Craig Weber

Just make your own language

TL;DR: Musings about "just make your own language" as a trite retort to programming language criticism and how "rewrite it in Rust" might be threatening that attitude.


I've been programming since the early 2000s. I started in PHP, and then learned Java, Python, C, and C++. In the early days especially, programming communities were super toxic. If you had questions and didn't read The Correct Textbook About The Blessed Programming Language™️, you would be berated. If you did read said textbook and it didn't address your question, you would still be berated for trying to do something outside of the instruction of The Correct Textbook (if The Correct Textbook™️ doesn't discuss it, then you don't need it, heretic!).

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Fallout: easy(ish) installation on macOS (Apple Silicon)

Having just finished the TV series of the same title, I figured it would be a good time to replay one of my favorite games from my teenage years: Fallout, but I don't own a Windows computer and the game was never released for macOS. Fortunately, the excellent Fallout Community Edition project faithfully reimplements the game, although the installation instructions for macOS are, for the moment, a mess. While those instructions are being ironed out in the issue tracker, I'm hoping this guide can help anyone who just wants to play the game on a Mac with minimal fuss.

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Efficient SSG with CSP

In this post, I'm going to discuss my new static site generator which uses communicating sequential processes (also known as "actors") to efficiently build a static site from source, improving performance on the order of 10X (on my laptop) by efficiently using all available cores.

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Overlayroot Problem Statement

This week I've been looking at overlayroot as a potential solution to reduce the effort to make changes to the nodes in my Raspberry Pi cluster. In this post I want to brain-dump about the problem I'm hoping it solves and the problems I'm running into with respect to implementing overlayroot as well as potential solutions that I'm exploring.

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Moving blog to EC2 Spot Instance

We recently moved from Chicago to Des Moines, and we're staying in an AirBnB for a couple months while we look for the right house to buy. In the meanwhile, most of our stuff (including critical components of my homelab) are in storage, which means my blog wasn't running. In this transient period, I figured I would try to run my blog in the cloud, and while there are easier and even cheaper options, I decided to try out running it on EC2 in order to learn a bit more about traditional Linux system administration. This post will document the approach I arrived at.

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Update

I'm starting a new series where I briefly discuss what I've been working on, what I've read, and what I'd like to explore. I'm just calling it "Update" because I know I can't commit to any particular schedule. To find out what I've been thinking about recently, read on.

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Securely expose private service for cheap

Disclaimer: This is not a production-grade solution

At home I have a Raspberry Pi Kubernetes cluster running, among other things, this blog (or at least at the time of this writing). One of my goals for this cluster is to keep my cloud/SaaS/etc costs down below $5/month. Another goal is to avoid poking holes in my home router's firewall.

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Working around ext4 on MacOS

One of the maddening things about MacOS is that it lacks ext4 file system support. This is a bummer because I use ext4 on many of my external hard drives as well as boot volumes for various headless Linux machines. Once in a while, these boot drives become corrupted (due to user error) and I find myself wanting to mount the file system on another system to repair the error. Ideally I can just pop it in a SATA<->USB adapter and mount it on my Mac, but alas...

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Changelog

I worked on this blog for several hours this weekend, releasing a new post, implementing a couple new features and fixing some bugs. Here are the highlights:

  • Published the first entry in my Homelab series
  • Fixed a bug on iPad that was causing a ~300% zoom
  • Implemented syndication (atom feed)
  • Fixed broken relative links in post snippets
  • Reduced coupling between markdown and site configuration
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Homelab Part I: Hardware

For hardware, I settled on Raspberry Pi 4Bs. They support up to 8GB of RAM (enough power to run the k3s master nodes) and USB 3.0 for fast external SSD I/O. The only downside of the 4Bs is that they require more power than the 3Bs, and the same multiport USB power supplies that could support a 3B cluster couldn't support a 4B cluster. To solve for this, I decided on PoE hats and a PoE switch. This halves the number of cables that need to be run to each Pi, which makes the Pi cluster that much more enjoyable and easy on the eyes.

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