Richard Tallent’s occasional blog

SSL, Finally

Another “finally” post. I’ve wanted to convert this blog and my main site to SSL for awhile. I don’t do financial transactions through my sites, but some of the latest web tech (such as service workers and push notifications) requires SSL. Google seems to be heading in the direction of prioritizing secure web sites in its search results, and I also don’t want someone else’s ISP to inject ads on my site, recompress my images, etc. Read more →

Switching to Hugo

I’m finally free of WordPress! Don’t get me wrong. WordPress is an incredibly powerful platform for blogging. It was reasonably easy to set up, use, and update, and I only used a fraction of its capabilities for this blog. It served me well for the past decade. My issues with WordPress boiled down to: My blog was literally the only thing left on my server using PHP and MySQL. The rest of my site uses a . Read more →

An Alternative to our Broken Delegate System

We all know the primary problem with our delegate voting system–it all but eliminates the odds of a third-party win, because voters have the Sophie’s Choice of either supporting the “lesser evil” major party candidate, or voting their conscience and risking that doing so will tip the scale toward the “greater evil” candidate. I’ve looked into alternatives such as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), but they tend to be complicated, and would require both retooling of all existing manual and electronic voting systems and retraining the entire populace in how to vote. Read more →

ASP.NET Core Web API in Production on OS X

My main web site (http://www.tallent.us/), which is mostly comprised of galleries of my art photography, runs on a MAPP stack — Mac OS X, Apache, PHP, and PostgreSQL. I’ve been playing with ASP.NET Core and loving it, and I’ve been wanting to make the switch to using it for the web gallery API. I prefer C# over PHP, and it’s a good real-world project to learn the new bits, since my day job will be using legacy ASP. Read more →

Libertarians, Check your Privilege!

I’m happy you found in Gary Johnson a candidate who agrees with you on social issues, foreign policy, and domestic security. I’m right there with ya. But before you jump on that train, you should understand libertarian *economic* positions, because they are downright bonkers. (If you think I’m making any of this shit up, go read the party platform, as well as speeches and interviews by the current and past candidates. Read more →

A Silly Hack Around the Excel Cell Character Limit

Users will always find the limits of your application. I manage a web application where users primarily edit data by importing and exporting Excel files. This allows them to work on huge swaths of data without the limitations of a web-based interface. The workbooks store 1-to-many relationships using comma-delimited lists of integer IDs, and use macros, validation, etc. to maintain referential integrity. For almost all cases, this works perfectly, it’s unusual to have more than 100 relationships of a given type for any entity. Read more →

You don’t get to decide.

I posted this on Facebook, but since there’s a sliver of a chance that someone still reads this blog, I’m cross-posting it here. I just got blocked by a photographer friend because I stood up for TG people while he was making demeaning comments people self-identifying as something other than their birth-assigned gender. I can argue all day with my conservative friends about taxes or federalism or foreign policy, but I won’t stand for belittling of marginalized minorities. Read more →

Managing EPPlus Macro Modules

I use EPPlus to create Excel workbooks server-side, and overall it does a great job — it’s far better than mucking around with OOXML file internals directly. While it supports adding VBA code modules to the workbooks you create (normal modules, or Workbook, Worksheet, or class modules), the VBA code itself that you want to insert is a string, and unless your VBA code is incredibly simple, using C# string constants is going to quickly become a pain. Read more →

Political post ahead…

I was trying to explain yesterday why my beliefs lean to left libertarianism (i.e., somewhat close to democratic socialism), and how that has absolutely nothing to do with Marxist Socialism or Communism. In short, it’s because I believe the government is not the enemy, nor is business. Instead, the enemy is *unfettered* corporate power and *unchecked* government. We check corporate powers through a combination of free-market capitalism (voting with our feet), unions, and where those are ineffective (and they are in a number of broad classes of corporate abuse), we use the law and the courts to regulate them. Read more →

“Take Our Country Back”

When someone says that, this is what I hear: TAKE — providing nothing in return, using force, manipulation, mob rule, bribery, obstruction, or any other means to achieve the goal. OUR — WASPs, aka “real” Americans. COUNTRY — militant nationalists, willfully ignorant of anything else going on around this tiny blue dot. BACK — back to the days when non-comformists and minorities of every kind were enslaved, ridiculed, railroaded, interred, denied the right to vote, and ignored in the courthouses and statehouses. Read more →