1. Building a mollyguard to protect a power strip.

    05 August 2021

    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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  2. A few minor mods to Pitop OS.

    28 July 2021

    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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  3. Building a locksport box.

    15 July 2021

    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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  4. Installing Searx by hand.

    06 July 2021

    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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  5. Neologism: Octopus mud wrestling

    30 June 2021

    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.

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  6. It doesn't seem like it ever ends.

    15 June 2021

    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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  7. Vaccinated.

    17 May 2021

    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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  8. I'm still here.

    19 April 2021

    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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  9. Terminology: Blank

    12 April 2021

    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."

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