VLAN Insanity

I’ve been pulling my hair out running pfSense as a guest in a Hyper-V environment, I think I’m finally to the point where I can get it going but I had to share this nugget:

Get-VMNetworkAdapter -VMName "VMNAMEHERE" | Where-Object -Property MacAddress -eq "MACADDRESSHERE" | Rename-VMNetworkAdapter -NewName "NEWNAMEHERE"

For my set up I need to trunk VLANs 1 and 10 for my access and IoT stuff, and VLAN 2 on my WAN side because my ISP demands the traffic to be tagged with VLAN 2 for some reason. It turns out this can’t be done from the Hyper-V Manager GUI and can only be done with Powershell but any other attempt to rename the virtual adapter leads to all of them being renamed.

M73 Router Update

All of the parts have arrived, been installed and it’s working (after I broke it updating the BIOS and somehow recovering from that mishap), I am yet to configure it beyond installing Window Hyper-V Server 2019.

The fans were a cinch, they’re just typical PWM fans but it’s curious the motherboard has four PWM fan headers (CPU, System and 2x Aux.) – maybe they used the same board for the tower version of the M73 because I promise I couldn’t find a place to mount another fan. The CPU arrived very well packaged by the eBay seller so I’m grateful.

Leo the Lost Cat

This happened on Thursday. I was bringing the empty wheelie bins in from the nature strip and focusing on the job at hand lest I get them caught on a yucca plant causing them to twist and contort more than a two wheeled bin should be able to. My daughter excited to greet me kicked opened the garage door to wave to me, I waved back in earnest but unbeknownst to both of us our small white cat/kitten (catton?) Leo saw an opportunity and snuck past, ducking in and out of the parked cars with his humans none-the-wiser.

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Upgrading my Router

My current router is a 2011 Mac Mini, the built in interface is plugged into the WAN and a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter is connected to my core switch. The whole setup is running on a bare metal pfSense instance, and it’s been working well but I wanted to virtualise things and have an upgrade path. Plus I wanted a project.

A couple of years ago I picked up a Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 SFF for $65aud which I used for about a year as my main workstation at work. The specs are a modest i3 4150 with 4GB of RAM and no discreet GPU. This would already be a step up from the Mac but I’ve ordered some extra parts that I want to install before putting it into production:

More Chinese Toys

There’s something magical about the toys you can find at the “Chinese shop” – those shops which sell completely unlicensed or nonsensical items that no one asked for. Here’re some of my latest finds and please excuse the dreadful quality, I took these photos with a potato.

There’s nothing wrong with a sports watch but why is this one being sold in a test tube? Does this pose a risk to health or need to contain remain seeped in oxygen from Guangdong province?
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VLANs with a HP Switch

With some experience in VLANs from “Ciscoland” (Cisco switches) from work, when it came time to set up my own home with an isolated IoT VLAN for IP cameras I was utterly mystified as I’m using HP gear (2910al series) – for something which is an industry standard the implementation of VLANS couldn’t be more different between the two (I’ve read the HP way is the better way). It didn’t click until I read literally hundreds of articles, blogs, forum posts and documentation so I wanted to put it out there from my perspective. I won’t discuss how I configured pfSense except to note I started by creating the VLAN, giving it a DHCP server, setting explicit rules to keep the traffic away from the LAN and WAN networks and had it run through the same cable as the default VLAN (normal traffic).

Klaus’ First Day on the Job

This German forklift training video starts off as you’d expect as we follow Klaus graduating from forklift training and his first day on the job. Everything gets out of control very quickly, this is a hilarious video with subtitles but warning it’s very gory (in an 80s b horror type of way).

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Test New SD Cards/USBs

I just received a 128GB MicroSD card off Amazon, as I type this I’m verifying that it is what it claims to be, an actual 128GB of thumbnail-sized storage. The sad reality is you can trust no vendor regardless of how reputable, brick and mortar or online, because anywhere in the supply chain counterfeits could crop up. The fakes typically have a smaller amount of storage than listed and falsely display the desired size to your computer or device, but in reality once the volume is full your data gets overwritten and is unrecoverable. To build trust I’m using H2testw:

H2testw is a small (less than 500kb!) free and handy portable app which you point at a target and it will write to every part of it, then read it back to verify the integrity. Check it out at The Portable Freeware Collection.