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Automating Security Camera Notifications With Home Assistant and Ntfy

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how I was using a self-hosted instance of ntfy to help streamline notification pushes from a variety of sources. I closed that post with a quick look at how I had integrated ntfy into my Home Assistant setup for some basic notifications. I've now used that immense power to enhance the notifications I get from the Reolink security cameras scattered around my house.

I Ditched vSphere for Proxmox VE

Way back in 2021, I documented how I had built a VMWare-focused home lab on an Intel NUC 9 host. The setup was fairly complicated specifically so I could build and test content for what was then known as vRealize Automation. My priorities have since shifted1, though, and I no longer have need for vRA at my house. vSphere + vCenter carries a hefty amount of overhead, so I thought it might be time to switch my homelab over to something a bit simpler in the form of Proxmox VE.

Spotlight on Torchlight

I've been futzing around a bit with how code blocks render on this blog. Hugo has a built-in, really fast, syntax highlighter courtesy of Chroma. Chroma is basically automatic and it renders very quickly1 during the hugo build process, and it's a pretty solid "works everywhere out of the box" option. That said, the one-size-fits-all approach may not actually fit everyone well, and Chroma does leave me wanting a bit more.

Using systemctl edit to Delay Service Startup

Following a recent update, I found that the Linux development environment on my Framework Chromebook would fail to load if the Tailscale daemon was already running. It seems that the Tailscale virtual interface may have interfered with how the CrOS Terminal app was expecting to connect to the Linux container. I initially worked around the problem by just disabling the tailscaled service, but having to remember to start it up manually was a pretty heavy cognitive load.

Easy Push Notifications With ntfy.sh

The Pitch Wouldn't it be great if there was a simple way to send a notification to your phone(s) with just a curl call? Then you could get notified when a script completes, a server reboots, a user logs in to a system, or a sensor connected to Home Assistant changes state. How great would that be?? ntfy.sh (pronounced notify) provides just that. It's an open-source, easy-to-use, HTTP-based notification service, and it can notify using mobile apps for Android (Play or F-Droid) or iOS (App Store) or a web app.

virtuallypotato -> runtimeterror

cp -a virtuallypotato.com runtimeterror.dev # [tl! .cmd:2] rm -rf virtuallypotato.com ln -s virtuallypotato.com runtimeterror.dev If you've noticed that things look a bit different around here, you might also have noticed that my posts about VMware products had become less and less frequent over the past year or so. That wasn't intentional, but a side-effect of some shifting priorities with a new position at work. I'm no longer on the team responsible for our VMware environment and am now more focused on cloud-native technologies and open-source DevOps solutions.

How to Ask For Help

I spend a lot of my time and energy answering technical questions, both professionally and "for fun" as a way to scratch that troubleshooting itch. How a question is asked plays a big factor in how effectively I'll be able to answer it. Years ago I came across Eric Steven Raymond's How To Ask Questions The Smart Way and it really resonated with me. I wish everyone would read it before asking for technical help but I recognize it's a pretty large doc so that's an unrealistic wish.

Cat a File Without Comments

It's super handy when a Linux config file is loaded with comments to tell you precisely how to configure the thing, but all those comments can really get in the way when you're trying to review the current configuration. Next time, instead of scrolling through page after page of lengthy embedded explanations, just use: egrep -v "^\s*(#|$)" $filename # [tl! .cmd] For added usefulness, I alias this command to ccat (which my brain interprets as "commentless cat") in my ~/.

Create Virtual Machines on a Chromebook with HashiCorp Vagrant

I've lately been trying to do more with Salt at work, but I'm still very much a novice with that tool. I thought it would be great to have a nice little portable lab environment where I could deploy a few lightweight VMs and practice managing them with Salt - without impacting any systems that are actually being used for anything. Along the way, I figured I'd leverage HashiCorp Vagrant to create and manage the VMs, which would provide a declarative way to define what the VMs should look like.

PSA: Microsoft's KB5022842 breaks Windows Server 2022 VMs with Secure Boot

Fix available VMware has released a fix for this problem in the form of ESXi 7.0 Update 3k: If you already face the issue, after patching the host to ESXi 7.0 Update 3k, just power on the affected Windows Server 2022 VMs. After you patch a host to ESXi 7.0 Update 3k, you can migrate a running Windows Server 2022 VM from a host of version earlier than ESXi 7.