2 so you’ll need to the two services running at the same time. Apart from that, everything is running well and finally got Transmission (Bit Torrent Client) to work smoothly.

All sorted out for the weekend

The weekend came and went pretty quickly but I’m happy that I’ve finally got the Windows 10 review out of the way but I also learned that when you change the date of post that the link breaks so something you learn the hard way. The reason why I changed the post date was because I started it on 16th November and I saved it as a draft to the server so unfortunately that meant that the post was clocked in on that day so when I went to punish it rather than it being punished on the day when I changed the ‘Post Status’ from draft to published it is posted on the same day the the draft was started.

I was considering the idea of making videos again but it is still very much situation of being up in the air until I decide whether it is worth it when compared to just writing articles which are easier to read and more convenient than making a video which requires one to sit down and watch/listen. Almost there when it comes to closing off the GEM VISA card – I’ll be so damn happy once it is all paid off before Christmas – one less thing I need to worry about. Once that is all paid off then I’ll be closer to a few personal goals of mine. Oh, and something random – I’ve changed the direction of the spotlights in the lounge room so that now it adequately lights up the room where as the two ones that were on the end of the bar were pointed out towards the wall rather that in a more appropriate direction – the room is a lot better lit up.

Oh, and for the last week I’ve been moping around the house being all negative about Mac’s and OS X in general for some reason – one of those “maybe the other side isn’t so bad’ and ‘maybe I should give PC’s a second chance’ but given my nocturnal behaviour I’d say it probably has more to do with the lack of vitamin D than anything else which means I need to get outside and have some more sun on me along with maybe taking some vitamin D supplements for good measure. Had a pile of vegetables today and feeling a whole lot better. I had a look online at the Apple store – the new iMac 5K look nice but I’ll hold off doing anything until next year once I get my finances in order.

Windows 10 TH2 Review: So much potential but so very average

So, I’ve been running Windows 10 on my iMac since 9 November and wanted to see what Windows 10 was like when running natively on real hardware then see how things have improved with the Windows 10 TH2 update that came out later on in the week which was promised to have fixed the laundry list of issues that many early adopters were rather vocal about. Keeping in mind that as nice as it is to have an optimistic tone based on rumoured promises being addressed but it is also important to base ones review not on future promises but what has actually been delivered today. I installed Windows 10 using the bootcamp creating tool which included the latest drivers for the iMac directly from Apple and did a clean install straight from the memory stick. In this review I’ll start right from the boot screen through to the the general use – nothing will be left unexamined and that includes the installer as well.

The installation routine unfortunately is the same Windows Vista era look and feel with a splattering of Windows 7 splattering for good measure which starts off the whole exercise on rather a bad note because it notes a complete lack of attention to detail – a modern consistent installer may sound trivial but it sets the tone for the rest of the experience: first impressions last. The installation routine hasn’t changed much since Windows Vista but the feel of it remains dated which is disappointing because this is the opportunity for Microsoft to show that things have changed and that attention to detail is the new mantra.

Once fully installed you’re rebooted into the OOBE (Out Of Box Experience) where the configuration process takes place you go through the process of setting up the account and they make it rather more difficult that it needs to be if you want to setup a local account but you can set up a local account but they don’t make it easy. I can understand them wanting to make idea of a Microsoft account desirable but making it difficult to set up a local account unless you really go out of your way to find the setting during the set up process. I chose the express settings though when it came to the configuration primarily because I just don’t care for the conspiracy theories that Microsoft is harvesting my personal data and the fact that telemetry data is important for Microsoft when it comes to prioritising what is actually fixed in Windows vs. what is put on the back burner until a later release.

On reboot it goes through the usual processes and loads into the login screen where I log myself in and find that I go through the process of installing the bootcamp drivers provided by Apple for the touchpad and other devices which requires a few minutes (loading it off the memory stick) then followed through another reboot. As a side note I also tried it out on my Retina MacBook Pro to see whether things have improved on the HI-DPI front given much promises from Microsoft that things have improved with the move from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 (with refinements in in the autumn update).

When it comes to the look and feel of the operating system it is still very much a mess of consistencies; file copy dialogue box from Windows Vista, the Explorer is very much a mixture of Win32 look and feel with an attempt to bring some elements of the UWP look and feel but unfortunately the result is a rather inconsistent mess. I was expecting that with Windows 10 that there would be at least a move towards consistency or at least some sort of public roadmap as a reassurance to early adopters that, “yes, we are working towards replacing the Win32 components with modern UWP replacements but we cannot give a definitive time line” but alas in absence of evidence one can assume that the status quo is remanning indefinitely.

This is the thing that keeps undermining Microsoft at every stage – their lack of openness and transparency not to mention a time table where third party developers can plan based on features coming to the UWP platform that they rely on to move their application forward. This is the same sort of problem that Microsoft has always faced along with the tendency to suffer from almost an ADD like affliction where they’re unable to actually concentrate on one thing at a time and actually follow it through it its inevitable conclusion. The best example of that is the ‘Media Foundation’ which services as a replacement for a number of legacy frameworks and bring various technologies under the umbrella but here we are 8 years after it was first introduced in Windows Vista and it is still lacking to the point that people still rely on other frameworks to get what they want done.

There also never seems to be an overarching framework design for their operating system where as Apple will have key terminology; that a AV Foundation will be the low level framework you then have the AV Kit which provides high level functionality which requires less code to be written – for example, if you want a basic movie player in your application you could manually write the code or you just pull in a ready made solution provided as part of AV Kit to do so.  There is a sense where with Apple they take a ‘big picture’ approach to design and ask “how does everything fit in together” where as with Microsoft you can’t help but get the feeling that you’ve got disparate groups all off doing their own thing with little consideration as to how their ‘contribution’ to the system is going to fit in with everything else – almost like the Linux world where seperate groups projects are all bought together in a distribution and given a label. The net result is that not only do the underpinnings look like an uncoordinated mishmash of different ideas, there is also a lack of consistency when it comes to UI look and feel – each team has its own way of doing something with no over arching policy to bring everything together as a coherent product.

When it comes to the bundled applications they’re still very much lacking even 3 months after the release. The mail application has templates for Google, iCloud and Outlook but the problem is that if you want to add a service that is outside of it then you’re going to have to settle for basic IMAP or POP functionality given that there is no way to manually add CalDAV and CarDAV functionality meaning that for someone like my mum who keeps her contacts on the server (the ISP she is with uses Yahoo for the hosting) there is no way to manually sync which necessitates me to create a account to host her contacts on and keep the system up to date which is less than ideal. When it comes to the mail application itself, it is lacking support for IMAP directories where as with Outlook 2016 it had no problems configuring and showing the IMAP folders.

Another let down is Groove and the lack of MTP sync integration – I understand the ‘next big thing’ but if the attempt is to encourage people to move away from legacy software like ‘Windows Media Player’ in favour of Groove and other modern replacements then they should at the very least have as close to feature parity as possible which includes MTP sync support. I am also unsure whether gapless playback has been added to Windows 10 on the desktop as the only indication so far of such a feature relates to an update for Groove running on Windows 10 Mobile.

Edge browser in the 1511 update added sync capabilities but unfortunately I simply don’t see Microsoft providing the Edge browser for an Android or iOS phones so either you deal with the lack of cross platform sync support or you give up using Edge in favour of something like Firefox or Chrome but these browsers bring their own issues relating to Windows 10 compatibility. Something that I think Microsoft needs to accept is the fact that unless they really do something to sort out the lack of applications on Windows 10 Mobile then they need to address the lack of integration between Android/iOS devices and the software that comes with Windows 10. There is also the lack of extension support which is pretty critical when it comes to surfing these days because it enable ad blockers to avoid the obnoxious browser hijacking crap that so many websites force down the throats of end users not savvy enough not to have an adblocker installed.

The Settings application has so much potential but it is half finished in nature and rather than replacing parts of the control panel they seem to be hell bent on keeping the damn thing alive by linking to the control panel for a particular item rather than any sort of long term to replace it with the control panel being empty except for legacy third party software that hasn’t been updated for the new model of configuring the system. There is also loads of configuration tools such as the Computer Management that still very much relies on a set of powerful tools yet the UI of these tools do not scale well for high-dpi screens and given how prevalent these days that high dpi screens are I’m not hopeful of seeing Microsoft speed up the development of a replacement. In an ideal world the computer management would be ripped out and replaced with PowerShell based tools with those tools being exposed via a nice UWP interface. Same can be also said for Explorer which looks woefully out of place when compared to the UWP applications that come part of Windows but I’m hopeful that things will change as the Lumia 950 with the much promoted Continuum will require a file manager that can step up to replace explorer but can scale back down to a full screen application when the phone isn’t hooked up to a big screen.

As for what this experiment has taught me is that the grass always appears to be greener on the other side until you actually get to that other side then you realise all the faults and flaws that are easily hidden when the marketing material only focuses on the ascetically pleasing screenshots rather than the warts that still remain within Windows 10. Although much fanfare has been made about Windows 10 when compared to the mess that occurred with Windows 8.1 the problem is that the operating system is very much ‘work in progress’. As much as I’d like to be optimistic about the future direction of Microsoft I also have to be realistic given that for 20+ years Microsoft complete lack of attention to detail is almost an assurance that these imperfections that I have noted will most likely never get fixed because there just isn’t that focus within Microsoft on polish and attention to detail: “well, it compiles so fuck it, lets ship it!” seems to be the motto where as at least in the world of OS X the transition from pinstripe to the now more flat grey almost executive look took several releases but eventually got there.

Going forward into the future I’m optimistic that hopefully with redstone things will change but I don’t think things will change sufficiently enough that it’ll compel me to change platforms any time soon. I have a lot already invested in the Mac ecosystem ranging from the numerous applications in and outside of the AppStore not to mention the iMac and the Apple TV as well. Although the temptation is definitely there when it comes to the PC ecosystem the problem is although I’d save a few bucks I’m almost certain to start pulling my hair out the moment I’m having to deal with such a system on a regular basis.

Windows 10 10586.3 ‘Autumn Update’ has been released

Well, it has been released so I might as well make the review as real as possible by upgrading to the latest version available to see how things have improved/gone backwards – I have to admit there are certain things about Windows 10 that are growing on me. There are still many disappointing aspects, the poor DPI scaling on high dpi screens, the messy hangovers from Win32 that I simply don’t see Microsoft addressing any time soon. I’ll probably put up with this for the next week or so but I’ll come crying back to OS X as I usually do each time. On a good side, I downloaded and installed Office 2016 for Mac and it is nice to see that Microsoft is sticking to their promise of regular cycle of bug and security fixes along with the occasional new feature (well, a feature that exists on the Windows version finally making its way to the OS X version).

One of the things I do miss from OS X is the way in which cloud services are dealt with in terms of Windows 10 it being Microsoft’s own cloud service being only the real offering treated as a first class citizen but if you want to use Google then you don’t get the same sort of integration that you’d come to expect from OS X.

On a side note, I forgot to go ‘save’ when I did ‘commit’ with the router configuration which probably explains why it lost the settings when the firmware upgraded. Oh well, the more you learn.

Edit: I’ve upgraded Windows 10 to build 10586.3, and the changes are nice but it still doesn’t really touch on some of the rough points of Windows when it comes to the look and feel of the operating system. The additional inheriting of the colour settings to the title bars along with the menu and the task bar is a nice finishing touch but it is still rather rough and ready with the feeling that it is like OS X 10.0 where there is a lot of promising potential but so much yet to be delivered. Maybe redstone will deliver on those finishing touches once it is delivered next year.

The installation of the new network: Slide show time!

Finally got the network all setup, here is the access point in the lounge room which puts it within close proximity of my Apple TV and iMac (connected to the access point at 975mbps) and my laptop in the next room connects at 351mbps – that sounds like a major drop in performance but keep in mind that I’m using the 5Ghz frequency for my network given that the location of my home is in a swamp of 2.4Ghz networks where it next to impossible to have a stable connection due to the overlapping and interference that exists from all the networks.

IMG 0002

There is a faint glow at night but other than that it is in the perfect location and yet it doesn’t draw attention to it in any sort of way – it was a pain in the ass to install but it is one of those things that you install once and not have to deal with for many years to come. The great benefit is that the PoE injector resides within the second bedroom and it is fed by a 20 metre cat6 ethernet cable with more shielding than you can shake a stick at thus getting a really stable connection from the access point to the router which I’ve mounted on the wall like so:

IMG 0003

On the left hand side you have the telephone jack if I wanted a telephone but for me I have naked internet since I use my mobile as my primary telephone. Next to that is the ONT device where the fibre is fed into but it is nothing more than a dumb terminal that requires a router that supports PPPoE and vlan tagging since Spark requires that but others such as Bigpipe doesn’t require it so I guess it comes down to the ISP you use. Once the bedside table is put back it look clean, tidy and out of the way:

IMG 0004

Setting up my new network: Ubiquity configuration for NZ Fibre connections

So I’ve finally received the router and access point from Ubiquity however the setup wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be so after much investigation I finally got everything working but I thought I might as well document the the process where by I reached the destination of ‘connected internet’ and some of the gotchas along the way. The first thing to download the UniiFi controller and install it then connect your computer directly connect via the LAN port (after connection the ONT device to the WAN port) and load the application called Unifi. Step yourself through the process (the information is self explanatory) then afterwards log yourself into the Unifi application. From there set it up the WAN port (configuration is accessed by clicking on the spanner in the WAN box just below the flow chart on the Dashboard) to to use PPPoE (click on configuration) with the login name being and password being password. After that is done you then apply the settings – it may reboot.

After that you then open up terminal (use Spotlight is the easiest) then do the following:

ssh [username you chose]@

Where you’ll be asked to accept the ssh certificate and then you’ll be asked for your password that you chose during the setup. You then enter the following commands:


delete interfaces ethernet eth0 pppoe


set interfaces ethernet eth0 vif 10 pppoe 0 user-id

set interfaces ethernet eth0 vif 10 pppoe 0 password password

set interfaces ethernet eth0 vif 10 pppoe 0 default-route auto

set interfaces ethernet eth0 vif 10 pppoe 0 mtu 1492

set interfaces ethernet eth0 vif 10 pppoe 0 name-server auto


show interfaces

Keep in mind that once it is setup that if you do a firmware upgrade those settings will be lost for some reason so be prepared to re-enter it all again. It’ll take a few seconds and you’ll find that the connection will come up but in the www box the IP address won’t change for some reason but I wouldn’t worry too much about that. When it comes to the access point it is a bit more fidgety in terms of how you go about setting it up because you’ll need to have a switch or a router in bridge mode so then you can have your desktop hooked up to the switch along with the access point so then you can guide the process of ‘set inform’ where the router and the access point are ‘joined’ up. The configuration is done via clicking on devices then click on the device named ‘UniFi AP-AC v2’ where a set of options will appear on the right hand side of the browser – push up the broadcast power to maximum and remember to use AES/CCMP or otherwise the maximum speed you can reach on wifi will be 54mbps (the configuration is found on the bottom left corner of the web browser – ‘Settings’ and there will be a set of options for wireless networking).

As for performance, I’m hitting the maximum speed for my internet connection and I’m connected to the router at around 800mbps (I have it installed on the ceiling which is around close to the centre of the house) along with great performance for my Apple TV and MacBook Pro I have on my bedside table. The setup is a little more laboured than with a consumer router but there is a lot more tweaks and tuning with the only problem I have is the lack of documentation for the CLI functions but then again I guess the general assumption is that if you know Linux networking then getting things working with their networking equipment should be fairly straight forward.

Giving Windows 10 a whirl

Well, I’m downloading the 90 day trial of the enterprise version to see what Windows 10 is actually like on a modern piece of hardware – one of the great benefits of Apple moving to Intel is the ability to jump back and forth between OS X and Windows when you get the inkling that maybe things aren’t so many over in the PC world. Right now I’m in the process of creating the book stick then I’ll install it as the only operating system on my iMac – give that a run for a few weeks and see how things go in terms of performance, reliability and stability when compared to Windows 8.1 and I might write a small review afterwards. I also want to see how things go with Microsoft Office on Windows as well to see what the experience is like running on modern hardware. It is good to get some exposure to other operating systems to see how thing progress particularly when there is a tendency with in the OS X community of the ‘doom and gloom’ circle jerk where OS X is apparently going to hell in a hand basket whilst giving absolutely no context to their claims other than a rose tinted view of the past of how ‘things were so much better when Steve Jobs was around!’. Oh well, off to reboot and install.