Colin Murphy's site IT Guides and other stuff

Creating a wireless bridge using a MikroTik router

I have some devices on my local network that are wired-only, or have unreliable Wi-Fi. Instead of running ethernet to the room that contains these devices, I opted to create a wireless bridge using a MikroTik hAP AC2 wireless router I had lying around. When configured as a wireless bridge, the MikroTik router will connect a wired network to a wireless network. Additionally, as this works as a bridge, there is no sort of NAT (network address translation) running, so it will appear on the same network as the rest of your devices.

Access your local network from anywhere with WireGuard VPN

For a very long time, I have been using SSH tunneling to access my selfhosted services. This works great, but exposes your server to a multitude of threats. I had to implement additional defenses, such as the Fail2Ban daemon to automatically ban IPs after multiple failed login attempts. I decided that a better option would be to simply implement a VPN. I ended up choosing WireGuard as it’s built into the kernel, and offers great throughput if I needed to transfer files over the VPN.

Booting Linux off an NVMe SSD on an older computer

Most pre-2015 computers, like my HP Z230 workstation, are only able to boot off of SATA disks. While SATA SSDs are perfectly adequate for most workloads, I wanted to install my operating system on a much faster PCIe-based NVMe SSD.

Despite being able to boot from SATA disks, you can effectively trick an older computer into loading an Linux off a NVMe SSD by installing the GRUB bootloader and boot partition on a SATA SSD or hard drive.

Creating a simple adblocking DNS server using dnsmasq

This guide will show you how to create a minimalistic adblocking DNS server. This is a great alternative to Pi-Hole, which requires being run on a Raspberry Pi or in a Docker container.

Replacing the Bose amplifier on a Mazda3

Shortly after buying my 2011 Mazda 3, my radio suddenly stopped producing sound. Aside from having no sound, the radio still worked fine as the in-car Bluetooth and all the buttons still operated as normal. After doing a little research online, I found out that the amplifier for the Bose sound system died. I also found out that and that Bose replaces the defective amplifiers for free! This article exists to help you diagnose the problem and deal with Bose yourself, so you do not have to go to a repair shop and have them fix it.