Pinned toot

It was suggested I post, and pin, a toot with information about what it costs to run this instance.
I like this, I want to be transparent, and I think it's important that the community have trust and confidence in me, and the hosting.

Currently the costs looks like this:

* £112.50 a year for a VPS
* €25.00 a year for the domain name

All media (avatars, etc.) are sotred on the server, we use 20G of 40G so far.

More details (and optional donations) at

Pinned toot

New blog post: "'Secure' is Meaningless"

People sometimes ask me whether the latest gadget or app is "secure". That's a meaningless question - here's how to make something meaningful of it.

Is there a way to make my frame buffer or terminal emulator look like an amber monochrome CRT?

I know tmux can do themes but I'm drawing a blank on finding something premade.

For context, it costs roughly £300 to employ a sign language interpreter for one night. They likely spent more on gaffer tape.

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Look at what arrived in the mail today!

Thanks @M0YNG! Love ‘em!

The real spirit of amateur radio. (From Sept '21 edition of SolidCopy newsletter)

I've been enjoying but struggled to find any CDs for sale in the UK for sensible prices, then I found Cheese for £5.26 on eBay.

It just arrived, with a price sticker from a charity shop on it saying £1.99 :alex_laugh:

At least delivery was free...

Everyone, please welcome @dc7ia !

They are new to our instance, but you may know them as @DC7IA

Looks like my 20m Moxon (still low height) can carry FT8 signals to Europe! Anyone available at the moment from Europe to have a QSO?

Dug out this iPod when looking for something else, and it lives!
Put on there and some @powderpaint and it is working great.
(It looks less gross and shiny IRL...)

Alex stickers are on their way to five generous contributors!

If you would like one, pop a donation to help cover our costs via PayPal to or and let me know your address.
(obviously it's a free sticker to say thanks, not a purchase.)

If you have donated before and would like a sticker, do let me know!

Look what came!

I have @alex stickers!

Would you like one?
I think it would cost me around £2 to send internationally, so if you were to donate at least that much and give me an address to send it to I will try my best to send you a free sticker to say thank you for helping to keep our instance running.

PayPal to should work...
You can make an ongoing contribution via too

Thanks again to @Anna for her great art!


One of my Raspberry Pis that has been running fine for ages wasn't letting me ssh in - it would connect then immediately disconnect.

So I tried a power cycle, and it didn't come back up.

So I took the SD card out and ran e2fsck on it

Now EVERYTHING is in LOST+FOUND, then entire root filesystem.

Everyone, Please welcome @m6wiq !

Please toot an so we can get to know you :alex_grin: add some hashtags too so we know what interests you.

You can find more people in the instance in the directory
(you can opt into this too once you have 10 "friends", and add tags to your profile) and the local timeline.

And this list of radio amateurs on mastodon, may be of interest:

And there are apps!

Hey, hey, people!

Do you want to do ? on that server for example?

They have an channel / room thing.

Well, now you can via our server!

It's slightly tricky, but try this and let me know how you get on.

Join this Multi User Room:

You need to register your nickname to talk so
/msg NickServ REGISTER <password> <email>
and follow the steps

Once you have identified you should be able to say "Hi!"

Do you keep a scanner going, and if so, what channels is it tuned to?

I'm monitoring 5 or 6 local 2 meter and 70cm repeaters with an old Radio Shack Realistic Pro-34. It supports 100 channels, but I'm not going to need them all. The radio was $2 at a reuse store, and I put $15 into getting a new power supply for it so I didn't have to futz with batteries.

SDR TRX + VPN = Awesome! I added a rpi3 to my home network, moved it into the DMZ, set up some firewall rules and installed Wireguard on the pi. With the SDR software on the laptop I can now dial into my home network and establish a connection with the Hermes Lite. Just had my first remote SDR QRP QSO with F4IXL/P and am pretty impressed how nicely it worked.

Just sharing a picture of one of my 2021 pure indulgent purchases. A Begali Straight Key. Sadly my fist is much better than my ear lately.

Hi All

This is Rob Cole from South Africa. Please to meet you all.

I have been a ham for longer than I care to remember, but have never been particularly active (from when I was a teenager) until some prodding from ZS6JV @jaquesviljoen has got me going again.

I am an electronic engineer by trade and I currently spend the rest of the time juggling my family, hiking, climbing, running and generally tinkering with whatever happens to catch my imagination.

73 for now

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