Interfacing Fess with Searx.

  howto searx fess exocortex search libreops

I promise I'll explain what Fess is in a later post. I want to get this information out there in preparation.

If you haven't used Searx before, it's a self-hosted meta-search engine which queries a wide array of search engines (some of which are also self-hosted), collates the search results, and returns them as a regular search result page, an RSS feed, or a JSON API.

One of the lesser known features is that you can add your own search engines. You can either write your own (using an existing one as a template) or you can leverage one of …

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Another site migration

  libreops meta python pelican thanksgiving bolt

It seems that I still I can never leave well enough alone (as anyone who's known me for a while an attest to). While on Thanksgiving break I found myself needing to tinker more once I'd gotten my other projects out of the way. So. I decided to do something about upgrading my website.

As much as I've enjoyed using Bolt to manage my site over the last couple of years, the v4 series is going in a direction that I'm not entirely sure that I can work with. My knowlege of PHP is, to be honest, minimal at best …

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Putting Faraday shielding fabric to the test.

  cellular fabric faraday-cage ham-radio research rf rfid pictures experiment

Last year at Thotcon the presenters were given what were purported to be faraday shielded backpacks - backpacks manufactured with fabric woven out of very fine conductive wires that are said to reflect radio frequency signals inside and outside.  The idea is that if you have a cellphone and you put it inside the bag, you could be sure that the phone was not talking to any cell towers so it would be harder to track the person carrying the phone, as well as preventing any malware that may have been installed from phoning home.  So the reasoning goes, even if …

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Neologism: Cigarette principle

  neologisms timing chaos-magick

cigarette principle - noun phrase - The phenomenon in which, if you want something to happen sooner, you should do something that will immediately inconvenience you during the act of that something occurring.  Comes originally from the act of making a public transit bus arrive faster by lighting up a cigarette, which would of course cause you to ditch the smoke, dig out your bus pass or change, board and pay for the ride.  Generalizes effectively.

h/t: Mom

Embedded environment monitoring.

  electronics exocortex hardware humidity libreops microcontrollers projects python temperature

Disclaimer: This post has lots of links to the Adafruit website.  There are no referral links, I received no consideration, I just buy parts from there and do cool things with them.

A couple of weeks months ago I did a writeup of a prototype environment monitoring device for my office built out of a Raspberry Pi Zero W and some off the shelf components.  In the time since I've found time here and there to work on the embedded version, which doesn't use a full computer system but a microcontroller with just enough functionality to drive a couple of …

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Setting up a mail relay server with Postfix, DKIM, and a little Nebula trickery.

  configuration email howto servers sysadmin libreops

Given the proliferation of spam on just about every vaguely workable platform these days it seems sheer insanity to attempt to run your own mail server.  If it's out there, it's ripe for abuse in one way in another.  And yet, e-mail is still probably one of the best ways to get status reports from your machines every day (my SMTP bridge notwithstanding).  It is thus that the default configuration for mail servers these days defaults to "no way in hell will I relay a message for you," which is a net good for the the Internet as a whole …

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Wrestling with mental and physical health.

  life mental_health pontification weight depression emotions

This isn't easy for me to write because it involves my mental health.  So, if it's not your bag feel free to skip this post.

Helping my mom since her cancer diagnosis has left me in this peculiar state where I don't actually know what I'm feeling.  I call it "running on wires," as in, the silicon I'm connected to is running me, and the organics are off doing... something, maybe.  My therapist calls it alexithymia, and reading about it that's as good a word for it as any.

I've been fighting with clinical depression for most of my life …

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Calculating entropy with Python.

  cryptography howto information mathematics python

Fun fact: There is more than one kind of entropy out there.

If you've been through high school chemistry or physics, you might have learned about thermodynamic entropy, which is (roughly speaking) the amount of disorder in a closed system.  Alternatively, and a little more precisely, thermodynamic entropy can be defined as the heat in a volume of space equalizing throughout the volume.  But that's not the kind of entropy that I'm talking about.

Information theory has its own concept of entropy.  One way of explaining information theory is that it's the mathematical study of messages as they travel through …

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