Posted by Brian @ 11:20 pm on November 9th 2017

Five years with my Tesla Model S

It’s hard to believe that I’m coming up on my five year anniversary with my Tesla Model S. The car still feels brand new to me. Here’s what it’s been like:

What range anxiety?

It’s been years since I’ve worried about range. Tesla’s supercharger and destination charging network is awesome. I just know I’ll always make it to where I’m going. I’ve driven to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles a couple times, deep northwest Canada, and all over Oregon and Washington. That’s as far as I’d ever want to go in a car.

And I love road trips. I probably gained an appreciation for them from my grandfather. He used to take epic journeys. He and his wife would power through a thousand miles in one brutal day. When I was a kid I went with them, and they just wouldn’t stop. The guy was a warrior.

Well, you can’t do that in a Tesla. And I’m glad. I’ve come to really appreciate the need to stop every three or four hours and take a break while the car charges. It’s generally when I want a meal anyway. The forced stops leave me much more rested when I reach my destination.

Goodbye gas station lines

A few things I don’t miss: the stench of gasoline coming out of the pump. Waiting in line at a gas station. Touching fuel nozzles. Paying $80 to fill up my car several times a month. Wasting all that time.

My Tesla is so cheap to charge up that I didn’t even notice an increase in the power bill. I just plug it in every night like my mobile phone and it’s always ready in the morning. I’ve never even come remotely close to running the battery down driving around town.

Hello reliability

I love not having to worry about oil changes, transmission fluid, spark plugs, gaskets, exhaust systems — all the myriad of things that go wrong with old school gas burners. I’m coming up on 60,000 miles on my Model S. I remember well how repair bills started to come in on my BMW M3 when I pushed past 50,000 miles. Nothing like that on my Tesla. And don’t get me started about my Mercedes bills. Zowie those are expensive.

The acceleration never gets old

This car just keeps making me smile when I drive. The off the line acceleration is unmatched. The handling is incredible. Sure, it’s no single seat racecar, but wow can it handle. Fewer people these days try to race me — they’ve learned that a Tesla cannot be beaten off the line — but it’s still fun when someone tries.

That 17″ screen is incredibly useful

I use the real time traffic map frequently. I have no idea how much time I’ve saved with it, but it is a lot of time. It’s become second nature to look down at a stoplight and confirm I’m on the fastest route.

Just today I saw some traffic on Interstate 5 and a quick glance at the monitor showed me the traffic went well past my exit. I saved many minutes getting off early – so much time that I was able to squeeze in an extra errand before my appointment.

Streaming music is sublime

I love being able to ask the car to play anything from Tangerine Dream to Monty Python. On long trips I stream podcasts like The Moth, listen to endless comedy, and play all kinds of favorites.

Storage storage storage

I still find it incredible how much can be fit into this car. I’ve gone car camping and road tripping with three, stuffed the car with the result of huge shopping sprees that would never have fit in a sedan.

The negative stuff

I shouldn’t have gotten metallic paint.

If, purely hypothetically, an unlicensed driver merges directly into your car, the repairs will take six weeks.

It turns out that if you punch it at every single stoplight you burn through tires remarkably fast.

I’m trying to think of other things, but I just can’t. The car is simply amazing. It’s amazing in that “I can’t imagine going back” way that I feel about iPhones and the Internet.

Posted by Brian @ 10:29 am on February 12th 2017

[SOLVED] fail2ban isn’t banning sasl attacks

This morning I noticed a SASL attack in my mail logs, and fail2ban wasn’t stopping. I tested the regex and it was working fine, but… no ban. So here’s what worked for me: changing the backend for fail2ban to polling from auto. Problem solved.

in /etc/fail2ban/jail.local replace
backend = auto
backend = polling

Posted by Brian @ 7:53 pm on October 29th 2014

Superchargers are awesome

Just had to say that. 🙂


Posted by Brian @ 7:35 am on June 13th 2014

No sipping allowed?

20140613-082301.jpgIt appears that the slow food movement has yet to reach Yogyakarta.

Posted by Brian @ 8:30 am on September 28th 2013

A visit to the mines of Moria


Ok not exactly. But I just visited the old
Roman cistern in Istanbul and wonder is this was the inspiration. It was beautiful and eerie. I kept an eye out for Orcs just to be sure. What would have (maybe) been cooler would have been how they used to do it – by boat!

Posted by Brian @ 11:20 pm on December 21st 2012

How to generate an SSL cert for Stunnel4

openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out stunnel.pem -keyout stunnel.pem

Copy the file to /etc/ssl/certs

Add or uncomment the following line in /etc/stunnel/stunnel4.conf:
cert = /etc/ssl/certs/stunnel.pem

Posted by Brian @ 4:22 pm on March 27th 2012

Beng Melea, Cambodia

My last visit to ruins on the trip turned out to be the best. Beng Melea is a semi-destroyed fortress from the early 11th century, about 65km from Angkor Wat. I scored a guide that took me inside, around, and on top of this magnificent site, to places that most tourists never take the time to explore.


Posted by Brian @ 4:22 pm on March 27th 2012

Koh Ker, Cambodia

Today I visited the royal city of Koh Ker, abandoned in 944 A.D. It’s about 130km or more from Angkor Wat. I was the only one here at Prasat Pram. This was my favorite place there, where the trees seem to explode out of the top of these thousand year old temples.


Posted by Brian @ 7:03 am on March 18th 2012

Things I did to fix my HP DV7 in Ubuntu

I have an HP dv7-6b78us laptop, which is fairly decent. Here’s a list of the things I had to do in order to get it to work properly in Ubuntu 11.10 64bit:

add to rc.local:
modprobe -r psmouse
modprobe radeon
echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
exit 0

The first line in the above turns off the touchpad, which I never use. If I needed to use it I could:
sudo modprobe psmouse
The second line loads the open source ATI Radeon driver, the third line turns off the ATI card so it doesn’t suck power. The Intel graphics card is plenty powerful for my needs.

set brightness:
echo 2000 | sudo tee /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness
The brightness keys don’t work. I haven’t yet assigned a command to the right keys but I’ll update this when I do. Replace 2000 with a value you want; look at /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/max_brightness for the max value.

# fix mic on dv7
options snd-hda-intel model=dell-s14 power_save=0 power_save_controller=N
(enable subwoofer but break mic:options snd-hda-intel model=ref)
#Fix dropping networking on resume from suspend
options iwlagn bt_coex_active=0

Make sure proprietary radeon drivers are blocked
blacklist fglrx

Optimize SSD (if you have an SSD that is):
add noatime,discard to main drive
tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,nosuid,size=1g,mode=1777 0 0
echo deadline > /sys/block/sda/queue/scheduler
echo 1 > /sys/block/sda/queue/iosched/fifo_batch

Fix video mode error on boot:
sudo chmod a-x /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme
also #24

Posted by Brian @ 8:48 am on September 13th 2011

Fixing the svn txn-current-lock Permission denied error in Subversion

I was setting up a new subversion repo recently in Ubuntu. I was able to check out files but when I tried a commit I hit this error:
svn: Can't open file '/var/svn/foo/db/txn-current-lock': Permission denied

So it was obviously a permissions issue, and here’s what the permissions looked like on that file:

-rwxr----- 1 root svn 0 Aug 12 18:00 txn-current-lock

Oops – I could only read but not write that file. Looking further it turns out the entire repo only had root write permissions, even though it was owned by the ‘svn’ group – I’m not sure how that happened, possibly a stupid mistake on my part. I had already set up a ‘svn’ group and added the users I wanted to have access to the repo to the ‘svn’ group, so I just had to make the repo writable by the group.

The fix was simple:
sudo chmod -R g+w /var/svn/foo/*
(where foo is the name of the repo)

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