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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Wed, 26 Feb 2014

If this appears on Twitter an hour after my last Tweet, it works.

If you see a link to this post on Twitter an hour after my last Tweet, my IFTTT-Buffer timed blog RSS-to-social setup is working.

Using Buffer and If This Then That to automate RSS into Twitter at regular intervals

Sure it's better to script everything locally, and I bet that piping RSS to social media at regular intervals is more than scriptable, I started using Buffer a week or so ago to spread out my Twitter posts in the event that I do a bunch of them at once.

Mind you, this hasn't yet happened. But it could. And I'm testing the service for my day job.

For my personal sites, I've been using dlvr.it to automatically feed blog RSS to Twitter (and occasionally Facebook). But while dlvr.it theoretically CAN dribble out posts at timed intervals with it's new (to me) "Q" feature, use of RSS with Q requires a paid subscript to dlvr.it. Again, for the day job this is something we might consider (if anybody but me was a dlvr.it fan), but I'm not that crazy about the paid options.

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Tue, 25 Feb 2014

Firefox vs. Chrome on Windows and Linux

I spent quite a bit of time running Google Chrome/Chromium on both Windows and Linux, but between feeling uncomfortable giving away so much data to Google (when logged in on Chrome) and how well Firefox performs on Linux (which is very well from what I can see), I now use Firefox about 99 percent of the time in Fedora 20.

But on my Windows 7 work machine, which is a more powerful (quad-core AMD to my laptop's dual-core, with 8 GB of RAM to the laptop's 4 GB), I flip it, using Chrome about 99 percent of the time.

So I've been switching it up to see how I might like using more Chrome in Linux and more Firefox in Windows.

I'll keep it short. There's nothing about Chrome on my laptop in Fedora 20 that makes me want to use it. It's no faster and no more stable. And SELinux doesn't much like it (and I get warnings).

I spent the whole day yesterday in Windows 7 on my big box running Firefox (version 27 on both machines for the record) for everything. It was measurably slower, and I had a few periods of non-responsiveness, especially with my customary 15-20 open tabs.

This means I'll be sticking with Firefox on my Linux-running laptop (and for my personal use, where I'm not so crazy about Google spying and Chrome on my workplace desktop, where I'm already using Google Apps and am not doing any personal business (and could care less if Google knows about my web use as it relates).

In Movable Type 4, comment spam was overwhelming

So I'm working on a blog that I moved from Movable Type to WordPress in early 2012 but haven't touched since.

There were about 8,000 spam comments that weren't marked by the system as spam from 2009-11.

That's a lot of spam, and I remember now how hard it was to keep up with at the time.

Sun, 23 Feb 2014

At SCALE 12x, I just spoke with Karsten Wade about Red Hat's new relationship with CentOS

I haven't had time to listen back to the recording yet, but I just spent some time with Karsten Wade of Red Hat, the onetime Fedora Community Gardener who's now tending to the community around CentOS, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux-derived distribution that is now a whole lot closer to Red Hat that it has ever been before.

That last statement is a bit of a cheat because until the announcement this January of the new relationship between CentOS and RHEL, they were deliberately not very close at all.

I still have to "process" the interview (in my own mind, that is), but I get the feeling that Red Hat's involvement with CentOS -- which includes employing a number of developers who have been volunteering their time until now, adding some open governance to the project as well as providing infrastructure support -- will only be positives for the distribution that people have turned to when they want an enterprise-level operating system without the Red Hat subscription that goes along with it.

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I'm at SCALE 12x on Saturday, and here's what I did so far today

I'm at SCALE 12x at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton hotel on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, and so far I've roamed the show floor, which seems a whole lot bigger than the last time I attended SCALE, which was probably in 2009.

The floor is thick with people, and there's a lot going on at the booths.

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Fri, 21 Feb 2014

Dive into the world of Linux and free software at SCALE 12x this weekend in Los Angeles

The free-software world converges on Los Angeles this weekend, Feb. 21-23, 2014, for SCALE 12x, the Southern California Linux Expo at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.

The Friday-Sunday convention welcomes users of the free Linux computer operating system that powers everything from servers and supercomputers to desktops, laptops, smartphones and toasters (and just about everything with a computer controlling it).

And it’s not just Linux. SCALE offers talks by experts as well as booths staffed volunteers from other Unix operating-system derivatives such as FreeBSD and OpenBSD, and offers sessions on the latest cloud-computing technologies, database software projects PostgreSQL, MySQL and MariaDB, programming languages that include Python, Perl, Ruby and Javascript.

If you’ve ever wanted to know just about anything about running a server but were afraid to ask, SCALE is the place to get all the answers and more.

The show is thick with enthusiasts who come hear talks about the latest in free and open technology and meet in the exhibit hall with representatives from open-source software projects and the companies that build their businesses on them.

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Back to AMD Catalyst in Fedora 20 for the suspend/resume

As much as the open-source Radeon driver has improved in the 3.12 and 3.13 Linux kernels in Fedora 20 -- and that improvement has been significant, I returned to the proprietary AMD Catalyst driver for one reason.

Suspend/resume.

While everything else is working better in the Radeon driver, solving pretty much all of the problems I had with it in the 3.11-and-earlier days, the one thing it won't do with the 3.13 Linux kernel in Fedora 20 is allow the laptop to properly wake after it has been put to sleep. (The hardware is an HP Pavilion g6-2210us with the AMD A4-4300M APU, which includes AMD Radeon HD 7420G graphics.)

It makes me sad in a way. Radeon has come so far. And so fast. With Radeon DPM (invoked with a kernel boot parameter in 3.12 and by default in 3.13), 3D hardware acceleration works and CPU temperatures are pretty much the same as under Catalyst.

But the convenience of being able to shut the laptop lid to put the machine to sleep, then open it and have it wake up -- it's just too much to give up. I can't help it. It's a feature that's important to me.

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I will be at Scale 12x this weekend

I haven't been for about five years, but this year, this weekend, I'll be at Scale 12x at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.

And I'll have a longer article on Scale 12x as soon as I can crank it out today.

I'll look for interesting talks, but I'm more interested in being in the exhibit hall and talking to people involved in the world of free software.

I plan to grab a bunch of interviews that I can plow into articles in the days and weeks ahead.

So if you're at the show on Saturday or Sunday, maybe I'll see you there.

Tue, 18 Feb 2014

An Indexette pre-tagging test for synchronized local-server directories

That title sounds like a bad master's thesis, right?

What I'm trying to do here is see how Ode posts that get their Indexette tagging locally play with my Unison sync setup.

If Ode doesn't "touch" the pre-tagged files on the server, I think we're all good.

Minutes later: That works. Now to code up a way to drop in the Indexette tag with system-generated current date and time.

Weeks later: I did write the code in the form of a short Perl script, and I incorporated it into the Gedit text editor via the Snippets plugin. I will detail this in a future post.