Sysadmin

  1. Setting up Nextcloud with Nginx

    In my last post I talked about switching from Dropbox to Nextcloud and some of the advantages and disadvantages. In this post I’ll discuss how I chose to setup my Nextcloud server. For more information beyond the specifics of my installation visit Nextcloud’s documentation. … Read More.


  2. Getting Rid of Dropbox

    I’ve been a reasonably happy and paying Dropbox customer for the past 5 years, and before that I used a free account that I’d amassed a decent amount of space on through their referral program. I say reasonably happy, because there have been some controversies in the past, enough that they have a whole wikipedia page dedicated to them. The last one was the final straw however as it once again reminded me that I have no control over the data I store with them, or really any cloud service. … Read More.


  3. Using Differencing VHDs with Hyper-V for Rapid Deployment in Test Environment

    Watching some instructional videos yesterday I came across a useful trick using a feature I mentioned in a past post, VHDs on Bare Metal, that now seems so obvious that I must have thought about it and forgot. Using a differential disk to quickly deploy multiple similar machines in a test environment. … Read More.


  4. Asus RMA Process

    Last week I submitted my first direct manufacturer RMA (return merchandise authorization) request with Asus. I felt it was a bit of a gamble but for the $15 shipping cost it would be worth it if I got a repaired or refurbished motherboard. … Read More.


  5. Storage Pools and Physical Disks with Identical Names

    Recently I setup a small home lab using some retired hardware I’d acquired through a friend. During the configuration of one of these machines I encountered a particular issue I’d never come across previously. I wasn’t able to add all my disks to a storage pool, seemingly because they had identical names. … Read More.


  6. Putting Old Hardware to Good Use

    Around a month ago I received some old de-commissioned hardware from a company a friend of mine works for. Some of it was known to work, other components were anyone’s guess. Initially this hardware was intended to replace my desktop which had failed. However this ended up not being the case as miraculously my desktop came back to life. Having only taken it apart and reassembled it a million times, giving up on it for a week, and then doing it all again. Suddenly it began working. Perhaps it just needed a rest? … Read More.


  7. Using VHDs on Bare Metal

    Yesterday I learned that you can use Virtual Hard Disks (VHD/VHDX) on bare metal. I’d always associated them with Virtual Machines, but I learned that you can create and manage them using DiskPart. And you can even install Windows directly to them on bare metal, without any Windows install already existing. Lastly, if you do already have a copy of Windows installed (or even if you don’t) you can use them to create multi-boot system without having to repartition physical disks. … Read More.


  8. Full Disk Encryption and SSDs

    Data security is important. More so today than possibly any time in the past. Especially on portable devices that can be lost or stolen, but even on desktop PCs as well. I once sold some old hardware on Kijiji, one individual was extremely interested until I’d mentioned that I’d wiped the harddrives. Suddenly he had no interest in anything I had. He didn’t want the hardware, he wanted what data might be left on it. … Read More.