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brain dump: gitosis, arduino, rackspace, hacker culture

brain dump: gitosis, arduino, rackspace, hacker culture

Ron DuPlain
2010-06-16 @ 18:13
Hi cville,

Read at your leisure.  Just throwing out some recent explorations to
see if there's any shared interest.  Send out thoughts, ideas,
questions, and wtfs.

1) secure git hosting with gitosis

Heard about gitosis before and thought it was going to take some time
to install.  Just set it up -- very easy.  Up until recently, I've
mostly used distributed revision control models where developers pull
from each other.  Even secure hosting for a few committers on a
handful of projects is easy if everyone has ssh access to a shared
host.  For public projects, you can't beat GitHub -- you can add
commit privileges to any of your repos.

With gitosis, you can scale to many devs needing only an ssh server
with git installed and one user account.  gitosis takes pubkeys,
manages .ssh/authorized_keys, disables shell logins over ssh, and
provides per-project authorization based on pubkey.  This is basically
what GitHub does; gitosis lets you do it on your own.

Easy to set up, but docs are limited.  I'll happily provide more info
if anyone's interested.

2) Arduino - a really accessible microcontroller platform.  I
got a Duemilanove board from SparkFun Monday.  The arduino IDE is
based on the Processing IDE, and the entire toolchain is available in
an Ubuntu PPA -- 2 commands to install.  The platform is very flexible
and easy to use, and I think you can get into it quickly even if it's
your first microcontroller.

Living in GNU screen however, I opt to build from the command line.  I
have a central Makefile going for all my arduino projects (convention
over configuration), with some emacs keys to compile and upload images
to the board over USB.  You can use any editor which speaks make or

Altogether, it's pretty neat to have a single keybinding to compile &
upload to a microcontroller with your $EDITOR and a USB cable.

Arduino projects? Looking into building a programmable thermostat and
modding an espresso machine.  Currently exploring simple
networking/serial interfaces to the board.

3) Rackspace hosted email - Just transfered some MX
records this weekend and so far so good.  As a slicehost customer, I'm
promised to get 3 mailboxes (with aliases) at $3 per month.  Solid.

Still looking for the right console email client, and sup interests me
with its search indexing (using ferret).

4) fresh hackers

I'm meeting more people in cville who are interested in getting into
hacking -- not just software development but hacker culture.  Makes me
think we should have an "intro" hack night or three.  Just getting
exposure to design conversations, the command line, jedi $EDITOR
environments, life with Unix, ... would be fun and insightful for
those getting started (and those still going).

Brain dump,