Home Cloud Server

GMKtec Mini PC Windows 11 Pro Intel N100 (Up to 3.4GHz) 4C/4T, Mini Desktop Computer Dual LAN 1000Mbps 12GB DDR5 1TB Hard Drive, Micro PC 4K, Triple Display, WiFi6, BT5.2, Energy Efficient Nucbox G2

I built a cloud server based on this box. First I tested the windows 11 and it works fine. Then came the home cloud server. Also known as NAS (or network area storage).


The G2 has USB 3.2 ports. So, I added a 1 terabyte USB NVME-SSD from Lexar. Also temporarily plugged a portable DVD reader. The latter is pretty slow but it is just for installation. So I changed the bios of the G2 and booting from the DVD reader I installed openmediavault 6.5 onto the SSD. Then set the bios to boot openmediavault (aka OMV).

OMV comes with a debian version of linux as it’s based OS. And the OMV software is layered on top.

Then I added an 8 TB seagate disk on another USB port. This needed to be re-formatted for use with OMV and I chose EXT4 format because it is the most flexible. The disk ended up giving 7.28 TB of usable storage after formatting.

Next I installed CasaOS because it has really cool home applications and runs a Docker management system. More on that later.

Next, using the OMV panel I created an NFS server to make the G2 cloud appear to my linux desktop. And then an SMB server to make it appear to the W11 machine.

On W11 I copied all my audible books in AAX and MP3 format to the G2. This was 329 GB of data and it took an hour. The average data transfer rate was 50 MBytes per second. Thats 500 megabits. It gave my wifi a pretty good workout.


I can now share files between windows and linux via this shared cloud device.

Videos on Amazon page here: https://a.co/d/1QKNlmp

Here is my dashboard:

I am running CasaOS and here is a panel from it:

The CasaOS OpenSpeedTest app measures my upload speed of 484.8 Mbps exceeds the 405.6 Mbps download speed to the G2.

My plex account on CasaOS:

And of course when I went to make the screen snap I totally got lost in a episode of Doc Martin on live Plex TV. Cannot resist that Cornish countryside.


OMV on raspberry PI: https://www.naturalborncoder.com/hardware/raspberry-pi/2022/11/21/adding-an-storage-drive-and-smb-share-to-openmediavault-on-raspberry-pi/

More on this later.

Why ICE is not dead.

Synthetic fuels’ biggest draw is that unlike fossil fuels, the C02 they release into the atmosphere when burned in an engine is virtually equal to the amount taken out of the atmosphere to produce the fuel thus making them CO2-neutral overall. To sweeten the deal, ICE vehicles do not require any modifications to run on e-fuels, which can also be transported via existing fossil fuel logistics networks. Further, synthetic fuels can be blended in fossil fuels or can completely replace them in existing ships, airplanes or industrial technologies.

Building 8852be Driver

I bought an AMD Ryzen 7 5825U 8 core laptop. The wifi chip is an RTL8852 chip. Linux does not yet have a driver for it in any distributions. So, here is how to build it from source code.

First you add the repository.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kelebek333/kablosuzsudo add-apt-repository ppa:kelebek333/kablosuz
sudo apt update
git clone https://github.com/HRex39/rtl8852be.git
clone https://github.com/HRex39/rtl8852be.git
cd rtl8852be
sudo make install
sudo modprobe 8852be

Now when you reboot and go into control panel and look at adding a wifi device you will see the new device present. Mine shows up as a device named wl0.

Wind Draughts

Primary Category: …Energy…

An investor writes:

“I wrote this article  for the Australian edition of the British magazine Spectator a couple of weeks back. In essence, academics are FINALLY starting to realise that wind droughts are an issue with intermittent systems and studying them. As the article notes some work has been done in the UK, where it is known, for example, that some years back the wind made no contribution to the UK grid for nine days, and there were serious deficits during another drought at the end of last year. These wind droughts are an extreme event like cyclones or rain droughts. I saw some material recently on wind droughts in the US but I seem to have mislaid it. Perhaps someone has access? As for Australia there has been limited work to suggest that wind droughts in a given year might last for up to 36 hours. But that’s just from one year of data. As noted in the article there is no way to store enough power to tide the grids over such long periods. Australia is building one water dam project called Snowy 2.0 (after the region) but a fully renewables network would need at least six of seven. In any case the blindness of policy makers to this issue to date is just extraordinary. “

This got me to thinking.

My take: Storage of transient energy remains an issue. Tesla’s power wall is based on lithium battery technology and what counts here is Mega-Joules/Kg. ie, energy density of the storage mechanism. Also the economics of the life cycle of mining all the way through waste disposal and the the cost of each step.

I recently mentioned a physicist who remarked on TV about the subject of chemical based “replaceable energy storage cells”, ie, battery units, for personal road vehicles. There is a physical limit to that energy density. This was in a conversation about Tesla, which uses lithium battery technology. I simply pointed out the existence of the physicist’s remarks. And was instantly set upon by a protagonist of the original poster who was “triggered” by the point. We never did get around to addressing the actual issue, mainly because I do not respond to off the wall aspersions and argumentum ad-hominum attacks directed at third party people. And there were plenty of those from this particular protagonist.

The physicist had a real point. There are physical limits to chemical energy density and there is no “magic technology” that will save chemical batteries. There are alternative replaceable storage cell designs based on non-chemical energy storage and these are in research phases. And one could discuss those. But for the time being Tesla as a current product is not based on any of these.

And we have to beware red-herring arguments and be careful to compare apple to apples (not apples to oranges).

There are possibilities for building personal electric vehicles if the energy density problem could be solved. It is not going to be Iron Man’s fusion battery strapped to your chest, however. Wouldn’t that be nice if it were?

Major issues in personal vehicles are:

  • How far can you drive before recharging?
  • How much time is required to recharge?
  • Availability of recharging equipment?
  • Ultimate energy source of the recharge. Where did it come from? Where was it stored?

The Beat Goes On

The public is being told that in the near future everyone will be driving a vehicle powered by electric motors which run off chemical based batteries and these in turn will be powered by wind power and solar panels which store the energy in an energy infrastructure that easily distributes to resupply the personal vehicles. That is the main drumbeat. And humanity will be saved from climate change. Problem is, this is not credible. The drumbeat also includes elements of “if you don’t believe the drumbeat you must be a trog who is against science.” That is a non-sequitor.

Of course there are other sources of energy. among these are:

  • Hydro
  • Geothermal
  • Nuclear
  • Fossil Fuels

Systems Analysis

As a physics major turned engineer I believe these issues require an approach of systems analysis. In other words they are problem sets in systems analysis. All aspects must be solved simultaneously for society to be able to utilize any given solution set. Systems engineering is one of the types of jobs that I do. This type of thinking is particularly important for policy makers. Unfortunately most public debate ignores systems analysis and focuses on just one aspect of the problem set. This is naive thinking. When someone demonstrates such thinking I usually refuse to speak with them because it becomes a waste of time.

Areas I am interested in:

Capacitive power cells powered by fuel cells. Why? Higher energy density. Higher energy discharge capability. Fueling is rapid and fueling stations can be made readily available.

Hydrogen power.

Something more exotic.

These are completely separate discussions than vehicles powered by lithium power cells.

The above might answer how to build personal vehicles. But neither of the above answer the question of where the initial power comes from or how is the energy stored and transferred for availability to vehicles.

My experience is that folks who are in love with electric cars tend to focus only on the one aspect they care about and ignore the other issues entirely. And they seem to resent any questions about those aspects.

Now, wind draughts are one tiny aspect of energy gathering systems. Wind power freezing over in Texas or Minnesota is another such topic. These systems tend to be under-engineered and fail. The overall energy grid needs to be able to deal with such transient effects.

I plan to say something about large stationary power storage systems … soon.


This is interesting commentary.

Undergraduate basics.

Lorraine and Corson is the standard E&M textbook in upper division physics at California State University, or at least it was for many years. It is the one I used for my undergraduate work. It is a core prerequisite for senior level physics courses. Generally you take 16 credits of physics per semester and add in one general ed easy course as the 5th to make 18, but this varies.

Lorraine and Corson was WONDERFUL as a course.

I was in my senior year of physics when I got married and moved across the country and well, life took a different turn.

Let me just say right now: I have never met a BIOLOGIST who took this E&M course. Doesn’t mean there aren’t some. I myself eventually became an engineer who shipped 30+ engineering products. But I also went on to study biology, microbiology, and biochemistry.

Let me quote a review from Amazon.com about Lorraine and Corson:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference work.Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2001

This book is intended primarily for students of Physics or Electrical Engineering at the junior or senior levels, although some schools will prefer to use it with first-year
graduate students. The book should also be useful for scientists and engineers who wish to review the subject.
The aim of this book is to give the reader a working knowledge of the basic concepts of electromagnetism. Indeed, as Alfred North Whitehead stated, half a century
ago, “Education is the acquisition of the art of the utilization of knowledge.” This explains the relatively large number of examples and problems. It also explains why
we have covered fewer subjects more thoroughly. For instance, Laplace’s equation is solved in rectangular and in spherical coordinates, but not in cylindrical
A chapter on vectors (Chapter 1), a discussion of Legendre’s differential equation (Section 4.5), an appendix on the technique that involves replacing cos wt by exp jwt,
and an appendix on wave propagation.
After the introductory chapter on vectors, Chapters 2, 3, and 4 describe electrostatic fields, both in a vacuum and in dielectrics. All of Chapter 4 is devoted to the
solution of Laplace’s and of Poisson’s equations.
Chapter 5 is a short exposition of the basic concepts of special relativity, with little reference to electric charges. It requires nothing more, in the way of mathematics,
than elementary differential calculus and the vector analysis of Chapter 1. Chapter 6 contains a demonstration of Maxwell’s equations that is based on Coulomb’s law
and on the Lorentz transformation and which is valid only for the case where the charges move at constant velocities.
Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the conventional approach to the magnetic fields associated with constant and with variable currents. Here, as elsewhere, references to
Chapter 6 may be disregarded.
Chapter 9 contains a discussion of magnetic materials that parallels, to a certain extent, that of Chapter 3 on dielectrics.
In Chapter 10, the Maxwell equation for the curl of B is rediscovered, without using relativity. This is followed by a discussion of the four Maxwell equations, as well
as of some of their more general implications. The point of view is different from that of Chapter 6, and there is essentially no repetition.
The last four chapters, 11 to 14, concern various applications of Maxwell’s equations: plane waves in infinite media in Chapter 11, reflection and refraction in Chapter
12, guided waves in Chapter 13, and radiation in Chapter 14. The only three media considered in Chapters 11 and 12 are perfect dielectrics, good conductors, and
low-pressure ionized gases. Similarly, Chapter 13 is limited to the two simplest types of guided wave, namely the TEM mode in coaxial lines and the TE1,0 mode in
rectangular guides. Chapter 14 discusses electric and magnetic dipoles and quadrupoles, as well as the essential ideas concerning the half-wave antenna, antenna arrays,
and the reciprocity theorem.
For a basic and relatively simple course on electromagnetism, one could study only Chapters 2, 3 (less Sections 3.3, 3.4, 3.8, 3.9, and 3.10), 4 (less Sections 4.4 and
4.5), 7, 8, 9 (less Section 9.3 but conserving the equation v – B = 0), and 10. For a rather advanced course, on the other hand, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 could be
reviewed briefly using the summaries at the end of each chapter. One would then start with Chapter 6, and then go on to Chapter 10 and the following chapters. There
are, of course, many other possibilities.
In Chapter 12, Sections 12.3 and 12.7 could be dispensed with. They involve the application of Fresnel’s equations to particular cases and are not essential for the
remaining chapters. Chapter 13 is instructive, both because of the insight it provides into the propagation of electromagnetic waves and because of its engineering
applications, but it is not required for understanding Chapter 14. Finally, Chapter 14 is based on Chapter 10 and on the first two sections of Chapter 11.

Howto Convert a kindle Book to PDF

(for personal use of books you own)

From Amazon Website

Even if you have a registered Kindle device, you can download the Kindle book to your computer directly from the Amazon account. Log into your account Amazon Website Select Account and save your purchased book for export to USB (option near the bottom as I recall).

Then use the book reader know as Calibre

Calibre works great on linux. Calibre is one of the easiest ways to convert Kindle to PDF that also allows you to read and organize ebooks on various devices. This tool is available for all Operating Systems but I use only linux so I do not care about the others.

To convert Kindle to PDF:

Click on the ‘Add books’ option.

  • Go to the Kindle book you want to convert and select it to add it to Calibre.
  • Select the added book inside Calibre.
  • Click on the Convert Books option.
  • From the dropdown menu of ‘Output format’, select PDF.

To see the conversion, you can click on Jobs at the bottom-right corner. When the conversion is complete, select PDF and select “Save the PDF format to disk” and save it.

Open in your favorite PDF editor.

I, Robot or … Get a Dog?

I love gadgets. My wife hates gadgets. She wins. Her rule: Keep it warm wet and fuzzy.

Cute idea. Ummm…in my kitchen … what about chair legs everywhere? ** Bump ** Crash **

My puppy used to lap up every crumb under that table.

Will the robot put up all the chairs for us?

BTW, doubles as a coffee maker, didn’t you know?

This baby, by contrast, seems to have mulched up all the debris on the kitchen floor with aplomb.

Just kidding.