Monthly Archives: January 2014


The move starts in a few days. We’re pretty much all packed now, just a few things from the kitchen, some clothes, some stuff on the balcony left. We’re living on microwave dinners and plastic utensils. We got rid of our dishwasher because the new place has one already. We still have a 120cm bed, and a desk (the desk is gone, thanks M!) that need a new owner. Should we not find one, we’ll take em to Kierrätyskeskus or somewhere, so they can be resold or recycled. If you know me, and want either or both, and can pick them up, just get a hold of me before the weekend.

Not really looking forward to the actual move this weekend. It’ll be tough, long days. And after that, a week of things finding their correct places, living out of boxes.. Bleh.

What I am looking forward to, is the new home office. I’ve already made some plans in my head as to the networking in the house. There’s an 8 or 10 port patch panel in the foyer, which I can use to network the different rooms at least to some degree if necessary, though, I will be taking my cable internet connection with me. My carrier also offers “ethernet” to my apartment, at 100/10 (the cable connection is 200/15 or something), and I might end up switching to that, should the cable connection prove shitty or unreliable, or uncomfortable to connect. I’m not sure whether I can get the cable modem near the patch panel, then take the ethernet from the cable modem to the patch that goes to the home office. There, from the wall, it’ll go to the OpenBSD pf-machine, and from there to my home network. If I can’t get the cable modem near the patch panel (depends on whether there is an antenna connection in there), it’ll have to go somewhere near the antenna wall sockets (there’s one in every room, luckily), and then onward from there.

I’d like to have the modem in there, near the patch panel obviously. There’s a power outlet there, and plenty of space. But I forgot (being the idiot that I am) to check if there’s an antenna output in there.

I could go all crazy and get the ethernet as a redundant connection and do some magic on the pf-box so I can switch to that if the cable connection goes down. It was like 35 bucks a month for the 100/10, I think. There was a slower, cheaper alternative, which could function well as a redundant connection, or say, I could provide an airgapped guest WLAN or something absurd like that.

I’m thinking of mounting the TV on the wall. I might just do that, too. Expect pictures.

I’m still reading ‘Diamond Age’ by Neal Stephenson. Last 30 pages or so. I think I see the endgame already, but I’m not entirely sure. It’s gotten pretty convoluted, in a cool way. I’m pretty sure I’ll tackle “The Baghdad Blog” next. Should be a quick read.

The Trouble with Tumblr…and other stuff

So.. I’ve been thinking about two things in relation to Tumblr, the popular image-blogging site.

1) Why is it so hard to get an image in the original size? Sure, this may be theme related stuff, I’m not tumblr’d enough to say. But when you see a thumbnail on a site, shouldn’t you just be able to click it, and get the original, right? This has been the kind of.. use case since the very early days of the internet. The point of the thumbnail is to, one, decrease load times by displaying a smaller ‘preview’ image first, and letting the user decide whether he wants to load the larger image, and two, to save layout space on your site by not covering the entire screen with one image. The case in Tumblr is often that I’m clicking on an image, and then I’m taken to the comments page, where I can either click the “source” link under the image, or the link for the person (‘via xxxxx’) who reblogged the image from the original poster. Then I might get the large, original picture. Or not! I find this extremely disturbing. If  it is a theme issue, then okay, fine. But then most people are using very broken themes. It also might signify that most people have no idea how to fix the theme, or even what makes up a ‘theme’ on Tumblr. Which might, or might not, say something about the blogger on Tumblr. But enough about this angle! I digress!

2) Who provides the original content? Pick any tumblr, save for say, the official Tumblr page for a celebrity or so. Look at the images. Are they all reposts/reblogs of some other image? In some cases the reblog chain for an image is stuponfuciously long. Is there original content on Tumblr, or is like, everything a reblog of a reblog of a reblog of a reblog of some picture someone found somewhere, which was still not the original source?

Okay, I realize this is a silly thing to get annoyed over, but that’s me.. for you.

On to other things!

I’m moving. Again. I seem to live in one apartment for two to three years. But this time, it’ll be different! It’s a sweet pad. Built 2011. Four rooms, a big washroom and sauna. 98 m^2. Huge living room (I’m looking into the crystal ball and I’m seeing, yes.. a projector…). And, again, a hacking room. Same as in my last apartment. I missed that place. A room that I can fill top-to-bottom with hardware, books, whatever. A place where I can sit down, close the door and do whatever. I’m getting fuzzies just thinking about it. It’ll be great. Also, nobody will be disturbed by the humming. It’ll just be there, and it’ll be sweet.

What else what else. Didak has posted some new pics of his famous Home Office, version 7. They are the sweetness. Check them out. Waiting for a writeup or something, or a making of article. I’ve really enjoyed those in the past.

I wanted ESXi 5.5 on some Dell and HP boxes. I had no joy booting from a USB that was made using Unetbootin or Win32DiskImager. It simply wouldn’t boot. Now note, that the same image would eventually boot correctly via ILO/iDRAC using the virtual media feature. It might be a problem with the USB media I was using. Or the software that I’m using to create the bootable media. Or the specific server hardware, or the BIOS/UEFI settings of them, or UEFI in general. I googled for a solution, and I found one. Here it is! Following those instructions, I now have a proper bootable (on any machine I’ve encountered so far) media, with ESXi 5.5 on it. It might be helpful for you. Also, remember to use the vendor specific media for both HP and Dell, and not the generic VMWare Image. They contain  diagnostic tools, drivers and other stuff that will be useful later. You can find the vendor specific bootable media for HP and Dell in those two links there. These may or not be current, but they’ll take you somewhere. For Dell, google for the esxi version, and then A0x, where x is a number. When I was installing, the latest was A01.

What I’ve been reading lately: Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector (his last book?). Okay for a Clancy, and pretty eerily realistic. After that I started on Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. Which has been moving a bit slowly at times. It goes from okay to excellent between chapters, so sometimes I’m reading twenty pages in one go, and sometimes it’s more like sixty or eighty. It’s a curious book, that. There are absolutely brilliant parts, and then some parts that are, to put bluntly, boring. But I’ve been meaning to read that for a while now, and I’ll be happy to finish it soon. Snow Crash was excellent, and so was Reamde. After this I will either read The Baghdad Blog, by ‘Salam Pax’, or another Clancy perhaps? I have like five books on my reading shelf.


Saying Hi to 2014

So.. 2014. Real psyched! Not really. No big plans for 2014, but there are a few milestones coming up nonetheless. My son will start elementary school this fall, which will obviously be HUGE. We’re not going abroad this year; we’re sort of planning a bigger trip in 2015 (possibly Japan), so that’s okay. It doesn’t rule out shorter trips, though. Maybe we’ll drive up north, or something.

I’m starting to get settled at my new job, and things are going smooth. Lots to do, which is not a bad thing at all. Loads of new stuff to learn, which is always great, and I need that. Not really much I can speak of, except a FreeNAS-build that I’m working on. I’ll maybe do a post or two on that build once it’s done. Sure, it’s not the EMC or IBM storage system that I often work with, but this is a cool project, that’s kind of on the sideburner. It’ll be done when it’s done.

At home, I’ve added a two-disk Iomega NAS to my network. It’s an IX-200, running in RAID1. So far, good experience. Sure, it’s not a honking big ZFS FreeNAS-box or anything, but it’ll do great as a dump/one of my backup locations. Quoting whoever said it first “If it isn’t in at least three locations, it doesn’t really exist”, refering to backups/data in general. I’ve also switched out my trusty Linksys WRT54GL to a TP-Link WR841N. It’s essentially a cheap-ish 802.11N spec access point, that can also run custom firmware. Currently on stock, but planning on putting in either OpenWRT or DD-WRT at some point. Both are installable and supported. I’ve gotten speeds of 144Mbps from the device (a laptop) to the AP, so it’s not all too bad.  The stock firmware doesn’t actually look too bad on that thing either. Gotta see if there’s something that actually is missing, which would warrant replacing it.

What else what else.. Well, I got a Sanyo Eneloop quick charger, with four AA Eneloop batteries. Everyone’s been saying good things about the Eneloop-series of products, so I have great expectations.

Updated my pf-box to OpenBSD 5.4. No biggie here.

One kind of “Wanna”-project for this year would be a ZFS-box. Let’s see if I have the funds for this. It’ll be a RAM-heavy box with both SSD’s and spinny disks. WD Red is really pleasing me (running that disk in two of my boxes currently), so that’s probably my go-to as for the rotating rust. SSDs will either be in there or not. If they are, they’ll be Intel’s most probably. My use case for an L2ARC and ZIL are speculative at best, so the only reason I’d have them is for practice and fun.

Bleh. My muse is not present, so this’ll be it.