Minor Updates

This is mostly a post to try to keep up with the blogging habit: I’m currently evaluating Linux distributions on my laptop and putting together a post of random stuff makes for a good test of the Docker install on here, and keeps me remembering to write things here. So, here’s some random stuff.

The Mastodon server has been up for a month and a half now, which has been nice. I’ve mostly decided to keep with the individual instance rather than move to a different one (though I did stake a claim on the mastodon.mit.edu server - I’m @jkachel@mastodon.mit.edu there). I’ve been following the story of the hachyderm.io instance by dint of following Kris Nóva over there and that’s been interesting - that instance would probably be where I move to if I get tired of running my own; they’re doing a pretty great job with it. I’ve mostly given up on Twitter. My apartment has heating so I don’t really need the ever-larger dumpster fire that it’s become.

I’ve pulled the Twitter widget from the sidebar - sometime soon I’ll put up either a RSS embed or an ActivityPub thing to grab my Mastodon timeline. (Did you know that most, if not all, Mastodon timelines can be subscribed to via RSS? It’s true. Just append .rss to the end and you get an RSS feed. Like so.)

Some Linux distro tryouts are commencing at the moment. I’m sort of planning a new system build now that all the new AMD stuff is out, and the plan is for it to be a red team build and also a Linux build. So, I’m fiddling a bit with Linux distributions on my Lenovo Yoga laptop. I’ve tried straight Debian 11 and Linux Mint 21 so far. I liked Linux Mint anyway but I may try Fedora or Alma or Rocky too. Debian 11 gave me some flashbacks nostalgia for old times installing Linux - out of the box, the wireless didn’t work, it dropped me into a screen to choose from any of dozens of ancient Ethernet drivers for my modern Gigabit Realtek card for some reason (i.e., unnecessarily), and it wouldn’t take my password. Reminded me a bit of installing Debian 1.3.1 off of some like $2 CheapBytes CDs back around, oh, 1998 or so. I don’t think I ever got that installed properly. (In my defense, I was a Slackware user at that point and more familiar with the “compile everything” sort of situation that existed at the time. Package management was a new thing back then - Red Hat and Debian were leading the way on it with managers that actually cared about dependencies - and man oh man were things broken for a long time.)

I have succumbed to YouTuber sponsorship spots and now I own a bunch of Vessi shoes. (Not that I do YouTube, but I do watch a lot of it.) They’re pretty comfy. I had some but got more because of a bundle deal with some gloves and a toque (they’re Canadian, so..), but also because I’m a bit afraid of wearing out the pair I wear all the time.

I’ll probably be working on testing out my 10Gb Ethernet switch some more over the holiday break and will write up a thing about that. I don’t have any SFP+ cables yet but I should at least be able to get to a console and use the lone GigE port on it. I’ve gotten a NetApp 1U 16-port switch with redundant power supplies; it’s gotten a full Noctua fan swap so might be interesting to do a bit of writing about. So far I’m only about $200ish in on 10GbE rollout - the switch was < $100 and the 4 dual-port NICs I bought were like $25/ea. Cabling will be another couple hundred (from FS.com, probably) but these are entirely reasonable prices.

That’s it for now - time to see if this publishes properly.

Cookin' with Gas, I Guess

Welp, I’ve gone and done it. I redid the blog. We’re now Hexo. I wrote some quick and dirty Python (which was neither dirty nor particularly quick, but not too bad) to convert the Canvas posts that were here into whatever format Hexo uses, so when I want to get fancy and re-do this in Jekyll or Hugo, it should be pretty good. But, most importantly, this isn’t running on what was an ass-old version of PHP. Hooray!

The obvious question: why not upgrade Canvas? Well, it got to a point where the version I was using was too old and upgrading it would have been a mess. This happens with Laravel apps. The codebase here was version 6.2 and if you’re not pretty good about updating, you’ll find that it’s just a lot of hoops to go through to bring everything up to speed. On top of that, this site didn’t need a full on web framework. Hexo is a static site builder so all this is just HTML stored on a server.

The other question is: why Hexo? Well, … it was the first thing that looked interesting when I Googled. I tried doing this with Hugo (which has some professional benefit to me - some stuff at the place I work incorporates Hugo) but I had some sort of mental block about it so eh. (Turns out the post format is basically the same so who knows, maybe this’ll be generated by Hugo at some point.)

There are bugs. Search prob doesn’t work and I haven’t gotten around to making list pages or limiting the posts on the front page or anything. Also, I have to set up a CI pipeline for this so it publishes to somewhere. But yay no more actual script processing!

Some More Information For Y'all

Hi, I'm James. Some people call me 'murgee'.

I'm a web developer, general computer nerd, and music geek based in Memphis, TN.

This blog is powered by Hexo, Bootstrap, and coffee. Hosting by DigitalOcean (referral). Fonts by Google Fonts.

Background image: unsplash-logoTara Evans

Because I have to: unless otherwise noted, © 2019-2023 James Kachel.

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