First Amateur Activity: POTA Activation With 92 Contacts, 6 Hours

POTA, Parks On The Air, what is considered by many in the amateur space to be the gateway drug to either HF, amateur radio, or both. Probably no surprise, given that reputation, that the first actual time I’ve stepped up to a radio was, well, POTA. You don’t have to talk, you don’t have to spend too much time stressing out over everything, you just need to call and respond. Simple! And what did I get for the 6-ish hours I was out in a parking lot (with friends)? 92 contacts. One or two in Canada, and even one in Bulgaria!

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Let's Ham It up a Little

As if I didn’t need yet another hobby that assumes a relatively high amount of disposable income, as of July 17th, 2023 (ignore the date this goes out), I am now a licensed amateur radio operator. As of the 31st, I passed the element 4 exam,1 granting me the highest class of license available in the US: Amateur Extra. But, why? Well, why not?

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Narration for Posts, for You!

If you’ve clicked on this post itself, you’ll notice there’s a sound file at the top. That’s because if you click it, or hit the P key, you’ll hear… me, reading this! I’m working on adding this to old posts one by one, so you might see that popping up eventually. But, partially for accessibility, and partially just to make these sort of ramblings easier to take in while only half paying attention or just doing something else entirely, I’m putting audio narration on every post here that I can.

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Fail2Ban Behind a Reverse Proxy: The Almost-Correct Way

Fail2Ban is a wonderful tool for managing failed authentication or usage attempts for anything public facing. However, by default, it’s not without it’s drawbacks: Fail2Ban uses iptables to manage it’s bans, inserting a --reject-with icmp-port-unreachable rule for each banned host. The thing with this is that I use a fairly large amount of reverse-proxying on this network to handle things like TLS termination and just general upper-layer routing. Since it’s the proxy that’s accepting the client connections, the actual server host, even if its logging system understands what’s happening (say, with PROXY protocol) and logs the real client’s IP address, even if Fail2Ban puts that IP into the iptables rules, since that’s not the connecting IP, it means nothing. What I really need is some way for Fail2Ban to manage it’s ban list, effectively, remotely. Luckily, it’s not that hard to change it to do something like that, with a little fiddling.

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AbuseIPDB Checking With Postfix

Updated Dec 31, 2021

So if you’ve not heard, there’s this website called AbuseIPDB, which, no affiliation, is a website where webmasters can submit reports of abusive IP addresses, and then query those reports, either manually, or using their REST API. And this is how I did exactly that, to help cut down some of the spam on my email server. Let’s get started.

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I’ve finally done it: I’ve changed comment providers from Disqus over to a self-hosted Commento instance. Everything should have been imported, though profile images were likely lost.

You need an account (of course), I’m working on integrations with most identity providers (Twitter, Google, GitHub…) that I can manage, so sit tight.

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A Professional Amateur Develops Color Film

Oh don’t worry, there’ll be more detail on this one soon. But as I’m still (slowly) working through stuff to write, enjoy me remembering that I have PeerTube integration, but more importantly, enjoy me panicking as I don’t know what I’m doing with this.

IPv6 Is a Total Nightmare — This is Why

New and improved!

So this is just going to be a total rant. IPv6 is, in theory, a solution to many things, including the dwindling IPv4 address space. IPv6 was officially a draft in 1997, and became a real Internet Standard in 2017. And, quite frankly, it’s one of those things that, in my opinion, just adds too much hassle for not enough benefit.

Take 2 this time. More facts. Clarified points, same worthless opinions.

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What Exactly Is Federation, Anyways?

Federation, the driving name behind decentralized and self-hosted software. But what is ‘federation,’ really? Well, there’s the really complex answer, and the simple answer. The simple answer is that federation is when multiple unrelated instances of a piece of software are capable of communicating and sharing between one another. The long answer, well, if you want to see that, then…

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