You may or may not have heard of Rocket.Chat. It’s basically an open source clone of Slack that you deploy on your own server. The best thing about it is that it’s free and you own all of your data. They also offer a service you can subscribe to if you don’t want to do all the fun work of setting up the server, but who wants that? You certainly won’t learn anything new that way!
I’ve been playing around with this software for about a year now and I’ve come to the conclusion that this makes a really good personal journal. With that said, I wanted to setup a local (permanent) instance of Rocket.Chat on my Synology DS415+, in addition to the instance I have running on my internet facing server.
A quick google search brought me to this great post which outlines the installation process. Unfortunately I was not able to complete the installation without a couple of changes. I’ve put together my own tutorial with screenshots over in the Home Lab section
Free DNS subdomains via afraid.org is a great resource for lab and test machines.
They also have a free Dynamic DNS service which is a great way to keep tabs on your Home IP address in the event it should change. In the past I would use this to make sure I can VPN back to the house but now I have a OpenVPN server in a Data Center in Canada that I use.
Since I mentioned it, KimsUfi is a great resource for cheap servers. Pro Tip look for a “flash sale” to get a nice discount on your bill for as long as you continue rent the machine.
Happy to say that I passed my CCNP re-certification after letting it expire in 2016. It felt good getting back in the lab and running through various routing and switching problems. I used EVE-NG to study with, it’s simply amazing software.
If you support systems @ scale than you mustread the Google SRE book! Do yourself and your team a favor by making sure you don’t repeat the mistakes in this book! This should be required reading for all managers and front line engineers.
This is worthy of a share if you are interested in TLS. Facebook, Cloudflare, and Mozilla are working together with the ITEF to develop a new protocol for handling the private keys for SSL certs. Facebook Engineering gives a great overview in the article below.
Today I upgraded my email provider to Tutanota. They provide encrypted email hosted on servers in Germany. In addition to the encrypted inbox you can easily send end to end encrypted emails with users of other services like Gmail. Fellow Tutanota users have their emails automatically encrypted end to end with no effort at all on their part as it’s built into the service by default.
I opted for the premium service and was able to set this up using my own domain name and was provided 5 email aliases. Price was very reasonable and it was a HUGE security improvement over the crappy email service my hosting provider was giving me. I highly encourage everyone to checkout this open source email service that focuses on privacy and security and ditch your Gmail account that scans your emails to deliver ads!
Website is back online after a small hiatus. I’m pretty sure my old wordpress instance had been hacked so I nuked the entire site and left it dormant for awhile. Now I’m starting to rebuild it to highlight some of the things I’m interested in.
It’s a work in progress so bookmark the site and check back if you like, but it will probably be hacked again since my hosting provider sucks so bad at security. I’ll need to look into alternatives after reading an article about how easy it is to hack their console site 🙁