Building a Right Cool Server Array

I’ve specked out a set of servers with some really cool services…

I’d like to build a couple of these in parallel with my own for other owners…. Can’t guarantee anything but it looks like I can pack a pair of WordPress Multisites, an IPFS, a Mastodon, and a Diaspora server plus a really neat Ad Server. That’s the makings of a business of some sort.

I’ve been running the two multisite WordPress systems for a couple years for myself… One of those is the multisite multinetwork setup while the other is a standard multisite and I’m considering database sharding to try to boost performance just a tad with the databases on the opposite servers. The reason I have two multisites is to run the simpler multisite on cheaper hardware… else I could have just done that part of things with one WordPress.

The Diaspora and Mastodon servers are reflections of my interest in the Federated Indieweb networks. The WordPress systems run the Federation plugins also.

The IPFS server is something else I’ve been playing with. I’m starting to learn blockchain but the monetary ‘coin’ side of blockchain just isn’t all that interesting to me. IPFS lets me use my newly acquired blockchain knowledge as I go along. There are some pretty cool IPFS usages that I want to look into.

I’m right delighted with Cloudflare so expect me to make use of Cloudflare for domains, proxy services, and DNS. With Cloudflare helping with the SSL stuff that seems to be a no-brainer for me.

So here’s the deal, I figure it will take me a year to explore all this stuff… The extra bit of time needed to support two or three more systems will probably expose me to a few use-cases I’d not see otherwise. But I imagine about $750.00 dollars of work will be needed for each one.

If you think something in this would help you further your goals to the tune of a $750.00 investment then maybe you’d like to spend that money with me and encourage my efforts that way.

I also have a reseller relationship with GoDaddy through their Wild West Domains. Surely there’s something here to interest you. and maybe further your objectives. Give me a call if you want to bounce some ideas around.

I’m interested in hiring out, building for a set amount of cash, partnerships for the right person or company, other ideas. etc.

Jeff Hawkins 1-(540)-247-1936 EST. I’m in Middletown, Va., retired, and I don’t drive much anymore so don’t expect me to attend meetings or want to work in your shop. But I’m real interested in your ideas.





Green Ski-Wax?

I read with interest the following article.

Afterwards? I thought come on… it’s two planks about 4 inches wide and about 6 ft long each. How much ski wax could that possibly leave on a mountain?

Maybe a measurable bit but really? This just doesn’t seem all that important…

Come to think of it,  I don’t really remember ever waxing my skis once I bought them. Maybe once but I wasn’t that kind of skier anyway. Just having a bit of fun on them things maybe 6 or eight times a year.

I think the damage I probably did to the environment would have been more like a cigarette butt here and there and maybe I dropped an inadvertent candy wrapper but I don’t remember ever seeing anything I dropped on the next pass so that impact was probably negligible.

Ski Wax? Yeah, most of it is probably petroleum-based but I can’t imagine that being a problem.

But go ahead… buy that stuff if it makes you feel good. I don’t think that will ever hurt anything… either way.

My thoughts on WordPress and SEO

Someone on Quora keeps asking me questions about SEO…

I don’t know much of anything about SEO… The only thing I can say about SEO on WordPress is ‘Yoast‘ and a reminder that ‘Content is King’! Seems most of the people asking SEO questions don’t know diddly about either of those.

When pressed further I’ll usually mention running the Broken Link Checker and the Trash Duplicates and 301 Redirect Generator. Trash Duplicates is kind of cool for its really handy 301 redirect generator. Duplicate Posts are not really cool… especially if there are comments enabled… you’ll wind up with dual comment threads if you have duplicate posts.

Do run the Trach Duplicates plugin and do let it fix your 301 redirects as it deletes those duplicates.

So, if you agree that ‘Content is King’ on a WordPress based (or any) web site, then getting that content exposed to the public would be the bailiwick of your RSS/Atom feeds and the sitemaps. WordPress has built-in support for RSS and Atom feeds or Syndication.

Yoast SEO has a very well behaved Sitemap generator.

Sitemaps are for the robots among us, those robotic search engines and web crawlers consume sitemaps and return links. But there a secondary Sitemap you should consider. Most people put a good bit of work into their main menu… they should! But I like to run a very intensive textual menu in my footers with an HTML sitemap embedded in it.

This is the plugin I’ve used most recently as it has a shortcode that can be embedded in the site’s footer. That’s where I like the HTML sitemap… right there where it’s useful for the reader seeking more info after devouring a page or post on your site.

Shenandoah National Park Is Confronting Its History

This post appeared originally at Outside Magazine: Adventure

Repost: This article was first mentioned here back Sept. 23, 2019 Four hundred years ago in August, two British pirate ships arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, carrying dozens of enslaved Africans, who they sold to colonists, precipitating more than 200 years of government-sanctioned slavery in America. As the nation reflects on that solemn anniversary, it’s also struggling with a history of racism and exclusion in ...

Read More - Source: Outside Magazine: Adventure

International Film Festival to Stream “Sorry We Missed You”

actors in the film Sorry We Missed You

“Sorry We Missed You,” by acclaimed director Ken Loach, is a stunning drama about work in the lower reaches of the gig economy and its effects on family ties.  Focused on a delivery driver, a home care nurse and their two children, it raises questions made ever more urgent by the COVID-19 crisis about essential workers and the challenges they face.

“Sorry We Missed You” is Available on YouTube Now…

From the Original Article at Source: International Film Festival to Stream “Sorry We Missed You”

Board Votes to Rename School of Business

Shenandoah University will remove the name of Harry F. Byrd, Jr. from our School of Business.

The decision, effective immediately, came on Wednesday, June 10, after a unanimous vote from the university’s 38-member Board of Trustees (present for the vote) to remove the name from our business school and board room in recognition of the school’s ongoing commitment to be a welcoming and inclusive institution for all.

At Shenandoah, we encourage the best, the brightest, the inspired, to come learn with us, in the spirit of equitable access for every one of our students. This decision today about the business school is reflective of our commitment to continuing efforts toward racial justice and equality for all.”

Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Frogale

This important decision is one of several steps we have endeavored to and will continue to take against racism and to establish a culture that is unequivocal in its commitment to Black lives and antiracism. The university is committed to deeply and continuously reflecting on our strategic plan and mission to foster a campus culture of “compassion, responsibility, advocacy, and justice, which graduates are inspired to replicate in communities beyond Shenandoah.”

The School of Business will join the School of Health Professions, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Shenandoah Conservatory by not carrying an individual’s name.

In 1984, the Board of Trustees of Shenandoah College and Conservatory voted to honor Sen. Harry F. Byrd, Jr., a former state and U.S. senator, by naming the Shenandoah School of Business Administration after him. Byrd, a Virginia native and resident of Winchester, went on to become a distinguished lecturer at Shenandoah, where he spoke about his experience in government and being the first person in history to be elected to the Senate twice as an Independent. Byrd died in 2013.

While the Senator shared with many individuals later in life that he had changed his mind with regard to educational access, Byrd’s belief in the segregation of schools in the 1950s and his actions as a Virginia state senator on behalf of the Massive Resistance effort in Virginia run counter to our strategic plan and its mission of establishing a campus culture that fully embraces inclusion and diversity.

The board and I understand that we cannot be an institution that serves all students equitably when our business school still holds the name of an individual who denied full integration of schools. Although we cannot change history, we have the power to build a better future in which everyone is treated with respect and receives the same opportunities, regardless of race or ethnicity. With life comes experiences, relationships and education that illuminate historical injustices and help us better understand the injustices in our world today. That is what has happened here at Shenandoah. It is during this time in our national history, in which Black individuals continue to experience daily and systemic acts of racism, that we must stand up and act swiftly in order to move forward to a more fair and equitable future.”

President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.

To that end, we’ve denounced racial injustice and are enacting several measures, including the establishment of an anonymous system to report discrimination, a review of our curricula to ensure that academic programs reflect and support the diversity of history and society, additional diversity and inclusion training for all members of the university community, and the establishment of a diversity scholarship to support recruitment and retention of students of color in underrepresented programs. Along with these actions, the university is committed to maintaining a posture of listening and learning from our Black students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

A virtual forum was held earlier Wednesday titled “Past, Present & Future: An Open Forum on the Naming of the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business.” Hundreds of Shenandoah students, staff and faculty members, alumni, and members of our Shenandoah community joined online to express their thoughts and concerns about the name of the university’s business school.

Source: Board Votes to Rename School of Business

CMU Spinoff Uses AI to Address COVID-19

A photo of people in line at an airport

Cameras monitor stores, hotels, hospitals, airport terminals, public parks and parking lots. When computer vision technology company Zensors spun out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) two years ago, the founding members created an artificial intelligence (AI) capable of analyzing images and video from those cameras and turning it into actionable data. Now they’re offering up that AI to organizations worldwide to be used in response to COVID-19.

In March, Zensors announced it would open its platform, at no cost through June 1, to stores, governments, hospitals, airports and essential businesses to help deal with the coronavirus.

“We can start giving actionable data today using our clients’ existing cameras,” said Anuraag Jain, a School of Computer Science and HCII alumnus and creator of the Zensors technology. “It’s that straightforward to use. Our product was designed to automate space analytics such as occupancy, crowd flow, wait times and related staffing needs, which can aid the implementation of new social distancing requirements and protect public health.”

Source: CMU Spinoff Uses AI to Address COVID-19

Carnegie Mellon Tackles the Digital Divide, Connects High-Need Students to Wi-Fi

Image of people on a roof with an antenna

When Kristopher Hupp started teaching high school social studies in the Cornell School District in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, his classroom had a chalkboard and a PC with a floppy disc drive.

Twenty years later, he’s the district’s director of technology and instructional innovation, responsible for leading the transition to remote learning in response to the spread of COVID-19. While all of Cornell’s classrooms have fast and reliable internet, not every student has a device like a Chromebook, and many lack reliable internet access at home.

“My stress level was through the roof,” Hupp said. “Lots of waking up in the middle of the night, trying to stay on top of all of the email and phone communication with families and trying to find devices, and making sure they got wirelessly connected.”

And the Cornell School District isn’t alone. According to Pittsburgh Public Schools, 46% of homes in its district don’t have access to reliable Wi-Fi. A 2018 survey found that as many as 60% of some Pittsburgh neighborhoods have no internet access, and many other urban, suburban and rural homes lack connectivity.

“Many of the most underresourced learners can’t get online,” said Ashley Williams Patton, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Pathways program.

To support the transition to remote learning, CMU CS Pathways is partnering with Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Meta Mesh Wireless Communities to provide free access to Wi-Fi in high-need communities across the Greater Pittsburgh Area, starting with a pilot program in Coraopolis.

Source: Carnegie Mellon Tackles the Digital Divide, Connects High-Need Students to Wi-Fi

A Dramatic Shift

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama‘s transition to remote learning is opening up new opportunities to connect students with industry professionals and providing fresh approaches to courses that typically rely on face-to-face interaction.

Alumni from the school — including actors on Broadway, film and television; costume, sound and lighting designers; and stage managers — and industry veterans — including playwrights and casting directors — have guest lectured courses to discuss the crafts of singing, acting and design, life experiences, and the entertainment business. They also have led workshops — providing professional feedback on skills that could serve students through their careers.

Catherine Moore, teaching professor of movement and option coordinator of acting and musical theater, said the transition has been challenging. These crafts typically rely on actors and singers working together in the same room, feeding off each other’s physical energy and hearing one another in real time. But the new format has provided unexpected bright spots.

Moore teaches physical approaches to actor training, which focuses on how actors use their bodies to express behavior and communicate. For lessons in stage combat, Moore brought in CMU alumni Aleyse Shannon and Patrick Wilson. Shannon, a 2018 School of Drama graduate who acted in the movie “Black Christmas” and the television show “Charmed,” spoke about the differences between doing her own fight work on film versus television and described the experience of going from being a new graduate to working on set. Wilson, a 1995 School of Drama graduate, told students about filming fight scenes with Liam Neeson in “The A-Team,” wire work with Jason Momoa for “Aquaman,” and how his training in swordplay at CMU helped prepare him for the film adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera.”

Source: A Dramatic Shift

CMU Names Seven University Professors

Image of the Cut

Seven Carnegie Mellon University faculty members have been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can achieve at CMU.

The newly appointed University Professors are Jessica Hodgins, Allen Robinson, Kathryn Roeder, Tuomas Sandholm, Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Susanne Slavick and Joe William Trotter, Jr.

“University Professors are distinguished by international recognition and for their contributions to education, artistic creativity and/or research,” said Provost Jim Garrett. “Each University Professor exemplifies a high level of professional achievement and an exceptional commitment to academic excellence at our university.”

Garrett said the professors were nominated and recommended by academic leaders and faculty who have achieved the designation of University Professor.

The new University Professors will be recognized at a future event.

Source: CMU Names Seven University Professors

Gibbons Will Receive ACM’s Kanellakis Award

Phillip Gibbons

The Association for Computing Machinery has announced that Carnegie Mellon University’s Phillip Gibbons, professor in the Computer Science department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, will receive the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award.

Gibbons will share the award with Noga Alon of Princeton University and Tel Aviv University, Yossi Matias of Google and Tel Aviv University and Mario Szegedy of Rutgers University. The award recognizes them for their seminal work on the foundations of streaming algorithms and their application to large-scale analytics.

In a series of papers published in the late 1990s, Gibbons and his colleagues pioneered a framework for algorithmic treatment of streaming massive datasets, the ACM said. Their algorithms remain the core approach for streaming big data and constitute an entire subarea of the field of algorithms. The concepts they introduced are routinely used in a variety of data analysis tasks in databases, network monitoring, usage analytics in internet products, natural language processing and machine learning.

Gibbons joined the CMU faculty in 2015. He previously had been principal research scientist at Intel Labs Pittsburgh and was the principal investigator for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Cloud Computing. He was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1990 to 2001.

The Kanellakis Award honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. Previous CMU recipients include faculty members Edmund M. Clarke, Randy Bryant, Daniel Sleator and Gary L. Miller and SCS alumnus Kenneth McMillan.

Source: Gibbons Will Receive ACM’s Kanellakis Award

Nothing in Particular…

I run an Auto Post Blog…

It is ‘Nothing in Particular’ as everything is ‘A Go’ in general.

I do exercise some restraint in Language and the suitability of content as I want this to be a place of adult conversation and knowledge but nothing that would offend anyone, young or old, as to the coarseness of talk. I’d like it to be a place where my grandchildren can visit and be entertained and enlightened. I sure wouldn’t want their grandma to chide me for the color of speech within.

Many of the sites I follow here are considered ‘Old School’ or well-established blogs. None of this Auto Blog is created for anyone but me. If someone else finds it interesting then that’s fine but this one blog is my creation for myself first. I use it to direct my own attention and help chart my own course through the rest of the web.

There’s podcasts, music, homesteading, animals, railroads, lighthouses, Space, Oil and Gas, Books, Outdoors, cooking, Science, paranormal, and other works mentioned here. Those are things I find interesting. Those may be of interest to me because a friend finds them interesting.

This is the one place where I feel ‘me first’ is best forward. My other efforts are for others. This one ‘me first’ locus may actually be my best contribution to the whole.

Do Enjoy. It helps if you’re into Fuller with a bit of Joe Bageant for balance.

If I had an extra case…

The other week when that ‘essential of all essentials’ known as toilet paper started running short I was thinking…

If I had an extra case or two I’d gather up some plastic shopping bags that I always keep handy and a magic marker…

A quick, anonymous, ‘Thinking of you’ message, and a roll of paper. Run out late in the evening and leave them hanging on my neighbors doors.

A little humor and a small bit of compassion!

I didn’t have a case of that wonderful commodity or a whole lot of anything else we all might be running short of but I do have a handy wave, a smile, and a moment to connect to my neighbors.

And others have the same ideas… I’ve got a real kick out of seeing people touch others by sharing just something they do have. Smiles, cheers, some sidewalk chalk art, murals, signs and candles in windows, care packages, white ribbons, applause and horns sounding at designated times.

Then today I found this…

You can leave a simple message there… say hello, express your fears, encourage someone else… what you feel you need to say… You can say it there.

And if nobody does? The site will delete itself to never be seen again. That would be a shame!


Re: Monitored Automation

I found this post earlier and thought maybe I should pay a bit more attention to my own automation!

Monitored Automation

The backstory…

I was checking something out on my own website when I discovered my cron tasks were not running properly. I actually had some cron tasks from back when I first re-started this blog that hadn’t run yet. A little tiny tweak needed here and there and some major deleting work of crontasks that never needed to run now.

It’s starting to right itself.

Let Me Help You.

I’m retired… Busy as all ‘get out’ but retired from working anymore.

I’m also well versed in WordPress and websites in general.

If your site is broken then contact me right away!

If you’re itching to get started call me ASAP!

I can help you start a new blog. I can help with a new website.

I’m very good with the technical aspects of WordPress.

Call me or email me…

If your site is broken then contact me right away!

If you’re itching to get started call me ASAP!

Fees? Don’t sweat the fees right now. I told you I’m retired!

Balance exercises: 13 Moves with Instructions

Finding balance in all areas of your life is the way forward. This includes developing balance in your body.

Improving balance increases coordination and strength, allowing you to move freely and steadily. Enhancing stability, mobility, and flexibility makes it easier to perform your daily tasks. It also improves your athletic performance. Focusing on your balance may also help you to focus and clear your mind.

How balance exercises work

Balancing exercises work your core muscles, lower back, and legs. Lower-body strength-training exercises can also help improve your balance.

While balancing exercises can be challenging at times, consistent effort will make these exercises easier. Gradually increase the number of repetitions as the exercises become easier.

Source: Balance exercises: 13 Moves with Instructions

Staging Sites

I don’t use ‘staging sites’ since I think a WordPress based site can be launched from idea and a chosen unregistered domain idea to up and running in 20 minutes or so and for less than $35.00 outlay. And that $35.00 includes $10.00 for a pack of business cards.

I guess some of that is influenced by reading Don Lancaster’s Incredible Secret Money Machine years ago. Nobody is gonna see that site on day one and I believe in growing and improving the site as it goes.

Yet people seem to be drawn to the idea of not launching until ‘things are perfect’… Nothing is ever perfect and if you throw all your energy at perfection then you’ll wind up too tired to enjoy the labor you did.

This ain’t no revolution | Derek Sivers

Five years after I started CD Baby, when it was a big success, the media said I had revolutionized the music business.

But “revolution” is a term that people use only when you’re successful. Before that, you’re just a quirky person who does things differently.

People think revolution needs to involve loud provocations, fists in the air, and bloodshed.

But if you think true love looks like Romeo and Juliet, you’ll overlook a great relationship that grows slowly.

If you think your life’s purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you’ll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you.

Source: This ain’t no revolution | Derek Sivers

A business model with only two numbers | Derek Sivers

Like most people, I had no idea what to charge for my service.

So I went to the local record store in Woodstock, where they had some local musicians’ CDs on the counter.

I asked the woman at the store, “How does it work if I sell my CD here?”

She said, “You set the selling price at whatever you want. We keep a flat $4 cut. And we pay you every week.”

So I went home and wrote, on my new website, “You set the selling price at whatever you want. We keep a flat $4 cut. And we pay you every week.”

Read More – Source: A business model with only two numbers | Derek Sivers

“My Car does not start when I buy Vanilla Ice Cream”, said a Man to General Motors. | Digital Gazette

Did you ever imagine that an “Ice Cream” could shake the entire General Motors? In 2010, the Pontiac Division of General Motors received a very funny complaint from one of its customers. It was so weird & bizarre that it took the entire General Motors by storm. However, on reading the entire Case, this definitely caught our interest and we realized that this is by far an epic case of ‘Customer Care’. It teaches us that however weird the complaint is, never under estimate your Client!

Below is the complaint, which was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

“This is the second time I have written to you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we’ve eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem…

Source: “My Car does not start when I buy Vanilla Ice Cream”, said a Man to General Motors. | Digital Gazette