Sys Admin Legacies in Free Software

I was writing a blog post about the ideological tendencies in free software and I found myself on a side note that I think really wants to be it's own post. Funny how that happens. I was thinking about the role and importance of system administrators in free software communities and development. This post is part of an ongoing thread on dialectical futurism about systems administration and its implications. One might think, because free software communities produce software, that free software communities are communities of software developers.…

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Welcome to Tychoish Rhizomatics

Welcome to this new little blog/wiki project. I made a post to the 'blog about reorganizing the way I did my blog comments and blogging called a modest blogging proposal. I wrote this post a few weeks ago. I was so inspired by the prospect of reorganizing the blog, and also so frustrated by the less-than-useful structure of my blogging that, I did the "big reorganization" of the blog the very same day that I published the post that started it all.…

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Ideology and Systems Administration

I do some work as a systems administrator, both personally and for friends. And I work with a lot of admins, but I don't really think of myself as a sys admin. Though you may feel free to argue the point. Nevertheless, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the way systems administrators think and work. This makes sense: as my professional work is written for entry level systems administrators and I work with a bunch of admins.…

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Bitlbee, The Wrong Solution that Works

About a week ago, time of writing, I switched all of my instant messaging to a little program called Bitlbee. Basically this is a program that runs locally as an IRC server and connects to various instant messaging and "presence" protocols and exposes them to the end user client as if they were IRC. Weird. This is, emphatically, the wrong solution to the problem of finding a sane technological solution to consuming real-time information (e.…

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Writing and Growing Professionally

I spent a lot of formative time in high school and college listening to writing teachers and would be mentors tell me that I was too sloppy or too disorganized to write effectively. They were probably right. Furthermore, this is probably not something that I think I've been able to keep secret from anyone who has read my blog for any measurable period of time. (Though I do think most of my more recent entries are better than nearly all of my early entries.…

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Why Email Still Matters

There are so many sexy topics in computing and information technology these days. In light of all this potential excitement, I'm going to write about email. Which isn't sexy or exciting. This isn't we should be clear, to say that email doesn't matter, because it seems that email still matters a great deal. Rather that email is still a relevant and useful paradigm. What's more, the email system (i.e. SMTP and associated tools) remains in many ways superior to all of the technologies and platforms that have attempted to replace email.…

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Persistent SSH Tunels with AutoSSH

Rather than authenticate to a SMTP server to send email, which is fraught with potential security issues and hassles, I use a SSH tunnel to the machine running my mail server. This is automatic, easy to configure both for the mail server and mail client, and incredibly secure. It's good stuff. The downside, if there is one, is that the tunnel has to be active to be able to send email messages, and SSH tunnels sometimes disconnect a bit too silently particularly on unstable (wireless) connections.…

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