Category Archives: hardware

Can I use a Synology NAS with only a USB flash drive

Synology produces a number of NAS products.  These products provide 1 or more bays for hard drives and generally 2 USB ports for adding an external hard drive or using a USB hard drive.

Although the Synology NAS can be expanded with USB flash media it still must have a physical hard drive installed to operate.  Without a hard drive the NAS prompts you with a screen to install a hard drive and will not let you continue without one.  In short, you can’t use a Synology NAS with only flash media.

It should also be noted that the flash media cannot operate as a RAID or mirror option and only as free standing space.

What is the best way to shutdown a Raspberry Pi?


You want to shut down your Raspberry Pi but you’re not sure the best way to do it.


The number one thing is you should not just unplug the power cable. Uplugging the power source before properly shutting down the OS can cause file system corruption. From the command prompt enter one of these commands to shut down (then power off).

Preferred Command:
   sudo shutdown -h now
Alternate Commands:
   sudo halt
   sudo poweroff

How to I turn off invert colors on my iOS device?


I accidently inverted my colors on my iOS device, how do I reset them to normal?


This can sometimes happen, especially on slow devices when you triple click the home button (on a device that’s running slow or is unresponsive iOS may see multiple presses of the home button as a triple click). By default, the triple click is setup to toggle the inverting of colors (You can change this behavior also and disable that default). To quickly un-invert the colors you can use one of these two methods:

  1. Triple click the home button again. Sometimes on devices that are running slow this option is inconsistent.
  2. Go into Settings->Accessibility and toggle the “Invert Colors” slider to off.

How do I clear my Chromecast of identifiying information?


You want to sell your Chromecast but you want to remove any data that may be yours (this may include things such as your Google account credentials). This is sometimes referred as an FDR or Factory Data Reset.


There are two ways as of the time of this post to reset it:

  1. Hold the button down located next to the micro usb port for 25 seconds until the light starts flashing, then unplug the device.
  2. In the menu of the Chromecast app there should be a “factory reset Chromecast” option. Choose this and follow any instructions.

More info on Chromecast issues like this can be found at the Chromecast FAQ hosted by Google at: Chromecast FAQ.

Amazon Instant Video network issues on Vizio Smart TV’s


Your Amazon Instant Video app does not find an internet connection and sometimes shuts down all together (and never recovers).  Once the app shuts down it stays shut down for the duration of the time you have the television on.


The Amazon apps seems to never recover once it fails to retrieve a network connection.  Sometimes after turning the TV on it takes a moment for the TV to access the local WIFI network.  The workaround is to give the TV time to access the network before accessing the Amazon app.  You can monitor whether a connection has been made by hitting the Vizio button on your remote and watching for the network connected/signal strength icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  Once you have a WIFI signal you will be able to open the Amazon app and connect.