Topic: Computer

Hardware, software & hacks

Nextcloud Talk: “High Performance Backend” now Open Source

Nextcloud Talk is an extension for Nextcloud that enables chats as well as video conferencing. A decent browser and a webcam are sufficient to use that. You can also use an app for Android or iOS.

With a few simultaneous connections this usually works quite well if you pay attention to a few points, such as using a server for STUN/TURN like coturn (I will write a separate article about this).

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USB 3.0 in the year 2020

In the year 2011 I wrote about USB 3.0 for the first time. A few years later again (USB 3.0 today). Meanwhile it is 2020 and a current benchmark of a SanDisk Extreme Pro with 128 GB. To have comparable values again with “HD Tune” but this time with Windows 10.

The hardware used for the test is still the same mainboard which I’ve been using since 2014.

Looking back the values of earlier tests which show the impressive development of about 20 year:

Storage media Read speed
M-Sys DiskOnKey 128 MB (USB 1.1) 0.9 MB/s
Sony 8 GB (USB 2.0) 15.2 MB/s
Verbatim Store N Go 16 GB (USB 3.0) 122.4 MB/s
SanDisk Extreme Pro 128 GB (USB 3.0) 209.6 MB/s

Spamfilter and DKIM with rspamd

Recently a major update of the server enviroment was needed on which I also run a mail server. I took this as an opportunity to try rspamd as alternative to the combination of SpamAssassin and amavisd-new and can fully recommend this.

Main features of rspamd:

  • Web UI with status information and for easy configuration changes.
  • Up to 10× faster than SpamAssassin (also see the explanation at rspamd).
  • Direct integration as milter in Postfix which allows to scan e-mail during delivery so they can actively rejected or delayed using greylisting if needed.
  • Optional DKIM signatures for outgoing e-mail.

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Nextcloud and Netdata

I’ve been using Netdata on my servers to monitor many system parameters for quite a while now. What missed so far is Nextcloud. I filled this gap with a plugin for Netdata. The plugin uses the API which is provided by the “Monitoring” app to display the number of active users.

You get the source and description at Github.

Nextcloud and OnlyOffice in Android

As reported at OnlyOffice, you can now also use OnlyOffice in Android with Nextcloud, although you do not need a separate app for Android – it is part of the current Nextcloud app for Android. On the server you need at least Nextcloud 18 and the latest OnlyOffice integration for Nextcloud (4.1 or newer). OnlyOffice also runs collaboratively in the same way as in the browser – all changes are sent directly to the server and if other users are also editing a file at the same time, their changes can be seen immediately.

However, there is one thing to note:

If the file has not yet been downloaded (no green check mark), tapping the file name will open it in OnlyOffice. If the file already exists on the device (green check mark), it is opened directly when tapped – i.e. if an another office app is installed on the device, that app will be used to view or edit the file.

In addition, you can also use the context menu, which opens when you tap the three dots on the far right and then select “Edit”. In this case the file is always opened with OnlyOffice.

Update 2020-03-09

The free open source version does not provide editing functions any longer – neither in the app nor in the browser. If you need this, you have to buy on of the packages of the “Integration Edition” (currently beginning at 935 EUR one time payment per server for a maximum of 50 concurrent connections).

Update 2020-03-20

After I created a feature request at Github to get back the mobile editing or at least a cheaper license for private and home users, Ascensio decided to offer a cheaper “Home” license for 99 USD. Also see the comment at Github.

New year, new illegal copy of Periodical

New year, new scroungers who think they can easily make money from my work. Again an illegal copy of Periodical with plenty of advertising, published at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.boom.peri (February 11, 2020. If this URL is no longer available, it has already been deleted):

As usual there are no sources available and every reference to the original source was removed.

Update 2020-03-25

Meanwhile Google responded to my notice and the app was removed :-).

Renoise in 4K

Many years ago I discovered Renoise – a so called “tracker” to create music on the computer. Eventhough I haven’t really looked into this I still have a valid license and checked if the project still exists.

Indeed Renoise is still active even after nearly 20 years. Since version 3.2 it also supports native resolution and scaling in 4K:

Collaborative text editor in Nextcloud

Nextcloud text editor, sharing options

In June 2019 Nextcloud introduced an interesting text editor which uses Markdown as format but does not show this optically – the user interface is very tidy and text will always be shown and edited formatted. You can use Markdown syntax when entering text but in addition there is a toolbar at the top of the editor. To create a new file you can use the “+” symbol in the Nextcloud file manager as usual.

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