My best laptop sticker placement yet
I pulled out a Macbook today because I had to do some screensharing thing with Join.me and needed a proprietary OS for that. Totally forgot I had put this sticker on it. Had a good laugh.
(I got a Macbook for free a few years back when doing some tech support for a family friend, an old beat up machine with a cracked screen but that still worked. Whereas I'd normally wipe the OS as a first order of business, I've just kept this one around as an OS X testing machine for the odd time that I need access to try something on a Mac, or as a proprietary sandbox that I can occasionally install other proprietary stuff if needed.)
McClane likes this.
I've mostly settled into a 90% free software workflow on everything and come to terms with the few proprietary platforms I need to interact with on a regular basis... but I get pretty annoyed with schools and daycares and all the proprietary stuff that teachers and administrators expect me to install and use as a parent if I want to know what's going on with my kids. Opting out is not easy...
McClane likes this.
McClane shared this.
One (Decentralized) Cloud to Rule Them All
I love Nextcloud. I really love Nextcloud.
5 years ago, I was running so many different applications that have just been replacing by Nextcloud apps.
- SOGO (CalDAV/CardDAV) => Nextcloud Calendar/Contacts
- Snowy (Tomboy notes sync) => Nextcloud Grauphel
- Tiny Tiny RSS => Nextcloud News
- Roundcube => Nextcloud RainLoop
Plus, I've just been playing around with Nextcloud Talk which offers an easy-to-use Hangsouts-like WebRTC video chat.
I really love Nextcloud.
2018-01-10T05:17:08Z via AndStatus To: Public
I have done a thing: I'm taking the Canadian government to court, asking in judicial review that a policy to compel speech attesting support for a variety of social beliefs in order to qualify for unrelated funding be declared unconstitutional. It's not illegal to disagree with the government, and the government of the day should not be able to compel speech or discriminate on the basis of beliefs.
It's been getting attention in the Canadian media: http://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-no-picking-and-choosing-on-the-charter-unless-it-suits-trudeaus-liberals
McClane likes this.
I'd play these public domain Christmas carols all year long if people wouldn't look at me funny. https://blaise.ca/music/christmas/
These are old recordings from 2008. Each year, I wish I'd carved out the time to continue on this CC0 project. I have at least three other arrangements to record: We Three Kings (Tool-esque), O Come All Ye Faithful (ringy acoustic guitar), and Angels We Have Heard On High (modern folk finger-picky guitar). One of these years...
Backdrop > Drupal
Okay, so far I'm super happy with Backdrop CMS over Drupal. Over Drupal 7, and especially over Drupal 8. It's like this fork is focused on fixing everything that was wrong with Drupal and preserving everything that was great about it. My only fear is that the fork has enough support to survive in the long-run, that it has a big enough userbase / developer base....
Anyone have any experience with Backdrop CMS? Working with CiviCRM, WordPress has its limitations for more complex sites, and the Drupal 6/7/8 upgrade path is a thing of nightmares. Backdrop CMS (a fork of Drupal 7) seems to be taking all the things I liked from Drupal, but forking it to avoid all the things that are awful. I'm two days into Backdrop and kind of excited so far... the only downside being the level of documentation you'd expect from a newer project. Anyone have any experience working with Backdrop CMS or following it for longer than a week?
2017-08-15T22:23:26Z via AndStatus To: Public
Just switched from Tiny Tiny RSS to Nextcloud News. Should have done that ages ago. Next up, switching from Snowy to Nextcloud's Grauphel for Tomboy Notes sync. One self-hosted cloud to rule them all...
Stephen Sekula likes this.I'd be interested in hearing more about why you prefer the new one. Installing Nextcloud seems like wrestling 100 pound of infrastructure for 5 pounds of feature (on the RSS reader front). If you're using a lot of Nextcloud's other apps, I'm sure that changes the calculus ... but what about the newsreader in particular is an improvement?
I was worried it'd take a while to adjust to a new T470 keyboard after using an X60/T61 for the past 10 years. While it still feels a bit new, I was shocked at how unfamiliar the X60 felt when I returned to it just a week after switching. The familiarity fades fast...
From 3GB RAM to 32GB RAMMy ThinkPad T470 has arrived. 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, ~17h battery life, i7 processor... from using a X60 (160GB SSD, 3GB RAM, 1.5-2h battery) and T61 (240GB SSD, 4GB RAM)... fresh install of Debian Stretch is up and running. I'm still keeping the X60 and T61 in rotation from now, but getting used to a decade difference in laptop computing! (And searching for webcam blockers and such...)
Stephen Sekula likes this.Show all 5 replies
>> Blaise Alleyne:
“Still to confirm and measure myself, but that was from a review, not Lenovo marketing stuff. (I went with the non-touch screen based on that recommendation, for better battery life.)”
I assumed this was either your own independent research or personal experience, but thanks! I look forward to your verdict, especially w/ GNU/Linux installed.
First new laptop in 10 years: ThinkPad T470
I just ordered my first new laptop in 10 years...
In 2007, when I was 20, I got a ThinkPad T61, and my mom got a ThinkPad X60 (which became mine too a few years later). These two machines have lasted me 10 years, with RAM maxed out and in recent years SSD upgrades.
I've been looking at new machines for the past 4 years, but kept settling on upgrades or deciding to stick it out. But I just pulled the trigger and ordered a brand new fully-loaded ThinkPad T470.
Here's to hoping it lasts until 2027...
ps I'm keeping the T61 and X60 around
Stephen Sekula likes this.
Huge Geek Fatigue
I have such a massive amount of geek fatigue these days. I've just had so many problems and so little time, over the past year specifically. Debilitating problems that have caused so much downtime for my mobile device, and my living room server and a bunch of self-hosted services. I'm still nowhere near 100% (e.g. my living room xserver/gdm isn't starting properly as of last week, and my mobile contacts sync has been broken for months). In 10 years of self-hosting and running OSes, I've never had this level of problems... It's just so exhausting.
No point here. Just venting. And I suppose explaining some of my absence from social media here.
I can feel your pain, I had somewhat a cathastrophic week (some weeks ago) in which al my computers/devices seemed to have a problem (except my PC at work).
I hope your stuff get better soon, and yourself too #sendingGoodVibrations
Let's Encrypt rocks
Just used Let's Encrypt for the first time (since experimenting with the beta but never using it). certbot is awesome. Here's to never paying for an SSL certificate again!
Good to know... It's on my todo list for this year.
hope it can handle Multi domain name certs because I host on a Dynamic IP and so my main domain "freemor.ca" is C named to my Dynamic host name. So would be good to get a cert that handles both. (like my current Self signed one does)
2016-12-29T06:44:00Z via AndStatus To: Public
Argh. I spent 2016 back and forth between Maemo and CyanogenMod, making a slow transition from my N900 to an S5. Now CM is dead (and reborn)? http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/12/cyanogen-inc-shuts-down-cyanogenmod-in-christmas-bloodbath/#p3 I can't keep up...
Restore Android App Data
What do you all use for Android backup? I have an rsync script, but just borked my S5 trying to encrypt it and I have no idea what to restore to restore app data... web searches are useless because all the result advocate proprietary Play Store backup/restore options...
Christopher Allan Webber likes this.
TWRP Open recovery for nandriod images of the phone (encryptable)
oandbackup for backing up apks + data (encryptable). helpful to enable the option to save the oandbackup apk in the root of the backup directory.
(No sense having an encrypted phone if the backups are in the clear.)
rsync to back the data on the phone and said backup to our nas
@firstname.lastname@example.org before a known operation like that, I just do a full adb backup to a laptop. Continual backups are done using syncthing to several computers on my network, but that's mainly for photo, video, notes, etc. It could sync more but I try to keep minimal state on device. oandbackup is useful, but it's too manual a process for me to remember to do on a regular basis.
Why Software Freedom? Recommendations?
It's been almost 10 years since I was introduced to the concept of free software. I've been out of practice and struggling lately to explain it to friends and acquaintances though, when it comes up. I find gnu.org/philosophy great for more technically-minded or philosophically-minded folks, but don't always feel confident sending that to other folks.
Is there another website/resource you'd recommend as a great summary case for software freedom from first principles for a wide audience? What's your favourite intro/defence of software freedom?
@Blaise Alleyne I don't necessarily feel like I have the magical answer for you, but people do seem to be a more conscious of privacy and security lately, and that their devices may be selling them out to the world's largest advertising companies. How about the "there's no privacy without free software" angle?
Blaise Alleyne likes this.
@email@example.com I start with "Your devices should obey you, not some company." And then head into privacy versus surveillance, focusing mainly on companies collecting data to help them sell unwanted ads (and directly selling the info for payment.
So far, my IRL contacts all think I'm a crackpot, but once they know about the relevant issues, it is entirely their choice how to respond.
Blaise Alleyne likes this.
Bringing my Toddler to the Toronto School of Communication Conference
Even though I've never had an issue, I still wonder what the reaction will be like sometimes bringing a young toddler with me to a conference. It's wonderful when you realize the woman staring at your kid from across the way is just looking for an opportunity to make some silly faces, and when you leave the lecture hall a bit early during Q&A, Eric McLuhan (Marshall McLuhan's son) smiles and applauds as another panelist says "thank you for coming" and compliments your kid for being so well-behaved. Reminds me of the time the Mesh Conference folks made Noah an honourary conference pass. Now, if only Victoria College had change tables...
sazius likes this.
Internet Filtering/Accountability Software?
I have such an intense knee-jerk reaction against internet filtering that I got into a bit of a debate with a friend about local network filtering, like, parental filters in the home as kids get older. I'm still pretty skeptical, but started looking into free software options, like DansGuardian/e2guardian or net responsibility something. Still feels really odd to think about (and really ineffective, but maybe for young kids)...
Anyone have any experience with content filtering or accountability software? (Or parenting...)
Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.Show all 5 repliesOnce kids start actively looking for [blocked material], they're gonna find a way to circumvent the filter, at which point the matter becomes entirely counter-productive. That alone is a decent argument against filtering in the first place. And even supposing you could secure the internet at your house, what about your kids' friends houses? They're gonna find whatever they want to find somewhere.
In other words, if we're talking about filtering or reducing exposure, we should be talking about reducing accidentally stumbling upon [bad stuff], as opposed to perfectly blocking it out. How much time is worth spending on that, as opposed to how to teaching kids how to deal with such situations when they do occur? I dunno.
For now, I care about: blocking ads, having https everywhere, and not creating accounts in whatever site... aka same strategy for all the family, nothing special for the kid.
For the kid (7 y.o. now) I'm following the "teaching" approach in a similar way as we do for the non-computing life: when possible, we go together to everyplace; if he is alone (school, soccer class, browsing videos in the tablet, etc) he has to be careful, don't trust everybody/everyplace, keep in mind that the internet (as the streets) is a "wild place" and some people use it for the bad, and post ugly things, or for adults only. Better stick to the places/sites/contents that we all know they are safe. Feel comfortable to talk to me about any doubt or idea or anything that arises: I'm not going to judge or ban directly, I will try to understand his point of view and explain and give advice, with love.
About having his own devices or use them autonomous from me, for now I say "no until you know well how they work and know how to fix them when they are broken".
We'll see what happens when he grows a bit more.If I have children someday, they won't be able to use a computer until they can build their own machine and get the operating system installed. Once they've done that, they'll have full access to the internet once they are able to figure out how to get online. By that point, I hope I've taught them enough to handle anything they might come across.
Blaise Alleyne likes this.@Douglas Perkins that's really been my feeling too. The filtering would be such a minor speedbump. I'd rather inoculate than shield. But I do wonder if a low effort minor speedbump would be worth it, just for those, as you say, those accidental kinds of cases. Way too easy to circumvent anything though, and I would worry about the trust issues in setting up surveillance or filtering.