Tailscale for your Docker containers!

At DockerCon, Tailscale announced and launched their Docker extension. What does this mean? You can put your containers on your Tailscale VPN! Yeah, that’s a BIG deal! The announcement is at and the instructions to install and use it are at While the documentation only addresses Docker Desktop, gives instructions for installing extensions through the CLI, and downloads are at, which is currently in beta.

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Access your USB drives via Ethernet

This is a little dated but Addonics has introduced a NAS adapter. It has an Ethernet port and a single USB 1.1/2.0 port into which you can plug, presumably, any USB drive or printer and access it over the network. It can supposedly be accessed from any Windows, Mac or Linux platform, although their site says Linux 2.6 and above and also can be an FTP target.

$55 from, presumably cheaper elsewhere. I may have to pick one up just to play with it.

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Zero config VNC server for those PCs you have to support

The EchoVNC folks have released V1.36 of InstantVNC. Based on UltraVNC, it’s a VNC server that you can have those folks whose PCs you have to support download and install. Supposedly it gives you secure access to their machine without requiring them to (re)configure their firewall/proxy/whatever. I haven’t tried it yet myself but it sounds good and could fill a good-sized hole. Let me know if you have any experience with it and I’ll post a summary if enough of you ask for it.

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Free WiFi

Fon is trying very hard to provide free WiFi, worldwide. They’re a startup that’s a little over a year old. They can provide you with a wireless access point (WAP) which you can install in your home or business, making part of your bandwidth available (via WiFi) to other Fon users. And it’s actually two WAPs in one: a public one which you share and a private one which you don’t.

So, a couple of questions immediately occurred to me when I heard about this:

Q. What do you get in return?
A. You can get free WiFi access through all the other Fon sites around the world.

Q. Where are Fons installed?
A. Take a look at their maps. Within a couple of miles of my workplace, I found 5 hotels and a couple of restaurants that offer Fon access.

Q. How much does it cost?
A. You can buy one at their shop for $29.95 plus tax or you can go here and sign up for a free one. The only catch to the free WAP is that you must promise to either install it and use it or pass it on to a someone who will.

Q. Is it secure?
A. The public side uses no encryption BUT you must login through Fon’s web site to be granted access to the web. The private side uses WPA by default (i.e. very secure depending on your key).

Q. Who’s connecting through the public side of my WAP?
A. You can use the Fon site to see who and when.

Q. How much bandwidth must I share?
A. You can configure it through the Fon site.

I ordered one last week and received it today. I’ll be setting it up a little later in the week. A friend of mine from the UK ordered his last week and should be receiving it shortly. Another local friend ordered one last week and it should be here any time, now. I’ll post more when I have some experience with the WAP (called “La Fonera”). In the meantime, I suggest you check them out —

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Panasonic HD-PLC for $149 at Fry’s

CNet’s review of the Panasonic HD-PLC Powerline adapter makes it sound pretty good. The HD-PLC is one of the new generation of powerline Ethernet adapters that boasts much higher theoretical throughput than their predecessors. While I don’t believe 190Mbps, anything at or above about 10Mbps is pretty decent and, on top of everything else, it won’t clog my airwaves. I’ve got my home theater PC downstairs near the TV and my high-speed connection up in my “computer room”. Right now, my HTPC communicates with the Internet via a wireless USB adapter and, while it works well enough, there are times that it loses the connection. Going to a powerline connection will hopefully smooth the overall data rates.

Fry’s has them on sale this weekend for $149 — note that this is for 2 adapters, not one (BL-PA100KTA as opposed to BL-PA100A)! I’ll let you know if I pick one up and how it goes.

Update, 9/23/2006
I stopped by on my way home from work yesterday and picked this little bugger up. Installed it today and it’s working like a charm! Absolutely NO setup required — plug them in, attach an Ethernet cable and, voila! And, believe it or not, the Internet radio streams my HTPC is receiving are rock solid, even though they’re coming in at a max of 192K. Guess my wireless would drop out occasionally and that’s what caused me to lose the stream every so often. It hasn’t happened once today.

These were marked $179 for the pairso I only saved about $30 but, for those of you that know me well, that just makes me like ’em that much better 🙂 A single adapter is marked $119 so, if I wanted, I could get two more for another $149. The “starter kit” comes with a master and slave preconfigured for each other. That’s not really a big deal because it’s really easy to configure them but it makes for a great plug and play experience like I had. How would I use another master/slave combination? I wouldn’t. I’d reconfigure the new master to be a slave to the current master and also re-slave the new slave to the current master. You can have up to 16 units total on your circuit and you can hook them to hubs or switches or anything — just use it like a regular Ethernet drop. Matter of fact, when I was a Fry’s, I picked up a small 5-port switch at Fry’s and hooked my adapter to it and then hooked my HTPC to the switch (man, I coulda used that earlier in the week when I was trying to get my wireless cards working under Linux on my laptops!).

I don’t get the maximum throughput — you can hit a button on the adaptor and it’ll measure the speed between it and the master — the top range is > 30Mbps and I get the range just below that which I figure is probably 20-30Mbps. It’s plenty fast for me.

Bottom line: I like it! Highly recommended.

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