My name is Karyl F. Stein and this is my website--a place to collect artifacts related to my family and interests. Family and friends may enjoy the journal entries. Perhaps some will wonder how I prepared a certain meal and look up the recipe. Searches for technical setup or configuration help may lead to one of my articles. Others may wonder how they got to this site and quickly run away! Whatever your reason for being here you are welcome and I hope that you find something interesting or useful within these pages. If you want to get in contact with me, I am on several social media platforms as "karylfstein" and/or "dadforever74". The latter is my gaming handle which I also use on consoles and other game-related platforms.
As part of the changes to the Stein Home Network (see Stein Home Network - 2021 Edition), the core home automation server is being moved to a new virtual machine and a new version of the openHAB software I use. While it is the same software, it is a major change and it is recommended to rebuild the system from scratch using their new tools instead of trying to upgrade in place or migrate data from the previous implementation.
The main goal of this iteration is just to update the server software used and get used to the changes made. However, it also helps to further another goal of decommissioning one of the full-time, physical servers in the basement to reduce energy consumption. No other changes are planned at this time.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to securely access a private network over a public one such as the Internet. For example, when I am away from home I may want to access and use my desktop computer located in my home study. But I do not want other people who may have access to my connection, (think of WiFi hotspots in many places such as restaurants, hotels, and businesses), to see what I am doing or typing. A VPN provides an encrypted (unreadable) tunnel between my device, such as a laptop or a tablet, and my home network. That way I can access my home network securely and as if I was connected to my home WiFi. A VPN can be used to securely connect two private networks, (such as between a home and a vacation home), over a public one. However, my goals for a VPN are fairly simplistic and are as follows:
DNS and DHCP are core services that many home networks provide. Usually these services are handled by an appliance such as a router provided by a person's Internet Service Provider. Even though one of the major goals of the 2021 edition of the Stein Home Network is to simplify the infrastructure, (see Stein Home Network - 2021 Edition), the appliances I have are not flexible enough to handle things such as reserving an IP address for a specific device or providing services with different configurations for individual VLANs. Therefore a virtual machine running a version of Linux will still be employed to provide those services. However, complexity will be reduced by no longer having multiple physical and virtual servers with a shared data store and fail-over capabilities. This means that a server outage can impact these vital services, but some redundancy has been built into the design to mitigate the impacts of outages as much as possible. (For a detailed description of the redundant DNS and DHCP configuration previously employed see DNS and DHCP - 2017 Edition.)
The main goals for DNS and DHCP are:
When computers connect to each other over the Internet or on your home network they usually use something called an IP address to know how to reach the destination computer. Unless you have a "business class" Internet package, you are likely given a single, Internet-accessible IP address for your home network. Your network equipment then usually provides computers on your home network with IP addresses from a "private" pool. Those IP addresses are only used on your home network and cannot be accessed from the Internet.
DNS or domain name service is a way to translate a human-readable address such as karylstein.com and turn it into an IP address that a computer understands such as 126.96.36.199. The problem with most companies that provide home Internet is that your Internet-accessible IP address can and will change over time. That means if you want to be able to access your home network over the Internet using an easy-to-remember name, you need to make sure that the DNS server will provide the correct IP address even when it changes. That is where dynamic DNS comes into play. The main goals of the dynamic DNS service on the Stein Home Network are:
Home - Pretty much everything put on the site ends up here. If you want a full feed of all sections subscribe to this.
Cooking - Recipes plus ramblings about techniques, tools and more may be found here.
Technology - Information about the technology I use and how I use it.
Writing - Stuff that comes out of my mind and ends up on (digital) paper.
Résumé - My current résumé is very out-of-date. If and when I do make it current, it will be available here.
Family Site - Links to family photos and videos and more.
Contact - Due to SPAM issues, there is no contact form on this site. To get in touch with me please use one of the social media links on the top right of this site. I may be found on many social platforms as "karylfstein" or under my gaming handle "dadforever74".
This site is broken into a few blog-style sections and document download areas. At the bottom of each section are a couple subscribe options that you can use with your favorite RSS or ATOM reader.