Turntable Repair Project Update

My old turntable may be back in action soon.

I roped my friend Cliff into giving me a hand figuring out how to repair the cracked and wobbling plastic drive belt pulley. It doubles as a strobe indicator, so repairing it is best. This turntable is a somewhat rare thing from the 70’s. Some parts are still available, but not this strobe pulley.

I think Cliff’s repair job is going to work. Here are a couple photos…

IMG_0882 IMG_0883

You can see the cracked plastic in the close-up picture above. Cliff cut a copper tube for the inner post sleeve, glued in the shards of the original part, and then packed it all in a special epoxy modeling clay. the larger outercopper tube then adds structure and also cut away a bit of excess clay.

Here is what it will look like in position, shown here with the drive belt pulled aside, since the strobe pulley repair is not yet set. it spins freely with no discernible wobble. I think this is going to work!

Pulley in position

Back to the Hack

I took a break this afternoon while my old friend Cliff was here with his kids. Cliff and I fiddled with the repair project on my old turntable (more about that later) while the kids played my piano and guitar and took some photos of the horses.

Now I’m back into the WordPress hacking to get all my IndieWeb stuff set up just-so. This post is a test of my POSSE to Twitter and Facebook.

A better Steve Jobs

I’m looking forward to the new book about Steve Jobs, coming in a few weeks. The Isaacson book was a disappointment, and this one seems (by reports) to do a much better job of capturing the man and the complexity of his story. As Tim Cook says in an interview with Fast Company:

II thought the [Walter] Isaacson book did him a tremendous disservice. It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality. You get the feeling that [Steve’s] a greedy, selfish egomaniac. It didn’t capture the person.

Read the whole article. Just this short piece gives a deeper view of the man.

The Internet and the FCC

On the eve of an important ruling vote at the FCC, Brad Feld has written a great piece on the subject. As he says:

There has been an enormous amount of bombastic rhetoric in the past few months about the issue that has recently become especially politicized in the same way the debate about SOPA/PIPA unfolded.


Indeed. And Feld continues on to debunk a few of the most ridiculous ideas and provides links to several other articles going into details. A worthy read.

New Servers Update

My new server at Digital Ocean is up and running. Ubuntu 14.04, with Nginx (LEMP stack).

Why Move?

It had been a while since I bothered much with my website. My interest in IndieWeb got me refocused on some interesting technical details and provided the extra push to get me moving.

A big decision came when I realized that my old web hosting company, which I had used for years, didn’t support SNI, and probably wasn’t going to anytime soon. This meant moving a few WordPress sites and a couple Rails and Flask projects, and that was going to be a bit of work. I’ve been doing *nix system administration for about 3 decades, so I wasn’t worried about getting stuck, but I also had a pretty good idea of the time and work involved.

Nerding Out

I looked quickly through the hosting recommendations at IndiewebCamp.com and did a little up-to-date checking of the particulars. It was a close decision, but I ended up going with Digital Ocean — partially because of their great documentation and active community.

I chose Ubuntu mostly because I had already set up a small home projects server on an old PC with Ubuntu 14.04, and it made sense to stick to the same until I had some compelling reason to do something different.

My knowledge of Apache is not up-to-date, so I was facing a learning-curve no matter what I did. And Nginx seemed to be popular for a lot of reasons that made sense for my situation. It’s light-weight, flexible and configurable, and the Digital Ocean docs seemed comprehensive on topics from basic LEMP stack setup to nitty-gritty topics like OCSP Stapling. So I dove in.

The basic setup to get the server configured, the LEMP stack in place, and my home site and main wordpress sites running took only a few hours, spread over a saturday afternoon and a few evenings. I flipped the DNS to the new server and was running.

The fancier stuff took a while longer. In calendar time, it’s been about a month, but I only worked on this a couple evenings a week.


The Results

I now have my own blog, my cooking blog, and our family site (which I created while learning a bit about BootStrap and HTML5/CSS3) all running and even getting an A+ rating on the Qualsys SSL test for all the domains.


Next Steps

I haven’t decided whether to setup my Rails and Flask experiments on this server, since I now have the little home server for that kind of thing. And I have a to finish moving the posts from an old business site into my personal site under a post category. But mostly, I’m just looking forward to getting back to this kind of writing and continuing my experiments with IndieWeb stuff.



Moving to a new server

I have moved my site (several of them, actually) to a new server. Unfortunately, my old host doesn’t yet support SNI, and I was up for annual renewal and just decided to make the leap to a different provider. It’s also an opportunity for me to duplicate my environment on my web server and on the little server I’ve cobbled together at home using an old PC.

Both are running Ubuntu 14.04, with nginx as the web server, and a variety of other basic stuff. Setting all this up is a fun learning experience for me, getting back into my *nix roots and working with some of the latest tools.

More on details of this later.