WiDo first impressions

I received my WiDos ! Three of them. They were out of stock so I had to wait a few more days after order but they eventually arrived through DHL delivery after one week of patience. I had to pay french taxes in addition the product price. Fair enough : I was warned !WiDo unboxed

The WiDo is an Arduino Leonardo compatible board including a Wifi chip and an SD card reader. It should be noted that some on the pins are used by either the wifi or the SD card : pins D4, D5, D7 and D10 are not available. Also, the wifi chip is using SPI top communicate with the microcontroller.

The Jorjin WG1300 seems to be based on the TI CC3000 chip. So it work with the Adafruit CC3000 library. There is also a WiDo fork for the library but it seems there is no change to the library itself. Only examples are updated (changing IRQ pin from 3 to 7) or created (Xively…)

I stuck to the the Adafruit original. I just loaded the buildtest example, changed IRQ pin, set my Wifi SID and WPA password… and it worked like a charm !

The only problem I have with one on the board is the mis-alignment of some headers.WiDo mis aligned headersIt is not preventing the board to work but you can’t use shields as they won’t fit. I may try to re-solder the header.

So, at around 25€, the WiDo is a great replacement for an Arduino + Wifi shield which costs around 70€ ! And it works just like the Adafruit CC3000 Wifi shield.

The next step is to port the Wifridge on WiDo.

By the way, official documentation is here.



WiDo : a WiFi connected arduino

After presenting WeIO, here is WiDo from DFRobot, yet another Open Source IoT node.


Image from http://www.dfrobot.com

It is basically an Arduino Leonardo which includes a WG1300 WiFi chip. Apparently, this can be used with Adafruit’s CC3000 Arduino library which should make it quite straightforward to use.

What’s the difference between an Arduino + a CC3000 shield then ? The price ! At less that $30, it makes a quite cheap IoT plateform !

Ordered some… (DHL shipping is free until the end of september) but no more in stock. So I don’t know when I will receive them 🙁


WeIO : a new IoT plaform

Back in june, I went to the Maker Faire which took place in Paris.

I saw for the first time a new little but powerfull platform which was under development : the WeIO. It looked like quite promising.


Image from http://www.we-io.net/


Creators of this new “Web of Things platform” just launch a crowdfunding campain on INDIEGOGO. Their goal was to reach $10.000… After 2 days, they reached… $9.568 ! No more early bird offer but you can still support them and pre-order this new gizmo ! I just did !

Can’t wait to play with it…

Building a private file sync cloud

I have been looking for the perfect file sync tool for a while now and I wanted to share my experiences. They will hopefully be usefull for someone…

What about Dropbox

Dropbox… For many people, it is one of the best. But for me, there is one thing which is a showstopper : why the hell do you need to reorganize your data to sync with Dropbox ? Why can’t you just say “ok, I would like to sync c:\myshareddata and c:\myprivatedata… and… c:\mymedia\myphotos”.

No… you are REQUIRED to put everything in whatever unique directory or share your all C: drive !

So I found Wuala…

Nice little java GUI, where you can select any existing directory. No need to move your files around. You can sync multiple computers. Wuala provide both sync and backup features, file versionning… In addition, It is base in Swisszerland so if you are allergic to store your private data in the US, it is a nice solution.

A bit expensive though and if you get an issue… don’t ask for help ! I did get a memory leak on Windows 8. And after I sent an email to the support, they did send me immediately a small patch… which did not solve the problem. Without looking further (they did not ask for any log files, diag informations whatsoever) they just said “Ok, it does not work, we’ll reimbourse you”…

Ok… that could mean one thing from my point of view : they really don’t give a sh… about their customer (and can afford reimboursing them) because the service will not last long…

And no client for my NAS…

I’ll eventually gave up, get my money back, and start looking for a new solution.

A quite original solution : “lend” you free disk space

ON my Synology NAS, I also found another Cloud Sync tool : Symform. It is a a real “Cloud” storage in that it is storing data on many customer PCs : you actually “lending” your own disk space for storing other customer data and get cloud storage space in return. You actually give twice as much as you get but I find this a very good idea.

I tried it on my PC for a while and it worked quite well. I then decided to install it on my NAS but, I don’t know why, upload time became soooooo looooonnnnng I just gave up. I think I will try this again when I get FTTH connection.

What about not using a public cloud service

I got a nice Synlogy NAS (a DS411) and I wondered : “Why can’t I make my own sync cloud ?”.

The first I tried was Synology own Cloud solution : Sync Station. But it is not build for high volumes. When I started the sync, 10 Gb of data became… 20 Gb because of the way the tool is backuping old version… even on first sync ! Silly… But I must admit I tried a while ago and they may have made some progress.

And then came Bittorrent Sync…

I discovered BT Sync a while ago as they were still at version 1.3. A very nice sync tools making used of Bittorrent protocol and allowing sync of multiple hosts in a quite simple way.

I did sync all my photos and music between my home PC and my NAS and it worked quite well. I also sync’ed my personnal file between my home PC, my NAS and my laptop. And finally, I convinced on of my coworkers to install it so we can easily share files.

Worked for a while… then, you don’t know while, it just get stuck at some point. You remove a partially sync file (you need to enable debugging to identify the file) and then, it restart.

I had a few corrupted file also. I was able to get a backup from the BT Sync trash… on another machine. BT Sync team, if you read this : why, when I delete a file locally, it does not got to local trash but only to remote trash ?

1.4 version, which is quite recent, brought a much nicer UI. You can easily share files…

2014-09-13 00_06_46-BitTorrent Sync

And I was hoping a bit more reliabilty. Alas… Still get sync hanging for no apparent reason, but in addition, BT Sync tends to lock the files which are open in MS Office… which then you can’t save !

And right now, while I am writing this post, my NAS and home PC are both saying “OK, everything is now in sync” but my laptop is still pretending there is more than 1 Gb of files to sync…

How can you trust this…

Will the next solution be the good one

And while I was looking for some tips and trick about BT Sync and find solutions to my problems, I found a new sync tool, thank to this post : SyncThings. It seems that since Korben published this, they have made some progress and it looks like quite promising.

2014-09-13 00_12_53-Syncthing _ PCJS

Another important point : it is Open Source.

So I’ll try that and hopefully, it will cover my needs !