Title photo
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, 26 Jul 2014

Internet, you bore me

Just wanted to say that.

Thu, 30 Jan 2014

Come toward the light

(Photo by Hans Gutknecht)


(Photo by Hans Gutknecht)

Fri, 15 Nov 2013

More blogs, better CSS at stevenrosenberg.net

I am now using my updated, responsive CSS at the non-blog root of my domain, stevenrosenberg.net.

I also added to the list of blogs and social networks. (I have too many in both categories.)

Later: The page isn't terribly responsive on mobile. That's a project for the future.

The next day: Problem fixed. Per Hans Fast, I added this code to my HTML:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" />

Hans goes into this here and here.

Sun, 25 Aug 2013


I'm having a problem with permissions on images when I work over sftp with Xfce's Thunar file manager, namely the lack of read permissions, which I've had to use an alternative ftp client (in my case FileZilla) to fix.

I uploaded this photo of myself with GNOME's Nautilus file manager to see if the permissions out of the box were correct in that application.

They are.

I'll have to figure out what's going on with Xfce's Thunar file manager, ftp/sftp and permissions.

Later: I didn't have permission issues in Thunar when uploading a PNG image a couple days ago. Maybe this was a temporary thing? I'll have to upload some more images to test.

Regardless, Thunar has come a long way in recent years.

Even later: I just uploaded a JPG via Thunar, and permissions were fine. Crisis over.

Wed, 02 Jan 2013

'Kindergarten is the best garden, the best kind of garden for me'

Blog posts by programmers don't often get me feeling sentimental. This one did:

When our daughter was in kindergarten, her class put on a show at the end of the year. It was during the school day, so I couldn’t go, but my wife videotaped it.

The highlight was the final song. As a slide show ran photos of the kids on the first day of school and doing activities during the year, they sang:

    Kindergarten’s the best kind of garden,
    The best kind of garden for me.

In the background of the video’s soundtrack, you can hear the muffled sobs of all the moms in the audience. The last day of kindergarten, like the first day, is a big deal—one of those milestones that children typically can’t remember and parents can never forget.

It reminds me to cherish our daughter, to remember the good times and to make many more of them.

(Thanks, Dr. Drang, for sharing this.)

Wed, 04 Jan 2012

Somehow .org sounds too official

I've been using steven@stevenrosenberg.org as an e-mail address for a few years now.

But I don't feel, as an individual, very .org-ish.

I also have a .net domain, so I started an e-mail account at steven@stevenrosenberg.net. It's a small change.

The .org e-mail will forward to the .net account and thus won't be lost in the ether.

I'm just feeling less like a .org and more like a .net.

In case you were wondering, somebody who isn't me has stevenrosenberg.com.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011

From setback to on track

Update: It's all coming together now.

Using self-hosted Wordpress with Polldaddy's Javascript embeds allows that code to pass through to the RSS feed. Hopefully I can hack the CSS for this today and be testing it tonight.

So what am I doing with all of this?

We already run online polls at Dailynews.com, and they are one of the few things our aging CMS does natively. (We need native photo galleries and video, but we have native ... polls.)

But the mechanism is awkward, there is no automatic archiving of poll results. And here's the kicker: Changing the home-page poll requires modifying the home page itself.

And I want editors to create these questions themselves. I don't need to be waiting seven days a week for editors to come up with questions, e-mail them to me, and then have me code up the poll question.

So with this combination of Poll Daddy, WordPress, RSS out of WordPress, then Feedburner (and Feedburner's BuzzBoost output), I will have a syndicated poll question that can be controlled from a WordPress blog.

If I had both the skill and the time, I'd build some of this outside of all of these vendor-supplied products. Probably the next step will be coding custom output from WordPress that eliminates the need for Feedburner to be in this equation.

As we move our entire blogging operation from Movable Type to WordPress, the more I can learn about custom output, the better, because I have a whole lot going in in Movable Type that isn't just blog listing and blog entries.

Original entry from Sept. 6, 2011:

A project that was going so well three months ago when I last worked on it ran into serious problems today.

Things that worked June 1 did not work Sept. 6.

This happens to be an unholy mix of vendors, Javascript and RSS.

Vendors can make things easier at the outset, but they change on you.

I spent the greater part of today trying to salvage the thing.

Tomorrow, moving on. More meetings than I'd like. Time to get some perspective (translation: clean up my desk).

Sat, 03 Sep 2011

What's important

Time gets away from you.

I'm 45. I need to know where I'm going. To feel like I'm getting there.

I need to pay attention. Plan. Execute.

Remember what's important. And who.

Tue, 26 Jul 2011