Category Archives: Geek Miscellany

Black holes, LHC, Star Wars, quantum uncertainty… if it is of general geek interest, but doesn’t fit into one of the other categories, it lands here.

Server updates- A Good Thing™

So I heard there were some updates for my web server OS, so I updated the updates so I could update. Yikes what a pleasure- but this would probably be easier if I did it more than once a year or so. Or not.

I decided to document a bit about what I needed to do to go from Fedora 25 to Fedora 34, with a few side trips into Apache (HTTP) issues around Fedora 33.

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Secretlab’s Titan: Because sitting is important…

I have been uncomfortable in my office chair for a year or so.  It was a perfectly nice ‘executive style’ chair, but not long after the warranty ran out a couple of years ago it started to ‘list’ to one side by about 10 degrees.  This abnormal sitting position was accompanied by a ‘rocking’ from side to side: I looked at the mechanism, and found that a bearing hole in a metal plate that was supposed to be round had become oblong due to wear.  

So I started looking around for a replacement.  After some trepidation, I decided to opt for a ‘gaming’ chair: yes, I’m a gamer, but I’m not a tech-bro “Gamer”, so choosing one of the iconic clique-indicators of this tribe for my home seemed a bit wrong.  Specifically I started looking at the products made by Secretlab, and specifically their Titan model.  

secretlabs titan

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Adding an e-Bike to the garage

It has been snowing a lot here in Cloverdale the past week or so.  This naturally leads me to start thinking about Spring, from which follows feeling out of shape, and somehow mumbly-jibbly-brain stuff bicycling.

Bicycling is something I used to do out of necessity.  From about six years of age, I always had a bike: and from about 15 onward, including that time I failed to get a motorcycle license when I was 18 or so, I ended up using said bike to get to places I wanted to go without having to use a bus.  At times, I rode a lot: hundreds of kilometres a season, which it bears mentioning was a rather short season as I was living in Edmonton at the time.  I used to like riding a bicycle quite a lot, actually: like riding a motorcycle, it was a mentally ‘focused’ process that led to a kind of zen state when I was in decent shape so that the mechanics of riding weren’t to physically challenging.

NewImageNOT AN EBIKE- Similar model to the bicycle I bought in 2015: same brand (Achielle)

A few years back with those memories in mind I bought a ‘city’ bike with the idea that I could use it to enjoy being outside a bit and get back into shape.  What I didn’t count on was just how incredibly out of shape I was/am.  I carry a good 40-60 pounds of ‘excess’ weight: pure fat.  And that bike darn near broke my heart: I couldn’t make it up any of the hills in my neighbourhood.  And one day trying to ride along while Irene (my wife) rode her horse was a complete impossibility.  I ended up getting off the bike that day and never getting back on.  So why am I buying a bike again this year?  Read on…

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Moving some of my posting activity from Facebook back to blog


I am going to start posting more on my blog, and a little less on Facebook: or at least that’s my intent.  Why?  Because Facebook owns a bit too much of my time, and I want to revitalize my blog a bit.  Also, Facebook is not really good for ‘long form’ posts… and the never-ending-scroll of the newsfeed seems designed to make everything “Yesterday’s news”.    And I find that I ‘stretch’ myself a bit more on my blog: in terms of what I post, and in terms of the effort it takes to make my blog run.

Use the ‘subscribe to blog via email’ link in the upper right side of any post on kgadams.net if you are interested in what I post on my blog.  You’ll start receiving an email notification when I add a new post.   The subscription is managed via WordPress.com, so you can even set it up to only notify you once a week or what have you.

I’m not ‘leaving’ Facebook: I’ll still be checking my news feed, probably more often than I should.  But I’ll be turning down the tap a bit, hopefully successfully.

NewImage

Improving the performance of WordPress: my experiences


I recently upgraded my web server hardware and so, in that spirit, it seemed like a good time to refresh the configuration of my blog software.  I had previously made several attempts to ‘make it fast’, but with only limited improvement.  This time, however, I seem to have made some good progress… read below the fold for some details of my effort.

Screenshot 2017 06 28 14 48 04

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Virtual Reality- still not fully baked


Apparently this is the year of VR or virtual reality. The Oculus Rift can now actually be purchased by normal (non-developer) user. The Valve/HTC Vive is available as well, and Sony’s ‘Morpheus’ PlayStation VR product is supposedly coming very soon.

 

This isn’t a review of any of these products, but rather my opinion regarding the current state and potential of VR…

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Domain name search registration scam

I registered a new domain name yesterday: geekonaharley.org. My current vague plan is to move my motorcycle-related posts from here to the new blog in an effort to make the ‘eclectic’ nature of my posts slightly less so. I.e.: people interested in my motorbike related posts won’t get any cat or politics related posts mixed in.

But that isn’t what this post is about. Instead it is about the scam email that arrived in my email inbox today, the day after registering my new domain.

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My, that is a lot of spam…


I have been running a personal blog for many years- arguably since about 1997.  I think I switched to WordPress in 2005 after previously managing with a static HTML page and then a PHPNuke website.  I started getting comment ‘spam’ shortly after I started using WordPress: like email spam, spam comments are irritating messages that aren’t really created by actual people who have something meaningful to say.
NewImageThankfully, the folks at Automattic who make WordPress provided something called Akismet to ‘block’ or filter spam comments.  I activated Akismet, and managing spam became more or less a memory… but the numbers, goodness… the numbers are huge.

Continue reading My, that is a lot of spam…

Getting quantified: Fitbit Flex

Two weeks ago I purchased and started using a Fitbit Flex.  It is basically a set of accelerometers, some computing, and a Bluetooth wireless connection bundled into something you can wear on your wrist.  This little gadget won’t turn me into an athlete, but I’m hoping it might make me a little more aware of my astounding lack of activity.  And in the process, possibly shame me into moving a bit.

Fitbit flex

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My theory as to why some guys are threatened by “Geek Girls”

I’ve been a geek since before I knew the term existed.  I would say it probably started when I was about four or five years old, when my sister started reading me The Hobbit.  I didn’t truly “identify” as a geek until I was about 14 or 15, and it was part of a process of realizing I wasn’t alone.  I discovered that other people liked Star Trek, perhaps a bit too passionately.  There were folks out there like me that read Asimov, Tolkien, Pohl, McCaffrey,  Niven, Lackey, Heinlein, and the rest of the pantheon like a form of alternate truth.  People who saw the world through a slightly different lens, intensely, with a quiet (or sometimes not so quiet) passion. 

Given my long-standing sense of myself as a “geek”, my ears perk up when I see discussions of what the term means.  Of who is “in” or “out”.  Apparently there is some sort of brouhaha in progress of late regarding whether female geeks exist.  Some guys claim they don’t, or that many of those of the feminine persuasion who claim to be geeks are lying.  One recent article I read on the topic gave me much food for thought.  For that I thank the author, Sarah Kuhn: thinking is something I like to do 😉

Continue reading My theory as to why some guys are threatened by “Geek Girls”