No more social media for me

Count this as a New Year Resolution for 2018: no more social media for me. Not that this is too hard but it helps to establish a definite boundary. I escaped the clutches of Facebook six years ago when I deleted my account for good. Last year I weaned myself off Twitter, the impetus being the toxic and intelligence-deadening political environment that reached its peak in 2016.

My last holdout is Reddit and though I have a decent karma score I was getting bored with it. Bored and not a little disturbed at how I felt it was sharing my thinking. When you know all the memes and the responses, when you’ve seen them a hundred times before but you echo them anyway, that just means you’re in too deep. So goodbye Reddit, too.

Selenium and Python 3 on Ubuntu

You need to install the selenium library for Python. Don’t use the version from the Ubuntu repository, install it instead using pip.

So first, we install pip and upgrade it in the process.

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
pip3 install --upgrade pip

Then we install selenium

 pip3 install -U selenium

We also need to install the geckodriver. Choose the version for your platform and unzip it in a directory.

Set the PATH to point to the geckodriver.

 export PATH=/home/dom/Programs/geckodriver:$PATH

(It may be a good idea to set this in your startup or environment script.)

Follow the examples in the Selenium Python documentation pages. Some examples may need some fine tuning.

If you have both Python 2.x and Python 3.x on your system, please make sure to choose the correct one when running your scripts.

Going Virtual

My shared hosting provider sent an email reminding me of the upcoming renewal this December. Though I had been a relatively satisfied customer these past years, looking at the bill gave me pause, in turn enough to make me think of what I’ve been missing. Shared hosting is fine as far as fire-and-forget goes, but I’ve been limited to just PHP and MySQL.

So today I took a new step and signed up for a virtual cloud server. It’s more hands-on but nothing that I’m not already used to. It felt good to SSH into the server, actually, and the response time was really speedy. Best of all, it’s only half the price of my shared host.

First to migrate was my Tiny Tiny RSS reader service. Setup was a breeze, with fewer hoops to go through than with a shared host. Next up was this blog, now in its umpteenth reincarnation. Since I have shell access, I finally have it under SSL encryption (note the lock on the location bar, ha!)

I’ll have give this setup a try for a few weeks, and if all goes well, I’ll move the rest of my stuff over. We’ll see.