Portable Raspberry Pi Game system

Looking for a way to take all of those retro games with you? The folks over at VILROS have a solution for you. It’s called the Retroflag GPi CASE with Carrying Bag for Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W. Add a $10 Raspberry Pi Zero, an SD card, and some software and away you go.

Retroflag GPi CASE with Carrying Bag for Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W with Safe Shutdown - Vilros.com


Musings of an ISP engineer Part 1

-Mondays are for emergencies leftover from the weekend. Try not to schedule meetings or things that can’t be fluid.

-Customers lie, even when they don’t do it intentionally. They can’t help it.

-Sometimes you have to ask your questions in different ways. The more educated the person you are asking the question to, the more you have to do this.

-Automation is the future. Learn it. Embrace it.

-When dealing with customers make sure to get them to define anything halfway vague. I once had a 30 minute call with a customer who said “it” wasn’t getting online. “It” ended up being a Toaster. Damn you iOT!

-Configurations just don’t change unless someone or something made it change. Quit spending countless hours second guessing your production configuration. If it has been working for the past 90 days and all of a sudden it isn’t, do a once over but don’t spend alot of time on your config. Spend your time looking for outside influences. Layer 1 and layer 2 issues are more common than OSPF or BGP configs just changing.

-I hate buzzwords. Stop sending me emails that are nothing but buzzwords

-If you have a networking product and it doesn’t support IPv6, the following image automatically comes to mind on how you get to work

-Once a packet leaves your network you have very little control over it. Your job is to know what those influences are so you can predict how your network reacts.

This is just on map from one backbone provider of their connectivity to the Global Internet.

-Ask for as much stuff as you can before the sales contract is signed. Your salesperson might not be there tomorrow.

-While on the topic of asking for things. Ask for route maps from your fiber providers. Ask what gear you are plugged into and where it is. Too many times I have known more about the physical layout of my circuit than the tech dispatched.

ISP networks are far different than enterprise networks.

-Network design is Philosophy mixed with best practices, mixed with vendor-specific logic, and a side of experience. Realizing there are many right answers will make you a better engineer.

-Just reboot it is an acceptable fix the first few times for a network device.

-If you ask me to fax you something I will probably stop talking to you. Only the government and vacation scammers use faxes. I don’t want to talk to either one of you.

-Cisco live is just a cult meeting for geeks.

-An ISP network is as close to a living thing as you can get with computer parts. Seasoned veterans can look at traffic flows and know if something isn’t right. A good ISP engineer just doesn’t know just how to turn the knobs and make things work. There is a lot of reading between the lines.

-Make friends with the NOC folks at data centers where you have equipment. They can save your ass.

-Your job as a service provider is to provide raw Internet to your customers. Don’t worry about what they are doing. Give them the bandwidth and call it a day. Your life will be simpler.

-I don’t get excited about much in terms of outages. I can’t control fiber cuts. I can’t make the splicers work faster. I can’t make the storm go by quicker so we can climb the tower. Save your energy for when you can really make progress.

-There is never money for redundancy until after you need it. Then it’s your fault it’s not redundant.

-Learn speed reading. At the very least learn how to scan large amounts of text quickly.

-Knowing how to google is not enough when searching online. Knowing how to filter and read search results is an art.

-There are reasons I built my own bar. Most of them are due to user interactions.

-Create information funnels. Monitoring software, mailing lists, co-worker messages, upstream outages, and even local power and weather are just a few things you and/or your team needs to know. Cutting down the time of sifting through things is huge! find a way to get the most relevant information in front of you the quickest.

-Strings of expletives can be very calming. Even better when said out loud. My wife can attest to hearing, from the ground, profanity ridden conversations I am having with with inanimate objects while I am 300 feet on a cell tower.

-People you can learn the most of are probably not even in your field of work. That outside perspective can make you grow more than any technical manual you may read.

-If I am in charge of the network I don’t do network by democracy. Subscribe to my philosophy or I’m out.

-Be open to input and a second set of eyes. Just because you have to subscribe to my Philosophy doesn’t mean I don’t want your input or can’t learn from you.

-Well rounded engineers are hard to find. Round engineers are easy to find.

-Every team should have a researcher /analyst. These are the Gunnery Sergeants of the IT world. I spend more my time researching prices, specs, etc. than I want to.

-I don’t care about windows vs mac. Android vs iPhone. Why do you care so much? Hellman’s vs Miracle whip is the true discussion.

-Mac and linux users love to tell you why they think you should come over to their side. I don’t want to join your cult. <this was written on a mac>

As they say at the end of the Casper slide..stay tuned for part 2

Justin’s laws of running an ISP

Some of you may recognize these similar to Murphy’s laws of combat

1. 3am is when you find out your backups don't work

2.  Incoming ddos attacks have the right of way

3.  Don't look important, important people get asked tech support questions.

4.  There is always a way.

5.  The easy way requires money.

6.  Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are 

7.  Things break when:

       a. When you're ready for them.
       b. When you're not ready for them.
       c. At 11Pm on friday night after your 6th whiskey sour
       d. 2 minutes before the door for your 4 hour flight closes

8.  If a meeting is going too well, wait for the 120 slide powerpoint.

9. If you can't remember the password, its something simple.

10. That hard drive failure you have been ignoring just crashed your san due to some bug

11. That temporary fix is still temporary 3 years later

12. If your coding session is going well, then your save will get corrupted.

13. "This will take just a second" never does.

14. Anything you do can get you hacked, including nothing.

15. Never share a server room with someone who eats garlic with every meal.

16. That one cable you need won't be in your kit.

17. It's always DNS, even when it's not..

18. When it's not DNS it's the network. But its really DNS. 

19. The software fix that will bring the network back up isn't available because your service contract expired.  

20. Your cell phone battery could be 100% charged but as soon as you dont have a charger it will drop to 1%

22. If a feature is useful, it will have to be changed.

23. If a feature is useless, it will be the only thing documented.

Indiana Broadband Office designates Warren County as a Broadband Ready Community

Indiana Broadband Office designates Warren County
as a Broadband Ready Community

INDIANAPOLIS (May 11, 2021) – Today, the Indiana Broadband Office announced Warren County is now designated as an official Broadband Ready Community. The Broadband Ready Communities Program was created as a tool to encourage broadband development throughout Indiana.

“About 10 years ago, leaders in Warren County collaborated to bring fiber connections to the hospital and to the schools. It was a great start that helped position Warren County for further development. Now, that same level of collaboration is occurring within the Warren County Broadband Taskforce and I look forward to the near-term results that occur,” said Ben Dispennett, Executive Director of Warren County Local Economic Development Organization. 

The Broadband Ready Community certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that a community has taken steps to reduce barriers to broadband infrastructure investment.

“The Indiana Broadband Office and I are pleased to see another Hoosier community take the necessary steps to receive the Broadband Ready Community certification,” Crouch said. “This news comes at a great time as the state further invests in expanding broadband infrastructure, as the Indiana General Assembly has allocated another $250 million to increasing high-speed, reliable internet opportunities.”

The certification was approved by the Indiana Broadband Office following the Warren County Commissioners adoption of a Broadband Ready Community ordinance. 

“The Broadband Ready Community application process helped us prioritize this issue for the county and created a more efficient process for future development. We are excited to have the Broadband Ready Community status which indicates Warren County’s commitment to expanding access for high-speed broadband,” said Warren County Commissioner Clay Andrews.

According to Scott Rudd, Director of the Indiana Broadband Office, there are now more than 45 Indiana communities with the Broadband Ready designation.

“It is great to see Warren County take these steps to bring affordable and reliable broadband access to their residents,” Rudd said. “Through asset mapping, community surveys and provider partnerships Warren County should be commended for its commitment to broadband development, and the Broadband Ready Community designation further illustrates that commitment.”

Via 2020 legislation, the Broadband Ready Community Program was transitioned from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). IBO began the day-to-day management of the Broadband Ready Community Program on July 1, 2020.  For more information, visit in.gov/indianabroadband.

xISP related Facebook groups for WISPs and other ISPs

The following is a list of some of the more popular Facebook groups for Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs), Fiber Service Providers (FISPs), and other related groups. This list is not complete by any means. If you find this list helpful please consider donating a few dollars via Paypal or joining my Patreon. If you are not listed here please consider donating and I will get you added.
Last Updated: 13 May 2021

General Groups

Everything WISP

WISP Equipment

WISP Talk – Starlink & LEO

WISP Talk (Newbies and Startups)

WISPs turned FISPs – FTTH, FTTP, just Fiber stuff

WISP Installers


Vendor User Groups
Cambium Users (English Only)

Sonar Software User Group

Baicells Unofficial English Users Group

Mimosa by Airspan Users Group




Equipment Manufacturers

Vultr announces $150 million funding

Constant, the creator of the Vultr cloud computing and bare metal platform, has announced a $150 million credit facility from J.P. Morgan and Bank of America. This includes a $25 million uncommitted expansion option to accommodate future growth, and Constant will use the additional capital to expand its global footprint of automated cloud infrastructure to serve its rapidly-growing customer base. Constant claims it has become one of the largest cloud computing platforms in the world without ever raising equity financing. The Vultr platform was launched in 2014 and was built by developers for developers. More than 40 million cloud servers have been launched on the Vultr platform across nearly every country in the world.

Indiana Bell Building Moved in 1930

Between Oct. 12 and Nov. 14 1930 the eight-story 11,000-ton Indiana Bell building was shifted 52 feet south along Meridian St. and rotated 90 degrees to face New York St. Workmen used a concrete mat cushioned by Oregon fir timbers 75-ton, hydraulic jacks and rollers, as the mass moved off one roller workers placed another ahead of it. Every six strokes of the jacks would shift the building three-eights of an inch – moving it 15 inches per hour.