I was given a Raspberry Pi for my birthday last week, and I’ve already got it up and running, doing what I intended it to do: be an audio sink for iPhone and my laptop – which has terrible speakers.

I knew it would be a PulseAudio sink for my laptop. There’s also neat piece of software called shairport that will act as an AirPlay sink – and people are using it on Raspberry Pi’s.

By default, the common Linux Distribution “Raspbian” for this tiny computer uses ALSA for sound. This is fine for basic stuff, but I was reminded that when two things ever try to play sound at the same time, contention issues arise. It reminded me of a earlier day in Linux history, before the advent of PulseAudio and the magic it imparts.
Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

This is part three of a three part series covering Dnsmasq’s uses regarding:

  1. Local Development DNS
  2. Local Area Network (LAN) DNS
  3. Virtual Private Network (VPN) routing

IT savvy business often use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to allow employees to connect to the (normally internal) work network while they’re traveling or working from home.  Many VPNs (once connected) act at the default gateway for your computer.  This is effectively like unplugging your computer from your local network  and plugging it in at your workplace.  This is probably for security reasons, and it’s certainly a simple configuration for most, as your computer is truly now on a remote network as if you were at your desk at work.  But for some, this is becomes a restriction, and we’ll examine some cases and a workaround.

Continue reading

The Domain Name System (DNS) is arguably the best (and most used) service that the internet has spawned.  Why leave all the fun Top Level Domain (TLD) stuff to ICANN & your registrar?  You can have your own TLD using Dnsmasq.

This is part one of a three part series covering Dnsmasq’s uses regarding:

  1. Local Development DNS
  2. Local Area Network (LAN) DNS
  3. Virtual Private Network (VPN) routing

Continue reading