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Hello AWS – LightSail

I have recently moved from EC2 to LightSail! For $5 a month, you cannot beat the hosting backed by the AWS platform! For anyone who is thinking of a new WordPress host, do not think twice, LightSail is for you!

Enabling HTTPS using LetsEncrypt was a bit tricky, but found the following article that was exactly the step by step needed to make everything work!

How To Enable Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate on AWS LightSail Server

Happy Hosting!

If you ignore your server for long enough, you are going to have a bad time!

It has been quite some time since I have posted.  Life has been very busy and my ignorance with maintenance or updates on the server has finally bit me.  It looks like my entire site was overtaken by some malicious php files placed in my uploads directory.  Some basic forensics has shows that files were running a bunch of base_64 decoded functions that were generating traffic to some strange sites, probably for ad revenue generation.  In any case, I had to blast my install and restore backups.  Note to self…ensure you lock down your /wp-content/uploads/ and /wp-includes/ directories with a .htaccess file and included the following:

<Files *.php>
    deny from all


KZ ATE Headphones – One of the best in ear monitors for under $13!

A friend of mine recently told me about an in ear headphone which costs $13.00 on Amazon, the KZ ATE IEM.  Being very into audio quality (pseudo audiophile), I was a huge sceptic.  After using  them for only a few days, I am completely blown away.  I can confirm, these are the best headphones you can purchase that will easily out perform other high quality popular brands that you know and love.  Do not hesitate, try them for yourself.

Painting IKEA Furniture

We recently purchased a few dressers from IKEA furniture, but unfortunately they did not carry any grey colors by default.  We figured it would be a fun project to paint the colors they did have, specifically “White Stain”.   We purchased the White Stain version thinking that with the exposed wood, paint would stick easily without any primer.  After painting all four pieces and letting the paint dry for 24 hours, I returned to find that the paint would peel off with the touch of a fingernail!  Ugh….this was a major mistake…

After scraping all of the paint off of the furniture painstakingly by hand, it was off to Amazon to find a primer that would fix this mess.  I found the following and it worked great:

After letting the primer dry for 24 hours, I tested another patch of the grey paint, and it stuck like magic!

Lesson learned, always test a section of paint before completing the entire piece, let alone four!

CloudAtCost – You are dead to me

After a few years of trying to host this simple site with the provider CloudAtCost, I have come to realize that their service is completely unstable and that they have ZERO customer service.  I have filed numerous tickets without a single answer and it has been well over two weeks.  I even tried to tweet them for a response….nothing.  Goodbye CloudAtCost, I hope you close your doors very soon.

Monoprice Mini3D Printer


I will start out by saying, the MonoPrice Mini3D printer is amazing and for $200 you cannot go wrong!

Don’t forget to order your filament:

After you unbox and set it up, the next thing you need to do is install Cura.  Cura is a program that “slices” 3D models into parts the printer can understand.  I recommend Cura 15.04 (not the latest 2.x as it still is missing features and has bugs).

Cura Download:

After you install the software, open the program and ensure you setup the machine (choose Ultimaker in the wizard and then customize it) with the following settings.  Pay attention to the size of the printer area which is 120X120.  This is necessary to ensure the machine does not think it can move further that it actually can (this will cause damage to your printer).

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.53.30 PM

Next, download a 3D model from one of the following sites:

Open Cura and load the model.  Set your settings to the following:

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.43.49 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-14 at 9.44.00 PM

Use the following code for start/end-gcode:


M190 S55 ;Uncomment to add your own bed temperature line (55 deg. C for the plate)
M109 S230 ;Uncomment to add your own temperature line (230 deg. C for the extruder)

G21 ;metric values
G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off
G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops
G1 Z15.0 F6000 ;move the platform down 15mm
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
G1 F200 E3 ;extrude 3mm of feed stock
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length again
G1 F6000
;Fix the temp flux
M301 P20 I0.02 D250
;Put printing message on LCD screen
M117 Printing…


M104 S0 ;extruder off
M140 S0 ;heated bed heater off (if you have it)
M106 T45 ;fan to turn off when at 45deg C
G91 ;relative positioning
G1 E-1 F300 ;retract the filament a bit before lifting the nozzle, to release some of the pressure
G1 Z+0.5 E-5 X-20 Y-20 F6000 ;move Z up a bit and retract filament even more
G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops, so the head is out of the way
M84 ;steppers off
G90 ;absolute positioning

To learn more about these codes check out this link:

Once complete, you can either print directly to the SD card (by saving the GCode to the SD card), or directly to the printer via USB. (I suggest to the SD card and then you do not need to keep you computer next to the printer the entire print).

Congrats!  You should now have a great 3D model.  🙂

Tweak sites:

Modding The Monoprice MP Mini Printer


If you want to create your own 3D models check out the following:


Happy Printing!

Amazon Echo – Manners Mode


After having my Amazon Echo / Alexa for almost a full year now, I must say that I absolutely love it!  It is used every day in our home.  One feature that it is missing is a “manners mode”.  I can envision this feature to work with a simple use case; you must say please at the end of every command that you ask the device.

This teaches both children and adults to more polite and respectful.  I also want to be in the good graces of these machines if the singularity ever comes to  fruition!  🙂

$9.00 Next Thing getchip Logitech Media Server


I must say for $9.00 it could be the best LMS for the price

Setup could not have been easier.  First unbox the device and connect it to a TV to setup the wireless and get the IP.

Next, SSH into the device to install everything else via command line:

ssh root@chip

Password:  chip

If you use a NAS or other network storage, you will need to enable the ability to mount remote shares.  You have to use a special kernel as by default you cannot do this with the default loaded software.  Luckily a user over on the next thing community board has already compiled a new kernel that includes everything you need.

Run the following:

cd /tmp
cd /
sudo tar zxf /tmp/chiplinux4.3.0rd235+.tgz
sudo cp /boot/vmlinuz-4.3.0rd235+ /boot/zImage


apt-get update

apt-get install cifs-utils



After the reboot lets test out that we can mount a network share:

sudo mkdir /storage

nano /etc/fstab

Scroll down to the first blank line and enter the follow (replacing your server and file path) and save and exit:

//<serverip>/<file path> /storage cifs username=guest,password=

Now lets test things out:

Mount -a

At this point you can try to browse to your files with the following:

cd /storage

If all is well there is one last step, installing LogitechMediaServer!

Install LMS:

See the latest version from this site:

Now install the version from the URL above:
cd /tmp
wget “”

dpkg -i logitechmediaserver_7.9.0~1455784650_all.deb

After the installation is complete you can visit LMS in a browser via the following URL:


Happy Listening!

Logitech Media Server (LMS) with Chromecast Audio


I have recently started to look into the Google Chromecast Audio and the ability to use the device with LMS.  Luckily, a user over on the slimdevices forum has solved this problem.  Check out CastBridge as seen here:

As of now, multiroom sync is not working (this is now supported within the CCA firmware), but the author philippe_44  is working on it.  I hope he makes this happen, as this would allow for a very cheap replacement of the squeezebox hardware.  You can purchase two Chromecast Audio’s for $55 over at the main Google site:

Happy Listening!