Configuring E911 support with Skyetel is simple on their side, as it should be. But because it’s an emergency service, I wanted to do a separate post to underscore the importance on making sure it works.

I mostly followed this support article from Skyetel: https://support.skyetel.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041179233-E911 except I went in reverse order…

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My network topology at home is pretty simple, it looks like this:

After my recent router hardware and OpenWrt 19.07 firmware upgrades, I noticed my access point connected to my cable modem looked like this on the Status Overview page:

Pro-tip: Notice I’m using the cloudflare DNS servers rather than the ISP-provided ones. The Comcast DNS servers have gone down on me before and their performance is generally lacking.

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I wrote earlier about how I had to do some configuration of my DNS to get dnsmasq and resolved to work well together. With it working well I’m able to use dnsmasq, resolved, and network manager together to do local development while also detecting network changes nicely.

Recently I noticed I would occasionally get the dreaded question-mark network icon: “?” I did some digging around and it was related to Ubuntu’s Network Connectivity check. Several posts out there simply say to disable the check by going to Settings -> Privacy and turning Connectivity Checking to “Off.”

But by disabling connectivity checking, I don’t get the automatic prompt to connect through a captive portal (like at my local library). I wanted to actually fix the problem, so I needed to understand what the problem was.

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At my work we have a thing about giving tacos (🌮) to people when they help you out, do something great or funny – as a show of support. The tacos can be redeemed for prizes or gift cards – and one of those prizes is a Fitbit. I wanted a model upgrade from the ones our company was offering. In November 2020, Costco had a Fitbit Charge 4 bundle for $90.

I brokered a deal with my wife. I’d redeem a $100 Amazon gift card with my tacos and give it to her, and then buy the model I want from Costco.

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Every year, we put some sort of motorized conveyance under the tree. In the past it’s been an HO scale train or slot cars from my childhood. While I like the nostalgia of them, let’s face it – I’m old which means they’re old. So they’re a little finicky to get working well. Still fun, but this year I wanted to try something new. I’ve always wanted to have an indoor model train layout, but since we don’t have room I turned my thoughts to doing an outdoor layout 🤔 But that always seemed extremely expensive. Then a couple ideas came together for me: 1) my #1 Christmas gift item is a 1/24 scale crawler – Axial’s SCX24 and 2) I found a G-scale train set for less than $50. Continue reading