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This site is now built with Lektor

written by mig5 on 2020-06-14

I have re-built this site using the static content management system known as Lektor.

If you're interested in Lektor, I've made my Lektor project a public Git repository, so feel free to look at my templates and models.

Discovering Lektor

I've tried a number of lightweight static CMS over the years including Middleman, Pelican and Jekyll. But I'm really enjoying Lektor, which was introduced to me by Micah Lee, so that's what I've gone with.

Lektor seems super simple to use. I ran lektor quickstart and accepted the defaults.

I looked into using Lektor Themes, but it seemed a bit complicated if you had begun with the quickstart approach. So instead, I got to work porting my old site's style.css and tweaking the templates/layout.html to use its classes, and it's good enough for me!

Helpfully, since my site didn't use any javascript (so that its onion service works nicely in Tor Browser and so my Content Security Policy is nice and lean), that was quite straightforward.

I love that Lektor has simple, built-in deployment methods, where I can literally run lektor build && lektor deploy and my site is rsynced to the remote server.

I still need to look into some of the plugins, such as tags, because...

Excuse me, I have nothing to say!

...the most exciting thing for me is that it entices me to start blogging again.

I've carried across some old articles from https://old.mig5.net (which was once a Drupal site, since archived to HTML), but I'll leave the old one there too for now as there's some classics there (Check out that time I exposed spyware in a popular Chrome screenshot plugin, working in conjunction with a bot crawler to harvest private data. Niki-bot was never seen again after this made it to Hacker News.. I still wonder what I burnt by writing about it..)

I've avoided blogging about sysadmin stuff for years because everyone has an opinion, many want to share (more likely retort) it, and I lose motivation when feeling like I have to justify my approach (or particularly my reticence to drink the latest Kool-Aid in the ops space). Imposter syndrome is hard enough as it is.

But by the same token, participation in open source projects (and blogging about it) is what helped shape my career and reputation. No-one remembers me anymore, and not staying 'present' as an industry voice via blogs and social media etc is why. But I'm still here, I've kept working hard for hopefully-satisfied customers and been very busy for many years; chances are I've probably learned a few things during that time. I should write things down.

Career-wise, my focus has shifted away from working with Drupal and into a more security-focused field where data privacy, encryption, and freedom have centre stage. I've been working with organisations like Freedom of the Press, as well as Whonix (though I resigned from the latter recently - maybe more on that later), where I also helped keep the QubesOS onion and mirrors running for a time. And of course, I continue to help develop OnionShare and contribute to other opensource projects. Such projects all are driven by a mission that makes the sysadmin work more fun and gives me a sense of purpose.

Any writing I do here will probably be thematically about working on such infosec/privacy projects but of course still from a sysadmin's perspective.

Speaking of which...

Since May 2020, my availability opened up a bit after I moved on from a very large customer. A number of others have eagerly began to nibble up that time, but I don't really want to be that busy again. Having said that, I've also still got a little bit of availability right now (I'm talking 10-20 hours a month) if you are working on projects like the above and need some sysadmin help. I'm very cheap, and after 10 years I've worked out a variety of payment models (e.g retainers, pre-paid buckets, etc) to suit different sized organisations. Do get in touch if you'd like to find out more.

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