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FreeBSD eXO router -- Get to ping6

Introduction

eXO – expansió Xarxa Oberta (open network expansion) is an non-profit association based in Barcelona and since 2019, it’s also a RIPE member.

eXO […] promotes open telecommunication networks, technological sovereignty, access to wholesale Internet services and reduces the digital gap.

They are also pretty much the only decent way to access native IPv6 in Barcelona and since RIPE ran out of IPv4 in 2019, it’s also pretty much the only decent Internet Service Provider around.

Also, the fact that you are not a customer but a member who can make things work out if necessary, kicks ass over <rant> Customer Service that keeps you waiting for hours and then insults your time and intelligence, or a service that forces you to use crappy routers, uses CGNAT or one that basically mobs you into joining them by aggressively calling you multiple times a week. (Who does these terrible things? Search for “biggest ISPs in Spain”) </rant>

Also: you get to pick your router and, besides something running OpenWRT (default), do it your self and e.g. run OpenBSD or FreeBSD.

This is roughly about how internet with eXO works and mainly about how to setup a FreeBSD system as a router for it.

PS: eXO does more than just fiber, there are also community-owned wireless mesh networks, but that’s for another day.

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ThinkPad A485 and FreeBSD

Introduction

I’ve always thought diversity is an important thing, which is why Linux’ hegemony on servers, as great as it is, can also be a threat for future network stability.

Most people having something to do with computers have probably come across the BSD term at one point or another, yet not everyone is aware of OpenBSD and FreeBSD being reasonable alternative Operating Systems with their own strengths.

Since my previous laptop was way too fragile to be a mobile computer any longer, I had to relegate it to a virtualisation server and start the hunt for a powerful, mobile and flexible laptop.

Easier said than done, after much researching I settled in May 2019 for a ThinkPad A485 as being the closest thing to a good trade-off for me. Amongst other things it features an AMD Ryzen™ processor and 32G RAM.

There is a great article covering support for this laptop on OpenBSD.

Since it’s not the case for FreeBSD and, at that point, support for this laptop was not ideal, this is intended as some kind of documentation that will hopefully help other people in the near future, that is in the transition to full support.

The wish to document this started when someone asked on the freebsd-current Mailing List about getting the A485 to work with FreeBSD.

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AcCoreConsole: Simple plugin for workload simulation

Introduction

Following up on my previous post, I’ll introduce a small AutoCAD .Net plugin that can run on the AcCoreConsole.

This could work as a hands-on, quick and dirty tutorial to writing .Net plugins for AutoCAD, I recommend reading the official documentation though. If you are already comfortable writing .Net plugins for AutoCAD, you can skip to the Customising execution (Command Line Arguments) section.

The idea of this plugin is to perform a computation that takes a while and exit; nothing fancy.

The reason for this, is to test my implementation of something similar to AutocadIO that runs locally and in a much smaller scale; the main motivation for that is that many companies are not (yet) ready to handle over their files to Autodesk and having the files processed in their amazing cloud.

At some point, my implementation should provide for an easy way to choose between using all local resources and sending jobs to AutocadIO; that would give maximum flexibility to both users and developers as well, all while giving end-users (companies) a peek into the potential of massively parallel running processes.

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