GMail broke my email

In what must be one of the weirdest flexes ever, I can proudly say that I keep my own email server. And like everyone who keeps their own e-mail server can attest, GMail is always annoyingly difficult to work with.

The last version of this problem is that GMail stopped receiving my email because I didn't have a PTR record, an error that's annoyingly difficult to debug for two reasons: because the record is not really called "PTR", making it slightly difficult to figure out what they want for me, and because I know I've had one for years.

Long story short, the problem was that my server started using IPv6 and the outgoing address was not matching the IPv4 PTR record I had. So I solved the way these problems are always solved: I turned off IPv6 and everything works again. I can't remember who gave me this advice for the first time, but I can confirm that it works.

Now, if only I could manage to identify why Apache is not redirecting the LetsEncrypt challenges properly...

Edit: This post is best read when listening to Future Boy's "Computer Shop". Warning: NSFW language!

Pelican broke on me

As I mentioned a long time ago I am using Pelican for publishing my blog. I recently did an upgrade which broke the syntax highlighting, and I thought I should take a short time to explain how to fix it because I couldn't find a solution anywhere.

The problem: it used to be the case that you could write your code like this and it would do what you'd expect:

print('Hello world')

But since some version this syntax is no longer valid, resulting in a plainly visible syntax identifier and the wrong colors being used in the highlighting:

print('Hello world')

The solution is simple: change to the other style for writing code in Markdown, like so (note the leading spaces):

    print('Hello world')

And that solves the issue.

print('Hello world')

I shouldn't forget to mention that this change forced me to re-indent all of my code samples: the reason I was using the triple backquotes format was because it lets me indent at the 0-th column, while the new syntax forces me to indent everything with four leading spaces. And you know what happens with Python code when you accidentally miss four spaces, i.e., one indentation? It breaks in marvelous and unexpected ways! Ensuring that every single line of code was properly re-indented was not a fun task, but a necessary one nonetheless.

Which brings me to my final point. I thought I was used to the whole "indentation has meaning" thing, but I have to say: only after using Rust at the end of last year and going back to braces to delimit code blocks did I realize how much I've missed them.

Why the music industry still won't take my money?

Remember this post where I complained that the music industry won't take my money? Well, it's that time of year again.

As you may remember from following me on Mastodon, I bought an Alexa, set it up in Spanish, and almost went insane due to how bad it was. So I did what every normal person would do in this case and I gifted to my mom. This Alexa slept in an Argentinean drawer for a long time, until one day I finally convinced my family to stop worrying about breaking it. Today it works mostly as a voice-activated music player for my nieces.

We have established before that I am an idiot, and because I'm an idiot I decided to set up Spotify (with a family plan) instead of Apple Music. I already have a rocky situation with Spotify, which is why I am not shocked at all to learn that, just like Amazon and Warner before them, Spotify will not take my money:

  • I cannot pay for my mom's plan because my card is German and the account is not. And the device's IP is obviously in Argentina.
  • I cannot use an Argentinean credit card, because I don't have one.
  • I cannot use the other available methods because they require me to physically go to a store in another continent.
  • I cannot pay with a gift card - even suggesting this as a possible feature will get your request closed without review.
  • I can try to set the account to a German one, but as the tech support representative would put it, "you can give it a try, however that is something we are unable to guarantee that will work". Also, I fear this may cause Alexa to start speaking in German, and my mom won't be amused by that.

So once again I am trying to give a company money -- no, scratch that: I am trying to give a company money THAT'S WORTH MORE THAN THE MONEY THEY WANT (Argentinean pesos are not super hot right now), and yet they won't listen to reason. The Spotify forums are full of threads where the best answer you'll get is a "Community Legend" saying that it sucks to be you.

The most likely end of this story is that I'll wire some money over Western Union and one of my relatives will go to a store to pay the bill. My time will be wasted, I'll lose some money in the exchange, my relative's time will be also wasted, and Spotify will receive money in a currency that's devaluating at a 10% monthly rate.

Great job, Spotify.