Using Signal Every Day
At the beginning of the year (2017) I made something of a push with friends and family to get them on to a secure-by-default communication platform, Signal. Here we are at the end of April and I thought I’d share some notes. So far Signal has been quite functional. It is a success way for mobile devices to communicate securely. Friends and family members of all degrees of computer savvy are using it succesfully to communicate one-to-one and in groups.…more
Trying out Prezto for ZSH
I spend more time in a command line environment that most of the people I know (this is not a competition, and if it were there wouldn’t be any winners), and I’m a bit fickle. I’ve been using Oh my ZSH for a while, with the agnoster theme. It’s pretty and highly functional. Oh My ZSH However, being the fickle kind of guy I am I decied to try out Prezto.…more
It's a good gift
I got a fidgit cube for my birthday. It’s an excellent toy.
Imperfect software happens; I'm going to keep using Lastpass
In news that should really surprise nobody, recent security audits of popular password management software, Lastpass, discovered flaws in the code. For good reasons, people are very sensitive about problems in their password management software, and major flaws need to be discovered and fixed. How should you react when a major flaw is discovered in something as critical as your password management tool? I would recommend taking a look at the providers response, and basing your reaction on that.…more
When does an evil GM become truly evil?
As a GM, its basically my job to be evil. Not in the traditional sense, but one of the tasks assigned to me is to throw some peril and hardship at my players. Step on their characters hopes and dreams at least a little. Make their stories fraught with bad guys and challenges. It’s my job to make sure that victory doesn’t come free and that at the end of the game they feel like they accomplished something.…more
I'm going to keep using VPNs for a while longer (you probably should too)
I’ve been using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for a while now. I’ve used them on-and-off while traveling in the past, as well as for remote access and punching through security firewalls. After I switched to Verizon for wireless connectivity I started using them on my phone more or less full time, since Verizon is netorious about messing with it’s customers data (search for “verizon supercookie” for a prime example).…more
Intrigue vs Annoyingly Vague GM
I’m a fan of intrigue in my games. It’s been a while since I’ve run any kind of standard adventure romp where there are clear cut villains and goals. Hopefully this is not to my players detriment. What I’d like to spend a little bit if time considering is where the line is when mystery stops being fun and is just an annoying lack of information. I’m currently running the first case of my Dresden Files game, The Day of Bad Dreams.…more
Codemichael.net, now with automation
Over the last couple of weekends I’ve been doing some work on adding automation to codemichael.net. I already had most of my configs out on github, but now I’ve updated that repo to include Ansible playbooks for the automated deploy and updating of my hosts. I haven’t nearly gotten everything that I want to do yet, but I’ve mad a good first pass. The updates in the repo include automated installation of base packages such as Nginx, Letsencrypt, and Mariadb, download, configuration and updating my deployments of the Ghost blogging platform, and installation of Hastebin (moving away from my modern-paste install).…more
When you have a group that’s been playing for a long time, it’s hard to lose a player. I’ve mostly been running our Friday nights over the last 6 years and during that time we’ve had a minimum of player loss. After our first major campaign we ended up losing one of our players. There was some real life issues and I think there might have been some lingering hard feelings between two of the players.…more
VR in Linux working!
This week Valve released the beta for their SteamVR on Linux. It’s not quite ready for general consumption yet, but with a little bit of effort I was able to get it working on my Arch Linux install. At launch there appear to only be two functional applications, Destinations and DOTA2 (spectator). I’ve tested both, and it’s working well, although it’s definitely a first pass. Performance was passable, but still needs a lot of work.…more