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The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

I know nothing about Les Misérables (shame on me), but I am a sucker for French historical fiction. So, when I saw The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant pop up on my radar I knew I just had to read it, and boy oh boy was it good! I seriously couldn’t put it down!

This story is about a girl named Nina. When her sister, Azelma, is sold off to the cruel Tiger, Lord of the Guild of Flesh, Nina is thrown into the secret underground world of thieves, ghosts, assassins and more. Nina becomes the Black Cat of the Thieves Guild, and as the Black Cat, she makes plans to save her sister from the life of drugs and prostitution that the Guild of Flesh is notorious for. However, with the cost being another girl’s life, Nina is not able to follow through. She then spends the next few years scheming and planning to not only save her sister’s life, but also the life of the girl she almost lost-her adopted sister, Ettie. Nina’s adventures take her deeper into the Guilds, to the court of French royalty, and onto the streets of Paris, where there’s unrest and an uprising being planned.

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How to Backup FreeNAS to Google Drive Using Duplicati

by Jamey 3 Comments
How to Backup FreeNAS to Google Drive Using Duplicati

We all have our own backup solutions, some better than others, but the standard is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy, which suggests having at least (3) copies of your data (not including the production data itself, with (2) of those copies being stored locally on different hard drives, and (1) copy stored somewhere offsite. Most of us datahoarders and homelabbers have some implementation of this rule in one form or another.

If you are just looking for the tutorial and want to skip through all of my personal backstory bullshit, just scroll on to the end, and don’t complain about it. This is a personal blog, not some Medium article. At the end, I will discuss how to set up incremental, versioned, block-level, encrypted backups to Google Drive on FreeNAS.

Note: the single caveat is that the unlimited storage is only free and unlimited for GSuites for Business accounts that have 5 or more users (otherwise, you will be paying normal Google Drive storage fees).

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How to Restore Your Entire Windows OS and Still Keep Everything Intact When All Else Fails

by Jamey 0 Comments
How to Restore Your Entire Windows OS and Still Keep Everything Intact When All Else Fails

In this tutorial, I will detail the most unorthodox way to restore your entire Windows OS (including installed programs and settings) when you have exhausted all other options.


You can skip ahead if you want to get straight to the instructions, but basically, I had an old Windows 10 Enterprise installation on a laptop that worked perfectly fine, but Shannon‘s laptop’s trackpad had completely stopped working, so I switched out the hard drives with one of my laptops to give her a “new” one, but now I was stuck with a laptop with a broken trackpad. So I had really nice unused laptop running Ubuntu on an M.2 with room for a 2.5″ SSD, but my Windows install was on mSATA. So I started looking into my options.

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This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

by Jamey 0 Comments
This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada

There has absolutely never been a better time to start reading This Mortal Coil trilogy by Emily Suvada. With COVID-19 threatening the world as we speak, you can really get into this series and hopefully see, with brand new eyes, the very real potential threat that a pandemic such as the fictional Hydra virus could pose against the population of the world.

I have waited a while to review this book, because I didn’t really know where to start. I almost didn’t review it, because it could almost be seen simply as a continuation of This Cruel Design, however, I absolutely understand the need to make it a separate book, which is obvious when you read it.

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

by Jamey 1 Comment
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Wicked Saints was a buddy read with my wife, Shannon. Somehow, she ended up with two copies of this book, so we both read them at pretty much the same time. Shannon has since received an e-arc from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the sequel, Ruthless Gods, which she posted a review for earlier today.

This was Emily A. Duncan’s first book, and to be brutally honest, it started off reading like one. I absolutely couldn’t stand the foreign names that we difficult to pronounce even in my head (like why could Tranavia have not simply been Travania? — which would have made much more sense from a reader’s perspective). It took me a long time to get into this book (nearly halfway-through), but once it started getting good, it got good quick. The magic started flowing, and it turned out to be a really solid read.

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Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

by Shannon 1 Comment
Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Heads up guys! I never know where to start when reviewing the 2nd book in the series, because there’s bound to be spoilers. So, friends if you haven’t read Wicked Saints and are planning on it, click away for now.  

Let’s start with a little background on my feelings about the first book in this series, Wicked Saints. The first half was absolute torture to read. All of the ridiculous and distracting names were just too much for me, but I continued on because honestly Serephin was giving me The Darkling vibes, you know from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone series, and I needed to see some good happen for him — even though, does he really deserve that? I still don’t know, but I love him anyway.  I also kept reading because I was intrigued by how everything was going to play out, and was pleasantly surprised in the end. There was backstabbing, redemption, damnation, and more. It was a fantastic ending that left me needing to read the 2nd book ASAP, which leads me to Ruthless Gods

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Setting Up Distributed Computing on BSD Systems in Order to Aid COVID-19 Research

by Jamey 7 Comments
Setting Up Distributed Computing on BSD Systems in Order to Aid COVID-19 Research

This will be a tutorial on setting up BOINC on FreeBSD (specifically, FreeNAS), in order to devote your extra computing power to aid The National Upcycled Computing Collective (NUCC, Inc.), a 501c non-profit organization, who is working on distributed computing projects with Rosetta@Home, which is focused solely on COVID-19 research at the time of this writing. Click here to read more about NUCC, and be sure to check out (and follow) @nucc_inc and @NUCC_STATS on Twitter. If you are fresh out of CPU cycles and would much rather prefer directly feeding cash to the cause, please feel free to do so here.

To get instructions for other operating systems that will have you processing workloads in less than 10 minutes, view the GitHub repo featuring quick super-quick setups scripts at https://github.com/phx/nucc.

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The Toll by Neal Shusterman

by Jamey 0 Comments
The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Personally, I feel like Neal Shusterman really created a masterpiece with The Toll. I really enjoyed Scythe and its follow up, Thunderhead, but The Toll was the grand finale that tied up all of the loose ends and ultimately brought the series to its full and glorious completion.


There appear to be two distinctly separate camps when it comes to readers of this book. There are those who loved Scythe and Thunderhead who happened to be very bored and underwhelmed by The Toll, and this camp seems to actually hold the majority. On the other hand, there are readers who believe The Toll completely stands apart from the first two books in the series and truly deserves more credit than people are giving it. I happen to be a member of this second camp, as this book “resonated” with me pretty deeply.

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Of Curses & Kisses by Sandhya Menon

by Shannon 0 Comments
Of Curses & Kisses by Sandhya Menon

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of YA contemporaries. It’s not the genres fault, it’s just that I’m not in the age range these books are targeted towards. So, when I first saw that this book was being released, I wasn’t dying to get my hands on a copy, but it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and being someone who loves a good retelling, I thought why not give it a chance. I’m so glad I did!

I have read so many Beauty and the Beast retellings, and Of Curses & Kisses by Sandhya Menon one was so refreshing to me. It may be because this one is not set in a fantasy world, but at an elite boarding school. Also, I think the introduction of Indian culture and superstition surrounding the curse may have played a big part in my enjoyment of this book. Plus, the characters were such a treat. They had their moments, when all I wanted to do was knock some sense in them, but they ended up growing and changing for the better.

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How to Host a Hidden Service .onion Site on the Dark Web

by Jamey 1 Comment
How to Host a Hidden Service .onion Site on the Dark Web

Warning: the recommendations made here are in reference to hosting your own personal content, not to become a web hosting provider on the dark web. You are responsible for the content that you host (maybe depending on region — I’m not a lawyer), but you don’t want to find yourself anywhere in the distribution pipeline related to the nefarious goods and services of others.

This guide is tuned toward hosting on Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Ubuntu 18.04. The same things can be achieved using RPM-based distros by substituting the packaging commands and tweaking the instructions as necessary.

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