adventures in blogging

Just a short trip through my strange computer based quests.

I've made a thing.

August 22, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

So, I spent about a day working on a script to first install arch from nothing via some very simple commands, and then a second script to run on first boot and install all of my programs and config files.

It's been a lot of fun. I obviously didn't do it myself, I'm not in any way smart. I borrowed the install script from disconnected.systems and the ricing script from autorice. I've made a fair few changes, and added some less system agnostic stuff. You are welcome to try it, but it requires that you have two hard drives. One of your hard drives will be used for root, the other will be used for home and the one used for root MUST be an SSD. Home can be whatever you wish. Also, you need an nvidia gpu, because it installs the nvidia drivers.

I'm sure there are plenty of other specific things, but you know. I doubt anyone is going to just use it, but I was very proud of it! here it is.

Tags: arch, automation, install, bash, script

A quick bit on games.

August 19, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

This shouldn't be a long post. I've not been up to much lately. I rethemed my computer totally, tried out KDE, and otherwise did the things i always do. However, I would like to mention a couple of games.

First off, I found a game posted on reddit by the name wolfentext3d. It's a work of genius. Basically the whole of wolfenstein3d, the original one that started it all... Only in the terminal. Made in ascii. If you're into such things, it seems to be pretty fun it's easy to install and I suggest you go give it a try for the heck of it.

Secondly, I've been playing through Danganronpa. I've avoided playing it for a while, not for any good reason, I just haven't had time to sit down and dedicate myself to a long form story based game like this... I've not gotten too too far, chapter 3 I think, but it is really good. No spoilers, but the hints that SOMETHING is up are tantalizing. I hope the reveal is worth it.

Tags: danganronpa, wolfentext3d, ascii, gaming

Here we go again.

August 15, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I bought a new domain name this week. The sole purpose of which was to set up a synapse server so I could have a private matrix chat ID.

Don't do that. Synapse is hard. I'm pretty sure once more I'm just not smart enough for it, and I intend on going back some day to try again, but for now I suggest just picking one of the suggested options on matrix.org and rolling with it.

So I'm left with a domain that I wasn't using but that was paid for, for a year.

Waste not want not I always say, so I stuck a mastodon instance on it. Let me tell you, mastodon is an amazing bit of work. It took me five minutes to get it up, get myself an account and be federated. Not a moment wasted. I love it. Of course, I already HAVE a mastodon account, and barely enough content to fill that... So I don't expect it to last.

Plus, hosting is expensive! That instance will probably get nuked when I get the first bill. But for now, I'm enjoying being an admin somewhere. Hah.

Tags: federation, silentfoof, mastodon, matrix

File System expermentation.

August 10, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

So. In the process of experimenting with virtualbox, (Oddly, trying to write an arch install script and then testing it) I discovered that something on my current install had exploded.

I'm still not sure what. Much experimentation and I realized that my internet on that install was not coming back easily. It would require some fairly major insanity. I'm not that patient, and this computer is basically just a play ground for me to poke stuff. So I figured, Screw it! We're doing this live!

The install script in question, found here, was an attempt to install an entire arch system, in btrfs subvolumes automagically. Feel free to try it in a virtualbox. You require two virtual drives, or it won't work. I stole the majority of the script from here. It's important to attribute such things after all.

The only problem I had, upon install, was that anything requiring intensive graphics just stuttered to a halt. I was trying to play rust, and it was just a joke. I don't know if it was truly an issue with the file system or not, but either way, it was a problem.

So off we go! A new script! This time I figure, the problem is that the filesystem I used was too big of an experiment. So the solution is simple. Try a new experiment! The latest filesystem experiment is to use f2fs on my SSD (The file system designed specifically for SSD's after all) and XFS for the second drive (Which is a hybrid drive, but does most of my storage stuff, and XFS is pretty strong on large amounts of data I hear.)

The install script for this is still stuck in the git repo with the other one, but I wouldn't use that one. It works. But I haven't fixed the final install bits yet, so it breaks and you have to hand chroot in and just finish the tidy up. However, holy carp! This is a beautiful install. Rust runs perfectly out of the box, everything feels snappy as crap, and I am loving it. If you want an experiment and some fun, you can do worse than this!

Tags: arch, linux, f2fs, btrfs, xfs, scripts

Managing Windows

August 07, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I thought I'd continue trying weird window managers. I don't really have a reason too. dwm is great after all, but... It's fun to see what's out there

I went a different direction this time, opting to see if there were any made in say, rust, or go. The easy answer is, yep. The one I found in rust looked a little more like something I wanted to have time to figure out, but the one in go seemed to have sane defaults from the start and it looked pretty interesting.

introducing wingo!

I'm really enjoying playing with it. Few factors if you choose to join me. First, the color scheme it comes with is freaking orange. I am not a big orange fan, so I switched it to nord as fast as possible. Second, I don't understand the key scheme the author opted for at all. Some of the options are on ctrl+key, some are on alt+key, some are on super+key. There doesn't seem to be a reason for it. They're not conflicting codes, just randomly opted for different keys. I'm sure they had their reasons, but... I prefer everything just hooked to the super key.

If you want to see what I ended up with my dotfiles are here. It all works pretty well now.

Tags: wingo, go, window-manager, dotfiles

Life slowing down.

August 06, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I think, as a part of usual, everyday life, things come in peaks, and troughs. For a short while I was discovering new things for the terminal daily, now... Not so much. If you have suggestions for things I should check out, do let me know.

That's not to say everything has stopped. I'm still mostly full on terminal fun. I keep trying new things, some related to the terminal, others related to just general linux fun. I tried awesome recently. It looks nice, but I don't enjoy using it as much as dwm. I'm debating trying a few WM's and seeing what comes up. There are some fun things that people are working on as hobbies, things that probably will never get beyond version 0.4, but that look like they might at least be interesting to play with. We can talk about that later.

For now, I'm trying out alpine linux. I've honestly been enjoying it. I own multiple computers, some of them more powerful than others. I'm writing this blog on my desktop, which is a fairly strong machine. I've yet to see it crushed by a game, it can take whatever I throw at it. It's happily running arch with dwm. Steam is installed. It's my mess with this machine, I can play and break it, and just run my arch install script and boom, it's back good as new. I have an OLD laptop. A sony vaio my father in law gave me, that is at least 7 years old? I don't actually know. It runs intel graphics and if I try and play nethack it'll probably explode. Since that's the case, I tend to use it just to play videos on. I had a whole bunch of stuff setup on it, and realized I could get away with installing alpine and dwm, and just ignoring it for the most part. I REALLY like alpine. I wish I could run games easily. It's easy to use, it's fun, and it's FAST.

Something will come up to keep things exciting I'm sure, but for now I'm just kind of enjoying the slow, patient fun of it all.

Tags: alpine, linux, awesomewm, dwm

Building Spotify

August 02, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I have taken to listening to music, pretty much all the time. I realize this isn't news, I think in this day and age that's the standard. I have a pretty large amount of storage on my phone, so I tend to just use that. Chuck a random selection of mp3's on and out the door.

The problem I have with this is my tastes are varied and many. By default I tend towards various forms of extreme metal, but on occassion I like a little nerdcore, and once in a while a vast amount of electroswing. Heck, I have been known to listen to some regular rap if the mood strikes. Selecting for my tastes of the day is near to impossible, since they change depending on what i'm doing at any one time. So I turned to streaming platforms. Spotify, Youtube Music, Pandora... I've tried a fair few, and they all have their ups and downs.

The main down to streaming platforms is the platform, since like everything online, they like to listen to what you like to listen to, and build you a nice profile somewhere. The other down is that they don't have a clue what good music is. By which I mean, obviously I like certain things. I dislike other things. My tastes are not always logical or reasonable. I like 90's rock, but I can't stand the smashing pumpkins. Spotify does NOT grasp this idea. It gets very confused when I listen to stuff from around that period, and then keep skipping Smashing Pumpkins. You can train it a little bit, but it never quite learns. Youtube music is worse, for some reason it REALLY wants me to listen to Nikki Minaj. I have no objection to her or her music philosophically, but I'd rather not.

So, I figured, I'll make my own. There are a few options for that. I have my raspberry pi with all my music on an external drive, so I tried to install some nice personal streaming platforms. Part the first, cherrymusic.

Cherrymusic

I like Cherrymusic a lot. It installs easy, it runs well, and most importantly it finds and plays my music collection instantly. I ran into issues setting up the reverse proxy for apache. It would load the site, but none of the content. No images, no style sheets, nothing. So I quit and figured we'd try something else. Why not ampache?

Ampache

It looked nice, but it wouldn't install for me. I tried a few things, no go. So screw it. We'll try airsonic.

airsonic

Okay, So this is more like it. I still can't get the reverse proxy thing working. I suspect it has something to do with mod_proxy_http?, I dunno. Maybe you're smarter than I. If you figure it out let me know. But I found another way. I can connect externally with my IP address, and just use the port, and it works just fine! I'm not sure I like it as much as I did cherry music, but it has multiple apps one can set up, and it works as intended, so for now this is where I am.

I'd be interested in any alternatives anyone might have. This works for now, but it feels clunky and somewhat rigged.

Tags: music, ampache, cherrymusic, airsonic, streaming, raspberry-pi

Still seeking alternatives

July 29, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I tried crux linux, in case you're curious. It took me a day to figure out why GRUB wouldn't boot into the install. I still don't know why it wouldn't. I gave up and switched to using EFISTUB, which worked like a dream. Got it up and running, copied my dotfiles over, and enjoyed it for a bit before running into multiple issues with things not installing 'cos they had dependency issues, and the dependencies not installing 'cos they had issues with dependencies, and then eventually down on the very bottom of the stack, something that just would not install.

Reminded me of the good old days. So I went back to arch.

Tags: crux-linux, arch-linux, dependency-hell