Category: general

  • Installing and updating haproxy from source

    One of the tools that I use for my personal websites, including this blog, is haproxy. Here are some distilled instructions for installing it from source. I primarily use Ubuntu. The center of all this is a series of shell scripts that I use to automate the build and install. At the following gitlab URL […]

  • Yet another installation program gripe

    I have noticed another new trend on installer programs. More and more, they are initiating a reboot as the final phase of installation. You may be thinking that this isn’t new… But more than one installer has just done the reboot without even asking if that’s OK. A full reboot of my desktop system seems […]

  • Thoughts about security and encryption for back-end services

    All the rage these days is adding encryption to EVERYTHING.  For anything internet-facing, I wholeheartedly agree that it needs to be encrypted, and that encryption should use the latest technologies available. There are a lot of back-end services that use network connections to operate.  A primary one is webapp servers, and some other examples are […]

  • Fix software progress indicators NOW!

    This is going to be a rant. Consider yourself warned. I have a problem with how software developers handle progress indicators. For the most part, they are worthless junk. It seems to me that the whole idea is to give the user an idea of how far a process is in its operation, presumably so […]

  • Creating a discard/noreply email address with postfix and postfixadmin

    On my mail server, I am using postfix/dovecot, with users in mysql managed by postfixadmin. At one point I had something set up to create an email address where email would be accepted, but immediately discarded. This is sometimes called a “noreply” email address. This setup stopped working, most likely when I upgraded the system […]

  • Migrating a SolrCloud install from one location to another

    This procedure has not been tested. I think it SHOULD work. Basic system administration skills are assumed. One thing to note is whether your collections have multiple shards. If they do, then the collection on the target cluster will need to have exactly the same sharding configuration as the source. For the compositeId router, hash […]

  • Autism/Asperger stuff

    Autism and the related Asperger syndrome are much in the news and on people’s minds lately. Here I will discuss my thoughts. Disclaimer: I have reason to think that I am personally in the Asperger camp. I have children and step-children who are officially diagnosed as Asperger. There are two topics I’m going to talk […]

  • Certificate Fun – StartCom

    I had been using StartCom for certificates for quite some time, because they offered them for free and were always reliable.  This was the case for both work and home.  This blog runs on my home server. Thanks to some funny business by the company that purchased StartCom, they have been targeted for distrust by […]

  • Running a redundant Solr without replication OR SolrCloud

    I was asked to create a blog post about my Solr installation and discuss why I went with the design I did.  The two production copies of my index do not use either master-slave replication OR SolrCloud.  Instead, the two copies are independently updated by the indexing program. When I first set up Solr, the […]

  • Choosing a Truck

    I would like to engage the collective wisdom of the Internet towards choosing a truck.  The primary use for the truck is towing a large fifth-wheel trailer, something probably a little bit less than 40 feet long.  We expect a maximum tow weight of about 20000 pounds, with a hitch weight between 3000 and 5000 […]

  • Some musings on the past and future of humanity

    Just as I was laying down in bed, I had an interesting thought. Imagine a future world (centuries or millenia from now) where the majority of people are what we currently classify as having Asperger syndrome. Based on what I see, I think this is a very possible outcome. In this hypothetical reality, a person […]

  • the paris tragedy and the second amendment

    One of the comments I read in the wake of the tragedy in Paris can be essentially boiled down to this: “France has strict gun control, and this STILL happened.  Gun control doesn’t work.”  Another is “If regular citizens had guns, they would have stopped these attacks.” On the gun control topic: There is one […]

  • Is DNA universal?

    I had a question come to me this morning, and I’m not sure about the answer. Is DNA universal?  If life evolves on a completely different planet, would it have DNA molecules just like ours, or would it evolve a completely different protein structure for its “code of life” than what evolved here?

  • Machines just got workins’ and they talk to me

    The post title is a quote from Firefly, by the young female ship’s mechanic, Kaylee. It’s exactly how I feel about computers. A car, particularly the engine, is a complex system, just like a computer and its software. They have both evolved quite a bit from their origins, but they follow the same basic principles […]

  • my lakeside trout fishing rig

    This post is all about my trout rig, which allows one to fish for rainbow trout with bait that floats up from the bottom of the lake.  When my wife and I started using this rig, we went from getting skunked frequently to being part of the 10% of fisherman that catch 90% of the […]

  • The Walking Dead

    Having never seen it, and with so many friends talking about it, we are catching up on The Walking Dead.  Last night we watched episodes 11 and 12 from season 2.  Here are some current thoughts, having not seen the last episode of season 2 or any of season 3. Please don’t give any spoilers. […]

  • Hostile Mode and automatic seat adjusters

    First, imagine something that is already a reality … car seats (and other settings) that can automatically adjust themselves to multiple driver preferences. The driver pushes a button, and the seat adjusts itself to a position that is perfect for them. It may also adjust the radio station and presets, environmental settings, etc. Now imagine […]

  • mmo character rename

    A couple of years ago, I bought Guild Wars.  It’s an MMO, but they don’t charge a monthly fee. I’ve had an online identity of “elyograg” for about twenty years now.  Naturally I wanted to use this name when I created my first Guild Wars character.  Something I didn’t know until faced with it: GW […]

  • tool wish list

    I am lusting after a bunch of tools for car repair.  Below is what I want at the moment.  If you would like to donate anything on this list, feel free! Originally I was looking at Craftsman for everything, but it turns out that their “guaranteed forever” tool warranty only apply to basic hand tools. […]

  • the inevitable slow decay

    Last week, I forget which day, I woke up to a little problem.  I’d wet the bed.  The volume of liquid wasn’t huge, but that hadn’t happened since I was a kid.  Our 9 year old son currently struggles with this problem, but he’s got a VERY good reason.  He was diagnosed as a type […]