Jan 232019

So the Intel I219V network controller on the ASRock Mini ITX (H170M-ITX/DL) motherboard was trash. It was constantly becoming unresponsive to the point where the firewall just useless. So then I used a USB NIC to work around the problem. Then Untangle updated the firewall code and that stopped working. Then I mothballed the firewall I built and obtained a WRT1900ACS and used Untangle on that…until I recognized that reports only had a few hours of history. CRAP!

So I bought one of these…

I figured, “what the hell.” I need to be able to filter the Internet to make sure the kid is not getting into trouble online, and also to deny Internet to their devices at bed time. It’s also important that I can read the system logs to see if they attempted to go anywhere they shouldn’t.

The firewall worked perfectly until I attempted to load an SSL cert. Then Apache2 died and I lost my ability to connect to the appliance. An hour of mucking about in bash, and I was able to disabled SSL in Apache2 and get back in. Tech support is still trying to work out what happened, so I’m working with the default cert for now. It’s a shame because I was able to load an SSL cert on both other appliances with no problems. I figured the one that said, “Untangle” on it would be a slam dunk.

UPDATE: Tech support identified and corrected the problem that was causing the Apache2 service to fail on restart. My certificate is now in place and I can manage my firewall remotely without having to force the web browser to accept the built-in certificate.

The reports I’m getting daily via e-mail are helpful, and it’s nice to be able to go back and look at the log data. This firewall is much easier to configure than other’s I’ve seen.

This is the rule that blocks Internet access.
These are the rules for each device that block Internet at bedtime.

This is the report that shows the blocked sessions.
Jan 112019

Previously, if you wanted pretty graphs or intel on your Plex server, you had to use Plex.py or Tautulli (the same project). Now simple bandwidth graphs are built into the web interface of Plex Server. Pretty neat stuff.

7 Days of traffic
Sep 192018

This is my first post from the latest version of WordPress for iOS. So far image handling and the media library is disappointing. Thumbnails are few and far between, making it more difficult to select media for blog posts….

Had to read a bedtime story. Ease of performing edits and…..


Feb 052018

For the past three years, I’ve used Moneywell, YNAB, and Banktivity to manage my finances. I generally input my entries as they occur through each applications mobile app, and then tighten things up on the computer. Since Moneywell seems to have the best ledger of the three apps (it’s real easy to find things), I do my ledger entries here then export them and import the entries to the other two apps.

Moneywell’s mobile app is now useless as of 2/1/18. I spent a good hour or so attempting to troubleshoot this when I eventually stumbled upon this blog entry dated 2/3/18: MoneyWell Sync and Dropbox

For me, this is a total dealbreaker. For the time being, I’ll use the desktop application, but ultimately, I may turn my attention to Banktivity 6. Banktivity has a great ledger, good reports and the budgeting is not too bad. However, YNAB’s budgeting is slightly better, especially where the mobile app reminds you what’s left per category while you’re actively spending and entering the expense in the mobile app.

I’ve begun to evaluate iFinance 4.4 as well, but it will take some time to adjust all the imported data, correcting all the transfers to make the ledger right. Only seven years worth of data, so probably the better part of an afternoon. So far, this app seems less refined that the others, but the price point is also 1/4 the cost of Banktivity, so it only makes sense.

Moneywell budgeting is terrible, and the reports are pretty much worthless, so if I decide to dump it, I’ll only miss the ledger. It’s real easy to find things in the ledger! Curse you Dropbox API!