2021 ICT Goals

Thu, Jan 14, 2021 | 1300 Words

A new year lies ahead in all it’s glory, and I want to spend at least some of this year being more aware of how I approach information, communication, and technology. While ICT is often seen as a staid descriptor, I think it perfectly encapsulates the areas that I want to be more conscious about. It helps to define what I mean by “more conscious about” in this context. I decided to reduce my focus to the following pillars:

iiNet Netphone Asterisk

Tue, Jan 21, 2020 | 300 Words

As part of my VoIP adventure game, I need to set up a VoIP number, but thankfully my ISP (iiNet) provides a free VoIP number to NBN customers, so that was covered. Next up I needed a virtual PBX, I went with Asterisk. This was an easy install on Ubuntu 18.04, just: sudo apt install asterisk Of course, installing software is much different from configuring it for use, so let me just preface this with describing some of my experience:

VoIP Adventure Game

Mon, Jan 20, 2020 | 600 Words

First on Gopher, then in LaTeX, it started becoming apparent that I have a predilection towards short, one-shot Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories on strange mediums. So in that vein, I decided to make another one, but this time played via a phone call made to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number attached to a virtual PBX. To do this, I firstly needed a VoIP number. Thankfully my ISP (iiNet) provides a free VoIP number to NBN customers, so that was covered.

Continuous Deploy Of Gopher Site

Wed, Sep 18, 2019 | 700 Words

A few months back I built a tool to cross-compile my Hugo blog into one that can be accessed via the Gopher protocol. More recently, I built a CI/CD pipeline on my GitLab* instance which automatically compiled and uploaded my website to AWS. I won’t cover that here, but I found a wonderful and perfect guide for it. Sometime yesterday I decided to take this all one step further and integrate my hugogopher into that CI/CD pipeline.

GNU Terry Pratchett on CloudFront

Mon, Sep 9, 2019 | 800 Words

Not long after the passing of Terry Pratchett, revered author of the Discworld series (and many other excellent works!), people everywhere wanted to find ways of memorialising him in their own ways. One great solution was based around adding headers to web requests. The “clacks” sempahore system in Terry Pratchett is a form of low-tech, distributed, packet-switched network much like the internet and so it seemed fair to modify our systems to carry on his legacy.

BitBucket Ends Mercurial Support

Wed, Aug 21, 2019 | 500 Words

An announcement went out today from BitBucket, one of the largest players in the version control platform market. They let the world know that due to declining popularity, they were going to stop allowing Mercurial repositories to be hosted with them. But not only will they stop allowing new repositories and new commits, they will completely delete all existing repositories by the middle of next year. Of course, a private company such as Atlassian is allowed to make their own decisions about their web presence and what they do with it, it is within their rights.

New Server

Wed, Jul 10, 2019 | 500 Words

As a reward to myself for 6 months of regular posts - no mean feat given my previous history of blogging - I have allowed myself to splurge and purchase parts for a new ‘server’. In this case I didn’t use proper server components like my NAS re-re build, deciding that for the bang-for-buck I wanted wouldn’t be found trying to source Intel Xeon processors. I also wanted to avoid the sort of over-sized rackmount or workstation monolith that comes with powerful SME machinations and go for something meatier than the small business builds you find in things like the HP N40L MicroServer (one of which I already have from years ago).

TCP Proxying

Wed, Jul 10, 2019 | 400 Words

Problem I recently purchased a new ‘server’ and started setting up a bunch of services including GitLab and Taiga. I also want these services available outside my home network but I also want to meet at least the bare modicum of security by having my sites secured via TLS. This isn’t too much of a problem if they’re all hosted on the same IP address or each service has a dedicated IP address like you’ll find in many public scenarios.

OpenNebula miniONE Networking Issues

Sun, Jun 30, 2019 | 200 Words

Running OpenNebula or miniONE on a single host with one NIC? Watch out! OpenNebula/miniONE creates a “dummy” interface with an address like and then attaches the bridge to that directly. While this is probably useful for trialling and not having your virtual machines visible/attackable from the outside world, you might want to make them visible to other hosts on your LAN. What you’ll need to do is go into /etc/netplan/minione.

Playing Around With Gopher

Tue, May 14, 2019 | 400 Words

Released in 1991, Gopher was a protocol designed for retrieving documents over the internet and a direct competitor/predecessor to the World Wide Web. The system of hierarchical menus and documents made it excellent for information organisation and allowed digital libraries and interconnected directories, bridging gaps between research campuses. It’s simple protocol was also well suited to text-only output devices, but the rise of graphical user interfaces probably assisted in it’s slow demise compared with the lurid layout and formatting capabilities of HTML.
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