Friday, 20th May, 2022

Turning off smart punctuation stops the em and en days thing in iOS. Finally. Conveniently the . with double space is it down setting.

It’s a lovely day here. After school drop off I sat out in the garden with a cup of tea (of course) and just listened to the birds and shooed away a cat looking to use the veg patch as a litter box. I could sit and write a novel out here.

I ought to tidy the garage and do other things but…maybe later. 🕰

Thursday, 19th May, 2022

It annoys me that it’s a pain to type --- on iOS without it making em or en dashes. Think I complained about it last time I used the ipad to add a post here. What’s especially annoying is that the JavaScript in 1Writer to add the frontmatter also messes up the dashes. Wonder if there’s some raw or ignore ability.

It rained a lot yesterday and now it’s glorious sun and warm, the garden is going to explode with plants! 🌺🌳 Which will be great.

Off work tomorrow, will I do anything constructive or will I waste the whole day on the computer doing nothing 🤔🫠

I could do the mac move about, as I’ve still not done it.

I did install nocodb,and it’s nice, although features are a bit limited. It’s pretty much a nice front end to a database to add and edit tables. Does a few other things but not the full functionality of table joining etc. that I’d like. A useful place to store tables, so I know where they are. It does have an API so you can query the tables. I logged into Airtable and was immediately reminded of the full functionality that I was really looking for. Except I don’t want to pay for Airtable. Nocodb is also a little buggy, it’s not broken but there are quite a few things that need work around or you have to repeat a process for it to actually stick. 🐞

Daughter and I have been watching Gravity Falls. It’s a great show, I could easily watch it without her! ⬇️🌎🌲❓

This is a nice site.

Wednesday, 18th May, 2022

NocoDB looks fun. I’ve installed it before but never actually used it. I should do so properly this time.

Later on last night I realised I could use gedit’s external script feature to make a bash script (or python) that creates the new file, with correct name and front matter, all with one shortcut key.

Imagine if I could use Linux at work. It would be utopia. 🦄🔮

Tuesday, 17th May, 2022

I’ve yet to do anything whatsoever, and I will just move the mac mini temporarily, but I still feel that the better option is to sell the mac. I don’t want more choice, and more scope for distractions. Yes, iMessage, and Photos and safari handoff are nice but I think I made them out to be more beneficial that I thought. The biggest challenge will be photos. But even that isn’t really much of a challenge. I already store them in organised folders on the computer, I back these up to my friend’s server. There’s no face recognition, or auto memory generation, though but I could install DigiKam or Lightroom or something and use that. I don’t want to pay for Lightroom subscription, but I do have a key to classic or whatever the standalone version is called. Apple Photos has been nice but I’ve not really used much of it. Sometimes I open it and look at what it suggests, or I’ll find a photo from the library on my phone to show someone. But nothing that I could easily do without.

Printed photos is what I really want, and Apple Photos hasn’t helped with that…

The hardest part will be unwinding iCloud subscription to the 50GB tier and removing all my photos. The 2TB tier is only £7 a month but I have a lot of only £<10 month things and they do add up. I should do a subscription list and see what it is.

I won’t be selling the mac mini until an eBay seller offer comes along but I should be ready as it could be any weekend. I’ll sell the Apple Cinema 23” HD too, that’s going to be a pain to post but I don’t need it cluttering the house. Also the mac mini is a little slow, likely Photos app’s fault, and it’s stuck on some older version of macOS.

But I do worry that once I’ve sold it, I’ll miss having a mac for some reason. Probably the trackpad.

Finally setup the ThinkPad with the dock on my main monitors. Bluetooth and figuring out the sequence of power button pressing of the dock was a bit of a pain. Still not sure I know what it’s doing, especially when the screen doesn’t come on to enter the decrpytion password. GNOME handles it all well, except I think there’s probably an optimum power/wake/power button setting combination to make things smoother. One thing I can say though…

I LOVE IT! 🥰️

I’ve been trying out using gedit for editing this blog. It’s by no means as fully featured as VS Code, but it does still have a lot of tricks up its sleeve. There are a lot of plugins for it, and you can set custom scripts to run on a shortcut - basically any bash code you want. I have a quick git commit and push one. So with a simple Ctrl+Shift+p (for push) all the new posts are pushed. Good enough for me, and quicker than VS Code’s GUI.

Monday, 16th May, 2022

For starters, I can relocate the mac mini to under my desk and plugged into the main monitor. This means I can clear the area where it was and setup my analogue space. This means I can test the theory and the decision is reversible. I’m not sure it’s a long term solution as it doesn’t help get rid of computers, it just adds choice…do I log into the windows machine, the mac or the linux laptop? There’s also the edge case that my daughter likes to play multiplayer games with her friends when they visit…but this is rare and they can do something else. The weather is meh but time for a lunchtime walk. 🚶

Weather turned out to be more than meh

`、ヽ`ヽ`、ヽ(ノ><)ノ `、ヽ`☂ヽ`、ヽ

Sunday, 15th May, 2022

I did finally install Arch Linux on the T490. I like GNOME and it makes things very easy once you’ve got the bones of the install done. I used to hate GNOME and say it was too bloated, and the lack of choice was poor etc. I’d run XFCE if I wanted a DE or i3 if I just wanted a WM. i3 is very nice but unless I had it on all machines I use, I’d forget the shortcut keys and it would get annoying. I also found that on a laptop all I use is full screen single app, or two side by side, and pretty much every DE does that out of the box. I just need to install gnome, gnome-extras, and networkmanager and then everything is done! GNOME is also nice with integrated apps for accounts - much like Apple. I sign into Google account once, and then email, docs, calendar etc. are all configured.

The hardest part of the install (or that takes the longest) is the partitioning and drive setup and boot loader. I like to do LVM on LUKS, so that I have an encrypted drive with LUKS, and then an easy way to enable hibernation with swap as part of LVM volume. It might not be entirely necessary but it’s the way I’ve found works and generally easy to do. Boot loader wise, I like to use systemd-boot, as I already have it installed, vs. the other option which is GRUB. GRUB might be easier but I like having systemd do it.

Of course the Arch Wiki covers all of these in great detail, but it can be confusing to piece everything together, or work through all the documentation because there is so much. I have my own cheat sheet which has all the commands but also links to the wiki pages - in case stuff changes between installs.

Gnote, an app for GNOME, is remarkably well featured and quite honestly could be used for PKM. It’s got wiki links, daily journal, todo, table of contents, and can sync with various cloud systems (the ones configurable in GNOME accounts), or webdav, and you can export to HTML. I’m pretty impressed. If only I used GNOME everywhere…supposed the notes are in Tomboy format (some sort of xml) so maybe usable elsewhere.

Thinking of selling my mac mini setup, so that I can have an analogue area without computers - for writing or typing on typewriter etc. Could have a little lamp and pens and paper stack or something.

Very surprising the UK won 2nd place in EuroVision song contest. 🇬🇧🥈

I feel the tide turning. I want to change things up (well in the usual way but the desire to do so is back), including:

Simplify stuff.

I have too many computers and things. I want to get rid of the Apple Mac Mini, and use the space for analogue activities. Journaling, typing, note-taking, letter writing, book making. Things are too difficult to write and it’s impossible not to sit at a computer. I’ve thought about having something else around the house where I have my analogue station but I’d need to buy more furniture - a desk or table - and don’t want to. I could use the kitchen table but that’s not permanent and not sure I like that idea. I ahve been thinking about rearranging the garage to make a work space and I could write in there.

However, I do like the Apple Photos setup I have. Given I have all our photos in it, and ones from my phone sync with the computer it’s very convenient. I don’t really need it though but it’s hard to undo it. The good thing about selling a mac is that they don’t really depreciate much once quite old, and I think this model (the 2012 i7 with 16GB of RAM) is still very popular. I’m still torn about getting rid of it as it might come in handy? Or the money will just get lost and I’ll not get anything meaningful in return - although I could buy a lot of paper stuff for the same price. Sometimes I regret selling things as I’m too hasty to get rid of it then later wish I hadn’t. The only counter to it, is that I do want to get an iMac at some point for the house - probably kitchen if we do a redesign - to use as a family computer. Although that’s more I just want to get something and if I thought hard enough I’d realise I don’t need it.

I bought a new computer recently, and I didn’t really need it. Although I’m now thinking I can give my old one to my sister, who likely just has some ancient laptop and she’s going back to uni so will have lots of time and not much money so it’ll be better to play games on. Plus I’d get nothing for it on ebay so she might as well use it. Will need a new graphics card, and at this rate I’m never going to buy one for myself, so might have to pick up an older one on ebay for it.

I’d possibly miss DayOne on the mac but actually I’ve not been using it that much - on the mac or in general - so probably not the end of the world. I have the iPad with keyboard that I like typing on so can always use that. It’s still a nice thing and when I print the books it’s good. Debated about stopping using it and handwriting but I think that’s putting it at risk of ever doing it. I do have the big moleskin I’m meant to print out pictures yet not printed anything in ages. Partly why I want to setup an analogue area, so I write stuff and improve the habit.

Exercise

I need to do some. My work trousers have not shrunk in the wardrobe. I do cycle to work which is something at least but it’s hardly the work out. I deliberately don’t go too fast so I don’t need to change or shower at work, as that’ll take ages. However, I have a hard time separating wanting to buy things with doing exercise. Nothing is stopping me from using the bike trainer I have, or going for a run or doing HIIT or push ups etc. at home. I don’t need to buy anything. Yet I still want to buy a rowing machine. I think that will make me do something. Really though I need to refer to simplify stuff, I need to habit track it (oh, let’s install habitrpg and that’l…no it won’t) and then do it. I should make it part of this blog or something. Metres rowed today, can even back it into the front matter and make it look nice. It’s 4 years worth of Zwift subscription. I was considering buying a GR3 or a X-E4 camera…they’re both about the same price and I don’t need them. A GR3 would be nice, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I need to sort out the garage. Maybe do some cycling to get into the routine THEN think about buying one. Or use the gym at work (when it gets built).

Use computers less

They’re not bad. I’m just bad at using them. I waste so much time on them. It’s impossible not to get sucked into looking at stuff that I don’t need or want. I should be doing other things. See above two items. Not sure the best way to do this. It’ll require active work to make it happen.

Feel like I have a lot to write today.

Saturday, 14th May, 2022

Lovely weather this morning. ☀️We were all out in the garden. I fixed the wigloo (willow igloo) as all the top branches had come away and everything was open at the top.

The lawn needs mowing again but the garden waste bins are full as they wouldn’t empty them as we haven’t paid another fee to the council 🙄

I need to re-jig the server so I’m running nginx as the proxy not traefik - mostly as I just want to post a static site or some non-docker thing. I’ve been saying this to myself for ages, yet I never do anything. I was sort of going to rebuild the server or reinstall it or something but I’ve done none of those, and I don’t really need to build a new one. I’m also meant to be installing linux on my laptop but yet to do that either. The time I spend thinking about doing it, I could’ve just done it.

Also lots of other things I’m meant to be doing. I forget them just now.

Friday, 13th May, 2022

Cycling to work this morning was enjoyable. The weather was mild, everything is green, some little birds flew out of the hedges and flew besides me for a while. I was listening to talkpython podcast - such a well done, interesting and motivating podcast.

The financial world seems some what negative at the moment - inflation, interest rates, utility prices, declines etc. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in it and feel negative towards life. So much of that is not controllable by me, it does me no good to stress or fret over it, so I should clear it from my mind. This is easy to say but can be hard to do.

It helps putting things in perspective. There was a news article about how kids’ playgrounds aren’t suitable for disabled children. I’m grateful that I’m well-abled, and my family all are too.

Do something constructive, do something outside, spending time with people face to face. ⬅ That’s me telling me.

I refreshed my memory of QMK, and now trying to figure out a layout for the Ferris Sweep keyboard. The stock layout is hard to find…well it’s not obvious in the github repo. There are several others if I search Github, some are simple and some are complex with all the advanced QMK things that my familiarisation didn’t cover. What I really need to do is print out some layouts and write in them to see what makes sense.

Turns out I’ve used keybr in the past (2016).

Thursday, 12th May, 2022

I’m amazing. Amazing at spending so much time looking at web frameworks, CSS, layouts, themes, static generators, blogging software, and yet making no progress whatsoever in regards to any changes or, more importantly, writing anything. 😫

My parts for the keyboard I’m building arrived. They included a nice little stroopwafel and sticker in with it, which was fun. The PCBs have just been shipped, although I picked the cheapest and slowest shipping method, so it could still be 2-4 weeks before they arrive. The new heads for my soldering iron arrived too. I could look at the firmware and start thinking about the layout and getting those files ready - in fact I can even flash them to the controllers has I have them now. That would be a good use of time this evening, getting the code and familiarising myself with QMK again….with the noobs guide I think.

The key to the success of this new keyboard, the Ferris Sweep, is going to be in the layout. It needs to be efficient, learnable and as simple as possible. Sounds easy. Some guy on youtube seemed to have a good approach to it. Need to go back and look at what he did, but the main approach seemed to be using the two thumb keys to always navigate back and forth between the layers and not rely on holdoing down keys. It’s better to tap a key to change a layer, enter the letter, then tap the opposite thumb key to return, vs. holding a thumb key or other key as a modifier. It’s more key presses, so seems a little counter-intuitive but he says the motion is more memorable as it’s a frequent pattern and therefore more practical. But we’ll see…

Wednesday, 11th May, 2022

The Terra UST and Terra LUNA collapse makes for an interesting read. (If you don’t know UST is meant to be a stablecoin, i.e. pegged to US dollar, but maintains the peg via an algorithm with the LUNA coin). After huge demand saw it rise to top 10 coins/tokens, various manipulation by big boy institutions or owners has made it collapse. I hope it does recover the peg, because I feel that for crypto to be a true decentralised financial system it needs a stable coin that is independent of the traditional system. It does work as a stable coin but when people take advantage of situations to make more money for themselves at the expense of everyone else I wonder what the real problem is. However, if you saw an opportunity to make money via “a clever way” would you not take it? Especially as you don’t see all the people who lose out as their mysterious online entities.

You know it’s bad when reddit starts pinning suicide hotlines.

For anyone who does hold UST, then I’d suggest just sitting tight. You can’t control anything about it and the mechanism to hold it stable is still there. You just have to sit through the fear of everyone else whilst they sell out. LUNA holders…I’m sorry, who knows. Of course, Warren Buffet tells us to be greedy when others are fearful. This could be the greatest money making opportunity this year in crypto. Buy a dollar for 35 cents? Why wouldn’t you 😅.

I think I’ve concluded my endless search for a new blog layout. I just need to make it now.

I need to find something else to do in the evenings. Maybe even do some exercise! No, I should plan out the garage rearrange…I still really want a rowing machine.

Tuesday, 10th May, 2022

I still wasted the whole of yesterday evening looking at web site design things. I thought I’d found a nice CSS to use but later decided I didn’t like it. I ended up looking at random things on codepen.io thinking that I could combine various stuff together to make a new site. It was just doom-scrolling in another form.

I did come across lots of nice little personal blogs, that were all custom built and reflected what the author wanted them to. That is what I want to do, and in my head that’s not wordpress. I now just need to figure out what I want. Also considering merging this with the main blog, but I do like this as a standalone page with a dedicated purpose.

More notetaking software.

Did sell my old laptop screen, for about 60% of the price of the new 1080p, so that’s nice.

Monday, 9th May, 2022

Managed to distract myself enough from endless blog debating and order a Ferris Sweep PCB and parts. Was a bit more expensive than I thought it was going to be. Mostly as I couldn’t find a lot of the parts in the UK and had to order from Europe. I last made a keyboard in December 2018, and later sold everything I had as I didn’t use them and just wanted a normal keyboard. I think I’ve lasted remarkably well, three and a half years, before making a new one. Probably as I’ve been into film photography and other things in the interim. After I ordered it, I did wonder if it’ll end up the same as the previous times: Fun building it 🥽🛠 but then less fun actually using it. In my head I have that I’m going to learn Colemak or some random layout with the multiple layers and it’ll be…great? Plus as the minimum order was 5 PCBs I’ll make one for home and one for work and just use it all the time. 🙄

Well least I could sell the remaining PCBs to make a little money back - and you never know, it might be amazing…

I’m an “Enthusiastic Github User”.

I remembered I wanted some AfterShockz bone-conducting headphones for cycling. Although I just use one ear headphone on the inside and that seems fine. I should do a life stack page. This guy has lots of stuff I want…I don’t need more stuff..

I changed the wiki just to show the most recently created tiddlers: [all[tiddlers]!is[system]days:created[-7]!sort[created]].

Less 🪶

Sunday, 8th May, 2022

It’s been a week of this site. Could do with a quick way to add the small frontmatter to a new page. 1Writer has JavaScript actions that could probably do it.

Oh iOS annoying replaces two dashes with an en-dash or em-dash. Makes writing the front matter very annoying.

Setup a Wordpress blog which is really nice for writing and adding photos but I can’t get past not having a static blog. I don’t know why it matters so much to me. I just look at Wordpress and think bloat and excess. It probably isn’t but I can’t get past that.

Managed to sort out the front matter entry with 1Writer. Should make things easier. I even have an Apple Shortcuts that commits everything and pushes it to the repo. So I can ask Siri to sync blog and away it goes. Siri does announce the path and name of the file which is a little long and unnecessary but not sure there’s any options to turn that off.

Saturday, 7th May, 2022

I fell into my bad habit of spending the whole evening looking at blog themes and yet doing nothing whatsoever in regards to making progress. I ended up thinking that I should just make one myself, but I was meant to be avoiding that as I didn’t want to spend the time doing so. I then thought I should just go hosted, like Wordpress or micro.blog or Write.as etc etc. Then I remember I don’t like those as backup isn’t straight forward (although maybe it is and I’ve just not looked into it).

Anyway, it just means the whole evening was a waste and I regret not doing something better - even playing a game or watching a movie would feel better.

The sad thing is, once I finally make this site - am I actually going to write in it? 😑

Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire. Every time we yearn for something we cannot afford, we grow poorer, whatever our resources. And every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess — Alain de Botton Status Anxiety

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