Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Stand Out in Style: How MOO's Business Card Services Can Help Boost Your Brand


Having a physical business card is still essential when it comes to making an impact in the business world. It's a classic way to leave a lasting impression on potential clients, and with MOO, a printing company that offers a range of printing services, creating a unique and professional business card has never been easier.

MOO offers a variety of products that can help take your business to the next level. Their most popular service is their business card printing service. You can create a custom business card from scratch or choose from a vast selection of templates. MOO uses high-quality paper stocks, including their Luxe line, which boasts thick and premium-quality paper with a range of finishes.

One of the most significant advantages of using MOO is their online design tool, which is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing anyone to create a professional-looking business card without prior design experience. The tool offers a plethora of customization options, such as uploading your logo and choosing your font and colors. You can also add images or choose from a selection of pre-designed templates.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Revolutionize Your Remote Work with MobaXterm: The Ultimate SSH Client for Windows Users


If you're a Windows user looking for a robust and easy-to-use SSH client, MobaXterm is a great option. This powerful tool offers a range of features that make it ideal for IT professionals and developers. In this post, we'll explore the benefits of using MobaXterm as your SSH client on Windows.

One of the most appealing aspects of MobaXterm is its user-friendly interface. Unlike other SSH clients, MobaXterm has a clean, intuitive interface that's easy to navigate. You don't need any prior knowledge to use it effectively, and it features a tabbed interface that allows you to switch seamlessly between sessions without opening new windows.

MobaXterm also offers several convenient features to make remote management easier. Its built-in file manager allows you to navigate, copy, and edit files on remote machines with ease. Plus, the built-in text editor lets you edit configuration files and other text-based files directly on the remote machine, which is particularly useful for those working with Linux servers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Evolution of Car Infotainment: How TeslAA is Changing the Game for Accessing Android Auto on Any Car


The state of car infotainment has changed significantly over the years.  It used to be that you got what was included in the are from the auto manufacturer, and what was included when the car was built.   This usually meant that if you wanted to add capabilities, (e.g. play back 8-track) you needed to want until you purchased a new vehicle.

During the 1980s high quality audio head units became quite common, and it because easy and common for car owners to replace their audio system to add capabilities.  So if you wanted to add audio CD or mp3 file playback or Bluetooth support, this could be be done fairly easy just by replacing the head unit.  This continued into the 2000s, when it was possible to add in-dash navigation by replacing the head unit (often where the screen extended out of the head unit itself when needed.

More recently, the ability to extend the capabilities of the car infotainment system has gotten more complicated.  Auto manufacturers have been deeply integrating functionality that is required for functionality of the car into the screens.  The common case is that control of the HVAC system is done as part of the infotainment screen, which would likely mean that if the system was replaced, this functionality would be disabled.  An extreme case is seen with the latest Tesla Model S & Model X cars, where the driver needs to use the screen to put cars in drive & reverse.

This trend is coming at a time where the types of media and applications are changing rapidly.  With so much streaming, new services are starting up that have new capabilities.  Often these services are accessed with applications on mobile phones.  This is great as it allows users to customize their experience to meet their exact needs, and to enable the services that they use.

As it is unsafe to use a mobile phone, while driving, Android Auto offers a great experience.  It can leverage the fact that users have installed the applications of the services that they actually use on their phone, Android Auto displays a car friendly experience on the head unit touch display. This allows the driver to play the media that they want in a safe manor.  On my last trip, I rented a car that had built-in Android Auto support.  I was able to easily connect my phone to the car, with a USB cable, and access the applications from my phone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Power Up Your Server Game with Intel NUC: The Energy-Efficient and Quiet Solution for Hosting Multiple Virtual Machines


If you're in the market for an energy-efficient and quiet server to host your virtual machines, consider using an Intel NUC. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of using an Intel NUC, like the NUC11, as a virtual machine server, and how it can be used to host a variety of different servers.

The Intel NUC is a small form factor computer that packs a punch, despite its size. Its powerful processor, ample RAM, and storage space make it a viable option for hosting multiple virtual machines.

One of the most notable benefits of using an Intel NUC as a virtual machine server is its energy efficiency. Compared to traditional servers, the NUC requires much less power and generates less heat. As a result, it can help keep your energy bills down and create a more comfortable work environment.

Another benefit of using an Intel NUC as a virtual machine server is its quiet operation. The NUC is designed to be as quiet as possible, unlike traditional servers which can be disruptive and noisy. This means that it can be placed in your home office or living room without causing any disturbance.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Say Goodbye to Bathroom Humidity: How to Automate Your Exhaust Fan with Home Assistant and a Humidity Sensor


Bathrooms are one of the most frequently used rooms in any home. But did you know that all that moisture from your shower can wreak havoc on your bathroom and even lead to mold growth? That's why having a good ventilation system is crucial, and a bathroom exhaust fan is a crucial component.

In this post, we're going to show you how to automate your bathroom exhaust fan using a home automation system, like Home Assistant, and a humidity sensor. Not only will this keep your bathroom dry and fresh, but it'll also save you energy and money.

Here's what you'll need:

Step 1: Install the Humidity Sensor

First things first, install the humidity sensor in your bathroom. Put it in a location where it can accurately measure the humidity level in the room. You can mount it on the wall or place it on a shelf. Then, connect the humidity sensor to your home automation system by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 2: Install the Smart Switch

Next, install the smart switch that will control your bathroom exhaust fan. You can pick any compatible switch that works with your home automation system. We suggest the Enbrighten Smart Switch because it's simple to set up.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the switch, and make sure to connect it to your home automation system.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Revolutionizing Mastodon Hosting: Trying Cloudflare's Wildebeest


I've been running my own Mastodon instance for a while now, but I didn't want to host it from our home network, so I decided to use Digital Ocean. Setting it up was fairly easy, using this droplet. The downside is that hosting the service just for myself comes at a cost, since their pricing seems to be geared towards hosting the service for multiple people.

Recently, Cloudflare announced an interesting alternative called Wildebeest, which is a Mastodon-compatible open-source server. What caught my attention is that it seems their $5/month Pages plan is enough to run the server.

One advantage of Mastodon is that it's easy to move your profile from one host to another, so once I set up the new server, moving over should be a breeze.

I'm going to give Wildebeest a try and report back on my experience.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Rain-proof your security cameras: Lessons learned from our Unifi G4 Instant camera malfunction


We installed an Unifi G4 Instant camera to monitor our backyard, but running an ethernet cable was not feasible, so we relied on wifi instead. Since the camera was meant for outdoor use, it was designed to be weatherproofed with an IPX5 rating.

However, due to heavy rainfall over the past few months, two of our cameras stopped working. The first camera stopped working after a major rain, and we got a replacement. But after another round of rainfall, the second camera also stopped working. We discovered that the problem was not with the camera itself, as it worked fine with a different USB adapter and cable. It appears that the USB adapter that came with the camera was not weatherproof like the camera, which caused it to malfunction.

To solve the issue, we plan to use a waterproof box to protect the adapter and cable from water damage. We will look for a weatherproofed adapter and cable that can be used with the camera in the future to ensure it continues to function properly, even during heavy rainfall.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Building a DIY Cloud Platform with a Raspberry Pi and the Argon EON: How to Use Ubuntu's Logical Volume Management System for Maximum Storage Efficiency


In a previous post, I talked about the Argon EON, which is a device that allows you to connect four hard drives (two 3.5" drives and two 2.5" drives) to a Raspberry Pi. I've been using this device as a network-attached storage (NAS) to back up our main NAS at home, using Open Media Vault (OMV) for management.

OMV is a package that enables you to quickly set up and manage a home server. One of the benefits of OMV is that it offers plugins that allow you to customize the features of the server installation. I found the MergerFS plugin helpful to create a virtual file system that spans the different drives. However, I wasn't able to create a RAID, as the 3.5" drives were significantly larger than the 2.5" drives.

Since I wanted to use the Raspberry Pi in the Argon EON to try out some locally hosted cloud platforms, I wanted to make sure that I could use the collection of drives in the case for this installation. Unfortunately, I didn't find similar plugins to span multiple file systems in Nextcloud or OwnCloud. So I decided to manually create a logical volume with Ubuntu's Logical Volume Management (LVM) system.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Uncovering the Exciting New Feature in Plex Media Server: End Credits Marker Detection


As I was working in my office, something caught my attention: the cooling fan of the Intel NUC running our Plex Media Server was spinning rapidly. I wondered what could be causing the machine to work so hard. In the past, I had encountered run-away processes like Ubuntu's keyring, which had caused the same issue. Fortunately, I was able to kill the process and rotate logs to clear up space on the boot partition.

However, this time was different. I logged into the machine and couldn't find any runaway processes that had previously caused the issue. Instead, I noticed that a Plex Media Server process was taking up 100% of the CPU. Curiosity piqued, I launched the Plex web UI and saw that it was doing credit detection.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Streamline Your Raspberry Pi Projects with DietPi: A Highly Efficient and Customizable Operating System


I was looking to start a new project for one of our Raspberry Pis.  The setup of these projects often requires installing an OS (for me, usually either Raspian or Ubuntu), and then downloading, installing and setting up the software for the project.  Before going through these steps again, I wanted to see if there was a way to make this setup easier, and I found DietPi.

DietPi is a lean, streamlined operating system that's been optimized specifically for single-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi and Odroid. It's an open-source project, which means it's free to use and modify, and it comes preloaded with a range of software that makes it easy to get started on your projects.

One of the great things about DietPi is how efficient it is. It's designed to work on hardware with limited resources, which makes it perfect for home automation, media centers, and network attached storage. This lean design also means that it requires minimal RAM and disk space to run, giving you more bang for your buck when it comes to using your hardware.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Simplify Your Smart Home: Control Your Devices with Just a Press of a Button with the Flic Hub and Flic Buttons

Are you tired of having to grab your phone every time you want to control a smart device in your home? The Flic Hub and Flic Buttons offer a simple solution that allows you to control your smart home with just the press of a button.

The Flic buttons use Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone, meaning you can trigger actions such as turning on the lights or adjusting the thermostat with just a press of the button. This is great when you are home and need to control your smart devices. But the real magic of the Flic system enables this functionality when your phone isn't around.

The Flic Hub is a compact wireless hub that acts as a bridge between your Flic buttons and your smart devices. It connects to your home's Wi-Fi or Ethernet network and can support up to 63 Flic buttons, making it possible to control multiple devices with just a few presses. And because the Flic Hub doesn't rely on your phone, you can control your smart home even when your phone isn't there.

The Flic buttons come in a variety of colors and can be customized to perform different functions. You can stick them to a wall, wear them as a wristband, or place them anywhere else for easy access. Using the buttons is simple: press once for one function, press twice for another function, or hold down for a third function.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Effortlessly Simplify Your Crypto Tax Reporting with Koinly: Your One-Stop Solution


It's that time of year again - tax preparation time. As we all know, crypto taxes can be a complicated and confusing matter. But have no fear, because Koinly is here to make the process a whole lot easier.

If you're like most of us, you probably have a love-hate relationship with taxes. On the one hand, they're a necessary evil that helps keep our country running. On the other hand, they can be a real pain in the neck, especially when it comes to crypto taxes. But with Koinly, you'll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Koinly is an innovative platform that makes it easy to collect information and generate reports for cryptocurrency tax reporting. With Koinly, you can seamlessly track all your crypto transactions in one place, eliminating the need for manual record-keeping and reducing the risk of errors. The platform integrates with a variety of exchanges and wallets, allowing you to import your transactions automatically and view them in one central location.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

DIY Cloud Storage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Nextcloud on Your Raspberry Pi


In this post, I'm going to walk you through the process of setting up Nextcloud on a Raspberry Pi using NextcloudPi. If you're looking for a secure and private file hosting platform, then Nextcloud is definitely worth checking out. And the best part is, you can host it on a Raspberry Pi, which is not only cheap but also powerful enough to handle Nextcloud. Let's dive in!




Materials Needed

Step 1: Install NextcloudPi

NextcloudPi is an image that contains everything you need to get started with Nextcloud, including Apache, PHP, and the Nextcloud software itself. Here's how you can install NextcloudPi on your Raspberry Pi:

  1. Download the NextcloudPi image from the official website.
  2. Use a tool like Etcher to flash the image onto an SD card.
  3. Insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi and boot it up.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Unleash Your Inner App Developer: A Complete Guide to Mobile App Development


Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of mobile app development? I found the book "Mobile App Development 101: A Beginner's Guide to Building Your First App" which looks to be a great way to start.  This book describes everything you need to start mobile app development.

With a fun and approachable tone, the author walks you through every step of the app-creation journey, from coming up with your project idea to coding and monetizing your finished product. You'll learn about working with databases, adding advanced features, customizing user interfaces, and much more.

In short, "Mobile App Development 101: A Beginner's Guide to Building Your First App" is a must-have for anyone interested in mobile app development. Don't miss out on this opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills you need to excel in this exciting field. Get your copy today and start creating amazing mobile apps!


Sunday, February 5, 2023

A Beginner's Guide to Setting up an OpenVPN Server on a Raspberry Pi using PiVPN

If you're looking for a way to secure your internet connection and protect your privacy, setting up an OpenVPN server is an excellent solution. And, if you're looking for a low-cost, low-power platform to host your OpenVPN server, the Raspberry Pi is a fantastic option. In this beginner's guide, I'll show you how to set up an OpenVPN server on a Raspberry Pi using the PiVPN setup script.

What is PiVPN?

PiVPN is a setup script that simplifies the process of installing and setting up an OpenVPN server on a Raspberry Pi. The script automates much of the setup process and makes it possible to have your OpenVPN server up and running in a matter of minutes.

Preparation


Before you start setting up your OpenVPN server, you'll want to make sure your Raspberry Pi is up-to-date and has the necessary dependencies installed. To update your Raspberry Pi, run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Installing PiVPN


To install PiVPN, you'll need to download the setup script from the PiVPN website. Run the following command to download and run the script:

curl -L https://install.pivpn.io | bash

 


 The script will guide you through the installation process, asking you to select your preferred OpenVPN version, client options, etc. When the installation process is complete, you will be prompted to reboot the raspberry pi.  Once it boots the OpenVPN server will start automatically.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Making Your Home Automation Work for You and Your Guests: A Guide to Smart Home Guest Management

Home automation is a fantastic way to make your home more comfortable and reduce the amount of manual work you need to do. Automating your lights, locks, and other devices can be a great time-saver, but sometimes things can go wrong when your schedule changes. One such example is when you have house guests, who can throw off the regular routines in your home and cause helpful automations to become disruptive.

In this blog post, we will cover the current setup in our home and the adjustments we made to our home automation to better handle house guests. We will discuss the changes made to our Google Assistant routine and Roomba vacuum schedule and provide examples of how to make similar adjustments in your home.

Current Setup:

In our home, we use a Google Assistant routine to say "Good night" and turn off the lights around the house, and lock the doors. This works well when the schedule in the house is regular, but when things change, such as having guests over, it can cause problems. For example, the routine would normally turn off the lights in the guest room, but when guests are staying over, this can be quite disruptive as the lights and fan could turn off unexpectedly.

Another issue we faced was with our Roomba vacuum, which would vacuum the downstairs at night, including the guest room. When guests are staying over and the guest room door is closed, the vacuum would bang against the door at night, causing discomfort to the guests.

Adjusting the Home Automation for Guests:

To better handle having house guests over, we made some adjustments to our home automation setup. The first thing we did was create a toggle helper, in Home Assistant, that would represent when the guest room is occupied at night. With this helper, we made the following adjustments to our home automations:

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Build Your Own Timelapse Camera with a Raspberry Pi: A Step-by-Step Guide


I am a fan of the Raspberry Pi, and the projects that can be built from them.  I am looking for the next project that I want to take on. The next project that I an taking on is to create a timelapse camera. In this blog post, we'll go over everything you need to know to make your own timelapse camera with a Raspberry Pi.



Materials Needed:

Step 1: Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of setting up a timelapse camera, you'll need to have a basic Raspberry Pi setup. This involves downloading the Raspberry Pi OS onto a MicroSD card and installing it onto your Raspberry Pi. This can be done easily by following the instructions on the Raspberry Pi website.

Step 2: Enabling the Camera Module

Now that you have your Raspberry Pi set up, the next step is to enable the camera module. To do this, you'll need to access the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool, which can be found in the main menu. Once you're there, go to the Interfaces tab and enable the camera.

Empowering Your Home's Power Protection: A Deep Dive into UPS Monitoring and Integration

Our household relies on several Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) to safeguard our network equipment and computers. A crucial aspect of ...