Chromecast Revisited

I'm a huge fan of the Chromecast, the small streaming dongle from google. And I already wrote about the first version here: Chromecast. There where always rumours that a Chromecast 2 is around the corner. And now it happened. They have finally presented one with features I'm waiting since I bought the first one. Mostly 5ghz WLAN, I don't understand why the first Chromecast was lacking this.


I use my Chromecast mostly for three apps: BeyondPod (which is the best podcast client on android), Plex (self hosted netflix) and YouTube (a platform for videos, you know that, right?). And these are the three apps I tested with the new Chromecast. Nothing really surprising but all these apps are much smother to use, which is cool. Also nice was the on-boarding experience.

New is the Chromcast Audio, which is at least for me not that exciting. But this is probably because I already have a Sonos sound system and I build something quite similar called Radio Pi. But interesting is the price point it's much cheaper than Sonos and even cheaper than a self build solution with a Raspberry Pi.

So if you have already a Chromecast there is no real reason to upgrade, but it's a nice to have. If you haven't one it's a good time to buy one.

Balccon2k15 Trip Report

If you follow me on twitter you probably saw that I was at BalCCon2k15. It was fun. I really enjoy this smaller events, the larger events like the CCCongress are very cool, but sometimes just a bit too much to handle for me. So what is BalCCon2k15? It stands for Balkan Computer Congress and is organized by LUGoNS the Linux Users Group of Novi Sad. This year was the 3th edition and everything was well planed and organized. Meaning the WLAN worked fine, even if it was a bit slower than normally on such events. But hey you don't need much WLAN to socialize.

On the first day I helped to deploy WLAN AP. As you can see we did this like professionals! Also there was a loop for bits.

bit loop and wlan ap

The location was a museum of some sort and it was perfect. Enough space, but not to much that you think it's empty. And they had a painted tank. I mean how cool is that.

painted tank

I can't say much about the talks. Because I only attended three or four. If you planning on building your own backbone you should watch "lecture: how you could build a backbone". And then there was that one talk which was very impressive, it was about "Touchless Control in Our World". It was held by Onuralp SEZER. He showed a 3D printed arm which can be controlled by Myo. I don't think there will be a recording for that, so here is just an image of it. (And if Onuralp SEZER writes about it I will include here a link to the project)

3D printed arm

Oh and the food was absolutely amazing.


Some images are made by @4x01071, thanks!

I Killed My Digital Ocean Droplet

I'm not at vBSDcon but I'm at BalCCon2k15 which is a small conference in serbia (and very cool). So while I was scrolling through my RSS feeds I saw that FreeBSD 10.2 is released. As usual I rush things which means I didn't made a backup of my droplet. Kids always do a backup beforehand, if you do things like a kernel update. Not exactly sure why but I heard it helps a lot if you fuck up. And yeah I fuck up a lot. Anyway what happened was I ran

freebsd-update fetch install
freebsd-update -r 10.2
freebsd-update install

And after the reboot nothing. Cool, at least DigitalOcean has a HTML5 VNC. Of course this doesn't work with Firefox. And it's very buggy. But it's enough to figure out whats happening. And I needed to configure my local keyboard to U.S English to type characters like / (still no idea why). At this point I was able to access my droplet over VNC where I didn't had Internet. I found out that a Interface without a IP address does basically nothing. Long story short you need to configure the Interface yourself. Still not exactly sure why I didn't need to do it after the first setup. Anyway adding the interface configuration to my rc.config restart my networking and routing and how would suspected that my droplet is back online.

What I'm trying to tell you dear reader, do proper backups beforehand.

Phoenix Up And Running

I heard all the cool kids program with this thing called elixir and phoenix. And as we all know I'm trying hard to be a cool kid (not really successful). But this is a topic for an other blog post. So here is a small guide how you get started with phoenix on Fedora.

Install packages

The first step is installing elixir and postgresql which is the default database back end for phoenix. And then there are other packages needed like npm to use all these weird js front end tool which are to some extend integrate in phoenix.

sudo dnf install erlang elixir postgresql-server npm inotify-tools

Prepare psql and enable it

Now we can setup our postgresql server.

sudo postgresql-setup initdb

After the basic setup, we need to edit the pg_hba.conf file which you should find now in /var/lib/pgsql/data/.

So we need to change ident to md5 on the line where the ADDRESS is in /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf.

# TYPE    DATABASE        USER            ADDRESS                 METHOD
  host    all             all               md5

After we change the config file we can enable the service at start up and start it.

sudo systemctl enable postgresql
sudo service postgresql start

Set a password for the postgres user. Please remember the password you set, you need it later.

sudo su - postgres
$ psql
postgres=# \password postgres
postgres=# \q


With all this things in place we can install the elixir package manager and phoenix.

Hint: You should check if there is a newer version than 1.0.1!

mix local.hex
mix archive.install

Create a new project is easy.


Now you need your psql user and the password you set and configure it in config/dev.exs.

Installing all the dependencies and create the database.

mix deps.get
mix ecto.create

Start the server

mix phoenix.server

Happy coding!

Ubuntu On My Freebsd Server

If you feel the need to put ubuntu on your FreeBSD server, here is a guide.

It's really simple, the first step is to take ubuntu

take ubuntu

Step two put it on your server (for example my FreeBSD server)

ubuntu on FreeBSD server

Works also on Apple hardware

ubuntu on mac