Specs for my first self-funded computer

This was on my UVI student web-server website.  Amazing how long I have come.

FreeBSD 11.1 on the desktop

So I made the jump to using FreeBSD on the desktop and it’s beginning to grow on me. Some notes.

  • I got the Nextcloud client running after running into a bunch of issues with Qt5. This now allows me to keep my files in sync and makes the time on my BSD box that much more productive.  Workflow is now enhanced.
  • Using XFCE as my desktop with Compiz as a windows manager. I fell in in love with the cube multidesktop feature when I saw it at a Linuxworld years ago.
  • Now that I am doing things mostly from the terminal, it gives me the incentive and environment to automate more and more.
  • Have to look into some other browsers beyond Chromium and Firefox.
  • Once I have rdesktop and xfreerdp, I can manage my MS Windows systems without much issues.
  • My previous setup was a Win7 system with 3 monitors.  While I could use the same 3 monitors, I realized having 12 (3*4) desktops may have been a bit too much.  So now I have two monitors and thus 8 desktops.  A major jump in productivity

All in all, a challenging experience, but one that I am glad I did.

The TODO list

  • ZFS file system
  • Custom launcher(s)
  • Custom dashboard

 

Great book that I am reading: “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory”

This book by David Graeber should be read by technologist and anyone who is interested in systems and processes.


My voice communications configuration

Spent some time, but I got my voice communications system up. Tested it and now feel confident that I can stay in touch, wherever I am in the globe, at least wherever there is a GlobalStar Satellite coverage.

My configuration is this :

Hardware/Services :

  • Sprint Samsung S7 Smartphone
  • 8×8 Polycom Handset
  • AT&T Prepaid ZTE Z22 Flip phone( I love the ability to flip the phone to end the call)
  • GlobalStar Qualcomm GSP-1600 Satellite handset
  • Computer with Internet Access (I use an AT&T Mifi hotspot)

My Sprint phone number is linked with my Google Voice account.  For this, you have to have a number with an area code in one of the 50 states.  I haven’t tried Puerto Rico.

This linking gives you a lot of features.  The most important one is the ability to forward calls to verified phone numbers.  In my case, I have a SkypeIn #, an 8×8 phone service, and a GlobalStar Satellite phone.  With this feature, calls coming to my Sprint #, ring on all these devices.

To make use of a prepaid GoPhone for use on the AT&T service, I configured the SkypeIn number to forward to the local AT&T number.  I wanted this configuration, because when I travel to a location outside of the US, I can just get a local number and then configure Skype to forward to this number.

Is this configuration expensive ? Yes !  However, what is more expensive, is the lack of communications in my line of business.

Over time, I will figure out ways of optimizing this configuration for both cost and dependence on various service providers.

I build for me….

I build tools for my use.  Hardware, Software, and services.  I build not to sell, rent and/or give to others.  One cannot solve the problems of others, until she can solve her own.

While I am supporter of Free Software, both beer and freedom, I most importantly support the freedom to do what you want.  This is because I don’t want anyone telling me what to do with my life.

If I follow your instructions, know that it is because I deem it in my own best interest.  Our goals have been aligned.  Nothing more, nothing less.

ZFS Testing

Spent the day testing ZFS, via FreeNAS, as a VM storage medium.  Got it to do snapshots, rollbacks, clones and the most important, incremental backup to remote systems.

The goal is for this to allow my core data to be replicated to remote repos for security issues.  This is most imperative after Irmaria.

Resources that were most helpful.

https://www.headdesk.me/ZFS_incremental_replication

http://portrix-systems.de/blog/brost/zfs-migration-using-incremental-sendreceive/