Thinkering with my desk: an attempt at IoT as in “intranet of things” rather than “internet of things”.

Microsoft sends me a periodic email (TechNet Flash Newsletter) listing the news related to their product and ecosystem that I read in a sporadic way, but a few weeks ago thanks to the Christmas holidays I had a bit of extra time and read through one containing an invite to a challenge on hackster.io.

Joining the community was quick and straightforward.
After a few days I put in an idea for the challenge pre-contest and earlier today I found out that it was selected and I should get the Genuino MKR1000 to make it a reality.

Tools are installed on my W10 phone and notebook ready to consume my week-end spare time for the next 46 days.

I believe this marketing initiative is a very smart one giving good visibility of MS tools in the IoT space to the people who should really care (developers and tinkerers) and can create the tools, applications and devices that will feed the Azure infrastructure with major volumes of data in the coming years.

Homeplug AV2 with MIMO: real life

I posted about my early experiences with this technology about 8 months ago here and here.

At the time of these posts the apartment was perfectly empty except for the adapter and the notebook I was using.
Now, after a full renovation including the electrical infrastructure, it is a real home with all the associated devices and appliances connected and operating.
Another important change is that, due to the limits of the electrical tubing connecting upper and lower level, I had to connect the two levels using the same technology and now I have in place 4 adapters from the same manufacturer.

What I read right now in the monitor from the upper level is:
110 Mbit/s to the lower level
70 Mbit/s to the garage
60 Mbit/s to the underground room.

To the garage what I get at the application level moving data to the garage is about 3MB/s (a bit shy of 30Mbit/s) when using a backup program targeting a share on the LS220D and about half of this when using directly a samba share on the same device to move files with windows explorer.

The number reported are in the lowest range of the day and they can easily get 30% better than this depending on the amount of electrical noise tha is injected on the line from the other apartments on my building.

Marketing proves to be even more distant from the reality than I already complained about. But it is still better than WiFi in my environment.

I’m experiencing some significant brownouts during the day with the worst quality during the evening and at lunch time.
This might also be a factor, but I have opened a complaint and in a couple of months should be addressed by my electricity distribution company.

Windows 7 network performance monitor inconsistency

I am doing a backup using disk2vhd from former sysinternals (now Microsoft) Mark Russinovich and I’ve found something puzzling.
The source is a W7 ultimate machine, the destination is a SMB share on a W7Pro connected to the same 1Gb/s Ethernet switch.
The two systems are not doing any other significant network activity but I see resource monitor reporting very different network use on the two sides of the transfer.

I am monitoring the destination machine from the source machine using teamviewer (great tool free for personal use) and here is the picture of the two paired resource monitors:
networkuse
The source machine (on the right side) reports a network use that is significantly lower than the destination machine (on the left side).
The source machine also shows that the largest transfer alone (the backup) has a higher throughput than the total reported.

I was thinking the discrepancy might be related to a time drift in the reporting, but the graphs show that is not the case: the destination system constantly reports a higher network use.
Does anyone know if it is a known bug in W7 and how to fix it?

Dell 6430u updated to bios A10

Two days ago I did a new bios update on the notebook.

The process worked fine as usual and, again as usual, did not fix or improve the issue with the fan noise.
After 36 months with it I have to bear it for only 12 more months until the notebook is due to refresh.

A positive note about the 6430U: it does no longer trigger the security scanner in the Ben Gurion airport. Whatever the chemical that was there it is now completely evaporated.