It has to be about 20 years since I first experienced vMotion and the technology still feels like magic. A few clicks of the mouse and the things I had running on this computer over here are running on that computer over there and nobody is the wiser.
A few years back I switched my virtualization hosts at home from VMware to Hyper-V and the tech geeks in my social circles always question why. It’s because Hyper-V frees me from having to run vCenter to get the magic — live migration is built-in and (mostly) Just Works™
Yesterday I needed to replace storage on the host that runs a couple bits of critical home infra that is still virtualized — Pi-hole, nginx, and Home Assistant — and was grateful that I could temporarily migrate it all to my other Hyper-V host instead of causing a prolonged outage.
A Raspberry Pi is great if you have a need for which it excels. GPIO, extremely low power requirements, tight space constraints. But the Pi should not be the first thing you reach for when “Unobtrusive and Inexpensive Linux Host” are the only requirements.
This site has been running from my home Internet connection from Day 1 but my determination to get control over my Docker disasters finally overcame my inherent don’t fix shit that ain’t broke laziness. Now coming at you live from colo in 55 Marietta Street.
Now to work on finding some motivation to create some fresh content…
I checked out of the Ubiquiti Discord for months around the time of my move, and when I came back everything had changed. More Channels. More Rules. More Mods holding everyone else to higher standards than themselves. And… the same old cliquish behind-the-scenes behaviors.
Basically a shitty sub-Reddit in chat form.
I tried to focus on the good and ignore the parts I didn’t like, but… ultimately I realized that I wasn’t getting anything out of my participation in the community beyond frustration.
I always get myself the best “Christmas” presents. I know me so well. This year, it’s a couple of Arcade1up cabinets from Walmart for $249/ea.
In my early 20s I got into collecting arcade cabinets for a minute. A 29″ Neo-Geo MVS 4-slot and mint 4-player Gauntlet were the highlights of my collection, but of course, what I really wanted was a Pac-Man cabinet. I was just never willing to pay the price for one that was in presentable condition.
Eventually I had to give up the collection. I’ve always wanted to get back into it, but… they’re just so big, and heavy, and difficult to move up and down stairs without several helpers.
Spotting the Pac-Man cabinet at Walmart literally made my Christmas. Even tho it was only Black Friday.
These Arcade1up cabinets are just 4′ tall and a mere 65lbs. Easy to shuffle around and I can man-handle them up and down the stairs all by myself. Assembly takes about 40 minutes with just a screwdriver. All the bags of parts are labelled so there’s no guesswork as to which type of screw gets used where and it comes with a bag of spares.
Obviously it’s not as solid as a 300lb cabinet made of 3/4-inch birch or MDF, but the construction is good enough for home use. I’ve no concerns that they’re going to fall apart.
I’ll be keeping the Pac-Man cabinet as-is for now, but I’ve already ordered the parts to convert the Street Fighter cab to a RetroPie MAME setup — basically it just needs an LCD controller board and a USB encoder for the controls.
Before I start posting about all of my home networking projects, I should probably describe the home and property. This is it:
The lot is 1.5 acres, roughly 180×400 if it were perfectly rectangular, with the front of the house about 120′ from the road. The house itself is the standard 40×30 box on a crawl space, with another 25×30 of garage / utility room and bonus room above. An addition off the garage provides a larger living room with a high vaulted ceiling. There’s attic access in the main part of the house, knee wall access on either side of the bonus room, and from the back side I can reach the living room’s attic space. There’s also some attic above the bonus room but the a/c ducts leave no room to get in there.
There’s a detached garage that was converted to a 2-bedroom apartment and came with tenants who pay half my mortgage. It also has attic access.
There’s a pool house that is basically a glorified shed. There’s an open area in the middle with small rooms to either side. One had been a proper bathroom but at some point in the past vandals ripped out the copper pipes.
So that’s what I’m working with. I have plans to bring Ethernet and in-wall access points to several rooms, blast WiFi across as much of the outdoors as I can reasonably manage, use 60GHz PtMP gear as wireless backhaul links for all three structures, give my tenants their own access point in the apartment, and much more.
My next post will be about deploying the PtMP gear.
I wanted a device to leave at my girlfriend’s for casual use. Never cared to Android tablets, didn’t want to spend real money on an iPad or a Windows tablet with a decent CPU. The Chromebook works nicely for this.
The girlfriend’s kids have started 3rd grade and need access to a computer for school assignments. Was going to give them one of these Chromebooks… but she’d prefer they use something not portable and eventually I snagged a good eBay deal on an LG Chromebase instead.
My mother needs access to a computer. For both her and the kids, giving them a computing environment that’s real difficult to screw up is high on the priority list. ChromeOS is perfect for this.
My Chromebook of choice is the Asus C300SA — 3lbs, 13.3″ screen, 4GB RAM, and a legit 10+ hours of battery life. The best part is that Amazon regularly offers reboxed returns at a low price, I’ve picked up four for $100-$115/ea.
Weak points are the sub-1080p display, non-backlit keyboard, and of course, the N3060 dual-core CPU (~989 CPU Mark score). Not gonna sugar-coat it, this thing strains under the load of 10-20 browser tabs I routinely have open… but it does far better than those cheap Windows tablets on Z-series Atom quad-cores.
Apps are also a weakness. For the kids and mom, the browser is all they really need. For myself… I need more, and I’m not real impressed with the selection and quality of what’s available in the Chrome Store in the categories I care about. I don’t want to go the Crouton / Linux route either, as that disables many of the security features of ChromeOS. I think I’d be happiest using the Chromebooks as thin clients to Windows. Guacamole and the various Chrome RDP clients haven’t been appealing to me from a UX perspective, so I’ll be digging into Horizon next.
Regardless, for $100-ish the Pros far outweigh the Cons. They’re not good enough to be my only PC, but they are good enough to be the only PC that I take with me.