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The last few days have been notable largely thanks to the premature failure of a Samsung Evo 860 SSD which corrupted my Windows 10 install. A bunch of faffing about later (in spite of the fact that I have my PC backed up using the built-in Windows backup feature) I found myself having to setup up my user profile again. I should note that I stopped using Windows regularly in the XP time frame so I'm not particularly comfortable with it, but I keep this one system around to run games since gaming on macOS or Linux is for the youth who have not realized how precious their time is yet.
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In a lot of places school has started back up and based on the amount of traffic I have seen people seem to think that things are returning to normal in spite of the fact that it absolutely has not. Record numbers of people are still out of work even if you ignore the number of people getting sick and dying from the pandemic.
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There has been much written about the Epic / Apple / Google love triangle currently happening wherein Epic Games (a ~17.3 billion USD valued private company) has purposefully broken the terms of service of Apple (a 2.13 trillion USD valued public company) and Google (a subsidiary of a 1.07 trillion USD valued public company) to create cause to sue Apple and Google over the size of the cut they take under the guise of the app stores being anti-competitive.
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I've had a UniFi USG-3 in the office for a while now, and I have had a few problems with it over the years. The most recent being a quirk of the configuration system that ham strings certificate authentication with intermediate CAs. You can read about my struggle a little bit in a previous post.
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I recently found myself overcome by a brief spat of boredom. A general haze of nostalgia accompanied the boredom and it got me thinking of earlier days of the Internet. A number of mostly-forgotten fads came to mind, the web counter, the under construction gif, the best viewed with browser logo, and the venerable webcam. The webcam itself was an evolution of other, more pratical network connected cameras and they have continued to progress farther than I would have expected. A quick search of my archives revealed that I still had the very last frame captured from my webcam.
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It has been a while since I wrote one of these. Honestly for a long time I didn't really have anything to add to my previous post. I still routinely watch the channels previously listed and still highly recommend them. The following are channels I have found since that I would add to the list, in no particular order.
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I currently have a handful of containerized apps that I maintain in a shared repository and a few more that are in their own repositories. I wanted to be able to trigger builds of all my container projects from a single post-receive hook so I leaned on the work I did previously cleaning up my git hooks and created a script that will look in the root of the repository for a Dockerfile and if it finds one will launch a builder container using the same python script that I wrote about previously.
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... or how I stopped worrying and learned to love Device Tree.
I have been looking around for a long time for a green CRT Wyse terminal to replace one I had many many years ago but got rid of in a move. I finally found a decent WY-60 on EBay so I picked that up at the end of last year. Now that I've had some time on my hands I set about getting it to do something useful.
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It turns out that describing my new Thoughts system has turned into a three part series. You probably want to go back and read the previous two articles before reading this one.
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Ages ago I built
a FlightAware ADS-B feeder on a
Raspberry Pi Model B Rev 1.
To this day it is still running and happily feeding data to both
FlightAware and FlightRadar24. Earlier this
year I even built another feeder for the
UAT variant. Well FlightAware finally
released support for
Raspbian (Debian) 10.0 (Buster)
so I decided that it was time to upgrade. At first I started down the path of
simply making a new manifest for Puppet which readers of
this blog might recognize as my preferred configuration management utility.
Well the two feeders I have are both rather under-powered and have pretty small
memories. Since the SDR decoding process takes up so much CPU time and memory
is already very thin running the Puppet agent just didn't make a lot of sense. It turns
out that "look at Ansible again" has been sitting
around aging nicely in my
~/TODO so I figured why not.
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Being sequestered in the house for the last month and a bit has given me
(as I am sure it has most of us) an opportunity to go through the old
~/TODO list. One of the things that has been aging on there has been
to finally explore "Serverless Computing" (whomever coined that phrase
has forgotten the face of their father). When evaluating the various
options available I decided to look at
for a variety of reasons. Firstly of the big three, I find Microsoft the
least distasteful. Their business model isn't 'harvest everyone's data and
sell it while also sometimes doing other things', instead they are an old
world corporation who seems to basically have a go-to-market strategy of
exchange goods and services for money. Secondly when I first started
looking into this they were the only provider to support
Python which is my preferred language.
I did also look at Cloudflare Workers briefly as running functions at the edge
makes a lot more sense to me than running them in a central datacenter but
the lack of Python support and the lack of a couple other features (more
on that as I talk about requirements) meant I'd need to incorporate their
technology with something else which isn't what I was looking to do.
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Shortly after Christmas I finally broke down and bought myself a MikroTik Wireless Wire kit to connect my network out to my garage. The kit consists of a pair of wAP 60G units pre-paired for a point to point link. About 3 years ago I installed several Ubiquiti UniFi access points, then after adding UniFi Video to the garage I swapped out a failing Linksys switch with a UniFi SW8-150. Throughout all of this the garage remained linked to the house via the UniFi meshing between the UAP-AC-MESH on the garage and the UAP-AC-PRO in the basement. This worked but was not fantastic as the meshing relies on WDS to extend the WiFi to the remote access point. Since WiFi runs over a single set of channels it is inherently half duplex (eg: the AP and the device both use the same channel for transmit and receive), and by extending my network in this manner the performance on the part of the property covered by the basement and garage access points was not what it could have been.
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So I came into the office this morning and noticed that my Ubiquiti USG-3
had upgraded itself from
and the VPN tunnel was down. I flailed at a few obvious things, reset the
clock since it had lost connection to my NTP server, made sure the
configuration didn't get wiped, made sure my certificates appeared to be in
place. Everything checked out OK and the logs weren't showing anything so
I went and cranked up the debug level in
changing the level of both ike and net to 2 and restarting the daemon with
ipsec stop and
ipsec start. After a bit I noticed the following in
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