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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.

Fri, 06 Nov 2020

This is a test of the Ode Indexette addin

Can Indexette write to this post file?

Check line 3 at https://stevenrosenberg.nfshost.com/documents/ode/2020_1106_ode_indexette_test.txt

Sun, 14 Jul 2019

File permissions and ownership that make Ode's Indexette work on a Debian Buster server

This was easier on Hostgator, where everything is "owned" by my user account and everything works.

To get Ode addins to work, the /data directory is owned by my user and is in the www-data group.

The /data/addins/state directory has the same ownership and permissions (755).

The /data/addins/state/Indexette directory is owned by www-data and is in the www-data group and has permissions 755.

The files created by Indexette in /data/addins/state/Indexette are aux_index_file and primary_index_file. They are owned by www-data and are in the www-data group. Their permissions are 644.

Ode Indexette state directory test No. 3

If the /data/state directory works with 755 permissions, you will see this post.

Ode Indexette state directory test No. 2

If the /data/state/Indexette directory works with 755 permissions, you will see this post.

Ode Indexette state directory test

If the /data/state/Indexette directory works with 775 permissions, you will see this post.

Wed, 09 Jan 2019

Migrating this blog to https

There's really no reason to migrate this blog from http to https, but I'm doing it anyway. At least temporarily.

My hosting company now supports free SSL out of the box without requiring you to purchase a certificate. Let's Encrypt made it stupid for them to hold out. They probably got 100 requests a week to install Let's Encrypt certificates, and they were actually charging money to do that.

I made the required changes in my .htaccess file.

Two things didn't work. I could probably live with both, but they can be fixed.

I run this site using Ode, and I modifed my ode_config file to include https. That was easy.

First, I am already redirecting a cgi script to a folder (so the .cgi path doesn't show).

But when I added the rules to 'force' https, they broke when forcing https on the root directory.

What I mean is that a reader who typed in stevenrosenberg.net/blog would instead get the formerly hidden path to the .cgi file.

I solved that with a permanent redirect in the .htaccess.

Here is what I have in .htaccess right now:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^blog/?(.*)$ /cgi-bin/ode.cgi/$1 [QSA]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*) https://stevenrosenberg.net/$1 [R=301,L]
Redirect permanent http://stevenrosenberg.net//cgi-bin/ode.cgi/ https://stevenrosenberg.net/blog
Options -Indexes

That worked for this blog, but it broke some other things unrelated to it.

The change from http to https also broke comments by Disqus, which sees this as a full URL change. If I stayed with https, I would have to migrate my "old" comments to the new https entries and change the configuration for Disqus to allow for new comments.

At the moment this site isn't a big comment magnet, so I'm going to put this part of the migration on hold until I am sure I want to stay with https. This site is a blog with zero interactivity besides the Disqus comments, and that doesn't really make https a necessity. I'm not asking you for any information whatsoever. Only Disqus does that, and either you trust them, or you don't.

Maybe https prevents some kinds of attacks on this site, but if it goes pear-shaped, I'll notice, and that could happen any number of other ways. In some sense, https could be giving people on all sides a false sense of security. But if all goes right (and, axiomatically, nothing goes wrong), https adds some measure of security.

Update: I turned https off again. It broke a bunch of non-Ode things I have on this domain, and it's just not worth it. For future projects, I will use https, but for now this domain is better without it.

Fri, 11 May 2018

Rob Reed has a new Ode theme, and I really want to try it

Rob Reed, creator of the Ode blogging system has released a new theme for Ode that you can see at his site.

I have a lot "invested" in the current Ode theme, but this looks so good that I really should deploy it on my site.

Mon, 23 Apr 2018

Social-style updates are moving to updates.stevenrosenberg.net

While I will still be starting most of my microblogging-style (i.e. social-media-style) posts on this site, I will be moving them to my updates site so this site will be a lot less cluttered and feature "full" entries only, for the most part.

Also, the social updates will not be on both sites, also for the most part.

Every couple of days or so, I will move the new social posts from this site to the updates site.

At some point, I will modify my current scripts to post directly to the updates site, and Frugal Technology, Simple Living and Guerrilla Large Appliance Repair will not be flooded with those short entries, which will have a permanent home at Steven Rosenberg's Microblog of Short Posts..

Thu, 12 Apr 2018

Where is the Ode software?

If you want to try the Ode blogging software that powers this site, it comes in two parts. First is the Ode system itself.

There are also a bunch of addins.

Here is what is available from project leader Rob Reed:


  • Disqus (Add comments)
  • EditEdit (Create and edit posts with a web form)
  • Indexette (Give posts date stamps in metadata instead of using file time)
  • Jumper (Add a tag that puts a post preview in the index with a link to the full entry; included in main Ode package)
  • Mrkdwn (Use Markdown to simplify the HTML tagging in posts; included in main Ode package)
  • Shyposts (Hide some posts from indexes)

Some Ode themes can be found here.

Fri, 06 Apr 2018

My new Ode microblogging site is live

I've been thinking for a while about breaking out my social/microblogging posts and putting them on a separate site mostly because the number of these short entries quickly outpaced the number of "regular" posts.

They're different kinds of content, and I think having them on separate sites works better.

I now have a live microblogging site, also based on Ode, and I'm experimenting on how to tweak the Ode theme(s) to better accommodate what are traditionally considered social posts, meaning they don't have a title and are just a block of short text.

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