Mainroad Woes

Gabe Weatherhead, the MacDrifter himself, switched his blog over to Hugo. He was a victim of the Webfaction shutdown himself, and like me, looked for a different blogging engine (he was previously using Pelican).

He launched the new site today, hosted on Opalstack, using the Mainroad theme on top of Hugo. And like me, he seems to have the same problem with the post excerpts on the main page, in that all the formatting is stripped. From the look of things, he has been unable to fix it either. However, unlike me, he persisted, instead of bailing out like me.

It’s interesting that we both settled on the same minimalistic theme, though in hindsight, it was probably his blog that inspired the minimalist in me. (You do not want to see my old Geocities site).

Anyway, I’m glad to see he’s back blogging. The Internet was a worse place without him.

Adventures in CMS

For almost 6 years, I have been hosting this site at Webfaction, but late last year we were warned that they had been purchased by GoDaddy and they would be transitioning their hosting over to another GoDaddy company (tsoHost) this month. They were supposed to transfer our accounts over to the new host, unless they’ve weren’t able to, presumably due to a technical limitation of what we host on our sites.

Surprisingly, a month ago, I received an email saying that they were unsuccessful in migrating my account, and as a result, on September 15th, my site would go down, unless I transferred it manually myself. No further explanation was given why. Maybe, as Gabe Weatherhead stated, and I quote:

they don’t know how to host anymore. Maybe they lost the one person that had the keys. Maybe they outsourced their infrastructure to interns.

That left me in a difficult spot, as I now had to find another host.

Well, maybe not so difficult. I already had another VPS at a different provider that I use to host, as well as being a playground for various self-hosted projects. I figured the easiest thing to do would be to just move everything over there. While I was at it, I thought maybe I could try a different engine/CMS for this site. This site has been running on WordPress from its inception.

For a while now, I have been looking at static site generators, especially the flat-file ones. A system that avoids databases like MySQL was quite alluring, as it avoids that layer of complexity, leaving everything to just a hierarchical folder based structure. Now, I know not all SSGs use flat files, so I excluded those that used databases. After narrowing the list down, I settled on Hugo and Kirby. After a little more experimenting, I settled on Hugo. It seemed interesting enough, and I like the fact that the posts would be in Markdown, and that the whole backend could be hosted on my Mac, with just the final compiled version pushed to the VPS.

As far as themes go, I’m not a designer, not by a long shot. However, I can read CSS to an extent, and I have had my fair share of experience modifying themes to my liking. Thus, I set about looking for themes for Hugo. What I was looking for was a relatively minimalistic theme, just like what you’re seeing on this blog. Too many elements all over the screen can be quite distracting, and does not fit the volume nor content of this site.

I quickly realised that it was going to be a challenge. Firstly, there were not many minimalistic themes to my liking, and the ones that were minimalist enough, had too much on the backend and was not as easy to set up as I thought. If I had more time to dedicate to this project, I probably would have persevered, but I don’t. I spent the better part of Saturday evening and night, until around 2am, learning how to set up Hugo, and to customise it to my liking. I had settled on a theme, Mainroad, that fit my needs. Things were looking up. Then I found an annoying flaw. Small, but annoying.

The Mainroad theme, on the main page, only shows an excerpt of the entire post, which is not a problem at all. What is a problem, however, is that the excerpt ignores all formatting, and lumps everything as a single block of text. So lists and paragraphs all appear as a single block. Like I said, small, but it annoyed me. Initially I thought maybe it was something I had done while I was modifying the theme, but when I went back to the theme’s own demo site, I saw it did the same thing to the posts there.

By this time it was 2am, and I had been working on it for hours. I had almost completed everything I wanted to do with it, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Not willing to go hunting through the code to try to fix something the developers themselves had not been able to, nor to embark on a further hunt for a theme, I decided to use ol’ trusty: WordPress.

Within 10 minutes, I had the entire site set up (sans domain redirection). All my posts were imported, and I had even chosen a new theme for the site (this one). I liked the previous one, especially since it allowed me to use the photo I took of the Natural Bridge Falls in Queensland, but I wanted to try something different.

(By the way, the Twenty Twenty-One theme relies too much on WordPress’ new block editor, which while interesting, is definitely not to my taste, and may be considered ugly even, at least right out of the box.)

This site is not complete yet, however. A few small things still need to be touched up, including the implementation of SSL (Update: Implemented on the 1st of September 2021).

PS: Some of you may wonder why the heck I even bother with this site, considering I rarely post anything, and you make a good point. However, this site is just a front of sorts. Behind this site, under other subdomains, run a number of services, including a YOURLS instance, and a few services from that I set up years ago, amongst other self hosted apps (nothing remotely illegal though). Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not here. 😉

Until next time.

Journal Club Presentations

Over the past two years, I have had numerous requests for copies of the slides I prepared for my LGH Cardiology Journal Club presentations. Since I am supposed to present every other week, this has led to 53 (and counting) presentations so far. COVID-19 temporarily halted journal club due to restrictions on gathering, and a number of the cardiology consultants were not keen on attending it over Zoom or Teams.

However, journal club has since restarted (2 months ago), so this number will increase.

I have uploaded all my presentations to date, (except two, which were too big to upload due to the embedded videos) to this site. You can find the link to the download page over on the sidebar (or at the bottom of the page, for those of you on mobile) entitled Journal Club Presentations. For obvious reasons, the full papers themselves are not available on this site.

Note: all copyrights are owned by their respective owners. Please contact me directly should there be any concerns.

A Delayed Case of “Suicide Ventricle” Post-TAVI Saved by Magnets and Alcohol

ANZET 2017 Certificate

I was selected as a finalist of the Geoff Mews Memorial ANZET Fellows’ Prize 2017 this year for my submission of an abstract with the title of “A Delayed Case of “Suicide Ventricle” Post-TAVI Saved by Magnets and Alcohol.

I presented the case at the ANZET Meeting 2017, but unfortunately did not win the prize.

Below is the abstract that I submitted.

A Delayed Case of “Suicide Ventricle” Post-TAVI Saved by Magnets and Alcohol

“Suicide ventricle” is a recognized phenomenon following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) procedures. Here we present a delayed case of this phenomenon, saved by magnets and alcohol.

An 89 year old woman with severe aortic stenosis underwent TAVI. Her echocardiogram showed severe left ventricular hypertrophy, marked asymmetric septal hypertrophy, no dynamic left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) gradient or systolic anterior motion (SAM) of the mitral leaflet. The procedure was uncomplicated with no evidence of SAM or LVOT obstruction peri-procedurally. Post-procedure, rapid AF developed. Her HR decreased to 50bpm with RV apical pacing. Echocardiogram showed no effusion, LVOT gradient or SAM. A septal permanent pacemaker was inserted due to persistent pacing dependence. Post-procedure her SBP dropped to 60mmHg and noradrenaline infusion was started. Her BP remained poor despite increasing doses and acute pulmonary oedema (APO) developed. Echocardiogram revealed a new LVOT gradient and SAM. Her HR was increased via magnet to the backup rate of 85bpm with immediate haemodynamic improvement. Noradrenaline was ceased. Alcohol septal ablation was considered and deferred due to improving haemodynamics. She remained well, but 5 days later developed APO. CPAP and frusemide were ineffective. Urgent alcohol septal ablation was performed with immediate improvement of her LVOT gradient. She was discharged 5 days later.

This case illustrates that a change in pacing location was sufficient to trigger LVOT obstruction with SAM and that a change in heart rate can result in a dramatic improvement in haemodynamics. Urgent alcohol septal ablation was life saving in this situation.

Homeopathy ‘treatments’ must be labelled to say they do not work, US government orders | The Independent

Homeopathy ‘treatments’ must be labelled to say they do not work, US government orders | The Independent:

“Now, the US government is requiring that producers of such items ensure that if they want to claim they are effective treatments, then they need to make available the proof. Otherwise, they will need to point out that there is “no scientific evidence that the product works”.”

“To believe homeopathy works … is to believe in magic.”

It’s about time they cracked down on those charlatans. It’s amazing how homeopaths have been allowed to lie to the public and peddle concoctions that have not an ounce of evidence behind their efficacy or safety without any oversight. More countries need to do this.

Yes, the article is from November last year, but I just came across it. It’s surprising it has not had more coverage. This is the press release from the FTC’s website.

The Case of the Stolen Source Code

Panic Blog » The Case of the Stolen Source Code:

“…no matter how experienced you might be with computers, you’re human, and mistakes are easily made.”

Steven Frank from Panic (publishers of some of my favourite Mac and iOS apps) had his work Mac compromised during the Handbrake malware hack (not made by Panic), and as a result some source code was stolen. Here’s his story.

Good news is, no customer data appears to have been compromised.

(Via Six Colors ).