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WD My Cloud – Don’t Buy

My brother-in-law was given a last gen version of the My Cloud, so I figured I’d give one a try. Ended up purchased a Refurbish one directly from WD. 2TB for $89, not that bad. And I played with it for a few days.

Don’t let its external USB port fool you, it is basically useless. Basically WD’s idea was if you plug a external drive in, it would just move everything off of it, in to the drive. That didn’t even work.

You can create local user accounts, I was able to make 1. Which I can use to access the drive over my network. Much like Apple’s Time Capsule, but much more limited. Basically useless.

HOWEVER, it will let you backup photos and files from your phone. But, since WD was hacked user data was lost, why would you want to do this!?

Unless you have NO computer skills, and no where else to backup your phone, I would NOT recommend this device.

UPDATE: Had attempted to share an attached external drive, the idea being to use the My Cloud to host Plex server (it has an app for it). But it appears to be blind to attached external drives, HOWEVER, it sees thumb drives.. It basically just copies the thumb drives contents to itself. Which can be handy since I don’t trust thumb drives beyond a few months of use. … I have it coping files right now, lets see if I can manage what is copied to the drive once it is complete.

UPDATE: The coping and sharing of data from thumb drives appears to work fine. But it is a very limiting use of this device. It should be able to do so much more. And it appears to time out often when attempting to access remotely (I have 1 gb internet, over fiber and I test often. So it isn’t my internet access. And it is plugged directly into my router.)

MQTT Data Flowing

Finally got MQTT data flowing in and out, over the internet, not just on my local network. Router isn’t the easiest thing to figure out. Had to turn off DMZ and forward ports manually to each server. Now web site traffic and data flowing to correct boxes.

Do NOT Recommend Using These!

For those looking for another network jack, do NOT buy a Ethernet splitter. Buy a mini switch for just a few dollars more. The splitters have nice drawings that show how they work! But they don’t! The only case they would work is if the existing jack is wired for such purpose, in the case of older networks where it could work, it would make the whole network slower.

Had a good laugh yesterday when customer requested a splitter, even sending an Amazon photo. All the network people huddled and asked what would happen. Because all our networks are all Poe, it would be dangerous! Very likely causing damage to anything plugged into it..

Also there are mini hubs and mini switches. Hubs are slower basically acting like an old scanner moving data from one port, then the next. Would recommend a Switch any day!

Just passing on info.

Another Weekend of Mac Fustrations

Gave up on trying to revive old project and programs on the Mac, decided to work with micro controllers, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Will say, once again, Apple is showing its true colors.

Using an Intel iMac 27″, 500 gb hard drive. Problem is drive is filling, and because iCloud put my home folder in the cloud, Arduino IDE doesn’t work. It appears since the libraries are really stored in the cloud and the Arduino IDE doesn’t like that. Tried to change permissions and security settings, but still no luck.. HOWEVER, everything works fine on OLD Windows 10 machines.

Sorry, this is just getting silly.

macOS Apple’s downfall

Having been a big Apple supporter since the early 90’s, I am quickly loosing all love I had for the system. They basically made their machines into a pretty short term, but expensive machine, with many equally expensive and pretty add-ons. But the computer is becoming useless for anyone that does really anything with a computer.

Its lost PHP, Server features (even as a add-on), upgradeability, parts swapping for repairs. And the list goes on.

Starting to think the PHP and server functions were cast off due to its relationship with one of it major shareholders, Microsoft. And I assume with Apple’s need to have something to show its customers every year, new faster than anything out there processors. There are customers that can really use those functions, but nowhere near the numbers that will keep Apple alive.

The bad thing about killing off features, like PHP, is they go out of their way to kill it. Even third party groups that TRY to breath live into ageing machines are getting fustrated.

Personally I won’t be buy any NEW Apples ever again. Maybe second hand have a fraction of their original price (Mac Pro Trashcan, orginally $3k, purchased for $300).

Apple Watch exploded, nothing dramic like bursting into flames, just popped the case apart. Making it worthly. Just months after the warranty expired.

I have Xserves, Flower Pot G4s, Cubes, all still work, but no way to upgrade the OS beyond what they currently have. So no browser updates, no security updates. My friends say “install Linux on them”. Which is possible, but then that causes all sorts of other interconnection issues.

Apple is after the money and short term customer satisfaction. Personally I got into computers because they were fun.

Days Gone Bye!

Started tinkering with a few of my old computers (think I have other posts here). Happy to see an Old Apple IIe and Atari 800Xl working again. The biggest issues I’ve had with them, are the amount of space the displays take. The Apple needed a composite display, I’ve been using their Green Screen and the Atari needs a TV using the old Analog signals on channels 2 or 3. Fun thing is not many displays come with both those options anymore. HOWEVER, gotta love ebay.

Found a new in the box Brooksonic 19″ 1080i HD LCD Television Model CCVG-1935 NEW u-7A. Cost with shipping $81. A deal for the amount of bench space it is saving, connects to both computers and it has a VESA mount option (next project).

OH And it came with a remote!

USB-C Opinion

Nice thing about a personal blog, you can get away with posting your personal opinions without anyone being able to argue. Well one of my big options at the moment is that USB-C SUCKS. It might be a great idea, almost universal way to connect and charge your devices. However, 99% of the connectors are junk, cheaply made and break. If you don’t spend the money for a good cable, or good connector you will have issues. Have seen blown buck boards, laptops that won’t charge, connectors that just break off, basically all the things all the other connectors over they years had to deal with, all rolled into one.

I like being able to dock my laptop almost everywhere and it works. When it works.

People don’t know there are different USB-C cables, they all look the same, they all FIT so why don’t they work? A $3 Amazon cable IS NOT THE SAME as $13 Amazon cable. Don’t go cheap on your cables and connectors or you WILL PAY.

The connectors need to be plugged in STRAIGHT, no bending them up-in-down, or side to side. Otherwise either the male or the female connector WILL BREAK. The connectors (silver ends) are very easy to bend, once bent, forget it! It is over, buy a new cable.

Dell connects their USB-C cable to their docks, others like Lenovo don’t. People tend to walk off with the ‘extra’ cable. Thus leaving you with a useless dock. And you need a 4x or higher cable to replace it.. Meaning not the cheap $3 cable.

People are cheap, they buy cheap. USB-C is ending up just being a cheap option that will someday bite you in the butt.

Hate that everyone is forcing Apple to change all their cables to USB-C.. I think this is a very bad idea. Mostly because of everything I just explained.

If you go shopping for a USB-C cable, note its speed rating try to get the higher speed or to make things easier 4k or better.

Wink – Update – Subscriptions

All I can say to Wink is, “WTF”!! They have dropped Spotter and Nimbus and now they want to charge $5 a month, FOR WHAT!! I’ve tried to contact them. Had to settle for a contact form asking if they are planning on adding support for Spotter and Nimbus, since they are basically adding nothing, but charging us $60 a year for their service.

Not a happy camper!

This is a copy of the eMail they sent us:

Dear Wink User,

Wink’s mission for the past 5+ years has been to provide users with a ‘Simpler, Smarter Home,’ while maintaining privacy for our customers. Our approach to simplicity and security has driven our design from the user experience to the technology behind the scenes.

We understand that a smart home is something that needs to be trusted and dependable, and we recognize that recent events have created some uncertainty around the reliability of the system. We apologize for these inconveniences and want to share some background information as well as the path forward.

Since 2014, Wink has grown to support more than 4 million connected devices. During this time, Wink has relied solely on the one-time fee derived from hardware sales to cover ongoing cloud costs, development and customer support. Providing users with local and remote access to their devices will always come at a cost for Wink, and over the years we have made great progress toward reducing these costs so that we can maintain that feature.

Wink has taken many steps in an effort to keep your Hub’s blue light on, however, long term costs and recent economic events have caused additional strain on our business. Unlike companies that sell user data to offset costs associated with offering free services, we do not. Data privacy is one of Wink’s core values, and we believe that user data should never be sold for marketing or any purpose.

We have a lot of great ideas on how to expand on Wink’s capabilities and satisfy the many requests from our user base. In order to provide for development and continued growth, we are transitioning to a $4.99 monthly subscription, starting on May 13, 2020. This fee is designed to be as modest as possible. Your support will enable us to continue providing you with the functionality that you’ve come to rely on, and focus on accelerating new integrations and app features.

Should you choose not to sign up for a subscription you will no longer be able to access your Wink devices from the app, with voice control or through the API, and your automations will be disabled on May 13. Your device connections, settings and automations can be reactivated if you decide to subscribe at a later date.

Our user community is integral to Wink, and we want to continue to be your trusted smart home provider. Visit to subscribe.

Wink Automation Future

A few years ago I started using Wink to automation and home monitoring, there were issues with loss of contact with sensors, and relocated to a new state. We packed up and forgot about the Wink hardware and planned on using it again some day. Well that day has come, and sadly, passed.

The hub, was tiny, and absolute, and we had 5 of them. Wink now had a new Wink Hub, much bigger, and a Wink Hub 2, now with an Ethernet connection.

Ok, first off, you need a smart device that has the newest bluetooth in order to configure and setup the Hub(s). Using an iPhone 6, didn’t work. But an iTouch ken 6 works. (Just a heads up.)

After just a couple of times, I was finally able to setup a pivot power strip, which has two switchable outlets and two un-switchable. Excitement builds.

Finally I can try the Spotter, the little environmental sensors, and to my surprise, they are no longer supported.

And finally, we were very sad to see they no longer support the Nimbus displays. That was heart breaking, we were so looking forward to using these.

Hub 1
Hub 2

We were really wanting to use these items, but without support we are at a loss. Wink as a company seems to have had gone dormant, no new product, lacking real support. It is hoped a larger company like Google, Amazon or Apple purchases Wink and revive life in their product line.