Categories
Healthcare

The Dismal Snake

Dismal Wizard was diagnosed with low grade cancer of the bladder lining about 16 months ago. American Cancer Society, The Mayo Clinic, and the British National Health Service have good clinical guides describing the disease and its treatment.

Bladder cancer involves well, the bladder so not much is written about the patient experience. After searching high and low for survivor experience, I found little to tell me what to expect on this journey. So to help those following in my footsteps, I decided to write a journal about my run-in with the disease. As always, the juicy stuff follows the led. And always, see your urologist for medical advice and remember that each case is unique.

Categories
Home automation Personal Computing

HomeBridge

A number of manufacturers of interesting kit have chosen to stay out of the smart home universe among them Ubiquity. Others like Nest play only in their own proprietary environment. HomeBridge is an open source software project that creates an environment in which Apple HomeKit bridges may be built. Smart home enthusiasts have developed over 2000 product plugins supporting popular devices.

Here at Dismal Manor we have two bridges, a Starling for Nest gadgets and Home Bridge on a RaspberryPi 4b that brings in the UniFi Protect camera RTSP streams.

The Starling is a commercialization of the Nest HomeBridge plugins. This product makes sense with the Thermostat and the cameras. It is less useful with just Protects.

In this article, I’ll describe my experiences setting up a UniFi Protect gateway and making the Ubiquity UniFi Protect cameras visible in HomeKit. UniFi Protect is one of the few camera systems having a Verified HomeBridge plugin.

Categories
Personal Computing Technology

UniFiOS, The Missing Manual

Recently, IT System Integrator forums and YouTube channels have been all a-twitter because it appeared that a UniFi user ID and network connection were required to use any of the UniFiOS hosted controllers introduced with along with UniFiOS. After hearing Tom Lawrence and Willie Howe rant about the issue, I decided to experiment a little to see if their complaint was true of my deployment.

I wrote the previous post reporting my experience trying to log in to my controller host while divorced from the Internet. As expected, it smoked so I opened a ticket.

The various Internet communities can be helpful when I’ve overlooked something or misinterpreted something that is common product knowledge. When something appears to be a design issue, only the designers can help. So I ticketed my experience.

Ubiquity Support has responded with what appears to be the solution to my concern raised in the ticket, that local service should be possible during an Internet fade. Read on for the fix.

Categories
Personal Computing Technology

UniFi OS Login Issue

The good folks at Ubiquity have revised the architecture of the UniFi software system to provide a uniform user management and login environment for Network, Protect, Access, and the coming Talk.

A roles based access rights scheme greatly simplifies user administration and has greatly reduced the number of UniFi related passwords in 1Password. So, life is good in paradise? Not really. Read on to learn of the unanticipated consequences.

Categories
Audio Personal Computing

Roon Core Saga

Our Roon Core was last installed in 2018 using Ubuntu Cosmic Cuttlefish. This was a fall version with only 2 years of support available. Given that it had dropped out of support, I decided to reinstall the VM’s Guest OS. This post shares what I learned.

Categories
Audio Personal Computing

Roon Core on a NAS???

Roon Nucleus image courtesy of Roon Labs

After commenting on several posts regarding running Roon Core in a TrueNAS BHYVE VM in the Roon Community Forums, I get the occasional request for help troubleshooting a colicky Roon Core installation. Please stick to Roon recommended configurations unless you are a computer systems professional. Installation of Roon on Linux hardware or in a storage server virtual machine requires familiarity with the host operating system, host OS package manager, host OS virtual machine manager, creation of guest environments, and installation of Linux and applications in the guest environment. This is a lot to learn for non-professionals.

For DIY Readers

Most DIY-minded readers would be happiest running Roon Core on a Mac Mini backed up by a TrueNAS SOHO file server configuration. The Mac Mini can perform media management. The Mac Mini can back up your external media to TrueNAS using Time Machine. iX Systems ensures that TrueNAS is easily configured as a Time Machine storage server supporting encryption at rest and encryption in transit.

For My Other Readers

Those not members of the DIY gang would be happiest using Roon Nucleus as their Roon Core. Roon Labs has designed Nucleus to be a no fuss appliance that keeps OS and Roon Controller up to date software wise. Roon Nucleus is audibly and electrically quiet as a result of its fanless design and custom power supply that replaces the laptop switching power supply used with similar systems.

After the break, we’ll look at the alternatives in more detail.

Categories
Home Economics

Festus Joins Dismal Manor Gang

I tired of the Dyson’s canister’s small bin (3 empties per cleaning), propensity to clog, and dust belching manors. So I did what I was tempted to do years ago. I ordered a Festool Extractor CT15E for use as a domestic vacuum. How’s that working out? Pretty well actually. More after the break.

Categories
Audio

Maggie Extends Her Dismal Manor Visit

A few days ago, I watched a young gentleman comment on selection of amplification for Magnepan Magneplanar Loudspeakers. He is a Maggie fan and has owned a number of Maggies and paired them with various new and used amplifiers. Although a good presenter, he managed not to offer much insight into Magneplanar speaker behavior. So, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned in the 5 months or so this pair has been here.

Categories
Personal Computing

TrueNAS Encryption

TrueNAS 12 based on FreeBSD 12 now offers ZFS native filesystem encryption. A pool or any part of a pool may be encrypted. This is particularly useful when an application requires encryption of data at rest. One common use case is the encryption of Apple Time Machine backups at rest. In this article, I will explain how to configure an encrypted filesystem for use by Time Machine.

Categories
Personal Computing

TrueNAS 12 Replication

TrueNAS is built on FreeBSD and the ZFS copy on write filesystem originally developed at Sun Microsystems for use in petabyte scale systems, possibly with cluster filesystem support layered on top. Today among hobbyists and system integrators, TrueNAS finds use in small scale file servers in home and office environments.

Purchased storage systems from iX Systems (are you a Dune fan?) make ZFS and TrueNAS FreeBSD accessible to small organizations needing reliable shared file storage. It is ideal for small medical offices and graphic and creative arts professionals needing working and archival storage. The TrueNAS SOHO systems are price competitive with home brew from new systems as a result of volume purchase of components. TrueNAS carefully tailors the FreeBSD component selection and system configuration for the storage appliance mission. In most installations, TrueNAS functions solely in the storage role. In home and small office installations, it may also provide some application support. Here at Dismal Manor, our TrueNAS system also runs our Roon Audio service instance in a VM.