I have a few more loose ends to tidy up before switching to the static version of the blog. One of the important tasks was to make sure I had a spell checker available. Back in the dim and distant past I had set up
flyspell-mode with hunspell, but I wanted to check if there was something better available these days. Enter enchant, which acts as a front end to multiple, different spell checkers. I like that Emacs has included support for enchant since version 26, plus one of the backends enchant supports is AppleSpell. In other words, when running on macOS, flyspell can make use of the OS’s built in spell checker and dictionaries.
Instructions on how to actually set up enchant on macOS are a bit thin on the ground, so I decided that I’ll put together a quick write up.
I don’t usually do Happy New Year posts, but given how “well” 2020 went I thought it was appropriate to start 2021 with a whimsy post. This post is probably going to date me since it’s been a few years - OK, decades - since these were current.
Well, it’s not the actual computer, but the same model. I was first exposed to computers during the personal computer heyday of the early 1980s. Back then, my school had two computers, one TRS 80 Model 3 and one Sinclair ZX81. The ZX81 was used to teach pupils rudimentary programming. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the teachers actually built it from a kit as that was the cheapest way to get into one.
Keep in mind that I grew up in Europe where computers like the Apple ][ were very expensive and didn’t gain much traction in the educational field. Or with hobbists, either. Yes, there were some around but you saw a lot more VIC20s, C64s or Ataris. A lot of schools including mine bought European manufactured computers like Sinclairs and later, Amstrad/Schneider CPC 464s.
My main PC workstation (as opposed to my Mac Pro) is a dual-boot Windows and Linux machine. While backing up the Windows portion is relatively easy via some cheap-ish commercial backup software, I ended up backing up my Linux home directories only very occasionally. Clearly, Something Had To Be Done (tm).
I had a look around for Linux backup software. I was familiar with was Timeshift, but at least the Manjaro port can’t back up to a remote machine and was useless as a result. I eventually settled on rdiff-backup as it seemed to be simple, has been around for a while and also looks very cron-friendly. So far, so good.
In part 2, I reconfigured my WireGuard VPN to use an Unbound DNS server on the VPN server rather than rely on a third party server I had used for the original quick and dirty configuration. It was important for me to set up a validating DNS server, which I did in that part.
In this part, I’m extending the existing configuration to include some basic block lists for known ad and tracking servers. As I’m mainly trying to use the VPN while on the road, I want to ensure that anything I end up doing using the VPN is as secure as I can make it with reasonable effort. That makes tracking and preventing malicious ads the next step. That said, I’m not planning to go for a full Pi-Hole like setup. Initially, I am trying to do is integrate one known good blocklists into the Unbound configuration and automate the process. I can get fancy with a more Pi-Hole like setup later if I want to.