[root@rhce-ryanrudolf]# rm -rf / 2> /dev/null

things I break/fix for fun and learning

Jul 26, 2019 - 5 minute read - Comments

Windscribe VPN on OpenWRT WDR3600

I’ve been using Windscribe VPN for several weeks now, and it works OK for my needs. I use it to watch geographically blocked content (N3tflix). Windscribe has awesome apps for Android / iOS and they also have a command line client for Linux. This works OK for most of the part except when I want to watch N3tflix on the TV as my SmartTV does not have a VPN client (yet). The easier way to solve this is to connect my laptop to the TV or to cast my phone to the TV, but where is the fun in that? I have a spare OpenWRT router and this will be perfect for this scenario. Running a VPN client at the router level means that all devices connected to the router will automatically be utilizing the VPN connection.

Jun 12, 2019 - 3 minute read - Comments

Hosting My Own KMS Server and Creating BIND DNS Records for Streamlined Windows and Office Activation

DISCLAIMER: The below items are for educational (and entertainment) purposes only.

There are several KMS servers floating in the internet with the sole function of activating copies of Windows and MS Office. Being the curious type, I wanted to know how to implement it in my homelab environment. I was able to find an open-source KMS emulator that runs on multiple platforms (several flavors of Linux, BSD, Solaris, etc etc). So let’s get started!

Mar 8, 2019 - 3 minute read - Comments

FHD IPS 1920x1080 for Thinkpad T420s

A little back story - the T420s was released sometime in 2012 and during that time there is no way to use an FHD IPS screen. The motherboard connector uses LVDS while the FHD IPS screen uses eDP. The default installed screen is a TN panel with a screen resolution of 1600x900, washed out colors and terrible viewing angles. Fast forward and enthusiasts were able to make a converter that allows the T420s motherboard to use a modern FHD IPS screen. I was able to get a complete kit from China (via aliexpress). It contains an original AUO FHD IPS screen and the converter board (LVDS-to-eDP) that does the magic. Delivery took about 2weeks to arrive here in Canada.

Jan 20, 2019 - 3 minute read - Comments

Resurrecting a Vintage Thinkpad T43

About a year ago, I was able to get a vintage Thinkpad T43 from our local Value Village (thrift store). It’s not in the best shape - cracked chassis, purple line on the display, stiff and shiny keyboard and missing RAM cover. I took a gamble and decided to take it for a weekend project. Fast forward last week, and I was able to get a FREE Thinkpad T41P from a co-worker when I helped him install a new keyboard on his Thinkpad X240. The T41P looks really nice and presentable - there are no cracks on the chassis, display is working good and keyboard is working OK. It is the complete opposite of my T43! And then an idea came in to my mind – since the T41P chassis is presentable compared to the T43, why not move the parts over. Thus born my first Frankenpad - T43 motherboard in a T41P chassis!

Jan 19, 2019 - 1 minute read - Comments

SSL Certificate Expired

I tried to access my website today and my browser gave me a nice warning message - NET:ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID. Upon seeing that error, I knew that my SSL certificate from letsencrypt has expired. I received an email about it a few days ago, but missed out on renewing it before the expiry date!

Jan 12, 2019 - 4 minute read - Comments

Network Monitoring with Zabbix

I want to implement network monitoring in my homelab environment. There are lots of enterprise-grade products that are capable of this, and I have narrowed it down between Nagios and Zabbix. I’ve already had experience configuring Nagios from my previous employer, and for something different this time I will go for Zabbix. Or I might end up doing both, as it has been a while since I’ve done Nagios (around 2007-2008).

Jan 10, 2019 - 3 minute read - Comments

Compiling Linux Kernel 5

Linux kernel 5.0 RC1 has been released last Jan07. After several days of deciding if I should give it a shot, finally I had the time to do it on my machine. It’s been a while since I’ve compiled a kernel from source and this is a good learning experience to refresh that knowledge. Currently I am running kernel 4.19.13-300, about 2 revisions behind of the latest kernel. Kernel 5.0 is also known as kernel 4.21.