So long FreeBSD

Considering my career since, it’s surprising to think that the first *nix-like OS I used in anger was not some flavour of Linux. Instead it was FreeBSD. As such, I’ve always had a fondness for it despite the fact I haven’t actually used it since. So when I was looking for a little project to pass the time, I thought “Why not port DistroD to FreeBSD?” That’s when reality finally met my rose-tinted glasses.

Apple's Fruitless Vision

Apple announced the Vision Pro at WWDC 2023 with the usual breathless hype they bring to all their major product announcements. There are a number of technically-minded people online who feel it can be as successful as the iPhone. But to think that is to forget how the iPhone was successful.

My local DNS server setup

As part of my recent obsession with self-hosting all the things, I set up a DNS server on my home server box. Initially, I used DNSmasq but that turned out to be extremely unreliable. Now I am running CoreDNS, based on the AdGuard DNS server which essentially packages up some useful plugins for CoreDNS into one binary. This is how I did it.

The ever-increasing toxicity of the web

I watched Arrival last night on Netflix. It’s a good movie and I highly recommend it. But that’s not what is what I want to write about. One of the things I do after I watch something that is thought-provoking (e.g. Ex Machina), I check out responses online. is where some of the old IMDB forum community ended up so this is where I looked. It was not a pretty sight.

Trump is being honest (shock!)

There’s much outrage in major news outlets recently due to US President Donald Trump’s comments about the Jamal Khashoggi murder and Saudi Arabia’s hand in it. You can read many different reports on it but the most likely scenario is that Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the journalist’s execution. As a seasoned cynic, this is not surprising to me. But the main story for many journalists was that Trump was so brazen in his lack of denunciation. The thing is, Trump is simply publicly saying what every other politician in his position says in private.

Eve: The Latest Failed Science Project

I came across this interesting transcript of a talk given by Chris Granger. In it, he describes the journey of Eve, a programming language that was meant to democratise programming and make it easy for non-technical types to learn and develop their own systems. This isn’t an original idea - it’s been attempted many different times. And, just like those other systems, it ultimately failed in it’s goals. In my eyes, there are two reasons for that.

Sandstorm Adventures: Using Keycloak's SAML

To entertain myself, I decided to try setting up Sandstorm, a nice self-hosted platform for web applications. It sells the dream of not having to share your private data and run all basic web services (chat, email, etc.) locally instead. A laudable goal, for sure, in an era when every single major tech company wants to swallow up your most personal details for profit. But I quickly hit a snag - authentication.

Clojure has a Cognitect problem

I’ve been developing with Clojure full-time since 2015 and it’s been a great experience overall. I’ve already posted about some of the features that really appeal to me but there are flaws too. Technical flaws, sure, but also organisational flaws. I was thinking about this due to a recent Twitter mini-controversy sparked by an episode of the Apropos podcast.