network segregation woes

tube recycle those 1’s and 0’s

The monkey house has several routers and they work but some people segregate there routers into work, home, wifi, and iot networks,perhaps even a guest one too.

One router is fully used and chucks out all the traffic, our internal router handles all of the above stuff however i wonder about the point of doing separate networks.

Sure i have no idea what nefarious things iot’s things could also do but they might in the future

  1. colllect mac’s, network addresses
  2. scan ports
  3. use dns (which they already do)
  4. do something evil – eg ddos another brands thing since its not theres

Since i read the logs surely i would be alerted if 2 and 4 where being done and how I provision our iot printer (my blog) home./work/ wifi when all three could use it – perhaps i should buy more printers ?.

An crap iot device we have needs to be plugged into the router direct otherwise it wont work if i connect it to a switch (my blog – not just that one, all switches)

That means my vlan for iiot needs at least two switch ports. plus a new hardware switch

The wifi is in need of an upgrade but works so does that mean two ssid’s  – i am beginning to need to large port router and maybe double the hardware.

Perhaps as nefarious iot devices evolve routers will also evolve, mind you i can monitor traffic and block it with our existing router so it is not like i do not have any counter measures now.

I think two routers is enough for the time being.  Vlans miight be possible but expensive for the money house.

I could but so far do not see a lot of point to do it

the new hp printer one year on

Having been a year (my blog) or about that time i decided to run some tests on the printer and noticed a couple of things

  1. it can now do ipv6 [new was  ipv4 only]
  2. new firmware [see above]
  3. it records everything including scan use
  4. internal print status pages are not charged by instant ink (my blog)**

So it is a little creepy – it has been cheap to run if you keep an eye on it monthly and adjust the plan printer pages* also it has extended the toner life of an older printer.

If like the zoo you do not print 1000’s of pages on the printer then hp send new ink cartridges once a year, the large print cartridges have lasted 13 months that was with some photo printing.

Economics wise i based on a what if like comparison on bought cartridges with two criteria hp and oem ink once a year when the ink cartridges turned up.   Year 1 non hp ink is low as i found a cheap supplier –  would they have lasted as long as the instant ink is like comparing apples with oranges and buying hp cartridges too is also speculative, i am not buying three printers just to confirm that.

In year 2 (a projection) savings remain the same for ‘genuine’ ink and as the compatible price rose for some reason (exchange rates probably)  when i checked i still ‘saved’ money renting rather than buying ink.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Overall: saving 34.10 34.52 68.62 hp ink
4.52 12.52 17.04 not hp ink

So it seems a good prospect for us.  Your mileage might vary.

I think i now have a way of getting a true page cost per cartridge from the status sheet since those figures are enabled.  More at another time when i replace cartridges for a per sheet cost and which can be comparable.

Overall the printer is liked within the zoo (does not screw up), does not jam although i did jam the printer once with very thin a4 paper.  The duplex is nice and reduces our paper usage even though one page printed on both sides is charged as two pages printed.

*pay more / pay less ** phew i dont print printer report sheets often and do not see a need to do it more than once  a year,

raspberry pi fun

Returning to the monkey house raspberry pi adventure (my blog) and having cased it it was time to do something with it.

Having bought a larger memory card of 32gb I had some dd fun writing to an microsd card but soon got something that booted.

Networking was a bit weird using /etc/dhcpd.conf opposed to interfaces or whatever shit systemd networking (my blog) is doing these days.  I hate systemd anyhow

The monkey house uses the pi as a headless server for a couple of tasks and so far it is manageable if a little slow and short on resources once the mouse keyboard and hdmi (my blog) screen are unplugged.   I was able to watch guinea pig (my blog) videos on youtube before i wiped one card and made my new one raspberian.

It also powers a switch (my blog( and a iot heating controller via usb (saving two electrical plugs in the process).  It is not idle.

Raspberian (once secured) feels a lot like debian and a point release behind debian so 9.4 means your be running 9.3 on the pi which is not a problem.

Returning back to networking i got pissed off with dhcpd.conf since that can only do one ip and as ours has two wired ethernet ports (real ones, not virtual) meant i got one or another address neither both.  The person responsible for raspberian networking ought to hung drawn and quartered for that suggestion.

I think that these things have a future and might be the way pc’s go.  Granted it needs more memory and better standard components but it was quite a nice desktop if not one suitable for famous computer hdmi does video and audio. so it certainly competes with android and much cheaper.

How long it lasts,  or the long viability of microsd will be an interesting experiment. Although it looks like DO NOT USE KINGSTON BRAND SD CARDS is good advice and a tale for another day.

andriod partitioning

Is odd – i read that special partition names are needed and apparently root access to move things it seems w95 fat is not enough.

I am glad i use Linux rather than this odd system for if even i cannot use it even with fdisk partitioning and non root access then clearly who is supposed to.

If this is the shit google thinks is good then good luck to android os.

In which the monkey house eventually obtains a raspberry pi

They can be hard to buy (my blog) but i found i needed one for a controller and  it was cheaper than a closed source solution.  Being i had none of the components required like a brick to power it but could scrounge together a screen keyboard and mouse i also decided to buy a case for the damm thing

Tt is not the most modern pi since things are a bit delayed here and that is a subject for another day.

It was during a sale when i bought this and also got free postage, books and magazines i can obtain from the library for free.

An unnecessary purchase for most i also picked up a usb/ethernet hub which wont get great speed on the bus of the pi but allows the monkey house to multi hone it to separate networks at 10mbps which for a secondary dns server is pretty good. – another plus is i use it elsewhere and configure stuff with on used rfc1918 ranges with instead of having to change network settings.

I have enough spare usb slots to power the switch (my blog) via usb

So having the thing arrive one day i opened it up and had a go – once i had fixed keyboard and mice and a hdmi it booted after i had to figure out how to set the output as we normally use dvi we got a desktop and sound and video after figuring out where the fuck the microsd disk thing went – i wonder how many microsd cards go up a hover (my blog) never to be found again..

Not what i wanted it for but it is impressive bit of hardware powered by 5v usb..

The case seems simple to fix if enigmatic looks a bit of a hassle to put together.with apparently numbers on slices of plastic ,i also buoght a heat sink being it will be on 24/7 at some future point.

It needs a better os (with real passwords) , and i decided to get a bigger memory thing for it, the 16gb part that i got with it is good enough (not a sd card person either) but i will be able to use that in a phone or that’s the plan.

As it comes with java (my blog) and as i regard that as an security flaw i feel safer having a separate controller since oracle is not a trustworthy firm.

So having tested it and watched a video with sound i unplugged everything from the bare board and put it back in the box.

As to tinkering –  phat’s seems pricey and as i do not need flashing lights and will use it headless i cant comment on that.aspect i somehow see these small computers as revolutionary for £50 sterling* Microsoft oses costs make it a con but with linux wow.

I am sure it could handle a spreadsheet and be child’s pc’s

*probably did not need the brick since i might have a phone/satnav cable somewhere if you do not run 24×7 , since you also cannot buy gpus it makes a amd/intel pc seem extremely pricey.  while not an professional pc if your old pc has had it then this seems a good way to recycle a monitor,keyboard and mouse.

Processor flaws

The ime, spectre and meltdown are issues that affect most processors not just intel’s since amd have those same flaws or different name for there security ‘engine’ which also may or may not be violating an open source license.

This happened to the pentium in the 1990’s too.

I am sure somebody at the nsa is rather sad that these issues have come to light but as all of us are in the same boat it proves that while gentlemen do spy on each other there efforts to spy mean they are as bad as the others and sod democratic ideals.

Baboons give us a, give a b give us a c

While my monkey house screenplay for superape where a monkey flies and saves other apes from disaster is no doubt probably not weapons grade wmd at least the nsa have read it. (my blog)  – is it bird ? no its super ape how dare hollywood not contact me*

It will be interesting to see what happens to hardware post these design flaws, doing an nvida seems the wrong approach so perhaps we might see hardware with open software on the processor something your friends at the nsa wont like

But if they kept mum on the issue perhaps there mission to protect democracy is an false mission and as long as spies seek to undermine all for there career then a rethink is in order.

I kind of doubt that open source processors will become popular, or open firmware will become a thing by looking at routers will tell you that.

I would buy an open processor, being the zoo runs open firmware on its routers, and non fucked up gpus and pci slots (my blog) It shall be interesting to see if it happens. It would be nice to upgrade a video card without throwing away all it if you think about it.

*i joke

Fixing systemd postfix failures via cron

Being when i write this it is winter i decided to reboot the zoos server and put in standard* more for the cooling fans, having done that (free room heat) i restarted and forget to check if postfix had started (my blog) .

Eventually i hand type the postmulti (my blog) command and it works. As reboots are rare this is not an everyday occurrence i can excuse the behaviour after all systemd wont tell me why it fails since its perfect so i must be to blame for going outside of ‘default’ systemd configuration..

So i decide to create an onboot script with cron and the @reboot command and that now starts postfix for me and does something that systemd cannot do

I imagine the idiots who develop systemd are most upset with me and will development a cron replacement that disables that feature.  If they do then i think my migration to a bsd variant will be guaranteed.

If your software sucks like systemd does then best do not blame us ‘users’ for stuff that other things can do.

*opposed to hurricane/typhoon speed which is good summer setting

upgrading to gigabyte ethernet switches


The zoo nas installed gigabit switches ! after many years of being ‘capped’ to 100 mb on our internal network and perfectly fine since nobody has ever complained about it for stuff but as our existing switches are probably not energy efficient. these new ones I can power them with usb as well.

A fair bit of the zoo’s stuff could do gigabyte already and i cannot remember how old the existing switch equipment is.but it still looks new despite being ancient in it history.

So its probably time to change things.

The switch is smaller than our 100mb existing unit and the ethernet cables all plug in consequentially opposed to 1-x-1 spacing which i had to do with the other and plug in from the back which is nicer imho.

It consumes a third less power than the old switch unit, i could not power by usb as no spare usb slots where nearby and all being used.

It works and seems faster so appears to be a good idea.   I have labelled it with the year on it so whenever next i cannot remember when i bought it i know.

The old units looks as it did when it was new it seems a shame to think of it as junk.

The branded pci slot problem

Bananas is not beyond installing things into computers when required but thinks the world of pci slots and things to the right look idiotic. Probably unserviceable too since you probably do more damage removing the case on the card (not the pc).

nvida driver software sucks too in fact the zoo never buys that crap with limits on functions and shit linux support means it is best avoided..

your average inter processor dreams of being

Crap software and marketing people should be shot for what they have done to the pci and its variant slot spec the ones with the flashing lights apparently need software just to flash and quite why your pc looks like a discotheque inside is something of which i never got perhaps your average intel processor secretly loves it? and is a party animal

I get the point of water cooling but pci has a reputation problem in my humble opinion.

But what do i know.

returning back to instant ink at six months

Which i started here (my blog) so some bonus thoughts

The first month was a heavy print month selling assets and needing copies of documents, along with tax return so the quota was well used and as no roll over pages had accumulated would have been chargeable but where not as to being on the trail

Month 2 left some pages that rolled over and as did the third month.

I decided to use all the monthly quota which reflected the status as it used the roll over pages rather than charging us for the extra copies and so have not yet got to a point when roll-over pages expire as there is a limit to them carried over to next month in quantity

In six months i recovered two months quota to be carried over so provided you use some most months and have light and heavy months it kind of works out well

It is spreadsheet-able.- boolean (plan change) and fairly complex if statements (loss of pages over max) are needed

=x+G9-H9 /new month quota + rollover - lost
=IF(C10>F10,SUM(C10-F10,0)) /rollover pages to next month
=IF(C10>100,C10-100,0) /lost pages
=IF(F10-C10<1,0,F10-C10) /over quota pages
=IF(I10/15<=1,SUM(I10/15),SUM(I10/15)) /charge over quota pages

=IF(F10>=C10,1,0) /returns boolean value if you need to upgrade or downgrade printer quota based on over quota. Cumulative lost pages month on month indicate downgrade or justified reason to buy ink cartridges outright.

It works quite well for us although i still have no comparison with non hp ink.  Six months in i have yet to go over quota although this new printer is getting more of use* than our non instant hp ink printers so we can avoid over quota page costs .

Provided we dont go mad excess printing – savings on buying ink in the first year still appear plausible even with  non genuine hp ink.  The elephant in the room is still how much bigger the instant ink cartridges as a comparison which you should be able to see in the image above.  Does that mean larger means more savings on standard size ink quantities – is a value question i cannot answer.

As the printer is still new it is not incurring problems so when those begin i am not sure the printer will be desired as a asset after all being charged per sheet means once errors start it means we are paying hp to not print incomplete images an undesirable outcome..

The privacy issue with instant ink still concerns me but apart from a mysterious 69666 error when the printers software crashed its been a pain free far..  Should the price go up or the terms get worse then i could see the use of non hp ink in this printer

*duplex printing is easier and it is faster.