1990’s Technology

I reckon the record for the longest downtime for a computer must belong to the difference engine. From about the middle of the 19th century until the Science Museum re-built it, that’s about 150 years of downtime. My own record is a bit more modest, but more real since it is physically the same machine.

This is my Commodore Amiga, last powered on in the 1990s. Complete with 500MB GVP hard drive and Naksha mouse. As you can see it still works (although it took a few goes to get it to boot) and is rather noisy. I can’t remember how to use it, although it has a version of emacs, tex, some letters and a dial up modem connection to Demon internet and a few games I can’t remember how to play. It’s main use was Sensible Soccer so I will need to find the disks for that!

Incidentally, to close off the last post, my VPN tunnel worked!


Ever since I had my first QNAP (a TS-219 which I think came out in 2010) I’ve liked QNAPs. Apart from the odd booting problem and the frequent updates it’s been perfect, having had no hardware problems and ever increasing functions and apps.

One of those apps is a VPN server and it’s always been too fiddly to get working – until now. Currently I have an SS-439 and the software now seems mature enough to work with the minimum of fuss.

I enabled the OpenVPN application, downloaded the certificate, set up the user etc. and downloaded the OpenVPN client for Windows 7 (yeah need a new laptop veeeery soon). Having done the client side config, I tried this on the office Wifi. No luck. Wouldn’t connect at all.

First debugging step was to try it on the inside of my network (with a brief interlude to upgrade Wireshark). Same result. That took me to looking at my BT Smarthub 2 firewall. Looks like no blockers there but I decided to add a port forwarding rule just in case.

This did *something* because the behaviour of the client changed and having turned on logging for VPN on the Qnap, I could see user failed logins which corresponded to the message on the client.

I verified the username and password and then noticed that the username was case sensitive – an oldie but a goodie.

Having fixed that I connected fine – from the inside. Tomorrow the real test will be to see if I can get to it from the outside! I am hopeful! If it works, I might have a working VPN option I can use if I’m ever in China again. I spent ages trying to get a VPN working the last time I was there without success.