The Things We Lost In The Fire

I haven't written here for a while. There are reasons for this. My life's been kind of thrown into disarray as my house imploded. There wasn't a fire, although at one point we were close. The post title is a reference to Susanne Bier's film of the same name.

I'd been working on writing a replacement for the writefreely code running this site. Writefreely is great, but there are things that Writefreely doesn't do that I wanted the community here to have. Additionally, while many people offered to help, none of us know go-lang, and to be honest I don't have the inclination to learn it.

I'd started building a replacement using Django, and so far it's promising. It's hard work building a fediverse tool in your spare time, especially when your spare time isn't very spare.

We had the boiler replaced at home. We knew there'd be problems with plumbing, but nothing on the scale we thought it was. We found a thick carpet of black mould on the kitchen ceiling and took it down. There were water leaks everywhere as the new boiler increased the water pressure upstairs and the dodgy pipes couldn't cope. The gas engineer and builder he brought with him were utter cowboys and cut corners at every opportunity. The bathroom was ripped out, replaced in a hurry and shockingly badly installed. We had a gas leak a few feet from where I sleep that could've killed us.

Currently the main bedroom is the only reasonably usable room in the house, and there's still the smell of mould downstairs, so we know we've not got everything. Thankfully there hasn't been a fire... yet, although we came close with the near fatal gas leak. On the plus side, two weeks after the kitchen ceiling was removed, the health problems that plagued me since we moved back to my old house disappeared. That's quite a coincidence. We got an office, and so far I'm much healthier, although still weak from about 3 years of struggling to do even basic things.

Dealing with all of this takes up what little free time I have. I had to scale back plans for a big Blade Runner themed ARG for 44CON involving hardware hacking, interviewing replicants and solving puzzles. I had to put a whole load of demo coding on hold. To make things worse, my Amiga 4000's Compact Flash card died and I may have killed the floppy drive, just in time for the new ATA interface card to arrive... with drivers only available on HD floppy (the A4000 is the only Amiga with a HD floppy drive).

I don't really have time to continue much of what happened before the house imploded. So imagine my surprise when I visited chargen and found all the posts gone. They're all there, just nothing on the read page!

The drive had filled up by backups not deleting. It also turns out my backups aren't working properly (although everything was working). Cue some debugging and fixing, and we're up and running again but no posts on the read page.

The front page wouldn't show the posts, but the posts were still there. Digging through the code, I found something interesting on the read view:

func (app *App) FetchPublicPosts() (interface{}, error) { // Finds all public posts and posts in a public collection published during the owner's active subscription period and within the last 3 months rows, err := app.db.Query(SELECT p.id, alias, c.title, p.slug, p.title, p.content, p.text_appearance, p.language, p.rtl, p.created, p.updated FROM collections c LEFT JOIN posts p ON p.collection_id = c.id WHERE c.privacy = 1 AND (p.created >= + app.db.dateSub(3, “month”) + AND p.created <= + app.db.now() + AND pinned_position IS NULL) ORDER BY p.created DESC)

It looks like Chargen only displays recent posts on the read page. I wasn't aware of this and freaked out. We'll find out if the backup jobs are working tomorrow. For now I have a proper db backup just in case.

I guess this means I need to write more often! Given that I created a space to write, it seems odd not to write here.

My X230 PSU arrives today, and I'm going to set up OpenBSD and do a walkthrough. I feel particularly time poor with all the 44CON madness right now, but writing can be a strange kind of therapy, and maybe putting down words will help with what's happening.

The replacement Chargen codebase will be picked up, as my home slowly becomes liveable again. Hopefully it'll be ready in early 2020. In the meantime, I'll aim to write here at least once a month.