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So the people of Nova Scotia woke up Saturday morning to announcements from school boards, province wide, that there would be no classes beginning Monday, Dec. 5th.

It was something Nova Scotians couldn't miss if they frequent social media at all, let alone actually live a normal life in the real world. Whether it was news organizations, teachers, political commentators, or just concerned citizens, my twitter and facebook feed was filled with comments regarding the "no school until further notice" message that appeared on every single school board website province wide.

tcrsb.ca Tri-County Regional School Board announces classes canceled tcrsb.ca Tri-County Regional School Board announces classes canceled until further notice

I was talking to a friend before posting this who is currently a student and the topic of NSTU (Nova Scotia Teachers Union) and their demands came up. I said I wasn't going to develop an opinion on it, because sometimes things are better left unsaid. The internet has enough opinions anyway, it doesn't need mine. I don't want to say whether the demands of NSTU are fair or not, I don't know much about them. That's why I won't comment on that, and honestly, I don't think anyone should have to. That's between the union and the employer — the teachers and the government.

However, there is something I will comment on which is related. All this strike-talk has shown is there's a deeper issue at hand here. That is the decline of our education system here in Nova Scotia and the government's inability to manage it.

When I was in school, there were many programs to choose from, but all this slowly got peeled away with, presumably, budget cuts. When I first started in grade 7, juniors, grades 7-9 had a number of elective courses they could choose from. Anything from technology and woodworking to music, yet near the end, all junior electives were eliminated and even the seniors had very limited choice in the courses they could take aside from regular classes like English, History and Mathematics. Any focus on classes that zoned in on student specific skills like we see elsewhere around the country was destroyed.

Take programming for example. A course I would have loved to take. A few years ago, a student I knew from Manitoba was learning GML (the language for the popular game developer IDE "Game Maker") in a programming class. I brought this up with a fellow student at my school knowing he would love to take such a class, let alone myself. GML was a specialty hobby for him, he had made some pretty amazing projects with it. I'm certain he would have aced the class in addition to expanding his knowledge of GML and other languages they would have taught. Programming is a worthy skill that is in much demand and pays well, but simply wasn't an option for us. Instead of expanding available courses, they were being reduced in what seemed to be a frantic effort to save costs.

I'm not sure if this is a failure of the administration, the school board, or the government... perhaps all played a role? What is for certain is I feel the public school in my local town was falling behind, and this seems to be an all too common theme I hear from countless others from all over the province.

Now I get it. Those on the right will say "unions go too far", those on the left will say the unions are "the people", they're "in the right". My take is usually it's somewhere down the middle, but at any rate, NSTU exists, and the teachers of that union made their decision on a strike mandate because they feel put-off by the government. Whatever your opinion is on that really doesn't matter, because they exist, get over it. The government instead needs to manage and work with them like the do in countless other departments. Disregard for this is nothing but a reflection on the lack of ability for this government to handle tough situations. Take note of that, Mr. McNeil.

The McNeil government has only shown disregard for even attempting to make it work. Stephen McNeil proved this to us single-handedly this time around by pre-recording his disappointment video before contract talks even collapsed. There is absolutely no reason why students couldn't show up to school Monday other than the government's faux-concern of "safety" in spite of measures in place to ensure it otherwise; this was supposed to be a work-to-rule after all. Sure, extracurricular activities would be limited, people still would have been miffed, but at least education could have went on.

No. Instead, we're left with paying teachers to do nothing. We're leaving students with gaps in education, and unfairly inconveniencing parents who are now scrambling for unexpected needed child care, not to mention the added cost burden that brings. Honestly, all this government has done is made one more angry voter, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Doing this isn't exactly a cost saving measure for a government the seems awfully concerned about costs, as we all know if any amount of time is lost it'll just be taken from actual vacation time, which isn't going to happen for free.

Which should go without saying, isn't all too pleasing for students to hear either, not to mention parents and teachers.

Oh yeah, and that friend I was talking to earlier? He was suppose to begin a work placement program come Monday after bringing a permission slip to school and filling out some questionnaire details. Who knows what will happen with that now? After all, he was told not to show up to school Monday morning by the government. The inconvenience of this does have a lasting effect and I'm certain this single inconvenience is just one out of numerous ones province-wide.

So what's to say about all this? Nothing more than disappointment I'd say. I know you could make the argument the politics behind it is"tough", but I do have this bit of advice for Mr. McNeil. Fix this. I don't care about the politics behind all of it, time is ticking and it is of the essence here. The longer we wait, the more impatient everyone, including myself, will get. People can complain about a spending money on a boat in Yarmouth or cutting the film tax credit and you'll be fine, but start outrageously affecting the lives of everyday Nova Scotians like this and they'll start looking to alternatives.

And now the waiting game begins...

169pp... need moar pp... to Tillerino I go...

Finally 3000pp

- Posted in Life/Random by with comments

I'm still a scrub but finally got to 3000pp... enter image description here

I'll either:

  • a.) Be stuck at this rank forever
  • b.) Look back on this blog post and LOL at how bad I was then.

Who am I kidding? It'll probably be a.

I couldn't upload images to htmly with my lighttpd config. Further, the lighttpd config blocked my favicon.ico file. All images would result in a 404 when uploaded, despite ls-ing to the directory shows it uploaded successfully. I'm not using vhost with lighttpd... and honestly ... I blindly copied and pasted the config directly from the htmly documentation found on the github readme (and of course... enabled the rewrite mod in lighttpd.conf which is as simple as uncommenting. The verbatim code was:

$HTTP["url"] =~ "^/config" {
  url.access-deny = ( "" )
}
$HTTP["url"] =~ "^/system/includes" {
  url.access-deny = ( "" )
}
$HTTP["url"] =~ "^/system/admin/views" {
  url.access-deny = ( "" )
}

url.rewrite-once = (
  "^/(themes|system|vendor)/(.*)" => "$0",
  "^/(.*\.php)" => "$0",

  # Everything else is handles by htmly
  "^/(.*)$" => "/index.php/$1"
)

My issue was I would get 404s on images I upload. So I modified the line "^/(themes|system|vendor)/(.*)" => "$0", to show "^/(themes|system|vendor|content/images)/(.*)" => "$0", where content/images is where the images reside when you upload them with htmly.

Next, I added a line directly below it "^/(favicon\.ico|robots\.txt|humans\.txt|sitemap\.xml)$" => "$0", which of course, ensures favicon.ico, robots.txt, humans.txt and sitemap.xml actually works.

It works. It's not perfect. I want to be able to create other directories without rewrite screwing me over for hosting random files and whatever else I feel like. Perhaps I'll setup proper vhosts and elaborate on that down the road as I work on this site. For now the config is in /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf at the bottom, and it gets the job done, so I'm happy.

FWIW... here is my entire config I ended up modifying to for those of you who also want to blindly copy and paste :P

$HTTP["url"] =~ "^/config" {
  url.access-deny = ( "" )
}
$HTTP["url"] =~ "^/system/includes" {
  url.access-deny = ( "" )
}
$HTTP["url"] =~ "^/system/admin/views" {
  url.access-deny = ( "" )
}

url.rewrite-once = (
  "^/(themes|system|vendor|content/images)/(.*)" => "$0",
  "^/(favicon\.ico|robots\.txt|humans\.txt|sitemap\.xml)$" => "$0",
  "^/(.*\.php)" => "$0",

  # Everything else is handles by htmly
  "^/(.*)$" => "/index.php/$1"
)

But yeah.... fixes that issue for you lighttpd users out there who can't upload images with the htmly platform :)

Why am I using lighttpd? Well certainly apache is out of the picture for a 128MB Low End Box. Lighttpd was the choice mainly because I've used it more than nginx. I like nginx and have used it a bit but lighttpd gets the job done for me where I have more experience with it (it use to serve the chickentalk.org forums I used to run a few years ago well so you can say I used it in "production") and is rock stable as far as I can tell for all the memory leak complaining I've heard about in the past, so I use it.

Perhaps one day I'll switch to nginx since that's where the community is at, but old habits die hard. It's always been my goto apache alternative.

So there's lots of tutorials on the osu!forums like "Ultimate guide to low-latency osu! on Linux", "Solution: Running osu! In Ubuntu or Xubuntu", etc. And I'm sure these are all good tutorials that are awfully verbose. But I'm lazy and I didn't read them. I don't like reading too much, only writing, that's why I never proof read haha! I'm contrarian, it shouldn't be hard.

So here's the lazy way. I assume you know your way around linux and you actually know how to configure it (eg. Install proprietary graphics when needed) which personally, I feel that is beyond the scope of any one tutorial, especially how that changes so much and distros vary anyhow. Hardware configurations are a separate issue and effect far more than just osu! anyway, so look for tutorials on that if you need help with tuning any of your hardware (tablets, graphics, what-have-you). Google is your friend.

So if you are looking to install osu!... here is the TL;DR version

  1. Install Wine. (If you're on Ubuntu or debian, it's as easy as an apt-get)
  2. Create a 32bit prefix if you are on 64bit linux (you probably are). Don't know how? If you're learning to use linux and wine you should learn as pretty much everything you'll use in wine will need a 32bit prefix. A google search returns this for example.
  3. Install .net 4.0 and some fonts. I don't know what fonts are necessary but winetricks makes life easy and has the option to install all fonts. Which, by the way... you should use winetricks to do both since it makes it really easy. Another easy apt-get on Ubuntu/Debian. Soooo if you're new.... to run Winetricks on your 32bit prefix? WINEPREFIX=/whatever/your/path/to/32bit/prefix winetricks
  4. Finally, download osu! installer like you normally would on Windows. Fire up a terminal, cd to the directory where the installer is and run it in your prefix. Protip: Something like WINEPREFIX=/whatever wine osu\!installer.exe (Remember to escape the ! with a \ so Bash doesn't freak out over syntax crap)

It will install. I literally had no issues with getting it to work. No input lag. Great fps. I don't see the need, at least with the distro I was running (Ubuntu 16.10 at the time) to do any fancy hacking or installing different kernels. It works out of the box. You can then run the game osu\!.exe the same way you did with the installer. If you don't like using the terminal to launch it all the time make a launcher script or something on your favorite desktop environment of your choice to do it for you.

Otherwise if you want more help post a comment, post in one of the threads above, follow the instructions in those linked threads, cry to peppy to release the native linux client. But just don't make life too hard for you when you don't need to ;)

Hello world!

- Posted in Uncategorized by with comments

This is my first post! More to come someday. This blog is where I'll post... probably mostly linux stuff? Anything I feel like writing about, you'll find it here.

Cool part about this? I want to see how far I can push a Low End box (as if you call a blog nobody reads "pushing"). So...

This website is running on a lightweight blog platform called htmly. It's flat file based when it comes to storing data, so it's memory footprint is way smaller. I save a lot of resources that I would have used with something like wordpress.

I installed lighttpd web server, and php5. Setup a custom config in lighttpd that htmly suggests so you can't access the config directories and so that rewrite works. Server OS running Debian 8 on a BuyVM 128MB $15/yr Low End Box. I don't expect to get much traffic here so I figure this LEB will last me out a while. And hey.... for running a fully functional blog/CMS platform, this looks sexy:

enter image description here

Yeah that's right! 8MB of ram used total for the entire system and web server. Of course, it's idle, and it is openvz (so not all the processes a dedi would have and in turn very little ram usage) but still, take that apache! No way it would use such little memory even idle haha