NutPile was launched as a public offering in January of 2018. Before this, it was an internal tool that we used for our own IT business. Internally, we used the raw data to know what was going on but in order to make NutPile something that anyone can use, we needed to work on developing what you see now and there is a lot more coming.
What you see as of this writing is mainly just a base or framework for what is coming. We want to give Internet consumers everything they need to keep network operators on their toes along with a number of useful services at low cost.
While development notes go back several years, this changelog is a basic one for members, started on November 2017. A few older but significant mentions were added but mainly, notes are moving forward. Note that this is not a standard developers log but one for members, to let users know about fixes, updates, planned features and so on.
-Occasionally, Internet explorer seems to behave badly in some cases, forcing members to have to refresh repeatedly for new views.
Please report problems
No matter how much testing we do, bugs can still slip through. Thinking that someone else probably reported it means that we’ll probably not know about some problems for a long time because most people do not take the time to report, they just move on.
By taking the time to report problems, you can help us to fix issues in turn making the service better for you and others. Please include as much detail as possible so that we can reproduce the problems.
The NutPile developers team thanks you for your feedback
May 24 2018 - Linux software agents were being removed
A short while ago, someone reported that each time they installed our Linux agent, it would get removed from their control panel. Obviously., this can be very confusing and annoying.
Thankfully, this person took the time to let us know about this and we started digging into it right away. We found that this was happening because the code is not updating the status of a self installed Linux agent correctly.
Prior to adding self installed Linux agents, NutPile would provide agents pre-configured, tested and running for members. We are now aware of the problem and fixing it. If you notice your Linux agent disappearing from your control panel, please try again in a day or two as the problem will be solved soon.
May 22 2018 - Notifications update
The notifications allowed for very fine grained controls but those controls came at the cost of confusing members.
We have struggled with notifications for a long time because while we want to give you the information you need it, the cost was being flagged as a spammer. Worse, if members enabled instant notifications to be sent repeatedly, many would flag the notifications as spam rather than logging back into their control panel and simply disabling them.
The solution is now simpler than ever. Rather then trying to find the perfect balance, we now leave it up to the member to decide. No more confusing controls and only one decision to be made. The notifications page shows how many emails are allowed, how many were sent and the one control is for you to decide if you want to keep receiving them after X number have been sent.
The fact is, why send a lot of emails when all we need do is log into the control panel to see what’s going on. Simple, efficient and much less confusing.
Apr 26 2018 - Speed testing limit was being imposed
The NCP application was limiting speed testing to 20Mbps. This limit has been removed.
NutPile allows for speed testing with speed limits imposed.
The speed test has a hidden feature which limits the speed of the test to prevent full saturation.
The point behind this is that you can always use a speed test site manually if you’d like to see your speed at any given moment but the main point behind speed testing is to determine if your bandwidth has slowed so much that it is unusable.
We conducted a lot of testing in this area when building our speed test feature and these articles explain our findings.
Extreme internet speed testing, simply wastes our and neighbors bandwidth
Are Internet speed tests for real? Why are speed test sites in fact somewhat useless
Our thoughts behind imposing the limit was that there is no point in constantly fully saturating your connection to determine it’s speed and better to know if you have usable or completely unusable bandwidth.
Apr 20 2018 - Dashboard and other updates
In the past few months, the development team has been working non stop both in the background and on things you can see and use. We have not been able to keep up with this changelog but then again, this is more for updates than an ongoing full changelog. Today, we introduced yet another milestone for the NutPile dashboard, all meant to make things easier to see and understand.
In an effort to make functionality quickly and easily understood, our updated dashboard now better delineates free and subscribed services. The Advanced tab leads to all of the details for events being shown in the dashboard. A small subscription fee enables the application to gather up more information which can be used to diagnose problems.
Knowing and being able to show what is going on with your Internet could become invaluable for professionals, small business and countless others that need reliable and actually ‘always on’ Internet. This is especially true for remote, work from home employees that need to be accountable to their employer. In fact, large companies which pay for employee services could receive credits by using the NutPile reports to show providers cumulative problems.
Configure and Details
We have separated items to make them more intuitive to access. The Configure tab is where all agent settings can be found while all of the details about the agent can be found in the Details tab. Some of the details are already shown in the At a glance section for quick preview.
At a glance
We have updated this section of the dashboard to make it easier to see what is going on and to navigate when you need to get in order to make configuration changes. Now you can click on any editable option to get to its settings.
We have also separated free and subscribed features to again help make everything clear and easy to understand.
The current and future free features will be listed under ‘Included at no cost’, subscribed features will be listed under ‘Subscription based’ and so on. Note that all items below the ‘Subscription based’ list are included. You do not have to subscribe to each separately.
We have also cleaned some things up in the dashboard to make them easier to read and to make room for future additions.
NutPile enabled devices
Enabled for specific members and for specific functionality, this section is mainly for information only for those members. In some cases, some of these and other features could become available to everyone so are listed here.
As always, please take a moment to send us an email to let us know how we are doing. You’ll notice there are ? next to most features, an FAQ link and a ‘Get Help Now’ button if you need help. With your feedback, we continue to make NutPile better.
Mar 22 2018 - ISP Stats added (Internet Service Provider)
Today we have released a new statistic for the dashboard called ISP Stats.
ISP is short for Internet Service Provider.
These stats are related to your ISP only, LAN and beyond ISP are not included in these stats.
Notice that we’ve included an option where you can enter your billing date along with your monthly cost. This will allow the system to calculate at any given time a theoretical total that the ISP could owe you if you were looking for credits on services which may have been particularly bad during a month or months.
This stat is provided mainly as ‘interesting’ because the agent cannot test all of the ISPs connection points meaning you could have suffered a large number of additional outages but because the agent is testing only one path at a time, this stat cannot include other outages which you could have suffered.
For the most part, the amount of credit will not add up to much unless you have had significant problems during a certain billing period. In that case, the fact that this stat could show a significant amount and keeping in mind that you are not seeing all of the outages which affected you, you would probably be owe something from your ISP.
That said, this is the early version of this stat and we will eventually be able to give you exactly that number at one point, a complete stat showing totals which could in theory be used to ask for credits back on your bill.
In the meantime, play around with this and we hope you’ll find it useful.
Mar 16 2018 - New dashboard released
Today, the new dashboard went live and while this version is completely different than the previous reports were, there is much more to come.
Note that most of the FAQ has been updated though there could be a few small things which have been missed but will be updated as well. More details will be added in order to explain exactly what is going on as well.
Please feel free to contact us any time for help or feedback.
Feb 2 2018 - Update
A few days ago, we made some small changes to help users find help more easily.
Previously, there was a Help menu in your NCP control panel which had two links, one for our FAQ and another for our Support tickets link. These were moved to their own links in the menu in the hopes of making the availability of help more obvious.
The FAQ is where you can find help on most functions in the control panel and on how to use agents. This is constantly updated though at times, hard to make sure things are fully up to date as we are making some massive changes to the reports.
For the past couple of months, we have been planning and now working on replacing the current reports with a dashboard based one.
The work is coming along well and our intention is to not only making reports easier to understand but easier to navigate as well.
When we get to an alpha version of the new reports, a new icon will show up in the current ports which will allow you to try out the new look. When this happens, we would very much welcome your input and feedback to catch bugs or to enhance the new reports.
Dec 12 2017 - Outage classification, changed gui
As of today, you’ll notice a slightly different looking NCP page. The change is due to column changes and wanting to clean up the look a little bit. We will not be spending a great deal of time on the look since we are er-designing all new reports to be released in the future.
As part of our ongoing effort to make the site as easy to use and informative as possible, a new classification algorithm has been released. This new algorithm is in its early stages and will be refined over time as data builds up.
Now when you look at the details of certain events, you will notice a new item labelled ‘Problem with’. The algorithm looks at a number of metrics about your connection and determines how your network path or connection is made up. The three classifications are as follow.
LAN – If the problem is in your home or building, you’ll see LAN.
ISP – If the problem is outside, with your Internet provider, you’ll see ISP.
NSP – If the problem is beyond your ISP, known as Network Service Provider, you’ll see ‘Beyond ISP’.
The intention is to make your reports more easily understood by letting you know where the problem might be, either at your location, outside and with your provider (ISP) or beyond.
Notification emails have also been updated to show where the problem is for each event.
Nov 30 2017 - Re-install option/method added
If for some reason you need to re-install the agent on a Windows machine, there was no way of doing so while keeping the current agents statistical data. The only way was to create a new agent while keeping the old one as historical only. A new tab called Manage has been added into the agent settings which allows three different options for agent management.
If you have moved this agent to a new address or wish to start its reports as new, use the reset option. This clears all previous data and resets your reports as new for this agent.
If you wish to continue using this agent but need to re-install the software on your PC, use this option. If you remove the software from your PC without using this option these reports will become historical only until you delete this agent from your NCP.
If you would like to completely remove all reports for this agent, use the Delete option. This is an irreversible function meaning that this agent will be removed from your NCP along with all of its reports. You may install a new agent at any time.
Nov 23 2017 - Complete overhaul of notifications
Today we released a complete overhaul of the notifications system. Rather than having to go into Edit then Settings to change notifications, this can now be done directly from the Manage Agents list.
There you will find an envelope icon with initially two major notification settings.
Inactive Agent – Notification about an agent no longer communicating or perhaps suffering an outage.
Outage notifications – Set how many times, how often and how quickly you would like to be notified of outages.
This is the base or framework where all future notifications will be controlled from. We want to give you as much control over everything as possible.
Please, never flag notifications as spam and instead log into the NCP to manage email notifications. When you flag emails as spam, the mail service you are using could end up blocking legitimate emails to other users who want to receive them. Thank you.
Nov 9 2017 - Agent Upgrade/Renewal updates
Cart configuration errors
-Shipping was being added which is incorrect. This has been fixed.
-Multiple renewals could be added which is incorrect since upgrades/renewals are agent specific.
Nov 8 2017 - Text reports update, installation flow
Agent installation, management and flow
The installation process could be a bit confusing for some and this is a discussion which comes up on an almost daily basis. Our goal is always to try and make the process simpler and easier to understand. There were too many tabs, too many steps and too many options.
We not only updated the wording of the installation process but also changed the flow, making it easier to install and to update. The the Actions Manage icon has been removed and replaced with a software version notice. If the agent is running the current version, the icon is white. If there is an update for this agent, the icon is red. When clicking on this icon, you are taken directly to the installation page.
Reports and views
We have updated the text view of the reports preventing data from showing which may be meaningless to members along with fixing a small bug where text reports were being shown using UTC time and not the time zone set for this agent.
These changes help pave the way toward new reports which we are working on to replace the graphic views as the default.
Nov 7 2017 - Reset and delete moved
The reset and delete options were previously icons in the manage Agents view.
Both of these have been moved to a new tab in the Edit function which is the small pencil icon in the Manage Agents view.
Nov 4 2017 - Support tickets added
A new support system has been added into the NCP.
Members can now click on Help, then the Support Tickets option in order to create tickets or check the status of existing ones.
The NCP code does not (currently) allow for a support system. Therefore, when you click on this option, you will be redirected via new tab to our main web site.
You must be logged into NCP in order to use this feature. If you have not created a purchase account (even if you have not ordered anything yet), then you will not be automatically logged in.
We have an issue open to add s synchronize function since the support code is actually on our main web site and not built into NCP.
Nov 2 2017 - Inactive agent email notifications
Notifications are a tricky function in that we want to inform members as quickly as possible but we also don’t want to spam anyone.
Part of the solution is to determine a flow for emails which is an ongoing challenge.
Inactive agent conditions
When a member installs an agent, they need as much information as possible so making sure that the agent is communicating is most important. When the agent fails to communicate, it can only mean one of three things.
-The Internet connection that the agent is monitoring is experiencing an outage
-The agent has stopped running and/or been disconnected from the network in some way
-The user no longer wishes to monitor this Internet connection.
NutPile is unable to know what the condition is and makes the assumption that members wants to monitor their connection and therefore want to know if/when an agent is no longer communicating.
NutPile sends a notice soon after confirming that the agent is no longer communicating. A second email is sent within approximately 12hrs if this condition continues. No further notifications will be sent.
If the agent resumes communications before 12hrs have passed, then this resets the notifications for this agent and the cycle begins again.
Oct 2 2017 - Added mouse over help
We maintain an FAQ for all functionality but also want to help the member without their having to open another tab. We have added mouse help help in the form of questions marks. Mousing over the question marks shows brief information bout that function.
Oct 9 2017 - Software agreement
The software agreement has been added directly into the installation/upgrade process. A new tab will open when a member wishes to read the licensing.
Sep 12 2017 - New platforms added, Linux, OpenWrt
Members now have the ability to download and install the NutPile monitoring agent for some newer Linux flavors along with ar71xx and ramips based devices running OpenWrt.
Previously, these versions were only available on pre-installed NutPile shipped agents.
Sep 7 2017 - Speed test
Speed test graph was not showing the correct amount of time as default. This has been fixed.
Speed test could be enabled in some cases even if the user had speed testing disabled. This has been fixed.