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Writing on various topics including travel, finance and technology.

Reaction Commerce Debugging Primer

10 minute read Updated

How to debug a Node.js App Running inside a Docker container.

Reaction Commerce is a full-stack, self-hosted commerce platform you can run for as little as $10 on your own VPS. Think of Reaction Commerce as what WooCommerce might’ve become had it not been dependent on PHP/WordPress and instead was rewritten using modern coding languages and development techniques.

Using self-hosted commerce is like having your own personal Shopify, WIX or BigCommerce right at your fingertips. Only there’s no monthly costs to worry about just to use it. And there’s no vendor lock-in which would otherwise make it too difficult or risky to switch between platforms when the need arises.

After you’ve learned the basics of Getting Started you’re ready to dive deeper into the code and learn how things work. One of the best ways to learn any new system is to look for bugs and figure how to debug them. And in this tutorial I will show you some strategies for debugging source code in Reaction Commerce.

Bali Short Visa Long Stay

2 minute read Updated

Exploring the depths of Bali using a short-term tourist visa.

“Duah tahun setengah,” I replied to a pair of grinning Indonesian men just beyond the gate of a modest homestay in northern Bali. They were “kepo” to know how long I’ve been living in Bali. And though I’ve been here just over two-and-a-half years I’ve been doing so freely using a short-term tourist visa called a VoA.

Who wouldn’t want to live on an island in the tropics given the opportunity? And that opportunity became apparent in late-2016, the first time I set foot in Ubud. “What kind of magic place is this,” I remember thinking. The desire to move came strong, and my intention manifested accordingly.

It’s been two-and-a-half years since I moved to Bali. And even without a typical long-stay visa I’ve managed to make things work using bi-monthly flights, and appreciate being able to communicate it to others more with each passing day.

Awesome React Boilerplates

7 minute read Updated

Awesome React starter kits to kick your app development into high gear.

Not interested in reinventing the wheel? Neither am I. Here’s a short list of awesome boilerplates – sometimes called starter kits or seeds – for getting your React applications off the ground in a hurry.

These boilerplates weren’t taken from any list, however awesome it might be. Rather, they’ve gained enough mindshare to find me outside The Stream.

So without further ado…

A Five Year Cough

7 minute read Updated

I was coughing for five years. Kratom fixed it instantly.

Last October I was co-located for two months with an unlikely pair of digital nomads perched at a private villa in northern Bali. One of them was visionary, born again vegan in his late 30’s. The other a talented twenty-something savant programmer from Volgograd. During our time co-locating I helped the two containerize an application stack they’d been working on for over a year. And they introduced me to a healing herb used in traditional medicine I would later find out was the treatment I needed to control my chronic bronchitis.

Reaction Commerce — Getting Started

10 minute read Updated

The Unofficial Guide to getting started with Reaction Commerce v3.

Reaction Commerce is a full-stack, self-hosted commerce platform you can run for as little as $10 on your own VPS. Think of Reaction Commerce as what WooCommerce might’ve become had it not been dependent on PHP/WordPress and instead was rewritten using modern coding languages and development techniques.

Using self-hosted commerce is like having your own personal Shopify, WIX or BigCommerce right at your fingertips. Only there’s no monthly costs to worry about just to use it. And there’s no vendor lock-in which would otherwise make it too difficult or risky to switch between platforms when the need arises.

With commerce goliaths like Amazon doubling quarterly profits in 2020 while, at the same time snubbing their own FBA customers, it’s high time you took a hard look at your e-commerce and take control of your own commerce destiny. In this post I will show you how to set-up your own self-hosted Reaction Commerce stack on a VPS with as little as 2GB of RAM or about $10/month.

Redirect non-www to www Traefik v2

4 minute read Published

How to create cool URIs using Traefik 2 with Docker labels.

I like cool URIs that don't change so whenever I’m making a new website I make sure I put my web content on the www subdomain where it belongs. This of course leaves the domain apex, or root of the domain, empty and user agents don’t always do what comes so natural to us humans — adding a www in front of a domain name.

Computers get even more clumsy when you add HTTPS into the equation and are working with new technologies. So if you’re looking for cool URIs too here’s how to redirect domain.example to www.domain.example with Traefik v2 over both HTTP and HTTPS using Docker labels in a docker-compose.override.yml YAML file:

ACH Payments on Reaction Commerce

7 minute read Updated

How to accept ACH payments using Reaction Commerce.

After learning Mitragynine was the cure for my five year cough I realized most of my stay here in Bali put me a mere 653 miles from the source of the jamu (Indonesian for herbal remedy) I now substitute entirely as a replacement for caffeine. Given my medical journey, location and software engineering background it seems fitting to set-up an online shop to better take advantage of this miracle plant. After some trial and error the platform I’ve landed on for commerce is called Reaction Commerce. And in this post I’ll show you how to use it to set-up a simple ACH payment system using Reaction on your own website.

Unlimited Free International Calls to the United States

4 minute read Published

How to get Google Voice and make free phone calls to the US from anywhere.
Back in 2011 I explained how I was able to make unlimited free international calls to the USA while traveling abroad. That was back when Android was on version 2.2. Since then a lot has changed. But one thing that has remained constant is the use of Google Voice to get free stuff. In this post I will explain how anyone, anywhere in the world, can use Google Voice to make unlimited free international calls to the United States of America.

Install Extensions Ungoogled Chromium

2 minute read Published

Bypassing Google to install Chrome Extensions ripped from the Web Store.

I recently started using Ungoogled Chromium on Invisible Arch Linux after looking for alternatives to Firefox. After a couple weeks of use I can say Ungoogled Chromium is a great browser and it’s become my goto alternative to GNU IceCat on Linux when not using Tor Browser. The only downside I found is that you need to jump through a few hoops to install Chrome Extensions.

But it’s not that much work to get extensions running in Ungoogled Chromium. And you don’t even need a Google account. Let me show you how.

Hiding Apps in the Deepin DDE Launcher

3 minute read Published

How to hide or modify main menu apps in Deepin Desktop Environment.
While getting my Invisible Arch set-up I cycled through a few desktops before settling happily on a now very slick and stable Deepin V20, still in beta. Given I’m shifting back and forth between Deepin and GNOME every so often I ended up having multiple apps with the same or similar names appearing in the menu system. To remedy that it’s possible to hide apps shown in the launcher. To hide or modify apps appearing in the Deepin launcher menu install a package called alacarte from the package repository.

Getting Started with Yew for Rust

4 minute read Published

Rust framework for creating multi-threaded front-end web apps with WebAssembly.

Today we’re going to create a starter website using Yew for Rust. This should take you about 20-30 minutes depending on the speed of your Internet connection and computer. At the outset you will have a website so bleeding edge you didn’t even feel the cut. Kind of like how Node developers didn’t see Deno coming…

To get started install or upgrade Rust. If you don’t have Rust installed, you can install it from the stable channel using the following command: