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WEB & IT SERVICES

Quality Web & IT Services, based in Doncaster, Yorkshire. Telephone +44 (0)7578 180443

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Survey Result

The voting has now closed.  The topic for the next George’s Quick Guide is, Creating a Shortcut on the Desktop.

I will write this as soon as possible and publish it on the website.

Thank you to everyone that voted.

WordPress Security

I have been busy further hardening my WordPress sites against malicious login attempts.

Wordpress wp-login

WordPress wp-login

The above image was recently taken from one of my server log statistics.  It indicates just how much of a problem this is at the moment.

It is also acts as a timely reminder for you to use a strong password.  Make your password is at least 10 characters in length; a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters, for example, “!$%@.  If your password is any less than this, I recommend that you change it to something more secure as soon as possible.

Further detailed information and instructions can be obtained from the WordPress.ORG Codex website – Hardening WordPress.

 

George’s Guide Topic Choice

I have created a brief survey to give you the opportunity to decide the topic of my next George’s Quick Guide. There are 10 options available for you to choose from. You can vote as many times as you like.

The survey will close on the 30 June 2014. The most popular choice will be the topic of the next George’s Quick Guide. I will write this as soon as possible after the closing date and it will be available as a free download on my website www.georgejopling.com.

Vote now at http://bit.ly/1kOnsvK

Dropbox on the Apple iPad

George’s Quick Guide to Dropbox on the Apple iPad

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. This brief guide will show you how to use Dropbox on the Apple iPad tablet computer to upload images and app created files.

Contact me if you would like me to write guides or tutorials for your business products and software.

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Dropbox on the Apple iPad.

Stop Motion Animation

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence.

The aim of this tutorial is to provide a basic understanding of stop motion animation production at little or no cost by using a free software program called MonkeyJam. The tutorial has been written primarily for school teaching staff, but could just as easily be used in the home or the workplace. It covers downloading and installing MonkeyJam, and then straight away shows how to create a basic stop motion animation movie using default settings. Having had a bit of fun and a first go at animation there is an explanation of the MonkeyJam main screen followed by the basic terminology and techniques used in stop motion animation. Some top tips are also given to build upon later in the tutorial. The tutorial also explains some computer use skills, such as drag and drop. Such skills can be applied to many other programs to save time and work more efficiently. It could be used in your business for staff development training. Working together as a team, learning computer skills in a fun and enjoyable way and the resulting animation could be used to promote your products or services! At home, your children will think you are the best thing since sliced bread as you work with them creating ever bigger and more complex animations.

Warning!
This tutorial could give you the basic skills and knowledge necessary to be the start of a new hobby. It could take up serious amounts of your time and lead to having great fun and enjoyment, producing animation films that are available world-wide on social media platforms, such as YouTube. You may end up spending a moderate amount of money purchasing commercial software, high resolution camera, green screen cloth, lights, props and other materials to take this hobby to the next level as the bug takes hold.
End of warning!

The tutorial is intended to be tutor led and supported.  Contact me if you would like me to deliver this IT training. I can visit your business, school or home.

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Stop Motion Animation Tutorial

Tutorial Update

The Keyboard Keys & Keyboard Shortcuts tutorial has been updated to version 2.2.

Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Batteries

George’s Quick Guide to Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Batteries

Li-ion technology powers most modern portable equipment from smartphones to laptop computers. This brief general guide has been written following several battery related faults on equipment I have maintained. It will help you to maximise battery life and save on replacement costs. I have included a link to the Battery University website for further detailed information about all types of batteries.

Contact me if you would like me to write similar guides or tutorials for your business products and software.

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Quick Guide (Li-ion) Batteries

Tutorial Updates

I am just finishing off a new tutorial about stop motion animation. The tutorial gives a basic introduction to stop motion animation at little or no cost by using a free software program called MonkeyJam. In addition to a computer the only other requirement is a suitable video device such as an internal or external webcam.

It will be available for download in a few days.

Would you like me to produce training materials for your school or business? Contact me for details.  Telephone 07578 180443 or email george@georgejopling.com

Seagate STBV2000200

Seagate STBV2000200 Hibernation

I recently purchased a Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive (STBV2000200) 2TB USB 3.0 as the main backup device for my Synology DS114 DiskStation NAS.  I purchased the Seagate because they have recently dropped in price and offer good value for money with USB 3.0 transfer speeds.

Synology has not validated the compatibility of this USB3.o external storage device.  The Seagate model STBV3000300 (3TB) is reported that ‘Hibernation is not supported on this device’.   http://www.synology.com/en-uk/support/faq/443

I have found that my Synology DS114 does indeed support hibernation with the Seagate STBV2000200 and my systems are working fine with the timed backup runs etc.  This wasn’t the case straight away though.  I did have some initial problems but managed to find the solution that I will explain in this article.

Synology DiskStations, like the DS114, can be configured to hibernate the internal and external USB HDD drives.  This is done from the DSM 5.0 Control Panel > Hardware & Power > HDD Hibernation menu.

DSM 5.0 HDD Hibernation

DSM 5.0 HDD Hibernation

Prior to purchasing the Seagate USB Expansion drive I was using an Hitachi 1TB external USB 2.0 HDD and had no problems at all with hibernation.  It powered off after several minutes without having to make any changes to the USB hibernation settings in the Synology Control panel.  Having connected up the new Seagate drive, I noticed that it did not power down by itself after about half an hour.  Not a problem I thought, I will change the hibernation setting on the DS114.

My internal hard disk was already set to power down after being inactive for 20 minutes so I changed the USB hard disk hibernation setting from none to 10 minutes and applied it.  A while later I discovered that that the Seagate USB drive was still spinning after a fairly long period of no USB disk activity.  I checked the Synology hibernation logs and discovered that the Seagate USB drive woke from hibernation every 10 minutes.  It appeared to be trying to hibernate but was then waking straight  back up again.

After a bit of searching round on the Internet, I discovered that the Seagate STBV2000200 can indeed power down and hibernate itself but this is disabled by the manufacturer.  When they leave the factory they are set to run constantly when connected to a working computer, or Synology DiskStation as in my case.  This can easily be changed though using the Seagate Dashboard software.  The Dashboard software can be downloaded free of charge from the Seagate website  http://www.seagate.com/gb/en/support/software/dashboard/

Seagate Dashboard Software

Seagate Dashboard Software

Install and run the software.  Click on your device underneath Storage Devices and then click the Manage tab.

Seagate Dashboard Manage Device

Seagate Dashboard Manage Device

Click on the Never button in the Power section of the software.

Also note the LEDs setting to control the LED light on the Seagate USB drive.  The default setting is ‘Turn Lights On’.  I left it on this setting because it does show that the drive is powered and ready to spin up if needed.

dashboard_times

Dashboard Time Settings

Change the setting from Never to a time period suitable for your purposes.  I set mine at 10 minutes.

Exit the software and your Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive will now automatically hibernate after the specified time.  There is no need to use the Synology DSM hibernation setting for the USB drive and I changed the USB hibernation time back to None.

There are two USB 3.0 sockets on the Synology DS114, both very close together.  With the Seagate cable plugged in I cannot plug anything else into the other USB socket.  I have resolved this problem by using a USB 3.0 hub.  I understand Synology do not officially support USB hubs.  Mine has been detected correctly by the DiskStation and I have been running it for nearly two weeks now with the Seagate Expansion Drive plugged into the hub.    When I plug additional USB flash drives into the hub they are detected correctly and I can transfer data between all drives.

My DS114 and the Seagate are both working fine together.