Coffee Break – February 21, 2021

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Solbu describes pros, cons, and requirements for self-hosting an email server for your own domain and fixes radios without fixing them. Doug replaces his laptop fan and all is well. Doug looks forward to visiting family soon. Peter is dealing with postal service issues and describes a GPS receiver although poor GPS service does not help. bp9’s internet is much more stable now. The USB-C on bp9’s Pinephone might not be able to activate a multi-port dongle due to hardware issues. bp9 is joined by Solbu, Doug and Peter.

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Topics Discussed:

Solbu
– Describes the pros and cons of self-hosting a mail server
– Started self-hosting 20+ years ago when he was getting a lot of spam while using his internet providers email service.
– Uses postfix plus some spam add-ons.
– You must be able to open port 25 from outside to your mail server.
– This likely requires that you “bridge” your internet modem, although your internal modem must provide credentials to keep your internet connection alive to the internet providers server.
– Ports 25 and 465 (the encrypted SMTP port) needs to be open for incoming smtp traffic, even if you configure the mailserver to require encrypted incoming traffic.
– You can use POP3 from outside the network to retrieve mail, but make sure you set the switch in your client to leave the email on the server.
– Your MX (mail exchange) records must point to your public IP address (which you will NAT internally to your mail server).
– Best if you have static IP addresses for this, but dynamic IP address can be handled as well.
– Many years ago Solbu offered to fix a broken radio at a relatives place. He partially disassembled it, then put it back together and it just started working again.
– bp9 describes how just disassembling and reassembling will make it work just because Soblu dislodged some tarnish and restored a good grounding connection when he put it all back together.
– Solbu described a video that he saw! Relating to a phone that Leo Laporte loaned to a colleague and when he got it back, the language was all messed up (Chinese?) LOL

Doug
– Has replaced the fan in his laptop and all is well.
– Ended up tearing the laptop almost completely apart.
– It was not a similar experience to Robbies because the laptop was not the same brand.
– Doug ended up finding a youtube video that addresses his exact laptop so that helped him a lot.
– Only had to replace the fan, not the entire cooling framework.
– Is looking forward to visiting family soon.

Peter
– Wonders why bp9 does not have any DSL filters on his phone lines?
– bp9 describes how his new service has hardware at the very head of the line to split off DSL and POTS so filters are no longer required.
– Peter is still dealing with postal service issues.
– Shows us a very interesting GPS receiver that he uses to get a proper stable 10 MHz (Megahertz) signal.
– bp9 is having trouble understanding what the signal is being used for.
– It seems like Peter is only interested in a stable frequency for testing, not any data you might be able to pull off the GPS satellites.
– Describes how you can get a stable frequency with Rubidium.
– Unfortunately it only works when Peter has a good GPS signal but he’s not having any luck getting a good fix.
– Also, if he wants to pull any data (like time of day) from the unit, it has a serial port (RS-232) but no network port.
– The data coming off the unit is written in Chinese???

bp9
– Notes how verbose email server logging is and therefore how much the email provider can see without even trying.
– Thinks most of the pieces that Solbu mentioned are in place but is too chicken to bridge his modem! 🙂
– aDSL is working much better now that the DSL line has been moved to a different pair. Now two of the four pairs of telephone lines are in use, but internet looks to be much more solid now.
– AT&T UVerse does not do a 100% bridge when you bridge your modem, the authentication that Solbu mentions is still done in the modem even when you bridge the modem.
– Solbu wonders if bp9 will have the authority to bridge the modem with his credentials, and he does.
– Talks about his Pinephone running Arch Linux and that it is still working well, although it might not be ready to use as a daily driver yet, just because he’s not sure he has all the software in place yet.
– Describes how his USB-C port may not work with a dongle because the main board in this model does not fully implement the USB-C hardware protocol. Will have to remove (and replace?) some transistors on the main board to enable that functionality.

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