It seems as if another summer is rapidly coming to an end. The neighbors' kids are now back in school, school buses are now picking their way down the streets, and due to Burning Man coming up it's now possible to eat in a real restaurant in the Bay Area for the next couple of days. I've been pretty quiet lately, not because I've been spending any amount of time offline but because I've been spending more time doing stuff and just not writing it up. I've been tinkering with Systembot lately, adding functionality that I really have a need for at home, namely, remotely monitoring a wireless access point running OpenWRT in the same way that I watch the rest of my stuff. Due to the extreme system constraints on your average high-end wireless access point (2 CPUs, 128 megs of storage, 512 megs of RAM) it's not feasible to install Python and a Halo checkout, so I had to figure out how to get the system stats I need remotely. What I wound up doing was standing up another copy of the standard OpenWRT web server daemon and writing a bunch of tiny CGI scripts which run local commands and return the information to Systembot for processing and analysis. It wound up being a fun exercise in working with tight constraints, though I think there are still some bugs to be shaken out.
I haven't actually been on vacation lately, not really. I decided that I needed to go off and do some different stuff for a while. I've been in a rut lately and decided that I needed to shuffle some stuff around. I swapped out the "writing rambling computer nerd blog posts" module for teaching myself a couple of new things and spending some of my downtime offline, curled up with cinnamon tea and a stack of books. Getting away from a screen for a while seems to have done me some good, and I'm almost back up to my old reading pace of five or six books a week. I'd all but forgotten how much dead tree books weigh after the fixed mass of a tablet for so long. The wireless router at home that I set up to replace the astoundingly shitty DSL modem-cum-wireless access point that Annoying, Trying, and Twisted insists we use is starting to act flaky, which suggests that it's reached the end of its functional life, not unexpectedly since this model tends to have overheating problems. A few weeks back I picked up a new router, a Linksys WRT 1200 AC and promptly made a few hardware modifications to it, which is to say I cracked open the case, unbolted the heat sinks, scraped the crappy thermal tape off of the chips and applied decent heatsink grease, and put the router back together. I'm considering wiring a small cooling fan onto the motherboard, maybe on one of the development ports. Lately I've flashed OpenWRT onto the unit and set up quality of service and monitoring so I can keep an eye on things. I'm still working out how to patch it into my exocortex for realtime status monitoring. From a practical standpoint I can install Python on the new router, but doing so leaves next to no room for anything else. I have to think about it some more. I do NOT want to use SNMP if I can help it.
If you thought you were going to escape computer nerd-related rambling, you were sorely mistaken.
I've updated my .plan file yet again. The usual warnings apply.
I've updated my .plan file once more. The usual warnings apply.
UPDATE - 20170512 - More SQL surgery.
So, as you've no doubt noticed I've been running the Bolt CMS to power my website for a while now. I've also mentioned once or twice that I've found it to be something of a finicky beast and doing anything major to it can be something of an adventure. I tried to upgrade my site last week (tonight, by the datestamp on this post) and had to restore from backup yet again because something went sideways. That something was the upgrade process going wrong and throwing an exception because of something in the cache directory, where Bolt temporarily stores HTML files rendered from templates used to make pages that your web browser displays.
As it turned out, the upgrade process was choking on the old cache directories created and used by v2.x of the Bolt CMS. Here is the upgrade process that I used:
- BACK UP YOUR SITE.
- Log into your web hosting provider's server via SSH.
- Download the latest version of the flat file structure build of Bolt.
- If you didn't back up your website, BACK UP YOUR WEB SITE.
- cd ~/my.website.here
- If you didn't back up your website and things go pear-shaped, it's your fault. Don't say I didn't warn you.
- Uncompress the new version of Bolt you just downloaded: tar xvfz ~/bolt-latest-flat-structure.tar.gz --strip-components=1
- Try running the upgrade: php app/nut setup:sync
- If it throws an exception on you, erase the entire on-disk cache. Don't worry, it'll be rebuilt as people visit your site: rm -rf app/cache/*
- Try running the upgrade again: php app/nut setup:sync
- It should complete successfully. If it doesn't you may need to do the following two things before re-running the upgrade command again:
- mkdir -p app/cache/production/data/
- chmod -R 0775 app/cache/
- If you still have problems, jump into the Bolt CMS Slack chat and politely ask good questions: https://boltcms.slack.com/
- If the command finishes normally, try opening the frontpage of your website. It should be up and running.
- If you can see the frontpage of your website, try logging in. You should be able to.
- Try making a test post with a new entry. Be sure to test saving the post partway through. You do save your work every few minutes, don't you?
Special thanks to Bob and thisiseduardo in the Bolt CMS Slack chat for their assistance and hand-holding while I stumbled around trying to make this hapen.
It's the holidays. I'm pretty busy right now, and hoping I don't have a sinus infection. I haven't forgotten about anybody. I'll get to the time-sensitive stuff first, and rest as I can.
Nope. No GLaDOS references today.
As you may or may not be aware, certain parts of the world have come under fire, literally. This has hit me very hard in some very tender places, and I'm not handling it well. Dealing with it has, to a large extent, required staying offline so I don't fry my forebrain.
Work's running me pretty hard, with multiple late-nighters strung end to end.
I'm working on my slides for HOPE in my spare time. I might even get to practice them soon. After that comes more proof-of-concept code that you (yes, you!) can try at home.
Windbringer's power cell is on its way out; I just ordered a replacement, which also means that he's due for more major surgery to install it (because the Dell XPS 15 is very Macbook-like in its hardware layout).
I keep falling asleep before 2100 hours local time.
Don't think I'm sick, don't think any of my dental work is going bad. Just running hard to stay in place at the day job.
When I've got it in me to write coherent blog posts, I will do so.
Be good to each other out there. The world needs it.