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CFL FTW

February 15, 2015 — Leave a comment

We suspect that one of the kitchen light fixtures burns out bulbs too quickly. Marking this post as the day we replace them, for reference. Also, getting CFLs. There is a suprisingly large amount of light bulb information available for non-home owners. I just want the most healthy light with the least ecological footprint. That should be easier.

I am about to do something really strange. I am going to rebuild this site, my personal blog, one month at a time, in chronological order.

The primary reason is because I can. I think I take it for granted that I both understand the tech well enough to know the consequences, combined with the fact that I don’t really care. I’ve been working on some other sites, and I think it is time I broke my content up in a way that I want, historical/canonical record be damned.

This site that lives at interi.org is going to become my journal. If my technical posts aren’t too personal, they will go to maiki.xyz. And for gaming/media/RPG, that is going to a new, unnamed project I am just starting up.

So if you are reading this, please excuse my mess; things are about to get radical around here. ^_^

Home Petite Home In the Pacific Northwest, people with nowhere else to go are forming micro-communities with communal kitchens and toilets but teeny, individual sleeping units. Could tiny homes, once the provenance of design blogs, help curb homelessness nationwide?

Jason

January 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

My friend Jason took his own life around the the new year.

I’ve been staring at the first line for 15 minutes, so I suppose I ought to get on with this. It hurt a lot, and it will probably hurt a lot more, for a while longer.

I had a lot more to write, but stuff just kept coming up, and I instead thought about it a lot.

I am very angry, and sad. I normally calm down and then talk to the person, but I don’t get to do that now, and that sucks.

I am grateful for my family, and Jason was a part of that, and I’ve dealt with a lot of loss in my short time, and I feel like I can handle this in a general way, even if I am not so sure about the specific details of processing and letting others know.

Or maybe I just don’t have a lot to say because it is holding in a lot of other things. That could be a coping mechanism, letting a little bit out at a time.

I love Jason. Folks will say all kinds of things about why he did this, and about the relative respite he will have now. But I don’t like that, and since Jason isn’t here I am going to be selfish and say I wished he had stayed here for me, and Susan and Clover, and the many people I’ve contacted that knew and loved him.

But mostly for me.

Welp, I am going in for an unscheduled, urgent root canal this afternoon. Nothing quite suppresses strong emotions like intense pain the face. Or behind it. Or, whatever.

Meh, I am taking the rest of the week off.

Is there such thing as a melancholy rage? Something like a simmering, agitated depression?

I am Instagram famous (but not really)! ^_^

I was pleasently surprised to read the following opening in the DreamHost newsletter for December:

“Spock? Everything all right? I asked for that atmospheric report
hours ago.”

“I chose to ignore your command, Captain.”

“Ignore?”

“Captain, perhaps you should remand me to my quarters.”

“What? You’d better start explaining yourself, Mister!”

“Captain! Jim. It is…the pon farr. The Vulcan mating impulse. I am
having trouble…concentrating.”

“Again? It’s been seven years already? My god, Spock! We’re headed to
the DreamPress nebula now. Even at maximum warp we wouldn’t make it
back to Vulcan for another five or six weeks and the nearest Federation
outpost isn’t much closer! You’ll die!”

“I have considered this, Captain. There is only one logical
conclusion.”

“Spock, why are you putting your hand on my chest?”

“Search your feelings, Jim. You know this is the only way. I have
considered you a friend since our earliest days at Starfleet. Today, to
save my life, I hope you will allow us to become more than just
friends.”

“Spock, this is wrong. There are regulations against this. I’m your
commanding officer.”

“Of course, Captain. I understand.”

“Spock…”

“Yes, Captain?”

“I’d be lying if I said the thought had never crossed my mind.”

“As would I.”

“I’ll do it Spock. I’ll do it.”

“Jim, you don’t have…”

“I *want* to. What do we do first?”

“Very well. Thank you, Captain. I have studied your earth customs and
mating rituals. You’ll find a bottle of Saurian brandy on the table
behind you.”

“Saurian brandy! Spock! You shouldn’t have!”

“I believe you’ll want to drink it now, Captain.”

“Done!”

“Are you prepared?”

“Prepared to go where my heart has been asking me to take it for the
last fifteen years? Are you kidding me?”

**comm beeps** “Captain, you’re wanted on the bridge. Forward sensors
have detected a probe from the 20th century.”

“I’m busy, Lieutenant! Mark it in the ship’s logs and move on. Kirk
out. Now, my pointy-eared friend, let’s talk about probes of a
different kind.”

It is obviously not the best slash, but it is a classic pairing, and a nice holiday gift. It continues with their sign-off, which for a newsletter is always the place to unsubscribe:

P.S. – If the very serious topic of Vulcan physiology offends your
umbrageous human sensibilities, please consider making the logical
choice and unsubscribing from this newsletter.

I’d love to know the unsub stats for this one! ^_^

The codes, hosted

December 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

When I mentioned making compromises, one of them had to do with how I host git repositories. I spent the day cleaning up my repos, and here are some of the decisions I made.

I use git for version control, and I like having my repositories hosted online and mostly in public. In theory I like collaborating with others, and have contributed to more than a few projects, mostly for fixing typos and added licenses to them. However, the bulk of my work is done alone.

GitHub is a neat website for hosting git repos, but a bad company for various reasons including lack of software freedom and harassment. Gitorious is okay software that has a prominent instance for hosting free software projects, but has quirks that irritate me, on top of being very hard for me to install. A couple years ago I settled on using GitLab, which was a good balance between GitHub and Gitorious, and I ran a useful instance at https://allthecod.es.

Trouble with it began when the development team started documenting their enterprise version of GitLab, and while the different versions do not affect me personally, I am dismayed by the spirit of licensing the version differently. There is no evidence that they are more financially successful this way, but it does change how folks are able to use it.

I documented this all in T9, where I researched alternatives and didn’t find anything that would be easier for me. It got worst when GitLab created an omnibus version that didn’t have a supported upgrade path for my version, and I haven’t updated it in about six months as of this writing. It has become a cognitive and technical drain on me, because I keep my overhead low and all my code lives in this space.

Having to do something, I assessed how the site was being used, and what my needs were. When I started allthecodes it was to create a safe space for others to use as git hosting, that wasn’t influenced by making a profit. And it was used by more people than I personally invited, though only a dozen folks, and I never really asked anyone to join. My plans to mentor folks and teach them git hasn’t panned out, and hosting a site for others to use isn’t as important.

I also needed private repos, though not for the same reason most people need them I think. Most of what I do is free software, and sharing how I do something is easy by hosting it in public. But there are some thing that I do for clients, like asset management where all the images are logos of corporate sponsors, which need to be kept private.

I did one more round of research into hosting a bunch of different git web interfaces, but none of them were easy for me, and GitLab by far had the best workflow and UI for how I use it. All these things together led me to rent a GitLab instance from GitHost.

I hadn’t considered it before because I wanted more control, but that control comes with a price in time and effort that I can’t afford. And since I essentially use the instance by myself and I don’t kept any sensitive info in it, it made sense. It still feels crappy, because I am very into self-hosting, but with the current state of self-hosted git web apps, this is the best match for me.

On a silly note, the new domain is https://allthe.codes (the dot moved over two spaces), and today I moved 49 repos to it, and dozens more to various GitHub orgs run by past clients. If they choose to use GitHub, whatevs, not my problem.

And that is the larger lesson here: it isn’t my problem. I’ve been trying to fix so many parts of web, and remain “pure” while doing it, that my own productivity was being hampered. The compromises I make will hardly show up on most folks’ radar (how is someone else hosting my repos in dual-licensed software different from me doing the same for you?). But they are big steps for me, and I intend to continue this purge until I can create again, instead of just holding together my slice of the web.

Winter cleaning

December 25, 2014 — 1 Comment

I’ve got to straighten up some of my servers. It isn’t really out of hand, but this stuff is an ongoing process, and at this point I am hosting around 70 separate websites, so it tends to take up most of my time. But I’d like to get in front of it, so I can focus on new projects. So. Many. Projects.

I am stuck in a loop though, and hence a declaration of winter cleaning! Sortalltheservers! And make smart compromises.