cloudinit breaks connections from localhost to Plesk-operated web servers

I don’t know how or why it is even installed – perhaps part of the provided Ubuntu image from my VPS host – but cloud-init (a.k.a “cloud-config”) is a bit obnoxious. At [re]boot time (best I can tell), it resets /etc/hosts based on some random template it has (/etc/cloud/templates/hosts.debian.tmpl in my case, even though that… Read more

How to install ImageMagick 7 for WordPress under Plesk Obsidian on Ubuntu 22.04

The ImageMagick logo: a stout blue-robed wizard, with huge white beard and moustache, point a wand up and to the left where the words "Image Magick" arc across, surrounded by gold stars.

Why should I do this? WordPress relies on either ImageMagick or GD for its ability to read & write images. It prefers ImageMagick, as ImageMagick supports a much wider range of files, tends to be faster, and some assert that it produces higher quality files. ImageMagick 6 was superseded by ImageMagick 7 nearly a decade… Read more

SwiftUI main thread hang detector

Illustration of the MacOS Spinning Pinwheel of Death cursor

This is just a little snippet that is quite useful for reporting when your GUI thread (the main thread / actor) hangs for a significant amount of time. There are numerous heavier-weight tools for analysing this sort of thing, but I’ve found that this simple monitor does what I need most of the time. You… Read more

Image workflow for WordPress

Screenshot of the Image Tool+ main window, showing a bunch of image format conversions in progress

These are the main tools and procedures I use for publishing images through WordPress. In case it’s helpful to others. My input images generally fall into three categories: Some of these formats can be published directly into WordPress – mainly PNG and JPEG – but not all, and neither PNG nor JPEG are the best… Read more

Secret Sonoma design lead: Barbie

macOS Sonoma is in so many ways a dumpster fire. It’s the worst Apple OS update I can remember (although admittedly there’s been some real stinkers over the years, so maybe I’m overlooking some repressed memories). There was of course the bug whereby encrypted external drives no longer mounted automatically. That was pretty special, because… Read more

Option-dragging while defining the bounds of a screenshot

I’ve been taking screenshots on Macs for more than thirty years. I thought I was pretty much a power user. I’ve known forever that you can do not just the whole screen (⇧⌘3) but a specific target area (⇧⌘4), and of course the space trick for capturing a window (including menus!). But what I didn’t know is… Read more

Preventing system sleep in Ventura

Ventura’s new System Settings app, replacing System Preferences, removes the ability to control quite a few important things. One of those is whether or not the system goes to sleep automatically. Well, it does let you control this setting but only for when the system is on mains power: By default the system will sleep… Read more