the chronicles of
code and ink
in space

notes on tech, books and photography by a lifelong learner

(an offshoot of i blast code and ink into space)

Musica Universalis

After seeing recent news events, I've been reading with some curiosity about the so-called “Music of the Spheres”. Is it really so farfetched to think the maths and music of the cosmos are more than just metaphors? Tolkien certainly didn't seem to think so as evidenced in his creation myth found in The Silmarillion. Superstring theory in physics propose vibrating strings that orchestrate the cosmos. I am just a student merely fascinated by these concepts who nonetheless find comfort in the plausibility of these ideas. It is better to be hopeful and to believe than to resign oneself with living on the opposite. The political satire “Servant of the People” is currently streaming on Netflix. Be entertained and learn while you're at it.



Published an updated guide to setting up a personal radio station using Icecast, DarkIce, Murmur and Mumble. I expressed my hope there of finding a single tool for this but on second thought, maybe that isn't the best idea. If that one tool isn't open-source and would tend towards having more bloat eventually, then it's not the right solution in my view. What makes this IceCast-Darkice-Murmur-Mumble solution great is these are time-tested tools that will likely work well into the foreseeable future. There's no big update necessary that could break things and make you waste your time just to keep the setup running smoothly. It all just works.

yt-dlp has usurped the place of youtube-dl in my toolbox. Transferring my old config was a cinch. youtube-dl just suddenly had throttling issues for me one day which led me to find this fork. It still amazes me how it works on almost any video site I encounter. Even podcasts! I got sick of losing web stuff (I find worth preserving) to link rot. yt-dlp is just one of the most valuable archiving tools today. This and SingleFile contribute the most to my daily archiving load.

As mentioned, yt-dlp supports podcasts too. You just need to provide the podcast's original RSS feed. I found this very useful JSFiddle to extract the original feed URL of Apple/iTunes podcasts. Sadly, many podcasters today hide their original RSS link making us need tools like this.

Digital preservation is still a fairly niche field. Aside from podcasts, I also backup videos that not many people may think of preserving today but could prove valuable in the future. When the pandemic started, people had to move to doing things online and that mostly involved videos. I spent a bit of time downloading church videos back then. I think things like that could serve as a time capsule of how things were like during those first few months of the pandemic. It can be an important asset for any country that values preservation of history and culture. At a time when truths are often challenged, digital artifacts can make or unmake history. There's this pretty comprehensive directory of links for the Web Archiving Community which you can check if this interests you.


And the space-bat-angel’s singing had the most unexpected effect. Suddenly the world became wonderfully peaceful. The singing got inside everybody and made them as peaceful as starry space, and blissfully above all their earlier little squabbles. The strange soft eerie space-music began to alter all the people of the world. They stopped making weapons. The countries began to think how they could live pleasantly alongside each other, rather than how to get rid of each other. All they wanted to do was to have peace to enjoy this strange, wild, blissful music from the giant singer in space.

– "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes