OK, it took a bit of work to improve the antenna. The included one was cut (you could see in previous image).

Fortunately I have a drawer of dead electronics waiting to go to the recycler. And one of them includes a Sonos ZP80. So, i ripped it open and extracted one of its 2.4GHz antenna.

Now, the overall setup looks a bit like an IED, I wouldn’t take it through an airport or anything. But, plugged it in, check with TCPDUMP and we can see an IPSEC tunnel (in NAT-T mode) has come up (to AllStream, a local-ish telco), so presumably it called home successfully.

For my security it got put on its own VLAN so it gets to the Internet, but not within the house.

In 2008 I ran some Ethernet through the house. One end in each room terminated at a keystone, and the other loose in in a bundle in the attic.

Fast forward 12 years. My wife has been sent to work from home, and they want her to have an IP phone on their PBX. No problem, I got this. We’ll move the cabinet, find the jack, plug in the Aruba device, plug in the phone, run the power… and… no link.

Up to the upstairs mechanical room I cannot see which cable it is. And then I realise, this is one of the ones lying in a loose bundle, munched on by mice for 12 years, underneath a lot of dirty fibreglass pink insulation. Hmm. I could fish them all out, add terminations to them one by one and find which room. But, I only have one end, so if I don’t get it first try I’ll be dirty and no further ahead.

Hmm. Ain’t nobody got time for this.

Let’s go to plan B. I can repurpose one of the WiFi AP from around the house to be a bridge. But, well, they are entrenched, let’s leave them alone.

Plan C. I got an Orange Pi Zero sitting here doing nothing. Its got WiFi and Ethernet, and is just begging to be made into a hack-job wireless bridge, right?

Other options include relocating one of the Sonos (they have Ethernet jacks), finding one of the old travel routers, … An embarassment of choice.

So, grab an image, grab an SD card, marry the two. Find a USB->TTL Serial widget, get that on for console. Warm up the 3D printer for some case action.

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

I guess this is a type of 2-factor authentication. Today I got a call from Canada Revenue Agency. No, not that call from some sweatshop scam operator. Before he could talk he needed to verify some info. So I asked how I could verify him. He suggested I go to the website, find general business inquiries number, call that, confirm that his name/number were working my file.

So I did. PS, the CRA hold music is not that good. CRA general inquiries confirmed he was real and on my file, so I called him back, and gave the confirmation.

Now, this was a bit of a circuitous conversation flow. Its actually more or less identical to the steps you take for each https page load (you talk to the site, you talk to the cert authority, then back to site). Now, the cert authority we speed up by OCSP, stapling, pre-cached trust chain, etc.

In hindsight I didn’t need to do this (since the Q they needed to identify me were public information). But, its nice to know the system works.

PS, they were verifying that the banking information for deposit had not been changed by some scammer. So double bonus.

Have you ever tried this dance? You get called, and you get them to confirm who they are first? Socially awkward.

Got an hour or so free on May 12, 2020? Want to hear yours truly tell you a story about Cloud Native along with Transit, Ecobee, BioBox? Of course you do.

You can click here to get the meetup invite.

CNCF Eastern Canada online meetup: Cloud Native Stories

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 12:00 PM

Online event

14 Members Attending

Hello Eastern Canadian community! (fran├žais en dessous) We are thrilled to be hosting our first online meetup for all five cities of our community. The event is going to last an hour during the day, with some community stories on how folks have been using various CNCF projects in production. Speakers from Transit, Ecobee, Aglicus, and BioBox. We ar…

Check out this Meetup →

PS, last year this was in person, I presented as below. For those who’ve missed it, my bear joke makes a surprise entry.

So we have this tap, outside, you know, for a garden hose. Copper pipe, copper faucet. Exactly what you don’t want exposed outdoor during the typical Ontario winter. Well, its lasted for ~45 years so I guess it was made of hardy stuff. Was being the key word, it has developed some post-nasal drip. More like stream.

Now normally this would not be trouble, you would have disabled it at the indoor shut-off. The one that is not present, its embedded in brick and concrete, heading who knows where but not to an obvious spot in the basement. Hmm.

OK, no fear, I got this, get out the torch and solder and… no 5/8″ end-caps. Oh, i forgot to mention that my house, for unknown reasons, uses 5/8″ copper instead of 1/2″ copper. Drat. So I will… oh wait, during pandemic season most of the stores are either closed or less convenient. And this includes all my favourite hardware stores. Hmmm.

Fortunately I had the foresight about 5 years ago to buy a 3D printer for this exact day, this exact purpose. Let’s give it a go, what could go wrong? I mean, brittle old PLA sitting in my drawer and then extruded in layers, that is pressure-rated, right?