Ansible Role Rdiff-Backup Script | World Backup Day

Happy World Backup Day!  Here’s a quick little Ansible Role I wrote to automate backup configuration for hordes of servers using Rdiff-Backup from an Ansible inventory file.  If you have no idea what I just said you may want to skip to “I’m Confused” at the very bottom of this post. What does the Rdiff-Backup … Continue reading “Ansible Role Rdiff-Backup Script | World Backup Day”

The Mechanical Keyboard

What Is a Rubber Dome Keyboard? Take a look at your keyboard.  Push a few of the keys.  It probably feels mushy, and it’s most likely a rubber-dome keyboard.  These weren’t made for typing, they were made to be cheap.  You have this dome of rubber that the key sits on, as you press the key feels … Continue reading “The Mechanical Keyboard”

Ben’s Laptop Buying Guide

Can you recommend a laptop?  It’s one of the questions I’m asked several times a month…  and I realized I should just write a guide.  So here are some options I think are great and things I think you need to consider before buying a laptop: Business Vs. Consumer Laptops Most brands have at least … Continue reading “Ben’s Laptop Buying Guide”

Ben’s Law | The Cost of Being Interrupted

Ben’s Law: within a 4 hour block of time, for each unit of uninterrupted time in hours (t), the value of productivity and creativity is roughly t^2. An interruption resets t to zero. p = t^2 c = t^2 if t = 1 (1 hour of uninterrupted time) then p (productivity) = 1 and c (creativity) … Continue reading “Ben’s Law | The Cost of Being Interrupted”

Benchmarking Guest on FreeNAS ZFS, bhyve and ESXi

FreeNAS 11 introduces a GUI for FreeBSD’s bhyve hypervisor.  This is a potential replacement for the ESXi + FreeNAS All-in-One “hyper-converged storage” design. Hardware Hardware is based on my Supermicro Microserver Build Xeon D-1518 (4 physical cores, 8 threads) @ 2.2GHz 16GB DDR4 ECC memory 4 x 2TB HGST RAID-Z, 100GB Intel DC S3700s for … Continue reading “Benchmarking Guest on FreeNAS ZFS, bhyve and ESXi”

Simulate Sunrise With WiFi Bulb and Home-Assistant

Living up North in the Winter we have long hours of darkness because of the earth’s tilt away from the sun.  This means getting up before the sun rises, and it’s a bit annoying to be jolted awake at 6:00am by an alarm when it’s pitch black outside.   Or if I wake up before … Continue reading “Simulate Sunrise With WiFi Bulb and Home-Assistant”

Wireless APs and Switches | UniFi

When all of your network devices lose access to the internet all at the same time regularly throughout the day, there is not much to blame other than a bad network cable to your Wireless Access Point (AP), or the Access Point itself.  It wasn’t the cable.  My old Cisco-Linksys E3000’s days were numbered.  Skype … Continue reading “Wireless APs and Switches | UniFi”

DNS Hijacked? Slow? Setup Unbound on pfSense

Why Is It Slow? When you request a website, say, b3n.org, your computer needs the IP address.  So it sends out packets through your router/firewall, your modem, and out to your ISPs DNS Servers.  Your ISP’s DNS server will probably have it cached, if not it queries the authoritative (starting with the Root Name Servers) … Continue reading “DNS Hijacked? Slow? Setup Unbound on pfSense”

$5 DigitalOcean, Vultr & Lightsail Benchmarks

Amazon Lightsail has entered the VPS market, competing directly with DigitalOcean and Vultr.  I for one welcome more competition in the $5 cloud server space.  I wanted to see how they perform so I spun up 24 cloud servers, 8 for each provider and ran some benchmarks. $5 Cloud Server Providers Compared DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Amazon … Continue reading “$5 DigitalOcean, Vultr & Lightsail Benchmarks”

Best Gifts for Computer Hackers 2016

Looking for a Christmas gift idea for your computer geek?  Here’s a short gift guide with a few ideas I think would make great gifts.  Unlike a lot of other top gift idea lists written by non-tech people just to make a sale, I’m actually a developer and these are the sort of things that … Continue reading “Best Gifts for Computer Hackers 2016”