The gaming and technological musings of a software developer

VLANs and Samsung TV's

If you’re anything like me you’ll have a bunch of IoT smart home devices; if you’re anywhere as cheap as me, a number of those will only work on 2.4GHz networks which makes using the Google Wifi a right pain1. I did eventually get the devices registered but only after many many repeated pairing/registration attempts. Presumably they would randomly latch onto the 2.4GHz network and be able to complete the process but it was frustrating work.

The internet also tells us just how all these cheap devices are realistically insecure and that you should be keeping them on a separate network so with that I decided to upgrade my network gear so I could implement secure things, like VLANs and ACLs and all of that fun stuff but I was using a Google WiFi mesh and although it did the job pretty well it just didn’t offer any power user features at all - primarily it didn’t do VLANs, or even more than one WiFi network which meant getting any sort of separation from my potentially badly behaved devices was next to impossible.

So I upgraded the hardware.

STPFMMP (Simple Terraform Playbook For Managing Multiple Piholes)

If you want to run Pi-hole on your network but not have the entire family grumble that the internet isn’t working when you need to reboot the machine it’s running on then you’ll need to run two Pi-holes. To run two Pi-holes properly they need to a) be on separate machines (I use my main homelab server and a RaspberryPi) and b) be configured on your client devices appropriately.1

The Pi-hole application logo

If you’ve got all that working but have been getting annoyed that adding any new service means duplicating manual configuration steps in a clunky Pi-hole web interface then you’ll likely have been searching for some sort of automation to handle it. Fortunately I came across a Terraform provider for Pi-hole that got me most of the way there. I just needed to put together a playbook/plan for it.

So with that. I present STPFMMP (Simple Terraform Playbook For Managing Multiple Pi-holes)

Running Home Assistant in docker on a Raspberry Pi - Part 2

Welcome to the second part of a multipart series where we setup a Home Assistant instance in Docker. We’ve already installed Ubuntu server on Raspberry Pi and have an instance of Portainer running. If you want to see how we got this far then check out part 1

In this instalment we’ll be solidifying how we configure our environment. We’ll also be setting up Traefik to act as the frontend to our web applications and getting our Raspberry Pi a permanent home on the internet, and we’ll revisit Portainer so that it works in our new Traefik driven world.

This guide is aimed at an intermediate level. It assumes a certain amount of comfort in the Linux command line.

Giving an old (old) Macbook Pro life

I decided, the other day, to pull an early 2008 Macbook Pro from it’s venerated “I’m too emotionally attached” spot in my tech hoard and breathe some new life into it. This post details the saga of making that happen. The laptop in question is an 15" A1260 Macbook Pro 4,1. It was the last model produced before Apple went all machined-one-piece with their chassis technology and it has been loved.

Running Home Assistant in docker on a Raspberry Pi

Welcome to the first part of a multipart series that will detail getting Home Assistant running in Docker on your RaspberryPi. We’ll be installing Docker on an Ubuntu server instance running on Raspberry Pi. It will expose the services it runs through an instance of Traefik - that will automatically configure SSL certificates and it will give you a management interface called Portainer so that you can directly control the services running.

This guide is aimed at an intermediate level. It assumes a certain amount of comfort in the Linux command line.