Tag Archives: software

Gigastrand NVR: Drive Full, not recycling

Twice we have seen where the drive appears to fill up but there is no apparent reason for the drive being full. Three of the reasons we have seen so far are caused by 3 different but related issues.

1. Apache errors – for some unknown reason, the Apache log file (located in /var/log/apache2/) grows to an incredible size. Deleting the log file resolves this issue.
2. Virtual Ramdisk error – The Gigastrand NVR has a virtual ramdisk where it caches images. Sometimes (especially if the motion daemon is fiddled with) the ramdisk will start writing to the user folder. Deleting the files and and NVR restart will resolve that issue as well.
3. If you have a full compliment of cameras, the default storage size of 20Gb will fill up very fast (less than 12 hours in some cases). This is too fast for the machine to effectively clean up. This issue manifests itself in the same way as the other 2 issues, but the system is essentially working.

To fix the third issue, edit the /etc/kmotion/kmotion_rc file and change the images_dbase_limit_gb to something higher than 20Gb but less than your available storage.

 

Gigastrand NVR: Refresh Repositories Before Install

If you attempt to install Gigastrand NVR immediately after a fresh install of Gigastrand OS, you will want to refresh the package list before you do. If you don’t, the NVR software will look like it installs, but will miss several critical steps resulting in failure.

You can refresh the package list in 2 ways.

1. Open a terminal and type

sudo apt-get update

2. Open Apper; click on Updates; click Check for New Updates.

This will refresh the packages so you can install the NVR software fully. The operating system will refresh the packages automatically – eventually. This is a bit faster.

Gigastrand to Give Away Over 400 Copies of OS

Gigastrand will give away over 400 DVD copies of its OS from December 1 – 31. Once gone, Gigastrand will cease production of individual DVD copies except in the case of specific products.

The copies will be distributed both online and locally. Some will be retail packages, but most will be individual discs. Copies bought online will be at a reduced price to cover shipping and handling.

This giveaway is a part of the annual holiday giveaway to promote the Gigastrand OS and do something special for our customers. It is a fantastic opportunity to get a copy of Gigastrand OS with all the improvements we’ve done recently.

If you are looking for something truly free and to satisfy that desire for instant gratification, Gigastrand OS Download might be more your speed. You can burn it to a disc using a program like infrarecorder or copy it to a USB drive with unetbootin.

Regardless of how you get Gigastrand OS, get it now before these offers expire.

Gigastrand re-releases OS 3.4 for a very good reason.

Gigastrand re-released Gigastrand OS 3.4 today for one very good reason: security.

The original image for Gigastrand 3.4 released about a week ago with a few minor enhancements and some security updates. Today’s release switches from OpenOffice to LibreOffice and adds a password reset tool that deletes itself from the desktop once it is used.

We decided it was time to switch to LibreOffice because it is better supported and more secure than OpenOffice. About the only thing OpenOffice had going for it was brand recognition.

The security tool is something we developed so users have a quick and easy way to set the root and user passwords after install. Once it is used once, the shortcut is removed from the desktop so it is not accidentally used again. The tool itself resides in the /etc/ folder.

A similar tool will be added to Gigastrand’s NVR software in the 1.5 release. Currently, you can reset the NVR password by going to Func and clicking on F12.

The aim in developing these tools is to prompt and assist end-users to secure their systems properly. Running default passwords on any device connected to the internet is never a good idea.

Included with this release is the Gigastrand NVR software – updated to 1.4. Some slight performance improvements have been included as well as a few new minor features.

 

Gigastrand’s 12 year old computer

In 2004, about the time Gigastrand was called LinspireNetwork, we built a computer. It was a secondary computer designed to run Linspire – a Linux OS we sold at the time. When Gigastrand was formed, it became the primary PC for Gigastrand in 2006.

pcdv0005

Since then, it has performed a number of tasks. In 2012, it was a development machine for Gigastrand OS and one of the first machines to be loaded with the new OS. It later became the Gigastrand internal server. I have written about it several times on the Mr. Gigabytes Blog and on LinspireNetwork (the predecessor of Gigastrand – long since defunct).

While this is the best documented PC, it is possibly not the oldest. From 2001 – 2004, Gigabytes Computer Store used a very specific type of computer case to build their PCs. We currently have one of those computers on our shelf.

cp1

When we found it, it was pretty much as you see it in the picture. Now it has been spray painted black and once served as a media center for my home. It has been recently restored as a media center in my home.

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The story of longevity does not end there. From 1997 to 2006, I owned a Gateway 2000 PC that I kept running and functional. It served as the Gigabytes Computer Store’s point of sale and was eventually painted green and sold.

greenpos 1124_002greenpos

My home DVR has run since 2009 on all original hardware (sans main hard drive) and my original Gigastrand laptop ran for nearly 9 years before giving up the ghost in 2013.

2012-10-18-23-15-42

So, when it comes to choosing your next PC, are you going to choose one mass produced that might last a year or so? Or, will you choose one from a builder that knows how to make one that lasts?

Everyone is Linux and Gigastrand OS Ready

You know, we came out with that updated Gigastrand OS / linux readiness quiz and it got me thinking.

10+ years ago, we had to find the right fit for our customers to use a particular flavor of Linux. So, we developed a web app to help automate the process. For us and our purposes, Gigastrand OS has really made that process obsolete.

The reality is that many people use Linux already. It often takes the form of Android on their phone or tablet or Chrome OS on their Chromebooks. Many people use Android set-top boxes or smart TVs and may businesses host websites on Linux-based servers.

So, yes, Gigastrand OS is powerful enough to replace your computer’s operating system and robust enough to run full time. However, even if you do cannot switch over, standalone solutions like the Gigastrand NVR and the Gigastrand Media Center are ways you can run Gigastrand OS without converting over completely.

So, in reality, everyone can run Gigastrand OS in one form or another. This also means that we have done what we set out to do back in 2012: making a Linux for Everyone.

This month, the current concept of Gigastrand OS will be 4 years old. January 4th, 2017 marks 3 years since we released Gigastrand OS 1.0. We thank everyone for their support along the way.

 

Gigastrand OS: 10-Year Business Cost Analysis

The Gigastrand OS is software that has practical applications across many systems and is designed to completely replace the systems you currently use. This analysis is based on the real-world costs of purchasing and maintaining various environments. Below you will find our 10-year operational cost projection comparing 3 different environments.

With a Windows environment, the average expenditure to operate in this environment (including upgrades, downtime, and support) is approximately:

$844,233

With a Linux environment taking into account the same variables the cost of operating the same environment is approximately:

$653,000

That is a significant savings ($191,233 to be exact) but not really much of a secret. Many companies know about the savings of running Linux. A Mac OS environment operates slightly more at about $675,000.

Now, let’s shake things up a bit and assume that the PCs and Server are scalable and upgradeable Gigastrand Lifetime Warranty PCs running the Gigastrand Operating System. Operating this environment will cost approximately:

$366,735

That is a massive savings of $477,498 over a comparable Windows environment!

There are other benefits to running Gigastrand OS in your business that aren’t so easily measured. For example, when your technology runs better and more efficient, productivity goes up. Gigastrand OS was designed with business in mind. This analysis does a good job measuring the monetary benefits, but with the capability of Gigastrand OS and the reliability of Gigastrand PCs, money is not all you will save with Gigastrand.

Gigastrand NVR Can Record Your Phone Camera

Gigastrand NVR can record IP and web cameras at megapixel resolutions. With the help of an app, you can now record your phone camera using the Gigastrand NVR.

How did we do it?

First, you have to install a program called IP Webcam from Google Play. There is a pro version that removes ads, etc. but, for testing, we went with the free version.

After that, we configured a few things, played with some settings, but we essentially just pressed start. The video url was http://IP.ADD.RE.SS:8080/video.

We will post this information on our NVR IP Camera Compatibility page.

Neat, huh? Why would anyone do that?

For several reasons.

1. Automatic pictures. Let’s say you want pictures of a particular landmark. You can set the NVR on snapshot mode and take 1 picture every second from your phone and send it to your desktop.

2. Personal security. With the help of a proxy like the DynDNS client, you can walk around and capture video of a place you are visiting. If you are the victim of a crime, your phone can be a silent witness.

3. Phone security. If your phone gets stolen, you will have video of who stole it.

4. Dashcam anyone? No need to buy a separate device. Capture your road trip or commute. If your phone is lost or damaged in an accident, you will still have documentation of the crash.

5. No more missing out. No more “Man! I wish I had my camera!” moments.

6. Baby monitor or home security. No need to buy a camera. Just use an old android device.

I am sure someone can think of a few more uses, but that should about do it.