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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.

Sat, 29 Jun 2013

When Windows fails and Linux ... doesn't

This doesn't happen all the time. But it did today.

I'm stuck using Citrix. Maybe Citrix isn't crap (though it's certainly looking like it), but the application I'm using over Citrix is -- I repeat, IS -- crap.

I'm in Fedora 18, and it starts dying on me.

So I reboot into Windows 8. "Maybe it'll work better in the desktop operating system that isn't the playground of hackers and libre-everything partisans."

I start up Windows 8. I start my Citrix app.

It won't run at all in Windows. It won't even run badly. Nothing. Fucking nothing.

Back to Fedora. I just have to start a new session periodically to keep the Citrix over-the-wire goodness flowing.

Maybe this is a Windows 8 issue (because it runs reliably yet crappy in Windows 7). Maybe it's a Firefox-in-Windows issue.

All I know is I can hobble along in Linux but not Windows.

Wed, 12 Jun 2013

Solution: My host changed its ssh key, and Thunar and Nautilus won't let me connect with sftp

My shared-hosting provider moved my account to a new machine, and along with all that newness came a new ssh key.

FileZilla figured it out right away and asked me if I wanted to accept the new key. (I did.)

But when trying to open an sftp connection in Thunar or Nautilus, I got a "Host key verification failed" error.

The solution was easy to find.

All I had to do was go to the .ssh folder in my home directory (/home/steven/.ssh for me; /home/your_account/.ssh for you) and get rid of the "old" ssh key from the old server.

I tried to re-connect to my shared-hosting account via sftp, the system asked me to accept the new ssh key, I did so, and now I'm back in sftp with this account via the Thunar file manager in Xfce.

Tue, 11 Jun 2013

Slight tweak in my Ode site's Logic theme for 'standard' links in post titles

One of the features of the Ode blogging system's links in post titles in the default Logic theme is that they lead not to the individual entry page but to the portion of the page including all of the relevant day's posts that includes the entry whose link is being clicked.

That's a complicated way of saying that the title links look like this:


I wanted to see how the blog would work when clicking on the title of a post leads to a page that just includes that individual post itself.

By that, I mean this:


That is the same result you'd get by clicking the Permalink tag at the bottom of each entry.

It was as easy as copying the permalink tag and replacing the original title tag in the page.html file in my current version of Ode's Logic theme.

It's a small change. Not a big deal at all. But it's so easy to do in Ode. Just about every part of the system is a text file that most users can understand and modify. So I figured I'd do it and see how it worked.

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HostGator moved me to a new server, and everything's working

HostGator emailed me recently about moving my shared-hosting account to a new server and a new version of the CentOS Linux distribution.

The move happened. Everything seems to be working. There were some changes in my DNS servers, but nothing broke. I had to change the URL I use to access my webmail over ssl.

I do have a new ssh key, which my FTP client prompted me to accept. And so I did.

Since everything is working, I haven't checked the DNS servers on my domains.

I give HostGator a whole lot of credit here because the only thing I had to change was my browser bookmark for accessing my secure webmail.

I don't remember which version of CentOS I was using before, but now it's 6.4. The version of Perl (5.8.8) didn't seem to change. PHP is up to 5.3.24. My OwnCloud test site works.

So I guess it was just the matter of retiring old hardware and bringing up new on the part of HostGator. They kept me informed, and all is well.

Mon, 10 Jun 2013

Configuring Fedora 18 to print to HP LaserJet 1020 is a pain in the ass

It didn't take me days to figure it out, but getting this Fedora 18 system to recognize and actually print on my el-cheapo HP LaserJet 1020 should have been a whole lot easier than it turned out to be.

The system "recognized" the printer as soon as I plugged it in. I already had the hplip package installed, which I thought would help. Drivers were installed for me.

But as soon as I tried to print, nothing happened.

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Mon, 03 Jun 2013

My kernel bug report in Fedora is getting results

I raised a bug in Fedora over 3.9.x kernels that won't boot under EFI on my HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop.

The latest patched kernel works for me. Thanks, Fedora users and developers!