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Custom Twitter URL shortening and image uploading

I don't know what normal people do on days off from work, but I do things that are too esoteric even to write about for Ars Technica because...because I think there's something wrong with me. So, last Friday I spent a few hours setting up a vanity URL shortening service and custom image uploading service for Twitter, so I can, I don't know, be cooler than everyone else. It was surprisingly fun! First, though, the annoying caveat: Twitter already shortens every link with its service, and you can't opt out. The reasons they give are mostly marginal and downplay the fact that aggregate click…

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Setting up Discourse with Passenger and Nginx

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. Hi there, visitors from Google! The procedure outlined here will work to get Discourse up and running, but you are way, way better off following the official Discourse installation guide and utilizing the Discourse Docker image. Proceed below at your own risk! I like fiddling with new software and seeing if I can make it work—that's what most of this blog is about, in fact. Most of the web-based apps I've walked through deploying have been written with PHP, but there's a fancy new bit of Ruby-based forum software that I…

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Node.js, Redis, and Etherpad

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. Etherpad Lite is a real-time collaborative text editor which allows multiple users to simultaneously fiddle with a document. Everyone can see everyone else's changes in real time, which is really cool. The "lite" tag after the name is there because the Etherpad Lite project was spawned from the ashes of the original Etherpad project, which itself was snapped up by Google and transformed into the ill-fated Google Wave. Wave was never really all that popular and has since been killed, but the core idea is still…

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