sneaky /dev/sd*

umbrel kept going offline. it seemed power related. more fustrating when Linux devices to assign /dev/sd* devices at random for USB storage. bitcoin-core nor umbrel appreciated booting without expected paths.

took a while to figure out pre-defining the devide assignment based on USB stoage “model name”. hdparam reveals the full model name string on the now reassigned device

~$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sdb

located this guidance to assign the device in udev based on a string match:

~$ vi /etc/udev/rules.d/00-corrections.rules

KERNEL=="sd?", ATTRS{model}=="SAMSUNG SP0411N", NAME="sda"
KERNEL=="sd??", ATTRS{model}=="SAMSUNG SP0411N", NAME="sda%n"

worked wonderfully. back up and running. resumed sync’ing txns from 5 years ago…

doge season

since its doge season with the run from $0.06 to $0.71, felt like might now be relevant to get involved (or at least feel part of the action after holding 0.0 DOGE and missed the run)

hadnt followed the mining craze though found a good evolution of mining tools. surprisingly simple mining setup. with the commical Dogecoin Core wallet, the earnings wallet was set up in minutes to start receiving… whatever coins might get produced on this desktop hardware 🙂

hardly the hardware configuration for any sustained mining, though easy to reconcile the appeal to invest in rigs, high performance cards, and run this mining at scale.

umbrel bitcoin node

pulled out the old Raspberry Pi devices. two of them gathering dust. stumbled across umbrel and seemed relevant to support the bitcoin cause with a validator node.

attempts to install on Linux on Windows 10 under WSL2 failed. the TOR image relies on journald, which is not part of the subsystem because Docker is running on Windows host. seems a fragile setup and would not be working towards the objective of a standalone node. abandond.

first efforts tricky. used balenaEtcher to format the memory card. dont have slot nor card adapter. an old digital camera with USB seems to do the trick.

flashing takes ~15min. smooth.

LoRa and IoT Learnings

Hadnt previously heard of LoRa but introduced by an intruiging entrepreneur. She shared on the capabilities of its low power consumption, decent range, and relatively useful data packet sizes.

Reach, throughput, nodes and onboard sensors, Pi HATs and gateways. Impressed that its grown so mature! MQTT and underlying protocols are familiar, and HATs use on Raspberry Pi

Equally impressive is the ecosystem developed around AWS IoT – in standarisation of protocols, harmonization of PKI security on the comms, and the devices.

Docker Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable

Packaging a few Docker containers for SmartPesa. This makes it easier to roll out version upgrade instances without referring back to compiled binaries.

The dependency was Visual C++ 2010 Redistributables for our internal message queuing service. The simple instruction to install the MS redistributable worked seamlessly to deploy the runtime libs. Service fired up smoothly.

Now onto scalable, immutable infrastructure


frequent travel

aptly matched to the long standing theme of this blog of travel, while it’s less photojournalistic than expected, the last year has been filled with extensive (mostly work) travel. captures this nicely in a visual. SE Asia is the fast growing part of the world and requires face-to-face interactions

AWS IPSec to External

A real unexpected challenge this week. After many VPN setups in VPC based Linux openswan with an internal IP, took conscious note that the public EIP is not actually bound to the internal interface.

The remote site was configured to only accept connections on the public IP, which while configured on the left= and assigned accordingly in AWS, did not carry as the authentic source of traffic. While the VPN concentrator already applies MASQUERADE on iptables, the source was obviously still from network.

This blog post covered it well and visually illustrated the desired setup; presumably a common issue when remote site is not able (or willing) to see (and more specifically route) the private network



weird inbox

searching Google Drive for INBOX, a folder for our placing all sorts of receipts, we find an unexpected search result pop up


no time to look into it further, just recording

Disappointing Superbook

I was super surprised to finally receive my Superbook. It came unannounced. There was no heads up email and the courier simply delivered this box.

After a two (2) year wait, this cool accessory had finally arrived. I had planned to use it on many occasions when tired of lugging around a heavy Dell, and for being more efficient than typing on a tiny XiaoMi screen! Finally!

The excitement however did not sustain long. The unboxing was neat but wore off quickly. Turning on the Superbook was a real letdown. After plugging in the charging cable and following the short list of instructions, it lit up. Colours. Stripes. Bad vibes from a faulty screen.

The instruction to plug in the phone flashed in the background, but hid quickly behind the faulty display lines. The unit was defect.

Of course this will be reported, but it sure a let down for a long wait and disappointing experience. Early backers may have paid less but its really not alot of parts. The quality control had clearly failed.

And unfortunatel, I had travels ahead and perfect time to tag along my Superbook, which will now rest on the shelf until return in January to report this issue. So much for greater convenience.

fake Credible channels

Amazing how easily the digital medium can be corrupted. Without central control or governing authority on Telegram, we see fake Credible campaign!

The fake channel garnered 18,000 followers and still growing. There is no authenticity to the channel, its admins, its recycled content but still individuals join, share their email addresses and exchange with imposters. Facinating.