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BorgBackup Repository on DSM 7.0

A few years back I began using Borg for backing up nuxx.net, sending it home to my Synology DSM 1019+. At the time this was running the 6.x family of DSM and worked great, but it broke after moving to v7.0. Attempts to run Borg would result in this error:

/var/services/homes/borguser/borg: error while loading shared libraries: libz.so.1: failed to map segment from shared object

This appears to be happening because with the upgrade to v7.0 /tmp is mounted noexec.

adminuser@diskstation:/var/services/homes/borguser$ mount | grep /tmp
tmpfs on /tmp type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec)
adminuser@diskstation:/var/services/homes/borguser$

While a few online solutions (such as this one) propose remounting /tmp with exec, this is a poor solution as it changes the security model for DSM v7.0 and may break in the future during an upgrade. The best solution for this is to create a private temp directory for just borguser and define it as $TMPDIR.

To do this create ~borguser/tmp, ensure it’s owned by your Borg user, and set it to 700:

mkdir ~borguser/tmp
chown borguser:users ~borguser/tmp
chmod 700 ~borguser/tmp

Then create a wrapper script for Borg setting this variable. The result will be Borg using ~borguser/tmp for it’s private temporary directory, leaving /tmp alone, working nicely with the DSM v7.0 security design. I keep mine in ~borguser/.ssh and call it borg.sh. Mine is like this:

adminuser@diskstation:/var/services/homes/borguser$ sudo cat .ssh/borg.sh
!/bin/sh
export TMPDIR=$HOME/tmp
/var/services/homes/borguser/borg serve --storage-quota 120G --restrict-to-repository /volume2/Backups/borg
adminuser@diskstation:/var/services/homes/borguser$

Finally, change ~borguser/.ssh/authorized_keys limiting the backup user to executing the new script.

command="/var/services/homes/backupuser/.ssh/borg.sh",restrict,from="192.168.0.23" ssh-rsa AAAA[...restofkeygoeshere...] remoteuser@remoteserver.example.com

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HOWTO: Apple TV Volume Control of Bose Solo Soundbar Series II

After moving into our new house I we switched our trainer TV’s audio setup to a Bose Solo Soundbar Series II from Costco for $159.99. It’s a cheaper, basic soundbar that connects via TOSLINK, but sounds plenty good for TV/movie watching while pedaling away during the winter.

One of the really nifty features of the Apple TV is its ability to learn the infrared (IR) remote control signals of a another device so its remote can control the volume of receivers and such. This works out wonderfully, as with HDMI ARC, from the one Apple remote we can wake up the Apple TV, wake up the TV (and have it switch to the correct input), and control the volume of the soundbar.

Unfortunately, the learning process just didn’t work with the IR remote that comes with the soundbar. For whatever reason the Apple TV wouldn’t detect the IR signal being sent and the learning would fail.

Our previous setup — an old Yamaha home theater receiver and some Energy surround sound speakers — had no problems with the Apple TV. Once set up it was super convenient, so I wanted this in the new house.

I was able to solve this by buying a cheap universal remote, setting it up to control the soundbar, and then using it to the Apple TV. A bit of hoop jumping, and it cost an extra $10, but to me that’s worth the convenience.

Specifically, I bought this Philips SRP3249B/27 via Amazon, programmed the AUD button with code 2706 (Sound Bar, Bose), then used that to program the Apple TV via SettingsRemotes and DevicesVolume ControlLearn New Device….

When going through the learning process on the Apple TV I noticed an interesting quirk: If I followed the on-screen instructions exactly and held the remote button until the progress bar filled up, I would have to press and release the button on the Apple TV remote repeatedly to keep changing the volume. That is, each press/release turned it up or down just one notch on the soundbar.

By repeatedly pressing the button during the learn process the Apple TV learned something slightly different and then holding the button on its remote resulted in the soundbar continually increasing/decreasing the volume as the button is held.

Either way, it’s now working all from the Apple TV remote and all is good again. It just took an intermediate “universal” remote to bridge the gap.

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My Photo Gallery Has Been Removed

Since 2001 or so I’ve been hosting most of my personal photos in a public gallery at nuxx.net/gallery (archive.org link to one of the first instances).

Today, ~21 years later, I’ve taken it down.

I’ve no single reason why; it’s basically a combination of these things:

  • Two years ago I made the photo gallery static, so nothing new was being added.
  • Keeping the gallery online costs $8/mo for the extra 80GB volume at Linode.
  • I previously used this gallery to share a lot of life online. I no longer do this in the same way.
  • Outside of social media, everything I publish online for the last few years has been via this blog.

The aforementioned static archiving of Gallery and backups with Borg made it easy to move hosting to my NAS at home. Now I can continue accessing the site myself while simplifying my public internet presence.

This feels like a huge shift, but the right one.

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Soma Smoothie HP: Brake Safety Issue

Shift cable/brake interference on prototype Soma Smoothie HP Frame (Photo from Soma)

Originally this post was going to be about my new road bike, but instead I’m writing a warning about the new Soma Smoothie HP and a safety issue, recommending against buying it without fully understanding the possible downsides. While the specs of this frame promise to be an excellent modern steel road bike, it has a design problem that can lead to rear brake failure.

Specifically, the location of the brake housing mounts results in the front derailleur cable resting on the brake cable at a mount. Over time movement of this cable can cut into the brake hose/housing, cable clip/tie, etc. If not caught in time this can lead to brake failure.

I purchased one of these frames and have been excitedly building it up, finding this problem late into the build when preparing to run the shift cables and brake lines.

When I brought this up with Soma seeking for a solution, they dismissed the issue, saying they identified this interference during frame development, but that it’s not concerning to them. Stan, with Soma, instead suggested that I rely on the cable tie (as seen above) to mitigate the rub, that rubbing through a brake hose or housing will take a long time, and to add additional material (rubber cable donuts or tape) to the cable if I am worried about it.

I disagree, as any component that’s designed to move should not have unintentional rub, particularly not against a safety-critical system like a brake. A frame should be designed to avoid this; it should not be necessary to bodge in rub protection to stave off cables cutting into other housing.

The photo at the top of this post is of Soma’s prototype build and shows the interference and their reliance on the head of a cable tie for keeping the shift cable in place and away from the brake line. Beyond the safety issue of the front shift cable rubbing on the brake line, the cable does not have a clean path between the upper stop and lower guide, which can lead to shifting issues.

While it would be possible to build this frame up as a 1x (no front derailleur) system to avoid this interference, I want this to be a double-chainring road bike (Shimano 105 R7000) and thus is not an option for me. Or one could go with wireless shifting, but due to cost this isn’t an option for me either.

I really wish Soma had fixed this interference when they first identified it, or at least mentioned it in their documentation so I would have passed on buying the frame. All it would have taken is moving the brake routing to either the centerline (like on this Lynskey) or much further up the downtube (like on my Salsa Vaya) and it’d have been solved.

After I found this a good friend reached out to me, and I’ve since passed the frame on to him. He was looking to build an wireless shifting road bike with fenders, and this will work out perfectly for him. With the electronic shifting he won’t run into this cabling issue.

For those considering this frame, unless you are going with wireless shifting, a 1x setup, or are willing to deal with the compromises of a shift cable rubbing on a brake housing/hose, I suggest that you look elsewhere.


Here (PDF) is the full email thread with Soma.

Below are photos showing the interference on my frame. These were taken when the build was nearly complete, while I was planning cable routing. These photos are when I first realized the problem and reached out to Soma.

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Upgrading Pi-Hole on Docker on Synology DSM

At home I use Pi-Hole running via Docker on a Synology DS1019+ (details here). Every once in a while I update this, but it seems to be long enough between updates that I forget the exact steps, so I’m documenting them here.

This is the simplest update process I know of. It keeps the configuration the same but updates the container itself. Because the volumes for persistent storage are not changed and the custom environment variables stay the same, all settings are preserved.

  1. Log into DSM.
  2. Launch Docker.
  3. In Docker, update the image:
    • Registry
    • Search for pihole
    • Select pihole/pihole (ensure it is the official image)
    • Click Download
  4. Stop and reset the container:
    • Container
    • Select your Pi-hole container.
    • Stop
    • Reset
    • Start
  5. Wait a few minutes, then log back in to Pi-Hole (eg: http://pi.hole:8081/admin/)
  6. At the bottom of the page observe updated versions. Check here for the latest version of the Docker image, for comparison.

Note: This process presumes you have configured volumes mounted to /etc/dnsmasq.d and /etc/pihole, and have set environment variables INTERFACE, WEB_PORT, WEBPASSWORD, and TZ. Without these your results may vary.

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Help Please: 2022 AIDS/LifeCycle Fundraising

Years ago Mark Ferlatte told me about the AIDS/LifeCycle (Wikipedia) charity ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Money raised by this event allows the two non-profits to provide free HIV/AIDS medical care, testing, and prevention services. Each rider in the event raises at least $3000, with the event raising over $220,000,000 since it began in 1993.

At 545 miles over seven days, riding everywhere from the Pacific Coast Highway to proper California mountains, this sounded like it a wonderfully fun way to see a new part of the country, really enjoy being outside, and most importantly raise money to directly help save lives. But, it always seemed like such a logistical challenge that fell into the back of my mind as a one-day-in-the-future goal.

Well, here we are, and 2022 is the year!

This year Kristen and I are both signed up for the 2022 AIDS/LifeCycle ride! On June 5th we will set out from Cow Palace in San Francisco to spend the next week pedaling through one of the most beautiful parts of the country with a couple thousand other folks, all of us with one goal: helping those with HIV/AIDS.

This is where we need your help. Specifically, we need money.

Kristen and I each are working to raise least $3000 through donations from people like you. We all give money to trails, trail organizations, and other groups which help make our lives more fun and enjoyable. Please join us in also giving a bit more to save lives, so everyone can have a great life.

Please click one of these links to donate: SteveKristen

(Donations are to a non-profit, and thus tax deductible.)

Thank you for your help, and for making the lives of those with HIV/AIDS better!

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Network Capture with Process Name and PID on macOS

There are many times when one wants to see which process is responsible for network traffic on a endpoint. While there are ways to look at which process has an open socket or whatnot, this doesn’t help with UDP, and it’s often quite useful to simply do a recording then later see which process is responsible for creating a packet.

On Windows this is very easy using Pktmon / netsh trace / Network Monitor to do a capture, but on macOS it’s not that straightforward.

Using tcpdump with the -k argument one can print process name and PID to the console. In this example I’m filtering on just the host 8.8.8.8 (Google Public DNS) then running dig in another window to look up dingleberrypie.com:

c0nsumer@myopia ~ % sudo tcpdump -k -i en0 host 8.8.8.8
Password:
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on en0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 262144 bytes
09:17:58.210959 pid dig.76987 svc BE IP myopia.home.nuxx.net.56248 > dns.google.domain: 10294+ [1au] A? dingleberrypie.com. (47)
09:17:58.292541 IP dns.google.domain > myopia.home.nuxx.net.56248: 10294 1/0/1 A 96.126.107.52 (63)

The bold line is the packet going out to 8.8.8.8, and the pid dig.76987 portion shows that it’s from a dig process, which had process ID 76987.

Unfortunately, due to the non-standard way Apple writes this metadata into files, it’s not viewable in Wireshark. This would be very nice, as it’d make parsing large captures much easier.

For now it seems the best way to do this is to record the capture to a file, then feed it back into tcpdump. Recording this requires using the pktap pseudo interface (see the tcpdump man page about the --interface argument) to ensure this data is saved into the file. The same capture above, writing to a file called out.cap, would be as follows:

sudo tcpdump -i pktap,en0 host 8.8.8.8 -w out.cap

This can then be fed back into tcpdump for parsing/filtering/viewing:

c0nsumer@myopia ~ % tcpdump -k -r out.cap
reading from PCAP-NG file out.cap
09:27:10.964758 (en0, proc dig:77619, svc BE, out, so) IP myopia.home.nuxx.net.52983 > dns.google.domain: 56446+ [1au] A? dingleberrypie.com. (47)
09:27:11.018809 (en0, proc dig:77619, svc BE, in, so) IP dns.google.domain > myopia.home.nuxx.net.52983: 56446 1/0/1 A 96.126.107.52 (63)
c0nsumer@myopia ~ %

In this case it shows both the sending process and the process which received the packet.

When using this for more detailed analysis, I’ll use the macOS tcpdump to grab a very broad capture and then do first-pass filtering before bringing it into Wireshark for more detailed analysis. See the PACKET METADATA FILTER section of the tcpdump man page for details on how to filter on a PID, process name, etc. From the header of this section:

Use packet metadata filter expression to match packets against descriptive information about the packet: interface, process, service type or direction.

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Making an Online RAMBA Trails Map

RAMBA Trails Map v1.0 (Default View w/ Epic Loop Layer)

Introduction

Kristen and I have been spending a good deal of time in the Ishpeming and Negaunee area this year, and I’ve made it a personal goal to become more familiar the local trails — both RAMBA-supported and otherwise — and get them documented OpenStreetMap (OSM). Having these trails in OSM provides two big benefits: they appear in other mapping tools (such as OsmAnd, GaiaGPS, Strava, MapMyRide/MapMyRun) and the trail data can be freely used to build other tools.

Official RAMBA Map v6 from 2018

Over the years of making trail maps with OpenStreetMap I’ve mostly produced PDFs for printing, leaving mobile and online mapping to other apps. These work well, but have the big downside of rendering routes with their style. That is, online maps via these tools’ show the routes, but look quite different from print maps, even if all the data for them to display more data (such as colour=* tags on relations) is in OSM.

While these apps work pretty well, and I use them myself routinely for navigation, I got the itch to see if I could make a web-based map that looked more like locally produced print maps than app-based renderings. It seemed like a good project, a good way to learn some basics of modern web development, and maybe make something useful.

What I ended up with was a slippy map of showing the RAMBA trails that uses layers of pre-rendered tiles to show the different official trail routes, placed over a background map. The map viewer is client-side JavaScript that loads static tiles from a basic web server, making this a very simple app to host (just a bunch of static files on a site).

In this post I intend to document the major steps of how I made this map, why I used the tools I did, and share the code to reproduce (and update) this build. Hopefully this’ll allow others to get their head around these map presentation basics, perhaps even reusing this work to make and host another map.

Update OSM Data

Strava Global Heatmap in JOSM

Mostly outside the scope of this article but worth a mention, a significant amount of time was spent ensuring that the RAMBA area trails are accurately listed in OSM. Without good data it would not be possible to go further, as the OSM data is the base data used to create other maps.

By combining information from a bunch of sources, and doing some personal surveying of trails while riding and hiking, I was able to get all of the official RAMBA trails documented, along with numerous other paths and tracks in the area. This building a complete picture of the usable trails in the area.

Information used to get the RAMBA trails in OSM included:

  • My own recorded ride/hiking data, notes, etc.
  • Strava Heatmap data.
  • Official route files (GPXs) from events such as Marji Gesick and Polar Roll.
  • The official RAMBA map.
  • Hand-annotated map from Danny Hill listing local trail names.

These sources were combined in JOSM, cross-referenced, ways drawn and tagged, relations built out, and before long a complete picture of the RAMBA-area trails — official and otherwise — were in OpenStreetMap.

Most importantly, beyond documenting the trail locations, trails were grouped into route relations to show each official route, and then all the official routes were grouped into a superroute for all the RAMBA trails. As of time of writing, relation RAMBA Trails (12425503) is the superroute that aggregates the individual trail routes such as Epic Loop (8467869) and Malton Loop (8468010).

The result of this is accurate trail data that’s easy to query for and style using other tools.

Rendering Tiles with Maperitive

There are myriad ways to render tiles from OSM data, with most of these involving setting up a database server and a toolchain which’ll generate, cache, and serve tiles on demand. For most large data sets this makes a lot of sense, but for a small trail system I really wanted to use static tiles I could serve from a simple webserver.

Eventually I came across Maperitive, a desktop application for Windows that takes GIS data (including OSM), stylizes it with a relatively simple ruleset, and can generate tiles in the standard XYZ format for use elsewhere. It can also be scripted, which meant I could use it as part of an automated workflow to generate new tiles as the OSM data changes. This seemed like a good solution, so I set about writing some rulesets that would reasonably show the RAMBA trail routes and some automation around it all.

After a lot of experimenting I settled on a having separate tile set for each of the official loops, an overview of all trails, and a base map. The base map would always be shown, and a user can toggle between layers which highlight all the trails or individual loops.

After a few iterations of custom rules, I settled on a simplified set based on the Default.mrules file which comes with Maperitive for rendering the base map. The only modification was changing the font to Michael Adams’ Roadgeek 2005 Transport Medium font, as it looks nicer than the default, Verdana. For the overview and route layers I created simple rules based on the the default rendering of highway=path, using the Heavy version of the font. The rule for each trail route (relation) selects the trails in a given relation then colors them accordingly.

Creating these rules took a bit of fiddling, as Maperitive is both a bit of a dead project, not completely documented, and (in the latest Beta) sort-of buggy where sometimes the map display would stop updating. Still, even though I’m not great at making attractive things, I was able to come up with something that worked well enough.

Conveniently, Maperitive also comes with a command line version (Maperitive.Console.exe). After settling on rendering rules and a tile generation script, I used this as part of an automated workflow which downloaded OSM data directly then rendered each of the tile sets.

After tile generation I used a Windows binary of OptiPNG to losslessly compress the tiles, resulting in a ~62% space savings (original: 746MB, optimized: 286MB) which’ll reduce storage and bandwidth overhead.

The Front End

Editing in VS Code

With tiles generated I needed a way to display them. It turns out that OpenLayers was easy to use and it all ran as simple client side application in a browser. By using npm and parcel, with Visual Studio Code for editing, it was quite easy to get the site developed, tested, and bundled up for deployment. The only component I had to add was ol-layerswitcher control, which provides an easy way to toggle between layers.

Prior to this I had very little experience with modern web development, with my exposure to JavaScript pretty much limited to reading others’ code to figure out what it’s doing. After a bit of confusion (and having to accept the hidden complexity of using an application bundler), I was able to focus solely on writing a single main.js file with a basic index.html that together do what I wanted:

  • Run full screen by default.
  • Show all trails by default, with toggles for the defined routes (layers of the map).
  • Show an attractive background map below the routes to show the rest of the area.
  • Offer controls to use geolocation to showing one’s location on the map and reset the view to the original map extents.
  • Look sane on desktop and mobile devices.

This ended up being much easier than I thought, and between the OpenLayers Examples and just some basic programming I was able to get something I’m happy with. Far more time was spent designing the tiles and thinking about what I wanted it to do than writing the code to display it all.

Tile Hosting

The actual map tiles are a number of small PNG files, and a typical session of viewing and panning around the map can result in hundreds of image loads. This was seeming a bit slow when being served from nuxx.net via HTTP/1.1, so I looked into using HTTP/2 to improve performance.

Unfortunately, it was not simple to turn on HTTP/2 here at nuxx.net as I’m using PHP for WordPress, which in turn requires MPM prefork, which precludes mod_http2. I could have set up another web server and such, but for now I’m hosting the tiles in AWS, with the tiles uploaded to an S3 bucket and served via CloudFront.

This should allow for better tile download performance than what I can do from my server. Despite potentially incurring a bit of a financial cost it is a good experiment in hosting tiles in the cloud. I may change this in the future, particularly if it becomes cost prohibitive, but for now it’s working well.

Follow Along At Home

If you would like to generate this same map, start by downloading this ZIP file: ramba_trails_map_code_1.0.zip. It contains the scripts and rules needed to generate the map tiles (ramba.mscript and the .mrules files), the index.html, main.js, and package.json for the OpenLayers-based front end, the .osm file used to generate the first release of the map, and a few batch files that tie it all together.

You will need to download Maperitive (latest beta: link — from this post / mirror), curl, OptiPNG, and the Roadgeek 2005 fonts to generate and optimize the tiles. These scripts may work fine with older/release versions of Maperitive, but betas incorporate a bit of collision detection for text, making things look nicer.

These batch files are included to will help you out, but may need some editing to fit on your environment:

  • fetch_osm.bat: Uses curl to download all OSM data within a bounding box that encompasses the Ishpeming/Negaunee area.
  • generate_tiles.bat: Runs ramba.mscript via Maperitive.Console.exe to generate the tiles.
  • optimize_tiles.bat: Copies the unoptimized tiles from the .../tile_output/raw output directory to the .../tile_output/optimized directory, then runs OptiPNG against the tiles to optimize them in place.

To build the web app you’ll need to install npm, parcel, create a new OpenLayers app as per the directions here. Then install ol-layerswitcher (npm install ol-layerswitcher), replace the default index.html, main.js, and package.json with the ones I provided, and you should be ready to go.

Updating the Map

As you can see, the map is two major pieces: the front end and the tiles. Whenever the map data changes in OSM the tiles can be regenerated to update those layers. The code for the front end web app only needs to change if the storage location changes, features are going to be added, etc.

Conclusion

This map has worked out rather well and I’m happy calling it v1.0. It’s been a great learning experience, and I’ve even managed to produce something useful that didn’t exist before: an interactive map of some of the most rugged single track trails in Michigan; one of my favorite places to ride mountain bikes.

It’s far from perfect, and there are some things I could do differently, but for now, I’m considering it a success. When in Negaunee for vacation last week I successfully used development versions of this map to find my way around, so I know it’s better than nothing.

If you find any quirks in the map data — such as trails with wrong names or in the wrong location — please take a screenshot and show me what’s wrong and email that to steve@nuxx.net. I’ve done my best to ensure the RAMBA trails are accurately mapped, but I’ve certainly missed some things.

Problems

  • No key or other ancillary information (such as logos) as are normally found on print maps.
  • No terrain. While 1m DEM elevation data is available from the USGS, I couldn’t figure out how to use it in Maperitive for generating hillshading.
  • No easy way to add clickable items to show additional info, link to external map apps (eg: for navigation).
  • Maperitive’s text rendering isn’t the best, resulting in goofy looking text at some zoom levels.
  • Long trails only have one label placed on the middle. Trails with one name broken into multiple ways will be labeled numerous times.
  • Due to being run in a browser it’s a sufficient, but not great, mobile experience. Specifically, selecting the geolocation, recenter, and layer controls can be fiddly because they are so small.
  • Does not work offline, but thankfully most of the RAMBA area now has good mobile data coverage.

Things To Investigate

  • Keep an eye on AWS cost and performance.
  • Look at Leaflet for the front end, as it seems a bit more modern.
  • Consider rendering map tiles with TileMill. This will add a lot of complexity both in setup and styling tiles, but once done should allow a lot more flexibility in styling and overcome most of Maperitive’s problems. mapbox/mbutil should work for getting XYZ PNGs out of MBTiles files.
  • Consider using a tile server if I don’t want to deal with discrete files.
  • Look more into using vector tiles with client-side styling. (I passed on this for now, as a GeoJSON file showing each of the route is a large download and had no benefit over raster tiles.)
  • Maperitive should run under Mono, and OptiPNG is available for many platforms, meaning it should be possible to reproduce this build under macOS or Linux. Note that the GUI for Maperitive will not currently run on macOS due to Windows.Forms currently being based on Carbon, which is not available for 64-bit macOS. So while the CLI should work, the GUI version isn’t currently compatible with macOS 11.5 (Big Sur) and higher.
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New Trail Bike: Pivot Trail 429 v3

For years the Pivot Trail 429 series of bikes have been a sort-of Holy Grail bike for me. The ultimate aggressive cross country / trail mountain bike, and something I really wanted to try. In August of 2020 I was able to spend a few hours riding v2 of the bike around some of my favorite Marquette and RAMBA trails and fell in love. Something about the bike and I clicked, and I came away wanting one. After that trip I sold my beloved Specialized Camber and got ready to buy a new bike.

With the COVID-19 related bike industry shortages it took a lot longer than I’d hoped, but almost a year after that demo — in August of 2021 — I made a quick trip up to Bellaire (three hours each way) and picked my new bike from Patrick at Paddles & Pedals: a Pivot Trail 429, v3, Race XT build, with the crank and wheels upgraded to high end carbon bits.

While I hadn’t ridden this new v3 of the Trail 429, and it’s a much longer reach bike than v2, I’d stared at geometry numbers for hours, comparing it to my current bikes, and figured that a size large in this model would also be right for me. After getting the bike and swapping the usual contact points, fitting the larger rotors that I wanted, and some other little bits, it was all ready to ride.

Using the Low bottom bracket setting (the higher of the two), a 35mm stem, an upper stack height of 30mm (headset upper cover + 15mm spacer) and the 11° sweep Salsa Salt Flat Carbon bar the RAD ended up just 5mm shorter of the Timberjack and feels pretty good on its first ride.

I may experiment with the Lower setting, which’d slacken the head tube and seat tube angle by 0.5°, bring the reach in and increase the stack, but this’ll likely require a 50mm stem to get the fit where I want it. At the same time, it’d bring the bottom bracket height closer to that of the Camber’s, which might be really nice. Between suspension setup and such, I’ve got a lot of experimenting to do.

Current build details are as follows:

Frame: Pivot Trail 429 v3, Large, Silver Metallic
Fork: Fox 2021 Performance Series 34 FLOAT 29 130 (Short ID: D4SW / 2021, 34, A, FLOAT, 29in, P-S, 130, Grip, 3Pos, Matte Blk, No Logo, 15QRx110, 1.5 T, 51mm Rake, OE)
Fork TA Parts: QR15 Geared Cam and Hardware
Rear Shock: Fox 2021 Series FLOAT (Short ID: D9N4 / 2022_21, FLOAT DPS, P-S, A, 3pos, Trunnion, Evol LV, Pivot, Trail 429, 165, 45, 0.9 Spacer, LCM, LRM, CML, No Logo)
Headset: Pivot Precision Sealed Cartridge (OE)
Crankset: RaceFace Next SL (170mm)
Bottom Bracket: RaceFace BB92 Cinch 30
Chainring: RaceFace 1x Chainring, Cinch Direct Mount- SHI 12 (32t)
Chain: Shimano CN-M7100
Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100-SGS
Shifter: Shimano XT SL-M8100-IR
Shift Cables / Housing: Jagwire LEX-SL
Cassette: Shimano SLX CS-M7100-12
Brakes: Shimano SLX, Rotor: BL-M7100 / Caliper, BR-M7120
Brake Pads: Shimano N04C
Front Rotor: Shimano RT-MT800 M
Rear Rotor: Shimano RT-MT800 L
Front Brake Adapter: Shimano SM-MA-F203P/P (160mm Post to 203mm Post)
Stem: ENVE Alloy Mountain Stem (31.8mm clamp, 35mm length)
Bar: Salsa Salt Flat Carbon (750mm)
Wheels: Reynolds Black Label 309/289 XC
Tires: Maxxis Rekon (29 x 2.6″, 3C/EXO/TR)
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Performance Elite (175mm, 31.6mm)
Dropper Lever:Wolf Tooth ReMote Light Action (Black, 22.2mm Clamp)
Seatpost Collar: Pivot OE
Saddle:Specialized Power Expert (143mm)
Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M985
Grips:ESI Extra Chunky (Black)
Bottle Cages:Specialized Zee Cage II (Black Gloss, 1x Left)
Computer:Garmin Edge 530, Garmin Speed and Cadence Sensors (v1), Best Tek Garmin Stem Mount
Bell: RockBros Handlebar Stainless Steel Bell (Black)
Derailleur Hanger: SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger
Frame Protection Tape: McMaster-Carr UHMW PE

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HOSTS v3.5.3 and v3.6.0 Broke BackBlaze Backups in Arq

About a week back I did a round of updates at home, including updating the Pi-hole container (running in Docker on a Synology DS1019+) to the latest version, v4.2.2. Not long after this I noticed that backups to Backblaze, via Arq running on my main Mac, were stuck with a Caching existing backup metadata (this may take a while) message.

Since it said it might take a while I gave it a few days, but after a week it was likely something was wrong. Turns out it wasn’t caused by any of my updates, but instead by two versions of the the block list HOSTS (v3.5.3 and v3.6.0) — the default block list in Pi-hole — in turn caused by the Polish block list KAD.

How’d I figure it out? Here goes:

First, a wee bit of digging led to this Reddit thread on /r/Arqbackup, and a quick look at Pi-hole showed that yes, f000.backblazeb2.com is being blocked over and over.

Whitelisting this site allowed backups resume working. But… why?

I then disabled the whitelist entry and updated gravity in Pi-hole (pulling down and compiling a new copy of the blocklists) and everything kept working. So, this seems like a block list might have been the source of the problem.

I only use two block lists, one the Pi-hole default and the other from the COVID-19 Cyber Thread Coalition. Taking a quick look through the current versions (1 · 2) didn’t show anything blocking this site as of this morning, which seemed rational as the blocklist update fixed things. Local DNS for this client is via Pi-hole, which in turn points to my firewall, which is running Unbound to handle all resolution itself. So, it shouldn’t have been caused by a DNS provider blocking things.

Pi-hole automatically updates gravity every Sunday early in the morning, which would about correlate with the Arq problems starting. So maybe this is it? With the last Gravity updates happening on 2021-Apr-04 and 2021-Mar-28 we’ve got a window to look for f000.backblazeb2.com in blocklists.

The COVID-19 Cyber Threat Coalition domain blocklist was updated this morning, and doesn’t have any obvious version control, so I skipped over this one for now. The second, the Pi-hole default HOSTS, is hosted in GitHub and has regular releases. So let’s look through there…

Grabbing the last four, v3.5.2, v3.5.3, v3.6.0, and v3.6.1 spanned the last 18 days, which should cover the window during which this broke. A quick unzip and grep showed f000.backblazeb2.com and www.f000.backblazeb2.com in the fakenews, gambling + social, gambling + porn, and social categories in versions 3.5.3 and 3.6.0, but not anything before nor after.

There we go; the reason for the block and it’s all within the observed timeframe. This isn’t a hostname one would normally want to block, as it’s part of BackBlaze’s CDN (PDF). Sounds like an overzealous addition to a blocklist got sucked up into the HOSTS list.

Looking further through the grep output, this was part of the .../KADhosts/hosts file from the KAD list. It turns out that f000.backblazeb2.com was added to the KAD list on 2021-Mar-26 and then removed on 2021-Apr-01. HOSTS pulled from KAD for v3.5.3 on 2021-Mar-28 and v3.6.0 2021-Mar-31, which caused it to inherit the block in those versions.

Quite an interesting chain, eh? A Polish ad blocking group makes a change that ends up in the default list for one of the most common DIY adblockers, which in turn breaks access to a fairly common CDN, in turn breaking data backups. It’s dependencies all the way down…

It’s now fixed, and everything would have resolved itself had I waited until Sunday, but at least now I know why.

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