I may have mentioned in the past I run iTunes on my media server. This is a practice I have used for many years starting with Windows Home Server, WHS v2 and now with Windows Server 2008r2.

Over the past few weeks, iTunes would randomly crash and give an appcrash error in the logs and bitch about msvcr120.dll error. I troubleshot how to reinstall this error using every method I could think of, including uninstalling and reinstalling each installation of MS Visual Basic on the machine. I renamed files per recommendations of the alleged people smarter then me, but none of their suggestion worked.

I uninstalled all the apple progams, itunes, bonjour, mobile support, and anything else found from apple, I cleaned the registry and even chanted to the damn box. To be fair I cursed at it which in my mind is a form of chanting. ūüėČ

Mind you. iTunes would still load, work for a while and randomly crash. It started to piss off to the point I toyed with the idea of reloading the entire fucking server but to me that would mean defeat.

Finally a found what seemed to be the problem, msvc120.dll was last modified in 2013. Da Fuq? The server has not been running since 2013, also this file was found AFTER I removed MSVB 2013. So, I deleted the file and reinstalled MSVB 2013.

Once reinstalled, omnious music played and itunes loaded without any issues. The real test, was to make sure it worked after usage, followed by heavy usage. It seems the crashing problem has finally been resolved.

For some strange reason, I had to manually add covers to albums itunes had recently found on it’s own.

iTunes is happy now, that is all I care about.

 

 

 

Streaming has been something I have been toying with for over ten years. I started off using programs like ORB, Pulptunes, and Subsonic to stream my music while I am away from the house. As technology advanced, Plex ended up becoming my one stop app to use for streaming movies and music to my portable devices.

Plex has worked very well for everything I own EXCEPT for streaming music on XBox and Playstation 4 while playing games. That sucks.

There are a couple of options for playstation such as, Sony’s Media Go. The software does a really good job streaming my itunes to the playstation 4. Unfortunately, media go is not compatable with Xbox. I was determined to find something that worked with both consoles because it pisses me off to run two different programs to achieve the same goal.

After extensive testing with various programs, (mezzmo, serviio, etc.) I found universal media server, was the best way to go. It’s free, and supports both playstation and microsoft consoles. Sometimes when a song plays on universal media server, it will slow down and makes the singer sound sad or depressed. It’s pretty damn funny and reminds me of when we would do that with record players.

I will have to look into why it’s happening, cause it won’t remain entertaining for long.

It has been almost a week since my last post sharing with you my journey learning and using PFSense. To recap I have learned the following things along the way.

  1. A quad core machine should the minimum system requirements for running a successful PFSense machine.
  2. pfblocker is awesome, but if you set up too many rules it will cause more harm then good.
  3. If you are going to use a vpn or open vpn service such as Private Internet Access, I recommend punching in the ip address as opposed to the hostname.
  4. Not all advice is good advice.
  5. Google chrome, google search, google anything is not as secure as you think and you should consider changing to something more secure or private such as firefox with duckduckgo as the search provider.
  6. The latter is a rule to live by for anything you do in life.

I will hold off on placing the rest of the household on the vpn network for now until I have used pfsense for over a month without any issues maybe longer. It depends on if I really want to re educate them on privacy. After all, they mostly youtube, stream from the server, and play wow.

I am the asshole that likes to push people’s buttons.

Next up, dual wan.

Since moving PFSense to a better computer two days ago there have not been any more performance issues. The software runs great on the new hardware.

I have learned with pfblocker there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to blocking websites. I toned it back a bit and there are less issues with websites, programs, etc while not losing the quality of blocking advertisements.

Private Internet Access on the other hand so far has proved to be terrible on pfsense. I have posted on their forums about the issues. The responses I have received have been from other uses of PFSense experiencing the same issues with NO response from the people at private internet access. This is disappointing, and if not fixed by time of renewal then I will find a new service.

I did however replace the hostname of us-seattle.privateinternetaccess.com with just the ip address and so far it seems to work better. Is this improvement, or an illusion?

I have zero tolerance for drama, period. I do not tolerate drama in real life, I sure shit will not tolerate it in a video game.

Some people however enjoy drama, and once in a while I have to step in and squash it like the grown up I don’t want to be on a video game.

I play a lot of GTA Online, and I have a good crew. When someone really messes with people in the crew, then the rest of us band together and raise hell. Unfortunatley it will get out of hand from time to time when someone takes it personal and sends voice messages to females calling them names and harrasing them.

One particular user treats everyone they encounter like garbage. For reasons beyond my understanding there are a couple of my friends and crew mates who still talk to this person. It doesn’t bother me because I will never tell anyone who they should or should not hang out with. With that being said, this person being disrespectful and a straight up asshole, a few members of the crew and I have happily returned the favor.

Now we don’t go out of our way to do this, but when we are in the same lobbies we open up a can of whoop ass on them. A direct quote from me, “I open their ass up like an oyster and reach for the pearl.”

As a result, this person not liking the fact they recieve back what they give has gone on a rampage of complaining to everyone and acting like the victim. One person in particular is a mutual friend who tried throwing bible versus at me. I can do that to, and my sermons were not welcome. (shocker)

What it boils down to is this, you can recite the bible or the juice box bully. If you are an ass and bully other members expect the same in return. Especially from someone like me who will bully the bullies and is a much better asshole than you.

zimmer

After spending days and possibly weeks messing with pfsense and trying to figure out why it drops connection, with private internet access or drops internet entirely it hit me.

After reviewing the logs and not finding out “why” certaining processes were spiking the CPU I had an idea. What if it’s not private internet access dropping connection, or pfblocker causing the issues. What if the computer itself is a piece of shit and cannot handle the load?

On their site it states the minimum cpu can be a 500mhz with 256 mb or ram. The recommended is a 1ghz cpu wuth 1gb or ram. Why wouldn’t a dual core work?

Fuck it.

I had an intel quad core with 8 gb of ram sitting around reserved for a different project. I moved the parts over, reinstalled pfsense, and set everythihng back up. (BTW that SUCKED.) Since the move to the better machine, it has been up for 11 hours and some change with no issues, no loss of internet, or the private internet access dropping connection. The CPU has yet gone over 15% and memory usage has remained at 9%.

Here is to hoping I don’t have to work on a computer during my day off tomorrow. =)

If I didn’t use skype for work, I wouldn’t use skype at all. Since moving my stuff over to pfsense random stuff stops working. Lately, the victim is skype.

Skype randomly looses connection and will hang on connecting. I disabled pfblocker to see if one of my filters caused the issue. I turn then off one at time and skype would still search for connection.

I disabled pfblocker and skype is happy again, for now.

Google chrome is not that secure in the first place, but when I try to use google search it complains about security. SMH.

When I change my search to msn or yahoo (lol) google chrome no longer complains. Sounds like a sign to get out of the habit of using google search. I recently moved over to duckduckgo anyway but it still makes me laugh.

Google can’t track you therefore it’s not secure. *nod*

When this thing works it great. Unfortunately I still loose connection sometimes once a day, other times it is every other day.

I disabled pfblocker to see if that helped. The system reconnects and all is well. I find it hard to believe it is pfblocker. Is it possible it is conflicting with PIA?

I disabled snort to see if that is causing the issue, we shall only time will tell.

I connected an external hard drive to the access point and named it Diego. It was appropriate since I named the wireless connection DoraTheInternetExplora.

I loose connection from private internet access from time to time. I double checked the settings and they are correct. To keep myself from going even more blind, I decided to remote the open vpn configuration and start over using a different turtorial. The results are the same.