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Micro posting in August

August 26, 2020


I really wish we had a front-end to software even half as useful as this in the 21st C, but technology has regressed massively since the ’80s and ’90s. Some of the old IDEs, before they became bloated “enterprise” software (because giant mega-corporations paid for them, not individual programmers, so the IDE makers serve their paymasters), started to slouch towards this kind of usefulness but fast and small. — LISP Machines

2020-08-03: I got a revived interest for the BSD world this day. Here’s an interesting thread about NetBSD versus others: NetBSD users, why do you use it over FreeBSD and OpenBSD?
2020-08-03: Lovely sister.
2020-08-03: How to Secure Anything.
2020-08-03: Streamlink: Command-line utility that extracts streams from various services and pipes them into a video player of choice.
2020-08-03: Top 20 OpenSSH Server Best Security Practices.
2020-08-04: I recently switch to streamlink and VLC to watch Twitch streams. Much better than the Electron app on Mac (since the web UI is quite bad actually). VLC further has a “stay on top” option for the current window which is quite handy.
2020-08-04: In case you’re interested in learning Common Lisp on Youtube, I can highly recommend the Little Bits of Lisp channel by Baggers. #lisp
2020-08-04: In the other news, I adopted JetBrains Mono as my defualt font for both iTerm and Emacs, and I replaced my default shell prompt with Powerlevel10k.
2020-08-04: 15 Git Commands You May Not Know.
2020-08-04: A gentle intro to assembly with Rust.

I’ve been very surprised and delighted over a number of years now by Microsoft’s strong efforts in open source. I understand the skeptics, I was on Slashdot when they tried to sue Linux out of existence and I think only time will tell. I figure MS contributing is better than them hunting Linux distributions for sport. So I was mostly onboard for Microsofts efforts and I’ve especially found Visual Studio Code useful. (…) The entire marketplace is proprietary. — The best parts of Visual Studio Code are proprietary

2020-08-05: I deleted a bunch of dead stuff on my OS (again): clang8 and gfortran, probably installed for R, but I don’t care since I already have the latest LLVM (10.0) and GCC (10.2) from Homebrew; GPGTools, since I already have gnupg installed by Homebrew for Emacs among other things — it took me some time to reconfigure everything the way it used to work beforehand, well, that’s until I realized that there was a separate pinentry-mac package to store passphrase in OS Keychain. Meanwhile, I installed a FreeBSD image for VirtualBox, just to make sure I’ll be ready the day I will have to leave the Mac world unless Big Sur doesn’t turn out to be the same kind of catastrophic update Catalina did. #apple
2020-08-05: Using fullscreen or maximied apps with this new “enlarged” font (JetBrain Mono Regular 13) is much welcome for my poor eyes — not that I have any visual deficiency, but with age I came to appreciate a larger font size on retina displays. Despite loving Iosevka so much, especially for writing prose, I think JetBrain Mono is quite a good font actually. Victor Mono is also nice, IMO. Here’s the current top five on my apps:

2020-08-05: Let’s build a Full-Text Search engine.
2020-08-05: Taming Floating Point Error.
2020-08-05: Zsh for Humans.
2020-08-06: I’m slowly removing all unnecessary apps on my Macbook. Just so in the end I’ll be living in the dark age of terminal mode. Last removal: Reeder. Since I needed Feedly to sync my feeds between my Macbook and my iPhone, I just find it easier to read blog posts on Feedly directly.
2020-08-06: Just started using gist from the command-line. This includes almost everything I ever wanted.
2020-08-06: Emacs: No modeline. #emacs
2020-08-06: What simple key re-mapping has transformed your life?. #emacs
2020-08-06: git ready: learn git one commit at a time. #git
The missing slice of pizza.
2020-08-08: 38°C today. Same temperature for tomorrow. These are hot days. Hopefully I’m finally done revising all my cli-specific settings: iTerm and zsh, Git, Emacs, Vim. Once the heat wave passes it will be time to do more interesting stuff.

If I think for 10 minutes and then start typing, I want the typing to take the shortest time possible so I can get back to thinking. Any time I spend typing is an interruption that I want to minimize so I can keep my train of thought. — Coming Home to Vim

2020-08-08: A Short Guide to Statistical Rethinking². #rstats
2020-08-08: Ask HN: What feature did you find after years of using macOS?.That I can rely on a terminal with Apple BSD variant and do most of my work. #apple
2020-08-08: First Impressions of Rust. #rust
2020-08-08: Using Mathematica with Orgmode: It works like a charm! There’s more to see, e.g., Replacing Jupyter with Orgmode (because who likes Jupyter notebook?). #emacs
2020-08-13: Bevy is a refreshingly simple data-driven game engine and app framework built in Rust. #rust
2020-08-13: Commas in big numbers everywhere: An OpenType adventure. See also Numderline:

Unfortunately some apps that support basic ligatures don’t support the fancy shaping features I use, including Sublime Text 3 and iTerm2. Other apps like Emacs and most terminals don’t support shaping at all.

2020-08-13: Run LLVM Assembly In Your Browser.
2020-08-13: clj is a collection of functions to work with lazy iterators in Python. #python
fleursBouquet de fleurs du jour.
2020-08-14: Look, I’m back to Elfeed (Feedly only allows 100 feeds for a free account). #emacs
2020-08-14: We are done with Black List (Season 7). This really is a great series, even if the rhythm is rather irregular and the tension and suspense is running out of steam in the last few seasons.
2020-08-14: Can we do better than our C compiler?. #clang
2020-08-14: Differential Privacy algorithms by Google.
2020-08-14: Gix is a command-line interface (CLI) to access git repositories. Still wip apparently, but it looks like a great initiative.
2020-08-14: Random Permutations. #maths
2020-08-14: Reference management with Org mode.
My workflow is apparently simpler, thanks to ivy-bibtex, but overall I agree that Org is well suited for such kind of tasks. I only use Markdown for light stuff (e.g., Github READMEs) and blogging, but I guess I will switch to using Org mode exclusively soon or later. #emacs

The number of people who have told me that MDN is a wiki, therefore the community will keep it up to date tells me two things. People do not get the value of professional tech writers. Folk are incredibly optimistic about what “the community” will do for free. — I Love MDN, or the cult of the free in action

2020-08-15: For unknown reasons — but maybe I have noticed it earlier, iTerm seems to be draining my battery a lot. Switching again to kitty for some days, to see how it goes. My past impressions were quite good, so hopefully I will have a pretty terminal emulator. Looks very fast so far. #apple
2020-08-15: Another macOS setup. #apple

Fundamentally, a REPL merges usage and extension of a system in a single interface. This merger has been important in providing easy extensibility to the end programmers in many programming languages. — A REPL for Conversations

2020-08-16: Going back reading some Twitter threads after 2 weeks…
2020-08-16: Crack LeetCode, not only how, but also why (via HN).
2020-08-16: Oh Shit, Git!?!. #git
2020-08-16: Ricing up Org Mode. #emacs
2020-08-18: Essential Coding Theory (PDF, 391 pp.).
2020-08-18: Graphical Linear Algebra.
2020-08-18: Webassembly Without The Browser.
2020-08-19: I feel just so sad reading this kind of news: Dear Apple: Your Services Are No Longer Required. #apple
2020-08-19: Trying out Borg as a quick backup solution for my dot files and maildir. It turns out that compression mode can be optimized a bit by playing with the settings (for my maildir, --compression auto,lzma,6 increased compression rate by about 30%). I’m looking forward to see how it goes with incremental updates.
2020-08-19: Haskell mini-patterns handbook. #haskell
2020-08-20: And we are now done with the goal of writing 500 posts!
2020-08-20: Analyzing Python Code with Python. #python
2020-08-20: First thoughts on Rust vs OCaml. #rust
2020-08-20: Practical Data Ethics is such an amazing online course.
2020-08-21: vaex: Out-of-Core DataFrames for Python. #python

I think we are in the middle of a pendulum swing where some creators are moving away from proprietary platforms and taking more control of their relationship with their audiences. And I think a lot of audience is trying to remove themselves from engagement-driven timesink platforms that don’t respect their users. The majority will still be on YouTube and all the socials. But the movement seems significant. And I’m all about it. — The Strong Technologies

2020-08-22: Algotree.
2020-08-22: History and effective use of Vim. #vim
2020-08-22: Mac OS Big Sur logbook (intro). #apple

I don’t believe in upgrading your devices for the sake of upgrading, but I believe that in this day and age one has to be technologically flexible.

At this point in time, I don’t think I will buy a new Macbook or even upgrade to Big Sur (I skipped Catalina too), even if I like the revived design of most of Apple apps. I work with a terminal emulator and Safari most of the time, I use Preview for reading PDF files, and Marked to render Markdown files; I barely have any use of the Finder these days. Sort of I could live in another BSD machine without noticing it, except for the browser.
2020-08-22: Understanding Memory Fragmentation. #haskell
2020-08-22: macOS-Security-and-Privacy-Guide: This guide is a collection of techniques for improving the security and privacy of a modern Apple Macintosh computer (“MacBook”) running a recent version of macOS (formerly known as “OS X”). #apple

Functional programming is a radical and elegant attack on the whole enterprise of writing programs. It’s very different from the “do this and then do that” programming mentality. You have to rewire your brain in quite a different way. For a long time it was well understood theoretically—there was lots of stuff about semantics and it had these very deep foundations in logic. But in terms of a practical programming medium it seemed like a completely virgin field. — Interview with Simon Peyton-Jones

2020-08-23: TIL that we can use references and labels in Org babel!

You can also add a ‘-r’ switch which removes the labels from the source code. With the ‘-n’ switch, links to these references are labeled by the line numbers from the code listing. Otherwise links use the labels with no parentheses.

2020-08-23: Rust does not have a stable ABI. #rust
2020-08-24: So far, it’s been 3 weeks that I ran Emacs in terminal only. No worry, I’m fine: I just started diving into plain TeX again!
2020-08-24: A Simple Scheme Compiler. #scheme
2020-08-24: Emacs xwidget-webkit enhancement suite. This is a great alternative to EWW, IMO, and xwidget was my default setting for the past few months. #emacs
2020-08-24: Topology: A Categorical Approach.
2020-08-24: Typesetting a Textbook. Nice Latex class for Tufte-like textbook! #tex

A freak historical accident. AT&T Labs, where it was developed, was forbidden under its anti-trust settlement from commercializing products unrelated to its core telecom business. Hence, Unix was licensed very cheaply to universities, including UC Berkeley, which subsequently built one of the more influential branches of the Unix family tree—BSD. Apparently, AT&T classified Unix as industrial waste for tax purposes when licensing it! — How Unix Won


See Also

» Micro posting in July » Micro posting in June » Micro posting in May » Micro posting in April » Micro posting in March