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Thibault – Author’s Note

Since I last wrote, and started searching around, I have found a record of one sale through Christies of a copy that changed hands for around €19,500 in 2009. There’s some interesting details there around that physical copy, including the size, listed as 550 mm x 410 mm, which is roughly the size of an A2 page. As I said last time, this is a big book.

If you are looking to be able to leaf through the images, the National Library of Netherlands has most of the images up on line, and you may care to have a look at the Wiktenauer page for the book for some background.

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Thibault – Introduction

I have in recent weeks began re-reading Academie de l’Espee by Gerard Thibault d’Anvers, for a variety of reasons. Sadly my virtually non-existent French means I am reading the 2005 translation by John Michael Greer. To my surprise and delight, re-reading after having left it alone for several years I find it opening up for me, and it makes much more sense than it did the first few times.

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On Git Submodules…

Git Submodules. Just Say No. Not Even Once.

Docker and Consul and DNS, oh my

I’m still trying to wrap my head around networking when it comes to Docker and related technologies – I think because a lot of the documentation and examples around are either not quite correct, or are subtly out of date. I’ve noticed too that a lot of the writing out there around setting up Docker and/or Consul hand waves away the trickiness of the networking. Particularly egregious is the blithe insistence on just specifying host networking for all containers, something that the Docker project itself frowns upon.

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Lovely Rita Meter Maid…

The saga of the non-functioning SourceLondon / PodPoint units in Woolwich Arsenal continues, with the lightning pace usually associated with continental drift, and the rise and fall of mountain ranges.

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SSL Made Easy

Time for a shout-out to DreamHost, who have partnered with LetsEncrypt to make using SSL with this website very, very easy. DreamHost have always aimed to make many actions against the site push-button, with sensible defaults, and clear documentation, and generating and attaching the certificate was a walk in the park.

I was a little surprised to see the certificate expiring so soon, but LetsEncrypt’s rationale is very sound: re-rolling certificates can and should be automated, and limiting the life time of a certificate automatically limits the exposure if the certificate is subverted. It is very much in line with a core idea that they have: the default for HTTP traffic should be across SSL, or in some other way encrypted.

For me, the process was as simple as pushing the buttons on the DreamHost control panel, then do a bulk find-and-replace on my site to update any http links to be https. I will probably have to chase around the interwebs to find where I’ve published the old URL, but I’m pretty sure I’ve found and updated the important ones already.

PropertySource-1.0

Having a little time up my sleeve, and a need to be off my feet for as much as possible… wait, did I mention that? Somewhere in the last six weeks I’ve done something undefined to my feet, which are painfully sore to walk on. I think that I managed to sprain one or more of the muscles that usually wiggle my toes, and as a result walking has felt like I’ve had stones in my shoes. Since I had a few unexpected extra days off, I elected to sit on my butt as much as possible and bang away at a little project that I’ve had hanging around for ages: PropertySource, which is a simple abstraction for finding “properties”. The code and README are there in GitHub, and there’s pointers on use from the README.

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Feeling blue

It has been said somewhere… and therein lies the state of the art when writing something that sounds profound on the Internet in the first half of the 21st century. Somewhere or other I read, unattributed, or with forgotten attribution, something vaguely like what I’m about to repeat without attribution: Greater London as a city does not really exist, instead it is dozens and dozens of small villages that have expanded until they have grown into each other.

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While they waited and listened in awe…

Erect and sublime, for one moment of time,
In the next, that wild figure they saw
(As if stung by a spasm) plunge into a chasm,
While they waited and listened in awe.

Benighted PodPoint Gill-Hank is now standing proudly and boldly erect!

Yes indeed, workers from Berkeley were out over the last few days hauling the corpse upright and repairing the pavement to keep it that way. Not, of course, that the unit actually functions.

When quizzed by Delia, the workers told her they had been instructed by Berkeley to make it look better…

Why Electric?

Ten reasons why having virtually all vehicles on London roads would be an outstanding idea:

1. You could walk down Oxford Street or Regent Street without needing an oxygen mask;

2. Birds would stop falling out of the sky, asphyxiated, when they crossed the M25;

3. It would be quiet enough to hear the sweet song of birds, or at least the raucous yelling of seagulls;

4. Everyone would be able to hear the music they are playing in their cars, instead of it being drowned by the engine noise;

5. Cyclists will be able to hear you when you shout at them;

6. You will be able to hear what they cyclists are shouting at you;

7. All the other drivers will be able to hear the conversation you are having with the cyclist;

8. Watching tourists trying to scurry across the road through the traffic becomes even funnier;

9. London would insouciantly brush off rising oil prices, except in the square mile of the City;

10. Forget custom ring tones – think custom ersatz engine noises…