"Write once, run anywhere," they said. "Be easy," they said.

Java was once the hottest thing since sliced bread. From the very beginning it was said to be platform independent (meaning, you could run it on Intel, Motorola, ARM, or whatever else you wanted) and architecture neutral (it was designed to ignore what it was running on top of). The dream was that you could take whatever software you'd written and compiled into Java bytecode, put it onto whatever system you had as long as it had a Java runtime environment, and it should work. "Write once, run anywhere" was the motto.

In practice, not so much. But that's not …

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Technomancer Tools: Pepperminty Wiki

It's been a while since I've written a technomancer tools article. In the intervening time some things have changed; I've discarded a few tools because they didn't really work for me, or I didn't need them anymore. As you might have surmised (I didn't until I sat down to write this article, which should not be much of a surprise) it seems that I've been compensating for my ADD all this time. While medication has helped there are still a few deficiencies that effort, not phamaceuticals help with. Effort is good but a few tools don't hurt.

Anyway, you've also …

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Updating the Search Function of my Website.

Not too long ago I got fed up with how good a job Duckduckgo's site search feature wasn't doing. No matter what I did I couldn't find dick around here. And, folksonomies being what they are, unless you plan them (and then they won't be folksonomies) you probably won't remember what tags you used. It's frustrating to get get lost in what amounts to your own house. So, one night I got well and fed up and decided to put some of my spare computing power to use. I did a walk-around of my exocortex and figured out that Jackpoint …

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Pontification on the guy who stole a bag full of stuff.

You might have seen on the news a couple of weeks ago a video of a guy on a bike sweeping a bunch of stuff off of a shelf into a garbage bag (local copy) (video.hackers.town) and exiting the Walgreens with alacrity on a bicycle. Unsurprisingly, there was a brief wave of outrage, jokes in questionable taste, hellthreads on Nextdoor, and a run on strings of pearls to clutch. Rather than join in those particular fun and games it reminded me of something I saw in the Before Times while out and about.

Please note that the two …

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Building a mollyguard to protect a power strip.

If you've been to anyone's house in the last 20 years you've undoubtedly seen a bunch of stuff plugged into a power strip. Once found in office most of the time they've become as essential to everyday life as mobile phones. However, everybody has also encountered the most common failure mode of power strips - accidentally hitting the power strip and accidentally turning everything off.

This is far from a strange problem; if it's got a power switch chances are somebody's hit it by mistake. The obvious thing to do is put a cover of some kind over it. It's even …

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A few minor mods to Pitop OS.

Some time ago I wrote up a minor project I'd done, rigging up Raspberry Pi OS to run on a Pi-Top. And then never revisited the post.

I think you can guess why. It didn't go very well.

Even though all of the secret sauce software is available in the Raspberry Pi OS package repositories these days and there is a process for installing it, for whatever reason they don't quite work right. The speakers were never detected, nor was even the system hub detected. Finally, my tinkering wrecked the desktop configuration entirely. After some frustrated debugging, I kicked it …

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Building a locksport box.

Longtime readers have probably noticed that I have an interest in locksport, or picking locks for the fun of it. As you might imagine, this requires a good deal of buying locks to practice on. From basic practice locks to padlocks, we tend to grab.. well... everything we can find, because there are so many different locks and we try to practice on all of them. While stuck at home waiting for some very long running jobs (multiple hours each) to finish at my dayjob, I decided to keep my hands busy by building myself a lockbox, or a box …

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Installing Searx by hand.

In monitoring the Searx Github repository because I'm a pretty heavy user of this software, I've noticed a common trend. Folks seem to have a hard time getting the automatic installation script to work right. I realize that it would probably make sense to figure out what's going on in there and file a pull request, but given how work's been riding me like a wet pony lately I can't reliably budget time to debug the script under a couple of different distros of Linux and figure out what's wrong. That means that I can't actually help any of the …

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Neologism: Octopus mud wrestling

octopus mud wrestling - A situation where multiple conflicting problems and solutions come together to prevent anyone from accomplishing anything useful. Every possible step toward a solution causes two other problems that further complicate things. Sometimes this means that something can't be fixed at all and a forklift upgrade is required. Sometimes attempts to fix everything cause an outage to occur, ruining everybody's day. So called because everything is dirty, messy, confusing, constantly changing and nobody will have any idea what's actually going on until it's over.