Relearning Irish

Since going back to relearn Irish I've started to look at what books are out there. I think there's a much better selection now than there was when I left school. I see a lot of translations that I don't think were available back then. For example, I bought the Hobbit, Game of Thrones for myself and for the kids I bought Harry Potter, Diary of the Wimpy Kid, even a Famous Five book. Admittedly a lot of those books have come out since I did my Leaving Cert but even then I don't think you could have found a single translation of a book I was reading in English. I think it's a great trend and hopefully it will continue.

When I was in school I used to hate the types of Irish books they made us read - the likes of A Thig Ná Thit Orm. I appreciate that they probably have great meaning and relevance to people in the Gaeltacht but they never connected with me. We had to read books in English also that I never would read outside of the exam but there was still this massive world of books outside of the approved classics that I could access in my own time. For example, I was reading lots science fiction/fantasy books in English but there was nothing like that to expand my horizons in Irish.

There was nothing in Irish to draw me into reading those after the exam. I'd hope that the curriculum now is more focused towards books that will spark a lifelong interest in reading in Irish rather than "classics". There's no point in teaching Irish for the Leaving Certificate - it has to be for life.

posted on April 16, 2020gaeilge

FFX Links

Some miscellaneous links for Final Fantasy X

posted on April 3, 2020games

Setting up a static site with basic web authentication

Moving on from my initial Heroku experiment, I removed the Jekyll site and now have the bare minimum required for hosting content requiring authentication on Heroku

  1. Create a new Heroku app
  2. Add the [static site buildpack]
  3. Create a folder (I called mine static) and create a file called static.json with the following contents { "clean_urls": true, "https_only": true, "root": "static/", "basic_auth": true }
  4. Set two environment variables BASIC_AUTH_USERNAME and BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD - make sure that the value of password is readable by htpasswd e.g. openssl passwd -apr1 <password_plaintext>
  5. Copy whatever content you are going to host into the static folder, add this to git and push to heroku using git push heroku master (Heroku will have set up that remote when creating the app). When regenerating the site this is the only step you will need to rerun.

I have a lot of Gitbook content which I will need to add to the site - for now I am manually building the books and copying them into the static folder. Next step will be to script that.

posted on April 2, 2020herokudevelopment

MVP.css is a great site for adding formatting to simple webpages. You can just implement the site in pure html and it will look really good. This was really useful for websites that my son created during Coder Dojo as it made them look good with no effort.

posted on April 2, 2020microposts

Ah FFX. Forgot about this. It has an optional part of the first dungeon that is necessary to unlock a summon. Didn't realise this until past that part. No problem I can just go back right - no, only at a certain stage of the game. Well that's not too bad - and we've placed a really hard boss with 800K HP blocking it. Ah feck. Made the same mistake on the PS2 when it first came out.

posted on March 31, 2020microposts

Final Fantasy X on the Vita is excellent. Real pity that there's not a Sony handheld that can play all PS2 games and not just selected remastered versions like this one.

posted on March 30, 2020microposts

On WSL installing and using NPM directly proved problematic. I got lots of errors about invalid permissions when trying to install applications globally. To fix this I needed to install NVM and use that to run NPM.

posted on March 20, 2020microposts

Frasaí coitianta a usáidim gach lá
Béarla Gaeilge
I can, I'm able Is féidir liom, Tá mé ablta, tá mé in ann
I have to, I need to, I must Is éigean dom, Tá orm, Ní gá dom, Ní foláir dom, Ní mór dom, Caithfidh mé
I ought to, I should Ba chóir dom, Ba cheart dom

posted on March 19, 2020Gaeilge

Installed Linux Mint on my old Acer Aspire One. Installed from the live image on a usb drive and everything seems to work fine. Hopefully will keep my daughter amused during the Corona lockdown period.

posted on March 19, 2020microposts

Setting up a static site with basic web authentication

I have some Gitbooks created for notes that I've taken on various programming books or courses down throughout the years. I didn't want to put these up on a Github pages site as notes like that probably violate copyright. So I wanted some way to hide them behind authentication so that only I could see them.

My initial thinking is that I would need some kind of server to respond to requests and only serve the content if needed. You could probably do this with S3 or some other AWS service but I'm paranoid about using those as even if you think you are within the free tier, you could still be hit with a bill for unexpected usage. I didn't trust that my site would always be configured correctly enough to avoid that. Then next I considered a site that would give me enough free CPU to run a basic server. Enter Heroku.

I tried to use the Jekyll Auth plugin but couldn't get it working.

  • The gem released on rubygems is out of date and clashes with the dependencies in Jekyll 4.0. On the upside this did teach me how to include a gem directly from Github. If the repository in question has a .gemspec file at the root level then you can use the git option and pass the url of the repo e.g. gem 'jekyll-auth', git: ""
  • Even after getting everything configured I was getting denied when trying to authenticate with my Github account. It looked similar to this issue which didn't get resolved so I decided to try something else.

Heroku Buildpack

I tried a different approach which was to get Heroku to serve the files and then use http basic authentication to protect them. Heroku has a buildpack for static sites. This is marked as experimental but it worked fine for me. Hopefully they won't remove it.

  • I used the guide here to get a basic Jekyll installation up and running on Heroku. This worked pretty much as outlined.
  • Then I add http basic authentication as outlined in the relevant section on the Heroku build pack page. You add the option to the static.json file and specify the username and password that you want in env variables. I only wanted a single user i.e. me so I'm not sure if this approach scales to multiple users. I think it does via htpasswd files. To set the password you must first run it through a tool to generate a hash that htpasswd can accept. I used openssl passwd -apr1 <password_plaintext>. Then you set the env variable BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD to be this value. This didn't work for me from the command line - probably some characters that needed escaping - so I just set it via the web interface.

Some misc Heroku issues that I ran into.

  • I work on WSL and the snap approach for installation didn't work for me so I used the curl script. This mostly worked, however the permissions on a couple of folders were set to root so I had to chown these back to my normal account.
  • I got errors about an app that I thought I had deleted. However the Heroku CLI adds a remote to the git repo pointing to the app so even if you delete the app, make sure that the remote is deleted also.

In the end this worked out fine - a lot easier than I expected and I have a website hidden behind authentication. The dyno that the website is on goes to sleep if not used for a while so the initial request for a page can be slow if the dyno is loading up but it's still only a few seconds. Now that I have a server on Heroku I look forward to seeing what else I can do with it.

posted on March 18, 2020herokudevelopment

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