Automating my home.

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Given that I work in the technology sector, it should be no surprise that I have an interest in home automation. I’ve toyed with it on and off for years, but finally seem to be making progress with a system that actually does what I want. In this post, I’m hoping to kick start a series of posts that document my journey and setup with home automation. Currently, that entails my Home Assistant-based hub and all the devices it integrates together.

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HTTPS Only

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I have finally joined the twenty-first century and made this website HTTPS only. This is supposedly good for Google ranking and it is definitely good for privacy. All non-HTTPS requests are now redirected to HTTPS. Further, I’ve implemented HSTS, disabled SSLv2 and SSLv3, and done all of the things necessary to get an A+ on SSL Labs. Hooray for security! The next step will be supporting HTTP 2.0.

Website changes, again

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A few years have passed so it seemed like it was time for yet another website change. I’ve not changed much visually, but I’ve changed the entire static content generation stack. Previously, my site was generated using a static content generator called Nanoc. It took a set of source files written in Markdown, HTML, Haml, Sass, and a bunch of other stuff and output them as HTML and CSS. I had a lot of complexity.

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Migrating VMs to a new vSphere cluster

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Where I work, we use VMware to virtualize the majority of our servers. Last year, we bought four new servers in order to provide more resources to our virtual evironment, and also to aid in the upgrade to vSphere 4 from VI3. The plan was to power off all virtual machines and perform an offline migration of all the VMs from the old cluster to the new cluster. However, we were also migrating from the vSwitch to the distributed virtual switch (dvSwitch).

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A New ${HOME}

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Up until last week, this website was run on a generic shared hosting account. For the most part, this worked well. At times, it could be slow. I went through all kinds of trouble to tune WordPress as much as I could to make it respond faster. Unfortunately, a lot of the slowness was in the shared MySQL server that they provided. I had them move me between servers a few times, but it never fully resolved the issues.

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Vending Failure

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This evening, I was staying late at work. I decided to go grab a bag of chips from the vending machine. I punched in the code to see what the price was for my chips, since I couldn’t see it behind the glass. Instead of showing the price on the LCD, I heard a plunk noise. My chips were free?! Thinking that the last guy just probably put in a $1 and walked away, I typed a random code.

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The Webs I’ve Spun

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For a long time now, I’ve been looking for a new content management system for my website. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of solutions and never found one that I found to be a satisfying solution. Finally, I think I may have found something I don’t absolutely hate. In the beginning, there was Geocities. Back in those days, GeoCities websites were broken down into “cities” and addresses. For example, a URL may have looked something like http://www.

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