I mentioned in the previous post about my DIY network monitoring that I’d put the code up eventually, and that time is (or was) now. It’s still not really cleaned up, but if you want to run it, you can do that now.
It requires fping, which is a tool you should be able to install from your package manager. It’s basically ping but with slightly better output for script use.
I’ve been posting images on Twitter and elsewhere lately that are largely green squares with red dots on them. While I intend to write a longer post on that later, for now, I’ll make a quick explanation of them.
Each pixel represents a test done on one second; each row is 300 pixels, or 5 minutes. Seconds go from left to right, top to bottom, and hours are ticked off by marks along the right edge. Faster times are denoted with darker greens, getting lighter as they approach 100ms, and turning yellow as they reach 500ms. Packets that aren’t received within half a second are marked lost, and show up in red.
Ideally, I wouldn’t have had to make this tool, but we’ve had three different cable technicians inspect our equipment with no improvement, and we’ve also purchased a newer modem. While the new modem helped, it’s only because it’s able to achieve even more out-of-spec power levels, and not because the old one was faulty.
Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to correlate this to anything going on inside or outside our apartment, so all we can do is monitor what’s happening for now… and use it as further evidence that the problem still isn’t fixed.
Jul‘s a forum I run. If you’ve been around me for a while, you’ve probably heard of it. It’s a fork of an ancient forum, both in the sense of community (from Acmlm’s Board) and software (Acmlmboard). They were created by (surprise) Acmlm back in early 2001, 18 years ago. The community went through a lot of… turbulence over the years, branching into several different, smaller communities, before mostly settling down around 2010.
While a full genealogy chart is a little much for the first post about it, especially at 11:40 PM, there are a lot of variants and forks of the code, as well as several attempts to recreate it. Jul runs on a version that’s more similar to the original than most modern ones, though.
As most of the internet has moved on to social media like Twitter and Facebook, forums have been left behind. They’re simpler, they’re not centralized, and they’re a lot more relaxed. Forums aren’t going to send you push notifications or flood your e-mails or shove a bunch of recommendations in your face, and for that they fall behind the “engagement” metric… but as a long-form place to organize, discuss, and just hang out? Can’t beat them.
The code Jul uses is on GitHub, though it’s still full of Jul-specific hacks features and isn’t really usable on its own. It has no installer or readme, no guides, and is, frankly, a mess. Even then, it still manages to run, over 18 years after it was first made! Pretty impressive.
One of Jul’s more notable features — shared with other Acmlmboard-likes — is the ability to make “post layouts”. Unlike typical forum signatures, post layouts (and posts themselves) can include full HTML, both before and after a post, letting you flair your posts with a touch of style. Of course, users can also disable those by default if they’re too obnoxious.
Anyway, this post was brought on because I did some updates to it, mainly in redesigning the new reply page:
The changes are fairly minor, but hopefully make it nicer to use:
“Mood avatars” are a dropdown instead of a large list of radio buttons
Posting while logged out and putting in an invalid username/password will return you to the form, without losing your post
Internally, the code is cleaner and better organized
The post reply box can now be resized fully, instead of being locked to 800px wide
Post previews now use the same form as the initial reply, instead of a separate one (for some reason)
In the event that you aren’t able to post your reply (because e.g. the thread was closed or moved to a restricted forum), you’re given a chance to copy what you had written — you no longer instantly lose it
One of the goofier projects I’ve started recently has been toying with an Adaptive Micro Systems LED sign, specifically the PPD220RED (for “personal proximity display”, and its color). I’ve wanted to own a goofy LED marquee sign for years, and after some searching I managed to snag one on eBay.
Among other things, I’ve hooked it up to a Raspberry Pi and have it showing simple weather information, sourced from OpenWeatherMap.