Hacks

P2P Tech Support: Hardware Matchmaking on the Blogosphere

After months apart, me and my Vaio Flip are back together again. I had shelved it because its achilles heel, the dodgy CPU fan, had begun to die again. This had happened before and I replaced it myself, winning about a year of use before March of this year. This time, it began failing again and then stopped effecively cooling the CPU entirely. So, it went on the shelf until I had time and funds to repair it, and I picked up my trusty backup: a slightly battleworn Lenovo u300s.

Migrated to Hugo!

As returning visitors may note, the look and feel of IndieBiotech.com (and CathalGarvey.me) have changed drastically. Closer inspection yields it’s no longer Wordpress at all, and all of the content is being delivered over HTTPS. That’s because I spent an inordinate amount of time converting my two Wordpress blogs to Hugo / Markdown format, and they are now hosted through Caddy, which means automatic HTTPS. The upshot: Hosting of the sites is now done through my own hardware, specifically a Raspberry Pi 2 about a meter from me as I write.

Recent Code Projects

Since posting here about Deadlock, I’ve kept hacking away at new stuff. I haven’t posted all my recent work yet; some things take a while to test privately before they’re ready to go. Expect dedicated updates for some of them. Meanwhile, here are some things that I’ve done since Deadlock that are already on Github: Listless, a mailing list manager built around SMTP/IMAP, written in Go and scripted in Lua. I built this because, besides Mailman (which requires an actual mail server), there was nothing anymore for running a basic discussion list except to register on Google Groups.

Fit for Purpose: Linux Mint Debian Edition on Sony Vaio Flip 13

Update: Since writing this, I have two things to add. Firstly, Linux Mint are terrible custodians of a distro and should no longer be trusted; they end-of-life’d LMDE mid-cycle with no upgrade/escape path to Debian, which is simply sloppy, and their packaging system for stock Linux Mint has come under scrutiny for being amateur-hour BS. Secondly, all of the below is now outdated, because Ubuntu works perfectly out of the box on this laptop, without any further hax or modifications.

Been Busy!

It’s been ages since I’ve blogged. I guess now is a nice time to get back on track, both here and on indiebiotech.com. I have been far from idle! However, much of my work has been biotech-related, which belongs yonder on indiebiotech, so I’ll just share some of my non-biotech pet projects here for now. TinyStatus In response to ongoing attempts to regulate “Unfettered Commentary” in Ireland, I wrote a peer-to-peer microstatus server/client in 30 lines of Python, in the hopes of making a similar point to the 15-line TinyP2P app written in response to P2P regulation attempts in 2004.

Kindle Touch Hax #1: Personalised USB-connect Screen

Behold, my new Kindle Touch, an extremely kind gift from my family to me: But what is this? At the bottom of the screen, there’s a message declaring my ownership! That’s not normal for Kindle Touches. It’s a little trick I’ve pulled off thanks to Yifan Lu’s awesome work towards Jailbreaking the Kindle Touch. Essentially, Lu discovered that the Kindle executes native code embedded in the metadata of mp3 files, and used this fact to install a developer’s key and a basic SSH server on the Kindle Touch.

Ubuntu Karmic; Macbook Bliss at Last

History of Linux and I I tried twice previously to switch to Linux, and for a few reasons didn’t end up having any luck. The first time I did so was around 2005, when I was living out of home for the first time. My room was beautifully minimalist; just a double-bed, a wardrobe, a Shuttle X desktop PC and a 5.1 surround sound system. The wooden floors and old timber beam made it warm and cosy.

Weekend Gadgetry; DIY 3G for iPhone, Makerbot Finally Built

I spent my weekend doing a lot of geeky stuff. The two high achievers were: 1) Getting my iPhone to have always-on internet despite not having a Data Plan (kinda), and 2) Getting my Makerbot working at last, and making a few test prints. Firstly, I’ll reveal my ingenious hack for the iPhone. Actually, it’s pretty simple, and possibly already done elsewhere. Anyway. Personal Area Network Hack If you have a mobile broadband modem for your computer, and you’re using a Mac, follow these instructions and you’ll have yourself a personal Wifi network for use with your smartphone, book reader or other-laptop in less than a minute, with only one free install.