I've tested virtual address providers, so you don't have to


The sad fact about online shopping in Ireland is, that many sellers will ship to UK only. It often makes very little sense as they'll happily ship the parcel across Europe to northern Ireland just fine, but that's the status for now.

Personally, I'm trying to avoid such sellers to sort of vote with my wallet, but sometimes UK-only seller is the only option or the price difference is just way too big. Fortunately we now have couple services available that can give us "virtual" address in UK and then forward any received packages to Ireland.

I've been trying them out over the years and here's some comparison of Parcel Motel, Parcel Wizard and AddressPal.

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Running Kubernetes cluster with docker-compose for fun (and profit)

This could've been called "Learning Kubernetes the hard way", because that's basically what I was trying to achieve here. It wasn't so much about learning how to use Kubernetes via its ingenious API as it was about learning about its individual components. If you want to just run Kubernetes locally, there's Minikube, that will give you nice VM with everything already set up.

What I've wanted to achieve is to have a set of components, all nicely isolated with a well defined connection between each other so I can add them, remove them and break the connections and see how this affects the cluster. To put it simply I was interested in Ops side of running Kubernetes. This is why I took Hyperkube and mixed it with docker-compose and tried to stand up Kubernetes "from scratch".

Let's get started..

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[Part 4] NAScrate files and final thoughts

So our build is now done. I'm still thinking about making some improvements, like a proper ports panel or some air circulation control, but it's already very usable NAS box. The only missing part is installing something like freeNAS or some other user friendly NAS OS, but there's a ton of howtos out there, so I'm not going to create another one.

Feel like building your own NAScrate? Here are all the files you'll need.

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[Part 3] Building NAScrate

I pinky swear it doesn't take 4 months to build the NAScrate. I actually had it done and dusted in couple weeks - most spent waiting for the components with couple evenings spent with Onshape trying to figure out how to fit everything in a small crate. I just didn't have enough time to properly document it, hence the delay in updates.

This last step only took couple hours at most - and that's including re-designing and re-printing some of the parts. Building next one with all the parts ready is 30 minute job easily. So let's give it a go.

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[Part 2] NAScrate design

Is this even feasible? There's one way to find out! Well.. there's probably more than one way, but here's what I did. First thing I tried was to model and print rough miniature models of all the components I need to fit inside the case. (which I've printed as well) This gave me general idea, how to put the components in, but it's not accurate enough to see if we have enough free space around the components to actually fit in mounting brackets and all that other stuff. As we'll see later on, in reality there's just few millimeters gap between the components, so anything in the 1:10 scale just isn't going to be accurate enough.

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[Part 1] NAScrate - the budget for the budget NAS

The idea is simple really: Build a NAS out of readily available PC components inside Knagglig crate sold by IKEA. As for "why?" - it's the usual answer - to see if it can be done in a practical way. The other part of that motivation was, that I can now print parts of the construction, so it was a good training for my design and construction skills, that are, honestly, quite lacking.

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Why would you want 3D printer?


I only have 3D printer for about a month and people asked me that question multiple times already.. It's the question every early adopter gets. (is it really that "early"?) Back in the old days of feature phones, people were wondering why I got Symbian phone that was quite a bit more expensive than regular Nokia brick. That was years before iPhones were a thing, so the answer wasn't as obvious to non-techie people out there as it might be today. (and remember, when it was released, even iPhone wasn't all that smart, no app store, no multitasking, no Bluetooth even) Back then the simple (and real) answer was:

"Because it's cool!"


And that's really the reason why I got my 3D printer. However I feel like the real answer is different. I no longer feel that the 3D printers are cool for the same reason the pseudo-smart mobile phones with proprietary OS were cool. And to explain that feeling, I have to go few years back.

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