DIY Wifi Router Access Point With Raspberry Pi

Coronavirus killed my wifi

Like everyone else in the world, my household has been stuck at home for the past few months. All that working from home traffic, streaming, gaming, etc hasn’t been easy on my aging wifi access point (not technically a router in my case), and a week or two ago my wifi finally died. Woe.

In normal times, a quick trip to Best Buy for a new one would’ve been the end of it- but alas, the shelves were empty, and delays from Amazon meant the Earl household was looking at nearly five days without wifi before a replacement could arrive. Five, miserable days of being tethered by ethernet cables, of hearing a dystopian chorus of every Alexa screaming in unison about their lack of an internet connection, of smart lights stubbornly refusing to turn themselves off… in short, hell on earth.

Not today, Satan.

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Retrowave: Theme for EmulationStation and RetroPie

For my latest RetroPie build, I wanted to go with a synthwave style, so I made this 80’s inspired theme for EmulationStation.  Introducing Retrowave: plenty of laser grids, neon lights, and pixel test makes for a perfect match for RetroPie!

Image gallery:

Retrowave Theme – EmulationStation

Install via RetroPie Setup script, or download it manually here:

Check out the matching video splashscreen too!

How to Fix 3.3v Power Issues with Hard Drives

Today’s tutorial from the “things-that-should-have-easy-answers-but-for-some-reason-don’t department”, here’s how to to fix the 3.3v power “issue” with some SATA hard drives (HDD) .

If you’re reading this, you probably already know what I’m talking about, but if not, Tom’s Hardware covers it in detail.  If you’re too lazy to read that, the short summary is that some newer hard drives align to the SATA 3.2+ or SATA 3.3 spec, which means that the 3.3v power supplied by the 1st-3rd rails is used as a shutdown signal.

The problem is that older power supplies don’t know this, and will happily supply continuous 3.3v power the way they were designed to, no questions asked.  This triggers the shutdown signal, and keeps the HDD locked in a powered off state.  Super frustrating if you’re not aware of what’s going on.

Luckily it’s easy to fix this.  Simply prevent 3.3v power from reaching the drive!  Here are two easy ways to do it: Continue reading “How to Fix 3.3v Power Issues with Hard Drives”

How to Proxy Segment Tracking Through Charles

Recently I was working on a project using Segment tracking via their super helpful analytics library for Python, but was having trouble testing locally since all the tracking requests are sent encrypted via SSL. I wanted to view the contents of these requests via Charles Proxy, and to top it off I was running all this through Docker.  Turns out it’s a bit of a challenge!  Here’s how I configured things to do it.
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Sort Movies and Shows in Tautulli Newsletters with a Custom Template

Sorting Tautulli Newsletter Items with a Custom Template

If you’ve been running a Plex server for more than a couple weeks, odds are you’re also using Tautulli for server monitoring and notifications.  With the recent release of Tautulli’s email newsletters feature, it’s never been easier to send your users a beautifully formatted email each week with all the exciting new content that’s been added.  That said, the default options for customizing newsletters in the Tautulli UI are pretty limited, but never fear- we can fix that with a custom newsletter template and some simple Python code!
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Controlling Pi-Hole with Physical Buttons

Controlling Pi-Hole with Physical Buttons

I recently set up Pi-Hole, the awesome network-wide ad blocker that runs on a Raspberry Pi.  But, I wanted an easy way to enable/disable it using physical buttons attached to the device itself.  No problem- thanks to a Pimoroni Button Shim and some Python scripting, I can now control my Pi-Hole with the press of a button!

Read on for full instructions and the script I used.

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How to Build and Compile wine-staging 2.22 on Ubuntu 16.04

Want to use wine-staging, but need a more recent version than what the official repositories provide?  Building and compiling wine-staging 2.22 isn’t as hard as it looks.

I needed to build and compile wine-staging 2.22, but it wasn’t easy to piece together how to do it from various forums and documentation.  Hopefully this tutorial saves someone a headache!

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I’m excited to start 2018 with a reset of my personal site and blog on the WordPress platform!

My goal here is to share some (hopefully) interesting and/or useful thoughts on on a variety of topics I’m interested in:

  • Digital data (analytics, big data, ad tech)
  • Linux
  • Gaming (especially on Linux)
  • Tabletop and board games

Stay tuned…