Vikshepa

Mental Distractions

Posts tagged "technology":

16 May 2020

Gradually importing my Wordpress blog

I've made a bit of progress in importing my Wordpress blog, though I must admit it is quite a struggle. Although I'm using Emacs for the blog, I'm very new to Emacs. As someone has said, it isn't so much an editor as an engine for the LISP programming language, with many arcane functionalities. You basically program Emacs to work in whatever way you want and do the things that you want. But I'm not a programmer and don't know LISP, so that means trying to figure out what other people have programmed for it and incorporating the useful parts.

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Tags: technology
07 May 2020

Home Server?

I’ve been thinking more seriously about setting up a home server. Yesterday I looked at the Freedombone, Yunohost and Freedombox projects – these are some of the noteworthy attempts to make a Linux distro specially geared towards home servers. All three are based on Debian Linux and can be run on a variety of hardware. Cheap Raspberry Pis, old computers and other cheap machines are what people normally use. In my case I will be trying from an Eeeepc netbook, since I have one lying around and its electricity needs are a bit smaller than those of a normal laptop. I do have an unused Raspberry Pi, but it’s one of the early models and has only half a gigabyte RAM.

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Tags: technology
07 May 2020

Immobile Phone

I’ve almost given up using my mobile phone during the pandemic. I’m at home most of the time anyhow. When, at first, it was announced that the security services would be following our every movement (that seems to have been defeated in court for now) I decided to call it quits. I would leave it turned off except when I absolutely need it. The rest of the time I switched on the follow-me service so that when people call my mobile number the call gets transferred to the house phone. People are often surprised how quickly I answer, because the action of picking up a desk phone’s receiver from its base is usually quicker than locating and then answering a smartphone.

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Tags: technology
11 Feb 2020

Linux on My Thinkpad

I am pleased with the transition I made from Windows to MX Linux on my Lenovo Thinkpad T470p. It’s a beautiful machine, but much better now that I no longer have to use Windows 10 in it. I am back in the operating environment that I know and love and don’t need to make any compromises. I have used MX Linux previously, on lower-powered and older machines, but although I know that I could easily run a fancier distro under my 32 GB RAM, I wanted something that I already knew would be stable and that I would probably stay with. Initially I tried installing MX with the Gnome 3 and KDE Plasma desktops, then reinstalled and tried Budgie. I liked Budgie best, but it’s a bit buggy, so I’ve gone back to XFCE. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with any of the others, but XFCE is the desktop that MX Linux comes with, and MX seems to play best with it.

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Tags: technology
22 Nov 2019

Fighting systems from the inside

There’s always a disagreement between those who think it’s better to fight the system from the inside and those who say it’s better to oppose it totally. Some are total conscientious objectors and others, in the Israeli context for example, say that it’s better for humane soldiers to control the checkpoints than racist bastards with no respect for Palestinian lives. The usual contra-argument is that the system corrupts; that it isn’t really possible to maintain humane values within a framework that is toxic.

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Tags: technology
22 Nov 2019

Be careful with the WP plugin “Advanced Excerpt”

I wish I’d avoided this. It removed “read more” links on some posts with more to read, and created other problems. Disabling & deleting did not remove some of the mischief it had produced.

Tags: technology
31 Oct 2019

Computer fixed

The Lenovo Thinkpad was fixed and it is working wonderfully. The repairman came and replaced the motherboard, sitting at our kitchen table; a guy about my age, who didn’t want to drink coffee because then he would have to pee en route between destinations. It was a pleasure to watch him work at the computer, with his practiced hands. He had been working for IBM for 20 years. Asked whether IBM is a good company to work for, he said it used to be better, before the 2008 crash.

Tags: technology
20 Oct 2019

Cross-platform FOSS apps (again)

Now I’m on MS Windows (see earlier post), because that’s what I acquired with the Thinkpad given or loaned to me by my son. But we seem to be reaching a stage where the actual operating system is not of prime importance.* I mean I had to fiddle quite a bit in order to set up the machine as I wanted it, minimizing the connections with Microsoft and setting up the same software I always use on Linux. I’m beginning to think it’s a useful constraint to go for software that’s available everywhere, on all Linux desktops as well as MS Windows and Mac. Not everything works as well as the non-FOSS options. For example, Foxit Reader (which isn’t FOSS) is much more feature-rich than Evince, which I also have set up. But for everyday tasks, Evince is enough.

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Tags: technology
20 Oct 2019

Added MC to my Windows toolkit

There seems to be just one cross-platform file-manager: Midnight Commander. I’ve always added it to my Linux installations, but have been lazy about using it. However, learning it well will be knowledge carried over between platforms. So I’ve pinned it to my taskbar.

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Tags: technology
04 Oct 2019

New computer

My son has given me a new computer; one which he purchased himself for coding a couple of years ago. It’s Thinkpad T470P, which comes with a good 7th generation i7-7000HQ processor, 32GB of RAM and an SSD. So it’s the most powerful computer I’ve had. It has one flaw, which prevents him from just selling it on eBay, which is that if the computer is jolted, it turns off. This isn’t a problem if work is being done on a stable surface, but I could imagine that it might be a problem if working on one’s lap or on an airplane. It’s possible to move it around the house in an ‘on’ state, usually, but there’s always the chance that it could turn off. Anyway, that’s not a serious impediment for the way I use a computer. What is more questionable is that the computer comes with Windows 10 Pro, and I don’t want to remove it in case he needs the computer back at some time.

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Tags: technology
16 Sep 2019

The stuff I use

I’ve been using MX Linux the last couple of years; before that AntiX; before that Puppy Linux and a variety of other distributions.

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Tags: technology
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