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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:33 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:58 pm
Posts: 79
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
As I se it nas-central has the potential to be a great place to start if you wan't to buy a hackable Linux device, but hasn't bought it yet. It will give you a quick overview of the different development groups and the hardware description that you really can't find on the manufactor site.

linkstationwiki.net is for us that already has bought this device - and a few newcomers that has found the way through nas-central.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:34 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:43 pm
Posts: 113
Location: UK
updated front page mockup with feeds at http://byronbradley.co.uk/nas-central.html

@rwhitby: Once people are happy with the design I will make it into xhtml/css but its far easier to prototype in inkscape. Adding another logo is going to take a little effort but its a one off thing and I think the extra effort is worth it.

@mindbender: I have been part of this community for only about six months but as far as I am aware it started off as just another yahoo groups mailing list. You are one of the core people who have helped build up linkstationwiki to the amazing community it is now. Changing to nas-central is just the next step in making it even better, both for the end users who will have more choice and the developers who will gain from the resources that may otherwise only be working on buffalo devices.

Organising this amount of information is very difficult and personally I think multiple wiki's is the best way to go. If you have a developer that adopts a particular manufacturer wiki then the maintenance problem of multiple wiki's goes away. Also I feel people are less likely to get involved in the organisation of a giant superwiki, there's just too much information there. (Anyone who wants to compare to wikipedia: the type of information they have there is very different and I don't think their structure would fit well with nas-central).

I think you are still very much trusted in this community, of the three thousand odd members on this forum only a few of people have complained about the changes. And you have to remember that linkstationwiki grew slowly over time, nas-central is still very new and it will take some time for it to get to the point where people are happy. When I was writing my thesis I basically disappeared for three weeks so I understand having to do all of this at the same time must be very difficult. Make your personal life your priority but please continue to work with nas-central, I (and I'm sure most other members of this community) couldn't even begin to imagine doing this without you.

Byron Bradley

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:50 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:17 am
Posts: 5
I just wanted to say that, well, you can never please everyone. Just do what you think is right, and if it really is, then your loyal members will stick with you :)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:00 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:42 pm
Posts: 11
Well, I thought I'd chime in here, given that I am very new to this community (read: severals days old).

I got here looking for information on the Kurobox, of which I own and on which I run Debian. I've owned my KB for several years, and every once in while, check in to see what's going on or comment on some observation, etc.

The original community to which I belonged was back on kurobox.com. As many know, that community has fallen into a certain amount of disrepair, as there are very few people who actively manage and maintain that site. As a result, information has gotten stale rather quickly. At some point, in fact--and I think this is an important point--I considered dumping my KB because there was simply very little active support for the unit, and it would be rather difficult to do a lot of the required hacking/upgrading work myself, given the time-constraints of the real world, etc.

That said, I was quite happy to have stumbled across nas-central.org for two reasons:

--My particular NAS device seems pretty well supported. At least I can ask questions and get answers rather quickly.
--And--more importantly--because this site brings together active communities of other NAS-related products, I can learn more about a much broader range of NAS devices.

That last point is rather powerful. While learning a great deal about a very small area of interest is useful (witness all of the great projects that exist for the NS/KB), being able to apply that knowledge across a greater range of applications brings with it insights that can be generalized into other areas of interest. I personally have learned much about how GNU/Linux works as a direct result of my time spent tinkering with my KB. That knowledge transfers to my day-to-day work on my home/work machines. I'm sure others have other similar learning experiences. Learning really can be a great experience.

And so, for me at least, I'm very happy to see this site turning more into a jumping-off point for all things NAS-related. I feel like I can stick around in this community regardless of the NAS device I end up buying that will eventually replace my aging KB. Kudos to those individuals who have made nas-central.org the destination that it is.

That said, I can also understand perhaps why some folks are feeling the impact of the changes that appear to be taking place. From my point of view, and remember that I'm just a few days into this community, I have had some issues with organization on this site.

It seems that there is simply not enough structure implicit in this site to make it as easy as it should be for me to find the kind of information that I need. The outcome of this confused organization is that I've had a hard time finding the information that I need to make some informed decisions about what I want to do with my KB. I see wiki entries that appear to be stubbed-out and orphaned, while other entries appear to be near duplicates of one another (though each entry appears to have its own unique bits of information the other does not). [When I find those entries again, I'll post them here for reference]

My assumption about the state of this organization is that there is/was a great merging of sites in recent history. And while I'm still new to everything here and quite naive about this site's history, my guess is that I'm probably not too far off from the reality.

Again, this is my take on what I see in this community. Overall, it's a great place with some incredible potential at being the definitive place to go for information on managing/hacking NAS devices.

Again, kudos to those who have gotten nas-central.org to where it is today.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:00 am 
Regular Member

Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:14 am
Posts: 201
Location: Azores, Portugal
Responding to the mass email I received.
If I didn't believe in this effort and group of people, I wouldn't have contributed as much money as I did when the donation drive for the new server was in progress (not that it was to any extraordinary amount but still much more than any other software/service/good cause I contributed to in the last year).

I believe there is a core group of people here that made this place survive and even thrive during the tough times in the past few years and one of these key people, if not THE driving force behind this community, happens to be mindbender. You may need a vacation, some time off to take care of more important issues in your life but please don't leave, it would be a great loss for nas-central/linkstationwiki and all involved.

Best Regards,

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:04 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:37 am
Posts: 1652
Location: United States of America
Hello All,

It's been some time since I've been here. I've stepped away due to personal reasons, however, I have followed up and have been poking around.

Let me be frank and upfront about my feelings here. I hope I do not offend anybody here.

Mindbender has become a very close friend of mine. It's been my pleasure to work with him, and it's a part of my life I'd never want to take back. I've always trusted bender and I ALWAYS WILL. I have had no reason to ever suspect that he would use this community for any personal profit. I have never found him to be one that would take advantage of other's.

There are indeed issues here with our community. Let me do my best to address these problems. To understand the issue, let's start where this story begins. I became an admin here to help my dear friend. For reasons I cannot disclose without mindbender's consent, I was sharing administrative duties with mindbender, and I found it enjoyable.

During my "tenure", I became ambitious, and sought ways to improve our community, i.e. server upgrade, manufacturing info, etc. I, NOT minbender, was the one the proposed that we take rwhitby's offer to host our site on OSUOSL. I, NOT minbender, was the one responsible for the change from minibb to phpbb. I was the one that started the software upgrades (i.e. redesigning the wiki, implenting wordpress ... though I did not have the idea for the blog). I was the one that took over the domains, and created nas-central.org. I say this to show that I am responsible, not mindbender, for starting these controversial changes that we see today. It's true that since I've left, much has changed (i.e. manufacturer pages). However, for those that disapprove the changes, please don't blame mindbender, blame me if you want.

Unfortunately, I had to leave at the end of last summer. There were many things that I wanted to see, however I just did not have the time to help manage the community anymore. I gave mindbender my notice, transferred the domains to him, and withdrew from the community. I proposed that ka6sox, from nslu2, be the one to take over managing the infrastructure (thanks ka6sox). After I left, I'm really not sure who decided what, therefore you'll understand why it's unfair for me to discuss the decisions made since.

So, since this is a thread for opinions, let me state mine. I believe that the people working "behind the scenes" deserver credit for taking care of this site. I'll admit, the site is not what I had envisioned (i.e. a general NAS site, rather than Buffalo centric). However, I left, so it's unfair for me to criticize the people that attempted to continue my previous efforts. For example, I did talk with rwhitby and ka6sox about sharing wiki/sql resources. I did not think that we would actually create a superwiki though. As its been stated previously, this community is everyone's ... not mine, not mindbender's, not the admins ... EVERYONE's. Speak and share your opinions. If you don't like the changes, "speak now or forever hold your peace."

Personally, I'd like to see the community more "buffalo" centric again. I do see the advantages of spreading out, however I fear that it will become too impersonable. I think it's the admins responsibility to poll the community before new changes are made (I know, I didn't always do this myself). I don't believe that occurred (and no, it's not mindbender's fault ... it's mine, other's just tried to continued what I started).

As far as the comments regarding development, I believe things are truly changing. I've seen that most linux developers prefer mailing lists to develop. I don't believe that the developers are deliberately being "hush hush", but rather prefer not to repost everything in the forums. I feel that it's nice to have development discussions in the forum, however I don't think the developers are responsible to post their work here. They do their work for free, so if they want to only chat on IRC or via mailing lists, that's their prerogative.

There's a few developers (which they can disclose themselves if they wish), that have privileged information from various manufacturers, and cannot disclose certain developmental details to the public. Please understand that these developers are not "hiding information" in defiance of the open source spirit. On the contrary, these developers are disparately trying to find legal means to develop open source alternatives (i.e. the kernel, DRM, etc.) for our devices where currently only proprietary software exists. It's a dilemma, we need hardware docs to speed development, however if we accept the docs ... we have to be closed mouthed sometimes. Please try to understand the situation. I know this has been very controversial, but this is just "how it is" at the moment.

What should we do? Honestly, I don't really have an answer that would please everyone. I do think that we need to stop current site development, and have a series of polls regarding the look and feel of our site, the rate of expansion, etc. It's true that people should have spoken prior ... but who cares. Let's just try to fix this situation the best we can, and if we must start over, then so be it. If we continue forward, but the majority of our members are displeased, our community will die. Open the lines of communication, and let's do our best.

In summary, it was my fault, not mindbenders, for the current situation we are in. I left on short notice, and mindbender did the best he could to complete my efforts. The current state of our community may not be what I had intended, but I cannot complain either. Let's do the best we can to get past this, let's start talking, and let's make the best for the future of our community.

P.S. Don't blame ramuk either ... I was the one that encourage him to speak his mind (w/o peeing on the grass). I apologize for my poor grammar ... I was trying to type this fast while bender was here.

Kindest Regards,



PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:15 am 
Regular Member

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:24 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Germany
Hi all,

well, personally, I've contributed only a few packages for the LS2 and printing support for LS-Pro, but guys, there are a lot of boxes out there, and thanks to a few people, we now have a central place for all of them.
No doubt, every community needs their experts, that's why I'm still on the buffalo, and especially on the LS2 and LS-Pro site. But as there are many people out there, with, most probably, much more knowledge than me, about much more boxes than I personally own, I tend to think, that it is a good idea to give them a central entry for maintaining their community.

Ii DOESN'T mean, that the buffalo community has to maintain everything, that's simply not possible. Thanks to a few of you guys, we have this central place, but let the experts drive the different parts of it.

For the buffalo community, let's concentrate on our devices.

Another thought:
Looking to embedded-OS or the new openlink (Foonas), it's available for many devices, and should be in the future a common platform.
Therefore a knowledge exchange and an overall community is a good idea, but it will be challanging to keep it up to date.

It needs a few individuals, to maintain the link between the communities, but it's a good approach, as the developers are doing it in any way.

So my approach would be, to keep the experts in their communities, and to try to bind the people in the overall wiki together to have a strong impact, for instance with Foonas and other things. The more we are, the better we can get.

And thanks to a few, we are on the way. So, all the experts, stay in your parts and all the management guys, link it together. I will try to do my share on a very specific and small part of it. But a lot of small parts makes it a big thing.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:41 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:50 am
Posts: 46
Location: Virginia, USA
I'm sorry to see we are having a bit of an identity crisis. I don't think I can criticize mindbender or anyone else (mindbender has been doing a fabulous job IMHO), it seems to me everyone has the best of intentions. A little healthy debate is good, hopefully noone gets hurt or offended. I agree with lyakh, I'm not aware of posts or anyone saying mindbender was not trustworthy. I only pop in once and a while here and on IRC, maybe I am unaware of something?

Now that the new main page and the subwikis are out there, I suggest leaving it for a while and watch and see what happens. I'm still optimistic about nas-central's future at this point. :)


PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:49 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:26 pm
Posts: 22
I'm one of the people who received Mindbender's email and that's why I'm here.

First, some background. For many years now, I have been doing open source strategy for large tech companies, large users of technology, open source startups and non-profits. One of the things my company does is community strategy, so I have some experience with some of the things that are being discussed and I've generally been doing open source for around 18 years.

My perspective on this is that everyone here should be very, very happy about the growth of the community. Why? Because as some people have pointed out, they are here because other communities have died due to lack of growth. Yes, you will loose some focus, and the mission of the site will change over time, but that's far better than it dying out. Does that mean you have to be a ruthless for profit entity? No, but someone has to pay the bills and it costs money and time to host stuff, even if it's donated hardware + bandwidth and volunteer resources.

The other reality of growth is that different skill sets are needed at different stages. In the early days, having that guy that posts in EVERY thread is really, really great and having super enthusiastic evangelists is even better. In the end, however, community grows organically, because people like the place and feel comfortable there, just like a real world community. And, just like a real world community, much of this comes down to the people involved. If everyone always says RTFM to every newbie that poses a simple questions, well, that's not good for growth. And when a community gets to a certain size, you need a different kind of leadership, one that can manage growth, again, much like in a real world community.

The transitions between these stages is difficult and it's often where communities break down. Some communities have made the transition very successfully, but this is not something that happens randomly, it must be planned. If you look at a place like CNCzone.com, it's a HUGE community with a million different sub-forums and it's grown out a relatively controlled manner.

So, what's best for NAS-central? Well, it looks like there is very good growth and momentum and that's the most important thing. I think it's up to the current leadership to find a structure that works for everyone and will accommodate future growth. Anyone who has Mindbender's community building skills is a HUGE asset, and would be highly valued anywhere (as a volunteer and/or as a professional). It would be a shame for him to feel alienated because some people are unhappy with the direction.

And to those people who are unhappy with the direction, please realize that it is very, very difficult to build a sustainable community. You are lucky to have found such a thing for a niche which interests you. It may not be exactly what you want, but the most important thing is that it exists and that it has the momentum to stick around. However, if you are really displeased, there is nothing keeping you here. The software for building a community is free, all you need is time, commitment and talent. Oh, and perseverance, as it will take years before the community is sustainable without your personal sacrifice....

Fundamentally, this seems like a storm in a teacup to me. Those who are upset about direction should put forward concrete, implementable strategies so that everyone can see whether these are better or worse than the current direction. Saying 'this sucks' is not an implementable strategy, it's just whining.

Lastly, and this is to Mindbender specifically, keep in mind that electronic communication is very impersonal and alienating. There is no substitute for personal discussions (preferably in person) as cultural and language differences can often make things seem one way when they are not. It's way too easy to read things into a message that are not really there. I've BTDT a bunch of times and you should be careful not to fall into that trap. I would suggest that all the admins get on a conference call to sort all this out, that should help some. And NOT IM, it's far to easy to avoid responsibility for one's statements...


PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:23 am 
Regular Member

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:29 pm
Posts: 79
Hi all,

My name is Brian Zhou, optware feed manager. Our optware feeds started as nslu2 unslung firmware specific, but now cover more than a dozen devices. Without the help and suggestion from people like mindbender, this is impossible. The mssii to cs05q3armel feed renaming transition went very well. It's really pleasant to work with mindbender. It just goes to show that the communities are getting together and becoming a bigger community.

When optware initially converted from nslu2 unslung specific feed to add the 2nd feed of wl500g more than two years ago, there were LOTs of work involved (rwhitby and jp30 can tell you that). But developers understood the impact, users were patient about the temporary breakage. In the end, more people benefit from that transition.

From the point of view of a linkstationwiki outsider, what you guys have been doing are not just plausible, but almost noble. The key is to manage the growing pain and communicate.

- bzhou@nslu2-linux.org

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:51 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:33 pm
Posts: 1082
Location: United States of America
Noone was ever talking about a lack of trust. Certainly not me. On the contrary I felt that maybe Mindbender was shouldering alot that was somewhat duplicate and possibly not supportable, in the end quite likley to just be orphaned. Some of the naming identity issues are unavoidable. Nas-central is not descriptive to Buffalo/Melco devices and I suppose it does not need to be at this point. However the site is becoming harder to find. A simple internet search led you to the linkstationwiki right away (that's how I found it about 2 years ago). Now things are murky.

I always thought there should be balance between telling people to read the wiki and forums and offering them direct support in IRC and the Forums. This becomes harder as the wiki and forum become more labryinthine. Nonetheless as things get larger and the focus becomes more diffuse it will be hard to avoid people with other NAS boxes asking at what used to the the linkstation wiki "How do I do that". It's a concern as to whether we should answer them, or if we even can.

I gave some serious thought about whether to post this thread in the first place. Those who know me know that I just want to help, and I always feel bad if I hurt anyone's feelings. Nonetheless noone was saying anything, so I jumped in and took the first stab. It's good that there is at least some discussion. There's no reason for anyone to feel hurt from the discussion.


LinkStation HG *250 Uboot - Foonas-EM - Freelink
Kuro HG *750 Uboot - Foonas-EM - Debian Squeeze
Kuro HD *60 Uboot - Foonas-EM - Debian Squeeze (For Sale)
KuroPro *2TB Debian Lenny Armel- Kernel 2.6.26
KuroPro *1TB Debian Lenny Armel- Kernel

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:19 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:20 pm
Posts: 10
Location: FLorida
Personally I think its a good thing.

It doesn't really matter to me whether its a noob learning the kernel for the first time to the developer that tweaks it, expanding and growing the base is what is the important thing.

The more heads the better!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:34 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:23 pm
Posts: 18
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
i haven't been to the site for about a month or so.. personally i like the direction the site is heading in or appears to be heading from what i have read here and browsing the site briefly. i am a member at a number of communities (rockbox, debian, xbox-linux, xbox-scene, to name a few) i think we should be looking at other thriving communities and adopting ideas that work. the gnu.org site would be a great place to look IMO, it is such a huge site, with many different "sub-projects" without losing site of it's main focus. perhaps i'm being naive or missing the point.. or both. i do know that "united we stand, divided we fall"... thank you to everyone, who makes this community possible, and works to keep it alive and growing

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:07 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:20 pm
Posts: 366
Location: Chicago USA
Hey mindbender, fwiw, I have been happy to provide assistance around the forum and wiki, and would be very sad to see it here without you. Byron says it best:
I think you are still very much trusted in this community, of the three thousand odd members on this forum only a few of people have complained about the changes. And you have to remember that linkstationwiki grew slowly over time, nas-central is still very new and it will take some time for it to get to the point where people are happy. When I was writing my thesis I basically disappeared for three weeks so I understand having to do all of this at the same time must be very difficult. Make your personal life your priority but please continue to work with nas-central, I (and I'm sure most other members of this community) couldn't even begin to imagine doing this without you.

I hope all is well with you, and take a break if you need it, but do not think that what you've done here is a waste, you have helped with soo much. It would have withered away when frontalot left.

Look forward to helping out as much as possible.

1 LS-GL: (FreeLink - 2.6.22 kernel)- backup and media server...
As of June 11, 2010:
admin@LS320:~$ uptime
20:23:40 up 417 days, 20:09, 1 user, load average: 0.20, 0.21, 0.30

That's only because I had to move that time ago. Love this box and this community, wish I had more time to dedicate to it.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:40 am
Posts: 434
Location: Scotland
Hi Guys, Sorry I haven't replied before now. I have been looking at the forums & seen what's been going on. I've been too busy since then beginning of December & will be until the middle of March, Work & preparing to move house. I had my house up for sale & wasn't too keen on having a "DataCenter" on display when the house viewing was going on. I only have 1 computer & 1 NAS box out at the moment, all the rest are packed away.

As for the stuff going on in here.... I personally don't see a problem with expanding the community to include other devices etc. Makes sense to me, new devices, new people, new approach & new ideas. Can only make the community better.

Just a shame that if people objected to the merge, or certain aspects of it. They should have spoken out before the majority of the re-org was done. A lot of time & effort must have gone into it.

LS-500GL - Diskless
LS-250GL - Armel, U-Boot NC Enabled
HS-DH320GL - Stock 1.11_1a
LS-H120LAN(PPC) - Dev (foonas)
LS-H120LAN(PPC) - Freelink -
LS-H250LAN(MIPS) - Dev (foonas-em, foonas)
LS-HS400DGL(PPC) - Freelink
Thecus N1200 - Ubuntu 8.10

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