Category: Geek

  • More on Home Automation, Homebridge, Nest, and Apple’s HomeKit

    More on Home Automation, Homebridge, Nest, and Apple’s HomeKit

    I got Homebridge, the Node.js-based software Bridge for use with home automation and Nest (and other Internet of Things – aka IoT) home automation devices, working and running in my environment. And then my WeMo bridge started failing. But more herein about getting Nest to work with Homebridge and Apple Homekit because, as usual, the…

  • Getting better at customizing WordPress

    Getting better at customizing WordPress

    Since last year, I’ve been volunteering on a Taproot Foundation Website grant, and we’ve been setting up WordPress for a nonprofit that got awarded the grant for them to use as a replacement website for their content and publications. I’ve been working as the “lead developer” and my various hard and soft skills (including mentoring…

  • Adventures in Home Automation

    Adventures in Home Automation

    For me, it started with the Nest Protects (Smoke and CO detectors), then a Nest Thermostat, then more Protects, now some cameras, and some other products: A WeMo (Belkin) smart outlet plug, and now a Philips Hue bridge and two lights. It’s a slippery slope. A gateway drug. But it’s also a huge technical PITA.…

  • Still seeking a good CrashPlan Home Unlimited Family replacement

    Still seeking a good CrashPlan Home Unlimited Family replacement

    As you may or may not know, CrashPlan, in April 2017, announced intent to mothball the CrashPlan Home service by October 2018, so since then I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement for my family.

  • This is my new home page

    This is my new home page

    (Sticky) Summary: I moved my current projects page to this blog.

  • Toxic Masculinity, the Real Scoop on What it’s Like to be a Man in it, and Related Thoughts

    Toxic Masculinity, the Real Scoop on What it’s Like to be a Man in it, and Related Thoughts

    Let me start by laying my cards out and saying why I’m writing this. I was assigned male at birth. I was raised a feminist boy in the late 60s, early 70s. I have a strong and assertive mother. I have a minor in Women’s Studies, I’m trans, and non binary (since I was 19).…

  • 2017 Thanks Taking

    2017 Thanks Taking

    Let me start with a statement about “Thanksgiving”. We’re supposed to give thanks for all that we have. That’s great, but it elides the genocides, massacres, and wars that US settlers had with the natives of North America before taking possession. It elides the biological warfare. It elides centuries of neglect, abuse, and outright murder…

  • What happens when Facebook goes down?

    What happens when Facebook goes down?

    Answer: Then Twitter goes down, then Livejournal, then Blogger (briefly), then YouTube (briefly), then LinkedIn (briefer than Facebook and Twitter). I think part of this is user migration, but probably a lot of it was that one of the big Content Data Networks (CDNs) may have gone down. I don’t have proof. I was watching…

  • Time to upgrade Mediawikis again!

    Time to upgrade Mediawikis again!

    I did this last year and took notes and made observations. This time I’m upgrading three mediawiki installations:

  • A modern dev’s Git/GitHub centric process to change a file

    A modern dev’s Git/GitHub centric process to change a file

    Just so you know, and this probably isn’t the most modern/bleeding edge process or platform, but as a modern-ish dev who’s interested in using and leveraging the cloud service equivalent for tracking changes to my self-hosted WordPress files, this is my process.

  • The dreaded rebuild

    The dreaded rebuild

    I don’t know about you, but I am rough on computers. In the course of the weeks and months I spend doing geeky shit, I tend to load and overload and reload and reconfigure and rebuild and reinstall a bunch of different kinds of development tools and platforms and language interpreters for different purposes and…

  • Javascript geeking – p5.js and matter.js

    Javascript geeking – p5.js and matter.js

    I haven’t done HTML/Javascript geeking in a while, but thought while I’m in downtime between courses for my Data Science studies, I’d noodle around. I’ve been idly watching instructional videos by The Coding Train (Dan Shiffman) on YouTube for a while, but I was intrigued by both p5.js and matter.js (as an aside, there are other…

  • Making a Home WiFi Network faster

    Making a Home WiFi Network faster

    My friend Deb came by yesterday and after some fiddling we got her computer on my wired Ethernet network, which is pretty fast (150 Mbps to the Internet), and 15 times faster than her computer’s usual 10 Mbps WiFi connection. Anyway, she asked how to improve her home WiFi, and by the end of the…

  • About Pupusas

    About Pupusas

    Said I on some social medium somewhere, “If you ever come to California and find yourself driving ‘the 5’ (highway 5) from south to north or north to south, time it so you get to Tita’s Pupuseria in Buttonwillow for lunch or snack or dinner. Hands down the best I’ve ever had. They often have…

  • Tools


    Just a note: I’d like to thank the freeware program, Lyx, for helping create LaTeX markup for various mathy-sciency things I post about. Very helpful. You have to know what to include/not for Jetpack’s LaTeX interpreter, Beautiful Math (most especially the preamble that makes a Lyx document a document, and various carriage returns that tend…

  • Statistics – This could be you! – Bayesian Conditional Probability and Medical Tests

    As many of you know, I’m taking, for career change and self improvement, a certified curriculum offered by Columbia University and Microsoft and, on Data Science. With this, I hope to be able to change careers from Systems Engineering (which I love, but had become limiting) to a job in Data Analysis/Data Science, which…

  • MacBook Pro slow shutdown (macOS Sierra)

    Just a quick tech note. If you have macOS Sierra and you’re a coding/geeky/programming type and your OS is taking a huge amount of time to shut down, update your MySQL to 5.7 (I had to reinstall Homebrew to do that). If you’re not, maybe tweak your ExitTimeOuts (or get your pet geek to do…

  • Upgrading MediaWiki

    Just a note about a day in the life of a geek. This all starts with the fact that I maintain two MediaWiki servers on my hosting plan. One is for my food-related experiments, recipes, and other household cooking and food info. The other is for game-playing. For a look at the cooking and food…

  • The notability of $latex (82,000)_{10}$

    The title is meant to read , but WordPress’s Jetpack Plugin’s Beautiful Math component doesn’t execute latex markup in the Title/Subject. I’m still keeping it in the subject, though. This post is about bases and numbers and elitism and of course, math and meta discussion. If you are interested, please read on!

  • Home Networking 3 – A review of the basics

    This writeup is inspired by the remote geek consulting I’m doing for my sweetie while she’s visiting Mom and trying to bring her Mom’s computing platform and infrastructure up to speed. Here I will review the basics of a good home network with some solid and useful upgrades for certain purposes.

  • Visual Rhetoric – Some feedback for MSNBC

    Over the years, MSNBC has been using and reusing a particular visual rhetorical style for presenting job growth numbers since Obama’s taken office. And it’s not bad for presenting good data consistently over time, for keeping the range of values within a reasonable scale. All good things, but what it lacks is punch.

  • Misascribed – Chinese things

    Fire drills, whispers, curses, checkers – since I’m half Chinese, I know how often these things get misattributed to folks of my ancestry. The fire drill article on Wikipedia provides a pretty whitewashed version of the fire drill’s origin from the one taught me by oral history from my elders. I don’t really fault folks for…

  • Measuring and Calibration – Science Geek Series

    A lot of bakers and chefs and chemists will tell you that they’re in the same business. So, in a way, are bartenders and cheese makers and drug dealers and brewers and vintners. Because we all need to measure things a lot and we need both accuracy (the ability to measure amounts reliably) and precision (the…

  • Reporting Issues – Geek-as-a-Trade series

    Reporting Issues – Geek-as-a-Trade series

    One of the geeky intersections I have in personal and professional geekery is that of reporting issues. Sometimes this is with an online shop or app or web service. Sometimes it’s with a network provider, or a cell phone service provider. Sometimes I have to report to a professional IT Networking team. Other times I’m…

  • Philosophy and Introduction – Geek-as-a-Trade series

    I’ve been a geek all my life. My work, my play, my housekeeping all involve geeking at some level. While plenty of geeks involve geekery in all parts of life, here is how I think I differ from most geeks especially at work and what’s important and valuable about that difference: I write stuff down and…

  • Mirror

    It wasn’t until I’d been sharpening knives for more than 40 years that I figured out that the sharpest knife has the most reflective mirror finish on the bevel on both sides of the edge.

  • WordPress, Security, Hacking, Recovering from a Hack, and General Discussion

    Sounds like another round of WordPress blog hackings are making the rounds. I had my two WordPress blogs hacked by script 4 or 5 years ago. Here are some things to think about and consider if you own and/or maintain a WordPress blog.

  • Home Networking 2 – WiFi versus hard lines

    Here we discuss network design from the point of view of WiFi versus hard line links within the household.

  • Home Networking 1

    I recently upgraded my home network by buying, configuring and installing a hobbyists’ “performance” router, the Edge Router LITE from Ubiquiti. This after years of sticking with crappy consumer line Netgear products after getting royally screwed by Linksys (just as it was getting acquired by Cisco). This article is about acquiring, setting up and finally…