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goodbye domain

Over the past several months, I've been slowly trying to reduce my dependence on external (read: out of my control) services as much as feasibly reasonable. Given that I was a server admin in a past life, this gets egregious pretty quickly.

I'm running several websites, mail server, xmpp, monitoring, backups, and code repositories; and there is never enough time to 'keep up' with my main gig and life responsibilities. But recently, I started to feel the Dynamic DNS strain when I began to have more hosts to


a recent update

Hey friends, turns out, I'm still here. Just been busy. I updated my About and Project pages with my latest info. Hoping to have times to bring some blog posts this autumn.

Cheers, Masen

gnupg arch pinentry

gnupg logo

I always get a pleasant feeling when I recieve a PGP encrypted file or message, but the message isn't much good if I can't read it. Unfortunately, as I receive so few of such messages, my setup decays without daily use and becomes broken.

Case in point: Decrypting a message using GnuPG on a headless Arch Linux box:

Case in point 2 (added 2015-04-10): this just happened again, I should maybe submit a patch?

  • gnupg has a dependency on pinentry

  • the pinentry package in Arch has this closed bug (closed as 'n


hippie bullshit

I'm sailing away

I was about to call this a problem, but upon further review, that seemed rather one sided. What I'm referring to is the human survival mechanism I call labeling. While we don't fully understand the capacity and mechanism of our own brains, I'll say from experience that thoughts are easier to process and take care of when they are simpler. That's my theory as to why we name things.

It is very likely more enriching to go about in the world just observing, and restraining judgement upon the people and thing


virtualbox crash selecting ISO

Fixed a sweet bug affecting VirtualBox today in a way that I really didn't expect.

I use a lot of virtualization for my work, and use both VirtualBox (4.2.18) and VMWare Workstation (9.0.2) on a daily basis. But setting up new virtual machines using VirtualBox has been a painful experience over the past few weeks because the GUI seemed very unreliable.

When selecting an ISO for the virtual cd drive, everything would work fine until clicking the actual ISO or typing the name or full path of an ISO, at which


inserting control characters in vim

There comes a time in every Unix user's life where they need to enter control characters into their editor. Maybe you're trying to add some ASCII BEL characters to annoy would-be cat'ers, or add some null characters or something, but most likely you want to search and replace!

Simply typing the control character itself is insufficient. You need the escape control character to escape your control character. Consequently, this is CTRL+V.

So to remove all the pesky ^@ from your pristine file, the keystrokes wo


running a private mail server

disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in this post should be vaguely considered legal advice

Recently, I've been more interested in reducing my dependence on third-party cloud services. For those of us following the security and privacy trends in the industry, it's pretty unclear whether you retain 4th ammendement protection over data on 3rd party servers. As far as the FBI is concerned, they think they should have easy access to any online account, preferably without a warrant and other red tape. Although


nobody uses a locked laptop

I've had a small obsession lately of watching DEFCON videos from years past on YouTube when I get a free moment. It's mostly been good aside from making me paranoid to use my computer. Mostly these guys and gals bring up great ideas for protecting yourself from Ahem..."Adversaries" with things like drive encryption, rapid drive destruction, secure communication, strong passwords, long keys, etc. All these are great things! They keep unauthorized users far from your data and I wouldn't advocate against them.


sql saves the day

Finally cracked the nut on a problem I've been working on: trying to determine from a login event and a record of logins and logouts whether that login event constitutes the beginning of a concurrent session for the given user. Trying to solve this problem using backtracking is a lot of effort and brushes up against the halting problem. In this method, we simply look backwards at logins and logouts from the event being inspected until we can determine if there is an overlapping session. The problem here is


seeking a maintainer + testers

I started winter term with a personal programming project and expectedly ran out of time to continue. The quarter became difficult quickly, which is exemplified by my lack of postings in February and March. I've been hauled up throughout most of the winter dealing with issues in Parallel Computation, Programming Languages and Objects. Thankfully, last Friday was my final Final and I was able to resume work again.

I'm currently calling the app "WTA Next Bus", and its purpose is to show bus times in Bellingha


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