All posts by David

Getting Techy

I’m getting much more into my inner tech-geek lately. Historically I just relied on my skills when I needed them to boost another project, but developing my understanding and expertise is a good goal unto itself.

Right now I’m whipping up a project while learning Angular, making my dinky Pi server highly available, and finalizing server improvements to have a stable, final image backup.starting point.

The project board and missing categories will be filled out next week as well as the media implementation plan. This is probably going to turn in to a four-year-plus project, which does not bother me in the least!

How To: Run Varnish Cache on Raspbian Wheezy

Simple and to the point: to run Varnish Cache on Raspbian Wheezy you have to upgrade to GCC 4.9 as well as pull Varnish from Raspbian Jessie. This is accomplished by editing /etc/apt/preferences and /etc/apt/sources.list. The process is called pinning. Oh, and take a look at the notes in the Debian wiki about the correct install command for these packages. Just do it.

Please note, I’m not an expert, so there could be some glaring reasons to not do this that I’m missing, but hell, it got me to 900K uniques per hour (given it’s just testing load on the homepage) on a Raspberry Pi.

The more detailed how-to will come along with a full site-build instruction set, but making GCC and Varnish install from the Jessie release should be enough to go on for now.

Two New Sours and an Impending Kegerator

This Chicago wedding weekend already delivered in a big way: Counter ClockWeisse of Destihl Brewery’s Wild Sour series and Off Color Brewing’s Fierce.

I’ve been angling to get my hands on some Destihl for a while now, and now I just want more! I’m no cicerone, but Counter ClockWeisse is exactly what I like in a berliner weisse, tart straight through with some more complex sour notes at the finish. Fierce was good and tasty, but it was the last beer of the night so any notes would be more guesses than not. 10/10 would drink again.

The kegerator is still in its infancy. Well, it’s technically still in gestation since it doesn’t have a body. But there are taps and a CO2 canister, and lines, and couplers, and hope!

Next steps are kegs and a fridge. but this might get pushed down the road because sometimes you need to get the house to put around your kegerator first…

Varnish Cache on Raspberry Pi Running Raspbian Wheezy

I’ve heard that the best way to get the right answer to any question is to be wrong about it in the internet. People will come out of the woodwork to correct you. Well that is a damn dirty lie when it comes to getting Varnish Cache working on a Raspberry Pi. Seriously, the sheer amount of bullshit I had to wade through was maddening.

Expect a write-up soon. Steps include changing your list files to point to Raspbian Jessie, installing a later version of GCC, changing you list files back, and changing some symlinks to point to the newer version of GCC.

It probably isn’t best practices. Hell, it could break some stuff. All I know is that it worked for me. **I think there are much better ways to accomplish this, and I’m looking into update-alternatives as well as other, much safer options.**

The most frustrating part is that I’m not even running it right now! This is Raspbian Jessie, and I’m kinda waiting on official support before heading there. I didn’t have time to load the working site on the new image before heading to Chicago for the weekend.

Fun With Dynamic DNS

And here I was concerned that it would be difficult to configure dynamic DNS with both Namecheap and CloudFlare. I was wrong.

DNS-O-Matic is great, and it works with the DDNS tool in DD-WRT. It’s as simple as they say:

  1. Sign up
  2. Add services
  3. Send updates

Namecheap and CloudFlare even have DNS-O-Matic tutorials (really just support database entries) for the less technically-inclined.

Potential gripe: averted.

About time I started making posts!

I’m doing a ground-up redesign for this site since that’s the kind of thing I like to do in my spare time.

More reasons why:

  • Amazon = too expensive ($15/mo)
  • Raspberry Pi = less expensive (lose $10 the first year over lower-cost hosts, save $70 ish every year after)
    • Approximate yearly cost (after domain) is less than $10, probably less than $5
  • Getting this thing as lean as possible will help me learn a little about this web everyone keeps talking about

I’m part-way through this little project, and if you’re curious you can always take a look at the most current status.