How I got my Website

My website is live. I have https; I have e-mail. It wasn’t simple, though. I started out probably almost a year ago with Tumblr. I had the domain https://ralphembree.tumblr.com which worked fine, but that isn’t a very nice name. I looked up how to get a free domain name and soon discovered http://dot.tk. I had a little trouble with that one; I accidentally registered http://ralphembree.tk without actually setting it to Tumblr’s servers. Because of this, I was forced to put a hyphen in there when I actually got it working: http://ralph-embree.tk.

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Writing Loquitor

At the heart of Loquitor, it runs by signals. When a message is posted, a signal is sent which runs a function. If that function determines that the text in the message is a command, that’s another event. The Command signal is sent and also a more specific signal such as Command-test. It’s usually the more specific one that has a function attached to it which handles the command.

The original ChatExchange library has only one function to handle signals: Room.watch in the rooms module. Only one function can watch (I think), and it handles every signal. I wasn’t satisfied with that little customization, so I wrote the skeleton module to create a subclass with more advanced signal-handling. As a GTK+ fan, I imitated their scheme.

The skeleton module

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Secure VNC from Anywhere

A few years ago, my brother had running on his computer what is called a VNC server. A VNC server is a Linux program that sends graphics to a port on the computer. That way, another computer can access that port in a VNC client and see whatever graphics you put there. Usually, the VNC server gives a whole desktop session. Now I have my own desktop computer that I like to access remotely, but I don’t like the idea that anyone on the network can access it.

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SSH Automatic screen Session

When I run Loquitor, I use a server that I access with SSH (http://bitcoinshell.mooo.com). On that page, it says to use screen to get something to keep running after the SSH session ends. I had never before used screen, but I found it to be quite useful - so useful, in fact, that I installed it on my own computer and made it run automatically in my .bashrc. Well, it runs only when the shell is from SSH, not a normal terminal. I don’t want it to run automatically when the terminal is opened normally because I open far too many terminals when I’m actually on the computer, and … well, maybe it’s just because I wanted a challenge.

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Loquitor on Heroku

Running Loquitor on Heroku isn’t really hard. I created a Github repository that makes it relatively easy (forked from xrisks’s repository). That repository includes runner.py, which is the file that sets all the Loquitor instances in motion.

To interact with Heroku from your computer, you will need to install the Heroku CLI. The official instructions are here. Once that is installed, give it your credentials with heroku login.

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Introducing Loquitor

About a month and a half ago, I started work on a chat bot for Stack Overflow. The name was chosen by looking up Latin words related to chat. I wanted to get a Latin word for chat bot, but I guess the language went stale before such things existed.

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