Turning a frown upside down on a Macintosh Plus

I’ve recently taken an interest in retro computers, particularly classic Macintosh computers. Something about the all-in-one beige design is really appealing to me. Unfortunately, they’re quite difficult to get a hold of in Australia for reasonable prices. You can imagine my surprise when I was able to find one on eBay for about $180AUD, but unfortunately the catch was that it didn’t work. When it booted I initially was greeted with a Sad Mac (0300FF) and some on-screen artifacts, a subsequent reboot deteriorated rapidly and the error code was almost unreadable.

Using a PN532 NFC module with libnfc

Overview Recently I lost my wallet, and with it my access card to my apartment building. Unfortunately, a replacement card cost me $100 (thanks Meriton!). Armed with spitefulness that could power a thousand suns, I took it upon myself to better understand how NFC works and how to read cards in Linux (libnfc is unofficially supported in Windows, but you’re on your own) This guide isn’t about cloning cards, breaking encryption using mfcuk or mfoc but it is about installing libnfc (which is required by those two tools) and using the PN532 NFC module.

Upgrading my HP Mini-110 with better WiFi (the hard way)

I’ve had my HP Mini 110-3000 for a while now, at least since 2011 and it’s one of my favourite laptops ever. Why? Well, it’s got: 3 USB ports (sure, it’s only USB 2.0) a VGA port SD card reader 10 inch screen, perfectly portable! It originally came with Windows XP, a slow HDD and 1Gb of RAM but I quickly moved to Linux (duh), doubled the RAM and put an SSD in.

Retrieving Data from a dead phone (Nokia N900)

Don’t do this on a device that you ever want to turn on again. This is a last resort, if your phone turns on it’s better to do this in software. Overview I’m known to buy a new shiney phone every couple of years, due in part to the fact I use them into the ground and they invetiably break beyond repair. Recent shifts to cloud backups (particularly for photos with solutions like Google Photos) have meant that it’s not too much of an inconvenience to migrate from one phone to another.

PXE Boot Alpine Linux Pt. 1

Overview In a previous post I outlined the quick and easy steps to setup a super lean installation of Alpine Linux to serve as a KVM host. One of the possible ideas to explore that I mentioned was using PXE boot and doing away with disks all together. In this post I’ll go through the steps to get a working instance of Alpine Linux booted from the network. I’ll be using my server as a KVM host like my earlier post, but the steps here will be generic enough that you can use it for whatever your purpose is.

Using an ESP-13 WiFi Shield with your Arduino

June 2018: Updated to include a troubleshooting section. Overview You may very well be deep in the rabbit hole in your long journey of trying to make sense of the very little information that exists for the ESP8266 ESP-13 WiFi Shield. This isn’t exactly a plug n’ play shield. This guide aims to document a “Getting Started” guide, by the end of it you’ll be making a TCP connection using the WiFiEsp library to a server and printing the contents via serial.

Alpine Linux as a KVM host

Overview I’ve recently retired my old desktop (an Intel i3 NUC BOXD34010WYKH) which has served me very well for a couple of years now. I knew this little box would make a great server to host a couple of VMs (and/or containers), but I had to be smart about how I use my resources. Alpine Linux is a super lightweight Linux distribution, my dealings with it so far have been mostly with it serving as a base for Docker containers.

Adding DNS records from DHCP leases on a MikroTik device

In my personal endeavours to sharpen my development skills in Golang I’ve written a small RESTful API to take a domain name and IP address and update Route53 with these values. I’ve also had an old friend help out with code-review and bounce ideas off - it definitely still needs some polish. This isn’t terribly ground breaking or complicated - however, when you couple this with MikroTiks powerful scripting language you can run a script to automatically replicate the hostname sent by the client in the DHCP request into DNS.

RouterOS (or your own!) on AWS Lightsail

If you haven’t already seen, Amazon just released Lightsail at this years re:Invent and it’s awesome! - I strongly reccomend you check out Jeff Barrs blog post about it. In a nutshell, it’s still the EC2 you know and love but more geared towards users that need something closer to a VPS, rather than leveraging Cloud design (like elasticity and incredible scalability) you get a single instance (see this presentation on Pet Vs Cattle for Cloud Architecture)

Painless CI CD with Hugo and Lambda

I’ve built my blog with Hugo - and I’ve been loving it so far! Hugo is a static website generator written in Go, it’s blazing fast and super easy to use. I’ve put the source of my blog on GitHub. Normally you would need to download Hugo and run it locally, and then sync the output to a webserver. I’ve written a Lambda script that does this for you, and more - such as: