R.I.P. Gallery Project, hello NextGen

I’ve been using Gallery Project for my photo galleries for quite some time now, so a few months ago when I heard they were going to stop active development, I was very sadden to hear the news. More importantly, security wise this obviously became a huge concern for me. This meant I had to start looking into alternatives.

I first delved into MediaGoblin. Knowing that MediaGoblin is a Free Software sponsored project, eg; they’re pumping money into its development. MediaGoblin is proabably not going anywhere anytime soon. The install process is fairly straight forward (Python app running under Apache via FastCGI), their site has really good documentation on getting MediaGoblin up and running. After spending an hour or two with MediaGoblin, it seem like it was a bit overkill for a simple online photo gallery that I wanted to setup.

My second Gallery Project replacement consideration was WordPress with the NextGen Gallery plugin. NextGen Gallery is the defacto WordPress photo gallery plugin, so it’s definetely not going anywhere anytime soon. Given both WordPress and NextGen Gallery simplicity, I’ve opted to adopt it as my Gallery Project replacement. The photo import process was really easy, I simply just had to copy my old images into to the new NextGen gallery directory, and click on the “Scan Folder for new images” submit button and NextGen was able to successfully add my images to my new gallery. The only problem with this approach was that I had to manually update the image names, a tags. Given that my old gallery was just 500 images, I was able to manually make the changes in just a few minutes, however if someone have had a gallery with thousands of images; I can see this becoming a problem. The only problem I encounter when migrating to WordPress w/ NextGen, is that the default tag based pagination url structure is broken. This appears to be a known issue from what I see. https://wordpress.org/support/topic/pagination-does-not-work-on-the-page-images-tagged

For example.
Tag home page:

http://www.alpha01.org/ngg_tag/las-vegas/

With the default pagination settings enabled, the secondary page would redirect to the following (page returned an empty page):

http://www.alpha01.org/nggallery/page/2

The correct url the default NextGen tag based pagination should be return is:

http://www.alpha01.org/ngg_tag/las-vegas/nggallery/page/2

I mitigated this bug by simply disabling pagination all together. After that, my switch was seamless. Interestingly, now my photo gallery www.alpha01.org is fully responsive now. However since it’s heavy JavaScript based, SEO is practically gone, additionally getting image specific tracking analytics gets a bit complicated to implement. I’m still researching for a good solution to this problem, since it would be nice to see what images are getting the more hits.

R.I.P. Charles Bowden

There is not a more knowledgeable journalist and author about the US/Mexico border than Charles Bowden. His writings, along with Dr. Edgardo Buscaglia, helped me realized and opened my eyes regarding the farce drug war, and the circus around it. Bowden’s dark, yet poetic writing is a lot like watching a horror film. I literally had to stop and take a break from reading his books, due to the way he portrayed the violence. Thus said, his writing was not all dark, he was also nature writer. Which I’m planning on reading his nature books in the near future. Having read multiple of his books, I can surely say that he is my favorite non-fiction author, and his writing has made me view the world in a different way.

NPR Tribute

A Decade Later

tony

(Original ad placed in a $2.99 paperback AutoTrader Magazine. June 2004)

It was exactly ten years ago that I purchased my beloved 98 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. Accident free (knock on wood), and having been stranded only two times these ten years due to a busted starter and alternator, respectively. I must say she has definitely served me well all these years. Now as of the time of this writing with 351,168 miles in her, I still have the same joy in driving this vehicle like the first day I test drove it ten years ago.

Tacoma

Rare as unicorns, The Libre Initiative

It seems like conservative Latino organizations are rare as unicorns these days. Although if you really analyze it, they themselves are truly conservative, i.e.; religious/church going, strong family values, etc.. I watch plenty of Spanish speaking news media, and they practically all strive towards “helping” (sarcasm face here) the Latino community. Yet, it doesn’t surprise me that organizations like The Libre Initiative are hardly ever mentioned, or if so with little focused. The answer is plain and simple, organizations like the Libre Initiative, contradict all of the idea’s the Spanish speaking media want to brainwash it viewers. For example the following video would absolutely never be shown on any Spanish speaking media outlet because it goes against everything they represent. Left-wing, big government, socialist driven views.

 

“My father never took welfare because he did’t want to depend on anyone or lose his dignity..”

“I’m just torn apart when I see folks who are caught in this dependency that government offers, and not only that. They condemned their children to a life of mediocrity and subsistence..”

– Daniel Garza

 

 

What I find to be more saddening is that if you have similar point of views as Daniel Garza, somehow you’re seen as a person who sold out to their own people. While in fact, what we all want is to live prosperous lives with little government involvement on dictation how we should live.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook – The Perfect Linux laptop

It feels like it was yesterday when I installed Red Hat 9 onto my Compaq Presario laptop, and the horror of XFree86 not being compatible with my laptop’s video card. Later discovering SuSE Linux and being able to use a beautiful user interface instead of that time, a terrifying command line interface. Then jumping onto the Ubuntu bandwagon were I was able to finally get wireless (Broadcom piece of shit) working via ndiswrapper. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how Linux on a laptop has changed. From my experiences of simple things that we take for granted now like having a GUI, and wifi working and more obscure things that I witnessed like a really weird ACPI bug that caused my laptop to randomly shutdown unexpectedly, to suspend/hibernation not working.

Original Disks

Having used Linux on different laptops now, I think I finally found the perfect Linux laptop. Unlike the previous laptops that I’ve owned. The Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook has been the only laptop that everything works flawlessly out of the box; Video (dual monitor), wifi, bluetooth, touchpad. Like a MacBook Pro, everything on my Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook just works. The build quality of the laptop is superb. With an aluminum case, carbon fiber bottom and a beautiful edge-to-edge display. This beautiful tiny yet powerful computer runs Linux flawlessly. The only downside to this computer is the price tag. Sadly Dell decided to price this computer higher than the Apple 13 inch MacBook air.

 

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-13-9333/pd

 

The Vicious Cycle Continues

I was only 11 years old, and yet I perfectly remember the day when Amado Carrillo Fuentes “El Señor de los Cielos” died and the news being all over the Spanish speaking media. Now over 16 years later, with the capture of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, it news too is all over the media. Surely the capture of one of the leaders of the most powerful organized crime syndicate in the Western Hemisphere is big news, it is absolutely appalling some journalists (Univision from what I’ve seen) report of this being a significant blow to the Sinaloa criminal organization. The fact of the matter is while it’s good news that Chapo Guzman was capture, it is far away from weakening the Sinaloa Federation. To put it into perspective, it is believed Guzman only has a fourth grade education. Chapo, the person that up until a few hours ago was the most wanted man in the world, at the helm of an organization that profits annually about the same amount of money that Apple, Inc. makes, and has been able to capture public institutions of over 50 foreign countries through corruption. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that all of this couldn’t be done by a single person, but rather a whole chain of actions coordinated by a board of directors. Similar in how large corporations operate, again think of Apple Inc. and the death of Steve Jobs in comparison. In the case of Sinaloa, needless to say it’s board of directors would also consist of many public elected officials, business, and bankers that allowed Sinaloa to become as powerful as it currently is.

While Mexico parades it’s drug kingpins on television, by the same token; I have yet to see any big time business and banking money launderer captured and paraded on tv. So the vicious cycle continues, in years to come another so called top legendary drug capo will emerge and ultimately demise.

Dr. Edgardo Buscaglia does an awesome job describing this.

Our lovely war on drugs

As the state of New York is set to join other states allowing medical marijuana, in essence following the domino effect to what I hope one day will be full drug legalization (yes all drugs; cocaine, heroin, etc..). I stumbled into a really good short video in which describes the consequences of our failed drug prohibition policies.

“If your stance on the war on drugs is because of ethical reasons, then the more so you should be against it. Why?.. Because the more you should be responsible of your own life, and more so of your kids, don’t delegate that to the U.S. government, be responsible yourself..”
-Giancarlo Ibarguen

New Year’s resolutions

The following are my 2014 New Year resolutions in no particular order:

  1. Become a Red Hat Certified Systems Engineer
  2. Fully migrate off Gmail and Google Apps
  3. Learn C
  4. Learn an assembly language
  5. Bike more
  6. Write something useful in Ruby
  7. Get my own place
  8. Complete a P90X program
  9. Migrate from MySQL to MariaDB
  10. Drink less beer and more red wine