13 Years of Home Gadget Geeks and Mike Wieger with Organizing his HomeLab – HGG594

A very special Home Gadget Geeks episode! Celebrating 13 years with Mike Wieger. Mike shares his home lab insights. Using a self-hosted git repo for documentation, he’s into Proxmox clusters alongside Unraid. He explores the merits of multiple servers, tried a Ceph storage cluster for high availability, and is diving into ZFS. Stay tuned at the end for a brief update on my recent surgery. Join us for a tech-packed episode with Mike Wieger, marking 13 years of Home Gadget Geeks! Thanks for listening!

Full show notes, transcriptions (available on request), audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg594

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison for show #594 of Home Gadget Geeks, brought to you by the Average Guy Network.

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Show Segments

  • Tech gadgets and weather in Omaha, Nebraska.[0:00]
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss the weather in Omaha, Nebraska, and upcoming show updates.
    • Jim and Mike discuss Amazon delivery delays and offer a tip to thank drivers for their service.
  • Tech gifts, Amazon packages, and podcasting milestones.[3:00]
    • Collison and Wieger discuss Amazon delivery speeds, with Collison experiencing no slowdown and Wieger experiencing some delays.
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss the 14th year of their podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, and how technology has evolved since they first started.
    • They reflect on how the cast and crew have remained relatively consistent over the years, with a few exceptions.
  • Home automation, new gadgets, and 10 Gig networking.[6:58]
    • Jim Collison thanks Mike Wieger for 13 years of collaboration and support.
    • Mike Wieger shares updates on his life, including raising young children and getting back into YouTube content creation.
    • Mike Wieger has been tinkering with new home lab tech and learning Git, after taking a break from his servers and NAS box.
    • Mike is trying out an Apple TV to integrate with his iPhone and iPad, as part of his home automation setup.
    • Mike Wieger is considering upgrading his networking setup from gigabit to 10 gigabit, especially for his server and storage needs.
    • Jim Collison is currently on 2.5 gigabit and is considering upgrading to 10 gigabit, but is unsure if it’s worth the investment.
    • Mike Wieger would likely only upgrade his server and main machine to 10 gigabit, while keeping the rest of his network on gigabit for now.
  • Upgrading network hardware for better performance.[14:05]
    • Jim Collison is considering upgrading his router and WiFi setup, but is unsure when to make the change.
    • Mike Wieger suggests upgrading to a 10 Gigabit Ethernet setup, which can be more cost-effective than using fiber runs and transceivers.
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss the benefits of separating the router and WiFi components, with Jim preferring to keep them separate for easier maintenance and upgrades.
  • Home network setup and documentation using GitHub.[16:55]
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss their home networks, including the use of a Bitdefender box and separate access points.
    • Mike Wieger documents his home lab for future reference, with the help of Jim Collison.
    • Mike Wieger wants to learn Git and contribute to open source projects, but struggles with documenting his network and using Markdown.
    • Wieger explores private GitHub alternatives and seeks self-hosted solutions for a completely private repository.
    • Mike Wieger discusses using Getty, a self-hosted GitHub alternative, to document his home lab setup.
    • Mike shares his screen to demonstrate how Getty works and how he’s using it to document his hardware and software setup.
  • Organizing digital assets and estate planning.[23:01]
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss the importance of documenting their technical setup and passwords in a centralized repository, such as Git, to make it easier for their loved ones to access and understand their digital assets after they pass away.
    • Mike Wieger acknowledges the challenge of documenting his technical setup in a way that makes sense to his brain, but also recognizes the importance of doing so to ensure that his digital assets are well-organized and easily accessible for his loved ones.
    • Mike Wieger is documenting his network setup and disaster plan in a Word document, hoping to create an interactive repository that he can share with select individuals.
    • Mike’s documentation includes his network table, with static IP addresses, MAC addresses, and descriptions, as well as links to other important documents and services.
  • Using multiple servers for various tasks and services.[27:27]
    • Jim Collison is considering setting up a shared space with his wife using Microsoft 365, and Mike Wieger has experienced issues with his Unraid server, including losing access to his Password Manager when it’s down.
    • Mike Wieger plans to use Proxmox on a Dell Rack 210 to host critical services like Pfsense, Docker containers, and home assistant, freeing up his Unraid box for other uses.
    • He moved over some of his Docker containers from Unraid to Proxmox, including dashboard, Grafana, influx DB, and home assistant VM, and is now in “Nirvana” with his setup.
  • Setting up high availability and distributed storage in a home lab using Proxmox and Ceph.[32:21]
    • Mike Wieger discusses his experience with Proxmox and high availability, including his naive assumption that clustering multiple servers would provide automatic high availability.
    • Wieger also mentions Ceph Storage (SEF) as a distributed network storage solution, which he found fascinating and useful.
    • Mike Wieger attempted to set up a home lab with Ceph, but found that it was slow due to only having one hard drive per node and using gigabit Ethernet.
    • Despite the slow speeds, Mike found the technology fascinating and recommended trying it, but warned that it may not be useful without proper hardware and network setup.
  • Setting up a home lab with Ceph and Unraid.[37:17]
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss the challenges of setting up a Ceph cluster, including overhead and scalability.
    • Mike Wieger and Jim Collison discuss the importance of redundant power sources for critical systems, such as network equipment, during a power outage.
    • Jim Collison considers purchasing a redundant power source, such as a UPS, to protect his network equipment from power outages.
  • Using Proxmox and Unraid for clustering and high availability.[40:44]
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss challenges with replication in Ceph and explore alternative solutions like Proxmox, which allows for VM migration without downtime.
    • Mike Wieger finds Proxmox flexible and fun to use for backup and disaster recovery, but still prefers Unraid as his beefy powerhouse NAS solution.
  • Virtualization, home labs, and content caching.[43:52]
    • Mike Wieger is interested in virtualizing his home lab with Kubernetes, but Jim Collison advises against it due to the need for a powerful box.
    • Jim Collison is considering consolidating his home lab setup and shutting down some servers for a month during Thanksgiving.
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger discuss content caching on Macs, which can store app and iOS update content for easy access on multiple devices in the household.
    • Jim mentions a service for Windows that used to exist for storing Windows updates, but now he relies on modern Mac features for easy updates.
    • Mike suggests caching content can also help with slow internet speeds at his parents’ farm, where everyone else can access the stored content quickly and efficiently.
  • Using home appliances for data center cooling.[50:02]
    • Mike Wieger and Jim Collison discuss using a pool to cool a server room, with Mike sharing his experience of using Linus Tech Tips videos for inspiration.
    • The speakers discuss the idea of harnessing excess heat from a server room for a useful purpose, such as heating a pool or home.
  • Health issues and tech updates.[52:13]
    • Jim Collison and Mike Wieger catch up on each other’s lives, discussing personal and professional updates, including Hannah’s recent awards and Mike’s YouTube channel.
    • Jim shares his health update, revealing that he will undergo surgery on Monday, and invites Mike to ask any questions or chat about his health situation.
    • Jim Collison shares his experience with a large prostate, including the surprise of finding out its size and the subsequent surgery to remove 70% of it.
    • Mike Wieger is curious about the size component of prostates and how it can lead to cancer.
  • Prostate surgery and recovery.[57:31]
    • Mike Wieger undergoes successful prostate surgery with minimal side effects.
    • Jim describes the discomfort of having a catheter inserted for prostate surgery.
  • Food poisoning and prostate issues.[1:00:47]
    • Jim Collison experienced severe stomach problems and chest pain, thinking he might be having a heart attack, but paramedics determined he was fine and just had food poisoning.
    • Collison was relieved to learn he wasn’t in danger, but the experience left him feeling pale and sweaty, with a lingering fear of internal bleeding.
    • Jim Collison shares his experience with prostate cancer, including how he noticed symptoms while driving to a home server show meetup and how his doctor diagnosed him after a complete physical and prostate exam.
    • Jim’s sisters asked if his father, who passed away, had the same issue, but Jim doubts he would have talked about it due to his generation’s stigma around the topic.
  • Prostate cancer screening and prevention.[1:06:12]
    • Man discusses prostate cancer screening and health management with doctor, shares personal experience with high cholesterol.
    • Mike Wieger and Jim Collison discuss the importance of regular health check-ups, with Wieger sharing his experience of getting checked for skin cancer and Collison highlighting the benefits of preventative maintenance.
    • The speakers also discuss the cost of medical care and the importance of checking insurance benefits to avoid unexpected expenses.
  • Managing prostate issues after illness.[1:09:23]
    • Jim Collison discusses his hospital experience after prostate surgery, including recovery challenges and the need for physical therapy.
    • Jim Collison discusses his experience with incontinence after a bout of sickness, sharing his frustration and humor in dealing with the issue.
    • Collison highlights the importance of finding comfortable and discreet products to manage incontinence, such as Depends, and encourages other men to be open about their experiences.
    • Jim Collison expresses gratitude for access to quality healthcare and acknowledges the privilege of having experienced it.
    • Jim apologizes for being cavalier about cancer in the past, recognizing the seriousness of the disease after a neighbor was diagnosed with lymphoma.
  • Computer hardware maintenance and upgrades.[1:15:35]
    • Mike Wieger is focused on consolidating servers and cleaning up his IoT devices, while Jim Collison is working on expanding his infrastructure and learning to get rid of unnecessary equipment.
    • Mike Wieger experienced a spark and dead silence when replacing his motherboard, leading him to believe it was damaged during installation.
    • Mike Wieger purchased a new motherboard and upgraded his computer’s hardware, including an Intel chip with integrated GPU.
    • Mike Wieger shares his frustration with users who constantly ask for help with Plex, a media server software.
    • Jim Collison offers reminders for listeners to join the Discord group, leave questions for the show, and support the network through Amazon purchases.

More from Chat GPT

[00:02:30] Support on Amazon update.

[00:04:19] Big box purchases and Christmas.

[00:09:12] Tinkering with home lab tech.

[00:11:33] 10 gig networking

[00:13:03] Upgrading to 10 gig.

[00:16:10] Wi-Fi and router combo.

[00:20:10] Self-hosted GitHub alternatives.

[00:23:01] Documenting configurations and passwords.

[00:27:34] Disaster plan and important documents.

[00:29:48] Having more than one server.

[00:33:59] High availability and Ceph Storage.

[00:36:02] Slow speeds with Ceph.

[00:40:54] Clustering and high availability.

[00:43:16] Proxmox as a NAS solution.

[00:47:15] Apple content caching on Mac.

[00:49:32] Slow internet on the farm.

[00:53:27] Hannah’s recent success.

[00:55:22] Prostate size component.

[01:00:01] Catheter discomfort and removal.

[01:02:09] EKG and falling leads.

[01:06:41] Health management and partnership.

[01:10:29] Controlling bladder post-surgery.

[01:11:54] Managing incontinence and Depends

[01:15:02] Taking illness more seriously.

[01:18:13] Working on a motherboard on carpet.

[01:21:56] Hometech.fm partnership


  • [00:01:51] – “Mike, I’m doing Amazon again.”
  • [00:04:46] – “It’s just so easy.”
  • [00:05:06] – “And then Kevin says, Yes, our post offices are buried with Amazon packages.”
  • [00:07:29] – “But, but anyways, thanks to you guys who listen.”
  • [00:10:59] – “Um, you know, I think we’ve all been running really advanced one gig stuff and I have, you know, a POE switch that’s managed.”
  • [00:13:45] – “But I would at the same time I would upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E.”
  • [00:14:24] – “I need to be doing more VR, but there’s nothing to do for me in VR.”
  • [00:17:27] – “It’s really expensive Wi-Fi right now, right?”
  • [00:19:17] – “One of those nights went down the YouTube rabbit hole of just learning all about Git.”
  • [00:23:42] – “And if you haven’t played around with Git, it’s a really cool way to learn Git as well.”
  • [00:24:12] – “I think, Mike, the, the thing I learned as we started going about this process is you have this temptation to think you got to get it done in a weekend.”
  • [00:27:10] – “So it’s going to be a get it out, get it somewhere that Hannah can access it, put it in her Apple, whatever she wants to use going forward, iCloud, and then just turn everything off.”
  • [00:29:48] – “When do you start thinking about having more than one server, right?”
  • [00:32:13] – “But then you start to learn about really cool features that Proxmox can do and you get bit by this bug of, ooh, okay.”
  • [00:33:47] – “So if that box is down, there’s no high availability.”
  • [00:38:31] – “I have never been able to do that before. It’s like yank a plug and watch it.”
  • [00:41:07] – “That traditionally has been very hard.”
  • [00:41:32] – “I just think Ceph is insanely cool”
  • [00:44:49] – “Challenge accepted.”
  • [00:46:57] – “And you’re like, Huh, do I really need that?”
  • [00:49:39] – “And so if you could save everyone else if the first person was only slow and everyone else was fast or for example when she is on her iphone and her ipad down there.”
  • [00:51:32] – “Like, man, if you could harness that heat for something good or find a cheaper way to cool it and his pool cools down.”
  • [00:54:52] – “Well, not that size.”
  • [00:57:45] – “I remember looking at the OR table and thinking, I wonder if they’re gonna need my help to get over there.”
  • [00:58:41] – “Going to the bathroom is awesome.”
  • [01:02:55] – “This is it! I’m gonna die throwing up in my bathroom.”
  • [01:03:21] – “But I’m not going to die here.”
  • [01:05:20] – “This wasn’t one of those, which is nice, this wasn’t one of those situations where I got in there, the doctor’s like, Let’s cut it out.”
  • [01:09:36] – “Patient, I feel sick. Wife, if my husband is here, he’s really sick. Me, ma’am, if any man voluntary comes to the hospital, he is sick.”
  • [01:11:54] – “I’m gonna figure it out.”
  • [01:14:48] – “Bring it on!”
  • [01:16:43] – “you know, and then it justifies everything.”
  • [01:17:26] – “It fell back on the motherboard and I saw the huge spark and just dead quiet.”
  • [01:19:41] – “Well, and the funny part is, is I’ve been trying, I’ve been thinking about switching to an Intel chip to have the integrated GPU, getting rid of that discrete graphics card that takes a lot of power.”
  • [01:22:17] – “We’ll catch up with, there’ll, it’ll be heavy home automation next week, for sure.”

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