Blaise Alleyne

Toronto, Canada

Technologist, musician, writer, theology student, free culture/software advocate.

  • 2015-06-24T14:33:42Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    My wife just now, re: cover of LV011: "Is that Richard Stallman? Because it looks like Robert Baratheon."

    sazius likes this.

    they do both have big, wild beards

    Efraim Flashner at 2015-06-24T15:02:56Z

  • The death of a laptop (hard drive)

    2015-06-24T02:32:13Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I think the hard drive on my ThinkPad T61 is totally dead.

    It's a 750 GB drive that was still my primary digital home... I have my files backed up, but I'm not even sure where to put them now...

    • Do I get another large drive? I'm addicted to the speed of the SSD I've been using in my X60, and had barely been touching my T61 as a result...
    • Do I move my files to ownCloud? I'm using it more and more, but a bit wary of putting important stuff behind a web accessible login page...
    • Do I move to my living room computer / server? This is where my backups sit already... access via SFTP or something from whatever machine I'm using?
    • Do I refurbish or abandon the T61? The fan needs repair (or maybe just cleaning), and the keyboard has a few serious issues (sticky e and space bar, non-working PgUP...)... but otherwise...

    Also, kinda sentimental... that hard drive housed my first GNU/Linux install, which carried me from Ubuntu 6.06, through failed upgrades, across three physical machines, for a good 7 years. (Though, I'd stopped using it daily in favour of Debian and an SSD... so maybe it's about time.)

    This probably forces only the third time I've every reorganized my digital home base in my life... the first time from a family 386 to my own Windows machine, then the second time when switching to GNU/Linux 7 years back...

    deep breath

    One step at a time...

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) shared this.

    Show all 8 replies

    @Douglas Perkins: Right, that's kind of what I mean... I shouldn't have said "log in" in particular... it's more that I'm hesitant to expose all my personal files to a web-accessible PHP application!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-06-24T13:13:05Z

    Lars Wirzenius likes this.

    @Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) oh, cool, I didn't know those existed! Will check that option out for sure...

    The ThinkPad T61 has an UltraBay which has an optical drive in it now, but I can potentially use that for a second hard drive too... I was considering the dual hard drive thing before... but a combined drive might be simpler.

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-06-24T13:15:45Z


    A 1TB hard drive will cost you about $60, and it should last for 5+ years. SSDs have lower latency, are silent, and suitable for the professional who has more cash to burn.

    The main reason I can't imagine running off a non-SSD anymore is that these laptops are also old.

    For me, spending some extra cash on an SSD for my X60 was actually a money saver because it made my X60 lightning fast and killed any immediate need for a new machine. I would avoid my T61 with the non-SSD a lot of the time because, even though they had otherwise similar specs, it'd be ~5min to logged in session versus 30 seconds, and everything else just felt so painful and slow... The SSD was the single biggest boost to performance I've ever made, and made me quite content to continue using these old 2007 machines.

    A local file server is essential if you intend to keep backups, whereas a local cloud server is more helpful if you're setting up a media library for family members etc.

    My living room computer is kinda of all of the above... it receives backups via rsync/ssh, I can connect to it via SFTP (locally or remotely) as a file server, but it's also running ownCloud (and a few other web applications). I'm somewhat tempted to make that my home base... just access it via SFTP when I need to get into long-term storage files or something, maybe even just stream my music collection... but I'm really not sure yet!

    Thanks for the feedback. :)

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-06-24T13:22:27Z

    @Laura Arjona true, true. Maybe the first step is just to get my backup accessible so I can use my files and buy some time to think about fixing up the laptop. It's the keyboard bit that seemed a bit expensive to repair on a 2007 machine, but I only started looking into it... If the repairs aren't too expensive, I'm much more inclined to get it working well again rather than look at a new machine... (It's pretty freedom friendly hardware, aside from the wireless card...)

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-06-24T13:26:19Z

  • Toronto Transit Commission phasing out tokens/tickets

    2015-06-23T13:27:52Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    TTC phasing out tokens/tickets for Presto card... which collects "accurate usage data," i.e. tracks you. Et tu, TTC?

    Ottawa switched to using Presto card a couple of years ago, it's pretty handy. Re:Tracking, if you purchase with cash, and don't register your card - it can be rather anonymous.

    George Standish at 2015-06-23T15:48:18Z

    In many cases, your home/work location pair alone can identify you uniquely. =\

    I'm sure there will be some big advantages. And I'm tracked way more by my mobile, and my payment cards, etc. I just mourn the loss of the good old fashion token a little bit as a truly anonymous option (I guess minus security cameras!).

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-06-24T02:23:19Z

  • Android-based mobile device recommendations?

    2015-06-10T02:58:53Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    My wife's Nexus 4 has been having a ton of problems over the past couple weeks. Some hardware, some maybe software, but we're looking at a new mobile computer as an option... but I haven't been paying attention to or looking at Android-based computers for a couple years...

    Recommendations for a relatively friendly and decent Android-based computer? She won't be running Replicant, but I may be able to set her up with CyanogenMod (or other recommendations?) this time around.

    Hardware specs wise, the Nexus 4 served her well except for the non-expandable 16 GB of storage.

    (Also, we're WIND Mobile customers, so AWS frequency support is a must... same was T-Mobile in the US.)

    Any advice appreciated!

    Just moved to a Nexus 5. At $400, the price tag is still hefty, but it runs like a charm (CM11 or 12). The only issue IMO is the lack of an external SD card support.

    Olivier Mehani at 2015-06-10T10:08:12Z

    Blaise Alleyne likes this.

    Interesting, thanks. At least it has more storage than the Nexus 4, but that lack of expandable storage is frustrating... I wonder if Google doesn't care much for it because they want you to be putting more things onto their servers or something...

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-06-10T19:42:25Z

    That said,
    cm11/device/lge/hammerhead ((remotes/github/cm-11.0))$ wc -l proprietary-blobs.txt
    234 proprietary-blobs.txt

    Olivier Mehani at 2015-06-11T00:17:46Z

  • Debian upgrades...

    2015-06-10T02:55:44Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    On several servers today: s/wheezy/jessie/g...

    Olivier Mehani likes this.

  • Magento makes me feel dirty

    2015-05-31T19:09:04Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I always feel so dirty every time I work with Magento.

    The most recent reason is the following workflow that seems to happen all the time:

    1. Buy a proprietary extension (since Magento is open core, that sets the tone for the whole ecosystem, which is just full of proprietary software...);
    2. It includes some phone-home DRM licence scheme and "free upgrades" for about 6 months;
    3. Encounter some problem with that proprietary extension (e.g. they change their phone-home licensing service and it doesn't work with an old version of the extension!);
    4. Contact that company for support;
    5. The company says they can help you out, but they just need FTP access and admin access to the backend of your store.

    ... is this how people live??

    Olivier Mehani shared this.

    Not to mention that all these proprietary extensions have their own way of doing things, so it feels like installing software in Windows: your menu turns into a mess of vendor names...

    And each vendor has their own way of managing modules, notifying about updates, or trying to enforce licenses, etc...

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-05-31T19:15:40Z

  • Toronto gigs this week

    2015-05-06T16:37:59Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I'm playing a couple new cover tunes solo at UofT on Friday night in support of CAFEX, and on violin with Dave Borins and band for our weekly residency every Wed 6-8pm in May/June at The Cameron House!

  • 2015-04-27T17:39:21Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I've been getting him with spam users on a few Drupal websites I admin, but this one I can appreciate: "New User: john.snow"

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Stephen Michael Kellat like this.

    Stephen Michael Kellat shared this.

    That user knows nothing!

    Arcee at 2015-04-27T18:38:44Z

    Blaise Alleyne , B. Ross Ashley like this.

  • hello world

    2015-04-19T23:16:06Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    My wife bought this onesie for our newborn daughter as her first outfit to wear.

    der.hans , lard , Douglas Perkins , Efraim Flashner and 1 others like this.

    Now she only needs to grow up to be a programmer =)

    JanKusanagi at 2015-04-19T23:19:09Z

    Douglas Perkins , George Standish , Blaise Alleyne like this.

  • Performing in Ottawa Today

    2015-03-26T15:02:57Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Ottawa! I'm on violin with Darrelle London ​today on Rogers Daytime TV, and at the Black Sheep in Wakefield tonight!

    I hope your show is going well (you might be on stage right now? It's 10:30.) I was planning on making the trip into the Belle Provence to see you, but had a meeting which finished at 9:30 and was just to tired/lazy to drive. Congrats on the CanadaAM thing BTW! I didn't see it, but was impressed to hear about it -- I watch CanadaAM during the spring/summer/fall, but not during the winter....

    George Standish at 2015-03-27T02:28:19Z

    Thanks! It went pretty well! We were on first, so off stage by about 9:30 or 10pm anyways, but I'll let you know the next time I'm playing in Ottawa. I managed to extract an MP4 from the Canada AM Flash player, will share soon!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-03-27T16:40:04Z

  • Live TV Performance Friday Morning with Darrelle London

    2015-03-19T17:32:35Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Tomorrow (Friday), I'll be live nationally on CTV Canada AM on my new MIDI keyboard with Darrelle London and band! We've got one song at ~8:50am EST.

    I'll be rocking some Yoshimi synth sounds courtesy of KXStudio's Debian repos! likes this.

  • OpenERP... doesn't hash passwords?!

    2015-03-11T19:22:39Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers


    I'm going through a PostgreSQL dump of our OpenERP database to manually reset a password for an administrative user... and all the user passwords are sitting there in plain text in the PostgreSQL dump file...

    What on earth kind of application at this level doesn't hash passwords at all??

    Kete Foy , Ben Sturmfels like this.

    Olivier Mehani , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) , Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) shared this.

    Show all 6 replies
    That github issue doesn't look like a wontfix -- the module is now automatically installed.

    Mike Linksvayer at 2015-03-11T22:33:31Z

    Blaise Alleyne likes this.

    Ah, you're right, I guess as of Sept it's auto-installed (and I think that means auto-enabled in an Odoo context). The version I'm running isn't that recent...

    So, downgrade my shock from brain-turned-inside-out to simply horrified...

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-03-12T05:05:57Z likes this.

  • 2015-02-10T20:12:34Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I didn't realize until just now that I can click avatars in Pumpa to pull up a menu with a few key options!

    Douglas Perkins , Efraim Flashner , Efraim Flashner shared this.

  • Beginning a Deep Dive into Libre Music

    2015-01-29T01:11:58Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    While I prepare to resume a lot of the music activities I put on the backburner to move out/get married/have kids/etc. around 2009/2010, some things are depressing and others are super exciting.

    Licensing and copyright is depressing. I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around how I can really licence my music freely and co-exist with PROs, which have automatic copyright assignment (whereas I'd really like selective assignment), and get their authority to collect royalties from Copyright Board Tariffs, rather than from the way music is actually licensed (i.e. they assume all music is proprietary). Nevermind the PRO angle for neighbouring rights in Canada, which is where I'd have the largest opportunity to collect royalties as a session musician but might have to choose between that and restricting my ability to licence my own music freely...

    But looking at building a live music rig is super exciting. I'm exploring MIDI controllers, KXStudio, OpenAV, MOD Duo... while there's still a lot of proprietary stuff to work around (will this hardware work properly with free software? are there sound libraries available? Everyone assumes you're using Ableton Live and Logic/ProTools on OS X, etc.), there's a lot that really has me excited... Maybe I just haven't hit the dead-ends yet! :)

    Douglas Perkins , Charles Stanhope , George Standish like this.

    Sounds like you have plenty of fun ahead :D

    Arcee at 2015-01-29T01:30:24Z

    X11R5 , Douglas Perkins , Blaise Alleyne like this.

  • On violin with my cousin!

    2015-01-21T22:02:40Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    On violin with my cousin Stan Klich in a new video for his tune, Too Perfect.

    Charles Stanhope likes this.

    Thank you, that was beautiful. And a welcome break from discussions about software and licencing. Glad I'm not the only violinist around here. :-)

    mark_luchkow at 2015-01-21T23:45:37Z

    Hey, nice to meet another violinist! What kind of music to you play?

    Are you based in the Vancouver area? I'm heading to Burnaby and Powell River in a couple weeks, on violin for another songwriter.

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-01-22T03:07:21Z

  • 2015-01-11T06:41:05Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Apparently, I can't select my own seats with Ticketmaster now without using... Flash?

    Seriously? I guess it's been a while since I bought a ticket from Ticketmaster, but... only a company like Ticketmaster / LIve Nation would add a Flash dependency nowadays... likes this.

  • Help: Google is disappearing my email from the Internet...

    2015-01-08T22:17:45Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Well, from Gmail -- which is more or less the same thing, unfortunately...

    I've just realized that my email is going straight to spam. Even simple personal emails that I send, from multiple domains that I have tried which are configured on my mail server.

    It's been happening for weeks too... that is, first reports I received from people were back in December... and it's really hard to tell if it started earlier... I think if I'm in someone's contacts, then it goes to Inbox, but otherwise it seems that mail from my server (IP address?) is going straight to spam...


    I'm not on any blacklists:

    And I have a perfect 10/10 from

    And all I can find from Google is this page of Bulk Sender Guidelines -- no way to confirm if you're IP has been blacklisted, or to request removal...

    ... what do I do?

    Show all 16 replies
    This happened to me once when an agency was working with me to improve my CV. The man there said he didn't receive my email, however I asked him to check his spam folder and sure enough it was there. He was using a Microsoft Outlook setup I believe.
    My belief is that someone you sent an email to marked your email as junk which has then caused the spam filter to treat your email address as spam for anybody else receiving your email. I know you have checked your email address for that, however there is no way of knowing for certain.
    Hopefully it will right itself in time.

    jrobertson at 2015-01-09T01:09:37Z

    Actually, no trouble with gmail for me, only some RBLs.

    joeyh at 2015-01-09T03:22:17Z

    @Christopher Allan Webber yikes.

    @joeyh ah, that's good... RBLs are annoying, but at least there's usually some kind of removal request mechanism...

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-01-09T05:39:07Z

    It has to be more than a single person marking you as spam though, it would have to be a trend or a critical mass of users...

    Blaise Alleyne at 2015-01-09T05:39:52Z