Grey go-away-birds (AKA grey loerie) having a party in my bird bath! #birding
I bought this comically tiny phone in June and it's been my daily driver since. It has some amazing features in it's diminutive package: dual sim, microSD card slot, bluetooth (for calls and music, or to act as headset/dialler for your smartphone), camera for photos and video, voice changer (making it a great burner phone), 4+ days of battery life. Call quality is as good as on any smartphone, and it cost less than R400.
Made a distraction-free audiobook player using a Raspberry Pi 3A. Doesn't even distract me with a progress bar :) #diy
Book recommendation: THIS IS HOW THEY TELL ME THE WORLD ENDS, Nicole Perlroth. The fascinating story behind the biggest cybersecurity threats like Stuxnet, NotPetya, election interference, etc. Reads like fiction, but sadly it is not. #book
Here's a pic of my fridge-top Smol Data Centre, which I previously blogged about on gemini at gemini://tobykurien.com/articles/2022-05-17-smol-data-centre.gmi #photo
Made an extended battery pack for my aging MacBook that also acts as a comfortable base. The 55Wh battery pack consists of cheap and easily replaceable 21700 cells. Plenty of space to add more batteries, USB hub, hard drive, or other accessories. #diy
Everything that becomes popular turns to crap. So now I have to ditch DuckDuckGo and find an alternative. No, I'm not telling you what I'm moving to, lest they get enough users to dictate their terms to us. #rant
Computers were "good enough" 5 years ago, and we're still using them for the exact same purposes. So why do we have gigs of software updates every week, and why do our computers get slow and "out-of-date" every 2 years? Where's the extra value from all this added complexity, compared to 5 years ago? Is it purely aesthetic? I'd argue that we're regressing, not progressing. #computing #philosophy
Photos from a recent trip to Hartebeespoort #photo #holiday
Birds photographed on a recent trip: Half-collared Kingfisher, Black Swan (in captivity), Giant Kingfisher . #birding
After decades of Ubuntu use, I've replaced my desktop OS with antiX. It's a minimal Debian system without systemd. Boots to desktop in about 5 seconds and uses only 150Mb of RAM. It's a simple system that I can get my head around easily and administer without unlearning and relearning things all the time like I had to with Ubuntu. It feels fast and efficient, and looks good too. For similar reasons, on the server side, I'm moving from Ubuntu to OpenBSD where I can.
"Nearly all of modern computer engineers are working above so many layers that there’s no human way to understand what they are doing."
gemini://rawtext.club/~ploum/2022-04-05-firefox-ubuntu.gmi #computing #philosophy #ubuntu #snaps
The Theological Problem Behind Firefox in Ubuntu 22.04
Back in 2015, I predicted that once ad-blocking became common, we would be faced with server-side tracking:
You know what will happen once most of us install ad-blockers? Server-side ad SDK's, that's what. Unblockable ads, unstoppable tracking. https://twitter.com/TobyKurien/status/628227819076775936
Well, it's here in the form of Server-side tagging in Google Tag Manager, and it's easier than the SDK I predicted. #adblock #privacy
The #Smashwords website is nothing like a modern website, and I love it! I mean, you can download this #ebook I am currently really enjoying (Casual Computing) for free, DRM free, without creating an account, without popups in your face, right now, just by following the link. No user hostility, you can read the ebooks on any device you want, and you get to support independent authors.
Casual Computing: Light Reading for Users of Open Source, About Open Source
Did you know you can download all of Wikipedia onto your hard drive and use it offline? It's only 87Gb and will fit on a microSD card. Useful for distraction-free productivity for home-schooling, work-from-home, etc. Also useful for those with little or no connectivity or during internet take-downs. With the Kiwix software, it's searchable and you can also host it onto a local network with one click. Other useful downloads: Gutenberg books, Khan Academy, TED videos, StackExchange, Arch Linux wiki, WikiHow, and tons more. Might as well put your uncapped (or night-time) internet to good use. #offline #kiwix
"Digital Vegan" is a deep dive into the problems with our current technology (Big Tech and social media). It's "a call to disengagement and more careful, slower, deliberate and thoughtful relations with technology". #book #recommendation