IPv6 Testing on Apple Personal Hotspot

I have IPv6 set up and running on my home network, but there was some testing I wanted to run remotely. My local Starbucks WiFi isn’t running IPv6 according to my quick test with https://test-ipv6.com/

2019-10-28 (2)

The same test from my iPhone on TMobile shows it’s running IPv6 by default.

20191028_221547000_iOS

I had read somewhere that Apple supported IPv6 on the personal hotspot through a loophole in the netmask routing algorithms used by most providers..

When I tested the local network connection on my computer while connected to the Apple Personal Hotspot, it appeared to be running IPv6.

Mon 10/28/2019 14:57:08.69 C:\Users\Wim>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : WimSurface
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . : WIMSWORLD.local
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : WIMSWORLD.local

Wireless LAN adapter Local Area Connection* 4:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter #4
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : B6-AE-2B-C1-21-16
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes

Wireless LAN adapter Local Area Connection* 6:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter #5
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : B6-AE-2B-C1-24-16
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes

Wireless LAN adapter Wi-Fi:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : home
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : B4-AE-2B-C1-20-17
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes

Ethernet adapter Bluetooth Network Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Bluetooth PAN HelpText
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : B4-AE-2B-C1-20-18
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 2607:fb90:f2a:1b9b:4d30:692:7441:1cf4(Preferred)
Temporary IPv6 Address. . . . . . : 2607:fb90:f2a:1b9b:2495:be8c:b229:b0b6(Preferred)
Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::4d30:692:7441:1cf4%4(Preferred)
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 172.20.10.2(Preferred)
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.240
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Monday, October 28, 2019 3:01:16 PM
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 2:46:49 PM
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::1089:a438:80a9:f8e%4
                                    172.20.10.1
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 172.20.10.1
DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 95727147
DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-01-1D-D8-F3-3B-B4-AE-2B-C1-20-17
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : fe80::1089:a438:80a9:f8e%4
                                    172.20.10.1
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled

Mon 10/28/2019 15:03:26.55 C:\Users\Wim>

Unfortunately when I connected to my phone from my computer via the personal hotspot, I wasn’t able to get positive IPv6 results. Obviously the hotspot was working since I was able to get to the test site via IPv4 without issues.

2019-10-28 (1)

I’d read “RIPE NIC: ‘In Five Weeks We’ll Run Out of IPv4 Internet Addresses’ “ earlier today and have always been interested in understanding more of the nuances of using IPv6 compared to IPv4. Getting Ready for IPv4 Run-out has more information on how they are allocating IPv4 addresses..

 

 

iTunes, Microsoft Store, COM Interface Type Library

Several years ago I’d written a program to manipulate data in the iTunes library using the approved Apple COM API. Part of the way this works in a C program is to include a type library in the headers defining all of the function calls. When iTunes is installed in the traditional way, Apple embedded the type library in the executable, and the executable was installed in a traditional location.

#import "C:/Program Files (x86)/iTunes/iTunes.exe"
using namespace iTunesLib;

With the installation of iTunes from the Microsoft store, the iTunes executable no longer lives in that location. Today my application builds properly with the following import command, but it may change mysteriously with version changes and automatic updates via the store.

#import "C:/Program Files/WindowsApps/AppleInc.iTunes_12093.3.37141.0_x64__nzyj5cx40ttqa/iTunes.exe"
using namespace iTunesLib;

My program builds and runs more reliably than it used to, which I’m assuming is in part due to the fact that I appear to now be using a 64 bit version of iTunes, and all the extra work Apple put in to make iTunes more reliable on windows in general.

Finding the iTunes application itself was the hardest part of the transition. I’m happy the API still exists because Apple no longer hosts easy access to the documentation for the API, and http://www.joshkunz.com/iTunesControl/ seems to be the most complete and searchable information.

iTunes, Microsoft Store, Microsoft Surface

Last year, Apple finally worked enough with Microsoft to get the iTunes program for windows available in the Microsoft Online Store. I’d always had problems with upgrading iTunes in windows in the past, requiring me to completely uninstall, reboot, and install the new version each time I wanted to upgrade. Often I had to not just uninstall iTunes, but search for other helper programs that Apple might have installed and uninstall them before rebooting.  I did the complete uninstall before I installed the version from the Microsoft store. Since that time, iTunes has almost magically been up to date on my desktop computer. The Microsoft store updates seem to get installed in downtime on my computer and everything just works.

I’m stuck in my ways a bit as far as music goes. I’ve get a large ripped CD collection, that I keep the originals all in a set of binders including the original paper inserts. My iPhone has 256GB of storage, more than half of which is my music.

I’ve kept my iPhone synchronized with my desktop computer because of the storage requirements of all of the music in the past, but at times have wished I was synchronizing with my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet that I travel with, and use just as much as my desktop. My Surface has 256GB of storage in the internal SSD, and I’ve been using a 256GB micro sd card in the accessible storage slot for the past couple of years. That’s good for movies while traveling, but I didn’t want to allocate over half the space to iTunes.

2019-03-11

The falling price of flash cards recently convinced me to buy a new 512GB flash card to leave in the Surface. I was able to get all of my music transferred over to the SD card and iTunes installed from the Microsoft Store with very little impact on the internal storage on my Surface. I followed the Apple support ducument and had a few issues because my library had never been consolidated from my early MP3 ripping days.

I’ve been running my Surface SSD with between 50 and 70GB free, which from what I’ve read about SSD usage is good for both lifespan and performance. The iTunes directory on my micro SD card consists of 24,169 files and 137,859,861,360 bytes according to a simple dir /s command.

All was looking good until I got around to connecting my iPhone to the new machine and telling it to backup on the new machine. The backup completed correctly, but I then found out that it had used up all the free space on my internal SSD and I was now down to less than 3GB free space.

A quick search on the web led me to this page explaining how to relocate the backups to an external drive in windows. That seemed good, until I realized that the directory described does not exist on my machine. One more change that seems to have happened to iTunes locations in the Microsoft Store move. A search on my machine led me to find the MobileSync directory in my user profile directory. I used robocopy to move the backup directory to an appropriate directory on my flash card, which took a while because it consisted of 58,623 files and 77,743,703,474 bytes. I then created a directory junction from the SSD location to the flash location.

robocopy /COPYALL /E /MOVE C:\Users\Wim\Apple\MobileSync\Backup D:\Wim\Apple\MobileSync\Backup
mklink /J C:\Users\Wim\Apple\MobileSync\Backup D:\Wim\Apple\MobileSync\Backup

After all that had completed I started iTunes and connected my phone, initiating another backup. Everything now appears to be working properly, with iTunes storing both it’s library and device backups on my secondary storage device.

The only drawback I’ve currently run into is that I use Windows Server Essentials 2016 as a home server and it’s device backup feature to backup my machine for emergency file recovery. The microsd card is recognized as removable media, and the backup software doesn’t easily let me include it in the regular backup strategy.