It doesn't seem like it ever ends.

It's been nearly a month since I've last had time to post anything here. Earlier I'd expressed hope that things would slow down and I'd have some compute cycles free to get my breath back, maybe go for a walk and do something fun. Unfortunately, as so often happens these days, that was wishful thinking. I wish that I had a lot of good news to write about, but unfortunately I don't. Just a little. If this post is going to be too much for you in your personal situation, close the tab. Seriously. If you've got your own ten …

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Vaccinated.

Well, it's been a long couple of weeks since I've been able to post. Work has been eating me alive the entire time, but thankfully it's been leaving my wires alone so I at least have that much on the ball right now.

Anyway.

I finished getting vaccinated a little over a week ago. I got a full run of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and now that I'm (medically) back on my feet I can write a bit about it.

The first jab back in April wasn't too bad. While it took some time to get through the …

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I'm still here.

I'm still here. Still alive. No timed post this time.

Tired as hell because my work/life balance has gone to hell in a handbasket. I think over a year of covid has finally started to affect the rest of us. I don't think anybody's head is still in the game anymore.

I've been working too many late nighters and it's really messed with my head. I took a couple of days off (before I started writing this post) to recuperate. Sleeping in felt kind of strange but I probably needed it. I've been taking time to read actual dead …

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Terminology: Blank

blank - noun - Someone who has scrubbed or never created any substantial presence on the Internet. No social media accounts (or deleted ones), no domains registered, no known e-mail addresses, no photographs, no projects of any kind. While an impressive privacy-related feat in the twenty-first century, it is not without its drawbacks.

e.g., "I'm sorry, but we can't hire you, because we can't complete the background check. As far as we know you don't have any kind of background. You're a blank."

Distributing Huginn workers across servers.

For quite a few years I've written about strange and sundry things you can do with Huginn, but not a lot about what to do when you run into systemic limitations. The nice thing about Huginn is that you can spin up as many workers (subprocesses that execute agents from the database) as you want, subject to the limitations of what you happen to be running it on. The downside, however, is that it's easy to accidentally upgrade your VPS to the point where it's just really expensive. I just ran into this purely by accident and spent a day …

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Making an oscilloscope kit suck less.

A couple of jobs ago I worked in an electronics lab that had all the toys - from tool cabinets as tall as I am to anti-static gear all over the place (and ruthlessly enforced rules for making use of it) to signal analyzers and oscilloscopes. Unfortunately, my job (and the project) were such that I couldn't just go messing around in there to teach myself to use the diagnostic instruments. If the 'scopes weren't in use at the time then they'd been set up specifically for the hardware we were working on. This means that messing around with the settings …

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Cross-compiling go-sendxmpp.

I used to joke that the day setting up a cross-compilation environment was easy we'd be one short step away from having true artificial general intelligence. For the most part neither has happened yet. However, I must admit that Go has come pretty close to making it easy, but it's also kind of opaque unless you go all-in on Go to the exclusion of all other languages. It's not really a language that you can just toy around with, kind of like FORTH.

Long-time readers know that I'm all about XMPP as a command and control channel for my exocortex …

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Optimizing Searx with UWSGI.

Long time readers have probably read about some of the stuff I do with Searx and I hope that some of you have given some of them a try on your own. If you have you're probably wondering how I get the performance I do because there are some limitations of Searx that have to be worked around. Most of those limitations have to do with the global interpreter lock that is part of the Python programming language which haven't been completely solved yet. What this basically adds up to is that multithreading in Python doesn't actually make great use …

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