Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Shooting Trouble

So I realised yesterday evening that I'd been a bit behind in making sure my Tivo telly box doesn't record all the wrong things.
The way I've been controlling that Tivo box, for setting up programmes to record at least, is through the app on my iPad. The actual remote is very clunky and takes ages to navigate. The iPad app is far easier to use. But ... apparently ... also broken.

What I think has happened is that a power cut incident last Friday has damaged some of my network gear. The way it is supposed to work is :

iPad talks to router. Works ok.
Router talks to Powerline widget 1. Works ok.
Powerline widget 1 talks to Powerline widget 2. Wasn't working so well.
(The Powerline kit means wires run around the room instead of across the floor).
Powerline widget 2 talks to Tivo. Nada.

So the chain was breaking at around Powerline widget 2. That one is also supposed to bring wifi as well, which I used before I got my latest router. (Complicated explanation cut short - needed it so my printer would work, got another solution now)

Before any fixes, one tool told me that the two Powerline bits of kit were talking to each other at 11Mbps. This is Very Slow. One reset to defaults later and it was talking at 337Mbps. That's more like it !!! But still no wifi signal. And the Tivo isn't talking yet.

And then I look at the diagnostic tool again and apparently it's showing traffic going one way but not the other. Can't really explain that, it could be that there was no traffic to go the other way. I could turn the lights on it on and off remotely though, so something must have been working.

After some headscratching (and frustration that the configuration tool is on a cd that is lost under much clutter !), I try another solution ...

I have more widgets ...

I use an Apple Airport Express (aka LittleWhiteBox) to transfer my music from laptop to hifi. It talks to the router via wifi, so that's another wire that I don't need stretching across the room. It's really good with transferring that music too. (Almost cd quality bandwidth and keeps the signal digital when sending it to the amp).

It can also (allegedly) act as a router on its own, or as a network bridge to extend a wifi network. As in, you tell it to talk to your main wifi and can also plug a network cable in to hook up something without wifi (like the Tivo).

This actually worked last night. But not tonight. Grr. Apple are steadily destroying their reputation with me for competence in the software market, which is very silly because they control the hardware as well as the software. It should do what it is supposed to do.

The daft thing is that the LittleWhiteBox worked as a network bridge last night but tonight ? Audio stream broke. Fixed now by taking it back to the settings before I started playing but ... I'd like to use all of its facilities, not just those that decide to work on the day.
Actually there are more daft things but I'll get to those in a bit. For now :

I can't control the Tivo via my iPad any more. But I can control it via the web on the desktop. So that counts as a victory.
My audio streaming works again ! My ears are saved.
Powerline kit will be plugged out soon or at least until I can find the configuration cd.

Daft stuff :
Virgin Media really need to sort their stuff out. Dunno why the iPad app can't talk to the Tivo any more. Perhaps they've updated the software again and broken it ? Highly likely.
Virgin Media really need to sort their stuff out. Yep, again. When I got the Tivo, it worked pretty well. The menus were quick and ... all important ... it could record while on standby. A recent update broke the recording on standby ... so I leave it on.
Virgin Media ... you guessed it ... A 2016 network enabled device should really have wifi on it if it is designed to talk over a network.
Apple device working one moment, breaking the next.
TP-Link's Powerline configuration utility staying on the cd instead of installing itself to the machine.

And there's probably more Daft Stuff too. (Like a 2013 Macbook Air with a half broken wifi - known issue that the 2.4GHz antenna breaks, it's perfect on the 5GHz).

Yep. There was more frustration tonight and a few factory resets of the LittleWhiteBox to get that working again. Disabling the network bridge thing sorted that out. And I can still control the Tivo from the desktop, even though it isn't on the home network any more.

I think that counts as a win ?

Other news ... I've gone to a Plan B ... The HC45 Magic Healing Gunk was great but one of its effects can be to thin down the skin. So using it too much can lead to similar problems to what I was trying to fix. As in, I've been back in the ankle protector this week because my ankles were worsening.

It's not all bad news though. Plan B means using a fair bit of the old Aveeno moisturiser again. My ankles and left foot are damaged still but I'm pretty sure they improved over today and yesterday, despite me doing the typical amount of movement around the office. They should appreciate me skiving off the work next week.

Other other news ... I had something to say here and I can't remember !!!! NOOOO !!!!

Ok. What was it.

I know !!! The new phone is likely to be a Samsung Galaxy S7. I still give them the Arched Look Of Suspicion but it seems like they're the best phone on the market at the moment. The Honor phones are cheaper but ... you tend to get what you pay for. Or less. I had my eye on the HTC phone but ... it's too expensive. I.e. it's more expensive than the Samsung for questionable value.

Yep. Voting with me feet and starting to walk away from Apple ... Soon !

PS You can probably tell that I'll be sticking with my current mobile phone network instead of taking up Virgin Media on one of their offers ...

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