Lent

Welcome back to Lent for 2022. Hope yours is going well. Mine has started well so far. I hope I can keep it up through Easter.

I’m happy that our parish finally backed away from Covid fears and have resumed their Simple Supper meetups prior to the weekly Stations of the Cross. Daniel and I went to the first one last night and I brought my Mexican Mac ‘n Cheese. Since this was a first in years, we had more food than consumers. Everyone brought home leftovers. I think that once awareness comes back, things will get back to how they used to be.

Spring Break

My youngest’s Spring Break is coming up soon. He and I decided to “meet in the middle” and spend some time with my Brother and Dad in the Midwest. Sadly there are no Rapid City to Chicago direct flights at this time of year. I get the feeling that they are only offered during tourist season when folks go to see sights like Mt. Rushmore. Thus Timothy will drive there. I was also surprised to see how fewer options I have to get to Chicago compared to pre-covid. Instead of the convenience of flying out of Manchester, NH to either Chicago’s O’Hare or Midway airport non-stop, instead I’ll just fly Boston Logan to Chicago O’Hare.

Pregnant

I mentioned a few months ago that my second daughter got married. Unlike many couples who then take a handful of years to get settled in with each other, I knew they had no intentions of waiting long before trying to have children. Sure enough, she’s now pregnant and due in September. She’s having some typical symptoms and they did their first meetup with the birthing team they’ll use. Happily it’s located right here in Milford, so perhaps I’ll see her a little more often after her appointments.

FTP Support Removed

The provider I use to host BilikFamily.com and Bilik.Family quietly sent this little note to me today:

Message from Provider

They went on to say that they are compensating me with 3 months of free service for neglecting to give me warning to plan around it. I’m sure for most of their customers, it’s no big deal. While they provide email and file storage, probably only a small set of their customers use that storage for public facing web sites.

From a few years into making bilikfamily.com until now, I’ve used FTP – an old system which stood for File Transfer Protocol. There are probably hundreds of programs which can do FTP because it was one of the earliest ways to move files around the Internet. With bilikfamily.com I had a clever way I’d developed to minimize the FTP uploads to just the small daily incremental changes in a few seconds. With bilik.family I’d found the program sitecopy which provided a similar capability.

The suspending of the service reminds me of years ago when this host dropped the XMPP protocol, which was the foundation for Google Chat and Apple’s iChat. It was open, well documented, and had plenty of client side apps which could take advantage of it. It also allowed for a feature I prefer known as Federation. It means you aren’t locked into a small handful of proprietary providers like Apple or Facebook. Now we use programs that are hundreds of times bigger like iMessage, Signal, Facebook Messenger, etc.

Thankfully they still support the webDAV protocol and with this post I’m experimenting with it. For tech folks: I’m mounting the remote directory as a drive and trying to find an efficient way to use rsync to update only the files that need it.

For my own reference, the command line invocation of rsync I’ve settled on for now is:

rsync --archive --verbose --size-only --no-whole-file \
--inplace /mnt/sd/Site/bilik.family/public/ /home/sb/fm/bilik.family/

rsync is sort of a Swiss Army Knife(tm) of file synchronization tools on the command line. Due to decades of development, it has a bunch of optional features and command line switches. Perhaps over time I’ll tweak the five I show above… But I’ve achieved the goal of being able to write an update and have it publicly online in a handful of seconds, even from this humble PinebookPro laptop.