Blog

All blog posts by James A. Chambers — focused on technology, hardware, SBC / Microboards, programming, scripting, gaming, and others!

Wireless Alternative Using Ethernet Over Power – Black Magic?

Ethernet Over Power Wall Rack

Ethernet over powerline tech has existed for a while but traditionally has frankly sucked. It was slow and had issues with reliability.

After decades of improving standards and technology this has changed dramatically and now makes a very cheap and attractive alternative to wireless in many situations. The latest iteration gives a 1200 Mbps connection right over your existing power lines in your house and is designed to work in “noisy” power environments without interruption.

Raspberry Pi 4 USB Boot Config Guide for SSD / Flash Drives

Raspberry Pi 4 with Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD

The Raspberry Pi 4 is finally here and has a lot of exciting changes. One very major downside is that it doesn’t support true USB booting yet out of the box (like the 3 series did).
The Raspberry Pi foundation states that it is being worked on and will be added back with a future update. No timeline has been given yet for that to happen but they state it’s one of their top priorities.

Most of my projects heavily depend on having good performing storage so sitting and waiting was not an acceptable solution. In this guide I’ll show you a workaround to use USB devices as your rootfs device and use a Micro SD card as bootloader only which gives us full SSD performance after boot!

Early Bitcoin ASIC Miner Pictures / History / Analysis / Prices

Block Erupter ASIC setup

The most competitive Bitcoin mining operations today consist of entire warehouses of large ASIC miners usually located near sources of renewable energy or power plants selling off excess energy production for cheap. To get seriously involved in the Bitcoin mining space of today will require you to already be quite wealthy and to put up some *serious* cash.

But things were not always this way. I found a bunch of pictures in my photo library of my old mining rigs back from the dawn of Bitcoin ASIC mining and wanted to share them. Let’s go on a journey together back to the year of 2013 and explore what old school Bitcoin mining ASIC hardware looked like, how much it cost, and what we can learn from them today!

Join Mac OS X Mojave to Active Directory Using Built In Tools

Mac AD Join Successful

Joining a Mac to Active Directory has continued to get more and more difficult over the years. High Sierra and Mojave now require a Active Directory functional level of Windows Server 2008 or later and are still pretty tricky to get to join it.

When I started researching the topic I saw a whole lot of advice to install third party software to join a Mac to Active Directory. In most corporate environments installing third party software is frowned upon due to licensing and security considerations so I was determined to get the native Mac OS X tools to work.

This guide will walk you through the basic steps to join Active Directory without having to resort to using third party software.

Official Minecraft Bedrock Dedicated Server on Raspberry Pi*

Minecraft Bedrock Edition logo

One of the most requested features in my Raspberry Pi Minecraft server guide is support for the Bedrock edition of Minecraft. This is the edition that powers Minecraft on iOS / Android / Xbox / Nintendo Switch as well as the free Windows 10 edition.

There’s one big problem though. The official Minecraft Bedrock dedicated server is only compiled for Windows and Ubuntu X86_64. Without ARM support it seems impossible to run the Bedrock dedicated server on a Raspberry Pi. I couldn’t find a documented instance of anyone doing it anywhere.

So naturally today in this guide we are going to do the impossible. But right off the bat let me point out that there is an asterisk in my article title. Why you ask? That is because unlike my other guides this one will not yield you a well performing server. That is because we will be emulating a x86_64 processor on ARM. This is slow. VERY slow.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition – Ubuntu Dedicated Server Guide

Minecraft Bedrock Edition logo

Minecraft Bedrock Edition is the version of Minecraft that powers the iPhone / Android versions (formerly Minecraft Pocket Edition), the Xbox / PlayStation / Nintendo Switch editions and the free Windows 10 Minecraft edition.

Mojang has released a dedicated server which is considered to be in alpha testing. I have found it to be very stable and able to run on a wide variety of hardware.

This script and guide are written to help you get a robust Minecraft Bedrock dedicated server up and running in only a few minutes!

Raspberry Pi Storage Benchmarks 2019 + Benchmarking Script

Pi Benchmark 2019 Contenders

Storage options continue to advance at a very fast pace. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past couple of years with viable storage options for your Pi. Solid state drives are now so cheap that it can be cheaper to outfit your Pi with a SSD than buy a MicroSD card! MicroSD cards also continue to evolve with the new “Application Class” A1 and A2 certifications.

This year I wanted to do something more than just benchmark my ever-growing pile of MicroSD cards and solid state drives. Although I have a wide variety of storage to test I don’t have everything! So this time I created a benchmark that gives you a easy to compare score and anonymously submits the storage specifications and the results to this site.

Running the benchmark is a one-liner:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/TheRemote/PiBenchmarks/master/Storage.sh | sudo bash