This article assumes you fave a few things:

  1. A Linux server with:
    • root SSH access
    • BIND installed
    • a domain already set up and working with BIND
  2. An OpenWrt router at home to send updates

The OpenWrt router isn’t strictly necessary.  You could, of course do the dynamic DNS updates with a cheap Linux firewall, but I’ll cover the configuration for OpenWrt.

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From touring Miller & Budweiser breweries, I noticed both sites have caves – which have steady year-round temperatures. I assume the caves were used to lager, which means “storage” in German.  Lager yeasts, unlike ale yeast which ferment at room temperature, do their primary fermentation in the mid-50 degree range.  During secondary fermentation the temperature is dropped steadily to slowly deactivate the yeasts.  Back in the day, the barrels could be moved deeper into the cave day-by-day to slowly lower the temperature from the mid-50s down to almost freezing (35°F).

Yogurt Maker?

I had an idea to automate this process using an Arduino, especially after reading Chris Reilly’s Arduino yogurt maker from Make Magazine volume 25.  Everything I’ve done here was based on that, so I’ll assume you’ve read it.

Lagering is essentially the same process except instead of using a heat source (crock-pot), we use a cooler (refrigerator).  Getting the refrigerator to maintain temps above 40°F can be tricky, so normally an external temperature regulator is used.  But this requires me going out to the fridge every day to lower the temperature by one degree.  So why not automate it?  Laziness FTW!
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I feel the need to confess that I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with The Nerdery.  They do quite a bit of wonderful philanthropic things for the community including (but not limited to):

  • The Overnight Website Challenge
  • Generously hosting (and providing food for) several tech-based meetups including MSPWordPress

I in no way am trying to burn any bridges here.  As of 2012, I have participated in the web challenge for 4 years, and plan to for years to come.  It’s one of the greatest programs for non-profits that has ever been conceived.  However, I feel I need to address the importance of first impressions.

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Update

I have a new post about SSHFS that highlights the latest operating systems, including MacOS. However, I’m leaving this post here for historical purposes.

Original

At home I have what some may call a “back-office” server.  Technically it’s in the laundry room, but it does all sorts of home automation type stuff: record TV, download files, store and play music, distribute files, run backups, etc.  I may do a post on it later, but the gist is that it’s running Ubuntu Server with a bunch of disk drives.

Far and above, it’s main purpose in life is being a file server.  There are several ways to connect to it: Samba (Windows file sharing), NFS (Unix Network File System).  The server also runs SSH (Secure Shell) for terminal access – which can also be used a pass-through for secure local and remote file sharing.

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It’s about time I addressed the enigma that is working from home. My friend once called me around 1PM to tell me about the amazing 3D dinosaur movie he was watching on his new 3DTV. I said “aren’t you supposed to be at work?” He simply stated that he was working from home. That’s not working from home, that’s what I like to call “watching a movie.”

I work part time from home and to be honest, I do more actual work now than I ever have done at my previous full-time jobs. Continue reading