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12.22.19

Working at the Back End During the Holiday Period

Posted in Site News at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free tools

Summary: Plans for the next couple of weeks and a quick look back

BACK IN SEPTEMBER and again in October [1, 2] we spoke about entertaining Devuan GNU/Linux as our server operating system. For nearly half a decade we’ve been wanting and repeatedly trying to facilitate encrypted connections. We also ran the site on a laptop, experimenting on a virtual machine with it. But for technical reasons it’s not as simple as it sounds. The will is there, but package compatibility has long been a barrier. Full updates are available until August next year (and maintenance ones until 2024), but the underlying packages are old (longterm support), including a 3.x Linux kernel.

“Believe it or not, the site has looked almost the same since 2006 (only the top banner of the blog changed somewhat).”Over the next week or two we shall be testing — besides the live site — various potential migration or upgrade routes. We’re not ruling out Cent OS (which we’ve always used) and seeing the Debian vote on init systems we’re still not sure about the future of Devuan, so it’s a bit of a case of “wait and see” (watching what happens next). It’s possible but not guaranteed that the site will be migrated to a container, but the goal is to keep the look and feel identical (no visible changes to visitors/readers). Believe it or not, the site has looked almost the same since 2006 (only the top banner of the blog changed somewhat). It’s intentional, it’s deliberate, and it is considered desirable. This is who we are; we aren’t changing. Novelty just for the sake of novelty isn’t always a positive thing or — as the famous adage goes — “newer isn’t always better” (or “less is more”).

Remember this:

Old site layout

It used to look like this:

Fort banner

Before the torch came:

Torch

It started like this (a lot simpler, 2006):

Old site

In our humble beginnings we also used this image of Ballmer and Hovsepian, who is still trying to censor — using his lawyers as recently as this year — our criticism of his deeds at Novell.

Firefox search

The tally (number of blog posts) now stands at almost 26,500. It’s possible that next year — depending on our pace — we might reach 30,000 (seems unlikely because of my job). Back in 2009 we published 3,611 posts and in 2010 3,653 posts. In 2011 I started working full time and my ‘daytime’ (actually nighttime) job slowed me down a lot. I need to work hard for a living. So what we then had was (in reverse chronological order):

  • 2019: 1,605 Posts
  • 2018: 1,565 Posts
  • 2017: 1,661 Posts
  • 2016: 1,894 Posts
  • 2015: 1,204 Posts
  • 2014: 1,204 Posts
  • 2013: 1,323 Posts
  • 2012: 1,260 Posts
  • 2011: 2,457 Posts

I think my record for number of posts per day was 29. It was a very, very long day for me. Those willing to support the work with a jar of coffee (or several, each jar makes about 100 cups!) can give us a holiday donation. It really does help to keep us going. It also makes me less financially dependent on my nighttime job (extra shifts and the like; today I work 16 hours, on shift from 5:30PM until 9AM the following morning). We won’t be resting and we will never accept corporate money because our independence is by far our biggest asset.

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