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FOSDEM 2024: my experience, some notes and tech tips

I’m sleep-deprived, completely exhausted, but incredibly excited about the whole experience. Here are my notes, impressions and a lot of pictures about FOSDEM 2024.

My cat water fountain comes with a spicy USB power adapter

It turns out that you can’t trust any USB type A power adapter to be within spec.

The simplicity of the modulo operator: how I scaled an inefficient solution on a legacy system

Sometimes the best solution is the one that works well enough and can be cranked out quickly.

Control - how to make a game enjoyable for casual audiences

How one toggle in the game settings allowed me to enjoy a notoriously difficult game.

The optimization treadmill: why I keep changing my computing setup all the time

A short explanation about what drives me to experiment with new hardware setups in my self-hosting hobby.

Zimaboard: the closest thing to my dream home server setup

I gave in to my impulses and bought myself a small single board computer to be my power-efficient home server, here’s how it went.

My trip to the Communication and Laptop Museum in Estonia

I ended up going to a small museum run by a passionate enthusiast in the beautiful countryside of south-east Estonia while on vacation, here are my notes on it.

Steam local network game transfers are a game-changer

Setting up a Steam LAN cache has never been this easy, so I went ahead and did some testing with different configurations.

The IKEA-powered homelab on a wall

This pegboard can fit so much compute power on it!

Why you might not want to publicly self-host a Wikipedia clone

Does not apply if you like spam. No, not that one.

My experience at the k-space hackerspace hackathon

I went to the hackathon, built some useful stuff and only did stupid things about 4 times!

How I blew up my backup server (Valve pls fix)

All of this could have been avoided if I didn’t insist on making backups of my Steam Deck.

I held a talk about my self-hosting adventure!

I had the opportunity to talk about my self-hosting adventure and share some tech tips at k-space, the hackerspace in Tallinn, Estonia.

Dell Latitude 5411: the Linux compatibility sweet spot

It’s a jet engine with an integrated furnace, but at the same time it fits into the Linux compatibility sweet spot. Not great, not terrible.

Life is maintenance, maintenance is life

You can’t ignore maintenance, be it in software or other aspects of life, and here’s why.

techtipsy, now hosted on k-space!

If you’re reading this, then the migration worked.

Tiered storage: use the right tool for the job

A short ramble about something I realized over the years with my self-hosting setup.

I looked at this site on the Wayback Machine

I took a look at my site through the Wayback Machine and found that it used to belong to a political candidate in Estonia.

TOMO M4: probably the coolest power bank I’ve owned

All the reasons why I find this particular power bank to be really neat and why it could realistically be the last power bank I buy.

LattePanda V1 - my experience with a Raspberry Pi alternative

I got a LattePanda V1 and gave it a go as a Raspberry Pi replacement for my self-hosting setup. Here’s how it went.

Shrinkflation, SanDisk style

A cheap USB stick and the marketing around it caused disappointment, more at 11.

ThinkPad as a server: the follow-up

The ThinkPad as a server is back, this time with a couple of adjustments.

Anything’s a portable speaker if you’re brave enough

All about that time I converted a JBL soundbar into a portable speaker

About the time I used Google Drive as a CMS for a web app

A short story about using a popular tool in ways that you might not have thought of.

What changing the CPU on a laptop looks like

Quick demonstration of a CPU replacement in a ThinkPad T430.

HoloISO: the unofficial Steam Deck experience on your PC

I tried out HoloISO, the project that brings the Steam Deck experience to PC-s, on my ASRock DeskMini X300. Perhaps gaming on Linux isn’t dead after all?

I have a ‘Dall UD19PB ThundeRbglt Dock’: my experience with the HP Elitebook 845 G9

I’ve tried out newer laptops before and it was nothing short of a disaster. Is this HP any different, or do I need to go back to my ThinkPad T430 again?

I finally found an use case for my Raspberry Pi Model B+

I take a severely underpowered computer and make it do something useful.

Recovering a password-protected ThinkPad T60

An illustrated overview about the process of clearing the supervisor password from a ThinkPad T60, based on guides that some smart and persistent people have written.

Testing a cheap ExpressCard to NVMe SSD adapter on my ThinkPad T430

I got curious about an ExpressCard to NVMe M.2 NGFF adapter I saw on Reddit, so I got one to try out myself, ending up with a total of 4 SSD-s on my ThinkPad T430. Yes, four.

The minimum viable fan control script

Some assembly required. No, not that one.

Accidentally turning the ASRock DeskMini X300 into a semi-passively cooled PC

Experimenting with my fan control scripts ended up with an interesting discovery.

Overcoming hardware limitations: the time-to-sleep script

Sometimes the least technical solutions end up being the ones that I’m the most proud of. This is probably one of them.

This site will be offline on 2022-08-17 between 18:00-19:00 EEST

what 4.8 EUR/kWh does to a mf

I tried out the CyberPower UT650EG UPS

Small and very efficient, but not quite ideal for all use cases. At least it hasn’t caught on fire yet!

btrbk is awesome

I ramble about a tool that is great for taking regular snapshots on the btrfs filesystem.

The absolute state of Bluetooth audio in 2022

Whose idea was this?

Disabling the crappy Broadcom Bluetooth adapter in your ThinkPad T430 running Linux

If you have ever felt frustated with the Bluetooth experience that your ThinkPad T430 offers you, especially after upgrading the WiFi adapter to one that also has Bluetooth capabilities, then this article might help you out.

Can a laptop from 2012 be a viable home server?

I took a spare ThinkPad T430 and put all my home server workloads on it. Here’s how it went.

Trying out VR on an AMD Ryzen 4000 series APU

A quick and dirty experiment: can the integrated graphics on an AMD Ryzen 4000 series APU run Beat Saber?

Strangling your service with a Kubernetes misconfiguration

Short story about a fun and simple way to shoot yourself in the foot, Kubernetes style.

Oversimplified guide into snapshots on the btrfs filesystem

Oh, snap(per)!

My self-hosting setup has an UPS now, here’s my experience with it

UPS, I did it again 🎵

How I treat my urge to hoard data

Something is better than nothing.

Surviving the front page of HackerNews on a 50 Mbps uplink

Overview of basic analytics during that one time my blog post got traction on HackerNews, and the steps I took to prepare for just this occasion.

ASRock X570M Pro4 motherboard overview

Quick overview from someone who does this thing as a hobby, focusing on PCIe connectivity, fan control and the poor state of AM4 socket and UEFI upgrades.

ASRock DeskMini X300: the future form factor of desktop PC-s?

Honey, I shrunk my desktop PC!

Why I went back to using a ThinkPad from 2012

How trying out new laptops and messing with my personal computing setup motivated me to go back to a laptop that some would call ancient.

VR, VFIO and how latency ruined everything

Alternative title: “Honey, I completely changed my server setup again!”

Self-hosting Wikipedia using Kiwix

Hosting your own Wikipedia instance has never been this easy!

Tech rants: PC-s use way too much power in 2021

Quick rant about the state of PC-s in 2021 regarding power and resource usage.

DIY cloud gaming: NVIDIA and Moonlight

Comparing the experience that AMD and NVIDIA can provide in a DIY cloud gaming setup.

DIY cloud gaming setup with VFIO, Parsec and AMD

A build log of how I set up my own ‘cloud gaming’ setup, including all the issues I faced and attempts to fix those.

Testing GPU passthrough on AMD Ryzen 7 5700G APU

A quick overview of my experience with setting it up on a small PC box and things to consider when attempting this yourself.

Turning leftover PC parts into a decent gaming PC

Putting the ‘reuse’ in ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’.

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G: first impressions on Fedora 34

Or ‘How to downgrade your CPU at great expense!’

How to mess up a simple ThinkPad X230 BIOS flash and how to recover from it

At least it won’t end up in a landfill!

I’ve reached the self-hosting endgame

If all you have is a powerful workstation…

Tech tip: eliminate HDD humming noise

Silence your hard drives with this one weird trick! System administrators hate him!

Whacky setups: seedbox on a wall

This is what happens when someone takes the meaning of ‘brute force’ too literally.

How to start your self-hosting adventure: a high-level overview

Getting started is probably the hardest step.

My server setups throughout the years

From repurposed old PC-s to the elusive minimum viable server.

My attempt at archiving nfscars.net

Nostalgia is one hell of a drug.

Database optimization adventures on low-end hardware

Who would have thought that performing basic database optimizations could be fun?

Things I’ve learned during my self-hosting adventure

$HOME wasn’t built in a day.

How to fix ZFS pool not importing at boot

You have probably tried Stack Exchange and reddit at this point, so what do you have to lose?

Quest towards energy efficiency part 1: the water heater

Alternative title: ‘Obsessing over things that nobody else cares about

How to make digital copies of your old video tapes

Or ‘Wow, I did not know that VLC could do that!’

What running out of SATA ports looks like

How I slapped two hard drives on a long PCIe x1 card.

Running on fumes

0GB ought to be enough for anybody.

Stupid project ideas: the War Machine

Maybe not stupid, but definitely stupid expensive.

Disk is OK

It’s all good, man.

How I fixed one hardware issue with another one

Two issues make a solution after all.

This page looks better in the app

I’m not sure it does.

The little Wi-Fi AP that could

Depends on your definition of could.