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Citizenship Personal Computing Technology Twittering

Mastodon, the New Kid in Town

Featured image by Eugen Rochko at Github used in accordance with the AGPL

Dismal Manor Gang has pitched its social media camp at Mastodon.Online. Mastodon is a new federated social network similar to Twitter in many ways but improved in important ways.

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Personal Computing

On Computer Access Security

Masthead image courtesy of YubiCo.

How secure is secure enough in this age of phising and breakins? Is a security hierarchy possible as not all accounts support all security methods. And what about the accounts that are still mired in the 1960’s days of shoulder surfing? Read on.

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Personal Computing

A Tale of Two Password Managers

Dismal Manor tries to be somewhat security conscious. We try to use unique passwords for all log-ins, keep passwords in an independent password manager, and to use 2 factor authentication, preferably a physical key where we can. In this article, we look at BitWarden and explore the possibility of migrating from 1Password to BitWarden.

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Personal Computing

Peabody is in the house

Photo courtesy of TrueNAS

As you recall, Sherman needed two disks transplanted. This work is complete and we have a third disk on hand in anticipation of the third going colicky. The long term plan is to add a second server and use Sherman as a backup machine via TrueNAS replication. The new server has arrived and is updating software. Read on for the rest of the story.

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Personal Computing

Planning Peabody’s Pool Structure

Image courtesy of iX Systems

Long time viewers know that I’m TrueNAS fan and that our local TrueNAS server Sherman has gone a bit wobbly. I’ve repaired Sherman and ordered him a partner, Peabody as in Peabody and Sherman. As you know, Mr. Peabody invented the WayBack machine. Peabody will serve music and Sherman will be Peabody’s replication target giving us an on-site backup. As always, some assembly is required. In this case, I’ve decided to rework the new server’s file system to make it a bit more graceful to use.

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Personal Computing

The WayBack Machine goes wobbly

Long time followers of the Dismal Manor Gang know that Dismal Manor has a thing called a WayBack Machine. You may know that it has something to do with photographicals we dogs wish were long forgotten but you may not know much more about it. It is no where near as magical as Mr. Peabody’s WayBack Machine appearing on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The original was a cartoon mortal’s attempt at a TARDIS but worked only for planet Earth.

Our WayBack machine is a TrueNAS file server that stores our Apple Time Machine spool volume, our local audio media, and video clips. It is going wobbly. One of the disks, a brand made by sinners rather than the faithful (Stranger in a Strange Land), has presented with unrecoverable bad blocks. First there were 16, now 24, so it was time to replace the disk. Read on to learn how this went for us.

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Personal Computing Photography

Skylum Luminar Product Family

In this post I’ll describe photography at Dismal Manor, our equipment, and the production workflow here. We use Skylum products in that workflow, currently Luminar AI but expect to migrate to Luminar Neo in 2022.

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Personal Computing

MacOS Monterey, Apple Silicon Edition

This post reports initial impressions of Apple MacOS Monterey running on Apple Silicon. The OS is solid and well behaved but, as usual, some applications need further refinement. This note summarizes what we have learned so far about the following areas.

  • MacOS 12 Monterey itself
  • MacOS 12 Monterey support applications
  • Apple Applications like Photos and Music
  • Apple Focus

I decided to write this post to capture some of my early misadventures with Monterey. Here we talk about some new features and review some old ones. To cut to the chase, Monterey is well sorted and ready for general use.

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Audio Personal Computing

Modius Mystery

The other day, I had the urge to listen to Gumby and Modius to get a better feel for the difference between the two. So I put both in a Roon audio group and started a record playing in the group. Gumby remained on SPDIF. Modius was shifted to SPDIF. Different Roon Bridges served the common source to the two devices. Modius hung. I did some poking around the next day to see what I could learn.

This attempted experiment started a rather lengthy snipe hunt. Several misunderstandings on my part prolonged the hunt. The investigation uncovered a misunderstandings about MacOS System Information display and found a misconfigured Raspberry Pi based Roon endpoint. Read on for the details.

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Personal Computing Technology

TeXmacs

TeXmacs is a technical writing system for use by scientists and engineers. TeXmacs is a reimplementation of Donald Knuth’s TeX document preparation system that offers a unique advantage, the ability to embed interpreted computing language sessions using tools like Octave, Python, Maxima, etc. To learn more about using TeXmacs in a MacOS environment, read on.