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Old Posts

Working on a new comment system

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. In the previous post, I walked through setting up Discourse, a Ruby-based web forum. I'm in the process of shifting this blog's comment system from Disqus, which I've never been wholly comfortable with, over to using Discourse instead. There is being done via a plug-in for Octopress currently under development by one of the posters over at the main Discourse development forum. Why ditch Disqus? There are several reasons, but the biggest is the privacy concerns. Disqus tracks users' movement across Disqus-enabled web sit…

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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 It may contain broken links and outdated information.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 It may contain broken links and outdated information.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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Platforms and value judgments

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. N.B. This is a personal post. I promise to keep this kind of thing extremely rare, and to do more technical posts soon. My name is Lee, and I am a Mac user. There, I said it. I'm a dirty, dirty Mac user, and I'm okay with that. My intent with this blog was for it to remain purely technical, with no personal entries at all; I've been down that road before with my last blog and it didn't end well. However, an article went up this past weekend on Ars where the staff posted pictures of their office desks, and the amount of…

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Adventures in Varnish

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. In the previous entry, I touched briefly on how some experimentation with Blitz.io led to me installing Varnish Cache on the Bigdino web server. Varnish Cache is a fast and powerful web accelerator, which works by caching your web site's content (html and css files, javascript files, images, font files, and whatever else you got) in RAM. It differs from other key-based web cache solutions (like memcache) by not attempting to reinvent the wheel with respect to storing and accessing its cache contents; rather than potenti…

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