dav-xmpp-sync v1.2.0 Release

AI Art generated from the prompt 'A new release of dav-xmpp-sync, version 1.2.0, that allows for group synchronization between and XMPP server getting SMS messages from and a CardDav server'

Years ago, I migrated from Google Voice over to a Voice/SMS service called Jmp.Chat. I host my address book using Radicale, an open source CardDav/CalDav server. In order to synchronize contacts between the two, I wrote dav-xmpp-sync, a Python application for CardDav to XMPP synchronization. It’s worked fairly well for a while. I recently did some maintenance: updating dependencies and adding support for SMS/Text groups. The v1.2.0 release is available via a Docker image, and is fully backwards compatible with the previous release.

Read More Right Chevron

W-Ergo Split Keyboard

W-Ergo Keyboard fully assembled with keycaps, wrist rests and mouse on a deskmat

A while back, I tried out a SlickMK, a split keyboard with an Ergodox layout. It took me a while to get use to its ortholinear layout. My frustration made me wonder if I had made the right choice. However, after getting a bit more comfortable with it, I moved it to my work computer. I eventually returned to the same typing speed I was use to on traditional, staggered layout keyboards. Recently, I decided to switch over my personal workstation to a split keyboard as well. I replaced my Royal Kludge 84 with a W-Ergo. It took a little while to arrive, but so far it’s proven to be a reliable and fun keyboard.

Read More Right Chevron

Extracting my old Delicious Bookmarks

Delicious Logo

In the early years of the Internet, there was a social bookmarking service known as, or “Delicious.” It allowed users to create and tag bookmarks. It had a Firefox extension that could synchronize bookmarks and tags between a user’s various web browsers and computers. Sadly, the browser extension stopped working as Firefox deprecated their old extension API and Delicious traded hands between various companies. My home directory is old enough that I still had the disabled Delicious extension data sitting within my Firefox profile. The data is in a standard sqlite3 format, and I wrote a Python script that extracts those old bookmarks and formats them as HTML.

Read More Right Chevron

Tennessee Emergency Alerts Redirect to a Facebook Page

A.I. Generated Device with the word Alert and other incomprehensible text

On February 9th, 2024, I got a Blue Alert on my cellphone. In the past, the details of the alert were typically in the message itself. However, this time I got a link to Upon tapping on the link, the redirected me to a Facebook page. My phone then prompted me to download the Facebook app. After clicking no, I was then asked to login, where it appeared that I couldn’t continue without an account. I had to go through two modals just to get to an alert. If the state of Tennessee is going through the trouble of having a web server with a redirect, why not just serve the alert information themselves, instead of directing everyone to a page with a terrible user experience, and third party data tracking?

Read More Right Chevron

Recent Keyboards: The Model M, Slice MK and Royal Kludge 84

Unicomp Model M
Unicomp Model M

Three years ago, I made a list of every mechanical keyboard I’ve ever owned. I thought I had settled into the keyboards I would use for the foreseeable future. A year ago, a friend of mine gave me a modern Model M keyboard as a housewarming gift. I also started looking into split ergonomic keyboards, and built a Slice MK from a kit. Being my first ortholinear keyboard, I wasn’t prepared for needing to relearn how to type. Eventually I went back to a staggered layout for my personal workstation while continuing to use the Slice MK for work. Below is an update to my previous post, with comments and criticisms of keyboards I’ve used over the past three years.

Read More Right Chevron

The Mug Club Archivist

Louder with Crowder Mug Club Mug filled with Coffee

Recently, the show Louder with Crowder moved from BlazeTV to Rumble/Locals. Their previous library of episodes does not appeared to have moved with them, preserved only on BlazeTV’s website in an archive section. People like to believe things put on the Internet stick around forever. If you were on-line during the early years, you’ve probably realized how much of the old Internet has disappeared. I never asked for a BlazeTV membership when I joined Mug Club, so I figured this would be a good time to archive the show. Using a little bit of web development knowledge and Python, I created a snapshot of a show that changed the landscape of conservative political satire and comedy in the late 2010s.

Read More Right Chevron

Rack Mount Cluster of Raspberry Pis

Two Raspberry Pis on the Left Side of a 3D Printed Pi Rack with the Labels 3a03 and 3a01

A few months ago, when looking for fun 3D printing projects, I discovered the Raspberry Pi Server Mark III. The prices for Raspberry Pis has skyrocketed, despite the fact that nearly half a million units are produced every month. Luckily, I had several Pis lying around from my previous research into environmental sensor networks. I decided to print the 18 slot version of the Mark III rack, so I’d have plenty of room to expand. As I was printing all the parts, I dug through my hardware and found 5 Raspberry Pis from various generations. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to add Pis to my home lab and experiment with cluster management and distributed tasks.

Read More Right Chevron

I try Sway/Wayland About Once a Year

Sway Window Manager Logo

A few months ago, I wanted to add in a 10G Ethernet card to my primary development box. Since it’s an ITX build, I only had one PCI-E slot that was occupied with an old AMD RX 550 video card. Even though the Ryzen 2700X processor it held was more than powerful enough for my needs, I switched it out with a Ryzen 5700G so I could free up the PCI-E slot for 10G networking. Unfortunately, X11 started crashing recently with the integrated graphics. Sway/Wayland seems to run stable. I currently use Sway on my personal laptop, so I attempted to take the plunge again and see if I could switch to it on my primary machine. I jumped in with an open mind, and found replacements for many of the i3/X11 tools that do not work with Sway/Wayland. The following is a summary of what worked, what didn’t quite work and what’s still broken. The version of Sway I’m using is 1.7 on Gentoo.

Read More Right Chevron

Cricket Wireless, AT&T and Planned Obsolescence

Cricket Wireless SIM Card

I’ve been on Cricket Wireless since I returned to the United States. Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses its cellular network. Until this year, Cricket worked perfectly and without issue. A few months ago, my phone randomly stopped being able to accept or make calls. Data and texting still worked, but calls were impossible. Cricket support had me change my settings, so my phone defaulted to 4G instead of LTE. They claimed this wouldn’t reduce my speed (which I don’t think is correct), but I was able to make outbound calls. The fix only worked for a few months. AT&T seems to be upgrading their phone networks. In either pure incompetence or an intentional push to force customers to buy new phones, they have made several old devices unusable on all their partner providers. Thankfully, my device still works on the T-Mobile network at full LTE speeds, so I said goodbye to Cricket/AT&T and trashed my old SIM card.

Read More Right Chevron

The Coming Dot Com Bust and the Future of Remote Work

Graphic of a Downward Stockmarket Chart

In 2000, the world survived Y2K only to be hit by the dot com crash. Some of us who were still in university wondered what the job market would look like when we graduated. We heard tales of recruiting parties, in major tech hubs, where people handed out resumes. The lead up to that bubble came from companies that believed they could sustain themselves with services that were free to consumers, and supported by advertisements. Services like Juno provided free e-mail and dial-up in exchange for displaying ads. Long before the blockchain, we had useless currencies such as Beenz.

The early 2000s led to a lot of consolidation in tech industries. Some of those companies are now turning into venture capitalists, investing in newer startups to hedge their bets against the next big thing. We are in an era of overvalued companies, that are heavily leveraged with investment or debt. When this house of cards eventually does collapse, those venture capitalists, along with angel investors and startup incubators, will be in the unique position to cut off anything they view as non-profitable or unsustainable. We may see large tech investment firms getting to decide which companies will live and die, similar to banks in the 2008 financial collapse.

Read More Right Chevron