Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

Installing the Raspberry Pi Desktop

Most of my Raspberry Pis run headless, with no screen. So the image I keep around is Raspbian Lite. It’s half the size of the “full” Raspbian-with-Desktop image, it has everything I usually want, and very little that I don’t.

But sometimes I find I want a GUI.

I don’t want to have to keep the full image around and re-image my Pi. Nor do I want to have to manually install the various components of a desktop environment.

I do want a single command that just “gives me a GUI”.

Django: An Unofficial Opinionated FAQ

I really like Django. Django is fast, featureful, secure, scalable, and versatile. It works well with a variety of workflows, approaches, tools, platforms, and libraries.

But sometimes you can have too much choice.

I’ve spent a lot of time working with Django, and supporting other users via IRC in #django on Freenode. In that time I’ve seen a lot of the same questions come up again and again.

Django doesn’t provide official answers to many of these questions, and I don’t think it should - its versatility is one of its strengths. Here are my answers though - all of which are broad and given without knowing exactly what you’re doing - they’re not universally correct, but in the absence of knowing better, if you’re facing an unclear choice, then they should provide some clarity.

Good luck!

An Aged Octopress

I moved this blog from to Octopress in 2013.

Moving from a “blog service” to a static site generator has been great:

  • Hosting static content is pretty easy
  • It’s backed by git, so I get all the benefits that brings: history, branches, diffs, etc.
  • Security-wise, the attack surface is much smaller - the production site is just static HTML/CSS/JS, so there are entire classes of vulnerabilities and threats that I don’t have to worry about

However, it’s possibly come with a little complacency - I looked back recently to find I’d not actually updated the framework itself since my very first commit ~6 years ago. Slightly embarrassing (as someone who regularly talks about the benefits and importance of regular incremental updates) but not exactly surprising: “the cobbler’s children have the worst shoes” after all…

Desktop Lighting

I like a lot of light at my desk. It gives a better picture when I’m on video calls, and I think the light increase helps my mood too.

Now, I’m a bit of a lighting Philistine. I have friends who definitely have Opinions about colour temperature and brightness, whereas I grab a pack of cheap LED bulbs from Amazon whenever I need some and as long as they vaguely match what I have already then it’s fine for me - but I figured I’d just make a stab at something on my own, and then get feedback afterwards from people who know better. So here’s what I’ve got:

2018 In Books

As per last year, some things I read in 2018, with some brief opinions/recommendations.

All categorisations are approximate at best and will probably cause some kind of contention.