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Entries tagged meta

Finally, a blog.

16 October 2021 12:28

I've set up and maintained a few blogs over time. I was even a part of a planet at one time. Remember those? Aggregators of multiple blogs in one. I had one for my teenager-focused online Linux User's Group. Maybe I'll sit down and write a memoir about that sometime.

It's been a while since I've felt the need to update nobody in particular about my life and thoughts and feelings. A lot has happened. I've launched a fairly successful career, got married to a wonderful man named Patrick, and with him, I have a mini Italian Greyhound named Violet.

I've had friends, fallings-out, hobbies, abandoned projects, weird encounters, new habits (some good, some bad, some eradicated), and I talked to a well-known conspiracy theorist at a Chinese restaurant with a mouth full of Mu Shu vegetables.

And you, internet, missed all of it. I'm so sorry. I'll start catching you up.

So my last name is Williamson now...

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CGI, and Other Bad Words

16 October 2021 19:28

In my professional life, I make websites performant and reliable. It's in the job title -- Site Reliability Engineer. I do this using Content Delivery Networks, load balancers, stateless infrastructure, layers of caching, and container orchestration technology. I could think of a few other buzzwords to throw in there, and it probably sounds real impressive to a lay person.

Of course, all that is managed. I abstract myself from managing all of that stuff with just a few text files. Of course, it took significant professional experience to know what I'm doing with those text files, and to be able to arrange these components into a stable infrastructure. And I derive great satisfaction from being able to help create something awesome. And I'm pretty good at what I do, according to my boss and our uptime graphs. I'm not at liberty to share such data so broadly, but I can illustrate this roughly in a graph...

Lower is better.

So naturally, since my day to day is spent in the public cloud, using all these wonderful things that have enabled small-time companies with limited upfront budgets to build ultra-reliable, globally distributed websites and services with just a few text files, my personal infrastructure should be built the same way, right? I should be using the trendiest web frameworks, JAM stack, serverless, Cloudflare, all managed using the latest Hashicorp offerings.

Nah.

You're getting this page from an old-fashioned Apache httpd instance (of course, a reasonably up-to-date one). I have one CGI script (in Perl). No CDN, because I don't think I need one. It's my personal website, so I want to be in control of how it's served. And no Javascript. In layperson's terms, I'm kicking it old-school.

I suppose this is my way of maintaining work-life balance, while still exercising some of my skills that I use in a professional setting. I find it relaxing to shift paradigms. I love my job and my work, but I can't really decompress if I just go from writing YAML files at work to writing YAML files at home.

Likewise, I'm never going to roll into work one morning and say "hey y'all, let's ditch this microservices thing and write a bunch of Perl CGI scripts!"

...I just thought of a really funny April Fools prank.

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First Spam

17 November 2021 07:45

Been a while since my last post. Hardly 10 posts in and I'm already taking hiatuses. Well, in short, we placed 2nd in a chilli contest and carved Gaston from Animal crossing in a pumpkin. Then I went to Austin very briefly and bought five bottles of a most elusive remedy, melatonin in jelly-bean form.

So upon reviewing this blog, I see that I have actually received my first spam comment! I have removed it from the site, but I'm keeping the comment file for posterity -- one for the scrapbook! Here's a pastebin of the comment text.

Ironincally, it's a spam comment advertising a spam commenting service. I've always wondered how those script kiddos get business. It's like the internet version of those "Does advertising work? JUST DID!" billboards littering the highways, advertising nothign but themselves.

I've been meaning to take out some cheap ads for DFW 8mm, maybe I should give the Russian spammers a chance.

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