How to make use of all the great technologies?

Technology is more and more present in our day to day lives. It may be a great tool to save more time and patience, or be a burden.
This post describes how I make use of it. I hope one day it will become an inspiration for someone.

So the question is: How to make use of all the great technologies?


Dell

most time I spend with my notebook:

Dell Latitude E6440:

  • 14” IPS, 1600×900, podświetlenie LED

  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4300M CPU @ 2.60GHz 2 HT cores

  • 8+4 GB low-voltage DDR3L

  • 128 GB SSD Corsair CSSD-V128GB2

  • built-in 3G modem.

Software:

  • Archlinux:

    ** preload

    ** prelink

    ** powerpill

    ** dnscrypt

    ** zsh with grml-zsh config

  • Gajim works wonderfully with my Prosody server, and it supports all the XEPs/standards I mainly care about:
    MAM, carbons, httpupload, OTR and OMEMO. It’s not the most stable software ever, but I haven’t yet found a better alternative.

  • Firefox – opensource, great support. I used to use Chromium, but couldn’t afford enough RAM… Plugins I use:

    ** HTTPS-everywhere

    ** KeeFox

    ** NoScript

    ** Pushbullet

    ** uBlock

  • dnscrypt with dnsmasq – encrypts DNS queries (separate article, unfortunately only polish version for now) it helps keeps the Internet surfing experience a bit more private.

  • Syncthing– THE BEST tool for file synchronization. 100% P2P, versioning, encryption, works behind NATs.

  • brackets – simple notepad

  • mosh – this tool is my favourite, yet simple thing that makes me happy everyday. With it WiFi roaming, PC sleep, Internet outage does not break SSH connection!

  • i3 – My favourite WM. “once you go tiling, you’ll never go floating” is really true!

  • openvpn – VPN client (and server)

  • mocp – neat and fast music player

  • redshift – alters screen’s color temperature – does not tire eyes so hard

  • aricrack-ng, wireshark, tcpdump, nmap – pretty self-explainatory

  • my screen script – takes&uploads screenshot to remote server

  • ix.io comportable pasting right from shell

  • aircrack-ng

  • keepass – to keep my passwords safe. Database is synchronized using Syncthing to my backup server and phone

Why such choices?

  1. notebook:

    1.1 comfortable, non-island type keyboard

    1.2 LED backlit with decent resolution

    1.3 solid, well-thought chassis

    1.4 optical bay may take another HDD or battery

    1.5 docking station/port replicator

    1.6 easy to use on the go


Google Nexus 5

Next device I use most often is my smartphone.

I chose to buy Nexus 5 – why?

  1. optimal size for my hand
  2. enough horsepower
  3. official Cyanogenmod support.

How do I make use of it?

  • Conversations, just like gajim, it supports everything I want to, it is opensource and looks nice 😉 it has never failed me

  • Lightning – IMO the best and fastest opensource WWW browser, without any compromisese

  • OpenVPN – lets me access my services inside VPN. Additionaly provides a nice widget to launch the connection with just one tap

  • Irssi Connectbot – not the market one, but this one – supports MOSH!

  • Jakdojade, bilkom – apps helping me get around, unfortunately closed source

  • DAVdroid

  • Piwik

  • Faceslim

  • QKSMS

  • Bilkom

  • DAVdroid

  • K-9 Mail

  • Pedometer

  • Syncthing

  • Twidere

  • Transdroid

  • Twilight

  • OpenTasks

  • HoloIRC

  • tethering WiFi/USB

Besides the devices I always have with me, there are also a few I can’t.


VPS

It hosts this blog, Piwik analytics, a few friends static WWW, but also my IRC session, BitlBee instance – a XMPP/FB/im client with IRC interface,

XMPP server for “vps.tyborek.pl”. Teampspeak occasionally.

For IRC client I use weechat – it fits my needs. I use it not only to keep IRC session alive, but also to connect to local BitlBee instance, which enables me to chat with my facebook friends the sime way I query on IRC. It’s really working great. Much more readable than Facebook WWW…

I also use a plugin that sends Pushbullet notification on query/highlight, and a Twitter-client plugin

The XMPP server has been configured as described here. Additionaly httpupload component has been installed.


kebab

Cheapest kimsufi dedicated server.

  • Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N2800 @ 1.86GHz

  • 2 GB DDR2

  • 500 GB HDD

Hosts and Archlinux mirror: mirror.tyborek.pl, teamspeak, torrent seedbox, VPN server, XMPP for various domains, munin, mail, ownCloud, last two inside an LXC-container. Also serves as reverse-proxy for VPN.

Worth mentioning:

  • OpenVPN server encrypts all traffic from my notebook and home server. I can connect to the VPN form my phone I case I need access to the network.

  • own mail server/ownCloud instance, own contacts server, calendar, ToDo list. And mail of course 😉 Big shoutout to Mail-in-a-box for making my life easier!


wyvern

configuration:

*Intel i3-3220

*16gb RAM

*3×1 TB, RAID0

*2x500GB, RAID1.

So how to make use of all the great technologies?

  • fileserver (Samba, NFS)

  • torrent client (rtorrent + rutorrent)

  • VM host:

    • Proxmox:

      • mysql slave

      • F-Droid private repository

    • ELK stack

    • Windows 2012r2

    • Windows 10

  • backup host

It does not use much electricity, but provides enough horsepower for playing around.


kundel

Kindle Paperwhite. I use Syncthing on this little thing to copy books without using USB cord.

It required a jaibreak, but it wasn’t difficult.


How do I make use of it all?


1. Security


Syncthing installed on my notebook, smartphone and home server makes for safe and secure (via TLS encryption) file synchronization:

from notebook to RAID1 array in homeserver I sync Dropbox folder, where I keep important, but not secret/private materials. Some more important ones I keep inside a Veracrypt container. On the said array I also keep backups of my notebook, smartphone, remote servers. To backup computers I use borg-backup.

On my Nexus, whole storage makes for a single Syncthing folder, which is synced with my notebook and home server. It makes much easier to transfer files, and automagicly keeps dated, self-updated versioned backup.

RAID0 array is where I keep all my “disposable” data – media I haven’t yet watched, music, non-critical VM images. I know it’s not a perfect solution – single HDD failure would result in 3TB data loss… #yolo for now.

Both RAID arrays, smartphone, SSD(s) in the notebook has been encrypted. For the encryption of PC storage I’ve used dm-crypt, and the phone was encrypted using built-in creator.

Remote servers are also secured with 2-factor authorization using libpam-google-authenticator, with codes generated by an open-source tOTP app.

All my devices(including Android ones) are using dnscrypt with backend validating DNSSEC and dnsmasq as DNS cache.


2. Communication


Do chat I use both IRC and XMPP

My XMPP server is located at ‘vps.tyborek.pl’ And has been set up as described previously.

OTR or OMEMO with forward secrecy provides good enough level of security, and mentioned previously httpupload, MAM and carbons fullfill ease and comfort of usege. Not only is it a great Facebook Messanger replacement, but also is not THAT power-hungry. Not to mention the privacy issues.

(btw. Conversations has a plugin, which lets us select a location(or make it our own) and share it easily – messanger can only share phone’s location…)

Weechat is my IRC client of choice. It also connects to local BitlBee instance.


3. Misc


Furthermore my machines:

  • do not have SWAP, however are using zRAM, which in some cases increases performance greatly.

  • MOSH as an SSH alias. Since setting this grey hair on my hair has almost vanished

I hope I have shown you how to make use of all the great technologies! In case you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

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