Downgrading Synology DSM

We use Synology Diskstations at work, and recently (September 2017) we bought an extra one for an upcoming project. I figured I’d give DSM 6.2 beta a look while it wasn’t doing anything important, and then the world fell in on our heads (one of the other units started failing disks at random) and what had been a spare play unit became the main SR for our XenServer infrastructure.

As part of the recovery from that, we’ve just managed to downgrade DSM 6.2 back to DSM 6.1. It’s not something all that difficult to do, but it’s not all that well documented otherwise, so I thought I’d leave the procedure here for reference. Some understanding of Linux is necessary to do this.

Shout out to Darren D on YouTube: his one-and-only video (and doobly-doo) gave me the procedure. I’ve updated with DSM 6.1 versions of the files mentioned, but given he was talking about the DSM 6.0 beta on the video, I would expect this to work into the future. Watch the video before doing this, it’ll all make a lot more sense that way.

  1. Download the two latest DSM 6.1 firmware PAT files for your unit from the Synology website: 15217.pat and 15254.pat at the time of writing.
  2. Turn on the Synology and backup if needed; the array contents should survive this, but if your configuration is important, make a note of it all now, you’re about to nuke it.
  3. Create a shared folder (“test” on “volume1” is used in this guide).
  4. Using 7-Zip, extract four files from DSM 15217.pat (checksum.syno, grub_cksum.syno, rd.gz and zImage). Place these four files onto the shared folder.
  5. Enable SSH or Telnet in the DSM control panel.
  6. Using PuTTY, or another SSH/Telnet client, access the diskstation.
  7. Log in as an administrative user (“admin”).
  8. Type “sudo su”. The password it asks for is the same one as 7. above.
  9. Type “cd /dev” to change to the devices directory.
  10. Type “ls” to view the devices list. Scroll through the list an make sure synoboot2 is listed.
  11. Type “mkdir-p /mnt/synoboot” to make a directory to mount to.
  12. Type “mount synoboot2 /mnt/synoboot” to mount the boot files to the directory you just created.
  13. Type “cd /mnt/synoboot” to change into that directory.
  14. Type “ls” to list the files in the directory. Note that the names of the four files we put in the shared folder are listed, but these are the DSM Beta versions.
  15. Type “cp /volume1/test/checksum.syno /mnt/synoboot” to overwrite the beta file with the stable file from the “test” shared folder.
  16. Type “cp /volume1/test/grub_cksum.syno /mnt/synoboot” to overwrite the beta file with the stable file from the “test” shared folder.
  17. Type “cp /volume1/test/rd.gz /mnt/synoboot” to overwrite the beta file with the stable file from the “test” shared folder.
  18. Type “cp /volume1/test/zImage /mnt/synoboot” to overwrite the beta file with the stable file from the “test” shared folder.
  19. Go back into the DSM interface and shutdown the unit. Once the device is shut down, eject all disks. This step is important: if you do not eject all the disks, the next power up will detect an issue and recover the beta boot image.
  20. Power the device on and find it (use Synology Assistant to help with this). It should complain that the unit has no disks inserted. Put the disks back in now and wait for all drives to spin up (the HDD leds light up).
  21. Once all disks are in and powered/spun up, click on “connect again”. A couple screens later, you will be asked to reinstall DSM. Choose the manual install root and choose the DSM 15254.pat file so that the boot image is overwritten correctly.
  22. Once it all completes you’re good to go. Data on the array(s) will still be intact (shared folder data), you’ll just need the re-apply the configuration and packages.


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Quince only mostly dead

Hey there Commanders,

Thought I’d pass on my own findings from Quince. As of late, I’m kinda, sorta simultaneously working on powerplay (for Aisling Duval, don’t judge me) and engineers. When I made my 750 merits this week for powerplay, I thought I’d head back up to Quince as someone had said it was out of lockdown now. Turns out to be sort of true.

While there are no in-systems passenger missions at Jeffries or Millarport (and if I’m honest, I am more than happy with that “fix”), there are still some scan missions available at Millarport, and for me (one rank off Elite in Explorer), they are all paying pretty good… But… I only find missions at Millarport in Open Play (and rarely sometimes in Solo). I get no missions at all in Private Group. Oh, and for me Millarport is still in lockdown.

So, the Quince money tree has been cut down, but there’s still some money to be made there.

Catch you in the black.

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Welp, the weekend saw me finally make it to Rear Admiral in Elite: Dangerous, so I’m the proud owner of all the largest playable ships in E:D now: the Anaconda, the Federal Corvette, and the Imperial Cutter. With the exception of the ‘Conda (currently my “go to” for combat), these are stock ships as they came from the shipyard.

First job after is for me to get no less than a billion credits, that way I can afford to set up the ‘Vette and Cutter (‘Vette will be my new combat ship, and the Cutter will be set up for mining). So, it’s back to Quince and I’m ferrying passengers to the tourist satellite and back, which gets me Explorer rank and cash. Yes, planetary scan missions can get you more cash, but you don’t get any Explorer rank for doing that, and I need to get one of the three major ranks to Elite so I can get access to Shinrata Dezra.

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WARNING – Politics…

Right, I’m getting pretty sick of the stupidity that appears to have infested UK politics (and let’s not get started on what’s happening in the US right now). Prior notice: I’m a card-carrying member of the Liberal Democrats: I will have things to say about them shortly.

The Tories have lurched so far to the right in the shadow of the EU referendum that UKIP have no place to stand anymore, and I genuinely wonder when the cabinet will don their black shirts. I’m trying very hard to not invoke Godwin’s Law here, but seriously? Nationalistic jingoism aside, the current cabinet is making hay while the referendum sun is shining, and that could oh-so-easily be their downfall; they have such a narrow mandate from the referendum, but they think it’s a license to print law.

The Labour party appears to have imploded over on the left (@SteveReedMP amiright?). Collectively get your shit together, support your leader, and start attacking the Tories head-on (@Kier_Starmer has the right idea). The EU referendum was “won” by the narrowest of margins by the Leave campaign on the back of what can only be described as a mountain of lies (not that the Project Fear peddled by the Remain campaign was any better) – but the Tories seem intent to use that narrowly specified result (lest we forget the referendum question was basically “Should Britain remain in the EU?”) to push through any and all policy they wish to. Grow some balls, FFS!

As for my own party, the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron has seemingly unified huge support behind the idea that the EU referendum was won by the people who now totally regret the choice they made. So what? David Cameron almost certainly was attempting to use the referendum to bolster his flagging support in the Tory party, but almost certainly many people used it to protest against the Tory party that was then ruling, and the lack of a decent opposition to said ruling party. Well, you folks have gotten the ruling party you deserve; totally unelected and with no manifesto. Whatever laws this bunch of jackals manage to push through in the remaining years of this parliament will have your fingerprints all over them.

It’s disgusting that the LibDems think that ignoring more than 50% of the population is a way to campaign. Please, get off that horse soon. The enemy is the unelected cabinet, focus on them. Their mandate to exist is singular – remove the UK from the EU. Force the Tories into a swift and hard exit, and then you can campaign on the back of the destruction of the British economy that will bring.

Finally, my op. ed. The population has made it’s opinion known, and the Leavers “won”. If we want the population to understand the vast mistake they have made, the exit needs to be swift and hard, and the lessons learned need to be tough ones. I very much hope that a future Labour (or better yet LibDem) government will have the opportunity to have a new referendum asking the British people if we should re-join the EU, and I very much hope that they will resoundingly say “yes!”. As for the humble pie that will then have to be eaten? Bring me a spoon, and plenty of custard…

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I’m out of the Type-9 Heavy! Good riddance and good luck to anyone else grinding trade rank/credits. I now own an Anaconda in Trade configuration, and I also bought an Asp Explorer in Rank Grind configuration. This is what I’ll be doing until I get to Duke (minimum) to relieve the boredom that was last week and the insufferable Type-9 Heavy.

Sure, I carry 50 tonnes less cargo now, but the ability to manoeuvre outweighs that a whole lot, plus 20Ly jumps again are heavenly. Oh, and naming-wise, they are Castle Bravo and Shrimp respectively.

My INARA Commander signature

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The (trade) grind is real

Ugh… So, my goals for E:D H were (I thought) quite simple: get all the Imperial ships. There were (I thought) only three (turns out there are four, the Eagle has an Imperial variant, which I do now own), and while I knew full well that you needed particular Imperial ranks to get them, I didn’t really think beyond that point.


Problem #1 really is that they need Imperial ranks. Grinding rank is easy enough, as long as you have a suitable ship to grind ranks in, which I didn’t. Well, OK, that brings us to Problem #2; getting ships means cash, and when it gets down to the core, Problem #3 is that getting cash means trading and running missions.

And the trade grind is real… I’m following Masark’s Trading Guide from Reddit (first one I found), and I’m in the mid-tier hell that is step 6 – shuttling Imperial Slaves about in a Type-6 Transporter for just enough profit to make doing it worthwhile. The real killer here is the jump in costs. Getting to the Type-6 was somewhat logical and easy. Given my existing fleet/cash reserves, I just traded in a Viper Mk IV for a Cobra Mk III, then ran the rares circuit until I could trade in the Cobra for the Type-6 – only took me an evening or two of a few hours; easy, I thought.

Ha! “Grind a million credits” to grind 25+ million is worlds apart (pun intended). The rares circuit had “multiple worlds” going for it (even if you were visiting the same ports over and over). Looping slaves is the most deathly dull thing I’ve had to do in a game (and I made it to Elite in the original game on the Spectrum)…



I’m currently sitting on a pot of just over 15 million after looping mostly the whole weekend (eye strain while in the Rift is what stops me from doing it longer than I currently can), so it’s 3/5 down, 2/5 to go… I will get out of the Type-6 as soon as I possibly can (and jump in a Type-7 for double the profits per trip). And I do get missions occasionally, which helps break the monotony (and means I’m a Serf with the Empire, so yay! Go me!).

All this for some pretty ship models…


FYI, I’ve noticed that while I’m playing in VR, the image in the “desktop monitor” is atrociously small and I’d not inflict it on a Twitch audience. It’s been said before by others able to express it far better than me, but you really can’t explain what VR is like, you need to experience it for yourself.

(All images were taken from a Google Images search and I suspect/hope they are “official” FD images. If not, I thank the “photographers” but cannot easily name you. Copyrights will be respected throughout though, so a “please don’t use my image” with suitable provenance will result in the image being removed)

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State of the Union address (or “where the bloody hell are you?”)

Been ages since my last post, so I figured I might as well post a “State of the Union address”. YouTube has become a dry husk for me, I just haven’t been feeling it for a year or more. Yes, I’m still playing Minecraft, and still enjoying it, but recording was ripping the soul out of the game for me, so I stopped. Will I return? TBH, I really don’t know (and if I do, it won’t be in any sort of a “live” way).

Twitch on the other hand appeals to me (again…), I can just jump on and do whatever it is I want to do, and if folks want to watch/hang out, they can. I can dig that. If real life/work will let me start down that path, I think that’s what I’ll do.

If you follow me on Twitter (what do you mean you don’t follow me on Twitter?), you’ll already know from my stream of consciousness on there that I have an Oculus Rift. I’ve played and 100% P.O.L.L.E.N. using the Rift – a thoroughly enjoyable experience that only made me feel a little bit motion sick once (I really don’t get motion sick… I’ve been in force 9+ gales in the English Channel in an inside cabin on ferries and the like and it hasn’t bothered me in the least, so that was something new), and I will recommend it until I’m blue in the face. Mindgames – do more in this “space” and I’ll love you guys forever.

I’ve now moved on to playing Elite:Dangerous Horizons (I backed their Kickstarter), and have to say that if David Braben didn’t design this game to be played with the Rift, it would surprise me. The single most comfortable Rift experience I’ve had – the in-game character model genuinely “feels” like an extension of your own body. If anything will convince me to restart streaming, it’s this… I started a new save recently and I’m currently in my Sidewinder making my way to Imperial space – 20 jumps to go. I really like the looks of the Imperial ships and will get myself one just as soon as my in-game wallet and rankings will permit it.


Made it to Imperial space! Sold all the exploration data I collected en route and ran a few data deliveries to get my initial standing with the Empire, then had another 20 jump journey to get to a known Imperial shipyard so I could purchase an Imperial Eagle. Happy as a pig in muck doesn’t really come close. Now I’ll just buzz around Imperial space until I have enough money (and rank) for the Imperial Courier.

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Ingress and TeamViewer – grey hatting (again)

TeamViewer 11 is bloody marvelous. There, I said it, and I won’t take it back! And one of its truly great features is it has Android host support; you can connect to an Android device and use it as if you had it in your hand(s). It’s beautifully responsive over all but the slowest of connections (and even then, I suspect if you were using a second Android device over say 3G to make the connection, they [TeamViewer] will have thought of that and will scale back the quality to keep up the responsiveness), and interestingly (for the Ingress player) Ingress works over this remote connection. Just think about that for a moment: Ingress and TeamViewer.

It makes for an interesting “experiment”: take a spare Android phone, have Ingress and TeamViewer 11 Host installed on it, and leave it charging somewhere like on your office desk where you just happen to be able to “hit” your desk portal 100% of the time, and where with a little bit of drift you can hit other portals. You can now hack your desk portal at any time you wish, no matter where you are in the world, using the TeamViewer Support client, and as long as your office building has reasonable security, you do not have to worry about your device being stolen.

When I figured this out, I asked my local team if they considered this “spoofing”? To a man/woman, they did. The view can best be summed up as “if the agent, device, and portal aren’t congruent, it’s spoofing”. I should hasten to add, I am in complete agreement on this, but I also think that this is going to be nigh on impossible for NIA to detect automagically, and that means you could abuse the suspicion to get players soft banned. That can be enough to screw up your Sojourner badge progress (as I know only too well).

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