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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012

Quick OwnCloud update

I'm still playing with OwnCloud.

My big idea was running it on http://devio.us, since this excellent OpenBSD shell/webspace provider supports PHP and offers SSL connections (the latter of which will make me much more comfortable using OwnCloud).

However, it turns out that OwnCloud requires the PHP Zip extension (or is it Zip PHP extension?), and Devio.us doesn't offer it.

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Thu, 16 Feb 2012

I just installed ownCloud: It's like my own, wholly controlled version of Google Docs (without the spying) and Dropbox (without the cost)

I didn't think installing ownCloud would be so easy, but it was.

My continuing reliance on Google Docs, which is cheerfully offered up for free in exchange for Google's searching through your files and marketing to you based on what it finds, plus the plethora of similar privacy-sapping services, has me very interested in personal-cloud services such as ownCloud and the early-days Freedom Box project. The Freedom Box will happen eventually.

OwnCloud is here now, and while there is certainly a commercial component to the whole thing, it is basically a free software project with code that anybody can download and use.

And so I did.

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Sat, 11 Feb 2012

Why I'm going back to Icedove 3.0.11 in Debian Squeeze after months with version 5.0 from the Debian Mozilla team APT archive

Why would I do such a thing -- go back to Icedove (aka the Mozilla-coded Thunderbird e-mail client) version 3.0.11, which shipped with the now-aging Debian Squeeze, after months of using version 5.0 from the Debian Mozilla team APT archive?

A number of things -- some pertaining only to me and my workflow, others more general -- made me revert to the older Icedove on my main Debian Squeeze laptop.

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Sun, 05 Feb 2012

The lure of a social-networking audience vs. freedom of the open Web

I've seen writers with substantial followings on services such as Twitter and Google+ declare the open Web dead because they have thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers either hard won or quickly garnered on one social network our other.

They may believe in the open Web. But that huge following beckons.

Wed, 01 Feb 2012

Iceweasel/Firefox 10.0 now in the Debian Mozilla APT Archive

My Debian Squeeze system uses the Debian Mozilla APT Archive to bring newer versions of Iceweasel (aka Firefox) and Icedove (aka Thunderbird) than are available in the stock releases.

An update today brought Iceweasel/Firefox 10.0 into my Debian Squeeze laptop. The Firefox release pace has been extremely fast lately, and it's nice to get the latest releases packaged up for Debian.

That said, I'd love to see a newer version of Icedove/Thunderbird. The Debian Mozilla APT Archive version is stuck at 5.0, and even Debian Backports and Wheezy are mired in the 3.6.x era.

Disclaimer: I know, I KNOW I can go to Mozilla, install from there and have the Mozilla repository keep my Firefox and Thunderbird up to date. I know. I haven't done it. I guess I'm more comfortable with the packages made by and for Debian. No good reason, as I use Google packages for Chrome.