Blog

The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Next-Level Networking

At most of my jobs, there has been a certain amount of peer-pressure or peer-induced purchases. Early on it was for video game consoles and video games, and later it was other video game consoles and reading material.

At this current job, it's been homelab setups, and recently, networking gear.

The networking gear of choice for many prosumers recently is from Ubiquiti. It's definitely overkill for most use-cases, but pretty cool nonetheless.

So, with some WFH equipment allowance, I've bought a Ubiquiti Dream Machine SE (UDM-SE) router, and a WiFi 6 access point (U6-Pro).

The router

I've … Read more →

20 Years of Blogging!

It just felt like yesterday that I posted the 10-year commemorative post, but here we are at 20 years already. 😬

Yep, 20 years ago today I posted my first ever blog post (although, back then I used the term blog 'entry').

The 'recent' post commemorating my 40th birthday did a good job of summarising most of the big events of the past 10 years, so I won't repeat them again. 🙂

Also, for the record, this post is number 980! 🚀… Read more →

2023: Year in Review

7 blog posts this year; I think I'm pretty happy with that 😁. Could be better, but could be worse.

Generally, 2023 felt like the first sorta-getting-past-COVID year, despite me getting COVID for the second time at the start of December.

There's no 'List of Tweets' blog post this year, because Elon removed easy access to the Twitter/X API for that kind of thing. Plus, the Twitter integration on this blog has been removed for the same reason.

Anywho, let's try something new for this end-of-year post in addition to listing the blog post highlights.

Health stuff

Health-wise, I had … Read more →

2.5Gb Networking

The new 2.5Gb switch sitting under our older gigabit switch

One of my greatest tech disappointments over the last decade has been the stagnation of consumer-level network speeds.

Over the last decade, gigabit networking has remained the standard, which is so disappointing compared to the fast and regular increases up to that point. From the late 1990s to the late 2000s, it felt like quick and routine jumps as we went from 10 megabit hubs, to 100 megabit switches, then to gigabit (1Gb) switches.

When we built our house in 2011, I wired it up with Cat 6 cable. … Read more →

Electrification

The new panels on one facade of the roof

We recently upgraded to an electric car. As we'd be using a lot more electricity, our plan was to also review our home energy use to take better advantage of Australia's (and particularly Brisbane's) wonderful solar-ideal sunny climate for our overall energy use.

Our house has had a ~ 3 kW solar system since it was built 12 years ago, but it was time for an upgrade to take better advantage of our roofspace and over a decade of efficiency improvements in solar panel technology.

On the list of things … Read more →

Buying an iPad

Although this blog has become less 'editorial' in recent years, I still like to look back on my opinions from years (or decades! 😳) past to see how they hold up.

I'm the type of person who has no problem admitting when I've been wrong or mistaken with something I've said or done in the past. I believe it's a crucial part of how we can grow (both personally and professionally) to be better people.

After a recent hospital stay that was primarily caused by a salmonella infection, it became obvious that using my phone for entertainment in hospital was … Read more →

Clamshell MacBook Touch ID

An incomplete Lego enclosure for the Touch ID sensor and control board from an Apple keyboard.
Building the Lego enclosure

I have a fingerprint reader for my Windows desktop computer (a Kensington Verimark FIDO key) that easily allows me to log in with Windows Hello without typing a password.

For my work computer, I haven't had the same luxury. I use my work MacBook Pro exclusively in 'clamshell' (closed) mode when I'm at home, as I have two monitors and a separate keyboard and mouse.

This means that I can't use the 'Touch ID' fingerprint reader on the laptop's keyboard, and Apple doesn't support any third-party fingerprint readers. The only option for users in this situation … Read more →

Backups and Docker on the Synology NAS

Synology DS418play NAS overlaid with a heart eyes smiling emoji

There are very few devices that I'm an absolute fanboy of. However, one series of devices that I remain consistently satisfied with are the Synology NASs that I've owned. Over the past 12 years, I've only owned two of them: a DS211+ since 2011, and a DS418play since 2018.

The former was only retired when I needed bigger storage volumes and needed a 4 disk NAS. The latter continues to be an absolute mainstay of our home network for the better part of 5 years, without showing many signs of age.

Last year, when we needed more storage … Read more →

40

Today is my 40th birthday. Yay, I guess? 😆

When I started my 30s ten years ago, it was far from certain that I was going to make it to this milestone. So, two children, one new career, two jobs, three built computers, five mobile phones, and a replaced liver later, I'm glad to have made it.

The past decade has gone by quickly, but I'm also a much changed person from 10 years ago: like, literally; I don't even have all the same organs from then. It's been a ride. I've had some … Read more →

Building Pentium

The finished build in place

It's been a long time between computer builds. Actually, it's been the longest interval since I started building my own desktop computers in 2007. My now-previous computer, Tetrarch, was built in 2017, so it's a 6-year gap between that build and this new one.

Continuing with the number-themed names, I decided to name this build Pentium, as it's the fifth build that I've done. The 'Pentium' name has always resonated to me since our first Windows 95 computer was a first generation Pentium MMX. It's All About the Pentiums is also one of … Read more →