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 little alternative mail.

July 25, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

Since starting this little adventure, I've been using AERC as my mail client. It works great, it looks nice and the protonmail bridge is the easiest setup I've been through. Now this isn't my first rodeo. I've tried mail from the command line many a time, and it's ALWAYS been a pain the butt. I tried alpine, and got confused as can be real quick. I tried mutt.. Same deal. AERC is the first time I started a command line client and just enjoyed the experience.

Who in their right mind is crazy enough to stick to what is quick and simple and perfect already!? Not I.

Mutt is a classic in command line mail. It's been around for as long as I can remember, and it is championed by many a crazed fool not willing to install thunderbird. So. Here we go!

Neomutt is my weapon of choice. I honestly didn't even want to TRY and setup it up by hand, so I went with the mutt wizard from Luke Smith. It had some issues, nothing akin to the old school traditional issues I remember, but still issues. Mostly with the TLS handshake. A quick peak through the issues and I found out how to get my TLS fingerprint myself, which lead to me being able to quickly change my config files. It was probably more complicated than I found it, but I stood on the shoulders of giants. I have to say, with all due respect to Drew Devault, neomutt is my current mail choice. I couldn't say why. I just found it nicer to use once I got through the pain in the butt setup. Who knew? Sometimes the tried and true is a good choice!

Tags: mutt, neomutt, aerc, email, commandline, terminal

Writing a color scheme.

July 23, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I'm not good at aesthetics. I like making my stuff match. I had everything dracula, but found it a little too... cartoony? I don't really know what I found off about it, there is nothing wrong with the scheme at all, but it didn't grab me. So I tried solarized. I like solarized, it has a dark and a light version, it's easy on the eyes, and it is well supported. I wanted something else though. Something more my own.

I started looking at all the different schemes, how they were made, how they were setup. It looked like hard work. Like I needed to know what I was doing. It was horrific. Then I stumbled on base16. It's not a color scheme, in itself, it's a color scheme theme. A way to easily make a scheme, and then apply it to various things. There are a LOT of themes listed, and they are all made in base16 style. I liked that. I thought I can do that!

I can't do that. I dunno colors. I tried. You can even see the first draft! It needs a lot of work. I wanted to make something art deco style. I'm kinda into the 20's. It seems like a fun time. But my color skills have left me. Well. Honestly I never had color skills. Pretty sure I failed art in school. Still. I might keep working on it. I'd like to at least give it a good try. If I can get it up and running and then get it listed on the base16 github, I'll finally feel like I made it! Hah.

Tags: art-deco, theming, terminal, command-line, solarized, dracula

Mastering tasks.

July 15, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

So. I'm not really massive on tasks. I generally stick anything I need to remember in my calendar and just remember everything else. Recently I started noticing a lot of things online regarding todo lists, and task systems. It made me wonder what the deal was. Can we not just remember things? Or just you know, scribble stuff on paper or something?

I don't know if I'm just confused by the idea, or if it's being over engineered, or if it's literally just 'cos I don't have a whole heap of stuff that needs to be remembered compared to other people, but since it's a thing, I wondered if I could do it on the command line. After all, the best way to figure out the use of something, is to use it for a bit and see if it picks up.

So. The thing that first brought the idea of tasks to my mind, was the app davx on my phone. I installed it to sync up my calendar and contacts for my phone, and it did the job well. During first run it popped up a note to let me know if I wanted to sync tasks, I'd need an app for tasks. So I installed it. I never used it. Just had it on my phone for months.

Because I had an app that worked with caldav and synced with nextcloud, I wanted a CLI app that did the same. Taskwarrior looked great, and seemed incredibly easy to use, but I couldn't figure out how to make it integrate with nextcloud, so I don't think that's my answer. So a quick search had me stumble on todoman Which works on the command line, is easy to use, and integrates with caldav so long as you're okay with setting up vdirsyncer. Which I am. So I did.

I'm still not sure if I'm going to use it all that much. I've added some things, and I quite like the idea of tracking the "Oh yeah! I need to do that thing!" moments, but I think I'm just too lazy to write things down... Unless they're SUPER important. However! I have it, and it works, and who knows? Maybe I'll change my mind!

Tags: commandline, terminal, cli, tasks, nextcloud


July 13, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I run my own nextcloud instance, and my desire to escape google has lead me to using the nextcloud calendar happily. I'm a very sick individual (not really I guess, but I have a LOT of doctors that want to see me.) and as such I require an easy way to track the many appointments for myself, my wife and my daughter.

I generally just use the nextcloud app on my phone, a little davx and some simple calendar, and boom. Life is good. However, I kinda want an easy way to access such stuff from my pc. There are a few options for that, but I have found that the easiest way to do so from the cli, is calcurse. It's not hard to setup, and it looks really pretty. I generally just keep it in a tab in tmux, (ctrl+b and then c, new tab. For those curious) Along with canto-curses, finch, irssi etc. It displays a perfectly clear calender, including multiple options for adding new events, changing things, etc. I won't lie. This is a better calendar than a lot of the graphical ones I might otherwise of used...

Honestly, as time goes on, I think the command line is easier, faster and better by far than all the crazy GUI stuff I'm used too. The caldav interface was relatively easy to configure (copy the config, and then edit the information inside said config, DO NOT forget to uncomment the line starting [auth], that was the big mistake I made, and apparently I'm not alone in that.) then just run the required command (calcurse-caldav --init=two-way) and then watch the magic happen. Now I have a nice, clear and easy to use calendar, right here with everything else.

Tags: commandline, terminal, caldav, calcurse, appointment, events

Discordance of discord in the cli.

July 12, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I don't like discord. I find it kinda clunky, very much overhyped, and I don't trust the people who made it as far as I can throw them (I'm not very strong... So not far.) However, it's so insanely popular that I have had occasion to indulge in it's misery. For the most part I jump in, jump out and hurt no one but the locals. It's a good plan I think, and works for me.

Today, I had such a need. Well. I would call it an annoyance. My daughter required her slimes in slime rancher to be cubed. I don't know why that was a requirement, nor why it had to be done NOW, but I'm not one to start unneeded fights, so off I went looking for the mod. After much research I found the mod, but the link was apparently only available via discord.

Queue the quest music!

First up, discord-cli which is apparently discontinued. I dunno if it would have worked, but I read the line saying work was not being done, and figured, screw it. We can do better.

Second, 6cord Now this works really well. I have a few issues with chats only half loading and then getting stuck with a note saying loading. It looks great though, and I very much enjoyed the ease of use, the simple interface, and the fact that vim bindings seem to be the default. I suspect it was my fault somehow that things were bust slightly. I won't hold that against them.

Finally, just to skip the loading issues, bitlbee-discord I already have bitlbee running for mastodon, works real good for that. Might as well try it. It's pretty dang amazing, but man. discord adds SO many rooms, and trying to add each one I want to the interface would be hell. Today I only needed one, so it works for that, but if I actually used discord for chatting? I'm not sure. Mind you. It's the only one still installed and running, so...

There is one caveat, one little issue that means I still can't REALLY use discord without a regular GUI. Every single log in technique requires that I have a log in token. And to get that you have to log in to discord on the website, then grab the token from the network info from the browsers inspect element feature. Oh, and apparently discord changes how that's stored like once a week or so... I found a LONG list of ways to get the token, and only one of them worked of all of them.

In short. I still hate discord. Oh, and the cube mod hasn't been updated for the new version yet, I have pictures of my daughter crying about it...

Tags: discord, commandline, terminal, bitlbee, slime-rancher

Big ol' tty's full of curses.

July 11, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I talked about youtube-dl and mpv earlier, and mentioned using rss feeds to feed my playlists for mpv. Canto-curses is how I did that.

Canto-curses is a feed reader for the terminal. It's a simple program to use. You can add feeds from within the program, using :add rss-feed-here. Although I find it easier to use the canto-remote addfeed command from the base terminal, since that way I can just push up and change the feed to add more than one quickly. I mostly use it for youtube, but I do have a couple of webcomics included. I wrote a quick bash script to use as the program to open a feed, it's pretty simple. If it finds a youtube link when you click the button to open the feed, it'll add a line to the bottom of my text file. Anything else just gets opened in my browser.

You can also import OPML files, which is surprisingly easy to do for youtube since they let you export your subscriptions as an opml.

Adding a single youtube channel gets more complicated. The feed link doesn't seem to be available for any channel on the actual site, the one you'll need to use is with the channel id being the random letters and numbers youtube assigned to the channel on creation. Most of the time that's just in the URL of the homepage for the channel, but sometimes people have clever names instead, and that means you'll have to hunt through the page source. You'll be looking for the random alphabet soup labelled channel_id=. Once you have that, just add it, and enjoy!

Tags: canto-curses, youtube, rss, feeds, commandline, terminal, linux


July 10, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

Tags: nethack, gaming, commandline, terminal, linux, death