(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fri, 13 Dec 2019

On 16 Years of Blogging

Congrats to 'The Boston Diaries' on 20 years of blogging [0]. It's even more amazing that that 20 years is available all in one place. I had to go into the wayback machine to figure out that my first blog post was on 12/19/2003 - so almost 16 years. I won't link to it as all my early blogging was not pseudonymous, but back then it was all technical topics on Linux and network security. I also switched platforms a lot. At first, I was using geeklog on a hosted server, which lasted two years (I was pleasantly surprised to see that geeklog is still around [1]). I then moved to self-hosted wordpress, then blogger (yeah, I have no idea either), then again to my own VPS with a custom install of pyblosxom. That takes me up to 2012, after which I pretty much stopped doing any sort of tech blogging. I did, however, maintain a gopher phlog [2] and motd site on and off from 2009 until now, but more on general life stuff than pure technical howtos. I've also had a gaming blog since 2013.

On formats - I wrote most of my early blog entries in HTML. My SDF motd site is the same - HTML entries, and I wrote a perl script to convert them to a text format suitable for phlogging, which is why many of the motd articles can be seen in the phlog. In retrospect, markdown would have been an easier way to go (I had to check, markdown has been around since 2004). Writing raw HTML can be a chore, and markdown can be used as-is for phlog entries, no translation required. I do write in markdown for my gaming blog - I use wordpress but keep the original posts in case I move platforms again.

What's interesting is that early on, I wrote mainly for an audience. I wanted other people to read what I wrote and comment on it or otherwise get some use out of it. I also wanted to dig up consulting business, and I always thought an online technical presence was the best way to do that. Nowadays I don't care about any of that and write largely for myself, although I do like to comment on other phlogs/blogs and in that way be part of a virtual conversation.

posted at: 20:30 | path: / | permalink | blog, gopher, meta, phlog

Wed, 17 Sep 2014

Time to Re-visit Dynamic Phlogging

For a few years SDF used the Bucktooth gopher server, which works fine but had some security issues that were very hard to fix given that server's design and the difficulty of testing.

In particular, this affected gopher moles (CGI scripts), as SMJ had disabled them due to security concerns. I and a few others mentioned Gophernicus, which SMJ was kind enough to install and which now powers the SDF gopher sites. It supports much of the CGI standard and was designed with security in kind. Now that we have mole capability back, I'd like to revisit Slerm [0], my gopher phlogging engine that was based partly on Germ [1], by wt. Last I checked Slerm did not work as-is, and will need some work. This would allow you to dump text files in a directory and have the phlog engine (really a gopher CGI script) display them in date order, broken up in pages, with links to archives and with tag and simple comment support (think Bloxsom for gopher). The latest version of Germ seems to support Gophernicus, so perhaps that is a good starting point.

posted at: 08:01 | path: / | permalink | bucktooth, cgi, germ, gopher, gophernicus, mole, phlog, slerm

Sun, 14 Sep 2014

Back to Slackware

It's been a while since I updated the phlog/blog. Funny how things like this tend to go in spurts, at least for me. I can write regularly for a while, then lose interest but always come back at some point.

I have an old Thinkpad I use on the rare occasions I travel, I've had Ubuntu on it but grew tired of the breakage after simple updates. The most recent was a complete loss of Network Manager. No idea what happened, but I found out while traveling when I could not attach to any wireless networks. The network-manager applet was gone, and I couldn't connect to even open APs using iwconfig manually. For some strange reason, at boot it would still connect to my home AP automatically. Probably why I never noticed until I had to connect to an outside network.

Anyway, I have very little patience for such bullshit any more, in years past I would have spent days working through a fix, this time I just installed Slackware (I actually first tried to install Trisquel from my FSF member card, but the wireless chipset in my Thinkpad requires non-free drivers). Works like a champ, with zero BS. And I don't have to worry about updates borking the system. In fact, even though 14.1 has been out almost a year, there were only about 20 or so updates (I'm not tracking current, of course). They installed flawlessly.

posted at: 15:32 | path: / | permalink | blog, linux, phlog, slackware, trisquel