# Running local proxies

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times recently1 2, I have set a handful of different things on my local machines to make remote development a bit easier. This time around, I have two more to add to that list:

• Setting up a local SOCKS proxy with SSH
• Setting up a local TOR proxy for testing / more anonymous browsing
• Configuring your browser to use these proxies for some/all traffic

In both cases, I have these running on an always-on server that I use for various projects just like this. It could just as easily be set up to run on a Raspberry Pi or on your local machine.

# The Fifth Elephant

So this is diplomacy. It’s like lying, only to a better class of people.

More than most of the Guards series (or Discworld in general), The Fifth Elephant is driven by a strong plot rather than leaning on characters and jokes. It’s actually a nice change from many of the other books, although I do like both styles.

# Sign of the Unicorn

In Nine Princes in Amber, Corwin went from having no memories to learning he was a Prince of Amber, to trying to wrest the throne from his brother Eric–only to be blinded and thrown into prison.

In The Guns of Avalon, Corwin escapes off the Avalon in order to use jewelers’ supplies to make guns to take back the throne from Eric–only to end up having to save Amber rather than attack it.

# The Guns of Avalon

Now I had to find a place, a place resembling another place – one which no longer existed. I located the path. I took it.

In Nine Princes in Amber , Corwin attacked his brother Eric in Amber. He lost and was blinded and thrown in prison. Conveniently, Princes of Amber have a remarkable ability to heal . On top of that, Dworkin (who created the Trumps and knows more about the Pattern than probably anyone) just so happens to be locked up as well and pops into his cell. . One thing leads to another, and Corwin is free. Of course he wants to take another crack at the throne. How though?

# Making Fish Shell Smile

When working in a shell, from time to time, I need to know if a command succeeded or failed. Sometimes, it’s easy:

$make noise make: *** No rule to make target noise'. Stop. Sometimes, less so: $ grep frog podcasts.json > podcasts-about-frogs.txt

Since, alas, I don’t have any podcasts about frogs, that command would fail silently. But that’s fixable!

$grep frog podcasts.json > podcasts-about-frogs.txt$ # Bash/Zsh
$echo$?
1

$# Fish$ echo \$status
1`

# Advent of Code 2017

As I did with last year / yesterday, I’ve written up a series of posts for the Advent of Code 2017 problems. Again, I didn’t manage to write them up as I did them, but this time around I least I finished mostly on time.

# Nine Princes in Amber

When I started The Chronicles of Amber, I’m not really sure what I expected. Probably a straight forward fantasy epic a la The Lord of the Rings.

Not exactly.

# Advent of Code 2016

As I did last year, I’m going to solve the Advent of Code problems again this year.

Or that was the plan. It turns out that instead I put down my blog for almost a year and a half and never quite got around to doing these problems. So I’m actually backdating these posts from the early days of 2018 to where they would have been had I solved them on time. They’re still interesting problems, so give them a read.

# 2018 Reading List

Four years. Starting to feel like a habit.

This time around, I’m aiming for 72 books (6 per month) rather than the 50 of my previous two years. Since I’ve read well over that both years, I’m not overly worried. Perhaps this will convince me hit 100 again? We’ll see.

# 2017 Reading List Retrospective

Another year of reading. I easily beat my official goal of 50 with 84 books (finished the last one a few hours before the end of the year). Unfortunately, it still feels like something of a failure, down from my original 100 book year and last year’s 91. Yes, I’m just crazy enough that 84 books in a year feels like a failure. 😄

A few stats:

• The shortest book I read this year was The Eleventh Metal at 14 pages
• The longest was Beyond the Shadows at 689 pages
• My overall average was 338 pages per book and 77 per day
• My average rating was 4.5 with 14 three stars and 18 four stars (the rest were fives)1
• I listened to 21 books on audiobook (all Discworld novels, so that’s almost my most by a single author or in a single series)
• I borrowed a good number of them from our local library system; Overdrive is wonderful