The website for craig.stewart.zone https://craig.stewart.zone/
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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" ><generator uri="https://jekyllrb.com/" version="3.8.7">Jekyll</generator><link href="/blog/feed/entries/atom" rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" /><link href="/" rel="alternate" type="text/html" /><updated>2021-01-02T22:26:17+00:00</updated><id>/blog/feed/entries/atom</id><title type="html">My Blog</title><subtitle>The Personal Blog of a Geek</subtitle><entry><title type="html">Further thoughts on Identity</title><link href="/blog/2020/09/20/further-thoughts-on-identity.html" rel="alternate" type="text/html" title="Further thoughts on Identity" /><published>2020-09-20T17:55:00+01:00</published><updated>2020-09-20T17:55:00+01:00</updated><id>/blog/2020/09/20/further-thoughts-on-identity</id><content type="html" xml:base="/blog/2020/09/20/further-thoughts-on-identity.html">&lt;p&gt;Some time ago I wrote a blog post asking the question &lt;a href=&quot;/blog/2019/06/16/who-are-you-really.html&quot; title=&quot;Who are you really?&quot;&gt;“Who are you really?”&lt;/a&gt; It didn’t come to any real conclusion, it only expressed the fact that it was a topic I had been thinking about. I didn’t immediately stop thinking about it, but it drifted out of the forefront of my thoughts to the point that I still haven’t really got a good conclusion. But I have been reminded of the topic recently by an article on LWN about &lt;a href=&quot;https://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/831401/4170e588cdfdfc7f/&quot; title=&quot;Key signing in the pandemic era&quot;&gt;issues Debian is facing with key signing&lt;/a&gt;. Now the issues that Debian is facing very much reflect the issues I had that led to my previous blog post. How do you trust an identity? What value does that identity hold in itself, and what value can you ascribe to associated details.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This leads me to lean more and more towards the idea that we place too much value on a single physical body as the “true” identity, and all other aspects are chained to this. To an open source project the value of the identity isn’t in a warm body, but in the contributions they make. Now the discussion within the debian project appears to be headed that way, and this I think is the correct way to handle that. But this also raises a question of trust. Our society has largely developed systems of trust based around individual interactions, and it is easier to build trust if these interactions are face to face. Many would probably argue that this means I am wrong to like the movement away from chaining online digital identities to physical people, but I would like to suggest that fewer of our face to face interactions are the sort that should build trust, or are with the entities that we should be trusting. Banking is done increasingly online, and even when it isn’t the person at the bank you deal with is likely to have very little discretion to alter the possible outcomes much. Trusting the bank clerk works in the bank’s favour, but a trustworthy bank clerk doesn’t mean the bank is trustworthy. Similarly supermarkets, ISPs, Utility providers, etc, are all large organisations that manipulate our ingrained trust mechanisms to make it easier to take our custom, but they don’t build trust in us based on the individual interactions we have, but rather through data-mining done by credit reference agencies, and information about us on public record. This I think demonstrates that our current trust mechanisms have failed individuals, and we need to build new ones, and we may as well do so in a way that allows us to separate our identities, such that they can be trusted for what they are, and not who we are, or who we were.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I think the obvious conclusion to all this is that I believe we should all have as many, or as few, identities as we are comfortable maintaining. These identities should stand or fall on their own merits, and that we need to find new ways to develop trust online that are appropriate to whatever activities we value online. I don’t know what these mechanisms for trust should be, or how they should look, but I do believe developing them is not beyond the wit of humanity.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I still haven’t really got a firm idea of how I think these disparate identities should be formed, or how they could be used. I also worry this is a sign that I may be slipping back into behaviours that I found to be damaging to my mental health. On the former I’m sure more developments will help push my thoughts in the right direction, on the later I shall keep an eye on it, but my compartmentalisation in the past came out of a bad place, and I don’t think these ideas do, I’m not trying to hold aspects of my life apart artificially, but trying to recognise where the natural boundaries lie.&lt;/p&gt;</content><author><name>Craig Stewart</name><email>craig@craig-james-stewart.co.uk</email></author><category term="opinion" /><category term="thinking" /><category term="comment" /><summary type="html">Some time ago I wrote a blog post asking the question “Who are you really?” It didn’t come to any real conclusion, it only expressed the fact that it was a topic I had been thinking about. I didn’t immediately stop thinking about it, but it drifted out of the forefront of my thoughts to the point that I still haven’t really got a good conclusion. But I have been reminded of the topic recently by an article on LWN about issues Debian is facing with key signing. Now the issues that Debian is facing very much reflect the issues I had that led to my previous blog post. How do you trust an identity? What value does that identity hold in itself, and what value can you ascribe to associated details.</summary></entry><entry><title type="html">My shed now has a couple of shelves</title><link href="/blog/2020/08/08/shed-shelves.html" rel="alternate" type="text/html" title="My shed now has a couple of shelves" /><published>2020-08-08T15:50:00+01:00</published><updated>2020-08-08T15:50:00+01:00</updated><id>/blog/2020/08/08/shed-shelves</id><content type="html" xml:base="/blog/2020/08/08/shed-shelves.html">&lt;p&gt;In my previous blog post about my shed I teased about a wireless access point, and that it would be the subject of a future blog post. I had intended that to be the next enhancement to my shed that I blogged about. Unfortunately having had a shed for a few weeks now, and stuff that needs somewhere to live (the point of buying the shed in the first place), my wife insisted that the shed should be used for storage. It’s not like I didn’t want this as well, so I have had to re-prioritise my sub-projects within the shed. So once again that will have to wait. This week I have built a set of two shelves.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;So I haven’t taken many pictures this time. There may also have been a certain amount of swearing involved in the construction of these shelves. So being the intelligent, self sufficient, practical chap that I am* I decided that rather than buying shelves pre made I would be able to construct some shelves out of wood that are bespoke to my shed. Similar to the bike rack I’ve used wooden beams that are the same size as the structure of the shed, I have also used 15mm chip board for the shelves themselves. How hard could it be?&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Well it turns out that was probably a mistake. Hence the possibility of swearing being involved. I started by measuring where I wanted the shelves to go. I wanted the supports to be resting on structural members of the shed, and as one of the upright supports of the back of the shed lined up with one of the structural members under the floor I used that rather than having to cut too many uprights. I also used the very back corner as one of the uprights. I then cut two new uprights, one that rested at the back of the shed, and one that stood out next to where my bike was hanging. I joined these all together with two levels of the cross members. I may have done this in the wrong order. And the decision not to attach the new uprights to the floor where they stood was certainly a bad choice. Once again I have used corner braces to support the weight. This gave me a frame on which I could build my shelves.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/08/shed-shelves/shelf-frame.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;wooden frame in the back corner of my shed&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;This frame is reasonably sturdy, but as I built the bit closest the camera in that shot first the rest of it involved quite a lot of swearing. And the corner braces I used are slightly less than 90 degrees, they pull out to 90 degrees easily enough when you screw them in, if what you’re screwing them into is suitably supported. This meant I was constantly battling the position of the uprights as I attached the first cross members to them. However once I got it all set up it was sturdy enough to support my weight, so I’m confident I won’t have any trouble with it. Onto this frame I put some 15 mm chip board. Alas the chip board I bought wasn’t big enough to fully cover the frame, so I do need to get some more and cut it to fill a gap at the back of the shelving. But as it stands it has plenty of room, and doesn’t look too bad if I say so myself.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/08/shed-shelves/shed-shelves.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;completed shelves&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I’ve already started to use the shelves, so I may or may not get around to filling the gap at the back. But as I’m going to have to cut channels in the bard for the wires for the solar charger and battery that was more complex than the cuts I needed to make for the boards where they are now. But the Shed is now in use for storage of more than just our bikes, so my wife is reasonably happy.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;*Also possibly deluded.&lt;/p&gt;</content><author><name>Craig Stewart</name><email>craig@craig-james-stewart.co.uk</email></author><category term="project" /><category term="shed" /><summary type="html">In my previous blog post about my shed I teased about a wireless access point, and that it would be the subject of a future blog post. I had intended that to be the next enhancement to my shed that I blogged about. Unfortunately having had a shed for a few weeks now, and stuff that needs somewhere to live (the point of buying the shed in the first place), my wife insisted that the shed should be used for storage. It’s not like I didn’t want this as well, so I have had to re-prioritise my sub-projects within the shed. So once again that will have to wait. This week I have built a set of two shelves.</summary></entry><entry><title type="html">Migrating my blog workflow to WSL</title><link href="/blog/2020/08/02/migrating-to-wsl.html" rel="alternate" type="text/html" title="Migrating my blog workflow to WSL" /><published>2020-08-02T21:30:00+01:00</published><updated>2020-08-02T21:30:00+01:00</updated><id>/blog/2020/08/02/migrating-to-wsl</id><content type="html" xml:base="/blog/2020/08/02/migrating-to-wsl.html">&lt;p&gt;I’m a Linux systems administrator. This means I am not as skilled at supporting and maintaining windows based systems as I am Linux systems. As such my personal laptop has Debian installed, and I have a number of Debian servers (some hosted at a VPS provider, some at home). I also have a Desktop that I built myself, using high spec components (at the time). As the desktop was intended to be used for gaming I bought a Windows license for it. At the time the intent was to install Debian, and then create a KVM virtual machine to run Windows in. However out of impatience, laziness, and hubris (I could always fix it later right?) I installed windows directly onto the system drive. And now the hinge on my laptop lid is broken. As my blog is split across two git repositories (one private, and one public) and publishing new posts involves a workflow that requires me to use a number of linux based systems this is a sub-optimal state of affairs.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;So the work flow as it is involves the private git repository, which contains my site as a jekyll site. This is checked out on my laptop, and I make edits using vim. I use jekyll to serve a version of this site on localhost whilst I am making changes to ensure I am happy with how it looks (well as happy as I can be given the design, I still need to work on that). These changes are then built to a directory that is a copy of the public repository also checked out on my laptop, but on a non-default branch. I then commit these changes, push them to my git server and raise a pull request. Once the pull request is merged the changes are pushed to the servers. Now I recognise that this is a slightly clunky workflow, and I could probably improve it with a little effort. But it works for me, on Linux, that I am used too. Now that my laptop is broken (actually I’ve fixed it, but the fix is temporary at best) I should probably get this workflow working somewhere that is usable.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;So I have a Windows 10 desktop computer, which has plenty of system resources, and outside of the command line a GUI is a GUI, and I can work reasonably comfortably in KDE or Windows without too much mental effort to switch (subject to the differences between the software packages in use). So all I really need for this workflow is a browser (I favour Firefox, which I use on Windows and Debian) and a Linux command line. Windows 10 has a feature Windows Subsystem for Linux. So I already had a basic Debian install set up, but I have only really used this to ssh to my servers. Well now is the time to install Ruby, Jekyll, git, and vim (oh and tmux, but that is less important for this workflow).&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Well it turns out to work quite well. Running jekyll on WSL allows you to access the site in Firefox in Windows. I have written this post on my Windows desktop, which has two high resolution monitors. I move windows to the background less often. It’s still the same clunky workflow as it was before, but slightly less clunky. I should have tried this ages ago. I still need to configure a few things. Vim has a spell checker that I need to configure on my desktop. I need to configure tmux. But otherwise everything works quite well.&lt;/p&gt;</content><author><name>Craig Stewart</name><email>craig@craig-james-stewart.co.uk</email></author><category term="sysadmin" /><category term="jekyll" /><category term="blog" /><category term="git" /><summary type="html">I’m a Linux systems administrator. This means I am not as skilled at supporting and maintaining windows based systems as I am Linux systems. As such my personal laptop has Debian installed, and I have a number of Debian servers (some hosted at a VPS provider, some at home). I also have a Desktop that I built myself, using high spec components (at the time). As the desktop was intended to be used for gaming I bought a Windows license for it. At the time the intent was to install Debian, and then create a KVM virtual machine to run Windows in. However out of impatience, laziness, and hubris (I could always fix it later right?) I installed windows directly onto the system drive. And now the hinge on my laptop lid is broken. As my blog is split across two git repositories (one private, and one public) and publishing new posts involves a workflow that requires me to use a number of linux based systems this is a sub-optimal state of affairs.</summary></entry><entry><title type="html">I’ve built a bike rack in the shed</title><link href="/blog/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack.html" rel="alternate" type="text/html" title="I’ve built a bike rack in the shed" /><published>2020-08-02T13:40:00+01:00</published><updated>2020-08-02T13:40:00+01:00</updated><id>/blog/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack</id><content type="html" xml:base="/blog/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack.html">&lt;p&gt;If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I’ve recently built a new shed. And I’ve installed a solar panel. Well I’ve done some more work on the shed. But not all of the work is related to electricity.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I don’t have a lot of large storage space in my house, and so my wife has been unhappy with our bikes cluttering up the conservatory for some time. This means it was always intended for the bikes to go in the shed. But having the bikes clutter up the shed would just be moving the problem out of sight, and not really solving it. So first off lets start with a reminder of how the shed looked before my latest addition.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/starting.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Empty shed&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Please ignore the old wireless access point, that’ll be the subject of a separate blog post in time. The first step was to attach cross members to the structure of the shed so I’m not putting the weight of the bikes on the panels. I’ve attached these using corner braces under the wooden beam to support the weight, and jointing plates to support the lateral loads.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/joints.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Detail of the fixings&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I needed two beams like this to hang the bike hooks on.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/bike-hook.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Bike hook&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I’ve also added a third beam lower down to support the bottom wheel off the wall of the shed.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/three-beams.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;All three beams in place&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;When I got this far I needed to test hang one of the bikes (mine as it happens).&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/one-bike.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;One bike hanging&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;As everything lined up ok I fitted the remaining hooks (actually the hooks came in pairs, and I need three, so I have a spare).&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/three-hooks.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;All three hooks in position&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;And so now I have storage for our bikes.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/08/02/shed-bike-rack/three-bikes.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Three bikes hanging in the shed&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;My garden is fully enclosed, so even though the shed lock is not the most secure in the world the bikes should be reasonably secure in the shed.&lt;/p&gt;</content><author><name>Craig Stewart</name><email>craig@craig-james-stewart.co.uk</email></author><category term="project" /><category term="shed" /><summary type="html">If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I’ve recently built a new shed. And I’ve installed a solar panel. Well I’ve done some more work on the shed. But not all of the work is related to electricity.</summary></entry><entry><title type="html">The Solar Panel is installed</title><link href="/blog/2020/07/23/solar-panel-up.html" rel="alternate" type="text/html" title="The Solar Panel is installed" /><published>2020-07-23T17:50:00+01:00</published><updated>2020-07-23T17:50:00+01:00</updated><id>/blog/2020/07/23/solar-panel-up</id><content type="html" xml:base="/blog/2020/07/23/solar-panel-up.html">&lt;p&gt;Just a quick update. The solar panel is up on my shed roof.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/07/23/solar-panel-up/solar-panel.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Solar panel on a felt roof&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;The mounting brackets bolted to the aluminium frame that the panel came pre installed in, with holes pre-drilled for the brackets to attach too. I’ve put a small patch of felt between the brackets and the felt already installed on the shed roof to hopefully seal around the screws holding the brackets to the roof. Time will tell if that works.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/07/23/solar-panel-up/mounting-brackets.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Detail of mounting bracket screwed onto roof&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I had to cover the panel with the box it came delivered in while I attached it to the solar charger to prevent any issues with sudden spikes in current from voltage differences damaging the charge controller or the solar panel itself. But it is now connected, and working.&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;/images/2020/07/23/solar-panel-up/getting-solar-power.jpg&quot; alt=&quot;Charge controller displaying voltage from the solar panel&quot; /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;Next steps, the charge controller has an rs232 port so I need to attach something to that, to get some stats. And attaching stuff to use all this power!&lt;/p&gt;</content><author><name>Craig Stewart</name><email>craig@craig-james-stewart.co.uk</email></author><category term="project" /><category term="shed" /><category term="off-grid" /><category term="solar-power" /><summary type="html">Just a quick update. The solar panel is up on my shed roof.</summary></entry></feed>