The Zonbu & the Switzerland of Online Storage?

August 3, 2007

Alberto GonzalesLet’s talk for a minute about privacy and online storage.

While America may be one of the centers of the Internet universe, it is hardly the optimal place for online storage, due to the aggressive erosion of personal liberties and privacy.

If you’re in the pro-Gonzales camp, you may want to stop reading now; you’re not going to be happy with what I have to say.

If you care about your privacy and freedoms and how they relate to the Zonbu, then read on…

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Zonbu Support: Credit where Credit is due

August 3, 2007

Zonbu LogoShortly after my last post I heard back from Zonbu support.

They offered a few things to try that didn’t solve the issue, but they continued to work with me through resolution. Good guys, if a bit terse in their communication.

With the target audience being non-Linux savvy folks, it is going to take some good templating and clear sentences and instructions to do the kinds of things that might be required if someone hits major bumps.

Various steps were required, and I won’t bore you with details, but I am back in business. They indicated there appeared to be some kind of data corruption issue. We haven’t explored that in any further detail yet, but I’m back.

As a side benefit, this morning before I packed my Zonbu up to take to the office, I had put a PDF in my Documents folder to test out the S3 storage. I didn’t see any place to turn on a “synch” function or anything, so I forgot all about it….

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Help on the way…

August 3, 2007

Zonbu got back to me with some suggestions.

Unfortunately they didn’t work but I’ve given them the details and I’m sure I’ll hear back again soon.

I don’t seem to have a desktop that is responding, so I can’t use short-cut keys to do anything…

-Mr. Zonbu

Disappointed with the lack of response…

August 3, 2007

To say I’m disappointed with the lack of response from Zonbu about my issues, would be putting it mildly.

Not only did I blog about things in great detail here, providing lots of background info, but I also wrote them via their support links on their web site.

I haven’t heard a thing. Is it a holiday in California today?

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu unboxing photos…

August 3, 2007

Zonbu package contents
I’m not as cool as those kids on YouTube, so you’ll have to make do with these unboxing photos.

Look closely, the packaging mimics the actual device, so its a bit hard to tell the difference at first.

Also, you can see the nasty power connector on the end of the wall-wart, where it plugs in to the Zonbu. I hope they change that to a barrel style connector. Those slide-lock connectors are a nightmare for typical users. They break them time and again, because no one knows they are meant to slide on the sheath.

I watched it happen over and over with cable modems in the past.

The box had surprsingly little in it, and the quickstart guide looks like it was printed on the office laser printer (which needs a new blue toner cartridge). I think it probably was. Thats what you get when you get very early units from a start-up. I’m sure the polish and content will improve with time.

Enjoy the photos.

-Mr. Zonbu

Zonbu Cardboad Packaging 1

Zonbu package edgeZonbu in standZonbu Front PanelZonbu back panelStuff no one reads anywayQuickstart guideWall adaptorAnnoying sliding connector on power cord

MemTest came up clean

August 3, 2007

Memtest86 ScreenshotJust to make sure I didn’t have something wrong with my memory, and since it is on the grub boot menu, I decided to run the Memtest cycle as well. Given that all the other options didn’t result in a working system, I didn’t have high hopes.

It took about 50 minutes to run a full cycle and did not report a single error.

I’d say its a regular, old, software related problem.

I hope this gets addressed today, I want to be able to work this weekend.

-Mr. Zonbu

*No, that is not the Zonbu, that is a generic screenshot.

Once more with emphasis…

August 3, 2007

No EntryOk, trying another tactic.

First I did a “Hard Reset” which erases your local cache.

Now I’m doing a “Reset Factory Defaults” which reloads the OS.

Hopefully try #3 is the charm.

Let’s see what happens…

No dice.

Back to the, aptly coloured, blue screen of nothing.

-Mr. Zonbu

PS – I’m sitting here staring at my CF to PC card adapter, and remembering I also have a USB CF reader in my camera bag, and I’m wondering if I should be seeing how quickly I can get Ubuntu installed while I wait for more info on what is wrong with my beloved Zonbu?

The Zen Master of speaking too soon… XFCE wallpaper is back

August 3, 2007


ZenGuideYes, I spoke too soon again. On the first reboot after the first login, after a reset to Factory Defaults, I now have the same blue XFCE desktop wallpaper that I noted below.

So perhaps we are having a consistently frustrating experience.

Not sure where to take things at this point.

-Mr. Zonbu

You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille…

August 3, 2007

Kenny RogersBy the way, what a terrible day to run in to all these issues.

Our page views have skyrocketed, and a lot of people have linked to us. Our traffic is the highest is has ever been.

So, hello to all you new readers and and welcome.

We seem to have hit a temporary snag with our test unit, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have it sorted out some time today with some help from Zonbu HQ in California.

I’ll keep you posted.

-Mr. Zonbu

Actually, no, my desktop is not back…

August 3, 2007

Well that didn’t take long.

I thought my Desktop was back. I had the proper wall paper and the documents, network neighbourhood and trash icons.

How about a start menu? Nope. no start menu. Nothing along the bottom of the screen.

I hit the “pearl” windows key, like you would in Vista to bring up the menu. No dice.

I used ALT-F1 to switch to the console log to see if I could find any useful feedback. How does this grab you?

“xfce-4-popup-menu:7328 WARNING Can’t find the xfce-4panel menu to popup.”

So let me get this straight. I did two identical “Factory Resets” in a row and had two different results. The first one didn’t even get me this far. And now I can’t get the menu to pop up because it doesn’t appear to be installed?

I swear I’m not doing anything unusual here that a regular end user may not do. I’m not uttering magic incantations. I didn’t bust out the voodoo dolls and the chickenblood.

I’m just trying to get back to factory defaults.

I’m going to eat some sushi and seaweed salad and watch it restore to factory defaults a third time and see where we are.

These were not the posts I wanted to write today…

-M. Z

PS – I am using a different 19″ LCD at work, as well as a USB wireless keyboard and mouse, but I doubt that has anything to do with it. All three appear to be functioning normally and were working with the unit before the reset.