Frank Groeneveld's blog

Remote Installation of OpenBSD From Linux

Using a trick documented here, I switched this server from Linux to OpenBSD, without a support installation method for OpenBSD from my ISP. In the original article, the author created a VM disk image and installed OpenBSD in it. The server was then rebooted into rescue mode (from a LiveCD) and the VM was uploaded and written to disk using dd. I modified the documented method a bit to speed up the process.

Basic Concepts of High Availability Linux

When considering to build a high availability cluster based on Linux, it’s easy to find all kinds of how-to’s explaining the basic tooling and configuration. Most of them forget to explain some of the basic concepts of high availability. In this post I’ll try to explain them.

No Need for RVM or Rbenv on OpenBSD

A lot of Ruby on Rails developers install Ruby by using RVM or rbenv. Most of the time this is because their operating system of choice comes without an up-to-date Ruby version. For example, Debian 7 ships Ruby 1.9.3 and Mac OS 10.8 shipped with 1.8.7. Tools like RVM or rbenv can be used to install a newer version in the users own home-directory. These tools use shims to “trick” gem and bundle into using the users own version instead of the system version. I’ve always found this to be a rather messy solution and luckily you don’t need it on OpenBSD.

A Good BSD Versus Linux Explanation

The following link is a good written article about some of the differences between the BSDs (mostly FreeBSD) and Linux. I especially liked this explanation:

It’s been my impression that the BSD communit{y,ies}, in general, understand Linux far better than the Linux communit{y,ies} understand BSD.

» BSD vs Linux

Switched to a Different Google Reader Alternative: Feedbin

Last december I switched to Feed a Fever for RSS reading. I really enjoyed it, but after I while I got fed up with the fact that it didn’t work that well in Firefox on Android and in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone. After some searching I found Feedbin. A hosted RSS reader build by Ben Ubois, which looks just great. I signed up right away and tried it for three days (after that, your credit card will be charged). It didn’t take me the full three days to convince me: it works a lot better than Feed a Fever and I don’t need to host it myself.

Screenshot from 2013-06-23 10:57:36

There is a mobile interface as well, which works great on FIrefox for Android and pretty good on Internet Explorer for Windows Phone. The most annoying problem is the fact that Microsoft decided @font-face was not worth implementing on Windows Phone, which means the icon font that is used for all the icons shows just blank squares. After using Feedbin for an hour, you’ll know all these by heart though.