Tag: howto

  1. Getting stuck upgrading Bolt and what to do about it.

    08 May 2017

    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 …

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  2. Gargantuan file servers and tiny operating systems.

    02 May 2017

    We seem to have reached a unique point in history: Available to your average home user are gargantuan amounts of disk space (8 terabyte hard drives are a thing, and the prices are rapidly coming down to widespread affordability) and enough processing power is available for the palm of your hand that makes the computational power that put the human race on the moon compare in the same was that a grain of sand does to a beach.  For most people, it's the latest phone upgrade or more space for your media box.  For others, though, it poses an unusual …

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  3. OpenVPN, easy configuration, and that damned ta.key file.

    18 April 2017

    Now that ISPs not selling information about what you do and what you browse on the Net is pretty much gone, a lot of people are looking into using VPNs - virtual private networks - to add a layer of protection to their everyday activities.  Most of the time there are two big use cases for VPNs: Needing to use them for work, and using them to gain access to Netflix content that isn't licensed where you live.  Now they may as well be a part of everyday carry.

    So: Brass tacks.  Here's a quick way to set up your own VPN …

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  4. Setting up converse.js as a web-based chat client.

    14 April 2017

    As not bleeding edge, nifty-keen-like-wow the XMPP protocol is, Jabber (the colloquial name for XMPP I'll be using them interchangably in this article) has been my go-to means of person-to-person chat (as well as communication protocol with other parts of me) for a couple of years now.  There are a bunch of different servers out there on multiple platforms, they all support pretty much the same set of features (some have the experimental features, some don't), and the protocol is federated, which is to say that every server can talk to every other server out there (unless you turn that …

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  5. Repelling invasions of Argentine ants.

    02 March 2017

    In California, we periodically have problems with armies of Argentine ants invading houses at certain times of the year.  It doesn't matter how clean you keep your house or how carefully you maintain it, they'll still find a way in.  They're quite small and routinely squeeze through cracks less than 1mm in size, which is roughly the size of the gap between a baseboard and floor in most homes out here.  They invade (and I use that word carefully) in extremely large numbers, often in the hundreds; often your first sign is an inch-wide column of ants marching down a …

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  6. Fixing the clock in Kodi.

    25 February 2017

    I've mentioned once or twice that I have a media box at home running Kodi on top of Arch Linux.  Once you've got your media drives registered and indexed, it's pretty easy to use.  Save for the clock in the upper right-hand corner of the display, which almost never seems to coincide with the timezone set when you install Arch.  So I don't forget again, and to try to fix the problem of skillions of worthless threads on the Kodi forums, here's how you fix it from inside of Kodi when it's running:

    • System -> Settings
    • Appearance menu
    • International tab
    • Timezone …

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  7. Guerilla archival using wget.

    11 February 2017

    Let's say that you want to mirror a website chock full of data before it gets 451'd - say it's epadatadump.com.  You've got a boatload of disk space free on your Linux box (maybe a terabyte or so) and a relatively stable network connection.  How do you do it?

    wget.  You use wget.  Here's how you do it:

    [user@guerilla-archival:(9) ~]$ wget --mirror --continue \
        -e robots=off --wait 30 --random-wait http://epadatadump.com/

    Let's break this down:

    • wget - Self explanatory.
    • --mirror - Mirror the site.
    • --continue - If you have to re-run the command, pick up where you left off (including the …

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  8. Saving stuff before it vanishes down the memory hole.

    31 January 2017

    UPDATE - 20170302 - Added Firefox plugin for the Internet Archive.

    UPDATE - 20170205 - Added Chrome plugin for the Internet Archive.

    Note: This article is aimed at people all across the spectrum of levels of experience with computers.  You might see a lot of stuff you already know; then again, you might learn one or two things that hadn't showed up on your radar yet.  Be patient.

    In George Orwell's novel 1984, one of his plot points of the story was something called the Memory Hole. They were slots all over the building in which Winston Smith worked, into which documents which the …

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  9. Autostarting Kodi on an Arch Linux media box.

    25 January 2017

    Not too long ago, when the USB key I'd built a set-top media machine died from overuse I decided to rebuild it using Arch Linux with Kodi as the media player.  The trick, I keep finding every time, lies in getting Kodi to start up whenever the machine starts up.  I think I've re-figured that out six or seven times by now, and each time after it works I forget all about it.  So, I guess I'd better write it down for once so that I've got a snapshot of what I did in case I need to do it …

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  10. Huginn: Writing a simple agent network.

    23 January 2017

    EDIT: 20170123 - My reviewers have suggested some edits to the article, many of which I've applied.

    It's been a while since I wrote a Huginn tutorial, so let's start with a basic one to get you comfortable with the idea of building an agent network.  This agent network will run every half hour, poll a REST API endpoint, and e-mail you what it gets.  You'll have to have access to an already running Huginn instance that can send outbound e-mail.  This post is going to be kind of lengthy, but that's because I'm laying out some fundamentals.  Once you understand …

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