Tue, 04 Oct 2016

The Warren Wide Web

The Web

This gal is enormous, probably almost as big across as a nickel (not counting the legs.) There are always flies buzzing around the bush below this web, so I imagine she eats very well.

I hate flies more than spiders, who generally mind their own business, so I’m not going to bother her.

:: 15:42
:: /beauty | [+]
::Comments (0)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016

Home Server Addendum

GkrellM AdamMicro Center is selling the Raspberry Pi Zero for 99¢ as a loss leader. I bought one, then spent another few bucks for a boot disk and a USB-to-Ethernet adapter and a minimal case. Total investment: about $15.

I’m using it as a Pi-Hole machine.

:: 15:44
:: /tech/computers/os/linux | [+]
::Comments (0)

Fri, 16 Sep 2016

Exposed 1946 1981 2016

Exposed album and art

I bought this sampler back in 1981, when I was 13 years old and had a paper route. It was a double vinyl LP for $2.99, which was quite a steal.

In retrospect, it was a pretty much all over the place musically, but then, so was I.

Someone mentioned this comp on Facebook a few months ago and I ended up looking it up on Discogs.

I decided to try to see how many of the tracks I could track down, 35 years later, and was pleasantly amazed to find that, with only a little work, I was able to find that every track was legally streamable. (Re-assembling this on Spotify, Tidal, or other services is left as an exercise for the reader.)

When you think about it, that’s pretty incredible: a compilation of new artists, selected specifically for their relative obscurity, and 35 years later all of the songs are easily available through the mechanisms most used by modern listeners to play music in their homes and on the go. What are the odds that a slate of 22 catalog artists from 1946 would have been available in 1981?

(Apple Music playlist link)

:: 17:12
:: /entertainment/music/streamingplaylists | [+]
::Comments (0)

Mon, 05 Sep 2016

Labor Day Picnic 2016

Burgers were roasted, corn was eaten, little boys played with bubbles.

Aunt Carolyn, Jacob, and Mommy
Aunt Carolyn, Jacob, and Mommy.

Jake with bubbles

:: 22:48
:: /personal | [+]
::Comments (0)

Mon, 15 Aug 2016

Garden Tomatoes

We’ve got a ton of them, and more every day. Better make some homemade spaghetti sauce or something.

Fresh tomatoes

:: 15:59
:: /entertainment/foodanddrink | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 10 Aug 2016

A Home Server in 2016

gkrellm display for raspberry piOver the years, I’ve had various boxes around the house that you could consider a home server. Often, these were just my desktop machine doing double duty. Occasionally, they’d be some old semi-retired tower machine shoved under a spare table, gobbling frightening amounts of electricity with spinning drives and cooling fans making way too much noise.

Raspberry Pi 3 in a pretty box

It’s really funny to think that this ~$50 guy is really just as powerful as the >$100,000 “medium iron” HP-UX box I was sysadmining barely more than a decade and a half ago.

HP 9000 / 800 Series

These handled the typical home server tasks: holding photos, music, backups, whatever. Serving media inside the house. For many years, this very weblog lived on home servers. With the advent of ubiquitous cloud storage, I’ve outsourced most of these tasks.

It’s still useful to keep some of these things within the home network. What doesn’t really make sense anymore is devoting floor space and lots of watts to some ugly, oversized tower.

Earlier this year I finally bought my first Raspberry Pi system. They’re basically teeny tiny Unix boxes (roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes) for hobbyists. They basically pack a smartphone-level SoC on a small board that can be deployed with minimal fanfare for all sorts of applications.

:: 18:25
:: /tech/computers/os/linux | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 26 Jul 2016


Jacob @ Michigan Science Center

:: 11:49
:: /personal/family | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 13 Jul 2016

Ḭͯ'͓̤̹̗͓ͣ͆m̨̼̺̆́ I͈̦̭͘n̥̳̯̓ Y̮͚ͦ̈́r T̵͓͈̪̯ó̻͒o̾̆l̜͓̩̳ͯͅc̙̙̮̟̅ͣḫ̖ͤ̚͡a̪ͧ́in̥̦͕̱͎,̢̩̠̫ B̪̥̖̟͈̾͘r͉̠̱ͫ͘e̠͚͙̹̻a̙̦̻͔k̬̜͕̠̭i̟̫̰̲̝̋n̖̱͓̲̗̋̑'͆̊͝ Ỹ̨̪̺r̕ I̖ͧ̔n͇̿̐͠te̦̩͚̓ͦr͔̝͖͕͙ͧn̆͒͜è͈̪̫ͅt̄ͬs͎̻͙̭̭

Every now and then, you need to stress test your tools.

:: 16:16
:: /tech/computers/internet | [+]
::Comments (0)

Fri, 24 Jun 2016

Plant Genitalia @ Magic Hour (Safe for Work)


:: 15:52
:: /photo | [+]
::Comments (0)

Fri, 10 Jun 2016

Replaced the freeke.org Landing Page

The old landing page for this domain had been pretty much unchanged since the 1990s. The logo was gif file I’d created in (no joke) 1994. The original logo was done in Adobe Illustrator, but at some point I lost the master. The page was all done with tables, and in an age of large, high-DPI screens (and small mobile ones), it looked increasingly ridiculous.

I spent 5 minutes (seriously, and 3 of those were checking style tag syntax on w3.org) in my text editor and created a new version that uses CSS and SVG and should look fine in every modern browser, desktop and mobile. I didn’t bother using hacks to make it work in IE < 10 because, sorry, IDGAF.

I spent a few minutes autotracing the old gif file, pulled it into Graphic and spent a few more minutes cleaning it up. It’s pretty obvious which era was happening when I did the original:

old logo

I took the opportunity to tighten the tracking and make the grunge slightly less obnoxious. I hope it’s still identifiably itself:

2016 logo

Of course, now that we can render vectors in web browsers I made it freely scale with the page size.

You can see the end result here.

At some point I’ll redo the blog layout too. Baby steps.

:: 17:25
:: /administrivia/general | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 31 May 2016

I Made A Playlist

I don’t know if this is useful at all if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music, but I wanted to see how their new(ish) embedding/linking tools work. It’s also an excuse to share a few songs from what has been my favorite record label for a few years now, Ghost Box Records.

A Young Person’s Guide to Ghost Box Records - Dave Walker

:: 12:09
:: /entertainment/music/streamingplaylists | [+]
::Comments (0)

Fri, 20 May 2016

Hot Pursuit

Dino chase

The trailer is Julia’s handiwork.

:: 12:39
:: /photo | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 03 May 2016

A Small Boy on a Big Slide

There’s this older playground in Allen Park, kinda wedged between a subdivision and some train tracks. There’s a ball field in one corner.

It’s not a Modern Safety Playground™, no, not at all. There’s rust and the heights of the slides and swings are… challenging. I’ll tell you, though, that The Boy loved this slide like none other I’ve ever seen him on.

The Big Slide

:: 10:52
:: /usa/michigan/allen_park | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 27 Apr 2016

A Family Tradition

Jake with Bud

I think the first time Bud Wade cut my hair I was probably 8 years old or so. He started cutting hair as a teenager in a basement on (I think) 9th Street in Ecorse. While my Dad still lived in Ecorse, he’d get haircuts there, too.

This isn’t the first time Jake’s had a haircut, but it’s the first time he’s been to Bud’s Barber Shop.

:: 11:17
:: /usa/michigan/river_rouge | [+]
::Comments (0)

Wed, 20 Apr 2016

Second Childhood

the little hoop

One of the best things about having a very little kid as an older parent is getting to re-experience all the most fun parts of childhood: getting a new toy, visiting Santa and the Easter Bunny, etc.

The little guy will be coming home from nursery school to see this one, and I can’t wait.

outside on his cycle

:: 12:36
:: /personal/family | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 12 Apr 2016

New MacBook Pro

apple logoI’m probably the last Mac owner in the world to switch to a Retina MBP. My problem has been that Macs stay useful for so long — my previous machine was over 5 years old, and quite honestly, still works fine. It really only had one real limtation — it maxed out at 8GB of RAM, which made it uncomfortably tight when I needed to run virtual machines on it.

I was really getting frustrated with it at the end of 2014, but then I replaced the spinning rust with an SSD and got another 18 useful months out of it.

Compute-wise, I went from

It’s enough of an improvement to feel during everyday use, especially when I’m doing a lot of things at the same time (I gained 2 compute cores and a lot of cache, and the built-in SSD is much faster than the third-party one I installed in the old machine.)

Honestly, though, the biggest difference is the screen. The gorgeous, gorgeous screen. Combined with subpixel anti-aliasing, I’ve never seen a sharper display.

:: 08:43
:: /tech/computers/os/osx/apple | [+]
::Comments (0)

Tue, 29 Dec 2015

Autodesk Graphic

Autodesk Graphic header image

Treated myself to this as a late Christmas gift. Just playing around with it I’m pretty happy so far. Between 1990-1999 I used to support a small company’s worth of artists, illustrators, and layout people. I’ve never claimed to be any sort of artist, but out necessity I picked up some facility with the applications those folks used (primarily the Adobe suite.)

If you’d told me that I’d one day be able to buy an application that had essentially all of the functionality of Illustrator (at least the parts I used) for 1/20th of the price I’d have said you were nuts.

Apparently there’s a pretty feature-comparable iPad version that reads and writes the same files. I’ll try that out later.

:: 14:48
:: /tech/computers/os/osx/applications | [+]
::Comments (0)

Fri, 11 Dec 2015

Dictionary Attack Suckas

I may start doing this periodically.

Here’s a subset of addresses from which I’ve received dictionary-based SSH attacks over the last month or so.

I’m guessing the majority of these are zombied boxes. 86400 IN   PTR     216.ip-158-69-212.net. 77998 IN     PTR     ppp83-66.hz.zj.cninfo.net. 8402 IN    PTR     212-83-148-113.rev.poneytelecom.eu. 58317 IN  PTR     6b.c4.acb8.ip4.static.sl-reverse.com. 2125 IN    PTR

read more after the break...

:: 11:19
:: /administrivia/general | [+]
::Comments (0)

To err is human, but I can REALLY foul things up.