Building Ikea worktop desks.


I finally took a big leap in my life and said a giant ‘fuck you’ to landlords and decided to buy my first place in London.

One of the main things for my girlfriend and I was a room that we could designate for an office, as both our jobs involve working from home. We got, what we would call a very decently sized flat in South London (the best London) and with it, a decently sized additional bedroom that would be our home office.

The plan was to build 2 identical desks to save on cost and this post will be how I have gone about that.

Now, I must stress that I am not a big DIYer, so anything seen here is just me winging it and reading bits and bobs from the internet, so there will most likely be things I should have done better, alas, life is a journey.
Having said that, this is not a how-to by any stretch of the imagination, just me blogging about something new to me.

Read moreBuilding Ikea worktop desks.

Sizing Down – The SFF Homelab

This is nothing new. Sadly.

This is not a new build. This post is simply a short and sweet build post repackaging the build I did a few years ago into something much smaller to fit ‘properly’ into my apartment rack. That post is here:

Read moreSizing Down – The SFF Homelab

Unlimited Plex Storage via Google Drive And Rclone

Important Edit – 2022/05/22 The fun may be over. Google has started forcing older users like myself into Workspace and they have not been clear about what is going to happen with storage. Whilst their plans still claim ‘as much as you need’, varying reports are coming out seemingly pointing out that this will no … Read moreUnlimited Plex Storage via Google Drive And Rclone

Building (another) NAS.

Building Another NAS.

A lot has changed in my life over the last 6 months or so, moving out of my flat and quitting my job to travel the world only to have 2020 suck all meaning out of every fibre of my being making me yearn for the eventuality of Earth being obliterated into inexistence, but until that time my storage as of late left much to be desired.

I have been reminded, daily, by my Macbook that my last backup was almost 1 year ago and on top of this the storage I use at home is nearing it’s capacity as well as being degraded. I’ve been overlooking these things for quite some time but I have finally decided to remedy the situation.

Join me on my newest endeavour to build a new NAS, or don’t of course.

Read moreBuilding (another) NAS.

Building a Custom Ambilight System For Any Input With A Raspberry Pi and Hyperion

Another one of these? Really?

Yes. I love my Ambilight setup on my TV, and when I was originally doing this had some trouble oweing to different information here and there, so decided to do my own blog post on the matter.

What is this project? It’s an Ambilight system that runs from a Raspberry Pi that works on any HDMI input. This was very important to me, I did not want to use the Raspberry Pi as a media player, I love my Apple TV for that and I wanted other sources to work.

So, if you want something like the below, then continue reading….

Read moreBuilding a Custom Ambilight System For Any Input With A Raspberry Pi and Hyperion

Getting Started with VMWare Distributed Switching

Introduction; This post will be a brief intro into VMWare’s distributed switch technology and how to get your feet wet in the setup. This will not cover the advanced features or in-depth configuration but a followup may come in the future. I was myself rather confused at the concept at first and failed to see … Read moreGetting Started with VMWare Distributed Switching

Making A Raspberry Pi Grafana Monitor

Intro; For a while now I’ve wanted a compact, ‘at a glance’ look at some of my lab statistics and other things in my flat, since my lab is elsewhere. Originally I started looking for 4k monitors that could be rotated vertically, then I started looking for small hobby boards that could output in 4k … Read moreMaking A Raspberry Pi Grafana Monitor

Building a compact, quiet, low powered ESXi/Storage Whitebox Hybrid

Intro. So it’s that time of year again when my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to move, after a few months of searching we found a very cosy (and a not so cosy rent price to go with it) flat in Zone 1/2, London. Without boring you with a life story, the aim of … Read moreBuilding a compact, quiet, low powered ESXi/Storage Whitebox Hybrid

Muffin’s Colo Upgrade

Intro; So a lot of you read and enjoyed my colocation post a while back and since then things have been going well. I’ve used the colo’d host pretty heavily and it’s been serving me great for what I needed it for, my public facing applications have never been happier. I have since deployed cool things like … Read moreMuffin’s Colo Upgrade

pfSense: A Guide to NAT, Firewall Rules and some Networking 101

How to pfSense. So, you’ve decided to ditch that POS ISP provided router, or just literally anything marketed towards consumers and have installed pfSense, so.. what now? The following will be a guide on how to create, manage and understand both firewall rules and NAT in pfSense. I get asked a lot of questions daily and I … Read morepfSense: A Guide to NAT, Firewall Rules and some Networking 101

Fixing ESXi 6.5 On HPE G7 Servers

HP, you motherfuckers. So there I was, moving VMs off of my main host (DL380 G7, 2x x5690’s, 192GB RDIMM), getting ready to replace the 8x 300GB RAID10 array I’ve been using for a while now with some 1TB disks and SSDs, awesome, right? So the host was powered down, ready for an upgrade, and … Read moreFixing ESXi 6.5 On HPE G7 Servers

Getting Started with VMware’s ESXi

Virtualization is awesome. It’s been the standard for enterprises for many years and although containers are gaining interest, virtual machines remain the go-to for any business; you’d be either crazy or incompetent not to go down this route in most scenarios. This post will go through the very basics of setting up and using ESXi.

Tunneling Specific Traffic over a VPN with pfSense

Recently I stumbled on a post in /r/sysadmin by /u/ThatOnePrivacyGuy that had a spreadsheet he had created comparing a load of VPN services, you can find it here. This got me thinking, my automated downloads crunch through terabytes of data every month on a home connection, and if my ISP were to look into this it would not … Read moreTunneling Specific Traffic over a VPN with pfSense

Building a Rackmount Storage Server

Surprisingly, I don’t have any backups of my stuff. Apart from my Microserver Gen8 FreeNAS replication project which was necessary for my photos and personal media I don’t have any backups of my VM hosts, laptops or machines I use everyday which is very, very bad. A lot of my stuff is stored on RAID or RAID-like … Read moreBuilding a Rackmount Storage Server

Enable Disk SpinDown on LSI 9211/IBM M1015

I have a lot of 9211-8i’s in the lab, probably about 12, all flashed to IT mode. These are a godsend as they just work. They’re easy to flash to IT mode (rids them of any RAID, they become HBAs) and are 6GBp/s which is awesome. One of the things I didn’t know until quite later on is … Read moreEnable Disk SpinDown on LSI 9211/IBM M1015

Understanding and Configuring VLANs

So I started off my IT career as an intern for a rather large company in London. I was doing a lot of misc stuff, mostly desktop but always pushed for as many networking bits I could, networking is great. A year later and here I am as a junior network engineer on the path … Read moreUnderstanding and Configuring VLANs

Create an IPSEC Site to Site tunnel between two PfSense firewalls

So I need to create an IPSEC point to point link between two sites so my two FreeNAS boxes can replicate between each other as per this project.  I already run my network on PfSense and have done for a few years now and think it’s great so slapping a PfSense box at my mother’s house … Read moreCreate an IPSEC Site to Site tunnel between two PfSense firewalls

HP MicroServer Gen8 storage & Syncronisation across the internet

This plan didn’t work as intended. I had to come back to the drawing board and rethink/simplify some stuff. I have left everything as-is up to the point of failure incase it’s important to anyone and it really makes no sense to delete it. Below is what I wanted to do and a few of … Read moreHP MicroServer Gen8 storage & Syncronisation across the internet

Revisiting MicroServer Gen8 storage & Syncronisation across the internet

If you’re reading this revision first it’s probably better to read my initial plan as well before continuing as there are more details outlined there as to my overall goal and information about the hardware setup. You can read this here. Right, so, at this point I was to make a post about how I setup … Read moreRevisiting MicroServer Gen8 storage & Syncronisation across the internet

Installing FreeNAS on a HP MicroServer Gen8

FreeNAS will install just fine on the MS without any modifications and everything seems to work just fine, so i’ll skim over the install and add some detail to the configuration I used. As of writing this the current stable version of FreeNAS is 9.3. All that needs to be done is to download the … Read moreInstalling FreeNAS on a HP MicroServer Gen8

Turning a BT HomeHub 5 into a Gigabit Switch

BT is an alright ISP, I get good speeds (150D/40U), never get throttled and have yet to hear anything about my internet activity which involves a fair amount of P2P.. their hardware however is god awful, and the BT HomeHub 5 is no exception to that. I won’t go into how bad it is because if you’re reading … Read moreTurning a BT HomeHub 5 into a Gigabit Switch