This gotten written mid-way through the Thoughts section, so it's a little redundant.
Our most recent activities have mainly been based around settling in on our new OS and customizing it to our liking. We're not entirely new to Linux thanks to our Raspberry Pi and a few virtual machines, but that's not the same as using Linux every day for nearly all tasks. We realized how many of the things we do every day on a computer don't have to necessarily be done the way we've learned to do them. Some of the technicalities of Linux, like navigating the file system through the command line and installing from repositories were things we got used to but they didn't really affect our daily computer usage back when we were still using Windows. We just found something that seemed to work well for whatever we were doing and moved on from it. It wasn't until we started using a Linux OS on a daily basis that we realized how much choice there is in how someone uses a computer. We knew in general that there are many options within Linux-based operating systems but it was the first time we fully realized that "if you don't like it, try something else" can apply to so much. "Are we using this because we like it, or because it's 'good enough'?" became a common point of discussion on many topics.
Naturally, all of that questioning spilled over into random other things we do or interact with on a regular basis. Some of it was simple, like getting around to cleaning something or organizing some papers. We went back over some to-do lists as we brought them onto our new operating system and decided which tasks we should prioritize. The three biggest things we considered were: what kind of digital journal/wiki/whatever we want to keep, what kind of creative projects we do, and what social media sites we use.
We finally decided to stop using Obsidian since we weren't getting much use out of it. It felt like we were using it more to rewrite things we already had in other places instead of using it to help us. Writing in the simple Markdown format feels nice but Obsidian itself wasn't really providing anything we needed. Besides, it's proprietary and we've been using much more open source software (although Logseq is a possible open source alternative). We still use our TiddlyWikis but those aren't "daily use" tools. Trilium is used for daily task management plus reminders. If we have a thought we want to keep we can write it down in Trilium and then move it to a TiddlyWiki as a resource if it turns out to be something we want to keep. If we really want the Markdown format for things like notes, we can try something like Neorg out instead. We got Syncthing and we typically only work on one device at a time, so syncing Neorg files would probably be just as easy as syncing our TiddlyWikis has been. The main reason we would use something with simple Markdown files instead of TiddlyWiki or Trilium is if we have a much longer file, like for long-form writing, that could cause lag. Trilium turns off "load in edit mode" by default for longer notes and TiddlyWiki just slows down. Editing "plain text" also just feels fun, though. We still use Neovim (and before that, Ghostwriter) for other writing largely because of that.
We've gotten a lot more lax with our creative projects. At the moment we're mainly focusing on filling out our sketchbook and figuring out what we enjoy drawing. At some point we'd like to try getting back into messing around with music software but our sights are still set on OpenMPT which requires Wine to run on Linux. We have seen packages for MilkyTracker and Schism Tracker in the Fedora repositories, though. Otherwise, we've been experimenting with things as we come across the idea and haven't been focusing on making anything "complete."
The change in social media usage came from the fact that when we first set up our OS, we didn't log into much for about a week or two. We realized that the things we kept thinking about weren't the same as what we had been regularly interacting with. Not only did we not log into Tumblr as we usually do, but we ended up actively avoiding it. Our RSS feed reader was checked semi-regularly, and when we did open it we would focus primarily on Dreamwidth journals. We only wanted Youtube to show us what we were looking for in the moment and stayed signed out of it entirely unless we needed to grab a link from a playlist if we didn't remember the exact video we wanted. For the most part, we navigated the web by remembering something we felt like checking up on and then picking some new links on it to look around. Any tab for a webpage that was likely to change while we weren't looking at it typically got closed eventually. We gradually shifted towards a new browsing routine where our first priority became whatever tabs we had open and RSS feeds became our second go-to. Dreamwidth is now our main place to lurk for new stuff to see, and browsing Are.na channels is how we find miscellaneous sketching ideas. We still use Youtube fairly often but it's mostly just for background noise. Tumblr is for occasionally checking out what people are up to and to be used as a last resort for extreme boredom. We might look at a specific thread or profile on Twitter or Mastodon/Pleroma from a link but we avoid browsing there.
Going from being on Tumblr regularly to relying on slowly-updating sites (or just using sites very slowly) feels very odd so far but it also feels much better. We feel like we have time for other things without worrying about comparing ourselves to others or getting caught up in intracommunity social disasters. This definitely isn't the first time we've stepped back from social media or the internet in general but this is probably the biggest change in thinking that we've had around it since we feel much more in control of our experiences now.
- In the last blog post we mentioned that we started writing in gothic font but only did it digitally because the fountain pen didn't work out. Well, we found a pack of chisel tip markers and they've been extraordinarily fun to write with. Not because they're good markers (they're definitely not and that's part of why it's fun to go bananas with them), but having the feeling of tactically rotating and tilting something to get different angles is much more intuitive which makes it easier to start playing with it.
- We always struggle to decide how the links in Things should actually be formatted. Quotation marks around titles, author names, mentioning where something is hosted, etc.
- It feels like we complain about this in every blog post, and we probably do. Writing down a standard somewhere (or officially deciding not to care) is probably worth some effort.
- Virtual machines are less daunting to get started with compared to something like dual booting, but unfortunately we are very fond of our graphics and that doesn't tend to mix well with a virtual machine.
- We had a short "emergency" over our Raspberry Pi for a night and a morning. Here's a summary of what happened:
- We tried to set up a file server for a folder on an external storage device.
- We realized we mounted the device as root and couldn't access it from our desktop computer because we were signing in as a non-root user.
- We tried changing the fstab file and rebooted the Pi.
- The fstab file hadn't been configured properly, so the Raspberry Pi started emergency mode.
- We normally access the Pi through SSH, so we couldn't access it anymore.
- The next morning we found a spare keyboard and a monitor to plug into the Pi, but nothing could be done on it because it locked out root.
- We took the microSD card out and put it in a USD SD reader to open it on our desktop.
- The card was formatted with EXT4 so Windows couldn't read it.
- Our main options for opening it through Windows seemed to be trying out a driver that we didn't feel confident about (according to its Wikipedia page, it might corrupt Debian files) or buying some other software that might let us write to EXT4 storage.
- Instead, we figured out how to pass a USB device through VirtualBox and opened up the microSD card on a Linux virtual machine to fix it.
- The new fstab file worked and we got the Raspberry Pi back online with a non-root user as the owner of the external storage device.
- Ironically, a lot of the information we found on how to fix files stored in EXT4 on Windows said that dual-booting was the easiest option... but the reason we messed up the fstab file in the first place was to start making backups to prepare to partition and dual-boot.
- Since writing that we did successfully dual boot, it has its own page here.
- We had an idea of what kind of desktop environment we wanted since we messed around in that virtual machine, but getting real utility programs on here has mostly been a learning experience.
- We got Startify for Vim. It's not as immediately convenient as our previous script (starting up our most recent file automatically) but having a start screen both looks and feels pretty nice. We put some ASCII art of the word "Neovim" at the top.
- Now that we do more from the command line, the start page doesn't make as much of a difference because we open files directly with Vim instead of navigating to them in Vim.
- We also got vim-airline but we haven't fully figured it out quite yet.
- How much does centralization and a sense of attachment to a particular online platform affect language use? Essentially, considering that "internet speak" is influenced by what site's culture someone is used to, what overall trends correlate with centralized platforms and what trends correlate with decentralized ones? What are the trends around referring to centralized platforms themselves?
- "A Mathematician's Lament" on how math is taught in schools.
- "Line Goes Up - The Problem With NFTS" video, archive.org link.
- Monolith saves web pages as single HTML files via the command line.
- Emoji to Scale
- "The internet that disappears"
- "How to Blog"
- "I write a post called ‘Recently’ every month. ...Recently plays a key role in keeping the blog alive: it is a routine. It has been extremely successful in keeping me aware that I had a place to write when I wanted to, and keeping a pulse here even when I haven’t been writing very often."
- We don't have a routine for our blog, which is why we often forget that we have a place to write our thoughts until we've already forgotten what those thoughts were. This blog isn't exactly a priority, though. We still think about things and search for new stuff to look at even when we don't end up writing anything about it. Writing things down is just... good practice for memory's sake.
- You Don't Know JS book, in PDF format.
- "Framing accessibility in broader terms"
- A GitHub repository dedicated to glitching images
- A simple Vimrc file for troubleshooting plugins
- Gatha Plugin Maker for TiddlyWiki is an in-progress plugin for producing plugins and other content packages directly from a TiddlyWiki.
- A New Digital Manifesto
- TheirTube lets you see what kinds of videos YouTube might recommend to certain types of people.
- Hundred Rabbits makes cool programs. We've added Orca to one of our Things lists before but we didn't read up on Hundred Rabbits' other projects.
- Taming Outlandish Tiddlywikis is an attempt to make the loading of Tiddlywikis a little more reasonable.
- "Transphobes and Trans Men"
- "Violence and Hope in Ukraine: Stanislav Aseyev’s 'The Torture Camp on Paradise Street'"
- This website lets you pick some pride flags to generate an image of them slanted together. You can change the dimensions to use it as a wallpaper.
- couleur.io color palette maker
- SunVox is a music synthesizer program that is made to run on many different devices.
- Interactive ASCII globe for the terminal
- Free Programming Books
- Are we (I)DE yet? is a site listing various text editors and IDEs by their support for Rust.
- Solitary Confinement in Michigan
- Code of Conduct guide for open source projects, but it's probably applicable elsewhere.
- Xournal++ is a journal program for handwriting.
- Loved is a small platformer browser game about an abusive relationship.
- Dreamwidth Icon Table Generator (also added to our Links page)
- Wordle in German
- "I Refuse to Feel Guilt for My Guilty Pleasures"
- How to Eat Your Own Heart short story
- This Twitter user posts AI-generated images made using Midjourney.
- "Moments in Gender" comic
- Another comic about gender
- "Meanings of the metaverse: The Andreessen solution"
- The Second Self Laboratory
- Managing Digital Photographs describes a workflow of moving photographs to a computer running Debian, then sorting the photos with informational file names and tags.
- This Page is Designed to Last on maintaining websites on the web.
- "I Undiagnosed Myself to Get Better"
- What Do You Think You’re Doing? zine about making art
- "Zoning in on Zines"
- How to Make Zines to Cope
- UGUU Zine
- Velvetyne Type Foundry
- Space Type Generator
- Zine Machine uses a print stylesheet to make a site that prints as a one-paper zine.
Most at what we've been looking at lately is for setting up our new OS, so those things are linked on the project page for it but here are some more links:
- yt-dlp, a fork of youtube-dl
- DotShare is an old website for sharing dotfiles (configuration files).
- Tauon Music Box is a GUI music player for Linux.
- ImageGoNord converts images into the Nord palette. It also supports a few other color palettes. It also has a website.
- Image Colorizer is a similar program made for wallpapers that recolors an image to fit a terminal color scheme from Xresources, pywal or colorer.
- "Dotfiles Are Meant to Be Forked"