Articles


NetNewsWire rises again!

One of the very first posts on this blog (16 years ago in the beginning of 2003) was entitled All of your favorite sites at a glance which discussed a new pair of apps (NetNewsWire and NetNewsWire Lite) that I'd just started using. Considering the fallout for RSS from the …

Separating Ansible roles for fun and profit

At ClueTrust, we use a lot of automation to run our systems. It's mostly how just a couple of us can manage hundreds of virtual servers and keep them up-to-date and operational. A few years back, I moved from using Puppet to Ansible, mostly at the suggestion of RS, who …


Git subtrees for Perforce users

For many years, I was a happy Perforce user. Despite clearly not fitting their precise model, I had a three-user license which allowed me and my bots to appropriately work on my code base. I have a number of pretty complex projects, which often have overlapping code and I took …

Pelican plugin for NGINX redirection

When I set out to move Gaige's Pages to a static web generator, chronicled in Gaige's Pages moves to static generation, I stated one of the reasons that I favored Pelican was because it is written in python, which is a language that I'm intimately familiar with. Not surprisingly, that …

Dynamic XCTests

For a number of years, Cartographica has had a lot of tests-on the order of 1500+, but a few of them are quite a bit bigger than they should have been, owing mostly to their data-driven nature. This post describes the method used to provide dynamic test creation for Cartographica …

Fastlane + Jenkins Pipelines (Gaige gets his Java on)

Jenkins For years, I've been using Jenkins as a CI environment at ClueTrust. For those unfamiliar with Jenkins, it's a long-running open-source project built in Java for doing Continuous Integration. It'll work on just about any platform that can run Java (although it's most at home on Unix machines) and …

Follow-up on static pages

At the beginning of the month, I wrote about the move to convert Gaige's Pages to a static generation model. Today I'm following up with some performance graphs. There's absolutely nothing surprising here, but it's good to see nonetheless that things work as they should. Look to the right of …

Gaige's Pages moves to static generation

Gaige's Pages has been through a lot of changes over the last 15 years, since I did the first major revamp of the site. At that time, I was converting from a statically generated site that I was manually creating (with a little help from DreamWeaver) to Geeklog, a venerable …

Looking for a Nav system (Revisited: 2018)

If you want a good feel for the advancements in Navigation systems in the last 10 years, you should check out my piece Looking for a Nav system from 2008. The article went through my key issues that lead to my recommendation of the TomTom's in those days. TL;DR …

Codesigning ate my Sunday

I have a version of Cartographica that I need to push out before the end of the year, due to a certificate expiration on one of my long-term servers. As a bulwark against problems occuring just at the turn of the year and to make sure that users can use …

TPS Reports? (Testing PostgreSQL under SmartOS)

Rob and I are working on updating our standard envrionment in our data centers. As may be clear already, we're big proponents of SmartOS, which has been working really well for our needs. We've also big proponents of automation (and, in particular, Ansible). Due to a hardware failure this weekend …

Jumping a dead 2000 Boxster S

I'm generally extremely happy with my 17-year old 2000 Boxster S that I bought new. However, running back and forth between Atlanta means that I've not been driving it as much as I have recently (although quite a bit more than I did in the 2008-2010 period). Last year, I …

Sun SparcStation 20 vs Raspberry Pi

For those of us old timers, here's an amusing shootout between a SparcStation 20 and a Raspberry Pi, including both the Pi and the Pi2 (but unfortunately not the Pi0). For those unfamiliar with the SS20, it was a workhorse desktop in the 1990's. Early pizza-box design and pricing out …

SmartOS, Postfix and IPv6

As part of completing our shut-down of 2007-vintage Xserves at the hosting center, we're moving a lot of servers to SmartOS (or at least SmartOS-hosted VMs). We've been really happy with the system so far. Here's a quick story of the power of this environment. As part of the transition …

Replacing a RAID set under El Capitan

Over Thanksgiving, one of the two drives in my "Big Disk" RAID (it was a mirror of 2 2TB drives that I used to store large things that aren't worth having on the SSD on my Mac Pro). Generally speaking, my response to failures with SMART (especially with cheap spinning …

The Age of Deception

Occasionally, in the vast expanse of the internet there are gems from people I know and respect. I'm not going to summarize, because the entire article, The Age of Deception , is worth reading by itself. Thanks, ssh.

Obama Won't Seek Access to Encrypted User Data

Somehow in the midst of all of the craziness around here, I missed that, as the New York Times reports, Obama Won’t Seek Access to Encrypted User Data. For the time being, they appear to have agreed to the rationale that a back door provides as much entree to …

Familial DNA Searching

Wired had an article last week entitled Your Relative's DNA Could Turn You Into a Suspect, in which they describe a of using familial DNA searching to locate suspects. There are interesting implications here, especially with regard to public DNA search resources like Ancestry.com. Thanks to Bruce Schneier's Blog …

Time (Saver) Machine

Over the past couple of weeks, I once again reacquainted myself with the joy of using TimeMachine as a backup system. (Please, use more than one, at least one off-site and one on-site would be a good idea, consider CrashPlan for the offsite version, we've used it for years and …