Matthew Ernisse

June 03, 2021 @19:00

One of the more popular things that I have written in recent times is a small Python tool that gets statistics from an Arris SB8200 DOCSIS cable modem and sends them to InfluxDB. I then visualize this data in Grafana to keep an eye on the physical status of my cable Internet connection. This setup has happily chugged along since sometime in 2019, but sadly its time to put it all to bed.

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May 07, 2021 @11:53

I'm a feckless curmudgeon, so of course I believe that software that provides security infrastructure -- especially physical security infrastructure shouldn't be trying to chase the upgrade dragon like a heroin addict, but I digress. My UniFi Video installation stopped working last night and I was a bit distressed. Yes I know it isn't supported anymore and Ubiquiti would REALLY LIKE ME TO UPGRADE TO PROTECT NOW PLEASE. But never the less. Turns out, dear lazyweb that a Java update screwed me.

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Original: May 02, 2021 @23:00
Edited: June 09, 2021 @09:45

I've always been fairly adamant that unless the built-in application for core mobile device functionality (things like contacts, calendar, phone dialer, SMS messenger, e-mail, camera, photos, music playback) is unfit for purpose that I would use it. A lot of it comes from a long history of third party applications just never being quite as well integrated as first party and my reliance on these functions. I have very few apps on my phone and other than SMS messaging the most often used is the Podcast app. Sadly iOS 14.5 seems to have opted to replace the podcast app with something no one bothered to use or test.

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January 17, 2021 @20:00


Back in 2013 I was able to cram an Ivy Bridge i5 and 6 3TB hard drives into a Mini-ITX Lian Li case. I called the system tardis as it was intended to be both a NAS and a hypervisor and it has served me well since. The only drawback with the system was the limited memory support. Intel's Ivy Bridge processors support 32GB of RAM but the Intel H61 Express chipset used on the ECS H61H2-MV motherboard I chose only supports 16GB and that turns out to have been the main limiting factor as that was the first resource I ran out of.

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January 02, 2021 @20:37

It seems like top N lists are popular at the begining of the year so here are the 10 most visited posts as tracked by the metric collection system that I wrote in 2018.

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October 14, 2020 @17:10

Now that iOS 14 is almost a month old, I can't help but feeling that the text messages that I sent to a friend at launch feels more like wishful thinking than tongue in cheek snark.

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September 24, 2020 @16:06

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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August 21, 2020 @20:28

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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August 14, 2020 @21:59

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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April 30, 2020 @11:30

... 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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April 14, 2020 @13:00

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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March 11, 2020 @15:00

The Problem

So I came into the office this morning and noticed that my Ubiquiti USG-3 had upgraded itself from v4.4.44.5213844 to v4.4.50.5272448 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 /etc/strongswan.d/charon-logging.conf 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 /var/log/charon.log:

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February 16, 2020 @17:57

Buried in a long rant about general Apple screwyness lately I mentioned that I've been having issues with automount(8) in macOS Catalina. I have been periodically poking around at the system to see if I can figure out why the heck it is happening. The general wonkyness already drove me to convert my iTunes Library backup script to using rsync(1) to use SSH as a transport instead of simply copying to the automounted backup folder.

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February 14, 2020 @22:40

I have not really had the time to sit down and have a good rant about Apple lately. I swear that I try not to get too emotionally invested in products but since I end up using one Apple product or another just about every day the annoyance just seems to pile up and eventually I just need to let it out. I will start on a somewhat nice note by remembering that since switching to OSX back around Snow Leopard and iOS back in 2017 it has mostly been a decent experience. At first I really liked having simple access to Unix style tools in an OS that I didn't need to screw around with. I also appreciated the privacy features and consistent user interface in iOS.

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February 11, 2020 @09:30

I was chasing down random errors last weekend in an effort to cut down on the daily deluge of messages from cron(8) and I realized that it had been several months since the Synology NAS I have at work successfully backed up. It only runs once a week so the e-mails largely got overlooked and somewhat shamefully when I came across them I often suspected that the office Internet connection just dropped mid-transfer.

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