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I was recently asked about what Atom packages I use, and I thought it’d be good to document it. These are the most used of the 38 Community Packages I’ve installed.

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Like the fantastic Borderlands series, created by Terri Windling, where neither magic nor technology work as advertised and are unpredictable when combined, so is it with Cancerland. Worlds run parallel to our own, casting long shadows that cross with ours. We may not be affected by them directly, but we all know someone who has. I received my first postcard from Cancerland several years ago, with a short but direct message:

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My 4th great-grandmother, Frances Croft (1796-1884) was a bit of a mystery. Prior to her marriage to Amos Appleyard (1793-1869), all I’d found was record of her baptism, to parents Michael and Mary Croft, but I was determined to break through that genealogical brick wall.

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I belong to a few handfuls of mailing list, message forum, and Facebook group dedicated to Genealogy. Every so often, someone discovers that a picture, story, or details from their ancestor has been copied and added to a stranger’s family tree and is very upset. Often, their reaction is to make their research private, so no one can see it.

It’s an understandable feeling; genealogy is a very personal effort. You’re spelunking into your own history. It’s natural to feel protective of it, but that instinct may deprive others of their history.

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I do a lot of different things – husbanding, software engineering, writing, model-building, genealogy, drawing, tinkering, etc – and I wasn’t happy with how previous iterations of this website presented those diverse interests. Of all the themes I looked at, the academic theme for Hugo seems like a good fit. So this is it, or the start of it anyway. As always, the work is never finished, but I think it’s a start.

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A couple days ago, someone asked me why they should care about nested containers. It’s a good question, so I thought I’d talk about how I’m using them. Perhaps my favourite benefit of containers is keeping workloads isolated, and not just in terms of process space. It’s also a great way to avoid dependency bit rot and version conflicts. I have containers for my home media server, for jenkins, for various database servers that I need for this project or that.

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Edit – 1 Jun 2017: The issue is a problematic patch that caused a breakage between 2.0.9 and 2.13. LXD 2.0.10 is currently in the SRU review queue, and once it lands in xenial-updates the problem should go away. tl;dr: Nested LXD containers on Ubuntu 16.04.2 (Xenial) will break if you’re running LXD 2.12+ on the host machine, because the Xenial cloud image ships with LXD 2.0.9 and a version conflict between host and container causes nesting to fail.

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For most of us, 2016 has been a dumpster fire of epic proportion. For me, it began with the death of David Bowie, days after my father’s 69th birthday; a poignant reminder that our idols are also mortal. We’ve added a shitload of fuel to that fire, folks. Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael; iconic artists who reflected pieces of ourselves back at us. Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, Allan Rickman, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kenny Baker, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; thespians who bared their souls through their work, allowing us to fall in love with them a piece at a time.

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I still hear his voice, almost a decade since we last spoke. Sometimes, I imagine it’s over the airwaves of amateur radio, an interest he rekindled and mentored me in. We come across each other by chance, calling out into the darkness for another soul to connect with, and pick up the pieces of what we once had, one tiny hurt at a time. Reality sets in, and I remember the hard lesson: time does not heal all wounds.

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I’ve been bit by a bug in the bzr source code control system where running a commit throws an ugly stack trace blaming an “insecure string pickle”, but I’ve found a workaround.

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