Easy Push Notifications With

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?? (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.

Tailscale golink: Private Shortlinks for your Tailnet

I've shared in the past about how I use custom search engines in Chrome as quick web shortcuts. And I may have mentioned my love for Tailscale a time or two as well. Well I recently learned of a way to combine these two passions: Tailscale golink. The golink announcement post on the Tailscale blog offers a great overview of the service: Using golink, you can create and share simple go/name links for commonly accessed websites, so that anyone in your network can access them no matter the device they’re on — without requiring browser extensions or fiddling with DNS settings.

K8s on vSphere: Building a Kubernetes Node Template With Packer

I've been leveraging the open-source Tanzu Community Edition Kubernetes distribution for a little while now, both in my home lab and at work, so I was disappointed to learn that VMware was abandoning the project. TCE had been a pretty good fit for my needs, and now I needed to search for a replacement. VMware is offering a free version of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid as a replacement, but it comes with a license solely for non-commercial use so I wouldn't be able to use it at work.

Active Directory authentication in Tanzu Community Edition

Not long ago, I deployed a Tanzu Community Edition Kubernetes cluster in my homelab, and then I fumbled through figuring out how to log into it from a different device than the one I'd used for deploying the cluster from the tanzu cli. That setup works great for playing with Kubernetes in my homelab but I'd love to do some Kubernetes with my team at work and I really need the ability to authenticate multiple users with domain credentials for that.

Nessus Essentials on Tanzu Community Edition

Now that VMware has released vCenter 7.0U3c to resolve the Log4Shell vulnerabilities I thought it might be fun to run a security scan against the upgraded VCSA in my homelab to see how it looks. Of course, I don't actually have a security scanner in that environment so I'll need to deploy one. I start off by heading to to register for a (free!) license key which will let me scan up to 16 hosts.

VMware Tanzu Community Edition Kubernetes Platform in a Homelab

Back in October, VMware announced Tanzu Community Edition as way to provide "a full-featured, easy-to-manage Kubernetes platform that’s perfect for users and learners alike." TCE bundles a bunch of open-source components together in a modular, "batteries included but swappable" way: I've been meaning to brush up on my Kubernetes skills so I thought deploying and using TCE in my self-contained homelab would be a fun and rewarding learning exercise - and it was!

Snikket Private XMPP Chat on Oracle Cloud Free Tier

Non-technical users deserve private communications, too. I shared a few months back about the steps I took to deploy my own Matrix homeserver instance, and I've happily been using the Element client for secure end-to-end encrypted chats with a small group of my technically-inclined friends. Being able to have private conversations without having to trust a single larger provider (unlike like Signal or WhatsApp) is pretty great. Of course, many Matrix users just create accounts directly on the matrix.

Federated Matrix Server (Synapse) on Oracle Cloud's Free Tier

I've heard a lot lately about how generous Oracle Cloud's free tier is, particularly when compared with the free offerings from other public cloud providers. Signing up for an account was fairly straight-forward, though I did have to wait a few hours for an actual human to call me on an actual telephone to verify my account. Once in, I thought it would be fun to try building my own Matrix homeserver to really benefit from the network's decentralized-but-federated model for secure end-to-end encrypted communications.

AdGuard Home in Docker on Photon OS

I was recently introduced to AdGuard Home by way of its very slick Home Assistant Add-On. Compared to the relatively-complicated Pi-hole setup that I had implemented several months back, AdGuard Home was much simpler to deploy (particularly since I basically just had to click the "Install" button from the Home Assistant add-ons manage). It also has a more modern UI with options arranged more logically (to me, at least), and it just feels easier to use overall.

Setting up Linux on a new Lenovo Chromebook Duet (bonus arm64 complications!)

I've written in the past about the Linux setup I've been using on my Pixel Slate. My Slate's keyboard stopped working over the weekend, though, and there don't seem to be any replacements (either Google or Brydge) to be found. And then I saw that Walmart had the 64GB Lenovo Chromebook Duet temporarily marked down to a mere $200 - just slightly more than the Slate's keyboard originally cost. So I jumped on that deal, and the little Chromeblet showed up today.