Raspberry Pi and related Stuff

Not an issue with TOR, everyone’s bandwidth is shared. Things only become bandwidth constrained on exit nodes back out to the normal internet, those can be slow at times but that’s not the main point of using TOR. ^.^

Wha? What software’s that?!

I’ve never even heard of lightworks… ^.^;
I prefer Kdenlive, which yes though it’s windows builds are ‘beta’, still exist, could give an option. ^.^

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Well, I’m gonna order shit tomorrow, so any suggestion what to add to this list to play around with?

Note, that I might swap the HDDs with QLC or TLC SSDs for storage, maybe I find a more fun Storage Solution, but definitely not a premade NAS.

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So, I got most of the Stuff ordered, ofcourse I made some changes while looking up things.

I might even end up using the PoE HAT for the Pi NAS with the Network Switch I got.

Went for a 1TB Samsung QVO for SSD, because it was a cheap way to get Storage, worst case I backup Data to the 1TB Hard Drive I still have anyways, so even if Data Loss due to the new QLC Tech happens, it’s not that bad, especially since its just a bunch of random downloaded already watched Videos that accumulated over the last couple years, mostly Music, Tutorials and Sciency Stuffs that I tend to look up rarely.

This should be basically everything I buy for this year, unless some crucial thing needs to be acquired or replaced. ^^

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So Stuff arrived yesterday, one reason I am a bit slow on updating GT6 this week again. XD

I have set up lots of Stuff, notably the Network-Switch and 2 USB Hubs for which I needed to re-organize my Surge Protected 8 Slot Power Strip, which now has 2 Monitors, 2 Powered USB Hubs, 1 Network Switch, 1 Network Gateway, 1 Computer and the Speakers (I wish those could be USB powered but still connected with a normal audio jack). The Laptop Charger and the Power Extension Cord to the top of my Desk had to go to another Power Strip for that.

I also managed to blow a Fuse, not because of all the electric Stuff I connected, but because of the Lightbulb I swapped a week ago, which “exploded”, not in a glass shattery way, but in a “pew” with a flash of Light kinda way, when I flicked the Switch a couple hours ago. Fun Stuff.

Having USB Hubs with ON/OFF Switches on each individual USB Slot is far more useful than I originally thought. I wanted to use them to power the Pis originally (and I’m gonna use them for that too), but they can also be used for external backup hard drives that dont need to run nonstop.

The official Pi Mouse and Keyboard are actually quite decent for being what they are. Especially the USB Hub on the Keyboard is useful for the Mouse and for saving USB Slots on the Pi. The Keyboard Keys definitely have more give than anything that looks similar to them, so as a Mechanical Keyboard User I was positively surprised about it, still not as good as a Mechanical Keyboard but not bad either!

Of all the things I got, only ONE and I seriously mean only ONE of them had a manual included that actually had a USEFUL entry in it. You wanna guess what it was? Surely it must have been the Cisco Network Switch or anything related to the Pi, maybe that complicated Thermal Printer I decided to still get. Nah none of those had proper Manuals or even assembly instructions, you know what had? The USB 3.0 A to SATA Adapter that I got for the new SSD. You wanna know what it said?: “Brand New Drives may not be visible to your Computer until you initialize and format them.” Yep that one thing was the only useful thing, and I already knew about that.

One word of caution, dont get 0.25m Ethernet Cables, because unless the devices are literally touching each other the Cable will be too short! That’s what I get for trying to use wires of appropriate length. XD
Don’t worry I only got two of those short ones, I will definitely find use for them with the Pis (And I also got multiple different lengths).

Another thing of note is that all the Cooling Fins that the Pis can come with are slightly too tall for any of the Pi HATs to properly fit ontop of, so they are mostly unusable. For the PoE HAT it doesn’t matter because it has a built in Fan, but for others it does, such as the SENSE HAT (which I also got). It’s a bit sad that you can only have one HAT per Pi at a time, since most of them use all GPIO Pins.

I managed to successfully VNC into one of the Pis too, and even though the Mouse visually lagged a little, it was actually working as instant as it should.

Okay I don’t wanna write anymore right now because of typing fatigue, so I will continue with this Post later. XD

You can still ask questions as always. ^^

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Yeah I think those smaller 0.25m cables are really for patch panels when working on switches. :laughing:

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I slightly doubt if I should still use ZFS on my NAS Pi after reading how Stuff actually works with ZFS. At least I got rid of the Default-“Pi” User on the Pi 4B, considering how much of a security risk that would be.

On the Pi3B+ I found out that you should apparently never just dump files on the root of the Filesystem of external Drives, instead make Subfolders which have the right permissions, while the root of the Drive is owned by root only. Never used an ext4 formatted external Drive so far so I did not know that yet.

Making Symlinks on the Pi is quite a hassle though, i seriously need to ln -s that shit on Commandline.

And editing the config.txt in the boot directory is a hassle too, i can’t use the “Save As” Dialogue in Kate to save the File with sudo permissions, because it somehow doesn’t thing that my “greg” User has sudo even though he definitely does have it, and therefore prompts me to enter the password for the “root” User with a dropdown that usually contains all Users as options, but thanks to me removing the “pi” User it doesn’t show shit but “root” anymore. So I have to sudo nano that File.

Also 70°C is a very reasonable setting for the Fan on the PoE HAT on a Pi 4B to spin on, as opposed to the default 60°C, that way the Fan stays silent while the Pi is idle and doesn’t do anything.

Tried out some of the Software that is on the Pis too, it actually has a somewhat decent Music Editing Program, if you look aside that its UI doesn’t adhere to any standards at all, Sonic Pi is actually good for learning.

So far the Pis are still fun to play around with. ^^

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So I finally finished putting my Backups on the 3 Drives that I have, and managing all the corresponding Backup Locations with an rsync script. Decided against ZFS due to not using more than one drive each and its really only useful for RAID.

here is what I did on my Pi 4B:

  • Set up the 1TB QLC SSD with ext4 using mkfs.
  • Add a Directory to that Drive with sudo mkdir and sudo chown, and then just opening the properties of that directory to set Permissions, since I am the owner now and I didnt memorize the Bitmask for rwx yet properly. Why did I add that directory and dont just dump into the root Filesystem? Because ext4 does not like normal non-root Users doing that, and that is the proper way to handle Drives as a normal User.
  • Then I have set up Samba for better Drive access on the Pi. Took a while to get it to work and especially to not let it leak the fucking Home Directory with its default Settings.
  • Ofcourse I had to setup the other Client Side of the Samba Share too, otherwise I couldn’t access it. Luckily thanks to using VNC to get into the Pi, I already have a static local IP address set up for it, making it way easier.
  • But I noticed that I cant access it with Scripts, so I had to find a way to actually mount the thing with cifs, and that went all nice and well, but I did notice that now my network monitor was “freaking out”, while the drive was idle, and I do not like useless Network activity so ofcourse I had to set it up so that my backup script does sudo mount, rsync, sudo umount and I had to make it so it actually prompts me for said required Passwords, replacing sudo with kdesudo or lxqt-sudo does help for that case.
  • So I finally got the backup script working, but I seriously needed to reorganize the Stuff on my 1TB HDD, so I moved a shitload of Files from that HDD to the SSD overnight (yeah it took even longer than that btw)
  • Once everything on the HDD was moved, backed up or discarded, I reformatted that one from NTFS to ext4, and made a Folder identical to the one on the SSD. As you can guess that Drive is gonna be used to backup the contents of the SSD, since both have pretty much the same Size. And with rsync I very much noticed that Write Cache is definitely a thing on that HDD.
  • This was another 20 hour run of a Script to back shit up, but luckily everything was done by the Pi itself, so I wasn’t distracted by that one. And maybe also because I already did the reorganizing the first time and didn’t have to do that again.
  • But I was glad I could reboot my actual Computer, because I had to change the /etc/fstab File to fix a big giant mistake I made when I installed Kubuntu last year, aka removing the two external Drives I entered into it (and I even mounted them directly in my root Directory, which caused a lot of lag sometimes). I dont know if there is a refresh fstab command or something that @OvermindDL1 would be suggesting instead of a reboot, but rebooting is fucking easier.
  • Now to the 250MB SSD (which is that other drive from the fstab) was next. Made sure I knew what Data I backed up on it, so I could replicate a proper Backup Script, and then I formatted it with ext4 aswell, along with LUKS Encryption to make it an actually safe Backup for more important Data (unlike the Music and Videos stored on the 1TB Drives).
  • That 250MB Drive was unrelated to the Pi though, but I did test it on my GPD-WIN-2 just to make sure the whole password protection of the encrypted Drive actually works, which it “does”. Even though whoever made the Error Messages fucked up a lot. Inserting a wrong Password leads to “failed to mount”, while Inserting the right Password leads to “you are not authorized to mount this” followed by definitely having already mounted the Drive just fine and me being able to access it.

Lots of Stuff I got done, and I might even would have been more (such as GT6), if the regulars didn’t want to talk to me on IRC all the time recently.

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Yep. ^.^
Lol. 

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I assume you are planning on the two drives to mirror them in case of failure? It looks like a pair of 16 TB drives will cost about $700. 4 TB WD Blue drives are only $90, so you could get 5 of those and put them in a raid 5 to have 16 TB of usable space for only $450.

I’ve had 3 1 TB blues in a mixed raid5 and raid10 setup for several years now since my OCZ SSD started randomly swapping blocks around, and have been quite happy with it.

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Well I already have the 1TB SSD backing up its content when needed to the 1TB WD Blue that i happen to have from way early days. It’s not RAID because the Pi bottlenecks the speed, and since its Videos and Music its also not constantly changing Data.

And both Drives are a Backup. ^^

Also now your Username makes more sense to me but it also makes LESS sense to me at the same time! Which one of the two is your first name and which your family/last name? XD

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First name is Phillip, just like it’s displayed. When I grew up in the '90s the standard in the US for usernames was first initial + last name. It was really funny when my high school computer teacher thought the account “backusm” was a backdoor account someone created, but the guy’s name was Matt Backus.

If you are storing a large media library you might want to look at… I think it was called unraid? You just store files on multiple drives normally, then run a program to compute the parity. If a drive fails, you can run the program to use the parity to reconstitute the missing files, but normal access only uses the one drive the file is on like normal. It’s nice for media libraries that are mostly read-only and where you may want to keep most of the drives in sleep mode and only wake up the one you need to spool your video from, and don’t need the extra performance from striping the data across multiple drives. I’ve never used it but it seems kind of neat.

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RAID 6 is better for that, it also has parity restore and no need for special program support.

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Seems like something nice is coming up on the Pi front. :smiley:



And most importantly, the thing I would like to get, because it is awesome:

Now a normal person should never get this as a Desktop, for that I would rather recommend the official Compute Module 4 IO Board. But the Turing Pi 2 can be quite useful for my plans. I can run one CM4 as Desktop, while running another as Network/Firewall/Download Manager, and still have 2 CM4s left afterwards which I can use for Test hosting Mechaenetia Game Servers (one of which I would have perpetually running in the background for long time NPC AI experiments). All of which are in one decent ARM based Computer Cluster.

I am also pretty sure that the CM4 when overclocked correctly should be slightly faster than my current Computer, but we will see about that, because Intel x86 might still be faster than ARM in this regard. ^^

Other Stuff

Yes I have not been active much this year, especially not this month… I either got distracted by Games, GT6, binge watching Series I started watching over a decade ago (so I am finally done with them), or suffering from the seasonal Temperature shifts and sleep-deprivation-causing Migraines…

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And they follow up with this thing!


Though I do have to say that some parts of it irk me a little, like being locked to 4GB RAM or that it doesn’t make use of the Compute Module 4 in order to make it upgradable, or that the USB3 Chip is not connected to the absurdly large internal Heatsink (which makes USB3 SSDs hard to use), or that it doesn’t have a Numpad.

The new Ethernet Chip they use in it actually supports PoE but the Pi 400 itself sadly does not.

Also the naming is gonna be awkward in a couple hundred years when they release an actual Pi 400 XD

I personally would rather get a different designed Keyboard Pi than this thing, but I do see the appeal to people who need an easy to acquire 70$ Computer. ^^

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We’ve gone full circle

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Yeah one of the Pi Creators said he wanted to add a rainbow stripe to the Keyboard XD

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So I finally decided to install Pi-Hole on my PoE-HAT-Pi-4B-4GB, and it is damn good at blocking not only Ads, but also a bunch of random Websites, like the ones certain Modders use for checking/announcing Updates. Also found out that the old official Minecraft Launcher connects to tumblr for some weird fucking reason. Pi-Hole also doesn’t eat much performance, and is easily Browser accessible from any other Computer in the Network.

I originally used the Pi as a Backup NAS, but that made some problems, because the USB 3 Chip tends to overheat and disconnect the Drives, and the PoE HAT Fan doesn’t react to the USB Chips Temperatures, and even if it did, I hate Fan noise so that isn’t an option either.
Luckily this was just a proof of concept, so I know that I can do it if I wanted to, not like i have a ton of USB Hubs to connect the Drives to if needed.

I managed to install KDE Plasma Desktop to the Pi too, while also ripping out all the unnecessary junk that was preinstalled with Rasbian/Raspberry-Pi-OS.
I am surprised just how much junk was installed there. GTK Desktop, QT Desktop and OpenBox Desktop, along with Chromium Browser and 3 other random ass Browsers that aren’t Firefox.

Apparently the “sudo” Group is also not listed as being an admin authority, while the “pi” User specifically was. And that with the default Pi Repository, so that once you replace the “pi” User like the security conscious person you are, it is resulting in an annoying Issue when you get an UI prompt for your sudo password and you can only select the User “root”, to enter your password for (and not your own User), which ofcourse doesn’t have a password, because only idiots have a permanent password on the “root” User.
But I finally got that fixed, so I can use a Text Editor that isn’t fucking nano to edit the boot config of the Pi.

I also decided to put that tiny Intenso USB Stick, that is smaller than a Wireless Mouse Dongle, into the Pi-Keyboard-USB-Hub, so I can access Scripts and other Stuff on the Pi’s easier without having to bother with Network Setup when messing with random Pi’s.

This is about all the Pi Adventures I had the last three days. Always nice to sort out things, and monitoring even more of those stupid Background Applications phoning home.

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That’s what I use my pi for, though I find it doesn’t block nearly enough by its own and I have to run with browser blocking extensions too. What lists do you use?

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Pretty much all the ones on this website that are marked green. XD

By the way “location.services.mozilla.com” is the top blocked thing on my Pi-Hole. It is one thing to have it try guess my location, but a whole other thing to spam that request more often than everything else, especially if it does not even work for the way my Internet connects. (I sure as heck am not in any large City like Berlin, Frankfurt or München)

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I should also mention that there is this thing called “Font CDNs” that can severely slow down certain Websites such as Youtube. That is why I am blocking stuff like “fonts.gstatic.com” and “fonts.googleapis.com” for example, because unlike common sense, these Fonts dont fucking get cached, and in case of Youtube, they dont even use Fonts to render emojis and Stuff so that is quite useless too.

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