Ramblings of an IT geek


Well, the answer to the question is a resounding YES, although there is a fairly BIG caveat!

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PC-BSD is dead, long live TrueOS

Well, that was probably an even a bigger schoolboy error than not reading the PC-BSD manual!  In my search to find a solution to my ‘Start X’ error, it turns out the PC-BSD is no longer supported but is pretty much continuing under the TrueOS banner.

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I’ve been wanted to get back to where we started, specifically my MacBook Air (MBA) and doing something with the spare partition I created when I setup eOS, but I hadn’t really found the time or decided what I was going to use it for.

Given FreeNAS runs on FreeBSD I thought that was probably the most sensible option, so decided to give PC-BSD a shot, mainly as I expected that to be a lot easier than trying to install FreeBSD and then get a desktop environment up and running (although I had managed that in a virtual machine running a Xfce desktop).  If PC-BSD works, then maybe I’ll try that next.

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Harmony Elite Remote

After getting to grips with Alexa (well kind of) I thought I’d ramp up the home automation and get a Harmony remote to consolidate all my other remotes and allow for some further voice activation.

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I want to ride my bicycle

I used to love cycling as a kid and have many happy memories of spending hours and hours, not really going anywhere but hanging out with friends and having fun.

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HDD failure

Always a pain, but at least with my FreeNAS set-up, it’s never too much of a worry knowing I can tolerate 2 failed drives without any loss of data, whilst also having the safety net of a full local backup.

To be honest, the drive in question hadn’t actually failed but had reported SMART errors for a month or so.  It started with just 8 unrecoverable sectors, which I tend to ignore for a short time.  Only when it jumps above 8 do I take action, which it did yesterday.

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In my earlier FreeNAS post I talked about my use of VirtualBox (VB) and thought it might be useful to do a ‘How to…’ type blog showing show to create a VB jail and get a Virtual Machine (VM) up and running.  It’s really not that difficult, I promise!

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Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side

I’ve seen these decals on other people’s Mac’s before, and always thought they looked a bit tacky, but when I saw this one pop up in my Facebook feed, I couldn’t help but click the link.  

It cost less than £10 delivered from so I was seduced by the Dark Side 😀


It was a bit of a pain to detach from the backing paper and then transfer onto my Macbook, and initially, I wasn’t too impressed as it had a number of trapped air bubbles (even after trying to move them to an edge of a credit card) which made it look a bit naff. 

After a few days though they’ve completely gone, and I now think it looks great!  Hopefully, it will last the 3 years I plan to keep it for…

FreeNAS (part 2)

So I finished off part 1 with the following list of things I use FreeNAS for…

  • Plex Media Server (a couple of jails)
  • PlexPy
  • PlexEmail
  • emby
  • ownCloud
  • nextCloud
  • openVPN
  • Unbound (DNS)
  • Calibre
  • Webserver (FEMP)
  • Nginx Proxy
  • VirtualBox (4 jails running various Windows, Linux and FreeBSD OSs)

Here’s a little more about how I use them! read more…

The Complete WordPress Website Developer Course

This is just a placeholder for the time being, or maybe even a free advert, but having started playing with WordPress I thought it would be good to learn a little more.  

I’ve taken a few Udemy courses, and for the money, they are usually pretty good.  I’ve just started this course, so will report back once I’ve finished it, but so far so good.

I’ve got part way through one of Rob Percival’s iOS Developer courses and really enjoyed his style.  Having no coding experience, things got hard pretty quickly, but I managed to write a couple of basic Apps for my iPhone before it was parked as needing more time.  This one is presented by one of Rob’s colleagues, but is very similar in style, and not as technical, yet!


July 2020