May 5, 2017
On Thursday of this week (May 4, 2017) I released a mail client. It's pretty humble, but I've been using it for a decade and so it was worth it to me to iron out a handful of bugs and make it good enough for other people to use. Currently it won't be much use to you if you run Windows, Mac OSX, don't run your own mail server, or don't understand what fetchmail is*. But those things are fixable and I intend to fix them in the months to come. That means this blog post doesn't have to cater to end users, so I won't attempt to. This blog post will be about how I came to write a mail client and why it makes sense in 2017.
* The wording of that sentence was pretty bad so I'll reverse it. BikeIM-0.5 is usable to you if you run Postfix, if you run Dovecot, if you run OpenSMTPD, if you run fetchmail, if you use GnuPG, if you use Mutt, if you run Linux or *BSD, if you use Git, and understand how to report bugs.Read more »
Mar 21, 2017
This blog is a continuation of this blog post which is a pretty good mix of technical and creative projects that this blog was originally written for. If you look at some of the way-way-back posts you'll see some of the things I've thought about and tried to work on from this perspective.Read more »
Mar 1, 2017
It took quite a few months to get the time to work on this blog. I had AltSci Cell and AltSci Blog updated to the new blog system back in November. I ported most of AltSci Concepts to the new blog system a few months ago, but I didn't want to convert it until I had comment working. You can see there are no comments at the bottom of this page because I'm not ready to backport the comments to AltSci Cell yet. But if you go to any of the posts on AltSci Concepts you'll be able to post your comment.
In all the years of AltSci, only a handful of people have commented. The main purpose has been to collect a large corpus of spam (389245 spam comments from 67085 unique IPs, 9683389 csrf spam attempts rejected) which I've had to filter at times. But the opportunity to post responses is a valuable part of the Internet. That's probably why sites like Hacker News and Reddit are so valuable: they let you comment on important topics where the comments are disabled or too toxic to post in. That doesn't mean that these sites are infallible. In fact, that's a lot of the controversy in any open forum -- people post in a thread that is going to stay linked to that website for a long time and time increases a search engine rankings. When should the post be deleted? When should the admins leave it alone? These problems are not trivial to solve. If you think they are... please create a thread to discuss this post and e-mail me a link.Read more »
Nov 3, 2016
I spent a little time in the past week porting one of my blogs to Python using Django. If the website looks similar to these four blogs, it's because they are all the same codebase with a handful of tweaks to make it possible to unify them with my other blogs and journals. While they aren't all ported yet, I thought I'd write a quick blog to explain things. For a decade and a half, I've been blogging on a PHP website I wrote in 2002 for Javantea's Fate and improved over time. In 2011, I wrote a blog in Python with Django for my trip to Brasil. When I went to Mexico, I copied the blog and created a second database. When I bought j4va.com for fun and profit (not really), I first put up a copy of java.com with some interesting things in its place. Then when I wanted to turn it into a blog, I copied the Brasil blog and made a third database. Now that I finally want to unify my blogs, it makes perfect sense to simply use the same thing, but copy all the data from the all the blogs into a single database. It's so well-written, that I didn't really need a really bad intro page anymore. So now AltSci.com goes to that unified blog interface. There's a lot of logic that makes it happen, but I'll leave that unsaid.
Of all my travels, only one trip is not available on my unified blog. I decided to use MediaWiki for my Europe Blog and spammers destroyed that blog, so I don't have easy access to the data. Eventually I'll grab the data and post it to this blog. For now, the pictures and videos will do. You have to click on the videos to get them.Read more »