Garrett Mills

posts & updates

Side Project

World Plate Adventures

World Plate Adventures is a lifetime exploration of international food. Each month, we will choose a country and spend a few days researching the food. Then, each week of the month I'll cook a new dish from that country.

The first cuisine I'm exploring is France, with la Mère Brazier's blanquette de veau.

permalink  |  6/30/2024, 4:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Mitigating the iconv Vulnerability for PHP (CVE-2024-2961)

Recently, CVE-2024-2961 was released which identifies a buffer overflow vulnerability in GNU libc.

I had a hard time finding information on how to mitigate it at the OS-level. I collected my notes, in case they might be useful for someone else.

Read about it here.

permalink  |  4/22/2024, 5:00:00 AM
Side Project

MarkMark: simple, Markdown-based, federated bookmarks

MarkMark is a free (as in freedom) bookmark format designed to be machine-readable and easy to use.

The goal of MarkMark is to standardize "link sharing" pages to build connections between small websites on the Internet.

Learn more or see it in action.

permalink  |  11/20/2023, 6:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Down the Rabbit Hole of Linux Terminal Emulators

I've had a pretty stable shell setup consisting of Guake + Fish shell for ~5 years now. Recently, I decided I wanted the ability to copy-paste output w/ screen and the ramifications of this forced me to re-examine my entire setup.

Read about my foibles here.

permalink  |  5/3/2023, 5:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Adventures in AI-assisted proof generation

Begrudgingly, I recently spent a bit of time playing around with ChatGPT and its prowess with the Coq proof-assistant language.

I chronicle my adventures, and some of my broader thoughts, in this blog post.

permalink  |  3/20/2023, 5:00:00 AM
Site Update

Retro/70s Redesign

On a whim, I decided to redesign this site to have a bit more character. Initially inspired by this cool album art, I tried to incorporate retro/70s design elements.

A fun element of this design is how parametric it is. The color palette can be completely swapped out for a complementary one. I built several different palettes and randomly select one for each visitor.

I'll do a more in-depth write-up of the process soon. For now, though, you can play with the themes on the technical info page.

permalink  |  1/16/2023, 6:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Generalized Commutative Data Types

Recently, I've been working on a distributed, parallel language called Swarm. One challenge with such a language is ensuring consistent data operations when they are performed in parallel.

A GCDT is one approach to simplify this process. Such types define commutative and pseudo-commutative operations which allow order-agnostic consistency when accumulating parallel computations.

I describe such a system and explore its limitations in this blog post.

permalink  |  12/9/2022, 6:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Importing an OpenVPN Profile on Fedora 36

I recently upgraded to Fedora 36 and discovered that my VPN settings were completely broken and I couldn't re-import it from the .ovpn file.

What ensued was an annoyingly difficult series of workarounds required to avoid bugs in OpenVPN, NetworkManager, and NetworkManager-gui.

I've detailed how to do it here.

permalink  |  7/12/2022, 9:44:43 PM
Blog Post

Rancher K3s: Kubernetes on Proxmox Containers

I've been re-learning Docker and containerization and I decided to take the plunge and start converting my self-hosted environment over to Kubernetes.

This post details how I set up a Kubernetes cluster on LXD containers on Proxmox using Rancher K3s and NGINX ingress controller.

Read it here.

permalink  |  4/19/2022, 5:57:41 AM
Blog Post

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning a Dell XPS 15 Keyboard

Recently, I've been having a really annoying issue with my laptop keyboard where some keys require multiple presses or lots of force when pressed to register a key stroke.

Since I like to try to repair my own stuff, at least as a first-line, I decided to do a quick write-up on how to remove and replace the key caps without breaking them to clean out the key wells.

Read more here.

permalink  |  1/27/2022, 1:17:03 AM
Blog Post

Runtime Data Validation from TypeScript Interfaces

How I (ab)used the TypeScript compiler to enable transparent runtime data validation using Zod and TypeScript interfaces.

Read more here.

permalink  |  1/14/2022, 9:11:18 PM
Side Project

multicrypt: a library for multi-key encryption

Recently, I've been working on adding secure vaults for user secrets to my auth server project, CoreID.

To implement shared-vaults, I wrote an implementation of multi-key encryption using enveloped keys. It seemed fairly useful on its own, so I pulled it out into a standalone TypeScript package called Multicrypt.

Multicrypt provides a simple interface for multi-key two-way encryption for arbitrary keys and values, and makes it easy to add & remove keys from the shared values.

Learn more here.

permalink  |  11/22/2021, 7:54:41 PM
Blog Post

Photo Challenge 01: Self-Portrait

One non-technical interest of mine is photography. I'm starting a new 30-prompt photo challenge, which I'll be posting on my blog.

The first challenge is a self-portrait. Mine tries to capture my technical side, and allowed me to tinker with depth of field and reflections.

Follow along here.

permalink  |  8/26/2021, 1:01:42 AM
Side Project

g.bash: A simple Bash framework

Between work and my personal lab, I write a lot of command-line tools to help automate various tasks. But, as anyone who's worked with Bash before knows, adding multi-command support, flags, and other handling can be difficult to get off the ground.

However, including a multi-file Bash framework is kinda... gross. One of the benefits of a shell script is that it can usually be distributed as a single-file affair. I was also unpleased with the current state of Bash argument-parsing.

Enter: g.bash. This is my take on a single-file framework and standard library for Bash that addresses these issues. I might write a more extensive blog in the future, but for now the broad strokes are:

  • Utility & array helpers
  • Filesystem helpers
  • Error handling & try-catch
  • String manipulation helpers
  • Logging to standard error/files by levels/flags
  • Math constants & helpers
  • Import system w/ singleton includes
  • Configuration file system
  • Command definitions & argument parsing
  • Locking & singleton execution

This side-project is still very much a work-in-progress, but if you're curious you can check it out here.

permalink  |  8/11/2021, 6:37:06 PM
Site Update

Monochrome Redesign

I decided that it was time for a visual refresh of this site. I liked the bright & flashy design I've had for about a year now, but decided on a return to relative simplicity.

The new design has the added benefit of being very light and semantic, and relies on no external stylesheets or frameworks, unlike the old. This has the added benefit of making the page more accesible and improving load times.

permalink  |  5/9/2021, 5:59:07 PM
Site Update

Technical Info on * Sites

For the past few weeks, I've been reworking my analytics collection system with an eye to privacy.

I've tried to make my system collect only the data I wish to use in aggregate, and give users the ability to permanently opt-out of page-view collection.

For details and interesting nitty-gritty about this site, I've added a new technical info page that talks about how the analytics system works, the data it stores, and how you can opt-out.

permalink  |  4/29/2021, 7:25:07 AM
Code Release

Opting Websites Out of FLoC

Google announced recently that the beta version of their Chrome browser will include a new tracking system called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). This system is their replacement for 3rd-party tracking cookies. You can learn more here.

FLoC perpetuates the track-by-default system in Chrome that violates users' privacy. Worse, because it's baked into the browser itself, this tracking can occur on all sites by default.

I remain strongly opposed to these privacy-invasive moves. As a result, starting with version 0.59.0, all Flitter-powered sites (including this one) will opt-out of FLoC by default.

As a user, if this change makes you uncomfortable, consider using a browser that respects user privacy like Firefox or Brave.

permalink  |  4/23/2021, 4:07:58 PM
Blog Post

Rethinking Dependency Injection in TypeScript

For the past few years, I've been experimenting with various paradigms for DI in JavaScript and TypeScript.

In the latest in my series of mad ramblings on dependency injection, I've written up my thoughts on the various paradigms I've tried.

Read more here.

permalink  |  3/30/2021, 7:17:04 PM
Side Project

New Features in Noded

Noded is a project I started at HackKU last year. It's a rich-data notes app designed to help people create information trees. I've been slowly improving it since.

  • File Box
    • In addition to the basic file uploader, you can now add "File Boxes" to your notes, which support nested structures and managing individual files.
    • Files in File Boxes appear in the universal search, and will open to their nested location directly.
  • Universal Search
    • Nodes that support full-screen mode now open directly from the search interface. This means that the open page is unchanged.
    • In-line links and images now render properly in view-only mode.
  • Databases
    • Added the "Hyperlink" column type for external links.
    • Added the "Link to Page" column type for referencing other notes.
  • Users can now drag-and-drop to re-order subtrees in the sidebar.

You can try Noded out here.

permalink  |  2/8/2021, 9:39:31 PM
Open Letter

An Open Letter to Senator-elect Roger Marshall

Roger Marshall, Kansas Senator-elect, has expressed his intention to vote not to certify the result of the 2020 presidential election.

I feel very strongly that this is a dangerous and irresponsible move that goes against the core tenets of American democracy.

Read the letter here.

This letter is released in the public domain. Please, adapt it, share it with others, and most importantly, send it to your representatives. Call them, e-mail them, snail mail them to tell them to support free and fair elections.

permalink  |  1/2/2021, 11:30:31 PM
Code Snippet

Full-text search PDFs from Linux CLI

For an open-note exam, I wanted a quick way to full-text search PDFs from the command-line.

I wrote a 2-line script to help with that, using just find, grep, and pdftotext (common to most distros).

Get it here.

permalink  |  12/9/2020, 1:35:36 AM
Side Project

MiniQ: A bare-bones, CRON-driven job queue.

I wanted a simple way to queue jobs to be run in the background without having to run a separate daemon.

MiniQ is what I came up with. With just 3 files, MiniQ provides the ability to log jobs and the CRON script will run periodically and execute the queued jobs in the background.

More info here.

permalink  |  12/2/2020, 7:51:45 PM
Blog Post

Converting an Ionic/Angular Site into a Progressive Web App

For the last year or so, I've been working on converting an Ionic app to a progressive web app with offline support called Noded. I decided to write up my findings on how to do this with Angular service-worker.

Read more about it here.

permalink  |  12/1/2020, 6:28:31 PM
Side Project

My Technical Notes Site

I'm trying to write down or save all the technical tricks, notes, and fixes I find. That way, it's easier for me to find them again in the future, and maybe they can be of use to others.

You can check them out here.

permalink  |  11/29/2020, 9:13:30 AM
Blog Post

How to Code From Home Like a Boss

With the current need to work from home, I've put together a list of tricks and tools I use to do my work as a software developer remotely, and discuss the challenges. Here's what I use.

permalink  |  7/23/2020, 9:15:49 AM
Code Release

Feed Page, RSS, & Atom - Minor Website Updates I recently made some tweaks to my website. I added a dedicated page as a historical archive for these updates.

I also added the ability to subscribe to this feed using RSS, Atom, and JSON thanks to a handy NPM package.

permalink  |  5/9/2020, 12:33:30 AM
Code Release

VuES6 - ES6 Vue.js Components, in Plain JavaScript

I recently released a small utility library for defining Vue components as proper ES6 classes, but in vanilla JavaScript. I like to use this in small projects where I don't want to have to set up vue-cli and compile templates. More info here.

permalink  |  4/22/2020, 11:17:15 PM
Side Project

Connect-4 Webtoy

I've built a simple Connect-4 webtoy as a project for EECS 368 at the University of Kansas. You can play with it here.

permalink  |  4/8/2020, 2:20:25 PM
Blog Post

Code Freedom with Gitea & Drone - Part I

In my never-ending quest to self-host all the things, I've deployed a combination of Gitea and Drone CI for a feature-for-feature, self-hosted alternative to GitHub. Here's how.

permalink  |  3/7/2020, 5:10:49 AM
HackKU 2020

Noded - Free-Form Notes & Databases

I recently attended the annual University of Kansas hackathon, where me and a couple friends built Noded.

Noded is a tree-based note taking app based on reusable page elements. It provides support for basic notes, uploaded files, a built-in code editor, customizable databases, static website exports, and sub-tree sharing. Check it out here.

permalink  |  2/25/2020, 1:28:06 AM
Code Release


Flitter-DI is the second-generation dependency-injector used by the Flitter framework. It was pulled from the libflitter project in the hope that it can remain independent from the rest of Flitter and can be used in other projects. More info here.

permalink  |  12/19/2019, 9:19:39 PM
Blog Post

Dependency Injection in Less Than 100 Lines of Pure JavaScript

DI is a powerful pattern for segmenting code to keep it efficient and easy to reuse. In this article, we're going to build a basic DI in <100 lines of pure ES6. Read about it here.

permalink  |  11/16/2019, 7:18:47 PM
Blog Post

A New Platform - My Relentless Pursuit of Privacy

I've finally moved the home of my blog from over to a self-hosted Hexo blog. Why? Read more here.

permalink  |  11/15/2019, 7:14:09 AM

Computing in the Kubernetes Framework

Recently I had the pleasure of presenting at the University of Kansas' Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis Weekly Colloquium. You can find resources from my talk on using k8s for scientific computing here.

permalink  |  11/1/2019, 3:46:15 PM
Code Release


This release of Flitter's auth provider brings an OAuth2 server, OAuth2 client, and refinements to the login flow structure. More details here.

permalink  |  11/1/2019, 3:46:15 PM
Blog Post

Building a Raspberry Pi Cluster - Part 3

In the third installment of my miniature-HPC series, we discuss OpenMPI, Python3, and running parallel jobs. Read more here.

permalink  |  11/1/2019, 3:46:15 PM