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FrameAlbum Service Interruption – Resolved, no really this time!

Yes, that’s a fancy way of saying the durn thing is broken.

Both the website and the frame update service are down for the moment — I’m on it bhaybee!


Update: Sunday @ 2:20PM ET – My hosting provider had a unplanned ‘power event’ last night due to a failed UPS. The server itself seems to have come back OK but my firewall, not so much. I’m working with the hosting provider to resolve.

Update #2: Sunday @ 11:15PM ET – Looks like the firewall is toast. I’ve ‘hotwired’ it and I think everything is back up — I’ll check everything more completely in the morning.

Update #3: Monday @ 8:15AM ET – My trusty monitoring system reminded me that I had to update my custom DNS server to point to my new server IP address; Thanks Nagios! This should be the last of the lingering problems with the service. Now all I have to do is figure out how to replace my firewall from 1,500 miles away. ;-(

Some D-Link love

D-Link DIR-685
D-Link DIR-685

I was finally able to get my hands on a cheap D-Link DIR-685 router/frame. This is a combination WiFi router + network storage device with a teenie-weenie 3.2 inch frame. It naively supports FrameChannel as well as Microsoft’s defunct FrameIt service.

I fired it up, ran a cable from my existing network into the ‘internet’ jack (right-most jack on the back of the unit), and plugged my laptop into one of the 4 remaining jacks. I then started up my laptop and opened a browser and entered ‘’ into the address bar. After entering the password (the default is no password — wow, that’s profoundly bad.) I was presented with the administration page.

I went to the ‘SETUP’ page, then choose ‘Internet Setup’ on the left. I then clicked the ‘Manual Internet Connection Setup’ button. I made sure the ‘Internet Connection Type’ was set to ‘Dynamic IP (DHCP)’ and ‘Advanced DNS Service’ was off. Further down the page is an option to enter ‘Primary DNS address’ – GOAL!

I have setup a customized DNS server that will correctly route requests made by the device to the FrameAlbum service rather than the original FrameChannel servers. In the ‘Primary DNS address’ field enter and then ‘Save Settings’. You can leave the other fields on this page unchanged.

I then rebooted the DIR-685 and activated the FrameChannel option. I was watching the logs on the FrameAlbum server and I saw the request come in and then the server promptly generated an error message — DOH! A quick update of permissions on one of the servers directories and retried it — WHAM! I see the beautiful green ‘here is your activation code’ image on my itty-bitty screen.

I ran back to my computer, activated the screen on my FrameAlbum account, assigned it a channel and a while latter I was squinting to see my tiny photos on the screen. Yippie!

I did find another bug during this process; the system did not correctly identify this frame as a D-Link product so I have some work to do to track that down — not a biggie, it works just fine the way it is.

Sadly, I’ve learned that the DIR-685 differs from the DSM-210 in that it does not use the same requests when talking to the server. I was hoping to use this device as a surrogate to add support for that popular frame, but alas, no such luck.

So while I can cross the DIR-685 off the list of frames to test on the service I’m still in need of a DSM-210 to be able to add support for that frame. If anyone has one they aren’t using and would be willing to sell cheap, drop me a line.