OSNews reports that Dillo has released a new version for the first time in almost a decade!

Now there’s a blast from the past!

Dillo (as in armadillo) is a super-minimalist web browser for Linux and related systems that’s especially useful on low-end hardware. I used it for a while back in the early 2000s, though not as my primary browser. It was great for reading documentation, though, because it was so fast (and docs usually don’t need JavaScript (and if they do, they shouldn’t)).

I haven’t really kept up with it since 2009 or so, not long after the the major 2.0 release, but I built its RPMs for a while. First on my desktop for RHL/Fedora, then on multi-boot partitions to build for older versions and other distributions like SuSe and Mandriva, then using User-Mode Linux (an older virtualization system). I later moved the build system to an expendable frankenputer after an OS installer trashed my partition table. The last set of RPMs I built were for Fedora and RHEL back in 2009. (These days, with containers and modern virtualization, it would be *so* much easier and safer to do all on one box!)

Apparently the project stalled in 2016 after one of the main developers, Sebastian Geerken died. A few years later, lead developer Jorge Arellano Cid just stopped posting online. A couple of years after that, the domain name expired and was picked up by a spammer. (I should see if I still have any links to the old site on here and update them.)

It’s sad to hear that Sebastian passed away.

I hope Jorge is okay and just off-grid somewhere.

This year’s new project has brought it up to date with modern SSL/TLS capabilities, which is a much bigger deal now than it seemed to be in the early 2000s, as well as improved CSS support and other improvements. I’ll have to try out how well it handles today’s (static) web. I bet it’ll run great on the PineTab2!

Circular shadow on the sidewalk, with lots of bright crescents inside, all facing the same direction.

For a lot of reasons, we didn’t arrange another road trip to see today’s total eclipse like we did in 2017 (which was amazing, by the way!). It was only partial out here in California, and not even with as high a magnitude as the one last October.

But we had clear skies, so we broke out the eclipse glasses from 2017 again. After testing them first by looking directly as a bright indoor lamp to make sure there were no scratches. And I’d heard that colanders make interesting patterns (each hole works as a pinhole camera) much like overlapping leaves do, so I brought that out — as you can see, it worked quite well!

I do kind of regret not being able to get out to see this one as total. Partial eclipses can be really cool, especially if you have multiple ways to observe them, but XKCD has a point. There really isn’t any comparison to experiencing totality, and it doesn’t come through very well in photos.

I bet northern Spain is already booked for 2026.

It is interesting to think that solar eclipses happen every year — usually twice! — but they’re not always total, and they’re only visible from a small part of the planet at a time. And sometimes that’s a slice of, say, Antarctica or Siberia or out in the middle of the ocean. Not rare for the planet, but definitely rare for any given location.

On one hand, it’s no wonder people used to see them as omens. With travel and communication slow (and in many cases impossible) in the ancient world, if you’re only going on what’s been seen in your area, it seems super-rare and unpredictable. On the other hand, cultures with sophisticated enough astronomy like the ancient Babylonians were able to calculate the eclipse cycle thousands of years ago!

One bit of funny timing: We’ve been catching up on the last season of The Magicians. Today we got up to an episode that…well, let’s just say the moon figures very prominently in it!

Update: Axios posted a nice map last week showing how fully booked AirBnBs are for the day in different parts of the US…which shows the path of totality *very* clearly!

Me, driving a smallish gas-fueled car in the 2000s: Wow, gas has gotten expensive these days, but at least I’m not spending too much per tank.

Me, driving a hybrid car in the 2010s: Yeah, gas is still expensive, but I’m still not spending too much per tank, and I think I’m filling it less often than I used to.

Me, driving a plug-in hybrid to the grocery store and back during the first year of the pandemic: I have no idea how much gas costs. I haven’t filled the tank since the before times. I hope the gas engine still works.

Me, driving the same plug-in hybrid normally during the 2020s: Oh yeah, gas is kinda expensive. At least I don’t have to fill up the tank very often, and it’s not too much when I do.

Me, driving a rented gas-fueled SUV to the next county and back once: WTF I’M SPENDING HOW MUCH TO FILL UP THIS TANK!?!?!?

Interesting spam/phish technique: Look for subdomains with CNAMEs or SPF records that point to abandoned domains that you can then register…and effectively take control of the subdomain or SPF.

They haven’t seen any cases where it’s been used to host a phishing site at, say, an msn.com subdomain, but they’ve seen thousands of cases where it’s been used to pass email verification checks.

The article describing “SubdoMailing” gives a detailed example of a spam that made use of an msn.com subdomain that was used for a sweepstakes way back in in 2001, with a CNAME pointing to the long-abandoned domain name for the contest, but the subdomain was never actually deleted.

Lesson: check your DNS for any dangling references to outside domains that might not exist anymore!