S5E20: "Social(ly Distanced) Network"

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Recorded (UTC) Aired (UTC) Editor
2020-11-12 03:17:26 2020-11-22 07:57:33 "Edita"
Format SHA256 GPG Audio File
MP3 d65fc85ae0d102c694599e5e755bf45951438d36d39aee2abd783321cabacbeb click click
OGG 4bd9fd979c1920bad49a7238ad0589ee8110e07c98636fd8de73d892b7684e02 click click

We talk about optimizations you can make to your home network for telecommuting/lockdowns.

Paden wasn’t able to join us for this one.

Just the Tip

  • Instead of talking about mtree, I talk about xidel.
    • According to the project’s site, its pronunciation is laid out as “you say ‘excited’ with a silent ‘C’ and ‘D’, followed by an ‘L’. In German, you just say it as it is written.”
    • It’s essentially jq but for XML/HTML instead of JSON. (Xidel does also support JSON as well.)
    • Xidel lets you select certain values, attributes, children, etc. based on an XPath query.
    • It also supports pretty-printing XML that might be “minified” (collapsed).
    • It additionally seems to support its own scripting language, Xidelscript, but I am unable to find any documentation of that.
    • PSA, DO NOT attempt to regex HTML/XML. Ever.


Starts at 16m50s.

I was drinking water. Jthan was drinking Macallan’s Sherry 12 scotch.

  • Making your home network telecommute-friendly
    • Your ISP is key in all this. It needs to be reliable and have adequate speed available for the number of people in your house to use media-heavy connections simultaneously.
    • You need multiple WAPs, ideally with Ethernet backbone (and if meshing, you’ll want a dedicated separate radio for the backhaul).
    • REALLY seek to understand WiFi (802.11) congestion.
      • IoT devices use more bandwidth than you think! Even e.g. “smart TVs”, when “off”, may still be using your network.
      • The more devices you have on wireless, the more your network WILL be affected. Don’t believe me? Run Kismet or airmon-ng. See all those packets flying through the air? The more you have of those, the longer your device(s) have to wait to communicate with your WAP.
    • We here at Sysadministrivia recommend segregating to multiple VLANs (yes, even for your home network) based on e.g. IoT vs. laptop, and we personally like and use Ubiquiti’s Unifi product line.
    • If at ALL possible, wire your house for Ethernet! I recommend CAT6A SFTP.
      • The way of terminating CAT6 10Gbps is slightly different from what you might be used to. I’d recommend this kit and you may need some additional education, such as this. (The kit does have short instructions inside the case as well, but they should be relied on as a reminder and not instructional).
    • We also suggest this Android app.
    • Also be wary of channel bleed.
    • Jthan knows a lot about this topic ;) but if you’re still on a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, get a DOCSIS 3.1 or (ideally) a DOCSIS 4.0 modem if you have a coax drop in your house. (If you have fiber to the house, disregard as I don’t believe there are consumer-offered ONTs.)
    • Physically space out your devices! Two wireless devices next to each other will congest each other if they’re on the same frequency (“channel”).

15 Clams

In this segment, Jthan shares with you a little slice of life. The title is a reference to this video. (2m16s in)

Starts at 44m04s.

Jthan talks about how to leave a position with a company. It boils down to “try as hard as you can to not screw over your replacement”. Essentially, document everything and take steps to make sure emails are forwarded.


  • Jthan got a new job; he’s SRE for a new company. His staff info isn’t updated yet at the time of writing this though.
  • I referred to Kismet as Kermit, whoops! (Kermit is a console/serial application).
  • I made a dumb and forgot how to count.


Music Credits
Track Title Artist Link Copyright/License
Intro Voxel Revolution Kevin MacLeod click CC-BY 4.0
Outro Newer Wave Kevin MacLeod click CC-BY 4.0
(All music is royalty-free, properly licensed for use, used under fair use, or public domain.)



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