0x4A's recent activity

  1. Comment on Mastodon question in ~comp

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    Depending on your needs, also have a look at microblogpub. The default appearance is... well, it's ugly. But it does have style sheets and templates you can customize, and there's a docker...

    Depending on your needs, also have a look at microblogpub.

    The default appearance is... well, it's ugly. But it does have style sheets and templates you can customize, and there's a docker container available from the developer.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Mastodon question in ~comp

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    If you post locally on your own instance, and that instance goes down, I should still see your content if it's been federated elsewhere - but not forever. At least on Mastodon, both posts and...

    If you post locally on your own instance, and that instance goes down, I should still see your content if it's been federated elsewhere - but not forever. At least on Mastodon, both posts and media have separate caches with configurable expirations.

    If a post and/or media is no longer cached, I believe Mastodon will attempt to access the original source for it. Failing that, the universe implodes upon itself, and we never get to see Firefly season two.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Mastodon question in ~comp

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    Nothing that I would consider extraordinary by modern day I-like-to-tinker-with-things standards: I've disabled password-based SSH logins on the Pi. The domain name is hosted on a Cloudflare...

    Nothing that I would consider extraordinary by modern day I-like-to-tinker-with-things standards:

    • I've disabled password-based SSH logins on the Pi.
    • The domain name is hosted on a Cloudflare free-tier plan.
    • The A-record for the domain is updated via Bash script every ten minutes with cron, as I do not have a static IP address.
    • I use Caddy to proxy between Cloudflare and Mastodon.
    • I do run Mastodon in multi-user mode, but I have registrations disabled so the instance is invite-only.
    • I've long had an account with POBox.com, so I let Mastodon send mail through that. No issues, since I don't have to worry about lots of users.
    3 votes
  4. Comment on Mastodon question in ~comp

    0x4A
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    I currently run a Mastodon instance on a Raspberry Pi 4. Mastodon has a single-user mode.

    I currently run a Mastodon instance on a Raspberry Pi 4. Mastodon has a single-user mode.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Nothing works: Why is it so hard to find things that work well? in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    Don't assume that a graphical browser is the intended primary audience.

    Don't assume that a graphical browser is the intended primary audience.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on What is your earliest memory of the internet? in ~talk

    0x4A
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    When all of this was new, you were either already a part of the scene by occupation or you had to know a guy. You'd bust out the phonebook and find an ISP with a local number and get to writing a...

    When all of this was new, you were either already a part of the scene by occupation or you had to know a guy.

    You'd bust out the phonebook and find an ISP with a local number and get to writing a PPP script, because AT commands felt outdated now. AOL, Prodigy, and Compuserve nearly killed the BBS scene anyway. Still, those are fond memories of an even older era. Regardless of when you started the screech of a modem instantly settled you into your happy place. You'd get it all working and then your mom would pick up the phone.

    You'd explore the early, almost entirely ad-free web. Websites were super simple; writing HTML was akin to voodoo to nearly everyone around you, and you could get a job designing websites just by walking into an ISP office and declaring you could do so - and they would pay you, oftentimes a lot. No one cared if the site you slapped together didn't work on Mosaic because they already forget it existed.

    mIRC was good. BitchX was great. EPIC+LiCe was my personal favorite. IRC was life. There was a learning curve just to get online, and so you instantly had that one thing in common with everyone you met there. There was a culture, and it was better. I'll die on that hill. Get you a bouncer and a fancy vanity vhost and you were looking the part. A/S/L?

    After a while you'd wait to upgrade your rig, but you couldn't go to the store and just buy computer parts. Nah, you'd have an annual membership to a traveling computer show that'd set up shop in a local hotel or event space for a weekend and buy your gear there. Eventually you'd become blind to the color beige, but you'd have enough Slackware disks to tile a floor.

    Eventually there was DOOM. I had a registered copy of PK-ZIP. I never liked Winamp. I lost years of my life writing TCL scripts for Eggdrop. I love every one of those statements.

    And then the marketing people showed up.

    I'm certain I won't experience a similar period of wonderment, engagement, and awe in my remaining lifetime.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on What are the top five software apps you benefit the most from? in ~tech

    0x4A
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    Gollum - A git-based wiki. I often find myself sitting at someone else's computer and needing to reference something. I use Caddy as a reverse-proxy which provides authentication. Obsidian and...
    • Gollum - A git-based wiki. I often find myself sitting at someone else's computer and needing to reference something. I use Caddy as a reverse-proxy which provides authentication. Obsidian and Logseq are awesome, but I always find a wiki to be more useful. I access my Gollum instance several times a day. Since the wiki content is simple Markdown stored in a git repository, content can easily be manipulated by scripts and other automated processes. For example, I generate wiki pages containing important system log events and a daily fortune. This all runs merrily on a Raspberry Pi on my desk.

    • Sublime Text - In a perfect world everyone would have a favorite text editor. Sublime is lightning fast, opens enormous files, and has a huge library of extensions. If you're a heavy git user, this pairs very well with Sublime Merge. I keep portable versions of both on a flash drive because it makes me feel better.

    • Blink Shell - An iOS/iPadOS shell and SSH client. Integrates with the iOS filesystem, has built-in VSCode capabilities, and Mosh support. Good stuff.

    • PCalc - A truly terrific calculator for iOS. A standout in a crowded category.

    • Pocket Casts - I love podcasts, and I love podcast apps, but I love this one the most. I'm not aware of a more flexible podcast manager. I use the iOS and web versions currently - my experience with the Android version ended a few years ago.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Advice on colorful programmable LED lights in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    My experiences have been the same - the apps provided by manufacturers tend to range from bad to horrible. I had tried a few different devices and finally settled on Vocolinc. I had really good...

    My experiences have been the same - the apps provided by manufacturers tend to range from bad to horrible.

    I had tried a few different devices and finally settled on Vocolinc. I had really good experiences with their smart plugs, and their RBG LED bulbs are great - bright, relatively cheap, no bridge or hub required for HomeKit, and they worked flawlessly with iOS so the Vocolinc app was only needed for firmware updates. I eventually bought about half a dozen of their RGB LED bulbs and several more white LED bulbs.

    Then Vocolinc disappeared.

    When Amazon recently caught Aukey and several other vendors in another lame 'pay for positive press' review scam, Vocolinc vanished, evidently having been participating in the same racket. Now their domain sits vacant, the majority of their products are no longer available anywhere, and their social media is seemingly abandoned. My guess is that they're retreating long enough to rebrand as something else, but who knows for sure. Their app recently updated, but I have no idea what that might mean for the future of the brand or the devices I now own.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Buying a house relatively soon, lay your advice on me! in ~life

    0x4A
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    You said Eastern US, so I'll share some of the things I learned along the way in Pennsylvania. The market is absolutely insane right now. Despite that, do your best to be patient. In a normal...

    You said Eastern US, so I'll share some of the things I learned along the way in Pennsylvania.

    The market is absolutely insane right now. Despite that, do your best to be patient. In a normal market looking for a house can actually be pretty fun; that being said, try not to let your emotions make your decisions for you. If you're not under a time crunch, such as an expiring renters agreement, try to remind yourself to take your time. Buying your first home is a big deal!


    While you're looking:

    • Consider your heating costs. Homes on the east coast could have any type of heating - gas, electric, oil, hell, there are places in PA where people still burn coal. Some options, like oil, can get really expensive and require delivery.

    • Ask about easements. Easements are agreements in the deed which grant certain rights to other parties and can prevent you from building fences, placing structures such as sheds and outbuildings, or cause headaches when a local utility needs to come and service or place new infrastructure.

    • Be wary of local taxes. Where I live, property and school tax rates range wildly, even in a very small geographical area.

    • Be wary of Home Owner's Associations. While a precious few HOAs exist to only provide basic services, such as snow removal in the winter, many are an absolute nightmare. On the other hand, if you're thinking of buying in a neighborhood without an HOA, also consider the ramifications of that.


    Once you've got an offer in place:

    • If the seller has already vacated the property, treat anything left behind as a nuisance. If it's something you want, such as appliances, or a piece of furniture, great. Otherwise it's perfectly reasonable to ask that the items be removed before closing or negotiating the cost to remove them yourself.

    • Get a home inspection. A good realtor will have all sorts of provisions in place to allow you to gracefully exit an offer in certain situations, and getting a potential new home inspected is a good idea, even if the home is only a few years old. A home inspector will be able to tell you the quality of your roof, your HVAC systems, find evidence of water damage, basement issues, shoddy windows, etc. Should any problems arise it could allow you to have those problems dealt with before you buy, or exit the sale without losing a deposit. If you can, attend the home inspection and use that time to look around yourself, especially if you're buying sight unseen, like many people are right now.

    • If relevant, consider a termite inspection. Some lenders may require it, depending on the location. It might sound inconsequential, but termites can destroy decks, framing, or anything else delicious and woody.

    • Find out if the property is in a flood zone. Some sellers aren't going to be terribly forthcoming about whether a place is prone to flooding. Typical home owner's insurance doesn't consider flooding due to a storm the same thing as flooding due to a burst pipe, and flood insurance is expensive.

    • Discover who your utility providers are, especially if you're reliant on good internet service for work.

    • Once you've got an offer in place your access to the property will still be very limited, if you have any at all. You do, however, have access to the neighborhood. If you're not familiar with it, go exploring. Find our where you're going to be buying your groceries, where the gas stations are, and if the opportunity presents itself, talk to your potential neighbors - they're going to be just as curious as you who their new neighbor is going to be, and you can potentially learn a lot about them and your new home. Trust me, having a good relationship with your neighbors is priceless.

    9 votes
  10. Comment on Recommend some upbeat / high-energy music that, if I listen to it in my car, will make me want to roll the windows down and drive at unsafe speeds in ~music

    0x4A
    Link
    If you want to go into that zen-like driving trance where you arrive at your destination without remembering how you got there, check out Mushroom Lake.

    If you want to go into that zen-like driving trance where you arrive at your destination without remembering how you got there, check out Mushroom Lake.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Cricut now wants users to pay extra for unlimited use of the cutting machines they already own in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link
    In case you've been thinking about starting a side hustle making Calvin-Pissing-On-Things stickers or Love Laugh Live room decals... These days a 24"to 34" vinyl cutter (plotter) can be had brand...

    In case you've been thinking about starting a side hustle making Calvin-Pissing-On-Things stickers or Love Laugh Live room decals...

    These days a 24"to 34" vinyl cutter (plotter) can be had brand new for a few hundred US dollars. It'll speak HPGL so you can use whatever cutting software you like, it'll be user-serviceable, the consumables such as blades will probably have generics available, it'll use materials that conform to industry standards, and it'll run unsupervised until it runs out of material or electricity, whichever comes first.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    I've had all of the X titles and their various extensions and it's such a bittersweet relationship. There's really nothing else quite like them, and the genre is littered with far worse, but each...

    I've had all of the X titles and their various extensions and it's such a bittersweet relationship. There's really nothing else quite like them, and the genre is littered with far worse, but each X title has something that irks me. In X4, for example, having space legs actually feels worse than not, since anywhere you can go is devoid of anything meaningful or even interesting. NPCs look pretty terrible. Station scanning is a weird mechanic that I like to avoid. But when you've got some cash and the means to generate more, and the galaxy is moving, it can really pull me in.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    No need to break it down into so many pieces, I was just wishing you well.

    No need to break it down into so many pieces, I was just wishing you well.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on The Netflix password-sharing crackdown has begun in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    I would too. The bundling of Internet services is very Cable Television 2.0.

    I would too. The bundling of Internet services is very Cable Television 2.0.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    If I may, you seem to be putting yourself under a lot of pressure with this project, even without disclosing much of what's troubling you. If it's a labor of love I hope you find a way to finish...

    If I may, you seem to be putting yourself under a lot of pressure with this project, even without disclosing much of what's troubling you. If it's a labor of love I hope you find a way to finish your work without losing sight of that.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tech

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    I think the reply from @skybrian was just suggesting that if your issues are technical in nature, having a person assisting you who is more experienced would obviously be valuable. Without knowing...

    I think the reply from @skybrian was just suggesting that if your issues are technical in nature, having a person assisting you who is more experienced would obviously be valuable. Without knowing what the issues are how could one be more specific than that?

    6 votes
  17. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    0x4A
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    Valheim. So much Valheim, all solo thus far. I just love this game, and I've been trying to put my finger on what the magic ratio of ingredients is that makes it so enjoyable when so many other...

    Valheim. So much Valheim, all solo thus far. I just love this game, and I've been trying to put my finger on what the magic ratio of ingredients is that makes it so enjoyable when so many other games in the same crowded space seem to fall entirely flat.

    There's this massive world that, while smaller than something like Minecraft, I find so much more interesting and enjoyable to explore. The lack of pressure to progress through the game only serves to enable a sense of curiosity and urge to see what's across the shore, and I find that I play differently depending on my mood - sometimes I want to delve into sunken crypts and amass my spoils of resources, sometimes I want to build, farm, and tend to my pigs, and other times I'm just so content to sail into the unknown.

    I'm in my forties, and I've been playing games non-stop since my grandmother bought a brand new Atari 2600. It's hard for me to find a game that I can really let myself get absorbed into anymore. The more 'real' most modern games get, the harder they have to work to pull me in, as if their realism only serves to make their shortcomings more obvious - the uncanny valley of gaming I suppose. There's something in the Valheim recipe that just works for me, and I'm really enjoying it. I hope it continues to develop.

    11 votes
  18. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    0x4A
    Link Parent
    My partner and I are both long-time video game players, though she's mostly hung up her controller these days and prefers to let me do the button-mashing while she co-pilots from the other end of...

    My partner and I are both long-time video game players, though she's mostly hung up her controller these days and prefers to let me do the button-mashing while she co-pilots from the other end of the couch. I can't remember a better time we've had playing a game together than Alien: Isolation. The atmosphere and tension is so well done. It's really one of those experiences I wish we could forget just so we could do it all over again.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Is building a folding iPhone possible? Let's take a closer look at these flexible amoled screens I found on AliExpress in ~tech

    0x4A
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    There's a point where touchscreens start becoming less ideal as input devices and physical input devices like keyboards become more desirable as the size of the screen increases. As the consumer...

    There's a point where touchscreens start becoming less ideal as input devices and physical input devices like keyboards become more desirable as the size of the screen increases. As the consumer market seeks to find the balance between the two, I feel like folding screens on mobile phones will find their way to the gimmick graveyard, victims of trying to hold the middle-ground.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on Show Tildes: critique my first portfolio site in ~comp

    0x4A
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    Just noticed a simple typo.

    Just noticed a simple typo.

    according to standards presented by Roy Fielding.a

    3 votes