Building Your Own Broadband Router

JNF9HG-2930

Most home users will likely just buy an off-the-shelf broadband router for their home Internet connection needs. For the adventurous types, those who like to build their own customised PC rigs, building a broadband routers might be a fun project. It’s not too difficult, since broadband routers are essentially just miniaturised computers. I’ve been using pfSense as my home router…

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A pfSense Refresh

JNF9HG-2930

I’ve been a happy pfSense user for, like, maybe 4 years. It started as a virtual appliance, before progressing to a standalone build. Now, I’m embarking on an update again. You’ll can expect some follow-up posts regarding this mini-project. This will be a similar mini-ITX setup, and overall it’s pretty straightforward once you’re familiar with pfSense as well as DIY hardware. To some extent, pfSense…

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IR Blaster On A Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi with IR Blaster

It’s been a long time since I worked on “computer stuff” at so low level. This time, it’s about figuring out the Infrared (IR) remote control protocol used by my aircon, and then building an IR blaster with a Raspberry Pi that can control multiple devices from a single unit. Unlike most IR remotes, aircon ones are a bit more complex….

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Z-Wave Light Switches

Evida/U-Fairy Z-Wave 3-gang light switch

One of the most common things you’ll want to or expect to do with a home automation system is to control your lights. While there are many types of light switches available, choosing the right one seems to be constrained by existing physical wiring, unless you don’t mind rewiring your home. I chose to go with a least-intrusive solution using these China-made…

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Free SSL Server Certificates With ECC

LZS Back on Retina MacBook Pro

I’ve been using free SSL server certificates from StartSSL.com for many years. These are legit, free, certificates that last for a full year, not those 1-week trial sort of free certificates. This is, of course, before the time of Lets Encrypt, so StartSSL.com’s deal was quite cool. StartSSL.com does have some unusual workflow, and a website UI that wasn’t too…

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Fibaro Smoke Sensor Review

Fibaro Smoke Sensor

It’s not common in Singapore for homeowners to install any sort of fire protection devices. It is important, though, and it has been something in the back of my mind. With my recent setting up of home automation system at home, it was timely to include at least one smoke detection device. I decided to try out the Fibaro Smoke Sensor. Fibaro…

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ASUS G752 Gaming Notebook Review

ASUS ROG G752

These days, gamers don’t lug desktop gaming rigs around anymore. There are plenty of serious gaming notebooks to choose from. The ASUS G752 is a recent update to their Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of enthusiast gamer hardware. It’s a beefy machine, and a hefty one. So while not lugging desktops, some gamers may instead be lugging hefty notebooks. That’s in fact my…

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Android Security Update For July 2016

Nexus 6P

Another month. Another Android security update. Like how it is with Windows security patches, end-users are probably feeling bored. Even techies might get a little bored with the spate of OpenSSL vulnerabilities since Heartbleed. Oh, what do you know, this month’s Android security patch fixes another OpenSSL bug, which also affects Google’s fork known as BoringSSL. There are a bumper crop…

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Shopping With Just My Phone

Android Pay on Nexus 6P

Since the launch of Android Pay in Singapore, I’ve been seizing every opportunity to pay with my smartphone. I know it’s still a long time before we can leave our physical wallets and purses at home, but I’m happy that we’re taking steps in that direction. Buying things in brick and mortar shops just got a little more interesting. I…

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Single-Mode Fibre Patch Cord

Single-mode fibre patch cord

Having done some home renovation, I took the opportunity to optimise my networking setup. Some of my gear were repositioned, and it ended up that my existing fibre patch cord for the OpenNet (now NetLink Trust) fibre broadband connection wasn’t long enough. I needed a new patch cord. Fibre patch cords aren’t supposed to be expensive. But as with many…

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