Easy Push Notifications With ntfy.shThe 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.
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.
I recently started using Obsidian for keeping notes, tracking projects, and just generally organizing all the information that would otherwise pass into my brain and then fall out the other side. Unlike other similar solutions which operate entirely in The Cloud, Obsidian works with Markdown files stored in a local folder1, which I find to be very attractive. Not only will this allow me to easily transfer my notes between apps if I find something I like better than Obsidian, but it also opens the door to using git to easily back up all this important information.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2 was recently updated to bring support for less-bleeding-edge Windows 10 versions (like 1903 and 1909). WSL2 is a big improvement over the first iteration (particularly with better Docker support) so I was really looking forward to getting WSL2 loaded up on my work laptop.
WSL2 Step Zero: Prereqs You'll need Windows 10 1903 build 18362 or newer (on x64). You can check by running ver from a Command Prompt:
A friend mentioned the BitWarden password manager to me yesterday and I had to confess that I'd never heard of it. I started researching it and was impressed by what I found: it's free, open-source, feature-packed, fully cross-platform (with Windows/Linux/MacOS desktop clients, Android/iOS mobile apps, and browser extensions for Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari/Edge/etc), and even offers a self-hosted option.
I wanted to try out the self-hosted setup, and I discovered that the official distribution works beautifully on an n1-standard-1 1-vCPU Google Compute Engine instance - but that would cost me an estimated $25/mo to run after my free Google Cloud Platform trial runs out.