Understanding the WEB

29 09 2013

For many people it’s a daily task to use the internet for business or private purposes, for improving knowledge, access bank accounts, sharing information on the big social networks, or just surfing for fun.
Since the mid-1990s the internet has a tremendous impact on culture, commerce, science, and the way how people communicate (E-Mail, Social Networks).

Less people know how the WWW really works.

Here is a short description as well as a review of the app EAW (Explain the Web) with which teachers can create some background information for their pupils.

The Internet …

Wikipedia
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support E-Mail, and peer-to-peer networks.

TCP/IP network access expanded again in 1986 when the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) provided access to supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations, first at 56 kbit/s and later at 1.5 Mbit/s and 45 Mbit/s. Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Internet was commercialized in 1995 when NSFNET was decommissioned, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic. The Internet started a rapid expansion to Europe and Australia in the mid to late 1980s and to Asia in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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The connection …

Here is an infographic about the steps to connect to a website.

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The app EAW …

Explain a Website (EAW) is a specialized screencasting tool that allows recording the interaction with a website within the iOS web browser.

How does it work?

You enter the name of a website in the address bar and tap “Go” on the keyboard. The browser will display the chosen website. You can then draw on various elements of the website or highlight them, while talking. Everything will be recorded as an EAW project. You can then export the project to various cloud services or publish on YouTube.

The toolbar at the bottom of the screen contains three sets of buttons – on the left, drawing and highlighting tools, in the center – recording and playback, on the right – save/load functions.

20130722-100106.jpg

Possible applications …

  • Teaching children about the usage of websites.
    See also
    the app Explain Everything by Morris Cooke
  • Discussing a website design with colleagues.

20130722-110354.jpg

Disadvantages …

  • Only hand-written annotations are possible.
    So a touchscreen pen is an indispensable tool.
  • Annotations cannot be created as separate files referring to a specific position on the website.
  • Some more saturated colors for marking would be useful.
  • The app cannot be used in portrait mode which is often useful when explaining websites.

Related links …

Internet stats

Glad to have you here on http://iNotes4You.com.
Thanks.





PDF the Web

4 09 2013

With one command entered in the address bar of SAFARI you can seamlessly convert a website into a PDF document. No third-party app is needed. Added to the Bookmarks Bar of your browser the creation of a PDF is permanently available. With the commands ‘Print’ and ‘Open In’ the websites content can be easily transferred to other apps like Documents by Readdle, Apple’s iWork Suite, or sent by E-Mail.

Remark …

This post is based on a publication of

Mariam Yusuf on Technoduet

Thanks Mariam.

There are many scriptlets available which can be used e.g. to open an application on an iOS device. Mariam’s example can also be used with all browsers available for iOS devices.

And by the way I suggest visiting Technoduet, a great website to get information about all things tech.

The How-To guide …

Step 1 Open any website in Safari

Step 2 Tap on the Action button to Bookmark

Step 3 Select Bookmarks Bar

Step 4 Enter bookmark parameters

Title

SaveAsPDF

Address

javascript:pdf_url=location.href;location.href=’http://pdfmyurl.com?url=’+escape(pdf_url)

(Use the clipboard to transfer the command.)

Location

Bookmarks Bar

Step 5 Tap on Save.

20130702-130536.jpg

The new bookmark is located at the end of your Bookmarks Bar list.
Tap on Edit in the Bookmarks Bar list and move SaveAsPDF to the first position. This ensures that it’s always in your field of vision.

Prerequisites …

As you can see the command uses Javascript and should be shown in the bookmarks bar. This requires the following settings:

20130702-130617.jpg

Note
Javascript
JavaScript lets web programmers control elements of the page—for example, a page that uses JavaScript might display the current date and time, cause a linked page to appear in a new pop-up page or provides a Print button.

Using SaveAsPDF …

If you now want to convert a website into PDF file format just tap on SaveToPDF in the Bookmarks Bar. The PDF is generated by a function implemented in the iOS operating system.

If you tap on the PDF the commands ‘Print’ and ‘Open In’ will be available for further processing.

20130702-130732.jpg

There is a high-rated app available which allows non-linear presentations of slides. It’s Final Argument by Morris Cooke, UK.

See an app review here
Final Argument

The presentation slides can be arranged in a mind map-like outline. Single pages or the whole website can be assigned to a slide.

20130901-083701.jpg

This image shows an application of saving a website as PDF. The Apple website about iOS 7 was captured with ‘SaveAsPDF’ and a single page then was assigned to a slide of a presentation about the new operating system.

Applications …

  • Retrieving text from the PDF
  • Read later in a PDF Reader without animations
  • Annotations to an article with an annotating capable app
  • Adding parts of a website without loosing the formatting as a PDF file attachment

20130702-130923.jpg

Some pros and cons …

20130702-131016.jpg

Not recommended …

On a serious note do not …

  • Save Google searches as PDF
    Later on you have to enter all the useful addresses manually.
  • Record all websites you visited
    Your device’s memory won’t let that happen.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.





Apple Wireless Network

11 08 2013

Apple AirPort Extreme is Apple’s router for Internet access. It’s directly connected to a modem and provides wired as well as wireless access for computers, mobile devices like an iPhone or an iPad, printers, and media devices.
Apple offers three different routers (Airport Express, AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule) which can be connected to either a DSL or a Cable modem.

A complete wireless network build with solely Apple products follows the the company’s strategy to provide users with a perfect experience regarding design, setup, and reducing features to those which are necessary. KISS is the motto.

KISS
KISS = Keep it simple, stupid
A design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960 that states that most systems work best if they are kept simple. Unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
Variations of this phrase are:
Keep it simple sir, Keep it simple and straightforward, Keep it short and simple, Keep it simple or be stupid

The hardware …

See this mind map which summarizes all properties of Apple’s hardware for wireless networking with mobile devices. As you can see Apple built it’s own ecosystem where components perfectly work together.

Remark
The router hardware was replaced by new versions on June 10, 2013 on occasion of Apple’s WWDC.

Here are the main features of Apple’s routers summarized in a mind map.

20130603-090815.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Please visit

The Apple group on Biggerplate

to see and download all mind maps related to Apple.

This more realistic view shows the kernel with a modem and the router as well as some examples of wirelessly connected hardware components for interactive usage.

20130809-060731.jpg

The integration of all you need for a perfect user experience goes along with limitations when using non-Apple hardware. It’s Apple’s strategy to say NO to some features other vendors offer and to say YES to a seamless integration of its hardware with its custom-built software.

Professionals may argue that performance, configuration options, and price is not what should be expected. On the other hand the running system convinces users who see the technology as as a serving and not an experimental environment. So do I after many years with other configurations not following the motto ‘It just works’ or ‘Buy, connect, and use it’ for the tasks you want to use it for.

A complete configuration …

Follow these steps in the order specified.

Step 1 Connect the modem to the multimedia connector with a coaxial cable.

Modem
A modem (modulator-demodulator) is a device used to connect a computer or router to a telephone/cable line to allow the computer to connect to the Internet. It modulates a carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data.

Step 2 Connect the modem to the power supply.

Wait until the LEDs indicate a functioning connection to your ISP. It may take up to 30 min.

Step 3 Connect the APE to the modem with an Ethernet cable.

Ethernet cable
Ethernet cabling is standardized. If you go to a store you may find a variety of “categories” of cabling. These categories tell you the quality of the cabling. The quality determines, essentially, how much the cable can handle. Recommendation: Cat 6 – works for 10/100/1000Mb.

Step 4 Connect the APE to the power supply.

Here we go.
The configuration with any iOS device and the helper apps Settings and AirPort Utility starts.

Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad and tap on WiFi.
The APE already is sending signals so that your device suggests the set up of a WiFi network.

20130220-181647.jpg

Tap on the right-pointing arrow to set up an AirPort basestation.
Enter a name for your network and set a password. Other users like your neighbors, if not too far away, will see this name as an additional WiFi network. Use a strong password for joining this network.

20130220-182613.jpg

Tap on Next and that’s all.
Your new WiFi network will connect all your devices with the internet after entering the password you set for your network.

20130220-185605.jpg

The utility app …

For controlling the network Apple offers an app called ‘Airport Utility’ which is available for iOS devices, Macs, and Windows PCs.
The slideshow shows the usage of this app when configuring a wireless network with an Airport Extreme router connected to a cable modem.

The most important configuration options can be controlled with the app for iOS devices. For some less important options like adjusting the signal strength Airport Utility for computers must be used.

The benefits …

Apple’s ZEROCONF technique minimizes your efforts to install a usable internet access.

Zero configuration networking (zeroconf)
is a set of techniques that automatically creates a usable Internet Protocol (IP) network without manual operator intervention or special configuration servers.
Zero configuration networking allows devices such as computers and printers to connect to a network automatically. Without zeroconf, a network administrator must set up services, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS), or configure each computer’s network settings manually, which may be difficult and time-consuming.

Apple does not permit the AirPort Extreme to engage in channel bonding on the 2.4GHz frequency band. This is a very neighbor-friendly policy, because only three channels in this band—channels 1, 6, and 11—don’t overlap. A router engaging in 2.4GHz channel bonding can hog more than its share of bandwidth and will likely interfere with other 2.4GHz routers operating nearby.

The AirPort Utility also makes it very easy to update the router’s firmware. The AirPort Extreme is so much easier to set up than any other router of the many competitors.
The reason is that if you stay in Apple’s ecosystem you will benefit from all the efforts Apple did for an easy-to-use experience.

The performance on 802.11n standard transmission technique is high.
The APE is powerful even if thick walls hamper propagation of electromagnetic waves.

Interference …

In physics, interference is a phenomenon in which two waves superimpose to form a resultant wave of greater or lower amplitude. Interference usually refers to the interaction of waves that are correlated or coherent with each other, either because they come from the same source or because they have the same or nearly the same frequency like electromagnetic waves sent from WiFi networks.

20130603-194224.jpg

If you get problems with interference or the performance of your network is slow which may be caused by interference follow these guidelines:

Apple about potential sources of interference

Macworld, Troubleshooting Airport Interference

The Airport Utility …

Apple’s ZEROCONF technique minimizes your efforts to install a usable internet access.

Zero configuration networking (zeroconf)
is a set of techniques that automatically creates a usable Internet Protocol (IP) network without manual operator intervention or special configuration servers.
Zero configuration networking allows devices such as computers and printers to connect to a network automatically. Without zeroconf, a network administrator must set up services, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS), or configure each computer’s network settings manually, which may be difficult and time-consuming.

Look at the details to get a deeper understanding of what happened when configuring the network.
To see the details of your own WiFi network go to Settings – WiFi and tap on the right-pointing blue arrow of you network. Go to the bottom and tap on ‘Manage network’. This will open the Airport Utility. Airport Utility can be used to individualize the configuration.

Regarding to my blog Network (1) from April 20 you will now understand the configuration details set by the APE:

  • DHCP ON
    the APE acts as a DHCP server and assigns private IP addresses (10.0.1.x) to all devices joining the WiFi network after entering the password.
  • NAT ON
    the APE does the network address translation that means, NAT converts your private LAN IPs into a external WAN IP
  • Security
    the APE encrypts all WiFi network traffic with WPA2
    (Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) is a security communication protocol developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure wireless computer networks)

This slideshow shows all settings displayed in Apple’s app AirPort Utility:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In addition to the automatic configuration I entered the following settings:

  • Reservations for IP addresses
    the APE reserves an IP address for all devices. Reservations are useful if you want that the DHCP feature of your APE assigns a fixed IP to your devices. Otherwise DHCP is free to assign any free IP address in the range 10.0.1.2 – 10.0.1.200 every time you join your network.
  • 5 GHz network
    The APE works in the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency band. The iPad is able to connect on the 5 GHz band and I named this (second) network as ‘Apple Airport 5 GHz’.
    If you have interference problems with other WiFi networks you may vary the channel or move over to the 5 GHz network.
  • With the help of Airport Utility for PCs I additionally limited the signal power to 50% which is enough to get connected in all rooms and hampers other WiFi capable devices outside my home to detect my network.

The result is a working internet connection checked by the app Fing which is available at Apple’s App Store.

20130221-053306.jpg

The disadvantages …

The AirPort Extreme has only one USB 2.0 port, so it can share either a printer or a storage device over your network. This is in the line with Apple’s strategy that printers should be connected via AirPrint. I miss the support of USB 3.0.

Apple’s design decisions help its product blend into a home’s décor and so the old version of AirPort Extreme was designed to rest flat while the new version was redesigned in June 2013 due to an improved output power. It’s still an eyecatcher.

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Related links …

Airport Extreme Tec Specs

Airport Extreme User Guide

Airport Extreme Easy Setup

Setting up your wireless network

Cisco, 20 Myths of Wi-Fi Interference

Thanks for visiting my blog.
Wireless as well as wired connections are welcome.





Network (3) Port Forwarding

25 04 2013

Parts (1) and (2) of my articles about networks gave you some basic knowledge about networks and discussed the possibility to connect from the LAN to the WAN or in other words from the devices at home to the webservers in the outer world.

The reverse way, connecting from WAN to LAN, is basically not possible. Only in case of requests from a device within the LAN data goes the reverse way, e.g. entering an URL like http://iNotes4You.com as the request and getting the answer (the website content) delivered by WordPress.com servers.

The main reasons why a WAN-LAN connection won’t work:

  • 1 Most of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) assign varying IP addresses to your connection so that it is not possible to keep a stable connection over the time.
  • 2 For security reasons nobody should be able to compromise your LAN.
    So a Firewall/Router will not accept incoming requests which were not initiated by a device within the LAN.

20130223-103821.jpg

The solution is Port Forwarding an applications communication with another application.

Dynamic DNS …

The first problem of varying WAN IPs can be solved by using a service called Dynamic DNS (DDNS). Some companies offer this service without charging.

For example you can register at no-ip.com. After completing the registration process you can define a hostname and download the so-called DUC software (Dynamic Update Client) which has to be installed on the computer you want to connect to.

20130404-162705.jpg

The main idea is to get a HOSTNAME which can be used instead of the varying WAN IP. The DUC client on the computer inside the LAN frequently determines the actual WAN IP and transmits the result to the DDNS provider. Your request from outside your LAN first is transmitted to your DDNS provider via the HOSTNAME. DDNS returns the actual WAN IP of your LAN and a connection can be established.

So DYNAMIC DNS SERVICE provides a constant ALIAS for a varying WAN IP of your LAN.

Opening the firewall …

You already know that data on the Internet is sent to and from IP addresses. Sending or receiving data is done on ports. Ports are virtual pathways on which Internet data flows.

For a Watchguard SOHO Firewall a custom service has to be defined and the related traffic has to be allowed. The service must include the definition of an IP of the computer you want to connect to as well as the port for communication.

20130223-113321.jpg

While things may differ slightly depending on your Firewall’s/Router’s firmware, the below mentioned fields are pretty standard:

  • Application or Service Name
    The name of the application you’re forwarding this port for. You can use any descriptive text you want—this field is here to help you remember why you set this up; like the name suggests, you normally want to use the name of the application you’re setting up port forwarding for. I’s a good idea to also include the computer’s name along with the service if port forwarding is used for the same applications on different computers.
  • Port to
    ‘Port to’ is the port on your local IP address. If you were setting up VNC for a local computer, you’d fill this in with 5900 as that’s the standard port number for VNC services.
  • Port from
    ‘Port from’ is the port on your external IP address. Generally you use the same port as entered in ‘Port to. This works just fine when you’re configuring only one machine for one type of service. But say you wanted to be able to remotely access two or more computers using VNC. If you used 5900 on a single, external IP address they would be in conflict. The router would see a request for port 5900 and not know which Local IP address should handle that request since the port forwarding table has two. To solve this problem, you can use the standard port for one and not for the other—kind of like an apartment building has a single address but multiple apartments. You can use port 5900 for one and 5901 for the other computer. In that case you have to first set the port (the computer you want to access) when using VNC on an external IP address. This way you can set up identical services with a single External IP and different Local IPs without conflicts.
  • Protocol
    This is where you specify whether or not your service uses the TCP protocol, UDP protocol, or both. When you look up your ports you’ll also want to make note of the protocols used. In most cases it will just be TCP.
  • IP Address or Service Host
    This is where you specify the LAN IP of the computer you want to access. You can easily find this information in your computer’s network settings. The IP address will generally be in the 10.0.x.x, 192.168.x.x, or 172.31.x.x format. Because these IP address are generally dynamic (changing over the time), you have to set up static IPs or so-called DHCP reservations.
  • Enable
    You need to enable the port forwarding rule (on Watchguard routers you do it by setting the rule to ALLOW). By using DENY you are able to save the rule but it won’t be active or function in any way.

The firewall is now opened for authorized incoming traffic to a specific computer using a specific port.

The communication is done by the VNC Server software which can be downloaded from the RealVNC website.

After installing the DUC client software from No-Ip and the VNC server software from RealVNC on your PC it looks like this:

20130223-123521.jpg

VNC viewer on an iOS device …

To configure the VNC Viewer app on an iOS device you just have to enter the HOSTNAME, the PORT for communication and the credentials you defined in the VNC Server software on your computer.

20130223-122829.jpg

Summary …

The connection to a computer inside a LAN from an iOS device outside the LAN works with a

  • Dynamic DNS account and an Update Client (DUC)
  • Configuration of the firewall for a specific computer and a specific communication port
  • Server software (VNC Server) on the computer
  • Client software (VNC Viewer) on the iOS device

In a typical small office environment, a router assigns private network addresses to internal computers while the router gets a public IP from the ISP.
If the public IP is not static, Dynamic DNS services must be used to configure the VNC Client
by using the Dynamic DNS address instead of an IP address.

Connection to a computer in the LAN requires an installation of VNC Server software.
A unique port number must be assigned to each computer that should be reached from outside the LAN.
20130223-134054.jpg

Useful links …

Former articles about networks

Network (2) Apple Airport Router

Network (1) Addressing

If you want to use Port Forwarding you should visit

Portforward.com

Port Forwarding VNC on Apple Airport

You will find the settings for many Soft- and Hardware products as well as a software product called PFConfig which supports automatic configuration (29.29$).





Network (2) Apple Airport router

22 04 2013

Part (2) of my articles about networks is about the installation of an Apple Airport Extreme router (APE). The internet connection is established via a Cisco modem which is connected to a cable internet plug connection.

You remember, a router is the device which mainly does the addressing within your local area network (LAN) that means, assigns IP addresses to all devices. Furthermore it handles the communication between a device inside the LAN with another device as well as the communication between LAN devices and ressources outside your LAN e.g. webservers like Apple’s iCloud servers or WordPress servers where the blog http://iNotes4You.com is hosted.

Note
The main content of this article is also available in German and refers to the German Cable Internet provider UNITYMEDIA. It can be downloaded from my page Documents.

Requirements …

  • Modem with cables
    Usually you will het the modem from your ISP.
  • Apple Airport Extreme router
    The description is also valid for an Apple Airport Express router or Apple’s Time Capsule, a router with an integrated Harddisk.
  • Ethernet cable
    for connecting the APE to the modem
  • Apple’s app AirPort Utility for iOS
    You can download the app from Apple’s App Store for free.
  • Optional Apple’s app Airport Utility for Mac/PC
    The iOS app Airport Utility has limited capabilities and not all settings for your network can be done with this app. For example: You cannot set the signal strength (10-100%) with the iOS app.

Setting up the APE router …

20130219-220300.jpg

Follow these steps in the order specified.

Step 1 Connect the modem to the multimedia connector with a coaxial cable.

Modem
A modem (modulator-demodulator) is a device used to connect a computer or router to a telephone/cable line to allow the computer to connect to the Internet. It modulates a carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data.

Step 2 Connect the modem to the power supply.

Wait until the LEDs indicate a functioning connection to your ISP.
It may take up to 30 min.

Step 3 Connect the APE to the modem with an Ethernet cable.

Ethernet cable
Ethernet cabling is standardized. If you go to a store you may find a variety of “categories” of cabling. These categories tell you the quality of the cabling. The quality determines, essentially, how much the cable can handle. Recommendation: Cat 6 – works for 10/100/1000Mb.

Step 4 Connect the APE to the power supply.

Here we go.
The configuration with any iOS device and the helper apps Settings and AirPort Utility starts.

Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad and tap on WiFi.
The APE already is sending signals so that your device suggests the set up of a WiFi network.

20130220-181647.jpg

Tap on the right-pointing arrow to set up an AirPort basestation.
Enter a name for your network and set a password. Other users like your neighbors, if not too far away, will see this name as an additional WiFi network. Use a strong password for joining this network.

20130220-182613.jpg

Tap on Next and that’s all.
Your new WiFi network will connect all your devices with the internet after entering the password you set for your network.

20130220-185605.jpg

Summary …

Apple’s ZEROCONF technique minimizes your efforts to install a usable internet access.

Zero configuration networking (zeroconf)
is a set of techniques that automatically creates a usable Internet Protocol (IP) network without manual operator intervention or special configuration servers.
Zero configuration networking allows devices such as computers and printers to connect to a network automatically. Without zeroconf, a network administrator must set up services, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS), or configure each computer’s network settings manually, which may be difficult and time-consuming.

Look at the details to get a deeper understanding of what happened.
To see the details of your own WiFi network go to Settings – WiFi and tap on the right-pointing blue arrow of you network. Go to the bottom and tap on ‘Manage network’. This will open the Airport Utility. Airport Utility can be used to individualize the configuration.

Regarding to my blog Network (1) from April 20 you will now understand the configuration details set by the APE:

  • DHCP ON
    the APE acts as a DHCP server and assigns private IP addresses (10.0.1.x) to all devices joining the WiFi network after entering the password.
  • NAT ON
    the APE does the network address translation that means, NAT converts your private LAN IPs into a external WAN IP
  • Security
    the APE encrypts all WiFi network traffic with WPA2
    (Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) is a security communication protocol developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure wireless computer networks)

This slideshow shows all settings displayed in Apple’s app AirPort Utility:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In addition to the automatic configuration I entered the following settings:

  • Reservations for IP addresses
    the APE reserves an IP address for all devices. Reservations are useful if you want that the DHCP feature of your APE assigns a fixed IP to your devices. Otherwise DHCP is free to assign any free IP address in the range 10.0.1.2 – 10.0.1.200 every time you join your network.
  • 5 GHz network
    The APE works in the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency band. The iPad is able to connect on the 5 GHz band and I named this (second) network as ‘Apple Airport 5 GHz’.
    If you have interference problems with other WiFi networks you may vary the channel or move over to the 5 GHz network.
  • With the help of Airport Utility for PCs I additionally limited the signal power to 50% which is enough to get connected in all rooms and hampers other WiFi capable devices outside my home to detect my network.

The result is a working internet connection checked by the app Fing which is available at Apple’s App Store.

20130221-053306.jpg

Problems …

A well-known problem may arise and is frequently mentioned in several forums.
There is an easy way to fix it. Just do what Apple tells you in the help text.

20130220-203618.jpg

Connecting to a DSL service provider …

If the Airport Extreme router has to be installed in a Microsoft Windows network with an existing internet connection via DSL some changes in the settings of the APE are necessary.
It’s because the server of the Windows network is the DHCP server now and therefore assigns the IP addresses instead of the APE.

But don’t get nervous. The strategy of Apple’s Zeroconf is to make it easy for you. And it’s easy because the APE automatically collects relevant informations about the existing network and then sets most of the relevant values automatically.

20130221-061058.jpg

The last article about networks will answer the question how to get into a private network with varying WAN IPs from outside the LAN e.g. For accessing files on a computer inside the LAN.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.





Network (1) Addressing

20 04 2013

The articles about networks are written for my readers who are not familiar with the terminology, the functionalities and the cooperation between devices in a network environment.

Part (1) explains the basics of networking. Experts should overlook some verbalization because I want to keep it very simple.

If you want to communicate with other people far away from you, you need an address. It can be a postal address, an E-Mail address or a phone number. In any case the address has to be unique to ensure that your message will be delivered to the person you want to communicate with.

20130217-143629.jpg

As you can see I left out the addressing method of the corresponding transmission of a PDF file from one of your devices to a Dropbox cloud storage account.
Addressing we use for letters is not appropriate for a computer network as it can be written in different ways up to the country’s conventions. Furthermore there is no fixed location where data are stored. On a day it can be a webserver in Australia and a day later it possibly can be a webserver in India.
So the device address must be more like a GPS address which is uniquely written all over the world with the additional possibility to forward an existing address to a new address without noticing the users. To do so a complex organizational computer infrastructure has to be established which transmits requests to the right recipients wherever they are actually located.

All network devices around the world use an IP address for identification purposes. It usually consists of 4 numbers separated by a dot (10.0.1.1).

An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is an assigned numerical label that is used to identify devices on computer networks. Think of it like this: An IP address is to a computer what a telephone number is to an iPhone. Each computer can stand alone without its respective IP address. However, if you want to communicate with other computers from yours, you will need an IP address.

  • An IP address is a 32 bit binary number divided into four sections by dots.
  • Each part of an IP address is called on octet.
  • As 255 is the largest number which can be represented with 8 bits each octet can range the range from 0 to 255.
  • For LANs the following IP addresses are reserved by RFC 1918:
    10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255
    172.16.0.0 – 172. 31.255.255
    192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255

An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: “A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there.”

Here you can see an example. It’s my small home configuration, a WiFi network with some Apple devices where the boss for addressing all devices is an Apple Airport Extreme router.

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As you can see this network has no connection to the outer world at this time. So this system allows basically the use of any combination of numbers for addressing the devices.

Severe problems would arise if you want to contact a network outside this local area network (LAN) e.g. a webserver in another country which provides a website you are interested in. It cannot be assured that the address of this computer is unique. So your request might wander around the world with uncountable answers.

In my articles about networks you often are confronted with the expression protocol. What is a protocol?

A communications protocol is a system of digital message formats and rules for exchanging those messages in or between computing systems and in telecommunications. A protocol may have a formal description. Protocols may include signaling, authentication and error detection and correction capabilities. Communications protocols have to be agreed upon by the parties involved. To reach agreement a protocol may be developed into a technical standard.

Look at the first image of this article.
We can talk about a Postal Protocol where the postal address has to be defined as name, street (or PO box), city, ZIP code and country. It’s just a convention about the way how an address has to be written and what kind of information should be included.

LAN and WAN …

To solve this problem, a LAN (where IP addresses are free to choose) can be connected to other LANs by using a worldwide unique wide area network IP address (WAN IP address). Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns a WAN IP address to your router so that requests from a device inside your LAN is transmitted with this WAN IP and the recipient can answer using your WAN IP as the destination address.

Here is the WAN IP taken for my local area network some weeks ago.

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My ISP is a German Cable Internet Provider. Like most other ISPs the company assigns varying IP addresses to my connection. My IP address is therefore called a Dynamic IP address. It may vary from hour to hour or day to day. So usually I cannot reliably reach any device inside my LAN without looking up the actual IP address. This problem will be discussed later.

Look here for a more detailed view on LAN and WAN IPs and what your devices have to do when you connect to the internet e.g. request for a website.

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You can see that there are several devices with different LAN IPs but only one WAN IP.
So it has to be cleared up how the information requested by a specific device is delivered to this device. NAT (Network Address Translation) does it.

NAT
In computer networking, network address translation (NAT) is the process of modifying IP address information in IP packet headers while in transit across traffic routing devices.

If you enter the address of a website e.g. http://iNotes4You.com you might argue that this format is not the format of an IP address as mentioned above. You are right and some further functionality is needed to convert this human-friendly address into an IP address.
This service is called DNS (Domain Naming System).

Wikipedia
The Domain Name System (DNS)
is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates domain names meaningful for users to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide. By providing a worldwide, distributed keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet.
An often-used analogy to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, the domain name http://www.example.com translates to the addresses 192.0.43.10. Unlike a phone book, the DNS can be quickly updated, allowing a service’s location on the network to change without affecting the end users, who continue to use the same host name. Users take advantage of this when they recite meaningful Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) and E-Mail addresses without having to know how the computer actually locates the services.

Ports …

You already know that data on the Internet is sent to and from IP addresses. Sending or receiving data is done on ports. Ports are virtual pathways on which Internet data flows.

If we think of an IP address as a telephone number (an identifying number that allows communication between two locations), then we can think of ports as telephone number extensions. Suppose you wanted to make a telephone call to a major corporation like Apple. If Apple only had one simple telephone line it would take a very long time for your call to finally get through. However, by using telephone number extensions, Apple can channel incoming calls to the proper locations and as a result handle many calls on one line as opposed to just one call.
Ports are like telephone number extensions as they allow multiple pieces of data to flow back and forth on a single IP address. In fact, port numbers are appended to the end of IP addresses just as extensions are appended to telephone numbers.

In other words, ports are numerical identifiers that make it possible for you to check your E-Mail and browse the web at the same time. Technically speaking, this is possible because browsing the web traffic generally uses port 80, secure website connections use port 443, and getting your E-Mail generally uses port 110.

Technical Facts
Ports are a 16-bit number can range from 1-65535.
TCP and UDP packets specify the port on which they are to be sent in their packet header.
The ports that a given application uses are generally set by the programmers of that application.the purpose of ports is to uniquely identify different applications or processes running on a single computer and thereby enable them to share a single physical connection to a packet-switched network like the Internet.

The protocols that primarily use ports are the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) of the Internet Protocol Suite. A port is identified for each address and protocol by a 16-bit number, commonly known as the port number. The port number, added to a computer’s IP address, completes the destination address for a communications session. That is, data packets are routed across the network to a specific destination IP address, and then, upon reaching the destination computer, are further routed to the specific process bound to the destination port number.
Note that it is the combination of IP address and port number together that must be globally unique. Thus, different IP addresses or protocols may use the same port number for communication; e.g., on a given host or interface UDP and TCP may use the same port number.

Ports in Relation to IP Addresses …

Remember at the top of this page when it was mentioned that ports are appended to the end of IP addresses just as extensions are appended to telephone numbers? There is a specific syntax for appending port numbers to IP addresses and it is as follows:
(IP Address):(Port Number) or.. 10.0.1.5:80

Notice the colon acting as a separator between the IP address and the Port Number. Port Numbers are appended to the end of all IP addresses whenever data is sent.
Why don’t we see a port number appended to the end of web addresses?

There are a few commonly used port numbers. Web traffic uses port 80 and is in fact so common that port 80 is assumed to be appended to the end of a web address by your internet browser and thus can be left off. You can test this by typing google.com:80 into your browser’s address bar. When you press enter, you should go straight to Google. Now, try typing google.com:6060 into your browser’s address bar. When you press enter, you will not be connected to Google.

DHCP …

There is still some information missing. Who assigns IP addresses?

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol that is used to configure devices which are connected to a network so that they can communicate on an IP network. The main task of a DHCP server is the assignment of unique IP addresses to all devices within the network. In a typical private LAN, a router is the DHCP server while clients are tablets, computers or printers. The router receives information through a modem from an internet service provider which also operates DHCP servers where the modems are clients. The clients request configuration settings using the DHCP protocol such as an IP address, a default route and one or more DNS server addresses. Once the client implements these settings, the host is able to communicate on that internet.
The DHCP server maintains a database of available IP addresses and configuration information. When the server receives a request from a client, the DHCP server determines the network to which the DHCP client is connected, and then allocates an IP address or prefix that is appropriate for the client, and sends configuration information appropriate for that client.

Summary …

  • IP address
    a number like 10.0.1.1 as an identification of a device within a network
  • LAN
    the local area network
  • WAN
    the wide area network connecting LANs
  • NAT
    the replacing of LAN addresses by WAN addresses
  • DNS
    the renaming of human-friendly addresses into IP addresses and vv.
  • DHCP
    the system which configures devices especially assigns IP addresses
  • Protocol
    a convention how to communicate within a LAN or WAN

Thanks for reading my blog.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me via my About page or a comment on this article.





Syncing Bookmarks

27 03 2013

You can sync Safari Bookmarks on iOS devices with Safari bookmarks on a Windows PC.
This is pretty cool (to say it with the most frequently used words of Tim Cook) if you started reading on a website in the office and want to continue reading on a mobile device.

Requirements …

After installing iCloud Control Panel for Windows you have to enter the credentials for your Apple ID.
Set the checkbox for Safari.
Set the other checkboxes if you want to sync other data too.

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From now on bookmarks set on any of your iOS devices will be synced with Safari on your Windows PC. If you found an interesting link on your iPhone bookmark it. When you return to your PC you will find the same bookmark in the same folder of Safari on your PC and vv. That means if you bookmark on your PC you can continue reading this website on your iPad after leaving the office.

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Syncing is also possible with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer but not with two browsers and not with Google Chrome. For Google Chrome there is a an option called ‘Other Devices’ that loads up current and recent tabs on any other device you own that’s signed into Chrome. Opening a new tab can go either to this screen, your bookmarks (also synced), or frequently visited sites.

20130131-111528.jpg

Further notes on Google Chrome for iOS …

Chrome’s sharing options are: Google+, GMail, Mail, Facebook and Twitter.
There is no way to install extensions like ad-blockers, interface customizations and add-on services.
Web pages look identical to Safari, probably because they use the same engine to render them – a restriction Apple places on browsers for iOS.
Chrome cannot be set as the default browser – again Apple won’t let that happen.





Features of WordPress.com blogs

18 03 2013

http://iNotes4You.com is powered by WordPress.com.

WP is the worldwide largest offer for free Blogs (35 million) with a lot of pre-defined functionalities so that everybody is able to publish articles within less than one day. In contrast to self-hosted blogs on WordPress.org there are some limitations regarding plug-ins, design and source code because of security reasons. WP offers a lot of free themes one can use for the layout of the website. So I did when choosing the theme FRESHY.

I started blogging in October 2012 without any knowledge of programming a website. And at the time I still don’t have this knowledge and I don’t want to spend my time with administrating a complex website and annoying the readers with intrusive advertisement. This blog goes along the line of ‘Back to content.’.

Note
If you look on my About page you will see that my native language is German. So be sympathetic if you stumble upon words or phrases you never heard before. This may happen when a German word is translated by a free iPad app. I completely lost faith in this iOS lady named SIRI doing such things for me.

Spam …

INotes4You’s blog uses Akismet (short word for Automattic Kismet).
Akismet is brought to bloggers by Automattic (not misspelled, it’s the companies name), the creators of WordPress.com. For over 5 years, Automattic has been committed to fighting spam by continually improving the Akismet algorithm.

Spam most people know; it’s the unwanted commercial commenting or mailing. Ham is the counterpart, legitimate comments. On the Akismet mistakes side, missed spam is pretty self-explanatory, and a false positive is a legitimate comment incorrectly identified as spam.

Each time a new comment, trackback, or pingback is added to my site it’s submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down. I check the content recognized as spam (because Akismet may made a mistake) and then delete it, if I only see ads or soft-soaping. Up to now more than 2,500 comments have been identified as spam within just 6 months.

Sorry, if Akismet and I made a mistake, which I hope happens very rarely. Use the contact form on my About page to kvetch.

Further information about spam on Akismet

For those who just started reading blogs here is a description of the functionalities of my WordPress.com blog.

Appearance …
My blog is about Apple’s iOS devices so it’s obvious that a WordPress.com option (Mobile Theme) is activated. It ensures an optimized display of the site even on the iPhone.

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Your interests …

There are two functionalities that can be used for finding out the which articles may be interesting for you. Some bloggers build an extra page containing links to articles sometimes outlined by special criteria. But in time this list gets longer and longer and so it’s no real summary any longer.
A mind map would be helpful. By opening a branch more detailed information could be presented.
But the form factor of an iOS device hampers the clarity of this type of outlined information.
So they are only two more traditional features available: Search and Categories.

Search …
is a full-text search. If you enter a string all blogs are shown containing this string. The string may be a complete word, a part of a word or several words.
If you enter ‘ios 7′ you get my blog from 2013-01-22.

Categories …
are topics defined by myself. Categories are an additional Search-Feature.
Open the categories box to see which categories are available at the time.
If you select a category all blogs with this category assigned are displayed.

20130208-055413.jpg

Recent posts …
shows the titles of the last 10 posts which covers about one month.

Follow blog via E-Mail …
is an optional notification feature.
If you fill in your E-Mail address you will be informed immediately after a new article is published. The E-Mail contains a direct link to the article and is sent from WordPress.com to you. You may unsubscribe anytime by clicking on a link in the E-Mail.
Numerous polls have found that Americans and not only Americans consider advertising mail to be intrusive. You never will get any advertisement mails when you subscribe to http://iNotes4You.com.

You should know that this blog does not pursue any commercial purposes as it is hosted by WordPress COM. Only self-hosted blogs via WordPress ORG are allowed to be commercial.

So just enjoy this blog like I do when writing for you.

Archives …
show the months with published articles.
Tap on a month and the assigned articles are displayed.

Calender …
displays the actual month. Highlighted dates point to published articles.

Authors …
show the names or pseudonyms of contributing people. At the time it’s just me. If you want to become a contributor don’t hesitate to send me a short note via my page About.

Tag Cloud …

WordPress calls it Tag Cloud, a cloud looking list of tags (keywords) I assigned to my articles. This feature is completely generated by a WordPress.com software feature which extracts the assigned tags and composes them to the tag cloud.
Tap on a tag to list all related articles.

20130228-091021.jpg

Sharing …
If you are engaged in social networking you may share single articles via Facebook or other social networks. All the networks you see are directly supported by WordPress.

Note
If you are a member of Twitter then tap on the Twitter button and a tweet is generated in your Twitter profile after your confirmation. That’s the easiest way to share information with your friends. This applies also to the other networks with slight differences.

20130126-092426.jpg

Motivation …
is the most important aspect for the writer.
He get’s it if his readers tap on ‘Like’ (this requires a free WordPress.com account) or, more important for me, comment on an article, positive or negative. You will always get a reply from iNotes4You whatever you wrote with the well-known limitations valid for all published material. Your comment is never published immediately. It has to be approved by the author because he is responsible for everything displayed on his website.

WordPress statistics tells me that there are readers in more than 80 countries with completely different time zones. So if you comment and get no approval in a narrow time frame I am sleeping or working on relevant things. Be sure I won’t forget you.

Blogging and Mind Mapping …

If you already blog on WordPress or plan to start blogging have a look at this mind map. It shows you what you have to do and what you should not forget before publishing an article. I created this map with the app iThoughts by Craig Scott (UK) on an iPad.

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If you already use a mind mapping app on your device you may download this mind map on

BIGGERPLATE.com (The mind map library)
Goto Search and enter ‘iNotes4You’ to locate the file and beyond.

or download the mind map here from Dropbox

Application File format
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Tips for searching …

The WordPress.com search engine indexes post, pages, and comments content (body text).

There is a search engine at

http://search.wordpress.com/

which has a few options to refine your search criteria:

site:
This limits the search results to a specific WordPress.com blog. If you want to limit your search for Keynote to just iNotes4You.com use
‘site:iNotes4You.com keynote’.

tags:
You can limit search results with specific tags. To limit your search for mobile to posts specifically tagged with iphone you’d search for ‘tags:iphone mobile’. This works with multiple tags as well, ‘tags:iphone,apple mobile’.

username:
Find out what Om Malik said about mobile with a ‘username:om mobile’ search.

These can all be combined as well. Searching for
‘site:gigaom.com username:om tags:iPhone mobile’
will limit results to just those on gigaom.com posted by Om Malik that have the tag iPhone and contain the word mobile.

For Topics (Tags page) searches see

http://en.support.wordpress.com/topics/

Google
For Google searches use this format and replace “keyword” with whatever word you wish:

keyword site:wordpress.com/

Thanks a lot for reading my blogs.
Please use the available buttons for sharing on social networks.





Safari+Shortcut+1Password

27 01 2013

If you use the password keeper app 1Password you can immediately open this app from within Safari by entering a command in the address field of Safari.
To improve the usability of entering the command first define a shortcut.

A shortcut on iOS devices are some letters or numbers which expand into a word or phrase as you type it.
Shortcuts are often used to expand some characters to the complete E-Mail address.
For example:
Define aid as a shortcut and my.appleid@icloud.com as the phrase. If you then type aid anywhere on your device it’s expanded to the E-Mail address.

Go to Settings – General – Keyboard – Shortcuts.
Tap on ‘+’ and enter
javascript:window.location=’op’+(window.location.href);
for the phrase and pp for the shortcut (or any other shortcut).

Go to Settings – Safari and make sure that Javascript is enabled.

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Open a website in Safari.
Go to the field which contains the website’s address. Tap on the Cross to remove the content and enter your shortcut pp and tap on Go.

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1Password opens and displays the website with its own integrated browser.
In the app you can now define a new login for this website with its credentials.

Problems with shortcuts …

20130115-184440.jpg

When typing a shortcut you have to tap on the space bar to expand it.
If you use a shortcut in an input field e.g. 1Password’s field ‘username’ within the ‘Login’ category the app transmits the entire content of this field to the website including the following space character (blank) added by using the space bar.
Apple’s website for example then informs you about wrong credentials due to the following blank. You can only see where the problem is if you mark the whole input field. The marker shows you the additional blank and you have to manually delete it.
This is definitely not user friendly as most of the usernames today are E-Mail addresses and shortcuts are used to automatically fill in these addresses.

1Password and some website developers should fix this like Microsoft did it many years ago with input fields in Microsoft Access forms. They stripped off all following blanks as it makes no sense to save them.





Using an iPhone in Thailand

25 11 2012

3G is now widely available in Thailand.

Here are some notes about using an iPhone in a small village about 7 kms away from Khon Kaen in the northeast of the country.

The iPhone-Configuration …
iPhone 4S, 64 GB, 3G-Internet-Connection via provider DTAC, Temperature 86-95 F (30-35 C)

  • WLAN OFF
  • Bluetooth OFF
  • iCloud ON
  • Location Services OFF
  • Push-Mail OFF
  • Push-Notifications OFF
  • Brightness 25%
  • Auto-Brightness OFF
  • Manual lock after usage

With this configuration and normal usage of the 3G-Connection (estimated 1h/day) and no calls the remaining battery power was at 40% after 10 hours.

It’s hard to say wether the device has higher battery drain in Thailand than in countries with lower average temperature because there are so many factors affecting it.

As I did not drop my habits using the device in Thailand it seems to me that there is no significant difference.

To be on the safe side I use the ‘Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation mini’ (Mophie 2.500 mAh / iPhone 4S 1450 mAh). Recharging is fast (1%/min) and may be applied 2 times a day if the device is charged to 80%.

The human brake …
Clammy fingers are like brakes when using gestures like drag, flick or pinch.

Wouldn’t this be a good idea for a new accessory available in Apple’s Store …
The Fingertip-Cooler?
How it should work …
Use Wireless-Fingertip-Connection to connect to your finger, go to SETTINGS and adjust the temperature or use the ‘Auto-Temperature’ feature.

The speed …
20121123-044752.jpg

A suitable offer …

DTAC Internet and Voice package

Converted rate for an unlimited access per month with speed limitation to 64 KBit/s after 1 GB data transfer …
427 Baht = 13.90 $ (10.79 €)
If the limit is reached you will get an SMS. It contains the dial-up *104*50# with which you can activate the ’3G BOOSTER’ for 150 Baht (4.88 $/3.76 €) with 1 additional GB for 1 month.

20121124-035009.jpg

How to get a SIM-Card …

Nearly all shopping malls (Tesco Lotus, Big C, MBK, …) offer Prepaid SIM-Cards. An alternative is to buy it directly at the Suvarnabhumi-Airport on arrival. There is a DTAC-Office at Arrival-Floor.
Register on the DTAC-Website for controlling your balance from outside the country.
The validity of prepaid SIM-Cards is limited. Every time you refill your account the validity is extended (150 Baht (4,88 $/3.79€) – 1 month). If you often visit the country and want to keep your number you may extend the validity up to 360 days for just 2 Baht/30 days.
You can do this by E-Mail short before your card expires. As an alternative dial *113*days# with days = 30, 60, …, 360.

Staying in the country you can refill your account at all shopping malls, 7 Eleven and in many small kiosks. After successful refilling you will get an SMS which contains the remaining call-credit and the expiration date.

Here are some useful dial-ups …

*102*9# your mobile number will be displayed
*101*9# view remaining credit balance and validity date
*101*4*9# view remaining internet credit balance and used data transfer volume
*104*50# order 3G Booster, which gives you extra 1 GB data transfer volume with 3G speed for 30 days

Have a nice trip and enjoy the delicious food and fruit.








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