VPN Services for Personal Use

I don’t endorse any commercial VPN services for personal use. It is up to you to determine what solution is appropriate for your use. There are only trade-offs. And always keep in mind that the end/exit points where your requests are being sent through can be monitored by an entity – by automation or another human being.

Don’t exert too much focus on “hiding from your ISP” and putting a VPN service in a pedestal you think “who value your interests”.

Instead, learn what you can do locally (within your LAN (local access network) – right behind your home router is always a good starting point.

Commercial software companies specializing in anti-virus/malware (and even web browsers) are getting into the VPN markets.

Don’t take the bait unless you’ve done personal research. Ask questions and always be skeptical about absolutes.

VirtualBox & FreeBSD on macOS Big Sur

disown [ job … ]

job&|

job&!

Remove the specified jobs from the job table; the shell will no longer report their status, and will not complain if you try to exit an interactive shell with them running or stopped. If no job is specified, disown the current job. If the jobs are currently stopped and the AUTO_CONTINUE option is not set, a warning is printed containing information about how to make them running after they have been disowned. If one of the latter two forms is used, the jobs will automatically be made running, independent of the setting of the AUTO_CONTINUE option.

source: https://linux.die.net/man/1/zshbuiltins

$ VBoxHeadless -s freebsd &!

$ VBoxHeadless -s freebsd &|

There are times when I have to manually startup virtual machines remotely – usually a combination of VirtualBox on macOS and a FreeBSD guest.

In the example above, the virtual machine is named “freebsd”. Using a plain “&” within a zsh terminal seems to kill the process once you log off your SSH session. The extra ! or | makes the process remain in the background.

2014 Mac mini & supported macOS versions

Whenever possible, I like to keep macOS High Sierra on a separate HPFS+ formatted partition/volume alongside Mojave & Catalina. I do this mainly for recovery/troubleshooting/testing purposes among other things. Separate but somewhat distinct.

While the iMac 2020 5K only supports macOS Catalina and onwards, the Mac mini (late 2014) supports Yosemite (10.10.x) all the way up to Big Sur (11.x) and the future release of Monterey (12.x).

For a 1TB internal HDD installed on the Mac mini, I allocated 100GB for High Sierra (HPFS+), Mojave & Catalina (both formatted in APFS)

Attempting to restore a High Sierra HPFS+ formatted DMG image file to an HPFS+ formatted partition using Big Sur’s built-in Disk Utility only rendered errors. Thankfully, the Disk Utility provided by Recovery Assistant (Command+Option+R on startup) provided a workaround.

Recovery Assistance also provides the ability to define the Startup Disk. After the successful DMG restore, High Sierra was now listed alongside Big Sur. Once booted and logged in, downloading the Mojave and Catalina installers and running through them was a breeze.

Software Update functions as expected.

HP ZR30w Display w/ DP input

The DP (display port) input of this 30″ screen works well with the mini-DP output of a MacPro (2010/2012), MacBook Pro 2013/2012/2011 and certain Lenovo/Thinkpads models. This display unit is very portable (has a handle along the frame) and supports up to 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. Great for web browsing and watching movies/videos.

FreeBSD 13 on Vultr Notes

UPDATE (10/12/21):

There’s a workaround provided by Vultr engineers. More details at.

https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla//show_bug.cgi?id=254513#c14

You can use the official FreeBSD 13 ISO file on Vultr, but with a caveat.

There are shutdown and reboot issues if you don’t add this line to your /etc/rc.conf file.

devmatch_blacklist="virtio_random.ko"

Even if you ran “freebsd-update fetch install” to grab the latest updates, as of this writing is “-p3”, running “shutdown -r” or “shutdown -p” will cause the instance to halt, thereby requiring you to issue a hard restart via the Vultr panel to gain control again.

Growing disks after upgrading plan

Before you proceed, go over the documentation:

https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/handbook/disks/#disks-growing

gpart recover vtbd0 

The line above is the show stopper. Without it, you can’t resize the partitions correctly. Just errors upon errors. Again, review the documentation properly, else, you might just loose data.

Great Tasting Farm Burgers & More

If you’re from around the Northern Valley area of New Jersey or just visiting relatives & friends within the vicinity, drop by this rustic (formerly), cozy and friendly place for great tasting home-made food.

Chicken pot-pie, farm burgers and much more. They have family-friendly special events as well. Checkout their website at https://www.abramdemareehomestead.org/

At the Corner of Old Hook Road and Schraalenburgh Road

40 Old Hook Road, Closter, NJ

(201) 289-3627

Acer Aspire 5 Windows 10 – Switch out of S mode

I don’t trust factory-default settings from any vendor where adware/spyware is usually bundled intentionally. Anyhow, I needed a quick way to install Windows 10 (latest build) from scratch. The target device is an Acer Aspire 5.

Rufus was blocked because the laptop came with Windows 10 S mode enabled. This required a Microsoft account to disable (switch out). Turning off / clearing TPM settings in BIOS (F2 during bootup) did the trick. To disable TPM settings, a “password” has to be set first, else, you won’t be able to select other options further down the list.

When setting up Windows 10 for the first time, I prefer not to connect it to the network (WiFi or Ethernet). Doing so will force bypass the mandatory Microsoft account creation which leads to more data collection that is already at play.

compiling from ports: /usr/ports/www/apache24 (2.4.48) notes

Had some trouble compiling Apache 2.4.48 from FreeBSD ports:

pkg install help2man texinfo m4 autoconf expat automake libtool gdbm db5

===> Cleaning for autoconf-2.69_3
===> Cleaning for m4-1.4.18_1,1
===> Cleaning for texinfo-6.7_5,1
===> Cleaning for help2man-1.48.3
===> Cleaning for p5-Locale-gettext-1.07
===> Cleaning for gettext-tools-0.21
===> Cleaning for libtextstyle-0.21
===> Cleaning for gmake-4.3_2
===> Cleaning for automake-1.16.3
===> Cleaning for libtool-2.4.6_1
===> Cleaning for expat-2.4.1
===> Cleaning for apr-1.7.0.1.6.1_1
===> Cleaning for gdbm-1.19
===> Cleaning for db5-5.3.28_7
===> Cleaning for libxml2-2.9.10_4
===> Cleaning for pkgconf-1.7.4,1
===> Cleaning for apache24-2.4.48