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LA Fireworks 2020

Most areas cancelled their planned festivities this year due to COVID-19. But looks like LA took it into their own hands. Looks cool from a drone, probably less cool from the ground, and annoying for dogs. But still pretty neat!

Ubiquiti UniFi Ap-AC Lite Troubleshooting after firmware fix

I recently did two things. 1) Upgrade the firmware on my Ubiquiti Access Point and 2) Replaced my router with PFSense running on an old Xeon-based machine I had. This led to a big problem when trying to get my access point to work, it just wouldn’t connect to the controller. It failed to be adopted by the controller so it couldn’t get its configuration. TLDR: The solution was to remove the device when it was turned off, turn it back on and then adopt the access point from the controller interface

I might have a bit of a unique setup. I only have the Access point and use a Linux server to run the software that manages it instead of the hardware they sell. So that might have caused problems. Overall I’ve been incredibly happy with the alien space-ship looking access point. I’ve never had to reboot it to get it to work and it gets pretty good coverage for being under my couch. Plus I dig the PoE single cable connection for when I eventually get into the attic to mount it to my ceiling. So if you’re looking for something good and relatively cheap, I do recommend it. Its about $80 on Amazon: Click here.

The Aliens have landed. Amazon.com link.

Troubleshooting steps:

  1. Unplug and plug back in… No dice.
  2. Hold reset button with paper-clip for 30 seconds… No dice.
  3. SSH to the device to set-inform-url… No dice.
    This one was interesting though. You can run: ssh ubnt@<ip of device> with the password ubnt to get to a busybox shell. From there you can run: set-inform http://ip-of-controller:8080/inform and see if it connects.

At this point I considered reflashing the firmware, but didn’t want to go through all the steps of setting up a tftp server, etc. to boot the image correctly. As a last-ditch effort I just unplugged the access-point, logged into the web console and deleted/forgot device, and plugged it back in. And sure enough it worked. So instead of trying even step 3 above, it makes sense just to forget the device and set it up after step 2 above.

Yosemite

Yellowstone

First attempt upload and post from phone.

Just verifying this works. Grabbed a photo from my Sony A6300, tapped to my Pixel 3XL, and uploaded from there.

Time to do the ISP shuffle

I am fortunate in my area that I have multiple high-speed internet providers. Verizon laid a bunch of Fiber that they sold to Frontier and GTE laid some cable internet in the 90s, which became Adelphia and finally Spectrum. Due to the needs of wall-street, one of the numbers they look at is subscriber growth, so they have insane promotional pricing to attract new customers and different pricing for established customers. So those of us fortunate to have multiple providers do what I call the ISP shuffle. It boils down to calling your current provider, saying you want to cancel with the hope they’ll reduce your bill to the promotional pricing level, and if not cancelling and switching for 6 months. I haven’t done this, but saving ~ $45/month sounds like it might be worth it. Pinching pennies is fun.

So let’s check the current promotional pricing for Frontier FiOS:

Speed increase, 500/500 for $39.99/month

And what I’m currently paying:

150/150 speed for $84.99/month

So saving $45/month for 2 years is an extra $1080 bucks in my pocket. Time to do the ISP shuffle!

I’ve Deleted My Facebook

I’ve deleted my Facebook account. I know that they have some of my data and others can provide them with photos, etc. so they’ll still have some record of me on their platform. I’ve deleted it for a couple of reasons, which are:

  1. I’m sick of seeing political posts on Facebook. Its too easy to “share” fake stories and I’m tired of seeing the same lies repeated over and over again.
  2. I feel bad visiting the site. Its a waste of time and I should be doing something productive with that time. The same goes for other social media, its a time suck with little value given back. I need to cut back in other social media as well.
  3. They have too much data. They have your photos, your likes, your dislikes, your shares, what you’ve seen, places you’ve visited on the web and in real life, who you interact with, all of your private conversations in messenger, and probably track your location so they know all the places you frequent in the real world. Its scary and I don’t want to freely give that to them.

I’m going to just one thing though:

  1. People’s photos and stories of what they’re doing and where they’ve been. Especially family and friends that have moved away and don’t see anymore. Its a single network to reach out to them since everyone is on it.

I might go back though, and just follow these rules:

  1. Only spend a maximum of 30 minutes a week on the site.
  2. Use a browser that will delete all of their tracking cookies.
  3. Never post photos or stay logged into the site for long.
  4. Push people to other platforms to stay in touch, without all the shitty data-gathering and tracking if they become available.

Don’t use Lending Tree to Refinance or Purchase your home

I’ve been looking to refinance my home for the last couple months before rates start to inch forward. I’ve been a big fan of Zillow.com and their mortgage section that lets you model a mortgage by filling in current balance, home value, and your credit score with instant quotes. Seeing an ad and hearing from a friend to try lendingtree.com I decided to give it a shot. Instantly I get about 5 phone calls trying to get my social security number to run my credit and start the process. All the quotes I got without my SSN were higher than Zillow and some refused to model a loan without my Social. I ended up going with a lender through Zillow who has been a pleasure to work with and expect to close soon!

Long story short: Zillow is easy to see what you’re getting, lending tree you’ll get dozens of phone calls asking to pull your credit for higher rates. I recommend Zillow.com for your next purchase or refinance because of its simplicity and honesty with up-front mortgage information.

Upgrade to SSL

I just got around to moving this blog to a new server and have enabled SSL. Special thanks to this docker container: https portal for making things simple, it acts as a nginx proxy to the wordpress container and even handles getting and setting up the Let’s Encrypt certificate as well.

P90X3 – Lost some Forward Momentum

Missed 4 sessions of P90X3! But I will make them up! Gotta keep the forward momentum and not give up. Going to make up the days by doing doubles (around Dynamix/Yoga).

Update Today: Did The Challenge + Yoga — down to 3 missed sessions.

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