Category Archives: Home

Running a Home Virtual Server – Part 2: Contemplating Containers


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Ok, so it’s been awhile since I put up the last part. So long that I actually ended up looking at some other hypervisor options, and still ended up going with Proxmox. I’ve also made it slightly more robust by running two host machines in a cluster configuration. I not running many virtual machines right now, but the ones that I do run are mostly OpenVZ containers from TurnkeyLinux.org, which Proxmox has a built-in integration to download templates straight from them. There are also other OpenVZ templates from Proxmox for a few standard linux server OSes, but the Turnkey Linux ones seem better at being kept up to date. Below the fold is a short list of what I’m currently running and a few that I plan on setting up at some point. Continue reading Running a Home Virtual Server – Part 2: Contemplating Containers

Quick Thoughts on OpenMediaVault

I’ve played around with FreeNAS in the past. If you aren’t aware it underwent some major changes a while ago where the main developer (Volker) stopped developing and handed over development and maintenance to a company to handle. They basically re-wrote the (now) legacy version (0.7) focusing on business requirements first and foremost and removing many of the features that excited home users about FreeNAS. Since then Volker has been working on a NAS project written on top of Linux (Debian Squeeze) called OpenMediaVault (OMV). Every once in a while I would peek in on each and see how the development has been moving, and from what I can tell OMV has made up a lot of the ground it lost having to write everything from scratch. I’ve started playing around some with OMV in a VirtualBox install and am trying to do some more research to see if it’s “Production” ready for the home environment and would meet any requirements I might have.

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Getting Stuff From Free Google AdWords Credits

So two months ago Lifehacker detailed some steps to max out bonus referral space on Dropbox with Google AdWords and free ad credits. I ran this as a short experiment with SugarSync, a service similar to Dropbox, which I’ll talk about my experience with. But first a quick overview, The idea is to take free advertising credits offered for Google AdWords and use that to run text ads pointing at your referral link to get people to sign up and get the bonus space offered for the referrals.

The Lifehacker article didn’t have quite the same success as the article they originally based the idea from. It looks like they spent $60 of their $100 credit to get 8 GB of free space, the original article maxed out 16 GB using just under $10. Both of them used Dropbox while I went a similar route with SugarSync. There are some advantages of SugarSync over Dropbox. The two that stand out the most are they currently offer a larger amount of free storage over Dropbox (5 GB vs. 2 GB), and they don’t cap the maximum amount you can get from their referral bonus (which is also larger than Dropbox, 500 MB vs 250 MB).

While running the ads for about 3 days I spent a total of $43 in credits; this netted me 304 click-throughs, 33 sign-ups, with 13 currently completed that have awarded me bonus space. Of course if those other sign-ups can download the SugarSync software in the future, and I’ll get the bonus space when they do. Read more after the break for some ideas I have regarding this method along with some other ideas for using my free AdWord Credits.

Continue reading Getting Stuff From Free Google AdWords Credits

Our Home Walkway Gets a Face lift


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Our front yard seems to be a never ending pursuit of needing improvement on the curb appeal. One project that we did a while ago was adding a graveled parking spot to the front yard for one car. As part of that we also put in a little walkway from the spot to our front porch. I made the mistake of using some cheap landscape edging that I had sitting around to use for the walkway, it looked ok at first, but then it started to come up and lose it’s shape and became more of an eyesore than anything else. So I decided to give it a face lift and match the stone edging that I used for the parking spot for the walkway too. I also decided to have it go in a straight line with a 90 degree turn than the curve shape that it was before. I don’t know what else to say about it, so look for some pictures if you want after the jump. Continue reading Our Home Walkway Gets a Face lift

Change of Direction

I’ve decided I’m going to take this site in a new direction. Instead of trying to strictly work on write ups for here I’m going to use this more as a kind of status report for my many ongoing projects that I always seem to be working on. I’m thinking that this will hopefully motivate me to work on them more often and maybe even bring some of them to completion. Doing status reports at work usually gets me to work on tasks more often, so I’m hoping that blog posts here will have the same affects on my personal projects. I still haven’t decided on a file structure of what I’m going to do specifically; break everything down by pages, use just posts, or a combination of the two. I also might do another more personal site with another of my domains I have I’ll have to wait and see.

DH

Super easy way to save on the water bill…

A how-to on WikiHow has been making the rounds on some blogs and I figure I’ll add to that here since many places in the US are still under moderate to severe drought including my part of the country. The article is “How to Convert Any Toilet to a Low Flush Toilet” and the just of it is to take a half-gallon container of milk or juice, remove any labels, put in something to make it sink (pebbles, sand, gravel, whatever…), and then add water so it doesn’t move around. Take this unit you just put together seal it shut (put on the lid) and place it the tank of the toilet so it doesn’t interfere with the mechanism. Replace the lid and then use as normal. The container will displace an equal amount of water up to a half gallon depending on the type of toilet you already have.

There are a number of other things you can do if you feel to lazy to put together this milk jug, simply putting a rock in the tank can have the same affect, of course you’ll want to be VERY careful not to crack the tank and make sure to clean it off very well before you put it in the tank. As you can see you can use about anything to take up space in the tank, the big criteria is that it doesn’t get in the way of the mechanism or damage the toilet or septic system.