James Desmond

youtube-dl tips n tricks

Here are some youtube-dl commands I have found useful.


Reducing Huge repo size with simple nginx fileserving

The problem I faced with my current deployment of this website, was that my last post bloated the size of my git repo with large binary files. Solutions online seemed to say that I should use S3, or another paid service. But I already pay for my VPS, and the files already exist in my VPS in the git repo (multiple times over!) Then I remembered that it is dead simple to host files with nginx! Read more...

Future updates to the website

So in order to make this website better I need to clearly define what is running on the VPS and how deploys work. Deployment Code is stored in github, on commit to master, a GH Action will ssh into my VPS using stored creds. The GH Action runner will then run build.sh from this repo. build.sh will pull the latest github version, build it locally, and replace the version hosted by nginx at ~/www. Read more...

Fun with VQGAN : Seeing what anything could look like

I installed VQGAN on Windows. All I had to do was install Python 3.9 and miniconda for Python 3.9 I made some funny looking images using it, and am hoping to pursue this further.


How I screenshare a subsection of a 3400x1440 ultrawide monitor as a 1080p virtual webcam in Microsoft Teams

Situation: you are in a meeting, sharing your screen. You use a ultrawide monitor, everyone else on your team uses laptops. You share your entire window and everyone needs to bring out the magnifying glasses. Teams will let you share just a single application, but that is not enough for most screensharing use cases. You want multiple applications to be shared, and just a 1080p sized frame to be shared from your monitor. This guide will accomplish just that.


Using a Blackberry Classic in 2021 with self-hosted services

I want to use a phone with a qwerty keyboard.


Project Gutenberg Unwrapper

What this does:

Project Gutenberg is an online library of free eBooks.

These eBooks are able to be downloaded in many formats, in .txt format the books are formatted to wrap at around 80 char.

The script unwraps those needless wraps and returns the properly formatted version.


Corrlinks Text Split

What this does:

Corrlinks is a privately owned company that operates the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS), the email system used by the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons to allow inmates to communicate with the outside world.

It charges $0.25 for each email sent by a person on the outside, or inside. There is both a character and line count cap on messages that can be sent.



Principal Software Engineer delivering distributed gRPC microservices for k8s
jamesdesmond13@gmail.com | Boston, MA | github.com/jamesdesmond | linkedin.com/in/james-desmond/


How I merge GoPro Telemetry data from split video files

From the GoPro Hero 5 and up, the camera records telemetry data (gps coord, speed, g-force) while recording video. This data is nice to have and allows for cool overlays like this:


How I update this site

In my last post I described how the server was set up for this very site itself. In this post, I will be describing how I create new content for the site from client devices.


How this site was made

This site was created with a few main goals in mind:

  • Being easy to update from any device which I own
  • Cheap to host, without reliance on ‘free’ services
  • Stable, with ease of updating and upgrading
  • Storing my writing in a domain which I own and control
  • Allowing me to learn more about linux server management through practice
  • Easy, simple backups

seeclickfix Organization IDs for Open311 api implementation

Here is a listing of all organization IDs for the seeclickfix Open311 api.


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