Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

Analogue Journey — Part 4: Fountain Pens

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*This is the third article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/), [part 2](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-2-re-educating/), and [part 3](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-3-bullet-journal-exploration/) before continuing.* I always thought that fountain pens were kind of neat. A quaint throwback to a simpler time where people put pen to paper when issuing an invitation to dinner, and when manners and etiquette were the order of the day. The journey down the path to owning multiple fountain pens begins with the rest of my analogue journey that I started earlier this year. Notebooks, pens, paper and other stationery products have become the tools of my trade. It didn't start with fountain pens, of course, I didn't understand them at the time. But I've begun to and…
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Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

Analogue Journey — Part 3: Bullet Journal Exploration

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*This is the third article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/) and [part 2](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-2-re-educating/) before continuing.* I've been experimenting with a slightly (drastically?) more analogue lifestyle for the past few months. It's not that I'm becoming some kind of anti-tech zealot, just that I think I can find a bit more balance in my life. I've written before about my adoption of notebooks and paper for my handwritten notes at work, but I didn't talk much about the *how*. It's no secret that I'm a bit of a systems and tools guy. ([Knightwise](http://www.knightwise.com/) is undoubtedly rolling his eyes right now.) When it came to my newfound use of pen and paper to track work and take…
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Analogue Journey — Part 2: Re-Educating Myself

Analogue Journey — Part 2: Re-Educating Myself

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*This is the second article in my series about exploring a more analogue existence. If you're interested you may want to check out [part 1](https://kdmurray.com/2017/09/analogue-journey-part-1-digital-catalyst/) before continuing.* The second part of this tale starts a very long time ago. My relationship with notes and note-taking is one fraught with missteps, mistrust and frustration. I had always been a decent student. Mainly, I would later learn, because I had a pretty good memory -- particularly for things that I hear. Up until I was about 15 this served me well and I got good grades without a ton of effort. Then something changed. In my memory this is a sudden change, but much like the loss of my wiry teenage physique it was probably gradual, and I'm probably the only one…
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Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

Analogue Journey — Part 1: The Digital Catalyst

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About four months ago I declared bankruptcy -- of a sort. It was a kind of technological bankruptcy. This is the the tale of that decision but to find its roots I need to take you back to a time before I'd come to this realization. A time when, for me, technology could solve all of my problems. This goes back years -- though I'm not sure how many at this point. For some time I've been battling my way through the jungle of productivity tools. Apps, sites, systems, tricks, life hacks, [thought technologies](http://www.maxedmands.com/notes/2014/07/20/interesting-concepts.html), and anything else you can imagine. Early in 2016 I committed to picking a tool and sticking with it. The app I chose was [Todoist](https://en.todoist.com/web). This was far and away the best tool I'd used because…
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Getting Started with Hyper-V on Windows 10

Getting Started with Hyper-V on Windows 10

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I've recently moved to Windows 10 after about a decade swimming in the Apple Kool-aid. While I've not been away from Windows entirely (I use it at work) I haven't spent any time exploring some of the newer technologies introduced by the Redmond crew in the last few years. Something that comes as a feature for the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10 is Microsoft's VM Hypervisor technology Hyper-V. If you're not familiar with it, this is comparable to something like Oracle's VirtualBox. One of the biggest reasons to use Hyper-V if you have a version of Windows that supports it is the fact that you will get a bit better performance of your VMs because the system has deep integration with the Windows OS. Another is the Hyper-V…
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Like a YoYo

Like a YoYo

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I bought a ticket. The steam liner is in dry dock. Sometimes you have a good idea. An idea that will, in the long run at least, save you time. That idea makes so much sense you can explain it to other people and they shout "Yes! I get it! You should totally build a steam liner!" But you shouldn't. There are ways to get across the ocean. You can buy a boat. You can build a boat. You can even design your own boat from scratch, smelt all the metal for the hull and concoct a bespoke engine out of recycled lawn mower parts you got for cheap on Craigslist from some guy named Sal who said they fell off the back of a truck. Or you can buy…
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Book Report – Little Brother

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Set in mid-2000s San Francisco, [Cory Doctorow][craphound]'s Little Brother brings a tale of what can go wrong when yuo have a society that values compliance over independence. A story of technology innovation, [hacker culture][wiki-hackerculture], information sharing and data freedom all set against the backdrop of a modern-day terrorism nightmare. Cory Doctorow highlights a number of different things in our everyday world that allow other people to learn more about you, to track you and build a profile about you. These are extended to the next level in Little Brother talking about some of the what-ifs and could-bes that today's technology could allow. You can get a copy of the book [online for free][book-download], that's how the author has always released his material. Doctorow has been a strong believer in the…
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Server Hardening Strategies

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Staying secure is a full-time gig. It doesn't matter whether we're talking a datacentre or your smartphone, there are always steps to be taken to keep your machines and your data as safe as possible. With the increasing popularity of virtualization for applications and services and the ability for people to "roll your own" cloud comes the need to secure those machines. This becomes increasingly challenging when you consider the fact that by their very nature these machines are constantly exposed to the Internet. ### Minimize Your Attack Surface **Don't install it unless you need it** One of the best things you can do to harden a server environment is to take a minimalistic approach. Don't install components that you think you "might need" somewhere down the road, or things…
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Vivaldi – Chrome Reimagined

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For several years I've been wanting to make the switch to Chrome from Firefox, but the lack of a couple of key plugins has held me back. One of these was the way that windowed plugins were handled initially (the popup for LastPass in Chrome was hideous, but that's no longer an issue.) The bigger issue for me was the lack of a good vertical tabs plugin for Chrome. I've tried several tabs but none of them seem to work the way I've gotten used to with the venerable Tree Style Tabs in Firefox. Enter, Vivaldi. This is a Chromium-based browser that offers a lot in terms of UI customization over the stock Chrome implementation. With tab handling in particular there's a lot to like about Vivaldi. The vertical tab…
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Think Different(ly)

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In a recent conversation with [Knightwise][kw] we were musing that it doesn't seem that it's very long since we were both ragging on Dave to get off Windows and get a Mac. Today we're both seriously entertaining the possibility that our next primary computing device might be running an OS from Redmond. What changed? Has Windows gotten that much better? Yes. It's undeniably better. But we're also different. And Apple is different. I think when we switched to the Mac we saw it as the Valhalla of everything we were looking for. A better system with a unix terminal which would give us the best of both worlds: open source, and a first-class GUI driven OS. In a lot of ways the Mac hasn't progressed since the Intel transition. Sure…
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