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
“I chose to ignore your command, Captain.”
“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
“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
“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
“Spock, this is wrong. There are regulations against this. I’m your
“Of course, Captain. I understand.”
“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
“Saurian brandy! Spock! You shouldn’t have!”
“I believe you’ll want to drink it now, Captain.”
“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
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! ^_^
We picked up our membership to the Oakland Museum of California today, and in the art gallery is a kiosk with a mirror grid and tablet interface to finger draw a self-portrait. It is then added to the kiosk next to it where one can watch the stroke order of others’ portraits, as well as in rotation in digital frames sharing a wall with other art.
I am wearing my hair in a top-knot today, so I didn’t think to color it in, but I realize now I look like I may be bald… ^_^
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.
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.
Heads up to folks that follow this site to read my posts on free software and information technology: I’ve got a new site at https://maiki.xyz. If you are reading this is a feed, then you may want to subscribe to https://maiki.xyz/feed. ^_^
I am moving this blog to be more of a journal for myself, about personal things. Or commentary that I don’t want to be mixed in with my observations about tech. It will be easier for me to process what I am writing if I am thinking of where it goes. Also, I’d like to do more mundane blogging here, like talking about places I go, that kinda thing. I just don’t want those kinds of post to dilute my technical writing.
I will also be launching some other places on the web, like a place to talk about video games, further removing the types of content I post here. But I will be collecting it all in a new place, as a life stream (remember those? I’ve always like the idea). More to come. ^_^
Difficulty at the beginning usually means ease at the end… in bed.
Defiance has completed its second season, and hasn’t been renewed for a third (but we can hope!). I talk about it on federated social networks, where I don’t think folks talk about media much (likely because there is a high concentration of copyright reform advocates, but that is a guess on my part). But each time I talk about Defiance, I get a couple reactions of interest.
This small introduction will be my go to link for telling folks what it is about. In the past I’ve had a hard time describing it, because while it can be described as Star Trek + Firefly + West Side Story + western (genre) + post-apocalyptic, the series is able to stand alone (much as the aforementioned Firefly is more than a space western).
I will explain a few parts of the show, and I won’t include spoilers that you couldn’t deduce from the genre descriptors, specifically, it has aliens, weird tech, and happens in the future.
Defiance is a frontier town/city-state, surrounded by what are essentially “badlands”, the result of an Earth having been ravaged by uncontrolled terraforming technology brought to the planet by an alien fleet of capital ships called Arks. The aliens were a collective of various species that evolved in a star system that was going to be destroyed by a failing sun. They didn’t come to Earth to conquer it, but a conflict did happen. A catastrophic event happened (which resulted in the uncontrolled terraforming), which essentially destroyed human civilization’s infrastructure, but also left the aliens stranded, and with very little technology.
That is all cool, but it is dressing for the story. The interesting bits are the personalities of Defiance, and their collective struggle for survival in an unforgiving world that is strange to everyone (native and alien). What do you have to look forward to? Crime families, company town issues, inter-species romance and bigotry, external political forces, weird and lost technology, lawkeepers, and lots of interlocking plotlines. Also, some of the most progressive and interesting commentary on gender, sex, family and societal roles! Turns out you can do with a lot of “alien” culture to talk about contemporary issues. ^_^
The production quality if among the top for what one expects from a sci-fi show, let alone a Syfy show. The music is really fun, too. Also, there is an MMORPG attached to it, if you are into that the transmedia experience (and run a non-free OS).
Of course I recommend you watch it. I think it will obviously be enjoyable to folks that are into other sci-fi franchises, but it also appeals to those that are into social dynamics and alternaitve/intentional family styles. And now that it has concluded, you can get the whole thing via video on demand! ^_^
Gonna keep this short, because I’ve wasted too much time on it as it stands.
I broke the screen on a Nexus 5. It is an LG device. I sent it in to LG to be repaired. I got an email from LG on May 25th, at 10:22 PM, and I read on the morning of the 26th.
It included an Inspection Results document that said repairs would cost $153, and to send send them payment within 4 days or they would return the phone to me. Options for payment were sending in a money order, or writing my credit card info on the form and faxing it to them. All this already indicated to me that LG is a company that does not like doing repairs, because none of those options are easy, let alone within four days.
I called them yesterday at 5:30 PM, coming back from a client’s place. The support person was dismissive, told me to call back the next day to pay for the repairs, as the payment dept. was closed then, and would not put an extension on my account. I asked to verify that I had today to pay, and they said I did. Then they refused to give me their employee number or a reference number for the call. I asked to speak with eir supervisor, and after putting me on hold for 10 minutes, told me they had gone home, and I could speak with them by calling today. I verified once more I would be able to pay today, and e affirmed it.
I called today, and was informed, after being put on hold for 15 minutes, that I couldn’t pay, because the reference item was expired. There was no extension on the account, and in order to be sent to the payment center, I need a reference number, so they need to create a new one, and then send it to their back office, which will then send me another notice with four days (although they kept saying 3 days, and when I asked them why mine said four days, they admitted it counted the first day from when I got the message, in my case the last two hours of the 25th). Their payment office is closed tomorrow, and Monday is a holiday, so I would receive the notice on Tuesday. At this point they’ve had my $400 device for 10 days.
I asked to speak to their supervisor, and was transferred, but after 10 minutes, the person told me that the supervisor division had high volume, and they would be transferring me so I should just hold until they get to me. I asked them to explain to me why this happened, and when I explained to them how the process had worked for me, they suggested I be transferred to “escalation”. I was on hold for 5 minutes before I decided I value my time more than this process.
Supposedly escalation can call me back if the call is dropped. It has been an hour and I haven’t been contacted yet. If they call me back today, and let me pay for the device, I will do so. If not, I will have the phone returned. Regardless, I will never buy another LG device, because they actively discourage having them repaired.