Codebalion's Scratchpad So, I wanna talk about something...


Wed, 16 Jun 2021

So, it's been a while. The world kinda got to me for a bit, due mostly to things well outside of my control. And as a result, I've really been in no mind to write anything, much less a phlog or blog post.

Much of it involved my grandfather. He'd been sick for quite a while, but out of the blue, he couldn't really walk without being winded. We finally got him to go see a doctor, and he was diagnosed with bronchitis. Well, that turned out to be the wrong problem, and one ER trip later, he had viral pneumonia. Then, he was put on hospice and sent home because "they couldn't do anything more" for him.

Literally two days later, he passed away from heart and respritory failure, right in front of myself, my uncle, and other family members. That was last month.

Things have been hectic ever since, with me having to do a lot of work for my uncle (the last of four people who raised me). I've had to help in handling all of the insurance changeovers, changing over the phone account, and just doing what I can around the house when possible. I really haven't had a lot of chances to relax, so my already bad anxiety and stress levels have only gotten worse over time.

In other news, I managed to get Fedora 33 working on my laptop again. I don't use Fedora 44 yet because of audio issues, namely losing all external audio devices if I try to use anything but the built-in speakers. That's unusable for me since I mostly use speakers through my port extender/dock for this thing when I'm at my desk. So I'm waiting until Fedora 45, or news of a fix, before I try to upgrade.

I missed my terminal apps. I missed using cmus, vim, wordgrinder, and the massive toolkit I'd created over time. Windows just doesn't have a great CLI or terminal like *nix, so my wrist was hurting from all the use my mouse got while I was back on Win7. That wasn't fun.

Also, I'll be honest, I'll be glad once I can get myself motivated enough to start hacking on something again. I still have things I want to do with Wordgrinder, and I still have an interest in fully learning Perl once I can get my head back in the game. Same with learning C eventually.

For now, I just want to relax, and try to get myself to stop stressing out so much about everything. I finally got an air conditioner for my room, I have space to put things out for projects, and my recent returning love of Stardew Valley means I have something casual to play when I just need to zone out for a while. So not everything has been negative.

Now, if only the weather would calm down...


It's Always Something

Sun, 9 May 2021

There always seems to be some new drama cooking in the FOSS world these days. Audacity is apparently going to include telemetry after being "bought" by a company, so people are up in arms about it, despite the whole thing being opt-in? Like... Okay. It's opt-in, and it's FOSS, so you can remove the code that you don't want to run. I hate to put it this way, but deal with it.

The toxic reactions I've been seeing are exactly why I haven't really gotten into programming. People are demanding, hateful, and spiteful if you don't go with their ideology. And yet, they blame figureheads like RMS for doing the most damage. No, look to your own damned communities if you want the real reason behind those people leaving your projects.

It's sad. I've watched so many developers burn out because of acidic users and devs pushing their own agendas into something, rather than realizing that it's not their project. Especially when there's one dev behind it who originally created the program. I don't want to ever go through that. Not when I've had so much hell just trying to get into coding in the first place. It's frustrating enough watching all of that taking place. Being dragged into it would probably see me swiftly exiting the scene altogether.

I'm not going to argue with why these arguments might be important, but the fact remains that the more hostile and toxic these people are, the worse thing become for the actual developers. The worse many of them feel, the more of a slog the actual process becomes, and the harder they'll eventually burn out of the role altogether.

It's just like with FOSS gatekeeping, which is almost as damaging as these fights tend to be. People who use the "Real Dutchman" argument to say that one isn't really a FOSS/Linux/whatever user because they're not using $distro, or not using $program. Just like the frustrations I've been seeing regarding the RustLang community, and all the people pushing to rewrite everything in Rust because $reasons.

It's not what they're saying, but rather how they're saying it.

People really need to learn some social skills. That's the last I'll say about it.



Sat, 8 May 2021

So, one of my partners is now on their way to Conneticut to chase some dreams, and I'm sitting in my family home in what is once again truly my room, with the other partner I still live with taking over the room he shared. And yet, even after the tears shed, I don't feel any relief about having my space back to myself. It's a strange feeling.

Of course, dealing with my grandfather being in the hospital hasn't helped matters, but regardless, today has marked a number of changes in my life once again. Changes that are both welcome, and not so welcome. Still, life carries on.

Once things calm down at home, I want to return to focusing on learning C and Perl, among other things. Maybe start work on that Linux book I've wanted to work on. I still need to read The C Programming Language and The UNIX Programming Environment, but those will be started soon enough. They're short enough that it won't take me long to go through them, but long enough that I want to read them a bit slower than I usually do.

Let's just hope more shit doesn't go down.


GNOME 40, Fedora 34

Wed, 5 May 2021


So... Fedora 34 dropped, and with it, GNOME 40 became the default desktop. I won't lie, it's pretty damn good so far. It doesn't hard-break things like GNOME 3 did when it first came out, but I've been having to get used to using CTRL+ALT+Left/Right Arrow to move to another workspace instead of Up/Down. Having to install a third settings app with gnome-extensions-app is also rather annoying, but I'll live if it means better stability with shell extenions.

I haven't tried it with my laptop on battery, though. I've seen people mention issues with the CPU spiking after a while, but I'll keep an eye out for that, I guess.


So far, so normal. I had a hiccup with Pipewire failing to the point of a KP, but that only happened once after sleep. Battery life is only slightly less than before, but it's barely noticable. I'm writing this while offline because my ISP is full of problems, but so far, so normal. I'd say it was a successful upgrade.


Fedora 34 really screwed up my laptop's hardware setup. Less battery life, and PipeWire was causing issues with letting me use external anything. I had to reinstall Fedora 33 just to get even my laptop's slice battery working right. Not going to try another upgrade for a while.


Thoughts on Text Editors and OSes

Fri, 23 Apr 2021

It's roughly 00:43 UTC as I start writing this post, both for my blog, and my gopher phlog. I've read through my new-old copy of Learning the vi Editor, and I'll be honest, I've been giving VIM a decent shot as of late. With the vimwiki plugin (among others), it's really been a more pleasant experience than my previous attempts, and finding out about zz and ZZ to save and quit instead of :wq was even nicer.

And yet, I find myself yearning to write in Emacs. The modal design of VIM still irks me to no end, and I find it far slower to use right now than just opening Emacs and typing without having to worry about that feature. That's mostly from how practiced I am with Emacs, and it might change as I work with VIM, but for this moment, I just can't do that.

And it's not really VIM's fault. Don't get me wrong, VIM has faults, just like all software. But in this case, it's mostly my preferences.

But thinking about that brought up another set of thoughts. Namely, that I kinda miss Windows and MacOS. I mean, I can just boot into Win7 by connecting the drive in my laptop, or pull out my 2009 MacBook and run Mac OS 10.6.8 all I want. But using Linux has reminded me that each of the big OSes have their pros and cons, just like with VIM and Emacs.

Windows 7 and Vista have always been absolutely perfect OSes for me, and Mac OS 10.6.8 is literally my dream OS for how stable and amazing it's always been for me. The web is a problem for those OSes (and in general), but I don't rely on the web as much as many people do. Even then, other software tends to have amazing UX for me, especially from the likes of Apple and Adobe. iWork, iLife, MS Expressions Web, MS Office, Sublime Text, BBEdit, Safari... So much of it is just better in some ways than what I use on Linux.

And yet, I can't bring myself to break away from Linux either. So much of what I enjoy about the pro-level hobbyist tools of Unix, and the "a tool that does one job well" mentality of the ecosystem, have shaped what I enjoy doing today. It's why I enjoy using the terminal over most GUI apps, and why I'm trying to learn the likes of Perl and C and shell scripting. It's why I'm so in love with the history of Linux and Unix, and why I want to learn about it as much as I have been, both through books and videos.

It's also why I've been so willing to learn VIM. vi was the original visual text editor, and while ed is nice, line editors are a bit too obsolete for me to use seriously. But VIM is a bit of history that I can get behind and use, and reading through its past in various ways is just beyond interesting for me.

With that said, I think this thoughtstream has gone on long enough.


RSS & Atom Feeds

Wed, 21 Apr 2021

68 feeds. 18 YouTube channels, 3 Mastodon feeds from people I just really want to follow, 5 news feeds from major projects, 1 web comic, 3 of my own blogs, and the remaining 38 are other people's blogs. And that number keeps growing.

That's what my ~/.config/newsboat/urls file looks like, and compared to social media, it's far more sane for my needs. I don't feel rushed to check every feed when I see it updating. I can save articles to read later, and not feel like I'm missing out. And when I feel overwhelmed by something, I can just delete it from my personal listing and not worry about being out of some loop.

That's what RSS/Atom means to me: being able to keep up with things that interest me, but not being stressed out while trying to do so.

Hell, right now, I have 7 articles in my vimwiki's Reading List to read when I'm feeling more up to it. 5 of those are from one blog that I follow, with 4 of them being on setting up a personal email/groupware server, which I want to do here at home. I know about those articles because I follow the blog through a newsfeed.

And yet, I've seen a (relatively trivial) number of people proclaim that RSS is dead, mostly because Google Reader died. I mean, leave it up to Google to push their own agenda by killing off anything that might help to push another competing standard, because we all know most people wouldn't deal with Amp if there were actual options to do so.

No, the real truth is that people won't use something unless it's so simple that anyone can use it. And at one point, newsfeeds had exactly that: a button in nearly every browser that let you easily subscribe to a newsfeed by adding it as a rel="alternate" link in the head of a website. Google removed it, Edge removed it, Firefox removed it, Opera removed it, and I don't think Brave or Vivaldi have ever had it. Some alternative browsers still have the feature, but for the most part, the "Big 3" outside of Apple (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) decided to abandon a standard despite people using it, because they had other agendas to push. And so, they spread the narrative that "people weren't using it" in order to try and get everyone to use their products instead.

And yet, me and many like me will happily use RSS to keep up with the news, or blogs, or anything else that will offer us the service.

RSS isn't dead.


Rust Is Not For Me

Sun, 18 Apr 2021

I'm not going to really get into it here, but after giving RustLang a bit of a try, it just really isn't for me. I got frustrated even more quickly than I did with Python, and just looking at the community...I didn't want to even try asking a question among that madness. I got burned pretty badly by the Python community when I first started, and the evangelism and "Rust or else" mentality that I almost constantly see is a massive turn-off for that very reason.

I might give it another go later on, but as it is, I think I'll stick to Perl, Shell, and Lua scripting for most of my basic needs, and maybe C for any sort of larger project I might need to make. I'm just not going to chance another round of having my desire to learn something crushed by people who really need to calm down a bit.

And I know there's GoLang, but I won't use Go simply because I'm not a fan of it. I tried using it, and it's nice, but it's not really compatible with the way my brain works. I don't know how else to put it.


Why Linux?

Wed, 14 Apr 2021

So, something I've had asked of me recently is "Why Linux?". Why do I use it? And the truth is, the answer is somewhat simple: it has the tools I need, for the devices I use.

So, I've mentioned before that I stick mostly to the terminal/command line for most of what I do. From Emacs for text editing, to WordGrinder for word processing, to basic Linux commands for file management. Even my music player (cmus) is a text interface. And all of this is because I suffer from RSI in my wrists, especially my right wrist. It can actually be fairly painful for me to use a mouse some days, and even when it's not, the pressure in my arm tends to build up into a knot.

I don't have that when I'm using terminal applications. I don't have to deal with that pain, or worry about how long I have before I need to stop for a break. I can just work, at least until something else interrupts me.

The price isn't bad, either. Being able to freely download and install the OS without needing to worry about CD keys and the like is a major boon. One that I only really knew from the Mac for the longest time.

For me, it isn't really about the philosophy, or the whole FOSS movement itself for that matter. I would've left long ago if the community was the reason. No, it's as simple as "it works for me".




Tue, 13 Apr 2021

So, I'm noramlly and Emacs user. I use GNU Emacs, and I do like it. But as of late, I think I'd like to try giving VIM another shot. See, I already know how to use it. Thanks to both the tutorial, and VIM Adventures, I did managed to learn quite a bit of the keys used for navigation. They still drive me nuts, but it's not like I haven't been trying.

No, as I said before, the modal design is what drives me up the wall. So why am I suddenly wanting to try again? Well... Two reasons.

The first is that I'm wanting a lighter terminal text editor, but not nano light. I want something with some extensibility to it, but not something that will drag down my laptop and run it out of juice in five seconds. You know, like most web browsers do. VIM is kinda the middle ground between ed and nano on the lower end, and Emacs on the upper end, so it's one I'd go for naturally. Plus, it's on pretty much every *nix out there.

But there's actually another reason, and that's the ongoing civil war in the FOSS community. It made me realize that I need to branch out a bit, and not just rely on something like Emacs being supported properly everywhere. VIM, and especially its predecessor vi/ex, have better support across other platforms, including Windows and MacOS. Emacs has support, but it tends to be a bit lackluster.

And now, as I type this, part of me wants to try and do a stream/video of me going through VIM Adventures from start to finish... Huh.


Spring Cleaning

Sun, 11 Apr 2021

So, one of my partners is moving come May/June (undecided right now), and she's having to go through her things to decide what to take. Given that some of her things are currently in my room—mostly her EE equipment, said room has become a bit of a mess.

However, she went through most of the belongings in our garage and shed, and ended up giving me some of her old tech books to add to my growing collection. This whole thing also prompted me to go through what belongings I have out in storage, bringing in most of my book collection, my plush toys (for the plush hammock I'm wanting to put up), and just generally sorting through the mass of crap I've accumulated over the years. Same with my other partner who lives with us. So, in a way, it's been spring cleaning, just not how we usually do things.

Still, I have most of my desk back under my control, and I'll eventually have more room to work with for making my space a bit more hospitable for my writing and programming plans. It also means I'll have a bit more space to work on my maths and science studies, since my "high school education" was lackluster, and I had to drop out of college twice for major family emergencies. Still, never too late to learn, right?

And in speaking of studies, I have a few new textbooks, both due to my book shopping on eBay, and my partner who gave me some of said textbooks: A few UNIX and Linux based books, a couple on C++ and C, and a few older webdev books. I also found the prealgebra, algebra/trigonometry, and chemistry textbooks that were bought for me when we lived in Austin several years ago, so I have those to go through.

(And out of the corner of my vision, I just noticed that, sitting in front of my algebra textbook, I have my "Yet another day has passed without me using algebra" can cozie. The placement is making me laugh.)

Above all, though, it's been nice to get things in order, and go through old things I don't need anymore to make room for more important matters.



Recent Posts


RSS Feed

  • Subscribe to feed