Bookmarks

I use Firefox as my web browser. I’ve been using it for years. During that time I have accumulated a huge amount of bookmarks. In being able to migrate my Firefox profile by copying it between machines and between installs my bookmarks have migrated too.
Some I can’t remember why I even bookmarked them in the first place.

I took the step over the past few days of exporting all my bookmarks and deleting all the ones stored in my browser. I now have a new starting point for which to accumulate some more.

My bad idea has been to start trying to organise my old bookmarks into some sort of list. What struck me is what utter rubbish is stored along with the original bookmark. The useful bit is the URL, in most cases this is accompanied by the title to the article or the site I wanted to bookmark. The less useful entries have information about the author looking for job opportunities, great long strings of text about other subject matter the site covered or generally unhelpful titles that don’t actually tell you what you bookmarked.

I should have taken the time to edit the bookmark entries at the time of saving them. It is never something I want to do at the time as it breaks my train of thought. It a habit that I am unlikely to change.

Trying to sort the bookmarks by subject area I notice that quite a few span multiple areas. Looking through the bookmarks I find that I have often researched topics. I’m thinking that in future it would be easier to gather stored bookmarks around these topics. In this way I can dispense with certain collections of bookmarks once I no longer have need of the topic.

I am regretting starting this process as progress has been slow. I am working through the list, checking that the links still work, seeing if they are still relevant, renaming and finally storing under a suitable category. Once completed I should be left with a nice list of topics that I can easily refer back to.

So far I am not missing the historical bookmarks in the browser.

Poodle SSLv3

Well another week another security issue. This time it is a weakness in SSLv3. This is an older protocol (replaced by TLS) but can still be used in some circumstances. The Mozilla Security Blog article contains details. A quick fix for Firefox users is to install SSL Version Control plugin to disable use of SSLv3. SSLv3 will be disabled by default in Firefox 34 when it is released towards the end of November.

New Theme Time

I have been using the same theme for this site for many years now. Over that time WordPress, which powers the site, has undergone many changes and improvements. In that time the way the WordPress code combines with the theme has changed. This has resulted in my aging theme containing legacy code whilst at the same time not supporting some newer features. I had in the past updated the theme adding in new changes where possible but I think now is the time for a radical change. I'm throwing away the old design and starting again with the twentyfourteen theme as a base. There are design elements which I had been working on with the old theme which I will port across. This approach will hopefully mean a more complete and stable theme for years to come. In the short term there will be things that need adjusting so it's likely to be a little while before the site takes on its final form.

Fibre Broadband

Well I am getting tired of waiting for BE to offer up a fibre broadband product. I had been looking around and comparing a few offers. Ideally I wanted FTTP (Fibre-To-The_Premises) but this is not on offer yet so FTTC (Fibre-To-The-Cabinet) is my only option. The cabinet is a couple of streets away and the online line checkers suggest I might get in the region of 66Mb download and upto 20Mb upload. This would be a vast improvement over my current 10Mb download speeds via ADSL.

My options were limited to SKY, EE and BT. Sky is using an unbundled network, not part of the BT Openreach network, where as EE and BT both run over Openreach. I don't like Sky; I want my Formula 1 live on the BBC not on some satellite channel. In addition the Sky network is apparently over subscribed and sluggish. That leaves EE & BT. I have a T-Mobile contract so I qualify for the discount from EE so the prices between EE & BT on the face of it differ by around £0.25.

I was all set for going to EE but then BT announce that they are removing the traffic shaping restrictions on their network. Previously the stance was P2P connections would be throttled/managed. I never got a clear answer as to what was classed as P2P traffic. Bittorrent traffic is the obvious one but I had heard reports of SSH sessions being restricted. Given the fact that I am more likely to use an SSH session this was a point to consider. The other point was the advanced payment of line rental to BT securing an additional discount (providing I make 2 calls a month and avoid the extra £2 charge). But what happens later if I went with EE and then changed mobile provider? Would I then loose the discount from them? With all this in mind BT was the only option.

The order has now been placed for Infinity2 (upto 76Mb) to be installed in a couple of weeks time 🙂

Neighbours Wifi

I had noticed the odd wifi dropout on my laptop over the past week. It seems I have now found the cause. I have new neighbours and they have set their router up to broadcast at high power on the adjacent channel to me. I have had to move to another channel to restore my signal. I am not happy about this, experiments may need to be conducted.

An Experiment In Web Fonts

DeltaNova might look a little different from today. I have changed the font of the site to something I think is a little easier to read. I am using one of Google's Web Fonts, meaning a font downloaded during the page loading, rather than using the font on your hard disk. Why do this? The main reason is that not all fonts are available on all devices. This was easy to cater for when most people accessed the web with a desktop or laptop with known default fonts, but more people are accessing from varying mobile devices. Using a Web Font will allow me to style the site as I intend it to look without caring what fonts the end user has access to.

So currently I am thinking of sticking with this font. However I have found a small issue. Whilst the site displays correctly on IE & Firefox (Win&Linux) on the desktop I am having mixed results with Chrome on my Nexus 7. The N7 will display correctly in landscape mode but for some reason, portrait mode causes some of the fonts to revert to the fall-back font. I'm left scratching my head on this one but I may need to consider designing a dedicated mobile version of the site.

Google Plus

Over the past few weeks I have found myself using Google+ more and more. I've never been a fan of Facebook and the idea of using a social network built around avoiding some of the Facebook missteps was more appealing. Certainly alot of my friends are not on Google+ but most of the people on Facebook I have added I never speak to anyway.

So what do I like, well maybe I trust Google more than Facebook with regards to privacy and business models. The interface is cleaner and integrates into other Google services that I use. The users of Google+ at this stage are to me more interesting to follow as they are more technology/science/engineering focused. That's not to say that you need to be part of one of these groups to appreciate it. The interface for sharing and communicating I find more appealing. I have yet to use it to its full extent but its there when I need it.

Quick Mailserver Update

I have at long last done a little more work on the mailserver project. The latest thing to report is the addition of dspam to filter out spam. In addition to this clamAV is also integrated.

The next step will be to do some more testing and then plug in another application which should make training and using the spam filter a little easier.

The documentation surrounding the addition of dspam and antivirus to the setup I am working on has been very hard to come by and in some cases is conflicting. Having made significant progress recently I am hoping to eventually have my setup production ready by the end of the year*. *Might as well give myself plenty of time.

Mailserver Project: Another Update

I was hoping to begin this month with news that my mailserver project was reaching the milestone objective of being secure and working, alas it is not to be. The good news is that over the past month I have made significant progress and am in the final stages of securing and testing.

I have dovecot and postfix talking to each other and maildrop filtering the incomming mail. Work at the moment is partly on documenting my decisions and testing processes and partly on implementing the remote authentication over a secure link. I am taking the security aspect quite seriously and as a result it requires extra time to get it right. Currently my documentation/notes are upto 30+ pages in openoffice and I may even split the guide into sections. The SSL certificate generation and usage notes I have been making are quite extensive and can be used to generate self-signed certificates for other applications too.

Fingers crossed another month might be all I need; only time will tell.