Bits of Simplicity

Local font hosting and moar caching


I have decided to drop Google fonts and host them locally. I found a pretty neat tool that allows you to download Google fonts and genrate the needed css. The reason is due to privacy concerns and better conrol over caching. I have also adjusted the overall caching of the site from 4 hours to 1 month. I am already using cache busting, so I didn't see any down side. I am a little worried about the effect on images, but right now I don't have any.

Test driving Firefox Quantum: Developer Edition


I have decided to test out the new Firefox Developer Edition, and so far so good! It's pretty fast and light weight (compared to Chrome). The dev tools are pretty similar, but they take some getting used to. I did run into some trouble with Optimizely and do not track features, but I was able to disabled those (It is never a good idea to run adblock or do not track extensions when doing dev). There are still a few things I am not sure about, but going to give it a week or two before giving a final review. I also switched to using duck duck go for work as well. That has also been going really well, although it takes some getting used to.

Noise Cancelling Headphones


I finally decided to get some noise cancelling headphone for work. Best. Purchase. Ever. Sound and destrations are pretty common in an open office environment, but the noise cancelling headphones eliminate pretty much all of thoses. I decided to go with Sennheiser HD1's  at the recommendation of a co-worker. They are a little spendy, but well worth it in my opinion. The sound quality is pretty great, and the battery lasts all day. If you work in an open office do yourself a favor and pick some up.

Sitemaps, slugs and pagination oh my!


Last night I finally got around to doing something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I have added sitemaps, slug based pretty urls and pagination to this site. Since this site is a pet project and written from scratch it lacks a few key features that most modern blogging platforms have these days. I still need to add archive type listings as well as a page post type, RSS feeds and gpg post signing.


Archive pages are a bit tricky due to datetimes being stored as UTC in the database but converted to America/Los_Angeles when displayed. It means all of the urls are generated with America/Los_Angeles but data is queried with UTC. A work around for this is to create a new field that also stores the time in America/Los_Angeles inorder to query posts. This works because I am really only dealing with one time zone, and I don't want to convert all database timestamps away from UTC.

 A page post type should be a pretty easy one. Something simple with the ability to change templates similar to WordPress.

 RSS feeds should be the same as sitemaps. At least in theory. Only posts should have feeds.

 Post signing is a bit of a tricky one. I think the best way to go about this is have a downloadable payload that can be signed and uploaded. The payload would consist of the posts data. Once it is uploaded I can add a UI element to the frontend to signify that post has been signed. Maybe find away to verify the signature online, but also have a downloadable option. I want to stay away from doing any real gpg operations in the browser as this would not be as secure. That is unless I can find a js library that will interact with my Yubikey.

Ubuntu Touch Emulator inside a VM


I have had my eye on Ubuntu Touch as a possible Android replacement for a little while. Last night I finally sat down and tried to get the Ubuntu Touch emulator working inside a VM. I started by spinning up my Proxmox cluster and set to work provisioning a Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop VM. I haven't had a chance to check out 17.04 yet, so that was kinda neat, but after downloading the touch emulator with 

sudo apt install ubuntu-emulator
sudo ubuntu-emulator create testinstance
ubuntu-emulator run testinstance

I ran into a known bug where the emulator terminal session drops to the phones busybox session, so I delete the VM and began provisioning a Ubuntu 16.04.3 VM. I was able to get further along in the process, but still ended up with a blank screen.  After some digging I found a post referencing an issue with OpenGL, which makes sense on the Proxmox cluster, so I delete that VM, and began provisioning 16.04.3 on my desktop inside of Virtualbox. Unfortunately I ran into the same issue. At this point I think I am going to install 16.04.3 on an old laptop and see if that does the trick. I really want to try it before attempting to dual boot on my Nexus 6. I have really high hopes for Ubuntu touch to become an OSS alterntive mobile OS to Android and IOS.

Biking to work


I guess I got the idea to bike to work a few months back. The summer weather here in Reno is nice and spring/fall aren't half bad either. I only live about four miles away from work, so it's about 15 -20 minute commute which is actually about the same as when I drive. Then there are the health benefits. I can definitely be more active and lose a few pounds. So it just kind of made sense.

I decided bought an eBike (flx bike) due to the killer hill I have to go up to get home. The nice thing about a pedal assist eBike is I can dial it back if I want to get more of a work out, or dial it up if it's been a long day. It took about 4 weeks for the bike to arrive, which isn't too bad considering it came all the way from China.

This is the first week that I have been commuting, and so far loving it! At first it took a bit to get used to. The last time I rode a bike was going on 14 years. I am looking forward to a few more weeks (hopefully longer) before the winter weather starts to set in.

Elite Dangerous: The Long Trek Back to Federation Space


In my free time when I am not coding away I like to play a game called Elite Dangerous. By itself it is an excellent space sim, but when paired with a Vive and flight stick it becomes a portal to another universe. I have been playing it on and off since it came out in 2014, and it took me awhile to really "get it." I think it will be fun to blog about my Elite adventures every now and then.

When last I played I had just wrapped up a community goal, but along the way I decided I wanted a shinny new federal assault ship. Inorder to be able to fly a federal assault ship you have to be a certain rank in the federation. Which I am currently not. The community goal was in empire space, so I had to make the long trek back to federation space. I decided on the Sothis system. About 36 jumps out. I outfitted my ASP Scout for long distance and begain jumping.  It didn't take me too long, and once I got in system I begain running missing right away. Hopefuly with any luck I will be able to rank up pretty fast. Most missions are right next door in the CEOS system.

Thats all for now.

Blog Style Updates


I have finally gotten around to updating some front-end styles on this thing. Nothing too fancy, but I think it helps with readability. I plan to do more design updates for the next few days.



I have finally gotten around to setting up my keybase profile. I have been meaning to do it for some time. I added a link in the footer of the site and plan on keeping the gpg keys up todate.

Low level computing


A few weeks back I ran accorss an intresting post on reddit about Ben Eater's YouTube channel. Ben is in the process of creating  a very well done series tutorials on building a breadboard of 8-bit computer. I have always been intrested in low level computing, but up until now haven't bothered to learn much about it. For most programmers & developers low level computing doesn't really matter, and these days use modern high level interpreted languages like JavaScript, PHP, Python, and even Java. Even when using mid level languages like .NET, C# and Objective C do developers rarely care about what is happning at the Opcode level. It's an area of computing my career hasn't really taken me to, so it is pretty fascinating.

I would love to create an Altair clone based off the computer Ben Eater's breadboard design. It would be a great learning experience. A nice mix of low level hardware and low level software. I would also love to create a very basic kernel and OS from scratch. One day when I finally have some time.