Big things in small pieces

Apr 19

About upgrading

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has been released and this means an oportunity to upgrade your server (if you run an Ubuntu server, of course; I do - 12.04 LTS).

But something I learned the other day when I broke my Slogger workflow is that an upgrade can break your system. Let me explain what happened with Slogger: I updated it over git and Brett Terpstra made some changes that were related to the config file (slogger_config). Until I realized that I only have to make some changes to the config file I updated RVM and all Ruby gems.

I thought that Brett broke Slogger with some changes and it needed a fix. But I was wrong.

That’s the reason why I won’t upgrade my DigitalOcean droplet to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. An upgrade could break my system. That system is where I have my blog, my email server, my VPN server, my push server.

The system works perfectly. I don’t need new features that came with 14.04 and there is no need to upgrade.

My system will stay as is it. For now.

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Apr 11

A script to backup your Feedbin subscriptions

I found a neat backup script by Cory Dransfeldt which backups your Feedbin subscriptions.

Although I’m a big fan of Feed Wrangler, I also have a Feedbin account so I will use this script to backup my subscriptions.

Speaking of Feed Wrangler and Feedbin, the latter was my first paid RSS service but Feed Wrangler quickly replaced it since I liked Feed Wrangler’s web interface more (and I still do). Because Feed Wrangler is my main RSS service, I use Feedbin only from time to time when I catch a blog post about Feedbin’s new feature.

The reason I like Feed Wrangler (more) is that is has a simple and clean web interface. And then there is the Podcasts feature which is awesome.

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Apr 05


I get a Hacker News Digest newsletter every day into my email inbox. One of the top stories on Hacker News recently was Tarsnap about its price cut.

To be clear, I don’t use Tarsnap, I’m a customer. But if I wouldn’t use, I’m sure I would use Tarsnap.

The reason I link to Hacker News is that the comments make a good story about Tarsnap: what it is and what it isn’t; what does it offer and it doesn’t, and the most important part, who is it for.

Don’t forget to read Patrick McKenzie’s post about what he would do if he ran Tarsnap. Again, good story on Hacker News.

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Feb 12

Thress update

I wrote that I bought Threes.

First, I have a new personal record, 9,996.

Second, the game is so addictive. Threes is the best game I bought and played on iOS ever.

I think Threes will be the games of the year. I’m pretty sure.

The higher are the tiles the more I had to think to plan 3 or 4 steps in advance.

And some links:

Read Daniel Jalkut’s post about Threes scoring. Here is Eric Pramono’s review.

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Feb 08

Half-Life 2: Episode One

Speaking of games, I also bought Half-Life 2: Episode One on Steam today. I like Steam because it is a centralized system for games: you can search for games on one place, you can buy games on one place and you get games’ updates on one place. And don’t forget that your games are synced with Steam.

I still remember when I played the original Half-Life for the first time. I didn’t like it. Don’t know why but at the time it wasn’t a game for my taste. But it seems that my gaming tast changed because Half-Life 2 is awesome. And you can buy the Half-Life series for a few euros :) (you know, these are old games).

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A bought a new iOS games, Threes, a simple puzzle games with numbers. It is not that simple, since you have to use your brain to score as much as possible. To date, my personal record is 1128 scores and I played the game 7 times. I think it is not a bad score at all.

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Feb 05

How to handle mobile loop in Z-Push

Speaking of Z-Push, here I wrote how to solve the mobile loop error.

But after I wrote that post I found a new and more efective way to handle the mobile loop error in Z-Push but didn’t update my post.

First, go to the root folder of your Z-Push installation (/usr/share/z-push in my case).

From there, run the following command:

sudo ./z-push-admin.php -a list

You will get a list of all synchronized devices.

Then run the two commands for your device (replace DEVICE with your device id and USERNAME with your email address your are messages pushing for):

sudo ./z-push-admin.php -a clearloop -d DEVICE -u USERNAME
sudo ./z-push-admin.php -a resync -d DEVICE -u USERNAME

You should now have a working Z-Push system again.

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Feb 04

A little update for Z-Push 2.1.1

If you want to build a private push email server, use Z-Push 2.1.1. This is the best version of Z-Push to date. I had only one loop trouble since I installed this version so this version works for me pretty stable.

Oh, and Z-Push has an updated website.

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Todo.txt and Unread

I have two new apps on my iPhone: Todo.txt and Unread.

Todo.txt is a to-do app by Gina Trapani. It’s simple to-do app with a very clean interface and it is simple to use. The Project (+) and Context (@) are a very smart options basically to tag your todos. The best thing is that Todo.txt is using Dropbox to save the todo.txt file. There is also a command line shell script to use Todo.txt from any shell what is an another fantastic option to use Todo.txt.

The next new app is Unread. I got an email notification today that Unread was released so I installed it right away. Will it replace my favorite RSS reader, Reeder 2? I don’t know because I can’t use it with my favorite sync service (Feed Wrangler) since the app crashes when it starts to sync the starred items (it is a known bug and it is gonna to be fixed). But Unread looks promising. For now, I use it with my Feedbin account.

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Jan 29

Considering to build a NAS server

Is it time to build a NAS server?

Lately, I read a lot of blog posts and comments about home-built NAS servers. I have three external backup drives but a NAS server would be a next step for making my backup workflow more reliable. I would really consider to run a RAID-Z setup with ZFS.

How would my NAS server look like? A cheap ITX motherboard with an Atom CPU, at least 8 GB of RAM, a few reliable HDDs, everything in a cheap ITX case. iMac connected to the NAS server over the gigabit ethernet network. A lot of people recommend to buy an Intel gigabit network card for the NAS because the Realtek gigabit network chips aren’t the fastest combination for a home-built NAS server. And as I saw, a lot of ITX motherboards are using a Realtek gigabit network chip.

The OS? FreeBSD with ZFS. I read great things about ZFS: RAID-Z, snapshoting.

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Jan 25

How ZFS continues to be better than btrfs — in English

Jan 19

Using Boxcar again

I was a big fan of Boxcar since I got my first iPhone in 2009, iPhone 3G. It was my middle man for push notifications for Twitter, RSS, and mails. How did it work for mails? You had to forward new mails to a unique Boxcar email address and Boxcar pushed a notification for the new mail. Simple. You could also add your Twitter account to get notifications for mentions, DM, etc. Also RSS feeds were supported.

Fast forward, Boxcar was rebooted in 2013, check their blog post about this. In the mean time, I started using Fabien Penso’s Push 4.0 instead of Boxcar.

Said that, I was still curious what will happen with Boxcar.

Reading David Chartier’s tweet today I got the information that Boxcar 2 was released.

I’m testing it, it is a free app. It think it will be freemium in the future. And I think I will quit Faast.

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iRedMail 0.8.6 upgrade

Just a quick note.

I’m using iRedMail on my DigitalOcean mail server. It is a great way to set up a mail server. It just makes the install process simple. Don’t bother with configuring Mysql and Postfix, iRedMail’s scripts do everything for you.

I tried once to set up Postfix and Roundcube by hand following a howto. Bad idea. The mail server worked but it was slow.

Until today, my mail server was configured with iRedMail 0.8.5. But since iRedMail 0.8.6 was released I decided to upgrade my installation.

One advice: if you already have set up a mail server with iRedMail, don’t install the newest version of iRedMail from scratch. Because you can upgrade. iRedMail’s homepage provides great upgrade instructions.

I followed iRedMail’s instruction to upgrade it from version 0.8.5 to 0.8.6 and every went smoothly. Just execute every step described in the instruction and you will have the newest iRedMail solution on your server.

I have it.

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Jan 14

Updated Slogger and the latest Twitter gem

I wrote recently that Slogger works only with the version 4.8.1 of the Twitter gem.

It seems that Brett Terpstra made some changes and Slogger won’t work with version 4.8.1 of the Twitter gem. You need its the latest version (5.5.1).

To install the latest version uninstall your Twitter gem first:

gem uninstall twitter

Then install the latest version of the gem:

gem install twitter

Slogger should work now.

I get some warnings with version 5.5.1 but Slogger can finish his job:

19:40:30        TwitterLogger: Getting Twitter timeline for 
/Users/master/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.0.0-p353/gems/twitter-5.5.1/lib/twitter/entities.rb:42:in `uris': To get urls, you must pass `:include_entities => true` when requesting the Twitter::Tweet.
/Users/master/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.0.0-p353/gems/twitter-5.5.1/lib/twitter/entities.rb:28:in `media': To get media, you must pass `:include_entities => true` when requesting the Twitter::Tweet.

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Jan 13

Something for the C64 users

Two posts by Guido Bibra about his history with the Commodore 64 (C64).

I have the C64 II model but we had the original models at my elementary school. We practically lived for those machines. Most of the machines were connected to black and white TVs, only one C64 had a big color TV.

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