Let's Know Things

Recently, Jon Antilles reposted a masterlist which had a link to a post by Colin Wright. Digging around, I fond that Colin hosts a podcast, Let's Know Things, which aims to give contextual information on a wide range of subjects (including tech, politics and sociology) and integrates them into a high level view of how they fit in the world.

The episodes are not particularly in depth, being about 45 to 90 minutes long but they do give a good jumping off point for folk wanting to research them further. Or just gently drift off to sleep to Colin's gravelly voice (dangerous when on night shift).

Been commuting for 3 out of 4 shifts on the bike this week.

It would have been 4 for 4 but tonight is night shift, no way am I cycling home 7.5 miles after being awake for 24 hours. My ebike makes the commute much easier and a lot more fun. Aside from nearly running into an idiot who pulled out on me. And having to do a ninja landing after my front wheel hit an edging stone at the wrong angle.

Checking over my bike found that the rear tyre was pretty flat.

Given that I have already replaced the inner tube last week I thought an investigation was in order. Cue inner tube in sink of water with resulting bubbles. A detailed look at the inside of the tyre revealed the culprit.

Time to patch this tube too.

Goruck GR1 Framesheet Upgrade

I've been rocking a Goruck GR1 as my EDC pack for several years now. Sadly, over time the stock plastic framesheet has slacked off a bit and allows the pack to sag when it is sitting upright. Its a common issue with Goruck packs but is easily replicated with a 3m A3 sheet of Kydex from Ebay.

Simply pull out the stock sheet, draw round it onto the Kydex and cut out with some sort of rotary tool. Wrestle it back in, job done.

Don't forget your eye protection for when structural failures happen.

Pioneer AVH-X8700BT Password Reset

While I was at EMFCamp this year, one of my friends gave me a Pioneer AVH-X8700BT head unit for my van. The cool thing with that radio is it will do Apple CarPlay which is useful since I am currently an Apple user. My current setup is a bluetooth audio adapter kludged into the back of the stock head unit, this new to me head unit lets me connect my iPhone SE to it via a lightning cable.

Sadly, when I powered it up on my desk, I found it was password protected and the hint wasn't any use. Asking my friend what the password was got nowhere, he couldn't remember, any guesses he came up with didn't work.

So it sat around for a week or so while I was at work. Until I had a look around the internet and came across a random forum post for a different radio. Not the same one as mine but I figured I would have a go, the radio was free so if it failed then nothing lost.

I grabbed the RAR from the Dropbox link (mirror) and dumped the contents to a freshly formatted 16GB pendrive, plugged it in the top USB port and powered on the radio. It sat at the password screen for a few seconds then rebooted into maintenance mode. From there it was simple to hit the factory reset option in the menu, remove the pendrive and power cycle the head unit to the language selection screen.

Fantastic! From there I plugged the phone in, set the radio to work with Apple devices and had CarPlay running, controlling my phone from the head unit. Much better than faffing with a bluetooth puck on the dash.

This fix may work for other Pioneer radios from the same family, the link above is for the AVH-4000 but worked just the same.

Ditching GPG

I've been a user of GPG for over a decade if I recall. Been through some trials and tribulations with keychain issues (admittedly mostly PEBKAC) and even switched to using a hardware token for storing my keys on to increase security.

The issue is, the folk I am primarily in contact with don't use GPG. One friend maintains a keychain himself but our communications are over Telegram for the most part. I have had more encrypted emails from Facebook than all other contacts put together. Say what you will about other communications systems and their cryptography (or lack thereof) but they just get out of the way and let me get my messages out to people.

So I am thinking I will ditch the use of GPG. I see no utility in keeping a keychain up to date with subkeys and expiries and moving things to the token etc for one person I don't communicate with on that medium.

If anyone has a really good reason for me to expend effort in maintaining my keychain then please contact me, ideally using GPG. Otherwise I will likely revoke my keys some point this week.