CrashPlan: Solution to crashes

(March 30th, 2015)

Finally, it did not take me very long to find a solution to the crashes of my CrashPlan backup solution. And, it was right on the web site of the software editor, where I could find all the directions to follow if CrashPlan crashes unexpectedly.

I just doubled the memory size made available to the CrashPlan virtual machine, thanks to these indications. The application immediately restarted OK. Instead of exploding after a few seconds, the 7000 file delayed in their backup (thanks to returning from Costa Rica) started to be backed up again by CrashPlan.

Seriously, we would prefer to see Code42 (CrashPlan editor) adding a small code snippet detecting this kind of situation described in the web page and applying by itself the changes without requiring dancing to a tune that is utterly inaudible for most of the users…

There is still to understand the restoration issues on Marion’s PC (it’s much more important to be able to restore than to be able to backup).

Flowers of Costa Rica

(March 29th, 2015)

Tropical flowers are often very colourful and unusual in form (for us, European people). Why not try and interpret them with pictures which abandon all hope of identification and taxonomy.


_MG_2223 Heliconia Caribbea

_MG_2213 Grand orchid

_MG_2250 Red Ginger

CrashPlan: A few questions

(March 29th, 2015)

For some time already (a few years, actually), I use and I recommend CrashPlan as an online backup solution. My photos are sent to a US backup server to protect them against some seriously bad event in my home (a fire? the theft of my computer hardware?) which would leave me without any backup locally available. This is only part of my insurance again the computer risks, but it’s a critical link out of a long chain of protective actions.

My recent experience left me with a few dauting questions that will need to receive quick answer if I want to keep my faith in CrahsPlan. Since I have near me three different computers on three different accounts, backing up on a daily basis, I witnessed two annoying incidents nearly simultaneously.

CrashPlanFirst, my main desktop computer (which holds all my pictures/photos) no longer can backup anything because the CrashPlan engine keeps crashing (no pun intended) after only a few minutes. Seevral days, no idea why despite multiple reboots. Is the fact that I recently reached 1TB of data (a lot of photos, admittedly) a kind of explanation? Did I hit a limitation? a bug of CrashPlan?

Next, on Marion’s laptop computer, we experienced a dreadful moment (violent crash leading to full Windows re-install without any warning). So, the natural reaction was to say “Merde !” and go quietly to the CrashPlan restore option, to get it all back. But, where restoring a few files had always been pretty easy (you should always test the restore function of your backup solution), an intensive restore is proving very similar to a nightmare. I believe that we will have every back soon, but it’s slow not only because of connection or server speed but because the server keeps disconnecting us and we had to restore bit by bit, very small group of file, by very small directory. Anything big or long (videos?) is nearly impossible to get before the next disconnect every 30 minutes or so). Ugly and painful as hell.

I tried many things. I think that we will be able to restore everything (except Marion’s photo archive – that is already on a local back, thanks to our multi-tier backup strategy). But it is uselessly painful and slow (several hours of tiresome manual work during a full week for less than 10GB; This is too much for a subscription-based solution).

I’ll keep you posted about the way my opinion evolves here.

Back from Costa Rica

(March 29th, 2015)

Costa Rica (flag)Did you know that Costa Rica probably has 5% of global biodiversity (if it is counted in quantity of local species)? Marion and I went and checked this on location, despite (Marion’s) worries that most of local animals may be mostly insects, but with the hope to bring nice shots of cute little frogs.

All in all, we can say that we found what we were looking for since we came back with many animal pictures. I will present here a small selection in the coming days. You can expect:

  • hummingbirds
  • monkeys
  • birds
  • reptiles and toads
  • sloths
  • flowers
  • tucans
  • paradise birds (or quetzal)
  • some more birds
  • and a lot more…

Furthermore, ticos (costa-rican people) were very nice and the country is quite marvelous. The hot temperature from the end of the dry season (but also mating and flowering season) is admittedly pleasant (if you have a hat).

Finally, the result was quite positive (we’ll speak later of the negative parts of this trip; But you’ll have to wait for the detail report coming later here).

Default calendar in iOS

(February 4th, 2015)

iOS calendarWhen I recently replaced my ageing iPhone, I had to install some applications again and I encountered a little issue: Since I have several calendars all in the same phone (my office Outlook agenda, the personal calendar from Google, and some others), the phone insisted on creating all my new meetings in the wrong calendar.

I had to change the calendar used “by default” by the iOS Calendars application. Nothing really difficult except that it took me hours to find how to do it. Here is the right way:

  • Open the Settings applet
  • Select Mail, Contacts & Calendars
  • Scroll down to the Calendars category
  • Select Default Calendar
  • Choose the calendar you want to select

That’s all folks! But I advise you not to change it too often. And, this is better if you do not have too many calendars on the same screen (you’d easily be lost in the diversity).

Happy Birthday HAL-9000!

(January 12th, 2015)

It’s on January 12th, 1992 that, according to Arthur C. Clarke, was born HAL-9000, the computer from “2001, A space Odyssey” (the book from Arthur C. Clarke and the movie from Stanley Kubrick). Actually, the first time it was powered on. So, it is exactly 23-year old today. Happy birthday HAL-9000!

HAL-9000 - The computer from '2001, A space Odyssey'

HAL-9000 is an Artificial Intelligence computer (the AI word was common then) that takes its own destiny in its virtual hands while killing the human astronauts on board a futuristic spaceship.

I recommend specially both the novel and the movie.


(January 7th, 2015)

In solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, the victims of 7 January 2015 and all defenders of freedom of expression.


The bastards can kill, but they will never be right.

Happy new year

(December 23rd, 2014)

Carte de voeux

Panda discovers Toronto’s snow

(November 26th, 2014)

Synology on a sub-domain (with a dynamic IP address)

(September 28th, 2014)

My problem:

I’ve got a Fiber connexion to the Internet (at Numéricable, one of the main ISP in France) which is forcing a dynamic IP address on me (no fixed IP address, even with a premium; They’ve settled in the XXth century). This would not be very serious except that I host a RAID server from Synology (a DS413j DiskStation with 4 hard drives in RAID-5 redundant mode) which provides several services I would like to share with the Internet (while I’m travelling with my iPhone or my laptop, I’d like to get access to my files through FTP, or my email server).

So, I decided to set things right in order to appropriately locate the Synology DiskStation in a sub-domain of my own (e.g.

The solution I opted for:

Dynamic IP addess:

Since my IP address is dynamic, there’s no way I can progress until I solved this single issue. I chose to use the DDNS service DDNS from Synology. Since I use DSM 5.0 (the most recent software version from Synology), I can reach the appropriate option through the control panel and the “External access” menu. I just added a DDNS, selecting Synology as a service supplier, and I recorded the name I wanted (let’s say ds). From this point, despite the IP address changes, my DiskStation is always accessible at

DNS subdomain:

After that, I need to point onto This is slightly more complex because my domain nam is reserved atz Gandi and it is pointed toward a server hosted by OVH. It’s the hosted server (rented from OVH) which includes all the information relating to So, I went to my server control panel and, in its DNS configuration, I modified (in your case, you may need to add) a CNAME record.

mail 10800 IN CNAME (Don’t forget the final dot/period in your CNAME entry, or it won’t work!)
Since I am lucky, my control panel at OVH includes an easy way to get the correct syntax (it’s safer): I tell it the mail subdomain is described by a CNAME record pointing to (a bit terse, but not difficult).

Then, I only had to wait for the DNS information to “propagate” (from a few minutes to a few hours, sometimes up to 24-48 hours). And a little check using ping confirmed that it answered from my Numéricable IP address.

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