Recent Blog Posts

Orange Pi Plus Setup, Benchmarks, and Initial Impressions

tl;dr: The Orange Pi Plus offers much better specs, and much better performance, than a similarly-priced Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately—and this is the case with most RPi competitors at this time—setup, hardware support, and the smaller repository of documentation and community knowledge narrow this board's appeal to enthusiasts willing to debug annoying setup and configuration issues on their own.

Orange Pi Plus - Front

Orange Pi Plus - Back

A few months ago, I bought an Orange Pi Plus from AliExpress. It's a single-board Linux computer very similar to the Raspberry Pi, with a few key differences:

Format the built-in eMMC storage on an Orange Pi Plus

To use the built-in 8GB of eMMC storage on the Orange Pi Plus as a writable volume in Linux, you need to delete the existing partitions (I think mine were formatted as FAT/WIN32), create a new partition, format the partition, then mount it:

  1. Delete the existing partitions:
    1. sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk1
    2. p to list all partitions, then d and a number to delete all existing partitions, then w to write the changes.
  2. Create a new partition:
    1. sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk1
    2. n to create a new partition, then use all the defaults, then w to write the changes.
  3. Format the partition: sudo mkfs.ext4 -L "emmc" /dev/mmcblk1p1
  4. Create a mount point: sudo mkdir /emmc
  5. Mount the disk: mount /dev/mmcblk1p1 /emmc

DIY project - removing floor-to-ceiling mirrors from a wall in our house's dining room

Between projects at work, I decided to take a week's vacation and attempt a rather ambitious DIY project at the house. After working through some plans for the main rooms in our house, my wife and I decided we wanted to convert what was originally the formal dining room at our home, complete with a low-hanging chandelier and wall of floor-to-ceiling tinted mirrors, into a functional schoolroom with tons of storage and a teacher desk area.

So we started with this:

Mirror wall before

And ended up with this:

Functional wall with Ikea BESTÅ storage system after

Photos from Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia

Yesterday I was invited by a friend to photograph the Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Justice Scalia was a Catholic first and Supreme Court Justice second... may we all live our lives in a way where our faith, family, and morals lead our work and interaction (and not vice-versa)!

I've uploaded all the photos to Flickr: Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia, and here are a couple of my favorites below (it's hard not to have some majestic images when shooting at the Cathedral!):

Deacon incensing the Book of Gospels with light in background at Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia

Blog post id enumeration can lead to unwanted information disclosure

With the rampant speculation there will be a new Raspberry Pi model released next week, I was wondering if the official Raspberry Pi blog might reveal anything of interest; they just posted a Four Years of Pi blog post on the 26th, which highlighted the past four years, and mentioned the excitement surrounding 4th anniversary of Pi sales, coming up on February 29th, 2016.

Glancing at the blog's source, I noticed it looks like a Wordpress blog (using httpie on the cli):

$ http https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/four-years-of-pi/ | grep generator
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.4.2" />

Having set up a few WP sites in the past, I knew there was a simple way to load content by its ID, using a URL in the form:

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