Been posting a few things here or there regarding my SBC journey, dear worst-reader. And what a journey it’s been. It all started a few years back with the Raspberry Pi. Wow, I thought after initially fiddling with an R-Pi 2. This sort of thing could finally allow me to move away from the monolithic PC/Mac world that has been a thorn in my side since the advent of cloud computing, subscription software and, of course, corporate/strategic hardware obsoletism running amok. Even though I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford whatever hardware I want, I’ve always been a minimalist when it comes to my personal digital world. Perhaps that’s a bit of contradiction considering up to late last year my digital household consisted of numerous Macs, which I ended up selling to the highest bidder so that I could reduce things. I simply wanted to reduce my hardware portfolio but at the same time maintain all the files accumulated with that hardware over the last ten to fifteen years. Raspberry Pi and SBCs have been my enablers, don’t you know.
There was one problem with the Pi, though. It was just too slow to fill the shoes of my 2010 MacPro. Every time I went into my basement and heard the roar of that old cheese-grader running twenty-four-seven and/or waiting and waiting for it to copy/backup files, my head would ache. Having fiddled with Linux, OMV and various distros on the R-Pi, I eventually realised that maintaining all my data no longer needed the oomph of a MacPro. So I waited for when/if the R-Pi could deliver more/enough bandwidth. In early 2018, out of patience waiting for an R-Pi 4, I turned to Pine64. After a few weeks of reading and research I splurged on a Pine64 Rock64 SBC. Even though there are numerous SBCs on the market, I chose the Rock64 because of its power source and the fact that it has gigabyte ethernet. The power source was important because I had a few issues with R-Pi and its micro-usb power source. This made me invest in purchasing dedicated micro-usb power sources for the two R-Pi’s that I use as media clients. Gigabyte speed is a no-brainer considering the extreme limitation of transferring files with the R-Pi’s USB 2 dependencies.
After fiddling with the Rock64, though, I faced a new reality. Although I really like what Pine64 is doing, there simply is no comparison to the R-Pi when it comes to functional software. I should also add, although I can do some top-level Linux work, pretty much everything below that is too much (tech) for worst-moi. It took till April of 2019 that I was finally able get my Rock64 running OMV to the point where I no longer have to struggle with it as my main network storage device.
Ok. Ok. If you’ve read any of my other SBC posts, I apologise if I’m being a bit repetitive here. The thing is, while on vacation on the Baltic Sea in Northern Germania last week, I was blown away by the news that–out of nowhere–the R-Pi 4 had been released. Holy krapp, I thought. I just spent almost a year finally getting my two Pine64 devices–a Rock64 for files and a RockPro64 for as a Plex media server–up and running where they’ve easily replaced my 2010 MacPro and now R-Pi is dangling not just new candy in front of me but bombshell candy. Holy double krapp, baby!
Needless to worst-say, I spent a few hours while on vacation reading and researching what R-Pi is up to. Am I impressed? You bet I am. But hold on to your lug nuts, dear worst-reader. Am I about to relegate my Pine64 devices to the bin? Not quite. As with most new tech, I rarely buy first iteration hardware, although the Rock64 is kinda first gen. Of course, the new R-Pi 4 is more than just an upgrade. The specs are mind boggling–at least they are for how I would use it. It’s exactly what I naively lost patience waiting for last year. Oh well.
That worst-said, I’m really digging what I got working/running with Pine64 right now. I also still dig the Pine64 (NAS) case and PCIe SATA card because it’s allowed me to utilise all those HDDs lying around thereby saving me a ton of money not having to upgrade my mass storage situation left over after selling the MacPro. Also, having discovered DietPi on both devices, my digital household has been zinging along without flaw. Which begs an answer to an obvious question: Uh, heck yeah, I will probably be in a bind (with Pine64) when R-Pi delivers their next version of their new monster SBC. Then again, maybe not. The Pine64 case is still waaaay cool!
It was the running, dear worst-reader. The running from a few things–that resulted in my expatriation from my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant. Allow me to indulge in two of those things.
The first was/is anti-intellectualism. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m saying I’m smarter than anyone else. That is certainly not the case. In fact, I didn’t start reading until well into the wasted days that would become my college days–and it only became second nature to me in my mid twenties. (Sad, huh?) You know, as in read something that would/could open up a mind–as opposed to reading something to satisfy a professor or a political ideology which then can only give way to the likes of Limbaugh & Co and/or never having an original thought. Hence, there is now generation after generation that is the result of passed-on bat$hittery aka mindfcuk that can only result in #Trumpism, aka über #Americant. I mean, come on. Where would #Americant conservatism be these days if it weren’t for the deliberate cessation of all-things intellectual, post Enlightenment?
It was a good run, don’t you know. The Enlightenment did provide a means with which America could at least begin it’s long/short journey to Americant and thereby fcuking up The Revolution in the name of owning everything, including We The People–who to this day oh-so willingly submit to Constitutional Writ that does nothing but guarantee being owned by ownership–or shot. Yeah, let’s not get into the fantasy of Democracy, eh.
The second thing worst-writer ran from on his expatriation journey was the Disneyfication1 of love. By the time I was twenty-five years old, I had realised the following:
The opportunity that was had by that which reared me, i.e. previous generations, had long run out of steam. Hence, to this day, I’ve spent my life gladly dependent on the kindness of strangers thereby smirking the whole time at those who think they’ve actually worked their whole lives when they, in reality, have only behaved, i.e. work equals compulsive behaviourism2.
Love. I ran from love in my beloved & missed #Americant as though there was no tomorrow. I was so horrified by the idear–or is it consequence–of love, which is dictated by Disneyfied #Americant females3 that #eurowasteland quickly turned into a godsend. Never once, of the Euro bimbos I’ve had pleasures with, was I confronted with the disney-princess-transaction of THE VAGINA, i.e. the deal which required a minimum of at least three months pay to buy the absurdity of a wedding ring, that would/could open up the flood-gates of a go-round in her pants. In fact, even though it’s all pink on the inside nomatter where in the world you lay it, Euro-bimbos weren’t selling it like the bimbos4 back home. Thank God!
And while I’m on the worst-subject of how women sell it, ever heard of Fawn Hall, dear worst-reader? If you haven’t, don’t worry. She’s one of the millions of millions (half the American’t population, don’t you know) of Disneyfied women who was/is never able to grow out of that aforementioned shadow of ill-repute parenting, i.e. procreation that never has an original thought. But don’t worry. As usual, where there’s one (in history) there will be many more (of the same) to follow. The current Fawn Hall’s new name is: Hope Hicks.
Disneyfication being a prequel to/for reality-TV. ↩︎
Compulsive behaviourism being the perfect subsystem for political conservatism run amok, aka Reaganomics, militarism and religious bat$hittery. ↩︎
Including religious, zealot and eventual conservative husbands! ↩︎
For those perturbed by worst-writer sexism, heed this: a “bimbo” is the female version of “young-republicans”. Just as boys who end up being republicans because they are incapable of growing out of the ugly, disgusting shadow of their fathers, girls have the same deamon fight with their submissive mother/wives. ↩︎
Living in a golden cage, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, has its quirks. It’s a shinny place, if you can’t guess, yet not shinny enough to hide the excess. Is the gold worth it, you might ask? Oh, the ills of expatriate choices–for those of us born and reared in the privileges of The West–yet not quite privileged enough. I, for one, don’t know what would have become of me if I had NOT left my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant–when I did. Which means, there is a question (regret?) still lingering and I will most likely have to die before answering it: why didn’t I go some place else?
There is a phantasy, don’t you know, with a bit of porn as prefix, where I wish I had gone to California1. You know, instead of going East, from the mid-Atlantic coast of the US, and then to #Eurowasteland, I should have gone West. Very West. You know, somewhere between LA and SF might have been nice. Or? But then such phantasy is easily neutered considering the current state of working-stiff behaviourist I’ve left behind and yet joined anew. Oh, what they’ve all achieved–sitting on the asses of their minds while feeding their inner shit-beast perfect industry-food that is the result of mistreated nature as much as mistreated humanity but also enables and facilitates a mindset that can’t comprehend all the violence that makes it–and remember: work is not “work” it’s compulsive behaviourism–possible. Which brings me to one final question: is multiple violent death any different than single violent death?
Answer: it depends on where you live. I guess.
Yes, dear worst-reader. That’s what the article linked to below brings worst-moi to think. First, I’d never heard of Combat 18. You? I mean #1, at this point, despite President Stupid’s campaign/election, who hasn’t heard of that whole white supremacist thing? What a misunderstanding that is, eh. I mean #2, how is it that the tides of capitalism’s failure once again2 spews forth in its wake of social and cultural disparities and dilapidation, forcing the privileged few to go nowhere really fast, who all not only think but act as though all, well, is well? When I worst-say go I’m referring, of course, to where they should go in their minds–not where they should go if they chose, like me, to expatriate or stay where they are (in their minds). Instead. Stay in the comfort of the LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID. And so, the capitalists must be enjoying the $hitshow that their grandfathers enjoyed as new generations of STUPID-PEOPLE-GALORE slaughter themselves by the many AND the few–with huge numbers of bystanders slowing traffic (for the rest of us). But let me get back to the doom of my golden cage.
I’ve had a conversation or three while living abroad about the violence I left behind that is my beloved & missed #Americant. Violence being the only word most can come up with regarding all the guns. Oh how it’s permeated everything so clearly in the bosom of the privileged West, don’t you know. Yet when I try to explain that such violence has an origin above and beyond a Constitutional writ, I’m often swatted away like the measly fly I was probably meant to be. And so I continue to get trapped in the talk about violence being everywhere because of… something singular. How rare it is that some might inquire about my attitude toward #Americant –which seems to have prevailed post WW2 as the love-children of so many status-quo swingers suffer oh so much so that at least someone, some of them, may have a job.
At this worst-point in all that is life-wasted, I have to double-down on two things. The first, it ain’t the guns. The second, even if THEY somehow find a way to control the guns, it won’t stop the violence nor will it stop access to all the killing. Of course, I’m sure you’d rather have one person killed as opposed to hundreds. Or? Oh wait. #Eurowasteland would like it that way.
Take for example #Americants beloved pseudo-colony that has done so well to adhere to capitalism run amok, albeit with just a bit more socialism for the poor and not just the rich (as it is in #Americant), and, of course, the great tutor of BDSM–which is probably the only way #Americant subservient wives who either played or played-not with feminism, where able to get their men to last a few minutes longer while tickling and pecking their way to procreation having learned about it all from wet t-shirt contest and/or uncles they met at evangelical gatherings. Yes. Let’s go there. Let’s visit Deutschland.
“So what about Stephen Paddock,” I’m asked by a group of German speaking #Eurowastelanders as I raised the subject of his killing spree as an example that it ain’t just the guns.
“How can you compare what he did with a single nutcase in Hessen, Germany, who shot one guy in the back of the head,” I’m asked.
“Well,” I worst-respond, “does Paddock’s killing of 58 people in Las Vegas in 2017 really differentiate from a politically motivated execution of a single German politician–in a place that is supposed to have very strict gun laws? This ain’t Star Trek, you know.”
“Star Trek? What the fcuk are you rambling on about now, Tom,” the angry inner crowd-voice of who ever I’m talking to said.
“You know,” I respond, “don’t you remember Spock’s the needs of the many ending in Star Trek II3?”
“Tom… You’re an idiot. What are you talking about!”
And my hosts ask me to leave before I can argue the fact that I’m not, somehow, trying to justify the violence that oh-so raised/reared me but instead trying to make clear that unless someone does something against the normality that is violence that/which obviously stems out of white-people, especially white men, an extremism that is as old as the hills, if not #Eurowasteland, there’s no point in postulating whether one capitalist country and its madness is anything more or less than another capitalist country–where politically motivated executions seem to go hand in hand albeit with only fewer dead.
“If that shooter in Hessen could have killed hundreds of politicians, wouldn’t he? I mean, this only means that #Americant violence is just better endowed. Big dicks, you know. And, by-the-buy, it learned from the best,” was one of the last things I tried to worst-say.
And as I was escorted out the door to hissing and booing, wishing I could stay to enjoy yet another free meal, I added, “at this point there’s no difference between killing fifty-eight people or killing one. It’s the white male and his world that you should focus on. And if I may add,” I said while departing a wonderful evening chock full of good food and way too much pseudo-intellect, “the origin of the violence we’re talking about here is from #Eurowasteland. You guys started it all. Now go ask for forgiveness from native Americans.”
Feeling redeemed and confused because my brain hurt, I was also very hungry, I yelled as the door began to slam behind me and then made my way down the old stairs of the building, thinking about which McDonalds burger I was gonna splurge on: You’re fcuking welcome you bunch of snobs.
Before I conclude this worst-post, dear worst-reader, allow me to make this last worst-writ about the article linked below. The thing in the article that really got to me was this:
Citing sources within security forces, the paper, along with public broadcasters NDR and WDR, said the suspect had been active in extreme-right groups, including the domestic neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) and a group known as the Autonomen Nationalisten (Autonomous Nationalists), a pan-European neo-Nazi group that has adopted some Antifa and far-left tactics. -Source is link below
What the fcuk does “a pan-European neo-Nazi group that has adopted some Antifa and far-left tactics4” mean? If I’m being naive here, forgive me. If I’m not smart enough to figure this out, fcuk you. But here’s my question/issue. What “far-left tactics” are they referring to in the context of a fascist being able to execute someone? When trying to figure this out the first “far-left tactic” that came to my mind was Alfred Herrhausen. And then I said: Whaaaaaaa? That was, like, 1989 and the Cold War wasn’t even completely over yet and and and…
Herrhausen was the first person killed by a terrorist when I arrived in Germany–oh so long ago. Is the terrorism that killed Herrhausen the same as the terrorism that is white supremacy? Is that what readers are supposed to believe/think now that Antifa (the word) can be thrown around like a volleyball? Fighting against fascism is now, somehow, terror anew? I don’t know about you, dear worst-reader, this smells of newspeak.
The other failure being that which lead to the Great Depression. ↩︎
In the Wrath of Khan the Enterprise is on the verge of destruction when Spock enters a radioactive chamber in order to fix the ship. As Spock dies, and, with his final breath, he says to Kirk, “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh . . .” Kirk finishes for him, “The needs of the few.” Spock then adds, “Or the one.” ↩︎
UPDATE (to this post): The Rock64 with 4-bay drive enclosure (the gadgets on the left in the pic above) failed the other day. That means, this entire post is null & void. Oh how I wanted the Rock64 (from Pine64) to succeed. But I suppose, for tech newbie/wannabees like me, I’m barking up the wrong tree here. At least the RockPro64 (black box on the right), as a dietpi//Samba/Plex/Pihole server hasn’t yet failed me! That said, I can’t get the Rock64, either using OMV or Dietpi, to just work the way I want it to work. I’m soooo disappointed, don’t you know. Or maybe not. Although I’ll go ahead and leave this post–it’d be a shame to waste all the worst-writing–I’m pretty much done with Pine64 products, especially since a new RPi4 just came out. Oh well. I guess this level of tinkering is fun while it lasts. Or maybe not.
Subtitle 1: Avoiding, circumventing an industry hell-bent on the grand rip-off?
Subtitle 2: In a world of trucks or no trucks, SBC’s rule, biatch!
If you want to skip all my worst-writing about Apple and Trucks, scroll down to it’s a network station galore, baby.
To begin this worst-post, dear worst-reader, I have to express a word or three about trucks. Do you remember that schtick from Steve Jobs about the post-PC era (ca. 2012-13)? As usual, I ate it up. Well, maybe I didn’t exactly eat it up. But I certainly heeded the words of the tech-guru who changed the friggin’ world twice! (1984 with the Macintosh and then again in 2007 with the iPhone.) I mean, even though I’m not a tablet guy (yet), as in, I can’t give up on a real computer, the change that’s being forced upon us consume-to-survivors, especially in all-things tech, is too often in my thoughts. After purchasing earlier this year what might be my last Mac, the question I’m currently dealing with is this: does my tech future include Apple?
One of the questions I’m throwing around in my head is if/when I have to replace yet another device due to strategic, monolithic, corporate obsoletism, what will/should I replace it with? Even though I love my new, retail-bought 2017 MacBook (jewellery galore, eh), there’s something about the tech path that Apple’s taken in recent years that gets under my gander. The truth is: not only do I hate tech-jewellery but I also hate touch screens. (And don’t laugh too hard since my new MacBook is pink-gold.) I mean, I really hate touch screens. (But this pink-gold is growing on me.) In fact, I hate touch screens as much as I hate NAS boxes. Of course, I tolerate touch screens on my iPhone. I even still use a first gen iPad Air (that I inherited from my better-half as she’s full-on iOS) as an e-book reader and a streaming client for Plex, Amazon Prime and YouTube–the latter while I’m in the kitchen cooking. But get this! To throw things into a craze-loop, what does Apple go and do at its 2019 WWDC that confused the hell out of me–especially considering I vividly remember Jobs’ truck analogy–that I ate up? That’s right. Apple brings back the friggin’ truck. And it doesn’t bring it back slightly with, say, a tickle and a smooch. No. It brings those friggin’ trucks back with a vengeance in the form a new, über-fancy, über-über expensive cheese-grater MacPro. WTF!
So let’s recap, shall we?
Steve Jobs claimed back in 2013 (see links below) that the PC was dead. Long live the post-PC era. The gist of his proclamation is simple. We (consumers) don’t need PCs (trucks) anymore. What we need are tablets. I suppose, in a way, he was right. Right, don’t you know, for other people, of course. Me? If I choose to leave Apple after I’m done with my latest MacBook, I’m either going to join the gang and get an iPad (but only if I can accompany it with a MacMini) or I’m going full Linux. Indeed. I’m seriously digging what System76 is doing right now–even though they don’t, as of this worst-post, have a laptop with a German keyboard. (That’s right. I can only speed-worst-type with a German QWERTZ keyboard!) But that’s not all, dear worst-reader, that relates to Apple contradicting its dead hero. The Steve Jobs truck proclamation was about a few things other than just PCs. Wasn’t that also around the time when cloud-computing was getting its mojo on? You know, there’s no need to have a big (truck) PC for storing your files and data anymore cause, well, you can conveniently store it all on well-controlled corporate servers… in the cloud. Now ain’t that the ticket! (Sarcasm off.) Don’t get me wrong here. I’m using the cloud. But should it be the solution for future private data needs?
Before I get too far off worst-subject and get too far on about the conspiracy of corporate control over private data–which is all cloud computing is, really–there is one other thing that has gotten under my gander in this very confused post-PC, corporate control, krapp-touch-screen era. As I’ve said here, here and here, I hate the NAS industry. And don’t get me started on RAID (Synology, Drobo & Co., etc.) and how krappy that is. I mean, come on. With the cost of digital storage these days, why would anyone want/need to fiddle with the added ill-begotten complexity of things like RAID dished out in machines that are built to substandard, if not outdated hardware specs? For you RAID lovers out there, don’t fret. I get why you may (or may not) need it. But I remember RAID when it began. Then it was either about increased data speed or subverting the high cost of HDDs. So let’s move on.
It was a motivating factor for me to modernise a bit so I could 1) free myself and 2) live a little. Plus, I guess, I wanted some jewellery! (Sarcasm off.) The other reason I wanted to get rid of ageing hardware wasn’t because it didn’t work or anything like that. Apple computers are great even when they’re old. In fact, my old stuff ran flawlessly–and I’m sure the nice folk that bought it all will be happy with it for years to come. By-the-buy, that old friggin’ MacPro worked even when I took it with me to Bangelore, India, in 2016, where–get this!–the power went out ten times a day for the six months I lived there. With every power outage (surge?) that damn MacPro turned itself right back on and on and on. I never had one hardware issue with it. But enough about spilt milk, eh. It’s time to clean things up.
The main reason I got rid of the MacPro was because I was tired of maintaining large amounts of data (yes, for me, 3.5TB is large) on a device that needed days to move or copy it. Over the years, as stated, I’ve never had any major problems with Apple hardware but I have lost a few hard drives here and there–and the data that was on them. Indeed. The days of ripping, hoarding, maintaining multiple hard drives and waiting for terabytes of data to backup or copy are over. I’m tired of it. So it was time to prioritise, organise, get rid of the hardware, keep the data, see how it goes. And so. My personal data was about 1TB, including paper correspondence*. Media data is about 3.5TB. Since, as you can tell, I’m kinda frugal and cheap, if not bored of hardware, there was no way I was gonna invest in upping my data bandwidth or capacity. Fcuk thunderbolt & Co., and the same for 3.5″ HDDs, don’t you know!
Most of my personal files and data (1TB) was a rigamarole of duplicates and excess of worst-writing, employment data, official correspondence, etc., and I needed to dive into shark waters to clean it up. Indeed. Over a few months I weeded through it all and got it organised. I discarded all excess. And get this. It’s amazing, when you put the effort into it, to realise, like in the analog world, how much waste there is in the/your digital life. That worst-said, you’d be surprised how much digital AND analog space you can save if you put a bit of effort into getting organised–as opposed to just hoarding it all in the name of cheap HDDs that build up over the years. I was able to reduce that 1TB of personal data down to about 250GB, an amount that is easily maintainable considering the price and accessibility of portable (non spinning drive) storage. On top of that, I’m also using multiple and cheap 2.5 inch (yes, still spinning) external HDDs with TimeMachine for my remaining (2x) Macs. (At one point till mid 2018 I had five Macs running in my house.) Ok. Ok. My personal data is organised. What do I do with 3.5TB of media that I’d still like to stream–in my home media setup?
It’s a network station galore, baby. It’s not a NAS!
It’s taken a while, dear worst-reader. About two years, to be exact. Which also means I’m a bit slow (in more things than just tech). Nomatter. Starting with the genius of Raspberry Pi, I currently solely rely on single-board-computers (SBC) for all my personal home network activity, including household media streaming and, where applicable, extra data storage. With that in mind, what I’m doing here I also take with a grain of salt. I do not rely solely on this setup as a means for securing my data. Of all the old hardware that I sold late last year as a way to reduce my personal digital footprint, which was really about replacing too much old with a bit of new, this is where I’ve arrived–and it’s starting to look rosier and rosier. In fact, I’m getting more and more confidant, if all continues as it has, I will be able to heed my PC-truck-age cries: to never buy one of those stupid, fake-priced NAS boxes, e.g. Drobo, Synology, etc., that I love to hate. And. Since. Apple has contradicted its Master, let me just add: Trucks are $hit, too!
My network station setup. (Did I mention it’s not a NAS?)
In the pic above, I finally got my Rock64 (far left), that I bought in mid 2018, running OpenMediaVault (OMV). Using USB 3.0, it’s attached to my most recent thrifty purchase, an IcyBox JBOD 4-bay HDD enclosure. I got that enclosure for about 50,-€ used. It’s Stocked with 2x 2TB, 1x 3TB and 1x4TB drives, which are most of the drives left over after getting rid of old hardware. As far as OMV on the Rock64 goes, you can forget the ease–due to the variety of functional software–of R-Pi’s. These Pine64 SBC’s take a bit more effort, don’t you know–especially considering, what should be a staple on it, OMV, should work toot-sweet, even with a novice like me is at the helm. Anywho.
My choice for a file server is OpenMediaVault. It’s worked well on the R-Pi, albeit slow and hence the reason to go with the Rock64 (which has gigabyte ethernet). After numerous tries with both release and pre-release from Ayufan, I could never get OMV to work on the Rock64. Although it would be recognised on my network, once I started configuring shares, it all fell apart. Frustrated that no OMV Rock64 builds were ready–and I’ve been fiddling with them for six or so months–I gathered one of my spare R-Pi’s (far left in the pic) to give it a go–slow bandwidth be damned. Just before flashing the R-Pi’s SD-card, though, I did another quick search for a different Rock64 OMV build. Lo and behold, I found a build via the OMV website here. I flashed the SD-card and boom, baby. Immediately the look and feel of the build was spot on. Not only that, I was able to access all the drives of the external JBOD enclosure and set up shares. It’s been purring–with gigabyte ethernet!!!–on my network ever since.
Media = RockPro64 + Dietpi.
On the far right of the pic above is my RockPro64 in its fancy-pants Pine64 NAS case. It has a PCIe sata card and 2x 3TB HDDs. It’s been my trusty Plex media server for the past six months where I am able to store and serve my old 3.5TB of media data–as good if not better than my old MacPro. Just like the Rock64, though, it was a rough start with the RockPro64. I could never get OMV to work on it which was a big disappointment. The RockPro64 sat on my shelf because of that for a few months. Again, although the R-Pi’s are stable and are much easier to setup, there is that bandwidth limitation they have with ethernet and USB, the two being combined on the USB 2.0 bus. Nomatter.
So I kept fiddling around with various other builds for the RockPro64 till I finally discovered DietPi. And don’t you know, DietPi has been the best solution so far turning the RockPro64 into an amazing media server. Although it took of bit of effort to get back into the cryptic, command line interface of DietPi, I’ve since come to think of it as fun-time whenever I have to do anything with the RockPro64. DietPi has done a great job of creating a really friendly but also minimal build that is loaded with software that all seems to work–except, of course, OMV. But that’s neither here nor that at this point. Not only does Plex run great but I’m also running Pi-hole, to rid my home network of all those stupid and obnoxious internet ads, a WordPress iteration (that I use to experiment with) and, using a single Samba share, the RockPro64 serves various R-Pi audio devices in my house that all run Volumio. I’ve not yet begun to find all the RockPro64’s fun. Yeah, baby.
The stuff in-between.
Also included in the pic above is what remains of some old but functional hardware. As you can see, I’m still an Apple Airport fan. In fact, this is my third Apple Airport still in use. I use these devices for all my WIFI thereby turning off the WIFI from those krapp routers issued by ISPs. On my top floor I have an Airport Express that serves two bedrooms and a bath. For the ground floor, living room, kitchen, atrium and our master bedroom, is a newer AirPort Extreme. The older Airport Extreme (pic above) is in my basement and still provides great bandwidth when I’m ironing, working on my bikes, or just hiding from my better half and Beckett, the killer pug. In fact, I might even buy a fourth, newer AirPort Extreme in the future to replace the Airport Express upstairs. Even though Apple has cancelled these excellent routers, I’m gonna use them till the cows come running. By-the-buy, this one also serves as second TimeMachine. You see that HDD underneath it? That is an Iomega 2TB Firewire, USB 2.0 and USB powered hub HDD. It’s gotta be over ten years old now. I know. I know. I’m waiting for it to fail, too. But it just keeps going and going and going. But don’t worry, dear worst-reader. As stated, I’ve got more than two TimeMachine backups. So we’re all good there. (I hope!)
The other HDD case (the black case to the left of the AirPort Extreme) is a 2-bay IcyBox raid enclosure. I’m not sure how old it is–but I’ve had it for a long time. It has 2x 2TB drives in raid-0, i.e. 4TB. Although I rarely use it anymore, it does have some old data on it–none of which is unique. Once I get the Rock64/OMV to meet a few more criteria for file serving, I’ll transfer all that old data to it and then retire it, salvaging the HDDs for other use.
As far as being thrifty and rebelling against an industry hell-bent on ripping us off, also being able to re-use stuff that shouldn’t be made obsolete, the cost for the SBC’s mentioned in this post, is under €300,-€. Obviously, it takes lots of time and effort to get this thing up and running and I’m sure most working-stiffs out there don’t have the time for such endeavours. For tech gurus this is a nothing-burger. With that in mind, I’m kinda joyous right now. I’ve really had fun getting back into CLI, Linux and taking some of my fate into my own hands. Kinda rewarding, don’t you know. Or. Put another way:
*For worst-moi paper correspondence is all that snail-mail krapp you get, some of which can also be kind of important, that requires space. Sick of having to provide space for it, a few years ago I purchased one of them fancy-pants document scanners (only documents, NOT one of them stupid scanner-printer thingies that have been ripping people off for decades). I digitise all important snail-mail and store it appropriately. The remaining paper gets shredded and recycled, of course.
As suggested earlier, the rise and institutionalisation of the Ronald Reagan political clique, first in California as governor, 1967-1975, and then as U.S. President, 1981-1989, was a major green light for the development of white supremacist groups, from marginal and obscure to mainstream, by the dawn of the twenty-first century. Reagan and his cronies and political descendants were masters of the device that came be known as a “dog whistle,” using certain tropes and symbolic actions that telegraphed toxic white supremacy and anti-black racism. As Reagan’s “free market” economic and anti-union policies, accompanied by rapid de-industrialisation and job shrinkage, produced homelessness and insecurity of the most vulnerable, they also increasingly affected white workers, making them easy prey to the white nationalist and politicised evangelical groups that had their own narrative about the causes–big government (including mysterious black helicopters), secularisation, banks (always implicating jews), poverty programs (always identified with African Americans even though the majority of recipients were in fact white), and Mexican migrants and women taking their jobs.
-from Loaded by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Chapter 8, White Nationalism
Subtitle: My friends 2015 MacBook has been through hell.
An old friend came by the other day to mooch of an extra bed on his way to a boating thing in Köln. He does that once or thrice a year, don’t you know. I mean, wouldn’t you? He gets a nice place to sleep (saving lots of money on a hotel), a great vegetarian meal (cooked by worst-moi who makes a great fresh Pesto), and, of course, an evening with worst-writer. For you see, dear worst-reader, he’s a nautical engineer–from Holland. I know. I know. What else is there to do in Holland, eh? Of course, I have to also give credit where it’s due. Even though he’s not much into technology, he was my first intro into the then new MacBook that Apple introduced in 2015, of which I was very skeptical at the time. By-the-buy, my better half ended up buying the device a year later, i.e. its 2016 iteration. At the time I was still using my MacBook Air (i7) and loving it but was slowly coming around to the new MacBook mostly because of the screen.
When my Dutch friend mentioned that he was gonna buy a first iteration Apple product, I tried to steer him away from it. But then he went on and on and on about how much smaller the new device was after he fiddled with it in the Amsterdam Apple Store and its size would help him work. He needed something that would be out of the way as much as possible, he said. And get this, dear worst-reader, up to that point he’d been using one of those white, polycarbonate MacBooks. So you get it, right, when I worst-say he’s not much into new tech. In fact, he actually made his old white MacBook last longer than I’ve ever made a MacBook last–and in the end it was pretty beat up, too. I’m just wondering if he’s gonna make this beat up jewellery-like device last longer than my pampered and shinny 2017 version of it. Indeed.
The only problem is, even before my better half, on the fly, without consultation from her household tech guru (worst-moi) purchased her 2016 MacBook, my Dutch friend has been bitchin & moaning about his the whole time. Worst long story short, since purchasing it, he’s had the keyboard replaced twice, the battery has been replaced once, and a few months ago, he even had the screen replaced. The good news is, the Dutch Apple store did most of the work on warranty. He did have to pay for the screen, though, on account it wasn’t Apple’s fault a truck ran over it. The one thing he’s not had replaced is the case. And what a case it is. Talk about dented jewellery. As you can see from the pics above, the MacBook has been through quite a bit. It’s been dropped, chucked (as in accidentally catapulted into the air) and, it’s even been run over by van–or was it a truck? Nomatter. A few of those marks on the bottom could even pass for it having been shot. But on that note I digress.
PS on the bottom my friend had his company logo put on to replace the “feet” saying that he need it to be more sturdy, if not sticky, while using it to input nautical engineering data while working on yachts. Cool, eh!
Thinking too much about my beloved & missed #Americant this morn, dear worst-reader. Thinking about what could lead to the likes of President Stupid and his pee-pee-hair? I mean, is there an essence to it all? Is it that so many compatriots are as stupid as the leaders they elect? That must be the magic-sauce, eh? Yet Barry-O wasn’t stupid. I mean, even if you disagree with his corporate Democrat politics, he simply doesn’t look as ridiculous as #Trump. Plus, even though so many believers still believe that #Trump is a wrench in the machine, when he has, in fact, done nothing more than double-down on Republican politics that began (in earnest) with Reagan, they still love him. How is it that so many voters couldn’t/can’t see through what republicans have done and thereby think the man with pee-pee-hair is the solution? Which begs the question, how much more stupid is #Americant capable of? Yeah, that electoral college thing worked well for the few. Indeed. How far has democracy come–while the masses sleep in the bliss of their ignorance. And so. In the back of my mind was a phrase that I hadn’t heard in a while and it took me a few moments while drinking massive amounts of espresso a few hours ago to recall it. I was able to localise the phrase to Christopher Hitchens (see vid link below). I’m not sure exactly where the phrase comes from, but after a quick search I’m now wondering if it comes out of just a friggin painting. Or? Nomatter.
You know how you can tell you’re already living in end-times? It’s easy really. If there’s a hint of rational thought in your mind, if you can circumvent for a moment all the BS of religious magic, you should also be able to surmise, well, that the krapp you’ve allowed to occupy you has also been fcuking with you since day one. Or? No? What? Am I asking for too much? Ok. Forget that. Let’s move on.
Worst-writer has nothing against spirituality or even lusting after a virgin birth or rising from the dead–after the man you consider as a saviour was killed by your own. Also. Another way you can tell that $hit like end-times is a ruse, is by just watching how people behave. Now that’s the ticket. And not only how they behave but what has brought them to behave as they do.
Are you sick of it yet?
Yeah, baby. These are the end-times we live in. I’m only glad that I found a way to escape the madness. How, you ask. Simple. I got out of the bat$hittery that is the Anglo-Saxon (or is it WASP) world. I now live in a world, at a certain level, of course–and please forgive my generalisations* here–that hasn’t allowed itself to resort to the most inane of human behaviour when it comes to politics or social interaction. Just look at the behaviour of both the US and the UK. WASP anyone? Fortunately there are few places in this world that still cherish a bit of culture, intellect, tolerance, and for goodness sake, good food, etc. Which begs the question: why are men (mostly white men) so bitter and spiteful and stupid? Is it all due to their inability to grasp what it is that has lead to all the inner-UGLIES that they possess and are obviously releasing as I worst-write this?
Remember all the Lock her up cheers from the 2016 Presidential campaign? Worst-writer especially remembers all the women that were cheering along at all those #Trump rallies to lock-up #Hillary because, well, she is a pretty smart and successful person. Was it just me that saw all of that with my jaw dropped to the floor? I got it that men hated her. But all those women??? Was I the only man–reared in that same Anglo world–to have seen it for what it really is? So what is it?
Welcome to a world that can only culminate in the likes of President Stupid. You know, the $hitbag leading the LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID all because there is a krapp load of people out there that couldn’t intellectually fight their way out of a paper bag because they’ve literally grown up on Limbaugh, faux-newz, (that which lead to) #Trump, Steve Bannon, chicken hawks, war mongers, greed-galore, etc., etc. Because of all of that the UGLIES that is debase male behaviour, a behaviour that always operated behind the curtain, is now mainstream. Take for example the two links below.
Can you believe that a person driving a Tesla electric car has to put up with a redneck $hitbag driving a modified diesel pick-up truck where the owner gets his jollies by switching a button in his cabin that then makes the motor, by turning off all emission controls, spew black diesel smoke out of his exhaust pipe? And all because he disagrees with… modernity AND electric cars? Really?
The saddest part is that it doesn’t stop with rednecks and their filthy rotten inner UGLIES (that their mothers probably passed on to them because they hate #Hillary so much). The other article linked below has to do with a group of men bullying, in the worst way, two women who were on a bus ride home at night in the UK. Yeah. There are lots of stupid white men in lots of countries.
Come on. Where are the real men out there?
Good luck suckers stuck in the UGLIES of your STUPID white anglo man rule world.
*Again. I’m kinda regretful about my generalisations in this worst-post. That said, I am worstwriter so I’m also gonna stick with them. Perhaps I’m hereby providing too many details about my own prejudices. So to clear things up, how ’bout this? Even though I am angry, bitter and spiteful, I only let it out on stupid white people for they are and have been my nemesis since growing up in my beloved & missed #Americant–and I’m against violence and intimidation as a form of conflict resolution. That said, I don’t know the race of the man-children that attacked the women in the UK (see link). Nor do I know if it’s only stupid white man-children driving those modified diesel redneck vehicles. But what I do know is that rhetoric stirred by right-wing politics that is hate and homophobia seem to be manifesting more and more. Am I wrong?
There’s no such thing as the present. There’s a word called Time, but nobody is able to define it. There’s a past and there’s a future, and Time runs through it like an electric current. The present is an imaginary condition, a dream state… an oxymoron.
-Henry Miller, Black Spring, chapter: Jabberwhorl Cronstadt,
Title #2: maybe the founding fathers weren’t so special after all
As the initial reports of the Broadway Musical Hamilton began to appear on my computer screen a few years back, I found my worst-self getting confused about whether to like it or hate it. Was it the shows immediate success that drove me to such inner spite-drama? The play was an immediate smash hit as it was catapulted from a mediocre off-broadway production to a major broadway production within an unusually short period of time, according to its wiki page. Or was it the casting, the dramaturgy, the writing, the stage production, the drag-queen blowjobs between acts, etc., that confused me? And then that whole rap-musical thing? A rap-musical about the founding fathers–all of whom are played by non-white actors? So does that mean George Washington is in black face now? Go figure.
Actually, in all worst-seriousness, that’s kind of a great idear. At least, Chernow seems to be quite thorough in reminding the reader (or in my case worst-reader) about a few of the sins of the founding fathers, namely the human servitude $hit$how that built the great greed $hit$how. But that was then and this is already yesterday. For, as you may (or may not) know, dear worst-reader, Hamilton the musical, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a bit of stretch from the book it’s based on. Am I wrong?
While I’m on the subject of the play, I tried to get tickets last year to see it on a trip to my beloved & missed united mistakes, thereby re-routing my flight through NYC. Lo and behold, I got a taste of what broadway success in this new era of greed-galore is all about. The cheapest tickets I could find were priced waaaaaay out of my league, which subsequently put the show on my shit-list. I mean, why oh why, dear worst-reader, when a broadway show is so popular and so successful, they haven’t made a movie out of it so the rest of us can get a peek? Elitism galore anyone? I’m so turned off by this level of pricing for a friggin play that I could dance around Marie Antoinette’s detached head or even wear the blood stained basket that head fell in while singing in the rain. Indeed. Let them (or the rest of us) eat brioche, ain’t that right dear worst-reader! But enough silliness aside. This play is just another reason to hate the hob-snob of broadway theatre–which at one point in this worst-life I loved so much.
Oh wait. I’m off subject. Enough about being worst-writer.
Although it took a decade or three for me to come around to this unique if not (what I consider) odd form of theatre, that I always thought was a bit cheesy, I’m now kind of a musical fan. At least I really dug Mama Mia. Still, there have been a few shows I’ve put on a pseudo to-do list. It is a list that varies based on mood, amount of drink (the night before) and, of course, cost. With that in mind, will I ever go out of my financial way to see any of the shows on that list? Probably not. Reason? Hamilton is based on a book. If it’s based on a book, why do I have to bother with the hob-snob of elitist über expensive theatre? And get this: A few weeks ago, out of the blue, the Apple bookstore offered Hamilton by Chernow for something like seven and half bucks. So I snatched it up and immediately moved it up my to-read list. Oh wait. Hold a sec. It’s not just any book, though. No. It’s a really, really thick book. Like. Seriously thick. Even in digital form. Wow. Almost a thousand friggin pages? Oh my.
It took me about four weeks to get through it. I scheduled regular reading sessions either in the morning or during my afternoon nap where I would turn digital page after page, sometimes pushing myself through a whole chapter in one session. Then were/are (my) morning constitutional reads, too. But don’t be afeared dear worst-reader. It shouldn’t disparage you that I have books above and around my Euro toilet1. Reading is good. Right? Nomatter where you read. Or? I mean, I haven’t watched TV in over a decade. And I regularly dust off the books in my fancy book shelf, too. Sometimes I even contemplate sorting all my books. But that’s a whole ‘nother worst-post. Anywho.
The plan to get through this thick (digital) book was to hammer away at least four or five pages two or three times a day–depending on the previous evening of drink, ambient temperature, the mood of Beckett our killer-pug and, of course, my better half’s desires for a fulfilled life. That may not sound like much dedication (or is it commitment?) to getting through a book, and there were a few moments here or there where I wasn’t able to pick up the book for a few days at all. Nomatter. The important thing is, I was determined to get through it because, well, fcuk theatre elitism that is über dramatisation, drag-queen antics and the stench of broadway that can only give rise to the likes of President pee-pee-hair. Am I off subject yet again? Oh yea. But before I forget. From what I can tell from wiki, liberties have been taken by the play creator. So let’s get back to the book.
The only other question I had about committing myself to such a large book about a history that I am well versed in wasn’t if/when I’d finish it. No. The important question was, how long would it take? Would this be yet another history book that is too winded? Would I give up on it because of its length? And most important: how much of it would I retain? Then again–and get this dear worst-reader: the month of May (2019) turned out to be one of them rare months were I was reading three major books at a time. And let’s also not forget all the worst-writing that need be done. Then there’s the daily deluge of reading Das Capital–in fcuking German! Oh, and what about the dog sitting, the dishwashing, the cooking and the frequent tickler sessions with my better-half. May (the month) also included various visitors, two trips (one to Paris!) and a long two day house cleaning session that I promised my better half in exchange for sexy-time. Indeed. A thousand pages of meticulously researched and well versed history ain’t nothing for a redneck battling inner ugly prejudices–to shake a stick at. And so. This past weekend (while on that trip to Paris) I finished it–pictures n’all! And so…
Worst-writer’s pseudo-review of…
Hamilton by Ron Chernow.
Keep in mind, dear worst-reader, I’m a Gore Vidal fan. Here’s a tag link to my GV posts. As I’ve said here or there, I believe that all schools in my beloved & missed #Americant should learn history from GV. In other worst-words, all schools should just stop the BS they’re teaching kids right now–which has, over the span of at least two generations, systematically deprived the intellectually capacity of a nation, which can only lead to the right-wing, conservative, greed-mongering batshittery that is #Americant. Am I wrong? And so. Stop it now, LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID! Read Gore Vidal and learn something. But I die-gress.
I thoroughly enjoyed Vidal’s Novel Burr, which may or may not be the anthesis of Hamilton. Of course, Burr is not quite a real history or biography. Or is it? For you see, dear worst-reader, Gore Vidal writes histories in novel form. Is that why they’re called fictional histories? Or is it novel histories? How bout a fictional novel? No. They’re called historical novels. What a great idear, don’t you know. There’s a genre for everything. Is that why such a book can entertain intellectual deviants that live and prosper in the LAND OF FREE TO BE STUPID? Yes, it can. And what about the edumacated who think they know everything? You know, the college grads that have been running, managing, facilitating the greed $hit$how? Compared to GV, though, Chernow has written a plain old history book–or is it a biography? Or has he? At the least he writes for those who:
have the time to read/focus on almost a thousand friggin pages,
don’t mind a bit of history regurgitation that most should already know (but of course so many of them do not on account of #Americant intellectual deviancy)
Before I continue, allow me to state briefly how/why this book was catapulted up my to-read list. It was the WHCD 2019 that did it. As you may or may not know, President Stupid (pee-pee-hair) and his ill-humour, saw to it that no one make fun of him anymore after Michelle Wolf drilled him a new a$$hole in 2018. (What a performance that was, eh!) For 2019 Ron Chernow was invited to fill the comedian spot–but President piss-hair still didn’t attend. Obviously not a comedian, Chernow did a great job out-smarting President Stupid’s minions–who thought they had a win-win by getting rid of a comedian. You can watch Chernow’s “speech” at the link provided below. As soon as I finished watching it, I did a hop, skip and jump over to the Apple book store which was selling the same book for half the price of that other online book retailer–that sucks piss rain as much as #Trump has pee-pee-hair.
Back to the book (again).
Why Chernow chose to spend so many words on public school level history-telling is a bit of a mystery to me. The good news is, he’s a brilliant history teller/writer–which also comes out in his WHCD speech. The bad news is, Gore Vidal is just a better writer/thinker when it comes to this sort of thing. And get this, Chernow even takes a swipe at GV towards the end of his book. He says that Vidal was wrong in his narrative assumption2 that Burr wanted to duel Hamilton because the latter accused him of an incestuous affair with his daughter. Chernow insinuates that Vidal’s take on history is unprovable. The problem is, Chernow doesn’t convince me that he knows everything better than GV. Also, I thought it kind of a krappy thing to do since GV ain’t around to defend himself. And so. Yeah. I prefer–and believe–Vidal’s take on the reason for the great duel. At the least, GV’s version fits better to the mindset that is #Americant.
Chernow’s work is, from what little I can tell, more academic than, say, Gore Vidal’s. That said, Chernow constantly plays on the third-grade, knuckle dragging banalities of realpolitik wrapped in sexually repressed patriarchy run amok–and all because somewhere, somehow, someone thinks there’s almost something holy about Alexander Hamilton. Hence the title of this worst-post. Through out the book Chernow lingers between academia and, maybe, a museum–and, of course, lots of bitching and moaning between founding fathers who were, at best, lead poisoned to the hilt? (Just throwing that out there.) Then again, the more and more I read–and there is plenty of excess to read in this book–his text became more and more of pseudo soap opera than a book about history. Perhaps that’s the reason it is easily transferrable to the drama-queen stage of elitist Broadway. I worst-write pseudo soap opera, btw, because within the first two chapters it became clear that Chernow was playing The Drama card in telling his history of AH. Indeed. The conniving, the snickering, the love-fest of whose money is better or whose wig is fancier has certainly permeated #Americant ever since. Is that the history that need be learned?
Don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I’m not referring here to daytime TV soap opera krapp. You know, the emotion BS that has raised at least two generations of submissive wives? I mean. Come on. Times have changed, eh. For me, the modern old-rot .e.g. Days of Our Lives, Young and the Restless, etc., has been superseded by new-rot e.g. The Sopranos, Mad Men, GoT, and… Wait for it. Hamilton the fcuking musical. The banality of corporatism, war mongering and greed, greed, greed, is a perfect incubator, don’t you know, for where #Americant has taken itself. Or am I the only worst-writer that’s questioned how/why so many disgusting white men can become President Stupid. On the other hand, could Chernow have known that his bloated and somewhat superficial style of history telling, originally published in 2007, would turn into a pop culture broadway phenomenon playing on all the anti-intellectualism that is so well-fed in the year of your Lord, 2015? Again: we live in a world of reality-TV. Where does that come from?
This book is meticulously well researched and written. It has been worth the struggle to read. Would I read it again? Will I refer to it in the future? I don’t think so. I’m gonna stick with Gore Vidal. Also, I’m no longer hell-bent to see Hamilton on stage. The book was more than enough and from what I can tell via Wiki, I’m not sure the narrative of the play interests me either. I might watch the movie if/when it ever comes out (the sooner the better before I lose all interest) or watch it in pieces while focusing more on Mama Mia.
For those worst-readers interested, here a short-list of the things I will take with me from Chernow’s work.
Hamilton’s Caribbean upbringing and subsequent rise to fame is a fascinating rags to riches, almost Cinderella story, albeit a bit über-dramatised by the author
Federalist (Washington, Hamilton) vs. Republican (Adams, Jefferson) is two sides of the same coin fighting the fight that would eventually result in #Americant and greed, greed, greed that till this day is same as it ever was
how Hamilton was able to acquire so much knowledge before leaving the Caribbean for NY is interesting but surely not worth a pop-musical
perhaps AH’s personal situation is similar to Spock’s (that’s right, that Spock) and how he had to fight for having mixed parents (ok this one is full silly?)
very impressed with the relationship AH had with George Washington and I now have a better opinion of GW
although this book is supposed to be about AH, I found the Thomas Jefferson v. George Washington ideological fight to be as interesting
buy-the-by, Thomas Jefferson is now on my shit-list
AH’s work ethic, how much he wrote, it’s now motivated me to re-read The Federalist Papers
AH is portrayed as a humble man, also an abolitionist, but I don’t believe that he was in anyway… a good guy (for good guys don’t die the way he died!)
all the text about whether or not #Americant would be a monarchy or republic wasn’t very interesting because the author fails to focus on how it managed to turn money into its monarchy, and, for sure, its god/religion
I want to read more now about the French Revolution versus the #Americant revolution and also juxtapose both with the Russian revolution
duelling should be called out for what it is and not be legitimised as a means of conflict resolution let alone require almost a thousand fcuking pages to get to, for it is just another example of how stupid white men (if AH was even white) behave, even to this day
a great example of how to turn history into a soap-opera, perfect for a/the reality-TV mind