Navigating the tar(1) Pit on an R710

Posted on Tue 15 March 2016 in misc

In honor of Pi Day, I've decided to do something completely irrational: use my Dell R710's tape drive for backups of SmartOS's ZFS datasets. The Dell RD1000 is a bit of a weird beast - it's an internal tape drive that presents as a SATA USB disk. I can only assume …

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Laptops and Licenses

Posted on Thu 28 January 2016 in misc

Today has been a most satisfyingly productive day. I tested how well Haiku OS runs on a tiny 16GB USB drive that barely sticks out of the port on my Thinkpad T530 (spoiler alert: it works fucking GREAT), and used it as a developer workstation for porting unix applications to …

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Another Milestone Passed

Posted on Sun 10 January 2016 in misc

For the first time in my life, I have gone an entire calendar year plus a few days on each end without changing jobs or moving. I suppose this marks the crossing of the Rubicon into stable adulthood. I'm beginning to reconsider my decision to move to the Seattle area …

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Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

Posted on Tue 29 December 2015 in misc

Thanks Obama Climate Change

The weather is officially psychotic this year. It was over 60 degrees in Boston on Christmas, and there were tornadoes in the Chicago area. Fast forward half a week and there's howling wind and ice pellets hammering the windows, fading into snow overnight.

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Automating Let's Encrypt Certificates for Nginx

Posted on Mon 07 December 2015 in misc

The Let's Encrypt public beta is here, which means you can get free 90-day SSL certificates for as many domains as you'd like, absolutely free. The 90 day certs are designed to encourage automation, and the client even includes support for updating your certs non-interactively from the command line. Basic …

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Powerleveling in the Game of Tech

Posted on Mon 02 November 2015 in misc

I Will Not Be Growing Old In the Midwest

image courtesy Wikipedia

Three years ago this week, I sold some childhood posessions, left a letter on the table, and hopped a train for Seattle. The Emerald City has held a place in my heart and my imagination for nigh on a decade now …

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One Moment of Perfect Beauty

Posted on Sun 01 November 2015 in misc

A few weeks ago, before the howling wind and rain hit and before I ended up working 11 hours on Halloween night, I had the brilliant idea to get the heck out of Dodge for the day. I have fond memories of harvest season activities back home, especially the Columbus …

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Week of Hell

Posted on Mon 20 April 2015 in misc

What a week.

This has easily been the worst week of 2015 thus far. If I believed in karma, I would think this past week was some sort of karmic balance, making up for getting a Camaro last week. If I were the type of Jew to take the Torah …

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C-Kermit the Frog goes lpribbit

Posted on Sat 04 April 2015 in misc


Earlier this week, when I was staring at my work machine bored out of my skull, watching paint dry a long rsync between servers run, I decided to poke around the options menu of MinTTY, the Cygwin terminal emulator I use when I'm on Windows. Under the Terminal settings …

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And So It Begins

Posted on Thu 16 October 2014 in misc

Autumn has finally come to Chicago. The cold, gray weather and shrinking days encourage a transition to more indoor pursuits, which brings us to this blog. It's been a few years, but I want to share my thoughts with the universe again. The past year in particular, I've done a …

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