New internet connection is hosted by myself on an old desktop computer in my bedroom, using my home internet connection. The general specs are:

  • Dell Vostro 420 Series (64bits) — BIOS date of October 24, 2008
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad CPU @ 2.66GHz (with hyperthreading), with a clock speed of 333MHz; L1d cache 128KiB (4 instances); L1i cache 128KiB (4 instances); L2 cache 6MiB
  • 8GB (4 x 2GB) memory, clock speed 800MHz
  • HD: 240GB SSD (OS and blog)
  • External USB hard drive: 1TB (static website data and other stuff)

Currently, it is running Fedora Linux version 37 Workstation Edition. Using the Server Edition for such a small, home-grown vanity project seemed unnecessary given a comfort level with the Workstation Edition and, since at its core, the two editions are subsets of the same OS. Ultimately, missing packages from one edition compared to the other are a “dnf install” command away. (As for a longer-term distro, I have always been a Red Hat user, so Debian or an Ubuntu LTS release aren’t interesting to me, while the new community respins of RHEL have neither captured my imagination, nor do they hold sufficient appeal anymore on a technical level.) Hence, I started from the Edition with which I and my brother (the technical heavy-lifter) are familiar, which allows for the (admittedly rare) use of a GUI as needed.

The filesystems are with ext4 on the boot partition of the SSD, as well as on the external USB hard drive; I use ext4 because I’m used to it, but can’t truly say I know, or can recommend, one filesystem from or over the next. UPDATE: I checked the filesystems and … the boot partition is ext4, and the SSD’s data portion seems to have defaulted to BTRFS; there you go, proof I don’t know much about the differences between various filesystems and their comparative advantages and disadvantages. 🙂

I have been hosting my personal website at home since at least December 2017 on a few used computers (I think the current computer is at least the fourth since transferring my website from a friend-of-my-brother’s web hosting service):

  • December 2017: IBM ThinkCentre, circa 2003 era and running CentOS 7.X (retired due to a suspected thermal event)
  • Sometime after 2017 and until April 2020: A Core 2-duo circa possibly 2010 era, running various current Fedora versions up to version 31 (repurposed due to power issues)
  • April 2020: IBM ThinkCentre, circa possibly 2006 or 2007 era, running Fedora 31 to Fedora 37 (retired due to unknown problems causing constant reboot cycles, which were not fully investigated)
  • The current 2008 era computer installed in February 2023: Dell Core 2 Duo, 2008, (described above) using the same SSD and therefore instance of Fedora 37 from the previous IBM ThinkCentre

But to wit, since hosting myself, it has always been on my home internet service, a DSL line with a (now-)paltry 6.05MBit-ish down and, what, 0.67MBit-ish up capacity, which for reasons beyond the scope of this post had not been upgraded for (best I can remember) over 20 years.

Time marching on and the increase of devices in the household meant that while still minimally usable and just functional, the internet connection regularly became inadequate for daily use, and barely usable for things like weekly simultaneous videoconferences (and with slightly-more-than-tacit rules of “no other internet usage during said weekly dual videoconferences” and the like.) The slow internet access, especially the slow uplink, affected a blogging project started in late 2020 showing pictures of the preparation of my recipes from my collection by limiting photo sizes not only as a good idea for reasons of netiquette, page layout and formatting, but as an outright necessity given the limited upload capacity (thank you WordPress for lazy-loading!)

Well, last week we finally upgraded the internet package to cable with 120MBit down and 20MBit up. Interestingly, we had had a cable modem for a few years in the late 1990’s until it became quite unusable and made a switch to DSL; as a side note, a box, some equipment inside it, and some cable wiring from that period were still attached to the outside of the house, not having been removed at the time, and were still compatible and usable when we got the install last week.

As such, now has decent upload speeds!

Making Mashed Sweet Potato and Ground Roast Pork Casseroles — Photos

This is a relatively new addition to my collection of recipes, after having looked through an old community cookbook given to me by a neighbour. It is based on a near-identical recipe obviously (and expressly) intended to use up leftovers from a roast pork Sunday dinner; however, after trying the original recipe, which called for the use of brown sugar and apple slices, I decided to omit the sugar, which made the dish too sweet, and the apples, which didn’t suit us, and replaced them with cooked carrots.

This cooking session occurred in early April, 2023; for a variety of reasons, including the sheer number of photos to organize and prepare for this post — I went into overdrive! — it has taken a bit more than three weeks for me to build this blog post. Also, for the sake of the narrative, the photo progression presented here occasionally differs from the precise progression of when the photos were taken, either because of some mise-en-place activities, actual progression of the food preparation, photo shooting (and occasionally its impact on progression), several operations occurring concurrently, and the like.

Preparing the dish:

Firstly, a countertop convection oven was turned on:

Countertop convection oven turned on
Countertop oven turned on
Oven turned on and set to 350F
Countertop oven turned on

A roasting tray was taken out:

Roasting tray taken out

A package of (frozen) pork loin, defrosted prior to the cooking session, was taken out:

Defrosted pork loin taken out

Scissors were taken out to open the vacuum pack sealing the pork:

Scissors taken out

The pork loin’s vacuum pack was cut open:

Packaging cut open

The pork loin, removed from the vacuum pack, was placed in the roasting tray:

Pork placed in roasting tray

Garlic salt was taken out:

Garlic salt taken out

Garlic salt was liberally shaken on top of the pork loin:

Garlic salt shaken onto pork
Garlic salt shaken onto pork

The pork loin was placed in the countertop convection oven:

Pork placed in countertop convection oven

A timer was set for an hour as a reminder for how long to cook the pork loin:

One hour set on timer

A pot was taken out for boiling carrots:

Pot taken out for boiling carrots

A scale was taken out to know roughly measure out the right amount of carrot:

Scale taken out to measure carrots

Carrots were taken out:

Carrots taken out

About a quarter pound of carrot — in this case, a single carrot — was taken out of the bag:

Quarter pound of carrot measured out

The carrot was cleaned and rinsed:

Carrot rinsed

The cleaned carrot was placed on a cutting board:

Cleaned carrot placed on cutting board

The carrot was trimmed:

Carrot trimmed

The carrot was sliced lengthwise:

Carrot sliced lengthwise

… and again sliced a few more times to make carrot spears:

Carrot sliced lengthwise to create spears

The carrot spears were chopped:

Carrots chopped
Carrots chopped

The chopped carrots were transferred to the pot:

Chopped carrots transferred to pot
Chopped carrots transferred to pot

Water was added to the pot of chopped carrots until the carrots were covered:

Water added to pot of carrots
Water added to pot of carrots

Salt was added to the carrots and water:

Salt added to water and carrots

A stove burner was turned on:

Stove burner turned on

The carrots were brought to a boil …

Carrots brought to a boil

Once the carrots were boiled for about ten minutes, the boiling water was drained off:

Boiling water drained from pot

A mixing bowl was taken out in which to transfer the carrots:

Mixing bowl taken out

The boiled carrots were transferred to the mixing bowl:

Boiled carrots transferred to mixing bowl
Boiled carrots transferred to mixing bowl

The carrots were put aside for a bit.

A microwave-safe cooking vessel was taken out, ready for a few moments later when the sweet potatoes would be peeled:

Microwave-safe cooking vessel taken out
Microwave-safe cooking vessel taken out

A bowl was placed on the scale, and the scale set to zero:

Bowl placed on scale, scale set to zero

A bit more than four pounds of sweet potatoes were measured out:

Sweet potatoes taken out

A potato peeler was taken out:

Potato peeler taken out

The sweet potatoes were peeled, with the peels placed in a bucket to keep for later disposal in a municipal composting programme:

Sweet potatoes peeled

Peeled sweet potatoes were placed in the microwave-safe cooking vessel:

Peeled sweet potato placed in cooking vessel
Peeled sweet potato placed in cooking vessel

A kitchen knife was taken out:

Kitchen knife taken out

The sweet potatoes were sliced and quartered:

Sweet potatoes sliced and quartered
Sweet potatoes sliced and quartered

… and placed back in the microwave-safe cooking vessel:

Sweet potato quarters placed in cooking vessel

Water was added to the cooking vessel …

Water added to cooking vessel

… to about a bit below the surface of the sweet potatoes:

Water added to cooking vessel

The vessel was covered …

Sweet potatoes covered

… and placed in the microwave oven:

Sweet potatoes placed in microwave oven

The microwave oven (1200 watts) was set to 18 minutes:

Microwave oven set to eighteen minutes

… and the microwave oven was turned on:

Microwave oven turned on

While the sweet potatoes were cooking, a package of dried gravy mix — turkey gravy, which is what I had on hand, and in a package that makes a cup’s worth of gravy, as called for in the recipe, was taken out:

Gravy mix taken out

The gravy packet was opened and its contents transferred to another pot that was taken out:

Gravy mix added to pot

A measuring cup was taken out:

Measuring cup taken out

A cup of water was measured out:

Water measured out

The water was added to the pot:

Water added to gravy mix

The gravy mix and water were mixed with a spoon:

Gravy mix and water mix

The gravy was put aside, since the time on the roast pork ran out:

Pork taken out of oven

A meat thermometer was taken out …

Meat thermometer taken out

… and stuck into the pork, giving a temperature reading just right for fully cooked pork:

Meat thermometer reading of cooked pork

The pork was removed from the roasting pan:

Pork removed from roasting pan

… and the juices in the roasting pan were drained into the bowl with the cooked carrots

Pork juices drained into bowl with cooked carrots

The roast pork was sliced thickly:

Pork sliced thickly
Pork sliced thickly

The roast pork was cut into cubes:

Pork cut into cubes

A small blender with chopping blades was taken out …

Blender with chopping blades taken out

… and the blender was plugged in:

Blender plugged in

Cubes of roast pork were placed in the blender …

Cubes of pork placed in blender

… and the lid placed on top of the blender:

Blender lid installed

The pork was ground finely without creating a mush:

Pork ground

The chopped pork was transferred to the bowl with the cooked carrots and pork juices:

Ground pork transferred to bowl with carrots
Ground pork transferred to bowl with carrots

Larger bits of pork which did not get ground finely enough were removed from the bowl, to be ground again with more pork cubes:

Larger bits of pork removed from bowl to be reground with the rest of the pork

The rest of the pork was ground and transferred to the mixing bowl.

Returning to the gravy, a burner on the stove was turned on, in this case, the smaller inner part of a larger burner which has two settings:

Stove burner turned on
Gravy being heated

The gravy was constantly mixed while being heated, to avoid burning:

Gravy constantly mixed

Once the gravy came to a boil, the timer was set to a minute …

One minute set on timer once gravy boiling

… while the burner setting was reduced to just about minimum to only allow for simmering:

Stove burner setting reduced

Once the minute ran out, the gravy was poured over the ground pork and carrots:

Gravy poured into bowl with pork and carrots
Gravy poured into bowl with pork and carrots

The gravy, ground pork, and carrots were mixed with the spoon:

Pork, carrots, and gravy mixed

At this point, oven-proof dishes were taken out, for filling:

Oven-proof dishes taken out

The meat mix was spooned into containers to about half full, and spread out evenly:

Meat mix transferred to oven-proof dish
Meat mix transferred to oven-proof dish
Oven-proof dishes filled with meat mix

At this point, I came back to the sweet potatoes, which had long since finished cooking in the microwave oven:

Cooked sweet potatoes taken out of microwave oven

The sweet potatoes were checked with a fork to see if they were properly cooked through, which they were:

Cooked sweet potatoes checked for degree of cooking

The water was drained off of the sweet potatoes:

Cooking water drained

A container of margarine was taken out and opened:

Margarine container taken out
Margarine container opened

A dollop of margarine was taken from the margarine container with a spoon:

Dollop of margarine taken from container

The margarine was added to the sweet potatoes:

Margarine added to sweet potatoes
Margarine added to sweet potatoes

A measuring cup and milk were taken out:

Milk and measuring cup taken out

Milk was measured out:

Milk measured out

The milk was added to the sweet potatoes and margarine:

Milk added to sweet potatoes
Milk added to sweet potatoes

Measuring spoons were taken out:

Salt was taken out:

Salt taken out

Salt was measured out:

Salt measured out

The salt was added to the sweet potatoes:

Salt added to sweet potatoes
Salt added to sweet potatoes

An electric mixer was taken out, to mash the sweet potatoes:

Electric mixer taken out

The electric mixer was plugged in:

Electric mixer plugged in

The sweet potatoes were mashed with the electric mixer:

Mashing sweet potatoes with electric mixer
Mashing sweet potatoes with electric mixer
Sweet potatoes mashed

A plastic icing spreader was taken out:

Plastic icing spreader taken out

Mashed sweet potatoes were picked up with the icing spreader …

Mashed sweet potato picked up with icing spreader

… and, back to the containers with the pork, gravy, and carrots mix, the mashed sweet potatoes were spread on top of the meat mix :

Mashed sweet potatoes spread on top of meat mix
Mashed sweet potatoes spread on top of meat mix
Mashed sweet potatoes spread on top of meat mix
Mashed sweet potatoes spread on top of meat mix

Plastic bags were taken out and identified and dated:

Bags taken out and identified

The dishes were placed in the individual bags:

Dishes placed in bags

And finally, the bagged dishes were placed in the freezer:

Bagged dishes placed in freezer

This tasty dish is now a favourite!