End-of-week desktop dump

Things I meant to post this week


apple preferences, when given d-i-c, suggest a profanity filter

Seems like that (supposed) Dr Johnson quote where he zings the lady for looking up curse words is somehow appropriate here.


tweet from Ian Bogost about LAX airport and its

I never really thought about the failed Great Promise Of The Internet as a subset of anything else, but this @ibogost quote made me realize I was wrong; it’s part of a vaster and more terrible regression — the “failure to realize the promises of the mid century.”


If you’re in the right frame of mind (3G&Ts deep), we sort of already live in a Star Wars (or Arrakis).


Elvis Costello and friends (Bacharach, McCartney, Dylan, Cash.) had an EP on Record Store Day this year that is now on the streaming sites. Recommended if you like mid-career EC. (I do. The first track showed up on my Release Radar this week. “Everyone’s Playing House.”)


If this posts correctly, my mini-CMS can post both ”notes” (title-less short posts that look a bit like tweets), and ”articles” with titles and tags — a traditional blog post, if there is such a thing.

Still some rough edges but I’m digging it…

Beckett, can you hear me now

book excerpt comparing early undersea cable communication to a samuel beckett play

Reading a biography of Claude Shannon and adding a history of the first undersea cables to my to-read list.

From now on, when my wife spends 15 minutes going ‘round and ‘round with her mom and/or son, trying and failing to talk to each other with 21C devices, I’m going to picture Didi and Gogo swapping boots under a dead tree.

“You called but I didn’t get to it until… hello? Are you… I’m calling you back hang on”

“I left you a voicemail; I forgot you don’t know how to check it. Call me back when you…”

“Hello? B tried to call you; call him if he’s got a signal and tell him to call me.”


Did Alan Turing invent the console.log()?

“The two discussed Turing’s efforts at programming. Even decades later, Shannon would recall one of Turing’s inventions:

So I asked him what he was doing. And he said he was trying to find a way to get better feedback from a computer so he would know what was going on inside the computer. And he’d invented this wonderful command. See, in those days they were working with individual commands. And the idea was to discover good commands. And I said, what is the command? And he said, the command is put a pulse to the hooter, put a pulse to the hooter. Now let me translate that. A hooter … in England is a loudspeaker. And by putting a pulse to it, it would just be put a pulse to a hooter.

Now what good is this crazy command? Well, the good of this command is that if you’re in a loop you can have this command in that loop and every time it goes around the loop it will put a pulse in and you will hear a frequency equal to how long it takes to go around that loop. And then you can put another one in some bigger loop and so on. And so you’ll hear all of this coming on and you’ll hear this “boo boo boo boo boo boo,” and his concept was that you would soon learn to listen to that and know whether when it got hung up in a loop or something else or what it was doing all this time, which he’d never been able to tell before.”

Excerpt From: Jimmy Soni. “A Mind at Play.”

What can you do with a $5/mo Linode server?

Everything currently running in screens on my Linode server

  • Notifier (port 8086, reachable through annoying Apache config proxying in the main PN conf file). A Node/Express app that started as a Slack notification thing; other homebrew apps I fool with can POST to it while they do their thing. Notifier takes those POSTed messages and sends them to Slack, from the Slackbot. (Because it’s handy and there, it is now also holding/hosting some other random stuff: a settable/gettable CSS hex color variable for the jokey iPad app/video I instagrammed the other day, and some photos and the .kml file for Every Bench in Southwood. When/if that bench project is done I’ll have to move those files somewhere smarter.)

  • Bckgrnd-Tgthr (port 3009, separate simple (?) Apache conf file routes to it). The backend server for bckgrnd-tgthr.porknachos.com

  • The Icecast service. (I forget how i routed this but I know I wrote it up when I started it.) I could’ve detached this but then I’d have forgotten about it. Leaving it as a separate screen will (maybe) remind me that it’s around.

  • A tiny Node app that merely triggers a rebuild of the various agencynews.org pages I built a few weeks ago as a proof-of-concept. If memory serves it’s literally just a setInterval to trigger a series of GETs to webhooks at Netlify every 12 hours. It probably could’ve just been a cron job.

  • The backend for Howard quotes; the database query-er and an Express route to serve the front-end silliness. On port 3001, with a separate Apache conf file to redirect that route to the Node app.

  • LogAPI (port 3333, again, a separate Apache conf file). A sort-of self-reporter thing that I stopped using, really. Every day it sorts through certain unix logs and produces a couple of numbers: How many IPs blocked per day, for the last month, that sort of thing. It generates a route I can query to get those numbers. For a while, my dashboard project had a little component that queried for that info and built a chart. I scrapped it.

all the active subdomains on porknachos.com, according to my DNS provider

(note-to-self: c.f. /var/www/*)

  • agency.porknachos.com – was a test-bed for the agencynews.org project mentioned above. Now merely says ‘Hello.’ Not sure why I left it there.

  • bckgrnd-tgthr.porknachos.com – a doofus-y music thing I’ve mentioned before.

  • code.porknachos.com – an implementation of Gitea; I did it just to do it; I think I’m using it for one or two projects but I shouldn’t be; the guy who inspired me to try it subsequently wrote up a post about how it was overkill for his needs and he nearly lost a ton of code, messing with the underlying SQL db one afternoon.

  • logapi.porknachos.com – this is the endpoint for the logging thing described above. pretty much nonsense.

  • nextcloud.porknachos.com – a Dropbox-like service, mostly. As with the Gitea thing, it’s running on the SQL db, about which I’m a little shaky, so I probably shouldn’t rely on this as a first-class, leave-Dropbox-behind sort of thing. But I am, mostly. (Dropbox still running on my desktop Mac until I feel more confident about this).

  • radio.porknachos.com – what it sounds like. The front-end that connects back to the Icecast server mentioned above.

…all that and the self-hosted Wordpress on the main domain, where I intend to post all of this info when I’m done typing it up.

(oh and also a dashboard thing that might not be 100% secure so I’m not mentioning it. Ironically, it’s the one thing I do actually use every day.)

To Do

If I get super-motivated, I’ll take all the other little apps and services I’ve got running on Heroku, Glitch, et al, and move them over to Linode, too. No more waiting for the micropub endpoint, indieauth service, or Stripe backend to “warm up” from hibernation.

personal blogs as playgrounds

The only quibble I have with this article is that it doesn’t explicitly mention micro.blog..


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