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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.

Mon, 10 Mar 2014

Gvim is vim-X11 in Fedora

I just installed Gvim, which is vim-X11 in Fedora.

Maybe a graphical version of Vim will encourage me to use it more often.

That's the theory anyway.

Coffee Bean in crumbling Tarzana shopping center says its WiFi is out, but it's NOT OUT AT ALL

So I'm at this Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Tarzana. The parking lot to this three-store minimall requires a ticket for entry, though the first two hours are free, and I'M NOT GOING TO BE HERE MORE THAN 40 MINUTES.

Two of the three businesses -- a Cold Stone Creamery and Panda Express -- are closed for good. That means the Coffee Bean is the only thing here. And the lot has a ton of spaces.

I get to the Coffee Bean. There's a PREPRINTED STICKER on the door saying, "Our WiFi is temporarly unavailable."

Except that it's VERY available.

In a mostly unrelated matter, HomeGoods is opening in the Gelson's shopping center across Reseda Boulevard.

Fri, 07 Mar 2014

After I couldn't log in AGAIN, I pulled AMD Catalyst from Fedora 20

Once again, I did some updates on my Fedora 20 system. And after happily suspending and resuming the laptop for days, I crashed in the OpenShot video editor and had to do a hard reboot.

Except that I never got to the login screen. Just like the last time this happened, I suspected that the Catalyst driver I downloaded and installed from AMD's .run package was not playing well with the latest kernel from Fedora.

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I created a static Ode archive page

I've been messing around with scripting, and I created a static Ode archive page that lists every entry on this site.

I hacked it quickly. It needs some work. I think this would work better as a full-on Ode extension. For that I'd have to write it in Perl and figure out how Ode add-ins work. It could also be an extension of the Indexette add-in.

I'll be thinking about how to do this.

Thu, 06 Mar 2014

Script to sync and/or reindex your Indexette-enabled Ode site in Unix/Linux systems

I decided to script my blog updates via a Bash script for Unix/Linux that runs both my Unison sync and the Indexette reindexing necessary to to make those entries live.

You're probably not running Unison like I am (and I still need to write up my Unison tutorial), but the reindexing line is worth sharing because I find it very useful to reindex the blog without using the web browser.

First of all, you need to install wget on your Unix/Linux system. It's available in just about every distribution. Use your favorite package manager to install it.

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Fedora and OpenSUSE update GnuTLS today, Debian and Ubuntu a couple days ago

The LWN security updates posted today include the GnuTLS updates for Fedora and OpenSUSE. Debian and Ubuntu pushed out their patch a couple days earlier.

It's a pretty big bug that is being closed. Says Tomas Hoger in the bug report:

It was discovered that GnuTLS X.509 certificate verification code failed to properly handle certain errors that can occur during the certificate verification. When such errors are encountered, GnuTLS would report successful verification of the certificate, even though verification should end with failure. A specially-crafted certificate can be accepted by GnuTLS as valid even if it wasn't issued by any trusted Certificate Authority. This can be used to perform man-in-the-middle attacks against applications using GnuTLS.

This has been all over the Internet the last week or so.

Selena Larson of Readwrite.com writes:

A variety of Linux distributions are vulnerable to hacks because of a bug that allows people to bypass security protocols to intercept and disseminate encrypted information. A member of the Red Hat security team discovered a bug in the GnuTLS library that allows hackers to easily circumvent the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and secure sockets layer (SSL).

The vulnerability affects the certificate verification, meaning secure connections that are supposedly going through as secure, are not. Someone could compromise a secure connection by using a “man-in-the-middle” attack, acting as the server to intercept traffic, financial transactions or secure information.

Wed, 05 Mar 2014

I get more traffic from LXer.com than anywhere else

I almost never look at the traffic on this site. I don't have Google Analytics on it. I haven't bothered to install Piwik, though I'm very interested in the project.

My shared host offers AWStats, and every once in a while I take a look.

I was prompted to look by Jim Lynch's article, Why You Should Delete Your Facebook Account.

Like Jim, it turns out I'm also not getting any traffic from Facebook. Maybe two views a month. I get a little more from Twitter, but nothing earth-shattering.

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Does the programming language matter?

At some level, ends and means in computer programming dictate that whatever language gets you there is the right one.

If you want to work on a certain project, and that project's code happens to be written in PHP, that is something to think about.

Do you want to attract collaborators? From among the languages you like, pick a popular one.

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Buffer's Awesome plan makes it way more usable, but I'm not in a position to part with $102 right now

I have tweeted a bunch and written some, too, about Buffer, the web and mobile app that allows you to space out your social posts and reposts and have them released at specific times during the day.

Having Buffer "baked in" as a browser extension is a killer feature.

As a user, my company has gone all in for Buffer. We are a subscriber. A business can part with much more than the that the Awesome Plan costs for a year. a year is something most businesses scrape off the bottom of their boots on a slightly wet morning.

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Tue, 04 Mar 2014

Helpful post: How to manage/sync your iOS 7 device under Linux (natively) by Manuel Escudero

This post is here more so I don't lose track of this extremely detailed tutorial on how to deal with iOS 7 devices under Linux, especially Fedora.

(Because friends don't let friends use iTunes)