• Installing ShellInABox on Debian, Ubuntu, Devuan, etc and configuring for white-on-black GUI

    Posted in Developing Software on Jun 21, 2021

    You can install shellinabox with your Debian-flavored package manager with a single command:

    sudo apt install shellinabox

    White text on black screen

    The default setting is a white screen with black text. You can right-click to switch it, but if you're like me you'll want to set it to black screen with white text as a default.

    From the git repository, pull down the CSS needed to make the change:

    sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/shellinabox/shellinabox/master/shellinabox/white-on-black.css -O /etc/shellinabox/white-on-black.css

    Then open the shellinabox config file for editing:

    sudo n...

  • Configure one-time-password (a.k.a. 2FA or MFA) in Apache using mod_authn_otp and FreeOTP

    Posted in Developing Software on Jun 21, 2021

    I did this on a Devuan system, which is basically Ubuntu without systemd. This not a well-known distro, so your mileage may vary, but I think it will all work as described on vanilla Ubuntu or similar Debian-based flavors. At the end of this article is a list of URLs I used while putting this all together, you can check into them for tips to get things working if you run into issues.

    1. Install the required packages:
    sudo apt install git apache2-dev build-essential qrencode
    1. Use git to pull down the latest code, then cd to changedir into the directory you just created:
    git clone https://githu...

  • Configure one-time-password (a.k.a. 2FA or MFA) in SSH using libpam-oath and FreeOTP

    Posted in Developing Software on Jun 21, 2021

    I did this on a Devuan system, which is basically Ubuntu without systemd. This not a well-known distro, so your mileage may vary, but I think it will all work as described on vanilla Ubuntu or similar Debian-based flavors. At the end of this article is a list of URLs I used while putting this all together, you can check into them for tips to get things working if you run into issues.

    1. Install the required packages:
    sudo apt install libpam-oath oathtool qrencode nano
    1. Generate a 10-digit hexadecimal key:
    KEY=$( head -c 1024 /dev/urandom | openssl sha1 | awk '{ print $2 }' | head -c 10 )
    1. Now...

  • In which I realize my life now is a fractal of a beautiful idea from 24 years ago

    Posted in Everything, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on Jun 19, 2021

    The following quote brings a compelling moment of perception into clear view.

    Dinah is keen that I not misquote her by writing something as sentimental and clich├ęd as "being at one with the universe." So she describes a process in which there was a "dissolution of the self" and a "melting away of barriers." She remembers the moment when concepts like "internal" and "external" no longer held true. "I'm not just standing there, looking out at the world anymore. I'm part of the world." After a lengthy pause while she harvests the right phrase, Dinah refers to this fleeting moment as "a state of p...

  • Installing Mx Linux or Ubuntu, Debian, etc. on MacBook Air

    Posted in Developing Software on Jun 09, 2021

    I was oddly not able to find quick hits on this topic when I searched, so I finally just tried it, and it worked so easily I was quite surprised.

    As a long-time attempter-of-things-so-new-that-they-often-fail, I remember when it was a hassle to install Linux on Mac. For years it was frustrating. I guess all the hitches are worked out. Bought a MacBook Air from 2010 from someone, wondering if I could get Linux running on it. I did the following:

    1. burned a USB flash drive with Mx Linux ISO using Etcher
    2. inserted said USB into the MacBook Air
    3. held down the Option button before the chime while star...

  • How many fragments of infinity does it take to make one complete infinity?

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation, Pre-Preprint Stuff on Jun 04, 2021

    A fragment of infinity happens when we count "one, two, three, four," or any sequential series of numbers, and conclude it by saying "and so forth, unto infinity." Note, this not infinity, it is only a fragment of it, which represents it.

    We symbolize this repeated iteration with an ellipses, three dots which mean "and so forth, infinitely." This is how "1,2,3,4..." is a fragment of infinity to represent infinity.

    We say that it represents an infinite sequence, meaning the full, complete infinity.

    However, an infinity of fragments of infinity are still not enough to make one complete infinity....

  • Accessing OPNSense Web UI running within Proxmox on the WAN interface by disabling reply-to

    Posted in Developing Software on Jun 04, 2021

    After I migrated from pfSense to OPNSense for my firewall embedded within a Proxmox lab, I was stumped for two days looking for this obscure setting. It was a problem right out of the box: After I got the interfaces configured and assigned static IPs for the two network interfaces, I tried and tried to gain access to the Web UI using the WAN interface. It worked great from the LAN interface, but was invisible to WAN.

    You may already know it is not a good practice to access a firewall from its WAN interface. That is true, unless you're using the firewall's WAN interface to connect to your local...

  • Insight into Time and its relationship to Good and Evil

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on May 28, 2021

    In a series of meditations on the nature of infinity while in the process of developing a larger concept of a new kind of mathematical infinity -- a super-infinity which contains all possible infinities in an intuitively-coherent way -- I have been bumping into the relationship between time and infinity every now and then, always as a fragment of a larger thought experiment looking at infinity from some different angle, and not able to really explore the relationship in much depth.

    Used to tangents, I have learned that after an idea reappears like this a number of times in my thoughts, it can ...

  • In the "Sense of an Ending" is a sense of equilibrium

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Phlosphy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on May 03, 2021

    Reading D.G. Leahy's writing is to me an experience that feels like reading Isaiah. It is obviously densely packed with meaning, but so inscrutable, it's like reading hieroglyphs must have been before the Rosetta Stone was found -- glimpses of meaning percolate up through the text in iridiscent bubbles and burst evanescently before the mind which is trying to penetrate to the scrutable layer. And then they fade away.

    But I really want to understand! I even said out loud, a few minutes ago while attempting to crack the walnut of D. G. Leahy's writing: "I really want to understand this!" and yet...

  • Perambulating the moon should be a playful thing

    Posted in Everything, Phlosphy Stuff on Apr 28, 2021

    Getting to the moon will happen in stages. The new contract just awarded to SpaceX is for the most critical stage, which has 3 steps: 1. Dropping out of moon orbit to land on the moon, 2. exploring the moon for a week, 3. departing from the moon.

    The contract is for one test flight with no one aboard, and one more with astronauts. The rocket is huge (see illustration). SpaceX says they can do this by the 2024 deadline for $3 billion, which seems surprisingly small considering the two billionaires bidding against each other for this contract are each worth well over fifty times that amount, ma...