adventures in blogging

Just a short trip through my strange computer based quests.

Emacs and the every lasting quest to put it all in your editor.

September 19, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I'm a vim user. Have been for years. There's something about the simplicity of vim, it's a steep learning curve. Every aspect of vim requires that you know what to type and how, but once you've got it down it just edits text. A text editor that solely edits text is what I generally want.

Emacs on the other hand, is a text editor that orders you pizza. I've used it on occasion just to see what it's about, but the commands are long winded and confusing, the keys to use it are themed on letters matching the names of the commands, which is great for remembering them but makes me feel like I need four hands to reach everything.

On the other hand, it's incredibly popular and it is certainly interesting. It's not to my tastes, but it is still fantastic, so I figured I'd give it a go.

The first thing I realized with Emacs is it opens in a window instead of just in the terminal. I think there are options to fix that, but it was odd when I first tried to edit a file. Just being able to type is nice though! Plus I can use my mouse... Which isn't something I thought I needed, but is nice as an option.

I ran through the tutorial, it was incredibly simple, fully guided, and at the end I felt like I knew what I was doing.

Then I thought, it's famous for being extensible! What can I do with it?

Five minutes later, my window manager is Emacs (exwm), my IRC client is emacs (circe), my mail client is emacs (mu4e), and I'm using evil mode so it's basically vim... Heck, I can even run my terminal in Emacs. Mastodon is in Emacs, Matrix is in Emacs... Although I cannot for the LIFE of me get Matrix to work. Let me know if you have? I mean. I don't think I'll ever use emacs as my text editor, but I might keep it around just so everything else can work in it...

in short, I'm switching to moe as my text editor.

Tags: text-editor, emacs, vim, terminal

A quick trip to the gaming world, and a little fastmail.

September 09, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I haven't been posting in a bit, because I've been playing control It's a fantastic game, a lot of fun to play, and very unsettling. I had to install windows just to play it, but scp being one of my favorite things, it needed to be done. I got quite far in, enjoying it every step of the way, and then windows randomly deleted my savegame.

I'll just figure out how to get it working on Linux if I want back in I guess.

In other news, I opted to switch my email over to fastmail. I use this site domain as my main email, so it was pretty easy to just chuck the domain over. No offense to protonmail, I love the service and the crew over their are great... But I want to just use IMAP without a weird beta bridge setup that works some of the time. So far so good! It was incredibly easy to setup, the app password setup means I can revoke compromised passwords easily... I love it.

Tags: gaming, control, remedy, fastmail, email

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 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 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