E-mail is completely broken and unreliable thanks to big players like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Shortly after the NSA spying revelations, I decided to move off of Gmail and back onto my own e-mail server. It wasn’t for privacy, as e-mail is often transmitted plain-text and has no more security than a postcard, but just a general desire to distance myself from Google services. I had run an e-mail server in the past using Postfix and Courier-IMAP back around 2005 (as well as Amavis-new, Spamassassin and ClamAV for spam and viruses). When I attempted to setup an e-mail server in 2013, the stack was pretty much identical except Dovecot now replaces Courier and additional tools such as DKIM, DMARC and SPF are now necessary for outgoing e-mail validation. However the largest challenge I faced wasn’t from my own technology stack, but with my e-mails becoming unreliable against both Google’s and Microsoft’s over-aggressive spam filters.Read More
I’ve been writing a lot of Jekyll related posted lately, because I’ve recently switched all my websites over to Jekyll from Wordpress. My latest challenge has involved footnotes in excerpts. Kramdown, the default Markdown implementation in Jekyll, supports footnotes in Markdown, but they unfortunately show up when using
post.excerpt inside Liquid templates. The following is a plug-in I wrote to strip footnotes, as well as the superscript links leading to them, for use on templates with post previews, such as an index page or RSS feed.
Do you have an old Wordpress blog? Are you migrating it to Jekyll? Tired of spam? Don’t want to moderate comments anymore, but you don’t want to lose all those comments from people who have contributed so far? The Jekyll-oldcomments gem is for you!Read More
I wanted to create keyboard and mouse bindings for PulseAudio volume control, which was slightly more complicated than I thought it’d be. The following is a simple script, written in fish shell, that can be used to adjust PulseAudio volumes via the command line. It can be used in conjunction with
xbindkeys to create both keyboard and mouse shortcuts for controlling volume and music.
Jekyll 2.5.3 doesn’t allow for source files, such as layouts or includes, to be outside/below a site’s source tree. This worked in previous versions, but was disabled per github requirements for security. I created a gem that monkey patched the relevant Ruby code within Jekyll to allow this again. The source code and installation instructions can be found in jekyll-unsanitize on Github.
A number of Java web applications and services, both open source and commercial (Alfresco, iRise, Confluence, etc.), tend to embed the entire Apache Tomcat servlet engine in their distribution packages. Atlatisan has even gone as far as only supporting their embedded Tomcat package, no longer offering a WAR/EAR file distribution. These packages contain the full Tomcat engine and configuration files and seem really overkill. In most configurations, the default setting files are never even changed. Surely there must be a way to launch Tomcat in code and only require the tomcat jars as dependencies? In the following tutorial, we’ll examine Jetty, an embedded servlet engine designed for this purpose, and show how to replicate the Jetty setup with Tomcat.Read More
Last year I was the victim of a break in which involved me losing nearly all of my electronics. I had backups of my data, the import stuff, but since that time I had been using a work laptop for most of my personal work. I later purchased a Surface Pro2 and had it dual booting Linux, but I found the tablet/laptop difficult to deal with. The lack of a sold connection between keyboard and device made it impossible to use while sitting on a couch like a normal laptop. While visiting Melbourne I decided to purchase an MSI laptop that’s typically marketed for gamers, and turn it into my primary Linux development laptop.Read More
I first heard about recovering data from bad hard drives by placing them in a freezer from a web comics. The artist almost lost a lot of his work to a failed hard drive he hadn’t backed up. I’ve had my share of hard drive problems and have kept regular full backups for the past few years, so I’ve never really had an opportunity to try out this technique. But recently a good friend of mine had a hard drive go bad in her five year old MacBook. This seemed like the perfect opportunity, and I was pretty amazed at the results.Read More
Cloud at Cost is a new company offering very low cost virtual servers. For their first 10,000 nodes, they’re offering a $35 one time setup fee to get a virtual server for life (of the company). There are additional $70 and $140 one time plans for slightly larger virtual servers, or the option for $1, $2 or $4 per month. I decided to give one of these virtual server plans a try. There were quite a few hickups. I wouldn’t say they’re production ready quite yet, but if you want a server to play around with, the price is right, and their services are certainly worth that price.Read More
Unfriendfinder was a Firefox plugin which allowed Facebook users to detect when people left their friend list or deactivated their accounts. After three years of development, Facebook requested the removal of the extension due to violation of their terms of service. The author chose not to fight the request. In response, I’ve created sumfriender, a Python script that can detect friend list changes as well as import previous friend lists from the Unfriendfinder Firefox plugin and grease monkey scripts.Read More