Setup update

Mon July 21 2014 by Christopher Aedo

I'm posting this mostly for my own benefit, but I also realize it's been SO LONG since I last posted, it will prove this blog is not entirely abandoned!*

I outlined my setup at home in February, and since then the only significant change has been firewall tuning.  For months, I had intermittently difficulties with our internet connection.  Chalking it up to a bad ISP, I didn't really bother to try to make it better.  Occasionally I'd adjust the traffic shaping rules in hopes of improving the situation, but it was never clear whether or not the changes had a lasting positive impact.

Then the other day I was reading about community mesh networks and was reminded of "buffer bloat)". Checking my connection with the ICSI Netalyzer showed there was some significant bloat going on, AND the ISP was fragmenting traffic without properly reporting it. Switching my PFSense queues to Codel and tuning my MTU has resulted immediately in tremendously improved connectivity.

All along I think the biggest issue was the fragmentation two hops away.  Should have tested for that the first time I got connected!  Hopefully writing this little post up will remind me next time.

ALSO, under the topic of "the setup" and "things I hope I won't forget again"...  When I set up my workstation at home I added a mac mini for development work.  Recently I installed Ubuntu 14, and am absolutely loving it.  Coupling that with Synergy Project for keyboard/mouse control leaves me with a perfect setup.  I've got a decent monitor connected to the min with my laptop next to it, and any time I want to control that computer I just swing the mouse over.  It's like extending you desktop onto a full-screen VNC session, except it's much smoother and cleaner.  Good stuff!

[*] In fairness, since the last post we did some major renovations on the house, sold it, moved to Graeagle CA, I got a new job, and we bought a house in Portland.  Last step will be moving up there.  Maybe once we settle in, I'll find time to write stuff here now and then!

The Setup

Wed February 05 2014 by Christopher Aedo

Over the years I have been continually refining my home technology stack.  It's in the best state it's ever been, so I figured I should document it.  I'm looking forward to looking back at this post in a few years to see what's evolved, and what's still the same.

External …

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You need a better firewall

Mon February 03 2014 by Christopher Aedo


A long long time ago I had Verizon FiOS installed at my home, and with it they supplied an Actiontec router and wireless access point. It worked reasonably well, but it needed a power cycle every now and then and any custom configuration was difficult. I could never get it …

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Mon May 27 2013 by Christopher

moonrise kingdom treehouse

When I was little, we had a tree house we could play in.  It was a fantastic place to hang out for long stretches, and provided an excellent foundation for countless games of imagination.  I'm pretty sure it was mostly a space ship, but it was probably also a pirate …

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Sitting on your ass is killing you

Sun October 21 2012 by Christopher Aedo

This is not the first time I've said don't watch TV, or don't sit at work.  But this new article from NY times references some new studies that make the dangers of lethargy all the more vivid.

"Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the …

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No news is good news

Wed September 26 2012 by Christopher

"Chances are you have one of the most insidiously dangerous objects ever created ' and one of the State's most powerful tools of domination ' in your living room right now. You may very well have one in your bedroom, too, and in your basement.
It's insidious because most Americans don't think …

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Better living through chemistry

Wed September 26 2012 by Christopher Aedo

It's absolutely amazing what big pharma gets away with, but it seems like so few people are aware or the least bit concerned.  We might never know how many people Merck & Co. killed with Vioxx (maybe half a million?).  The more you read, the more you find one scary story …

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Inspired by our founders

Tue August 14 2012 by Christopher

"AMERICA has a proud history of drinking on the job. Craftsmen who built the first government buildings in the 17th century were sometimes paid in brandy. The 19th-century railroaders who laid the foundations of modern America were notoriously thirsty."

The Economist

Obviously for the sake of our country I need …

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Best home-made play-doh EVER

Sat May 26 2012 by Christopher Aedo

If you have kids, you probably love playing with them and making things together.  One of the best things you can do for them is to encourage imaginative play, and few things enable imagination in a young mind better than a nice lump of play-doh.

After experimenting with several different …

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All the pieces matter

Sun April 29 2012 by Christopher Aedo

This David Foster Wallace speech (read here, or watch here) is one of the most inspirational things I've ever read.  It's great to be reminded to be mindful, to be aware of those knee-jerk reactions and consider whether or not they're completely off base.

"The point is that petty, frustrating …

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