One year later, my statement on Twitter/X

If you are wondering why my Twitter/X account @_neelc is blank, it’s because of this reason: X is basically KiwiFarms, but mainstream: a platform to spread hate. I have gotten politically conservative ads despite following tons of LGBTQ+ accounts, having a trans brother, and being non-binary and aromantic myself. Pre-Elon Musk, I used to look up to Twitter as a company. Now, Twitter is a dumpster fire. The posts aren’t even high quality, just “low effort” garbage. [Read More]

Taming Fan Noise on HPE Gen11 Servers and Third-Party NVMe Drives

I recently got a HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen11. While it cost far more than the previous generation thanks to COVID-19, the trade war, and supply chain issues, it is still an excellent server. One thing with HPE servers is that by default, if you use a third-party NVMe drive, or any PCI Express card that isn’t blessed by HPE, the fan becomes very loud. By very loud, I mean I can hear it from a shut closet. [Read More]

Forwarding Ports 80 and 443 on OPNsense Correctly

If you’re like me and run your own home server, you might find yourself needing to forward TCP ports 80 and 443 on your router. I recently changed my firewall from OpenWrt to OPNsense and obviously needed to forward ports 80 and 443 to my home server, a M1 Mac Mini running Fedora Asahi Remix. By default, OPNsense tries to listen it’s web UI on all ports, well sort of. Many suggestions online say you should change the port the web UI listens on. [Read More]

Twitter and Reddit: All Social Media Sites Will Die (And Get Replaced)

If you haven’t been under a rock, we’ve all heard about Reddit’s API changes resulting in blackouts. We’ve also heard Elon Musk taking over Twitter and in the usual private equity fashion, wreck it. If you’ve been on the internet for a while, we’ve all seen social media platforms die: MySpace, Digg, Tumblr, Google+ had a shelf life of a couple of years, and then all either died, or didn’t but faded from mainstream consciousness. [Read More]

Edward Snowden Leaks: 10 Years Later

It’s interesting how fast time flies. I remember the 16-year-old me thinking “a government backdoor is hacker’s backdoor” when reading criticism of OpenBSD, and the next day Edward Snowden’s first NSA leaks hit the media, that with my mom subsequently defending the surveillance programs. Since then, we’ve all seen things change. Many of NSA’s programs were ruled unconstitutional, we took a big leap on privacy and security in some places (e. [Read More]

The Decline of Net Neutrality Activism

For many years, telecom and Net Neutrality-related policies have been a hot-button political issue for me, to the extent that I, an ordinary software engineer at Microsoft have been blocked on Twitter by former FCC chairman Ajit Pai because I tweeted support for Net Neutrality publicly. I also noticed that Net Neutrality is less of a hot-button topic than it was, presumably because of a deadlocked FCC that couldn’t pass anything. [Read More]

Bypassing Gmail's spam filters with ChatGPT

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably already know what ChatGPT is. I am an operator of high bandwidth Tor exit relays, and with that, I get a lot of abuse complaints. Combined with the fact that I have ai lease on a “/24” of IPv4 space, basically a block of 256 IP addresses, I have the IP space’s contact to my LLC’s email address. What does this have to do with ChatGPT, you may ask? [Read More]

How to clone your Calix GPON ONT (Optical Network Terminal)

UPDATE: I now live with my brother in Stamford, CT while my family renovates a NYC townhouse/brownstone and right now I’ll be using Frontier FiberOptic until the new home is ready. Frontier here uses a Nokia ONT and since it’s an ex-AT&T area standard GPON uses 802.1X. I’m currently “bypassed” to my MikroTik box, the older AT&T Fiber bypass method works here also. Also, Lumen/CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber now uses Smart NIDs (basically an ONT plus a wired router) instead of Calix ONTs. [Read More]

Setting up Login for Windows Server/Samba Active Directory on FreeBSD

Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft, but not on Windows Server or Active Directory. Recently, in my homelab, I decided to enable a single sign-on using Active Directory on my two servers. Despite my employment, my homelab is very FreeBSD-centric, due to me having used it for 9+ years versus 2+ at my current job. While I could use OpenLDAP which is technically more Unix-centered than Windows-centered, I hate OpenLDAP. I find it easier to use Active Directory, whether Windows or Samba, as I am currently using a Samba 4. [Read More]

Optimizing FreeBSD Power Consumption on Modern Intel Laptops

My current FreeBSD laptop is a 2020 14" HP Spectre x360, which uses Intel’s 11th Gen CPU and “Evo” platform, although I previously also had the 13" 2020 version with a similar setup (but lacked working audio on non-Windows). This article isn’t specific to HP: your shiny-new Lenovo ThinkPad, Dell XPS, or Framework Laptop can also apply. One thing with FreeBSD is that unlike Windows or desktop Linux, the default configuration is poorly optimized for laptops that are newer than your ancient ThinkPad T420, or maybe a T460s. [Read More]