personal netspace


Wed 2022-09-07 11:55

  • Note
  • Posted: 2022-09-07 16:55 UTC

Looking over at my #FOSScan this morning I saw it was full once again. Time to count it up and make some FOSS donations!

The change collected since I last emptied the can 14 months ago amounted to US$75.00.

Today, I've made the following donations:

  • $40 to the Let's Encrypt organization for their terrific (and free!) Certificate Authority service.
  • $35 to the Homebrew project. Their awesome package manager for FOSS applications has made my transition to the macOS platform so much simpler.

(Yes, you read that last part correctly.)

Anyway, this brings my #FOSScan donations to a total of US$239.94 since I started the project in 2019.

Do you have a #FOSScan of your own? If not, eat a can of soup (or beans, veggies.. whatever), make your own #FOSScan, and start collecting spare change for Free Software and related projects today! Together, we can make a difference in Free Software funding.

Tue 2021-12-28 20:18

  • Note
  • Posted: 2021-12-28 20:18 UTC

If you haven't heard from me pretty much at all in the second half of this year, it's because I've been heads down on a passion project for the last six months. A project which has just hit a major milestone today with its first release.

I am super happy to announce the launch of the nrrdtools project.

nrrdtools is a suite of terminal-based productivity applications for managing your calendar, tasks, contacts, reminders, bookmarks, notes, journal, and time logging - all from the shell. This project came about due to my prolonged dissatisfaction with existing command-line/text-mode solutions, coupled with my general lack of faith in the future of graphical application development for the Linux desktop. There's probably an article there, I just haven't written it yet.

((frustration + cynicism) * hubris) / sparetime = code

I'm coming away from this project with the self-assurance that this has been a most productive sabbatical. I guess now I'll take a couple days off before picking up my next contract for 2022 and going back to actual work.

Sun 2021-07-04 16:51

  • Note
  • Posted: 2021-07-04 16:51 UTC
  • Edited: 2021-07-04 23:50 UTC

Looking over at my #FOSScan this morning I saw it was full. Time to count it up and make some FOSS donations!

The change collected since I last emptied the can (wow) 16 months ago amounted to US$62.00. Yikes! I guess the lockdowns over the last year plus have really stifled the opportunities to go out and collect spare change.

After a bit of frustration, I've made the following donations today:

  • $28.84 to the Late Night Linux podcast. While not a FOSS project per se, they do a lot when it comes to communicating to and evangelizing for the FOSS community. And I've been listening for years and never donated, so this is a bit of a make-good.
  • $13.12 to the NeoMutt project.
  • $20.04 to the MATE Desktop project.

If those amounts seem kind of strange it's because of USD to GBP conversion.

I wanted to donate to the XFCE Desktop project but they made it too goddamn difficult to give them money. They only take funds via Bountysource, so I actually went out of my way and tried to create a Bountysource account. Unfortunately the sign-up process is completely broken (at least, at the moment), doesn't send email confirmation or password reset emails, and didn't give me any link or button to actually give the project money (probably because my email address wasn't confirmed).

Hey XFCE team (and several other projects I visited today), put a fucking PayPal "donate" button on your website and maybe you'll get some contributions next time. Not everyone wants to sign up for Patreon or the payment processor du jour to give you money. PayPal is pretty damn ubiqitous so make it easy for donators to actually donate, okay?

Anyway, this count brings my #FOSScan donations to a total of US$164.94 since I started the project in 2019. Considering this is in addition to my regular annual donations to specific projects and organizations, I guess an extra $55 $82 a year in FOSS funding is not too bad. I'm going to have to work on finding opportunities to add to the can, and see if I can't bump that closer to $100 a year in spare change donations.

Do you have a #FOSScan of your own? If not, eat a can of soup (or beans, veggies.. whatever), make your own #FOSScan, and start collecting spare change for Free Software and related projects today! Together, we can make a difference in Free Software funding.

EDIT: math fail.

Thu 2021-06-10 23:00

  • Note
  • Posted: 2021-06-10 23:00 UTC

Man, it's June and this is the first time I've posted to my website in 2021. What can I say, Valheim is a hell of a drug.

Kidding (sort of). Yes, I lost a month of spare time to that game but really the reason I haven't posted in a while is because I've been doing some server consolidation and site moves/changes. As a part of that project, I've been wanting to convert my LAMP-driven personal website to a static site for quite some time. Security is prime driver for that decision, but portability is also a factor (more on that in a bit).

Unfortunately, in doing research and evaluation of a number of the popular static site generators I found that all existing SSGs suck*. So... I decided to write my own (why do I get the feeling that this is how all static site generators get started?).

I'm leveraging Python and Jinja2 templating to convert Markdown and YAML source files to static html. I had started exporting and reformatting all of the content on my website back in January or February, but then sort of lost inertia on the project. However, in the meantime I didn't want to add any new content until I'd gotten the new SSG built (otherwise I'd have to convert even more stuff), hence my lack of recent posts.

About a week ago I finally forced myself to sit down and knock out the first version of my custom SSG. It's less than 800 lines of code but it replicates my former website pretty faithfully, including features like my photo albums. One of my design goals for this new iteration was for the website to work both online and from a local directory, and some changes were required to paths and filenames to accomplish that. One of the reasons for this design requirement is that my near-to-medium term goals include being able to publish both on the web and via IPFS. In order to do that, the site needs to also work from a local filesystem directory.

For the most part, I was able to preserve existing URIs using server-side redirects for the old paths, pointing them to the new files. The primary exception is that the photo album structure was completely revised but that shouldn't be a big deal. The URIs for the photos themselves remain unchanged, and I'm more worried about links to previous notes or articles continuing to work.

This post comes shortly after the first push of the new static content. I've already been fixing a few bugs here and there as I write this, I'm sure there will be more.

* Okay, they don't necessarily suck but let's just say I couldn't find one SSG that would build my website content and maintain the structure I currently have without practically re-writing the SSG itself. At which point, it just made sense to write my own from scratch.

Sun 2020-12-27 16:05

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-12-27 16:05 UTC
  • Edited: 2020-12-27 23:18 UTC

My two-word review of Wonder Woman 1984:

Steaming. Pile.

WTF is wrong with DC Entertainment that they keep releasing dreck like this?

EDITED: Because no one person is to blame for this dumpster fire. It took a confederation of talentless hacks to make this trainwreck happen. And apparently the people in charge are thrilled with the results.

Fri 2020-11-27 14:30

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-11-27 14:30 UTC

One online retailer's recipe for Black Friday success:

  1. Announce a big Black Friday sale.
  2. Discount products heavily for a limited time period.
  3. Use a janky e-comm system that breaks shortly after people finish eating their Thanksgiving meal.
  4. IMPORTANT: send your entire staff home for the long holiday weekend (because you are a "cool" company) so nobody is there to see that the system is down, or to respond to customer inquiries.
  5. Come in on Monday and wonder why your Black Friday sales sucked.
  6. [insert sad trombone]

Thu 2020-11-26 16:22

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-11-26 16:22 UTC

This year's social-distanced, mask-wearing, pre-recorded, TV-only, no crowds Macy's Thanksgiving Day "parade" is a disgusting shit show conducted for no other reason than to sell network ad time. I couldn't even stomach 10 minutes of this cringe-worthy pantomime of normality before switching it off.

FFS. If you can't do a parade because of COVID-19 then just don't do a parade. Do something different, don't try to stage a fake event with celebrities riding on a float down one closed-off city block in front of a camera, waving to crowds that aren't even fucking there.

For you clueless marketing types, here's a hint: without the cameras capturing the energy of the attendees and providing TV watchers with a sense of participating in an actual live event this "parade" is simply a variety show. So why not just do the variety show instead of insulting the history and tradition of a real event, as well as the intelligence of your TV audience?

Hell, they could have done a "best of" compilation of past parades and it would have been better than this crap.

Fri 2020-11-20 00:37

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-11-20 00:37 UTC

While it may not technically be so, it feels like every time I buy something off eBay I end up getting fucked.

A year or two goes by and I forget how I got fucked the last time. Then I buy something off eBay again. And get fucked. Again.

Rinse. Repeat.

Mon 2020-11-09 01:41

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-11-09 01:41 UTC

Some days, I really wish I could take the glasses off...

They Live

Sat 2020-11-07 20:42

  • Note
  • Posted: 2020-11-07 20:42 UTC

I was surprised to see the mainstream media launching a wall-to-wall "Biden has won" campaign today, and I'm very concerned about potential outcomes from such a move. My concern is not that Biden has (in fact) won the Presidential election. At this point, I consider that the most likely outcome of this election. And whether or not he was my preferred candidate, as an American, if Biden is duly elected to office I will recognize his granted authority and support him in his role as the country's leader.

That said, this election is still contested and President Trump has not yet conceded the race. Legal actions are heading to the courts this coming week, one or more recounts may take place, one or more investigations at the State level may take place, and the results of those actions are far from predetermined. So what happens if - against all odds - President Trump is later determined to have won the election after all?

I feel like what is happening right now is that the mainstream media (and social media) are orchestrating a coup d'├ętat by announcing Biden's victory ahead of any court proceedings. I would even say that the media are in effect assembling a weapon of mass destruction based on the anger, frustration, and even hatred held by (apparently) half the country. A weapon they plan to use in a twisted scenario of mutually assured destruction.

The media has presented Trump with an ultimatum: "pursue this election with the courts if you like, but if you win now you will throw the country into chaos."

Already, we are seeing outpourings of relief that Trump has lost, celebratory adulation of Biden and Harris, and exclamations from the left that "the nightmare is finally over!" If the election outcome is somehow reversed and Trump does win another term, the backlash of that result would then be a hundred fold worse than that which would have occurred had the race not been called for Biden in advance. That weaponized emotion will tear this country apart to such a degree that the last four years will look like a church picnic disagreement over who made the best potato salad. I do not think that it is beyond the realm of possibility that we could be faced with an actual insurrection in such a scenario.

The media is making the gamble that Trump would rather concede than be the cause of such a conflagration. Which is a dangerous gamble, I think.

Regardless of who you support to win the Presidency, do you want to endow the media with the power to decide elections by journalistic fiat? Corporate-controlled media outlets are not one of our three branches of government.