wireguard setup

Sun 12 November 2017

Wireguard is a new open source VPN system being initially developed on Linux. I have two major use cases for such a thing: site-to-site protection, and backhauling traffic from a laptop or phone to my house.

Wireguard’s differentiators:

  • Small codebase, because there are very few options. For example, there …

Mac OS X DNS prefers IPv6

Sat 28 October 2017

If you have a Mac and DNS resolution seems really, really slow — like, five seconds or more per lookup — check to see if you have an IPv6 address. You probably do.

Then check to see if you have an IPv6 DNS server listed. I bet you don’t, or it …

switching ISPs

Wed 04 October 2017

I was a customer of RCN for seven years. The service was fine, in the really boring way that you want commodity services to be. There were occasional glitches, and a few months where the internet service was particularly bad due to our house being at the end of a …

technology maturity

Thu 07 September 2017

For any given technology, there will exist at least one point in time in which people are simultaneously not trusting it for being too new and unproven, and other people are depending on it in production.”

( — me )

Every decision involves a cost/benefit analysis. Sometimes they are formal; often they …


Wed 06 September 2017

The resiliency of a system is proven by its behavior in an emergency.

The design of a system is proven by its daily usability.

naming knives

Thu 10 August 2017

I collect pocket knives. It’s rare for me to be dressed and not have a knife in my pocket. Knives are useful tools. I usually find a use for one three or a dozen times a day.

Modern production knife makers (the sort of designer/producer/ manufacturer who turns …

the courage of convictions: competition

Thu 10 August 2017

Ken MacLeod writes science fiction. His job to write stories that entertain us while, perhaps, presenting some interesting ideas. He doesn’t have to be a prognosticator. Nobody really thinks that the future of humanity will be to separate into fast-thinking, fast-evolving AIs in Jovian orbit versus nanotech-equipped paranoid biological …


Fri 21 July 2017

“Great question” means “I have a prepared answer.”

“Good question” means “I have an ambivalent answer.”

“Interesting question” means “That’s controversial, and I may not want to commit.”

“What an interesting question”, though, means “I didn’t expect to be asked that and I have no idea.”

you cannot outsource your core competency

Thu 13 July 2017

Let’s suppose you have a really good idea for a business.

Not just “we’re going to be an easy-to-use centralized middleman for a previously unorganized and possibly unrecognized market” which has been done enough times that half of your success will be in getting customers to recognize you …

a general solution to a general problem

Mon 10 July 2017

We have a general problem in this country, and I think we could use a general solution to solve it.

Health care, Internet carriers (and the wired and wireless telecom which is a smaller part of it), electrical and water utilities, banks - possibly others — should not be for-profit corporations. They …

recently read

Sat 08 July 2017

  • The Last Good Man, Linda Nagata
  • In Evil Times, Melinda Snodgrass
  • The Scorpion Rules; The Swan Riders, Erin Bow
  • Kris Longknife: Emissary, Mike Shepherd
  • Kangaroo Too, Curtis Chen
  • Final Girls, Mira Grant
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire
  • Nothing Left to Lose, Dan Wells
  • To Fire Called, Nathan …

civic failure modes

Sat 24 June 2017

Suppose that you are unhappy with the way that one of your vendors does business. You are not a dominant customer; that is, you don’t account for so much of their sales that they are willing to change their policies for you. This is the normal situation.

Welcome to …

the one true method of email handling

Mon 12 June 2017

People are overwhelmed with email.

In response, they declare email bankruptcy — that means that they arbitrarily delete their inboxes and hope the problem will magically fix itself — or adopt strange methodologies.

Here is the one true method of dealing with email. It works. It requires some setup. It requires some …

towards a sustainable software policy

Sun 11 June 2017


  • A policy is an organization’s stated objectives and methods for accomplishing a goal.

  • Sustainable means a model of a system that easily fits into a person’s head and can be used as an accurate prediction of how another person accomplished a goal.

So a sustainable software policy …

mutt pattern for threads containing new messages

Mon 22 May 2017

I was about to ask the mutt-users mailing list a question, when it occurred to me that I should really google it first. Indeed, my question had been answered about 3 years previously. And it’s really useful.

# .n : limit to only threads with New messages macro index .n "l …

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