welcome to unrelenting.technology

Hi, I'm Greg, and this is my personal website where I post notes from my adventures in taming computers and software, among other things.

You can interact with posts on this website using your own website, if you set up IndieWeb things on it! (More specifically, sending Webmentions from h-entry formatted post pages.)

Software projects

Upcoming iced+Wayfire based desktop environment
Rust library for gathering system info
The engine powering this website
Browser extension for fixing bad audio
Entry editor for Micropub-enabled websites
Upcoming rolling release desktop focused FreeBSD variant

Current posts

Shower thought: Google App Engine was the original AWS Lambda of the late 2000s.

Okay, it literally was not, it was just “platform as a service”, morally equivalent to Heroku, right? Well, sure it didn’t have all the non-web event handling stuff, but it was in many ways closer to Lambda than to Heroku. Namely it did not run just any app, it would “insert itself into your code” – e.g. Python WSGI apps had to be adapted with a special module – which is exactly how it is in Lambda!

And around 2010 GAE did feel like the place for letting someone else run your random hobby project for free “forever”. Well, hm, any PaaS or FaaS with a free tier should be like that. Soooo I just went to check if this ancient project is up. Nope. I guess with the absorption of GAE into Google Cloud, things changed so much that not ever signing into GCloud (and so not accepting new terms etc.) leads to the app being shut down. Well, that kind of thing is very much expected from Google by now.

This website is now fully owned by Bezos very very Serverless™! Built using mildly forked Zola in GitHub Actions, uploaded to S3, content-delivered via CloudFront. And even DNS is now Route 53, otherwise properly having CloudFront on an apex (bare) domain would be difficult. Webmentions are outsourced to Webmention.io (+ a tiny endpoint converting their webhook to GitHub rebuild command is hosted on Glitch) and micropub is gone, at least for now. (When I have nothing better to do I might just make an app running in Lambda that would edit the git repo in response to Micropub requests, send outgoing webmentions, be a custom auth endpoint, eventually also handle incoming webmentions, and so on.)

I’m glad I only did this now: CloudFront Functions did not exist until a few months ago. With this functionality, it is a quite capable CDN. Still clunky and weird in some aspects though (e.g. “Default Root Object” applying even after a Function rewrites /something/ to / was quite surprising)

I really haven’t been posting on my website, have I? Yeah… I kinda don’t always have the energy/motivation/time to maintain a website like this.

BTW the choice to generate static HTML in sweetroll2 really helped with keeping the website up. For the last couple months (?) the backend was down because the Mnesia DB for the job queue somehow got messed up. But that was fine as long as I wasn’t posting, the pages were still up.

Maybe I’ll reinvent the backend once again.. with more “cloud” outsourcing to get rid of as much maintenance as possible.. or something.

Noticed the mgb driver for Microchip LAN7430 (/31) NIC in FreeBSD commit logs. Huh, interesting stuff: Microchip publishes so much documentation.. a “Programmer’s Guide” PDF with lots of driver pseudocode, and even evaluation board design files!

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