May 2020 Monthly Update – Time Stops for no Man
I'm gonna be honest, I kinda didn't realize it had already been a month. With the current state of things in quarantine, time kinda passes without you really thinking about it. However, a few things were definitely accomplished this past month, so let me get into that.
Since it's kind the end of April and I never gave an April update, this will pretty much serve as a summary for that as well. I'm still working from home at this point, and things are going relatively smoothly for the most part. Overall, I've been really thankful to have my friends on the fediverse and close friends that keep up with me to help me feel less alone (along with my family, of course).
Summary of the month
Development Server Get!
I was able to purchase the parts for a set up a build server for myself, finally. I've been using a really old Dell Optiplex as a NAS/Gitea server and an Intel NUC as more of a “production” server for my various bots/projects/other services. Now I have an ASUS MINIPC to add to that server setup.
I don't intend to have it do anything other than be a sandbox for development of projects, but it has already become a welcome addition so far!
This will likely be used for when I set up a CI/CD with the Gitea instance. That way the “production” server doesn't have to handle building the projects when updates are pushed.
While I've been quarantined, a friend of mine has been trying to track the numbers of new cases, deaths, etc. for a while and sending us updates in our friend group's Discord server. I thought I'd take the opportunity to make something useful, and wrote a simple bot that sends reports on a timed basis, and on command, with selections available to a specified channel or in response to that command. If you want to see more about that or take a look at the code, it's being hosted on my gitea instance, here.
Additionally, I got pretty tired of manually updating my various social media platforms and archiving the media uploads from my Nintendo Switch since Animal Crossing New Horizons came out. In order to remedy that, I decided to write a tool that would use Tweepy's streaming API to listen for new Tweets on my account, download any new media posts, and echo them to various services.
Currently, I have the implementation set up to echo posts to Mastodon and a Nextcloud instance I host for myself. However, I intend on having it echo to Discord and maybe other platforms in the future as well.
I started an account over on gamestop.store, a new instance that started up this past month full of users that are making pretty awesome parody accounts. I have an upcoming project that I've been working really hard on and hope to release soon. Once I get that out, I also plan on writing an article on the blog talking about the process and some of my ideas and thought process behind it.
Migration to Linode VPS
This last week I also migrated VPS providers from Vultr VPS to Linode VPS. Vultr had been experiencing some weird issues, and I have been meaning to move to a closer VPS solution (the current one was hosted in New Jersey), so I asked for suggestions and settled on Linode. Now, the round time trip for network connections to these services should be much shorter.
Previously, connections would roughly have to travel like this:
[Origin] -> New Jersey -> Texas -> New Jersey -> [Origin]
With the current VPS location, it's closer to this:
[Origin] -> Texas -> [Origin]
Sysadmin Updates to Mastodon
Finally, after quite a while of fumbling about, I was able to give my own account Admin access to the Mastodon instance, and prompty set up a list of instances that we will no longer federate with. Additionally, using the power of the Wayback Machine, I was able to recover the /about/more blurbs from my previous setup of the instance! Hooray!
In addition to setting up the CI/CD pipeline for my Gitea instance, I'm planning on expanding the Twitter Media Tool's functionality a bit more. Past that, plans are a bit up in the air. I'm really glad with how productive I've been able to be the past month, all things considered.