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January 6, 2021 — A day which will live forever in infamy

2020 sucked. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me on that. But, 2021 has exceeded my worst expectations so far. We are just into the new year and it is already been the worst week of our collective lives barring 9/11.

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There are many things I never even knew I wanted, many of which are not all that expensive either (some are below $10). I decided to create a list of all these items for people who may have similar needs, but did not know that a product existed to solve that need.

I have used 99% of these things. For the 1% which have not arrived yet, I did too much research to try and get the best one I could.

  • #1 on my list, a life saver to organize cables!
  • #2 on my list, the most useful thing you never knew you needed!! …

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Today I managed to save a lot of money because I was able to move my “Tank” laptop back to the basement because my thin laptop got fast again after a battery replacement as mentioned here:

So, I gleefully cancelled the QNAP switch + Thunderbolt 3 ethernet adapter which costs a lot!

I moved the laptop to the basement and now I have it connected to my main switch with 4 gigabit network interfaces — (1) regular internet (2) direct USB 3.0 and (3) 2 USB Ethernet adapters via a USB 3.0 bridge.

Then I enabled network teaming in Windows 10 to bond all the network adapters together into a single…

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My Precision 5510 Dell laptop has a Xeon CPU, 32 GB RAM & 1 TB nVME SSD. I got it refurbished from Dell a few years ago and it has been super fast till the last few months (I would say maybe about 3 months after COVID-19 hit).

Nothing I did solved the problem. And it got progressively worse over time. As luck would have it, this had to happen on the year after I decided not to extend the warranty.

I ended up running the boot up diagnostics where it told me the battery has gone bad and needed replacement. I decided to do this, but was pretty sure this won’t make the laptop faster as it was slow even when plugged in. …

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Today I had to go through a nightmarish time to enable LAG between two ports on my Unifi 24 pro switch and the Unifi Aggregation 8 port SFP+ switch. We lost internet for 30 minutes as everything is connected through the switch, so I decided to write this article to help the hapless person who tries it at home.

The is my setup:

UDM Pro > Aggregation Switch > 24 port switch

I was initially connecting the router directly to the switch while waiting for the cables to arrive.

Once they came today, I disconnected this cable and connected the two switches together via two SFP+ ports. …

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I have written several articles about home networking so far:

I have come to the realization that this is not enough to really help someone who knows their network has issues, but is not sure what to do next.

  • What do you get — a faster connection or better network hardware?
  • What will make the most difference? — a router or a switch?

For me, some of these decisions were easy because I had to get a router which could support Xfinity Gigabit Pro which needed dual WAN with an SFP+ port as well.

  • There was basically one vendor widely known who had a hardware solution at reasonable cost. …

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Nest/ Google Wifi is a great solution for people who just want something simple and easy to setup and to use. I recommend it as a great solution compared to other vendors like Netgear. One reason is because big software companies like Google and Facebook (I don’t like them either) tend to create software which has fewer bugs and works relatively well because of good QA. From a UI perspective, you can always expect a better, simpler and more intuitive experience from them (even though your privacy is probably screwed).

Even so, these Wifi puck devices (no matter which vendor you use) do not scale well if you live in a home with many smart devices. Let us take as an example for a typical “not too smart” family which has purchased smart devices over the past few…

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Now that I had already installed gigabit pro and generated the first bill, it was time to finally migrate from Verizon to Xfinity Mobile because:

  • No matter how good it works, Verizon always sucked in my town and in my house.
  • Horrible call quality, dropped calls, never received calls.
  • I am using Verizon over WiFi because of this. So, then why not just use Xfinity which provides the internet anyway?
  • We don’t go out much now, so our actual data usage is very, very miniscule, but our bill is still too much and does not let us share below 5gb for everyone. …

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So you already know the background of my story, which is split across many previous articles:

  • The Network Topology I had before Xfinity Gigabit Pro and which I retained even after it.

The current hardware I have:

And the decision to stay on Gigabit:

At this time, I have some equipment on the way to me for getting 2gbps to my workstation which is the only PC which needs more than gigabit up and down. In the basement:

  • The module to connect to the Aggregation Switch
  • The Aggregation switch which can do 10gbps on all 8 ports and can also work as a managed…

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The Miro Humidifier

I have no choice but to use a humidifier at home because I come from a place which was super tropical in climate (95 degree fahrenheit in December). When everything is that humid, your body gets used to being around a minimum amount of humidity.

I used to wake up every morning with an extremely dry throat and nose. So, we have been forced to use every kind of humidifier over the years.

The biggest problem we have had is that they need to be cleaned atleast once a week, and they are all unilaterally hard to clean and get super yucky, and even if you try to do it, it is hard to clean some of those corners. …



“If you see something that’s not right, not fair, not just, do something about it. Say something. Do something.” — Rep. John Lewis

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