Squid game

I’ve never really been one to binge a complete series in a few days, but this one was a must with a four hour final sitting. Going back to the dystopian past, there was ‘Battle Royal’, which was the original ‘the only way you can win is by killing everyone’ film. Then you had the likes of ‘The hunger games’, which draws the whole thing out for ages and is a bit gore free. But ‘Squid game’, takes it to a whole new level. The thing is does so right is that it has very few main characters, which allows the series to explore them in quite some depth. You actually develop feelings for them, you know the main character is going win (sorry, should have said, ‘spoiler alert’). But seeing everyone else dying along the way is done in a very clever way.

I’m now going to look at ‘Alice in Borderland’, which is apparently even better, but more underground. It’s good to see ‘Torture porn’, is really back with a vengeance.

But ‘Squid game’, go watch it on ‘Netflix’ now.

On Wednesdays we go quizzing and have Chicken Tikka for tea

So the beginning of the week was somewhat normal. No complaints about that at all, don’t like anything too exciting Monday to Wednesday. Ended up working on some stuff quite late into the night. Ordered lots of chemist stuff for holiday. Was contacted about ordering 64 pills of pain killers, said I was stocking up for a hangover. They sent the pills.

New server working out well, done a couple of additional security fixes. Wednesday we did the quiz and came second. Can’t win every week. Today I had to go to the ‘clinic’ for a blood test. It was done by Jan, so I ended up looking like a stigmata. After two attempts I’d run out of arms to use so she got someone else in to do it. Still that should all come out clean (If it doesn’t I’ve been shagging in my sleep).

Off to Elaine’s now. Food. No walking tonight as it’s pissing down, and I’ve been generally pissed on enough over the last few days. Planning on sitting here again all tomorrow to know up some extra hours, then in the studio most of the weekend I think.

I won’t be defeated by a blind

Well as I didn’t drink shit tons last night, it meant two things. One, I wasn’t going to sleep well, and didn’t, and two I was going to be awake fairly early with a clear head. So took advantage of that and fixed the server fstab issue. I think that is everything now, but just noticed WordPress is moaning about some missing updates.

Put everything I was using for the server update back into the loft. I now have a clear workbench ready for the next project to begin.

Walked one dog, then went over to my friends to help them install a blind. It was a real bitch to put it blankly. Plasterboard walls so had come back for the right fixings. Got there in the end but took two hours. Went to Iceland, was so hot I could have jumped in a freezer.

Finally did a new version of ‘Snow’ for my nephew, then walked dog number two. Started on Coz’s song at last, got a few ideas for this one. Did that for a couple of hours then did another 12Km on the BMX as I didn’t have my calories and exercise for the day, although I think that blind probably took more out of me than the bike.

Now going to jump in the shower and then have a curry and watch the Grand Prix and maybe strictly…how things have changed.

She’s alive and has shiny new boots

So after almost two years of procrastinating and a PC on my bench, I’ve finally finished the upgrade. Server has been running Ubuntu 12.04LTS (Long term support) version for almost ten years. I know it’s long term support, but that ran out a few years ago. So started to upgrade it to 16LTS I think, started writing down the entire procedure in a notebook. Some eighteen months later and it hadn’t been touched. Decided it really was time as sooner of later the server was going to die. I’d got as far as getting the web server working and updating all the SQL stuff, so basically this blog was working.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to take what I did and actually document it in a word document. Three weeks later and it’s done (well very much almost). It’s completely rebuilt from scratch and now running Ubuntu 20.04.3LTS which is apparently good until 2030….I wonder if I’ll upgrade in time. Doubt it. Everything was fairly smooth when I followed all the instructions correctly. The original Shorewall config didn’t work, so that put up fight trying to get something going there. Also I have a fault in fstab somewhere and need to work out what root disc to mount, but that’s quite minor in the grand scheme of things.

Also upgraded the hardware as the old server was struggling with memory. Had a look around and found a ‘mini PC’ on Amazon for £270. It has 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, plus six USB ports and VGA. So was pretty much perfect. It came with Windows 10 Pro, but soon said goodbye to that.

It’s now all working perfectly except the mount issue, and it’s getting late. But now I have a very secure up to date server running Apache, Postfix, Courier and lots of other goodies. It’s all setup correctly with SSL and a very strict double firewall in my DMZ.

So overall, very pleased.

Well Dan and Phil was expected (eventually), but Philip Schofield?

So it took many years from my original post on ‘Shipping’(November 2013) for it finally to become a reality. If you’re not in the YouTube era then Dan Howell and Phil Lester are both YouTubers, known as DanIsNotOnFire and Amazingphil. Years ago I suspected they were closeted gays, and years later they both came out. They haven’t really said they are in a relationship together, but hey, they’ve been living together for over ten years. Only mystery there is are they both versatile?

So that was expected. But Friday, king of the sofa, silver fox, Mr. Philip Schofield came out as gay. He has been married 27 years and has two grown up daughters. It was somewhat a shock. But all the best to him. I’m sure his wife is very supportive and they still love each other dearly. It will be interesting to see how his relationship pans out and how long it will take before some tabloid tattle haunts him down. I doubt he will ever enter into a ‘gay’ relationship as sadly the world currently just won’t let him. I mean, I hardly expect he’s going to dive down some backstreet sauna and try and insert Gordon the gopher into a leather daddy, but then again I can not see him on long country walks holding hands with Stephen Fry either.

We live in interesting times. Wonder if Sarah Green is going to announce she’s a lesbian? And don’t get me started on Noel Edmonds…..

Ode to ‘Bristol tools’

Bristol tools was a shop on Gloucester Road that was established in 1973. I bought a centre punch there when I was 11. Over the years I did a fair amount of shopping there, they specialised in hand tools.

But on August 31st 2002 (my record keeping is somewhat anal) I went in carrying a piece of brake cable. I asked specially for ‘something that would cut this’. I was handed a pair of snips, I then proceeded to cut the cable with them. The man grabbed them off me and said, ‘Sold!’, ‘I can’t sell them as new now can I’. I didn’t point out at the time that if I’d specially asked for a product to serve a certain purpose and it failed to perform that duty then I could get a refund anyway. I paid and left and vowed never to return. I didn’t.

I noticed when walking past recently that the shop went from a double unit to a single one and that it started to sell a large range of ‘tat’ including old vinyl records. A couple of weeks ago in passing I saw that it had vanished completely and all that was remaining was a mural painted on the wall.

I should feel perhaps a little sad that this almost 50 year old shop has now ceased trading, but then I wonder how many customers failed to come back due to poor customer service. It only attracted four Google reviews. Shed a tear? No, sorry you pissed me off. I still have the snips. It won’t be long before the mural vanishes and you will just be a blot in history.

So mod_rewrite was the answer

I’ve moved the test PC to the office from the lounge, mainly as I want the lounge for watching telly and chilling not experimenting with Ubuntu servers. Also, there are usually several points in my work day where my work PC won’t even except text, so having something to twiddle with is useful.

So I now have latest version of Ubuntu LTS setup on it, and I’ve slowly been restoring my old server config. It’s now at a point where mySQL all works and WordPress fires up. What I did find though was clicking on any links caused 404 errors. Now I found out I had to edit several things in the sql database so it did the links differently, otherwise the DNS would be wrong and the server currently has no net connection, its just connected to a dummy router and an old laptop. I edited several things so instead of a name, its using an internal IP. This was now generating the correct lookups but was still failing with 404’s. So after much Googling I found that you have to explicitly enable mod_write on Apache2. After I did this everything magically started working. I’m now debating how much of the other stuff I had to edit in the first place.

The plan is to get the server up and running standalone with everything working. If I can do this in the next couple of months I then hope to upgrade the actual server over Easter. I’m making very careful notes every step of the way. Once this one is working (as in web server and mail), I’ll delete it down again and do it once more to make sure all my notes are correct.

It will be an interesting journey. After all this is why this blog exists in the first place, it always was setup as a challenge to setup and configure a Ubuntu server. Never did I envisage back in 2012 that I would be sat here in 2020 thinking, ‘I really must upgrade the kernel’. Hopefully if I make decent notes this time, I won’t be in the same position in eight years time….

Mixing and mastering has been launched

So back to work today, joy. But I’ve now got a name for my new business, I just have around eight years to get it gently off the ground.

Spent the evening in Ubuntu land again. Getting closer, managed to restore and upgrade the mysql database and word press actually managed to link to it. Php admin also seems to work. There are a number of issues though, SSL isn’t working, links don’t appear to be working, although the data is there. And more alarming, on the current server if you connect via https then none of the links work, so something has been buggered there for about ten years. So lots to fix, lots to work on and therefore lots to learn. At least now I’m making constant notes of every step that works, and crossing out all the ones that don’t. It will be an interesting journey, one which I’m sure will take me a few months of Monday evenings yet.

The joys of laminate flooring

So it’s probably been ten years since I’ve dug my skateboard out, but as one of this years challenges is to perfect the ollie, I better get on with it, and so I did. It only took about half an hour to regain my balance and I was zooming across the kitchen, frightening the shit out of the dogs.

Weather was finally dry enough to finish painting the fence, neighbour now happy.

Three-quarters the way through my current course, going well. It was nice to get back to normality and back to the gym. Christmas tree has been defrocked and reduced to just a ‘tree’. I’ll keep it indoors until it gets warmer.

Looking forward to this year, it’s going to be a year of challenges, a year of adventure.