Topic: Computer

Hardware, software & hacks

“Retro” High End

Recently a good friend of mine gave me a used Intel Xeon E5-1650 v2 which he didn’t need any longer as a gift. According to the data of Intel this model was already introduced in the third quarter of 2013 and is therefore 7 years old as of August 2020.

Calling this “retro” may be a bit exaggerated – but it is a valid question if using such an old processor still makes sens in the year 2020. Current models provide more performance while also often using less power. In addition memory modules with DDR4 provide a higher throughput as well.

On the other hand my old PC is still mostly based on the hardware with Xeon E3 which I bought already in 2014 and which got equipped with SSDs as mass storage and a new graphics card running a 4K display. Despite its age it is still usable quite well. Moving to the Xeon E5 would be an easy upgrade since I only would have to change the mainboard and the CPU cooler. The existing RAM modules could be used unchanged.

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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.

Update 2020-09-02

The free Android version of OnlyOffice have been supporting using Nextcloud to open and save documents for a while now and is more comfortable to use than the version in the browser. The only limitation is that this version does not support the collaborative functions.

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 :-).