Tinkering with Technology


Every since I was a small kid, I’ve enjoyed tinkering with technology. My dad used to bring home old, defunct electronics. I’d take them apart, learn about the components, and put them back together. In middle school, my friend Akash and I developed our first website: an automotive website featuring our CO2 cartridge powered race car. I’ve had some experience in video production during my high school research internship at Hbar Technologies. Under the alias of Xtasis Tracks, I have about a decade of experience in amateur music production and mixing.

Self-Hosted: Technology that Empowers Individuals

For the last few years, I have become increasingly interested in the self-hosted world. Self-hosting is the opposite of cloud computing or services. Because you run the software, you keep the data, and privacy is maintained. You can also control exactly how much or how little of something you need. Though not always the case, self-hosted and open-source go hand-in-hand. My initial exposure to self-hosting was through Plex, a software that is best described as “your own personal Netflix”. After a number of close calls with family photos (external hard drive failures), I decided to “build” a family server. This server now hosts a couple dozen services in our home, ranging from photo archival, home automation (via Home Assistant), intranet services, network-wide adblock (via PiHole), and test bench services (for things like this website, research, etc). The vast majority of these services run through Docker. Finally, I am learning Python to automate ongoing research projects.

Types of Tech

As this website grows, I hope to add an ongoing series on the services I host, scripts I write, and solutions I recommend. Come back to hear more about:

  1. Home Automation
  2. Media Management
  3. Home photo and video archival
  4. Backup strategies and solutions
  5. Virtualization and containerization
  6. Internet privacy
  7. Web development

I’m not a tech professional. Just a guy who likes seeing ‘what does this button do’ . If I can do it, so can you!

My Technology Instances

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Securely updating WordPress Core, Plugins, and Themes

Securely update your WordPress by using Linux file permissions
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Building a bioinformatics lab from scratch, in Debian 12

Create a workbench to analyze next-generation -omics (e.g. single-cell RNA sequencing) using Debian, Python, R, CUDA for NVidia GPUs, Docker, and VSCode.
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Using Quarto for documentation and publication

Quarto describes itself as “an open-source scientific and technical publishing system”. With the work that I have been doing in the lab, I’ve been hoping …
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REDCap Trick 1: Jump directly to a particular record with this bookmarklet

A single line of code can help you jump directly to a record in REDCap. This helps you save multiple clicks just to get to where you need to be.
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PGP Encryption: Add My PGP Public Keys

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is one of the most widely used encryption methods used in the world. It was created by Philip Zimmermann in 1991 …
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Finding files with the command line

Recursively list files and sort by date modified In my research project, I often have to quickly navigate through a large directory of study subjects …
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Cutting the Cord – A 2 Year Retrospective Using Plex

How our family saved $2,577, with $1,731 ‘net profit’ in our pockets We all know the dance – having to deal with our cable company …
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Script: DVR-Retention

Our family is big on watching NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, each night. My Plex server records this news program, each day/week. This script …
Shell Script: Youtube Video to Plex

Script: YouTube-to-Plex

I have two scripts which help me import YouTube videos into my Plex server. This script allows me to download individual YouTube videos to my …
Shell Script: YouTube Channels to Plex

Script: YouTube-Channels-to-Plex

I have two scripts which help me import YouTube videos into my Plex server. This script allows me to download entire YouTube channels to my …

Image Credit: Kevin Ku from Pexels