Tech Enthusiast

In no way am I a digital native. After graduating high school, my only internet experience was making my MySpace page as loud as possible and finding websites that explained how to get viruses off my eMachines Windows XP desktop. I had a vision to where I wanted to be, and I had to get much better with modern technology.

Luckily both Linux and the open-source world were there to teach me. For hours I taught myself the ins-and-outs of computing. The open-source world is full of people willing to help and I quickly grew to managing servers on my LAN then to the cloud. With Linux, apps, software and pretty much everything else in the FOSS world being free (as in cost and free as in freedom), I was able to explore endlessly.

Growing up with little resources and then starting my own family on tight budgets has taught me a lot. When I first started learning about tech I would go to the Washington State Surplus store and purchase old Dell towers. Each tower would be converted into a Linux desktop or Kodi box. I've never had a budget for the latest and greatest, but I know what tech makes possible.

My HomeLab

Nearly all of my infrastructure and tech stack is made from recycled components, parts or machines. Its easy to just buy the latest and greatest off the shelf, always throwing more expensive hardware at problems. Where I find the challenge is using what you have available and maximizing the output. The specs in my homelab may not be impressive, but I get an impressive amount of output.

As of April 2020 this is my current lab.

Firewall & Router

  • Hardware: Dell OptiPlex 3040 (Core i5-6500, 8GB RAM)
  • OS: OPNSense 20.1

Misc.

  • Raspberry Pi 2 – PiHole
  • Raspberry Pi B+ – PiVPN
  • Raspberry Pi 4 – Tor Wifi access point
Server

  • Hardware: Custom build (Intel Core 2 Duo Wolfdale, 16 GB RAM, 32TB SSD storage)
  • OS: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Containers:
    • Plex
    • Nextcloud
    • Shaarli
    • FreshRSS
    • TVHeadEnd
    • Xowa
  • Services:
    • Samba
    • NFS
    • ZFS

Tech Writings


Blackberry: A Love Story
For some time, I’ve been fixated on finding the right mobile device for me. A device that’s curated just for my use case, not a black slab of glass that is just a notification vehicle. In my heart I thought this was a device with a physical keyboard. Thinking of this I fondly remember my days as a Blackberry Curve user and how much I loved...Read more


The Bliss of /e/ OS - The Un-Googled Android
One of the biggest factors I take into consideration before purchasing an Android phone is if it is supported by 3rd. party ROM’s. Previously I’ve run devices without Google Apps after installing LineageOS, which had significant speed and battery performance in addition to privacy upgrades. Last week I installed /e/ OS on my Honor...Read more


Wanted: Indie content curators, RSS a plus
Earlier today, Flipboard announced a $3/month subscription (coming soon) to curate public video into a single feed. What I really want is a way to easily consolidate YouTube, feeds, newsletters, and podcasts into a single source. Unfortunately, this Flipboard subscription is a good idea, too lost in its own ego, justifying the “algorithm”... Read more

Tech Vlogging

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