not your average tech/non-tech blog - since 2007

Cloud NAS with local cache

February 23, 2021 Technical Ben Zucker

While I was bored and had a spare NanoPi Neo3 laying around I though to myself why not make good use of it? With its small size, gigabit ethernet and a USB3 port it is the perfect board for creating servers or in this case a crude network storage. Some of you already read about it on Twitter.

Intentionally I did not plan to write an article about this project since I believe it is poorly hacked together and it also suffers from performance issues which I could solve partially at least. However to anticipate the excitement for all the Neo3 owners: I did not finish this project on this board and had to switch to a more expensive model to accomplish full speed. If you are fine with slower speeds it is still perfectly fine though.

Since my cloud backend would be Google I realized that this way I can access all the data on my phone as well simply by using the Drive app. This is comfortable but also concerning since I do not want to blindly send all my data plain to the cloud and simply trust a hugh company in the US. So I split it up into two shares: an unencrypted one for mobile access and an encrypted one for local access only.

I will cover both.

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Station P1 - desktop usage

January 9, 2021 Technical Ben Zucker
Station P1 wedged between another box and a monitor

Station P1 wedged between another box and a monitor

I have been using the Station P1 mini-computer for a while now and as already stated occasionally I am pretty happy with it. For the last couple of weeks it’s been used on daily basis. Fun fact: I am writing this article on it right now.
The main reason for that is its electric efficiency. While my main workstation wastes lots of power for mostly being idle all the time the Station P1 barely exceeds 20 watts of consumed power while being very busy. For comparison the graphics card in my desktop computer consumes twice the amount while being idle(!).

Each time I think about this NicoD comes to my mind for his description for desktop PCs as “giant space heaters”. There is a bit of truth in these words.

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Armbian - using CREATE_PATCHES

December 25, 2020 Technical Ben Zucker

The Armbian build script has a built-in method to automatically create patch files from changes you do within the sources.
The official documentation writes about this:

prompt right before the compilation starts to make changes to the source code, separate for U-Boot and kernel, and will create patch files out of this. If you want these patches are included in the normal run, you need to copy them to their appropriate directories.

While this basically puts stuff in a nutshell for beginners this could be a bit confusing. In this post I will show you step by step how this works in a practical example.

  • What is needed to start this process?
  • Where are the sources to edit?
  • Where are the created patches?
  • How to apply them next time you build?
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Zuckerbude 3.0

December 18, 2020 Technical Ben Zucker

The whole website has been reworked. Why? Because I can. After a very long time it is now time to say goodbye to Wordpress and say hello to Hugo.

What is Hugo?

Hugo is “The world’s fastest framework for building websites”. You can learn more here.

Simplified it takes your input files, which are formatted using the Markdown syntax, and a template and creates a ready to upload website from that.

There is no web interface or fancy WYSIWYG-editor thing. You can use any text editor, preferably one with syntax highlight or even a small IDE like VScode.

Visual Studio Code editing my website

Visual Studio Code editing my website

After editing the changes can be previewed locally by using

hugo server --disableFastRender --ignoreCache

which will provide a http server that serves the website on localhost. Once satisfied the output of the public folder is pushed to the webserver and the changes are live immediately.

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