Hddherman's blog

My latest post is about my experience with the ASRock DeskMini X300, a super small PC that can do a lot, if you configure it right.

Wendell has also played around with this kit, in case you missed it.

Neat stuff, it’ll be fun to look through this later. I always appreciate people that document stuff they do.

I’m with you on old thinkpads. I’m still rocking a W520 that was my main computer for a long time. Things I’ve done so far:

  • First thing I did was replace the awful fucking thermal paste. Idle temps went from ~65C to 41C, and load went from jumping to 90C+ immediately to mid 80C’s
  • I’ve resoldered the power connector, and repaired or replaced a few cords.
  • Replaced the screen to 1080p, twice. I ruined the first upgrade after a thrip got between the layers and I reflexively pushed on it. Should have let it die and dry out and used sucked cups to make it drop down…
  • Replaced the fan with a better model.
  • Replace the keyboard a few times from wear, and many more times the nubs.
  • Removed whitelist and upgraded the wifi
  • Added a cutting edge 74GB mSATA drive for boot, and an old Evo for storage.
  • Added 16GB of ram

Thus far there’s simply not been a compelling reason to upgrade, and I’ve been the opposite of impressed by the newer units Lenovo has put out.

Like you, I’d need 2x nvme for error correction and actual goddamn cooling, among many other things.


Not the most detailed overview, but might be handy for someone who is planning on getting this board for VFIO and/or bifurcation purposes. It’s fine, but due to some latency-related issues that I gave up on, I just made it a basic gaming PC that finds a lot of use with a VR headset recently.

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One of my previous posts got some traction and ended up on the front page of HackerNews, and due to sheer amount of dumb luck I had (plus some design choices), I seem to have survived it.

The logical next step was to look at the logs and talk about how the blog itself is built.

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For a static site, seems like it would be better anyway to generate the formatting on page generation, rather than after the fact with javascript.

Nice writeup!


Not against all the fabulous setups that have been shared here and over at /r/homelab and /r/datahoarder, but it might be a good time to reflect on the data that you hoard and if you actually care about it.

I wrote down my thoughts on this and how I try to deal with this digital disease, and I hope that it helps others evaluate their setups as well.

Wrote about my experience with an UPS that I happened to get for free.

tl;dr: it’s nice, but it uses more power on its own compared to my server idling, which is not ideal.

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I’ve run btrfs for a while in various configurations, but always felt like setting up the configuration for automatic snapshots was a hassle. snapper isn’t the best tool out there (doesn’t handle some failure scenarios all that well), but it does its job fairly well.

Do you remote backup your snapshots? I built a btrfs send | zstd | rclone cat workflow (bit more complicated, but that’s the gist) for one of my systems that’s triggered by systemd after snapper finishes, and I’m wondering what other folks do.

Personally i don’t, I’ve relied on restic to get the job done so that I can have an encrypted backup of all the files on my server. it is a bit resource intensive though, the initial scans and index building takes up quite a lot of time when you have a couple of terabytes of data.

Interesting point though, i’ll have to think about it and see if I want to do something similar with my setup at some point!

Something I’ve encountered “in the field”. It’s a simple fix, but perhaps not something you’d think of when taking over a setup that someone else had configured years ago.

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If anyone has done more testing on VR and AMD APU-s, especially the recently released Ryzen 6000 series APU-s, then please do share your experience with them!

Wrote this one mainly to inspire people who might not have the resources for fancier server setups, but who have access to a cheap used laptop that they can use as a starting point to their homelab/self-hosting adventure.

udev rules saved the day (and my sanity) when trying to rely on the Intel Bluetooth adapter instead of the stock Broadcom one.

Not a big fan of Bluetooth :confused:

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I really appreciate that we have such a tool. In some ways it feels like the sanoid and syncoid of btrfs.

With electricity being as pricy as it is, I looked at alternatives to my power-hungry APC UPS. This is what was recommended to me, so I gave it a go. Hasn’t burned my home down so far.

If there’s anyone here who has faced similar issues before, then I’d be more than glad to hear about how you resolved it! Here’s my take on it.

Might be interesting for those who use this PC as a small, efficient home server.

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Software is as complex as you make it.