Short Attention Span Theatre

Arch and ext4 on

Getting Arch installed on a VPS is not insanely complex, but I wanted to make sure my method is documented somewhere I could find it again. The goal of this is to document the steps taken, then flesh it out into a full set of scripts to install Arch on a VM. Ideally this would be relatively simple, and provide an in­stal­la­tion with two separate partitions for the file systems (/boot and /). Having /boot in a separate partition will allow me to upgrade / to btrfs when upgrades to grub2 in a few months.

This method is based on the old guide that continue.

Stop gpg-agent from running on login

Every time I install Arch Linux I am surprised when XFCE insists on running gpg-agent when I log on. When it further doesn't work properly with ssh-keys (admittedly, probably because I don't know how to use it properly) and invokes pinentry to input another passphrase so Gnome Keyring can protect the key the agent is supposed to protect... well... that's when I start to get irritated. Irritation leads to anger, and anger to research, and research to a solution.

Luckily the solution is easy to find every time, but this time I'm making it easier to find. This makes XFCE use ssh-agent even if gpg-agent is continue.

Solarized cheat sheet

I grew tired of scrolling up and down the solarized web page to figure out which color was which hex code for HTML use, so I created a cheat sheet.

Here is the LaTeX source (compile with lualatex) and the PDF file produced.

Switching to a website generator that fits my schedule

In working with Hakyll the biggest problem was my lack of fa­mil­iar­i­ty with Haskell, and my lack of time to learn it suf­fi­cient­ly to feel com­fort­able with the software. After a while I started to get irritated by my lack of un­der­stand­ing, and decided that (unless I dedicated more time to learning Haskell) I needed to move over to something in a language I was more familiar with (Python)... thus the move to Acrylamid.

Installing on FreeBSD turned out to be relatively simple, given that the software is available for install using easy_install or pip. I chose pip because I have an issue with software that continue.

Mathopd and reprepro

Although the method of serving an APT repository I discovered when setting up Debian on MacBook Pro 5.2 is sufficient, it is not very robust. Thus I began looking for something more useful for multiple repos­i­to­ries, and which is packaged for debian itself.

The search led me to a post that demon­strat­ed how to configure a private repository using reprepro. Although that gave me almost everything I needed, one final bit was required: permission adjustment. As I use Mathopd, the easiest way to prevent visitors from accessing the conf and db di­rec­to­ries was to restrict their per­mis­sions to that of my user alone.

$ chmod go-rx conf db

Setting hostname in FreeBSD when using dhclient

I ex­pe­ri­enced a problem for years on FreeBSD, but have never been motivated to solve it until now. The problem presents when attempting to set FQDN of the system ( I set hostname to the proper value in /etc/rc.conf.


When I type hostname at the prompt, I am given the un­qual­i­fied hostname, nastie. When it bit me tonight, I finally tried to find a solution, and (shock of all shocks) found one!

So, to sum up, create an executable file /etc/dhclient-enter-hooks with the following content.


Next time you reboot, the hostname command will result in the FQDN of your system, as it should.

Leaving bread crumbs and playing with Hakyll

One of the things I wanted most in my conversion to Hakyll was a way to show the location bread­crumbs of the current page. For those unfamiliar with the concept, these do not show the actual path the user took to get to the page, but they do show the location of the current page in the website hierarchy. For example, if I were on a post called "Having my bread crumbs and eating them too!", then the bread crumb URLs on the page would be as follows.

sast :: posts :: Having my bread crumbs and eating them too!


Changing the expiration date of my GPG key

It is considered good practice to set an expiration date on your GPG/PGP keys. Setting the expiration date prevents the pos­si­bil­i­ty of losing the private key leaving a valid, non-expired, key out on the key servers that you cannot revoke. Revocation cer­tifi­cates may be one solution, but I found it more useful to simply set the expiration date.

It is useful if one can also remember how to extend the expiration date of the GPG key in question when the expiration date sneaks up without warning. Luckily, I was able to find an article by George Notaras on How to change the expiration date of a GPG key, continue.

Conversion from ikiwiki to Hakyll

Ikiwiki is a great idea in theory. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it is basically a fully functional wiki integrated with a version control system (VCS), all done in such a way that the pages are served statically unless you are modifying the con­fig­u­ra­tion or one of the pages.

An excellent solution for those who need that level of in­ter­ac­tiv­i­ty, but it is a bit much for my purposes. continue.

Excellent example of WebGL programming

Just came across this excellent example of WebGL pro­gram­ming, and lost some productive time playing with it. This is a superb demon­stra­tion of what the web could become, or, at least, could aspire to become... plus, it is fun!

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