Monthly Update – May 2020
BACKSTORY: I used to use Facebook and Twitter a lot. Then I encountered a crazy, stalker troll and stopped using social media. I then found Mastodon and that was cool, but I realized I don't need social media in my daily life. I pop onto Mastodon once a month to browse a bit. This monthly update is sort of a journal entry for me, and a way to remember the good and bad of every month.
GoodReads Reading Challenge 2020
I'm up to 73 books read so far this year. It feels like I'm going to smash my 100 book goal this year.
Supporting Good Causes
The only power we each seem to wield is where our money goes, so I've tried to funnel some money to some projects I really care about.
- Causeway Books 銅鑼灣書店 Remember the HK book sellers that China was kidnapping because they were publishing books that were critical of the CCP? Well one of them, Lam Wing-Kee has moved to Taiwan and opened up his bookstore again. I went there and bought a book to support him. 銅鑼灣書店－台灣重啟 -台北市南京西路5-1號10樓、捷運中山站3號出口附近
- Yunohost I've been using Yunohost to self-host Nextcloud, Pihole, and even this blog for the past year now. They recently released an awesome update (more information below) and I thought it was about time I supported them financially.
- #自由之籽 TOTE BAG by Project R Support HK protesters AND get a badass tote bag? I'm in. Those protesters are courageous, the least I can do is send them a few bucks.
- Hong Kong Free Press A non-profit English language newspaper in HK. This is my primary source to keep up with what's really happening in HK. I also get a really cool tote bag designed by Badiucao. HK is going to need a non-CCP news source in these dark days ahead. It seems China is trying to squeeze the last bit of freedom out of HK.
Yunohost recently released version 3.8 and it is awesome.
If you don't know what Yunohost is, check their website or read my review.
- Diagnosis > New diagnosis system : The configuration of a server is complex and prone to a lot of small errors, that’s why we have set up a brand new diagnostic system 23 that analyzes different parameters such as: the possibility to access the server from outside, the DNS records, port forwarding, system resources… (Disclaimer: this feature is still experimental and being polished)
- Xmpp upload – now I use XMPP with my wife instead of Signal! >Support for XMPP file uploads : You can now send files through XMPP using you YunoHost server! Metronome also gets upgraded to version 3.14. (N.B. : for the XMPP upload to work, make sure to add the corresponding DNS record and to force-renew your certificate)
New School Laptop
It's amazing how a computer from 2020 could be so much faster than my Macbook Pro from 2010. It's so damn zippy. This is now the first time I've used Linux on a new laptop. I usually only get to install it on older, hand-me-down computers.
While searching for reading material for my students, I stumbled upon this app. It is free until the end of June! I quickly got my students setup on it, and they have collectively read 1100 books in one month already! I did say I would give them a pizza party if they hit that level, so that might be part of the enthusiasm.
Anyways, it's always free for teachers so now my kids will have access to 40,000 books and comics! So rad.
There are even books for 'adults' in there. I read some of the adventure time comics hehe.
I've been wrestling with it for a week. It seems so easy to setup, but deceptively so. I did make some progress: at one point I saw a handshake on one side of the connection, but I can't ping the Wireguard IPs from both directions and traffic doesn't seem to be routed through it.
I've followed multiple tutorials but nothing as worked as of yet. For now, to let my Nextcloud connect from school network to my Yunohost at home, I've been using Tor Socks5 proxy. It works quite well.
Blockada – Android App
Shout out to the awesome app Blockada on F-Droid. It creates a local VPN that blocks ads and spyware. It's like a mobile version of Pi-hole. Check it out!
Ahhhhhhh is it pretty good yet? I'm waiting as long as I can. My phone is still cracked, and front camera doesn't work but I want to hold out as long as possible to get a more stable version of Pinephone.