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"
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
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...
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
$program. Just like the frustrations I've been seeing regarding
the RustLang community, and all the people pushing to rewrite everything in
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
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
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.
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
is also rather annoying, but I'll live if it means better stability with shell
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,
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
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.
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 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
- Wed, 16 Jun 2021
- Sun, 9 May 2021
- Sat, 8 May 2021
- Wed, 5 May 2021
- Fri, 23 Apr 2021
- Wed, 21 Apr 2021
- Sun, 18 Apr 2021
- Wed, 14 Apr 2021
- Tue, 13 Apr 2021
- Sun, 11 Apr 2021