Posted in 2018

Getting on With Gutenberg

It seems like you can’t use anything these days without spending a good amount of time trying to keep up with changes to the product you’re using. My partner frequently complains about apps on her phone being updated, only to find that entire sections of the UI have changed with seemingly no warning. It is a frustration, to be sure, and following mailing lists, forums, and Slack (grr) groups to keep up with everything is an exhausting experience, but it is also something that is becoming more and more necessary as we enter the age of the rolling release. One such change I’ve become aware of having set up my first WordPress site in a few years is the switch to Gutenberg in the upcoming WordPress 5. Never one to be left behind on such advances, I installed the plugin and started playing around with the “future of WordPress”.

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Baku Social

I’ve been looking for a project recently to teach me some more about various technologies, specifically public cloud stuff like AWS and container tech like Docker. I have been looking to get into this stuff for a little while and even previously hosted on of my blogs on a container OS, but that was shortlived due to too many headaches with Wordpress containers. For the last few months I had also been looking for a way to replace Spotify - which I had left behind due to privacy concerns, costs, and library limitations (I listen to some… weird stuff). So when I heard about Funkwhale I decided this would be a good opportunity to give the whole Docker/Cloud thing a go.

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Thermy

So I’ve been saying for a number of years that I’d really like to get into app development, but have never really had a project to work on. This is usually my struggle. I am the sort of person who learns by doing, but until I have a need to do something I can’t bring myself to learn.

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Elementary OS Juno

I have contributed translations to the Elementary OS project and have been an active Patreon supporter since April 2018. I don’t think of myself as particularly biased, but it’s best to mention these things

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Apple: Drink the Cider

Let me get this off my chest right now. I hate Apple. I hate iOS. I hate macOS. I hate the software, the hardware, and the ethos of Apple. To my mind, Apple represents the very worst of the technology industry: devices which are hard to use, easy to break, and difficult to fix. Therefore, I’m never surprised when I see news stories like this one.

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Personal Matters

This post is more of a rant than anything technical. In fact, it’s more of a moan born of recent frustrations. Nevertheless, this is my website. Where better to moan?

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New Site

As the astute among you may have noticed, this site has undergone some changes over the last couple of days. That’s because I’ve now completely moved away from Wordpress and destroyed my old server in favour of a different provider.

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Deploying and Controlling Google Chrome Settings Using Microsoft Intune

Righto. This one has given me a mild headache for the last couple of days, but I’ve found a workable solution that allows me to set a home page for users in Chrome. You would have thought that would be really easy, right? Well, Google in its infinite wisdom has decided that conventional Windows management is for wusses. So down the rabbit hole we go.

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Microsoft Teams Deployment Headaches

So you want to use Microsoft Teams in your organisation, huh? Are you prepared for the pain? The lack of documentation? The feeling of utter exasperation at a company unable to properly consider the needs of enterprise customers in their new “modern” approach? Well, I’m here to share my experiences with you so that hopefully you can avoid some of the pain I had to go through in getting this all ready for our upcoming rollout.

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Back to the Drawing Board

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying out new things. New to me, anyway. And as you might expect, I’m really bad at them. Let’s talk about that!

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Some More Windows Work

It’s been a little while since I last posted here. I’ve been having a very busy and productive time at work. Let’s jump in to some of the stuff I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks. Come on! It’ll be fun!

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Knit and Perl

I mostly seem to hang out with coders. It seems that the people with whom I most frequently interact are computer scientists or software developers. I don’t really know why, other than they are the only people crazy enough to use Riot for their day-to-day communications and chatroom facility. For this reason, I’m surrounded by programming with little to no comprehension of what is going on the majority of the time. Attempts to explain even the most basic things to me usually end up with me staring blankly and nodding my head hoping that nobody realises I’m the idiot in the room.

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PGP Problems Promise Pounding Headaches

At the moment, information on this flaw is scarce, so as always it’s best to wait until the paper is published (which EFF says will be done at 07:00 UTC on May 15th). However, there are some things we can clear up from the start.

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A Reluctant Return to Windows

I have lived a Windows-free life for a good long while now, using the OS only at work and leaving my home setup free of Microsoft’s influence. However, with the upcoming shift to Windows 10 in my place of work (which I will be helping to develop) and my need to study PowerShell and Hyper-V for my 70-410 exam, I decided to bite the bullet and once again load Windows 10 Professional on to my machine. This is nothing more than a brain dump of my experience on returning. Let it be known that I do not hate Windows as many Linux enthusiasts do; indeed, I’ve been very impressed with many of the advances that Microsoft has been making across their product lines. However, my experiences with it have been patchy at best.

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Acclimitising to New Tech

My team recently moved away from a (frankly old and creaking) ManageEngine ServiceDesk solution to JIRA for our Helpdesk. This has been met mostly with dismay by the majority of my team, so much so that I am one of the only people in the office still excited about the upgrade. As always, there were teething issues during the initial upgrade, but a few months on everything is more or less stable and we have lots of ideas for how to evolve the product. So why do the rest of the team still bemoan the product so much?

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Another Day Another Intel Fail

A few years ago, I’d have been shocked to see the sort of vulnerabilities I see announced these days once a year, let alone once a month. But the rise of cybersecurity as a respected industry has led to the big companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Canonical, etc. pulling up their socks and crushing vulnerabilities in a timely manner. This is all great, except for those of us whose job it is to deploy these fixes.

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Uncontrolled Devices: Not Even Once

I’m a systems administrator by trade (or as I often find myself writing, a “systemd administrator” since that cancerous piece of bloatware consumes most of my troubleshooting life). It is, therefore, perhaps unsurprising that I like having control over the devices in my home. I refuse to use Apple devices apart from the one I have to use for work, I allow only GNU/Linux devices to be used on our home WiFi, and while my rooted Android phone is still somewhat lacking in end-user control, I plan to replace it with the Librem 5 when it launches.

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Deploying Sophos in a Production environment

AntiVirus is a necessary evil. With the world more connected than ever before, every device needs protection and tools to allow administrators oversight. Currently, the AV I work with is Sophos; cloud-based solution for Windows, Mac, and Linux. When I was working on the frontline, I quickly became aware that Sophos did not deploy during imaging as it had initially done, nor could it easily be pushed out via SCCM. We spent a long time going around to each freshly imaged machine and loading Sophos on, rebooting the machine, and logging tickets to have its policy applied. This did not sit right with me, so upon my move to the systems team I decided to have a crack at simplifying the process.

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