Migrating source code from RCS to Mercurial

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

Version control system migrations are a fact of life for developers in any longer lived codebase. In fact, I’ve had a hand in quite a few migrations as newer, more workable version control systems became available. Also, like a lot of developers, I’ve got fragments of source code dating back quite some years floating around on various servers and development machines of mine. Not necessarily code that is still being used, but still code that I don’t want to just delete forever.

How can I pin dependent packages when using use-package?

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

I’ve been trying to up my use-package game recently and converted my hand rolled package check and installer to use-package. I usually prefer to use packages from melpa-stable so I pin the default package source used by use-package to melpa-stable and override it where necessary That’s working well in general and looks something like this: (setq use-package-always-pin "melpa-stable") (use-package js2-mode :ensure t :defer t :custom (progn (js-indent-level 2) (js2-include-node-externs t))) (use-package kotlin-mode :ensure t :pin melpa) So in other words, if I’m on a machine that doesn’t have js2-mode and kotlin-mode installed, use-package will install js2-mode from melpa-stable and kotlin-mode from melpa.

Another quick Isso setup tweak

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

While I was implementing a few more changes on my web server - mostly adding the sorely needed blacklistd configuration for sshd - I noticed that NGINX’s log was showing occasional errors when trying to contact the Isso process. They all had one thing in common, namely that they were all trying to contact ISSO via IPV6 as the server has both stacks enabled. Turns out that isso only listens on an IPV4 socket and I could not find an obvious way to get it to listen on both.

Using Eliptical curve cryptography for TLS with Postfix, Dovecot and nginx

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

I may have mentioned this before - I do run my own virtual servers for important services (basically email and my web presence). I do this mostly for historic reasons and also because I’m not a huge fan of using centralised services for all of the above. The downside is that you pretty much have to learn at least about basic security. Over the 20+ years I’ve been doing this, the Internet hasn’t exactly become a less hostile place.

Unborking the ISSO comments system and making it more resilient

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

First, I apologise for not noticing that the comments had been broken for a while. This was entirely my fault and not fault of ISSO, which I’m still super happy with as a self-hosted comments system. So in this post I’m going to describe what went wrong, and also how I made the system a little more resilient at the same time. First, what did go wrong? My web server is using FreeBSD as its OS, with a bunch of software installed via FreeBSD’s ports system.

Upgrading my OpenBSD WireGuard server to in-kernel WireGuard

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

I’ve blogged about putting together a WireGuard server using OpenBSD a couple of years back. The main purpose of the server was to ensure a slightly more secure connection when I was on hotel WiFi. Of course thanks to the pandemic, I have barely travelled in the past couple of years so the server was mostly dormant. In fact, I kept VM turned off for most of the time. The VPN server was set up on OpenBSD 6.

Migrating from my trusty 2009 Mac Pro to a 2020 Mac Mini M1

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

I’ve been using a 2009 cheesegrater Mac Pro for quite a while now. I bought it used quite a while ago - around 2013 if I remember correctly - and it’s been serving as my main photo/video/general programming workhorse, although the latter tasks have been taken over mostly by a Linux machine housed in the infamous NZXT H1 case. It’s been upgraded a lot during its life - now has the latest 6 core Xeon these machines support including the upgrade to 2010 firmware, USB 3.

Wrapping up the NZXT H1 recall saga

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

As I mentioned in my post from a few months ago, I had received the temporary fix in the form of the nylon screws and nuts from NZXT. At that point in time, NZXT’s customer support was not able to tell me when to expect the “real” fix, namely the updated PCIe riser. I ended up contacting them again towards the end of July to see what the status was and apparently, my request had somehow fallen through the cracks.

Automatically enabling multiple Emacs minor modes via a major mode hook

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

In Emacs, I usually end up enabling the same set of minor modes when I use one of my “writing modes”, namely modes like markdown-mode and org-mode. Enabling a single minor mode automatically is generally pretty easy via the appropriate mode hook, but enabling more than one minor mode requires one more level of indirection. Of course it does, because everything in computer science requires one more level of indirection :).

TIL that org-mode has an exporter for ODR

Timo Geusch from The Lone C++ Coder's Blog

I’m by no means an Emacs org-mode power user - in fact, anything but - but I do use org-mode a lot for note taking and also when I need an outliner to try and arrange ideas in a suitable manner. It excels at both, and usually does what I need including exporting to HTML. Exporting to HTML covers about 90% of my use cases. As much as I’d like to, LaTeX does not feature in my needs, but I needed to export an org-mode file for use with Microsoft Word.