We have Comcast Xfinity cable internet. It is the only internet provider I can get. Because it is cable internet I am served my internet over a coaxial cable to an Arris modem, currently an under performing SBG7400AC2. This was a standard WiFi combo modem/router unit a long while ago. While it still functions it does not currently support the internet speeds we pay for. Nor the amount of wireless devices they have set upon it. The powers that be where I live refuse to upgrade, so they pay for speeds I cannot attain.
Well the router sucks as you would imagine, there is not much control over anything, and the wireless was severely lacking in performance. I have noticed that most household routers can only handle about 20 active clients before you start to really see an issue with speed and packet loss, pages timing out on you.
At work I occasionally deal with networking. I was able to get my hands on and install and play with some Ubiquiti gear in the past few months. I ended up getting a Ubiquiti Universal Dream Machine Pro and a pair of UniFi Flex 5 port switches for myself to tinker with at my house. The special edition was a tad too expensive but I should have gotten that one in hind sight. The SE version adds all PoE ports (but only two PoE+ ports) and a 2.5GB port WAN1 instead of a 1GB port WAN1. Both have two 10GB SFP+ ports. AND, it seems the SE gets all the damn software updates first! What the fuck Ubiquiti?? I was able to talk the “management” into letting me use my UDM-Pro vs their current crappy Arris stuff and they agreed. So I installed a UDM-Pro and an U6-Lite access point. It was fantastic, the wireless coverage was now covering the entire house and the basement as well as it being capable of handling up to 300 devices. Fanfuckingtastic! The UDM-Pro also was achieving higher speeds (by about 200MB) with the modem in bridge mode rather than it handling the overhead of router as well. This worked great for a while, until I started to notice lots of high latency periods and moments of lack of connection.
It all started when my Plex Media Server/Playground box (a little NUC8i3BEK) started having some not so good fan noises emanating from it. I ordered a new fan on Amazon to replace it and go fucking figure the fan noises stop when the new replacement fan arrived. So I shelved the new part, I still have it because I am sure I will need it eventually but for now the original is working fine but I don’t trust it and this leads me finally to my point. I needed a way to monitor my CPU temperatures AND send me a notification. There are a ton of ways to see your CPU temperature but not a whole lot of ways to be notified when they hit certain thresholds. Hello Zabbix!
This took me my entire night to get done, so it shouldn’t for you. You’re welcome.
After Googling for a bit I came across an AskUbuntu Question that sent me in the direction of Zabbix. I’ll drop the link to the question so you can see the other options available similar to Zabbix. I went through the list and settled on Zabbix it seemed to fit the bill for what I wanted.
If you go to their downloads page there is a handy chart with step-by-step directions on how to install Zabbix on your system. I went with v6.4 – Ubuntu – 22.04 – Server, frontend, Agent – MySQL – Nginx. I will list those steps here for Zabbix on Ubuntu with Nginx, if you have a different system OS or Apache you should check out the download page for install directions.
I was digging through Github one fine evening because well I don’t remember why and I ended up on QMK, the firmware used in most (decent) mechanical keyboards. I noticed that VIA support was added for the Drop (Massdrop) CTRL, the ALT already had VIA support. Hey, I have a Drop CTRL! So I decided to I wanted to flash the board and get VIA support. Who doesn’t want VIA support? Down the rabbit hole I go, and I tossed in some extras.
Fucking mechanical keyboards. Damn it, how the hell did I end up down this cash burning rabbit hole? Mid-life crisis I guess? Most guys buy a hotrod and I end up with mechanical keyboards. My first foray into mech keyboards was when I bought the Keychron K8 TKL board which I posted about last year. I kept that board for about six months before I gave it to my son. It was a good board don’t get me wrong, I liked it and there is nothing wrong with it but I also had no idea what I wanted in a mechanical keyboard at the time either. The biggest reason I replaced the Keychron was because it was not programmable with QMK or VIA/VIAL.
After getting into and reading about boards this turns out to be a must have for me. So I got a drop CTRL TKL board. This was pretty pricey I will have to admit. More than it should be considering what it is and what other keyboards out-there offer and go for in the custom keyboard world. From what I can tell the Drop CTRL is looked down upon not necessarily because it is a bad board but because it is a mass produced board and ready to buy at any time – in stock. It also has a RGB ring around the edges and after being in the community for a month or so you find out real quick that RGB is pretty hated in the group. Only newcomers in the group like RGB or gamers. Real mechanical keyboard enthusiasts don’t rock RGB and real high end boards don’t rock RGB either. I will have to admit that after a few months of using Crystal pudding keycaps with RGB on 24/7 I don’t really need it anymore. I got my fill of RGB. I also now know the difference and the reasoning behind north vs south facing RGB lights as well.
Note: For the majority of this post I will be referring to the Drop CTRL keyboard
QMK, what is it?
QMK is a keyboard firmware based on the qmk_keyboard firmware with some useful features for Atmel AVR and ARM controllers, and more. Doesn’t say much does it?
QMK is pretty much “The Holy Grail of keyboard customization as someone else said. QMK usually offers tons of features like layers, custom keymaps, and the ability to edit your LEDs RGB patterns. It typically runs on Atmel controllers (Arduinos) which are used to power most custom keyboards it seems. QMK can be a pain to work with cause of editing keymap files and complex RGB patterns. It can be complicated and I think it has a steep learning curve that would drive away most users. This is where VIA/VIAL come in. VIA is a feature in QMK that lets you change your keymap on your keyboard without needing to reflash firmware, on the fly. QMK usually involves editing text and config files while VIA and VIAL are programs that run to allow you to edit the board. The changes you make using VIA/VIAL remain persistent on the keyboard, so even when you unplug and replug your keyboard back in, the keymap settings still remain. Some keyboards even allow you to use VIA/VIAL to edit the RGB color maps and patterns, although this feature seems to be few and far between. All QMK boards allow custom keymaps and multiple layers. The amount of layers you can have depends on the memory available on the board your keyboard is utilizing. From what I understand most QMK boards will ship with the amount of layers they support but sometimes you can add more.
V Rising, a pretty cool survival game. That’s a new genre to me, the game was cheap $19.99 and it looked neat and different so I picked it up for me and a friend. I did some reading online to figure out what the game was about and how to play it so I wouldn’t die right off the bat, as I knew nothing much about the game at all. While playing I realized that in PvE mode I could roll my own server as I don’t need to interact with other players and having their castles over the place is a real pain in the ass. So I was thinking of hosting my own dedicated server for V Rising. After I figure the game out a bit I plan on moving over to PvP. Most Steam games with dedicated servers run on Linux. Not V Rising, it is still a Windows game with Windows servers. But, you can run V Rising server with Wine via Docker on Linux. Takes up a small chunk of memory but it can be done.
Check out the game
The official (Windows) dedicated server page/instructions:
V Rising Dedicated “Linux” (Docker only) Server
If you are running a Windows server or a Windows machine 24/7 then just run the default EXE file from the game makers as it was intended. If you want to run a server on Linux then follow the directions below. Here are a few links to Dockerized versions of the server.
https://github.com/TrueOsiris/docker-vrising (I used this one)
Here’s a few more on DockerHub