Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Empowering Family Legacy: How I Transitioned to Self-Hosting with Gramps Web

For several years now, I've been maintaining a genealogy website containing information from both my and my wife's family history. One of my main objectives has been to ensure this wealth of information is readily accessible not just for our extended family, but also for our children whenever they want to look into their roots.

 Initially, I hosted this website through a paid hosting service, utilizing TNG. While this setup served its purpose adequately, my recent acquisition of a Proxmox server prompted me to explore the possibility of self-hosting. Given this shift, I decided to transition to open-source software, as it would grant me greater flexibility in making adjustments as needed.

In my search for suitable open-source genealogy software, I came across Gramps Web. Its user-friendly interface and compatibility with the Gramps genealogy desktop software caught my attention.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Mastering NAS Storage: Unveiling Hidden Challenges and Solutions

Today, I'm diving into a little adventure I recently had with our trusty 6-drive Synology NAS, boasting a whopping 73TB of storage space. Now, who wouldn't be excited about that, right? But there are some challenges.

I couldn't help but notice that our storage space was getting full. Curious, I delved deeper into the matter. One of the primary functions of our NAS is serving as storage for our Plex DVR. However, despite our occasional recordings, the storage was filling up faster than I expected.

So, I decided to do some spring cleaning, starting with deleting some recordings. But here's the kicker - the space wasn't budging. I decided to peek into the file system, and there it was: a bunch of files in the #recycle folder within our shares.

Turns out, there wasn't a default schedule for emptying the recycle bin on our Synology NAS. This meant all those recordings, along with any other files, were being kept indefinitely.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Unlocking Seamless Integration: Navigating Unexpected Hubitat Device Queries and VLAN Challenges for a Smoother Home Automation Experience

During my network debugging efforts, I came across an intriguing observation related to the two Hubitat devices on our network. The logs below illustrate the unexpected mDNS queries they generated:

1. Query for Airplay Devices
    12 0.788177995 → MDNS 130 Standard query 0x0000 PTR _airplay._tcp.local, "QM" question PTR Hubitat._hubitat._tcp.local
2. Query for web servers:
14 0.791018733 →  MDNS 127 Standard query 0x0000 PTR _http._tcp.local, "QM" question PTR Hubitat._hubitat._tcp.local

Surprisingly, the Hubitat devices were seeking Airplay and web server devices, even though I only utilized them for Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, and have not installed the Airplay application. This behavior caused issues, as the queries and responses were transmitted across VLANs, leading to a flood of broadcast packets during high query volumes.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Dazzling DIY Hexagonal LED Accent: A Budget-Friendly Alternative to Nanoleaf Lights with WLED Magic!

I recently completed a wood hexagonal accent piece with LED backlighting for my office. My inspiration was the Nanoleaf hex lights, but I aimed to achieve a similar look without incurring the high cost associated with Nanoleaf lights. Additionally, I saw this as an opportunity to explore and learn about WLED.

To start, I sourced hexagonal wood panels in multiple tones. I deliberately chose multiple-tone panels to ensure the accent piece looked appealing even when the lights were off.

Unlike Nanoleaf panels, my wooden panels don't allow light to shine through. Therefore, I planned to position the LEDs to shine out the top, bottom, and sides of the panels. This necessitated offsetting the panels from the wall to provide space for mounting the LED strips behind the hex panels.

Unlocking Raspberry Pi Potential: Navigating Network Booting Challenges for Enhanced Performance and Reliability

I've set up several Raspberry Pis around our house for various projects, but one recurring challenge is the potential for SD card failur...