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Setting up eMMC on an Orange Pi

The main reason I ended up getting the orange pi (3B, to be exact) was because it has an eMMC connector. This means you don’t have to use an SD card for your boot drive, which I’ve had issues with in the past (they aren’t built for the read/write patterns that OS systems require, so they fail fairly often). I also assumed the device would be quite a bit snappier with an SSD (which turned out to be true). However, it ended up being trickier than I thought to get the OS on the eMMC card. tl;dr: you want to use dd to copy the .img file to the emmc after bootstrapping the system with a SD card with the OS image…

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Pi Hole, TailScale, and Docker on an Orange Pi

I’ve always been fascinated by this super cheap and relatively fast hardware you can buy now. A while back I bought a Raspberry Pi and a friend recently told me about the Orange Pi. I decided to give it a shot primarily because it supports an eMMC chip which allows super fast ssd IO (170mb+ writes in my case). I was nervous about compatibility issues, but I was pleasantly surprised that it worked out of the box without any real issues. The hardest part was actually getting the eMMC working (which I’ll detail in another post). Here’s a walkthrough of what I did to get the orange pi up and running…

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How to Throttle Your Internet Connection

A conversation with a friend recently turned me on to PFSense. It’s an open source firewall system that enables you to control what’s happening in your network. One of the features it enables is packet throttling. It got me thinking, can I throttle my internet connection speed just on my local machine? I’ve been interested in digital minimalism for a long time. One of the things I’ve never been able to crack is nudging me towards stopping the use of all of my devices without forcing me to do so. If I’m forced, I’ll need an escape hatch for when my predetermined schedule doesn’t work, and then I’ll abuse that escape hatch…

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Best of 2023

I’ve always enjoyed the "best of" posts—it’s a great way to find something interesting & new. I wanted to add to the fun this year! Following up on my 2023 retrospective, here are my favorites of the last year. Texts. Continues to be my all-time favorite app. Texting has always been a massive pain for me and Texts has solved that problem: snooze, scheduled send, tags, multiple inboxes, cross platform app, etc. Can’t recommend it enough. SuperHuman. I resisted using this email client for a while. It’s not improving as quickly as it should, there are still weird issues with it, but some of the core features are really useful (multiple inboxes, better keyboard shortcuts, and fine-tuned UX)…

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2023 Goal Retrospective

I’ve been doing retrospectives on my yearly goals for a while now. Here’s my review of last year’s goals and my thoughts about what I can change going forward. (as an aside, I’ve been working on open-sourcing some of the templates we use as a family to plan out our life—if you are interested in taking a look while I refine them, drop me an email.) What Worked Tracking daily + weekly habits works to reinforce their importance. Setting clear goals with specific metrics has continued to be successful. When a goal is less specific (no dates, no metrics, more of a ending state / lagging indicator vs input-based) A shared goal with my wife to go on two sans-kids trips (harder than it sounds with four young kids!) was great…

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