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Math and Images Test

And I think we’re getting pretty close to finishing up all the installation and testing on this new blog. Since we’re going to be doing math and science, we need to be able to write mathematics. And I expect we’ll need images. So let’s give them a shot.

The expected value of a function of a discrete random variable is E[f(x)] = \sum_i p_i f(x_i).

And here is a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a 19th century French painter of the academic school. That sort of romantic/classical/realistic style fell out of fashion and largely remains out of fashion in modern art, but it’s beautiful nonetheless.

Breton Brother and Sister, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1871
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Email’s Awesome, Email’s Weird

As you know, I’m trying to put together this site myself. I’m running my own server, making my own backups, doing my own administration, and so on. It’s not out of some great principle, it’s mostly that I enjoy being able to learn how the internet works at a lower level. And it’s nice to be able to tweak just about any little thing. In terms of spinning up a Linux web server and putting a database and WordPress on it, it’s relatively simple in today’s world.

Unfortunately I then tried to set up an email server. In Linux, this is somewhat complicated even in the age of Ubuntu and friendly GUIs and so on. But what’s worse is that even if you do it all, you get email as it existed a decade or more ago. Want all the features of modern webmail? Want to access it on mobile? Of course you can do all that, but it’s a bit of a marathon.

Or so I gather. Unfortunately this experiment isn’t purely “Matt tinkers around with servers”, it’s in service of getting a blog up and running. I’d like to do that in a reasonable amount of time, given that sadly I am an adult with a kids, a job, etc. So I’m sorry to report that – for now – I’ve bitten the bullet and am using a commercial email service.

I’m not declaring this site open yet – that will be when I actually open comments and have a post that’s not pretty much just a server test in disguise. Give that another week or two. But for now, I’m happy to report that matt@builtonfacts.com is operational.

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A Little Bit of Email

As you may have read a few posts down, I’m trying to run this website at a fairly low level compared to when I ran a blog a few years ago. Installing WordPress on a server is pretty easy, but setting up an email server is a little less familiar to me. At the moment, I have managed to set up the website to send email. Receiving it is still not finished.

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Encryption Done

And now we have encryption online thanks to the good people at Let’s Encrypt. When visiting this site, the data transferred should not be readable by third parties such as your ISP and others in the network between you and this site.

One step closer to this site making its debut!

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Redirects Online

Building this site is going to take a while because I’m running my own server. Nothing special, but it’s a good opportunity to learn some of the nuts and bolts rather than just using somehting off the shelf from a blog hosting provider.

This site is going to be builtonfacts.com rather than www.builtonfacts.com. Clearly though you don’t want blank emptiness if you input the latter, you want to be redirected to the former. So that’s done now.

Next up, https.

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Back Momentarily

Some time ago, there was a physics blog called Built on Facts. Its author was a physics Ph.D. student. He got married, graduated in 2013, went into industry, had a few kids, and now happily engineers light for fun and profit. The blog, regrettably, fell into disuse and long ago faded into the digital ether.

After all these years though, and with weekend possibilities somewhat limited due to plague and so forth, his itch to do some writing has returned. It won’t be quite the same blog. The author is older, wiser, and better paid. Nonetheless, if you’re interested, here he will be.

It’ll be a slow process, building this little default-configuration placeholder site into something nice. But check back in a few weeks.