Fun with Discourse on Docker

Discourse is a popular forum tool available as a self-hosted open-source tool. It can be installed bare-metal on Linux, but the Docker installation is one that I found most interesting. Unlike most Docker-implemented tools, Discourse has a script that runs outside of the docker containers (on your base machine) to set up the tool. This monolithic script (./discourse-setup) seems to do many of the things that docker-compose does, but obviously worse. I’m no fan of doing things this way; especially when the base alternative is nowhere on their site. My challenge this time was to build a basic docker-compose.yml that would get Discourse running in a test environment. Here’s what I did.

Resetting a Unifi Controller’s admin password

If you use Unifi gear, you know that it can proliferate quite fast. Couple that with cameras, a second network for cameras, and you have a growing need for more Unifi controllers to manage devices. The best approach is to, uhm, unifi controllers into a cloud-based setup – but you can’t always do that. When controllers get isolated on networks, you may find that you’ve lost the administrator password for one. Here’s how you can reset it so long as you have root shell access to the machine running your controller.

Greenlights

Let me reflect on this, I thought. That seemed like the most important thing I could do after reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. Both a memoir and a book of advice, McConaughey is clear in his book not to call it ‘self-help.’ The titular greenlights being a metaphor for life’s moments that work. How every red light is bound to turn green eventually. It’s a cool and clever idea. I like it.

The strange regression of Unifi and its NVR

The UNVR-4 appears to be designed to evade any sense that it was built for business. Let me take you into the issues I encountered while setting up. Given a robust product, these issues would have been uncovered and I’d have moved on to the next thing. But, because of Unifi’s extremely minimalist design, getting at details was difficult.

What a lot of people are saying

Given the election season of 2020, I wanted to dive deeper into the divisions that have stricken the U.S. I thought this book might shed some light on issues of the day. A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy by Russell Muirhead, Nancy L. Rosenblum felt like the right book for today’s wild political climate.

10 Books I Loved in 2019

My list for last year was rather short at only three books, but I’ve managed to expand my reading. Reading is something I do as much as I can. That can be difficult at times. If I’m not reading every day, things feel off. I try to sneak a couple pages of reading in line at the supermarket.

What Makes Your Writing Valuable?

That writing needs to hold some value is not a new concept. Those that write have some basic intuition that what they create needs to have some intrinsic value. Of course, if I want to write a science fiction story, it should entertain and enlighten those who read it. When I write on this blog, […]