Mon 20 December 2021
Wed 27 October 2021
This blog is created by Pelican, a static site generator that combines some text files that I write with a layout and some CSS styles to produce the HTML that is rsync’d over to the nginx webserver which answers your requests.
I just upgraded from 4.6 to 4.71, and also from an older python3 release to Debian’s current 3.9 release. Nothing appears to need to be changed, which is nice and relaxing compared to the last few upgrades.
Sat 11 September 2021
I just realized that I internalized the O’Reilly house style decades ago, and so I think it’s the proper way to write documentation.
Primary elements: the document, even at book length, takes the form of a precise, pedantic, but informal letter to the audience. The author might reference themself as “I” and tell brief anecdotes to contextualize the material, and frequently encourages the reader in the second person:
You can also reticulate the frobnitz with the ‘–frob-harder’ switch if that feels more natural to you.
As a side effect, this style of technical writing minimizes the number of gendered pronouns, which I always prefer because I don’t know who is reading the work.
Mon 16 August 2021
When you stop looking for ways to improve your sound reproduction experience and instead look for new music to listen to, you have begun to recover from audiophilia.
Or at least, I have.
Places in the house with acceptable sound systems:
- my bedroom
- the living room
- the den/theater
- the office
- the other end of the office
- the third system in the office
- two portable systems
Places in the house with marginal sound systems:
- the kitchen
- the dining room
Sat 19 June 2021
Twenty-five years ago, approximately, my housemates and I bought office chairs – rolling five-star bases, adjustable arms, comes in a box with an L-shaped hex driver like IKEA stuff – and put them in our dining room around the table. They were cheap and comfortable.
I can’t tell you how many people looked at that arrangement and needed to talk about their sudden feelings.
Sun 25 April 2021
The Cloud – where did we get that metaphor?
The answer is pretty simple. Imagine you are a techie working on an Internet project in the late 1990s. You are explaining to a less-technical audience how your application is going to be built. You have a whiteboard, and you draw some simple things as you talk:
Wed 21 April 2021
Wed 14 April 2021
Wed 10 March 2021
However, this only works as long as the other party actually internalizes the risk and liability. Since there are no consequences for mishandling data, operating IT services you’re not structurally competent to operate, and eventually having your crown jewels stolen - the contractor doesn’t really internalize risk, has no incentive to mitigate it.
Thu 18 February 2021
I will assume you have a working DNS server listening on the default port, 53, and that you have certbot or some other means of acquiring SSL certs.
Create a config file in
pid = /var/run/stunnel4/stunnel.pid [dns] accept = 853 accept = :::853 connect = 127.0.0.1:53 cert = /etc/letsencrypt/live/randomstring.org/fullchain.pem key = /etc/letsencrypt/live/randomstring.org/privkey.pem
Substitute the locations of an appropriate SSL cert and key.
- Start stunnel4.
Wed 17 February 2021
My work-issued MacBook Pro (Retina, late 2013) began to break down: the speakers fried, it was running out of memory (8GB), and then it started rebooting spontaneously. I mentioned this and work bought a replacement. Since I’m capable of working around exciting new bugs, they sent me the newest M1 MacBookPro, with an Apple-designed and -produced M1 8 core CPU.
Herewith, a micro-review.
Sun 17 January 2021
I don’t know about your mother, but my mother is not even a power user – Windows, hunt-and-peck typing – and she taught herself to use IRC because that’s what the other people in her social group were using.
I assume she didn’t use any /command except /join – maybe not even that, because if you’re only using one channel then you can have your client autojoin – but that was enough to get her in. Presumably she learned group etiquette on the fly, the way most people do.
Sun 04 October 2020
In the beginning of my experience, it wasn’t that computers had fonts so much as each computer had A Font, and that was how the computer talked to you. All of them were quite low resolution; blocky and bad.
Now I expect every character to be drawn in an appropriate, smooth, curved, and informatively differentiated typeface.
When did that change start, and when was it complete?
Fri 11 September 2020
Thu 10 September 2020
For every computer system, someone needs to know what they are doing, and check up on it when something goes wrong. That person is the sysadmin.
If you don’t know who the sysadmin is, it’s you.
It’s just like everything else in life: if you care about a thing, you are responsible for taking care of it. If nobody takes care of it, it decays and dies.