Updates + Thinkpad acquired

Just some quick updates. Outside of insane amounts of classwork, not much has happened project-wise in the last two weeks or so.
Although I won’t be back near my home until tomorrow morning, a used Thinkpad A485 arrived there. I’ll be looking into future possibilities of getting coreboot flashed on it, but for now I’ll likely just run Manjaro on it with the stock bootloader. Manjaro has been my go-to on most of my devices, save the picky Aero, since 2019 started. This Thinkpad will be the fifth Thinkpad I’ve ever owned in my life- in the past I’ve had an X61 Tablet, T420, E430 and T440s in that order, starting in 2008. Thinkpads are a lot more flexible regarding what operating systems they can run, versus most competitors’ laptops these days.

I have been reading more and more into libre computing recently and prefer user-modifiable everything on a system to closed-down systems. If Purism ever moves to AMD or RISC-V in the future, I will gladly give their laptop/future tablet listings more of a look. For now, I'm most interested in the $150 PinePhone offering from Pine64 and especially the hubbub around the Librem 5 from Purism. I will likely migrate to the Librem 5 from my Pixel 2 XL in the future as I am sick and bored of the same old same old from Google and Apple…as well as the information they gather from me without my consent.

My Notes on the Aero15X

Hello again. Little update here on my personal laptop, the Gigabyte Aero15x. I’ll probably go with an all-AMD laptop in the future or a laptop with no GPU, seeing that the support both from NVIDIA and the Linux community is lacking a tad for laptops with this specific NVIIDIA Optimus setup using a GTX1070.

I have added my notes on what has and hasn’t worked thus far under the project page Linux on the Aero15X if anyone is interested. I’ll update it once I install the original Linux distro I was using on the laptop, though I’m a much bigger fan of the more-complete-feeling Manjaro distro. I’ll have blog posts detailing future projects coming up, once there’s more to report!

unRAIDing It Up

This picture is a great representation of how I’ve learned to use LXC/LXD containers. Also, many preconfigured apps, I’ve learned, can be easily installed on unRAID. Again, I’m doing this as a personal project, so I’m quite lazy when it comes to configuring things.

So far, Plex and a PXE test VM are running under unRAID, with other operating systems being test-installed on it as I move onward. The default snap of Nextcloud that gets installed with a stock Ubuntu Server 18.04.01 release doesn’t seem to work as well as Nextcloud in a docker container for unRAID. Learning more about this as I go on, but also working with my group to get our Senior Design project up and running on this as well.

DDNS is a great service…

College Woes and a Quick Update

Now that I’ve started yet another semester of college, it seems that I have vast amounts of homework related to core classes that have been forced upon my schedule at the last minute. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be working on the following things:

  • Licensing the unRAID server

  • Installing Xen on the “bigboi” server

  • Hosting some applications and game servers in LXC containers to check out how they’re useful

  • Hosting our Senior Design capstone project in a vm, though I’ve never played with Xen so I might go down a rabbit hole

  • Building Kodi boxes, retro consoles etc with the remaining Raspberry Pis I have, in order to reduce the number of projects I have

  • Prepare for moving back to the West Coast in June

That’s all for now! This is a quick update!

Things in Motion

Learning a lot more these days about technologies such as Qubes, Terraform and setting up a Kickstart file for a minimal CentOS install to throw down an OpenStack-based “homelab” virtual lab that future professors might use to help their students learn…but that will get some work as a capstone project later on.

In my free time I finally got the unRAID server running as a storage provider and scraping host…so I might have more to report on the scraper project soon as I delete my social media more and more, as well as hold onto Youtube media that might be uploaded to a decentralized source now as peoples’ channels get shut down. Also might begin archiving some projects in the #FOSS world.

Also I’ve been doing work on just learning OpenStack since there seem to be quite a few moving parts that I should learn bit by bit before tackling an entire sandbox for it head-on. I’m still moving at the pace I learned while out West and am thankful for what I learned in Silicon Valley- I will return…