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)

Mario Forever

A Korean TV show that came highly recommended to me is Hi Bye, Mama. It is a story of a mother who has been spending 5 years as a ghost but suddenly finds herself alive again as a human. The first few episodes are more comedic and has many of the signature funny antics in Korean shows. But then it all becomes really serious drama towards the end.

While Hi Bye, Mama is a great story of a mother's love first and foremost, the show is heavily spiritual too. Buddhism is the religion which anchors the whole premise of the show. Watching this has the potential to become a spiritually life-changing moment akin to one reading Mitch Albom's “For One More Day” or William P. Young's “The Shack”. It may open the opportunity to reassess or reaffirm one's faith, whatever that may be, depending on how deeply entrenched one has their beliefs. For that reason, this recommendation of mine comes with a fair warning to those who hold their personal religious beliefs more seriously than most. To dismiss the show purely on the grounds of it being based on Buddhist tradition would be a sad mistake because the story is superbly written and the drama is well-acted. Even more important is how it shows the universality of the greatness of a mother's love.

One of the spiritual writers I admire is Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who studied and written about Eastern beliefs like Buddhism and Taoism. He is a role model to me of the need for openness to understand people of other faiths. So watch Hi Bye, Mama on Netflix with your family and have lots of tissues ready. The final episode is expectedly heartbreaking and thus truly cathartic as well.

</code>

Made my first (proper) pull request on GitHub and it's for that search history feature for zzzfoo. Maintainers of course aren't required to do anything with PRs but it's good enough for me that I was able to share an improvement suggestion for a tool I find highly valuable.

I've been meaning to setup gitea for a while and I've finally done it using docker. I now use it to maintain local copies of all my personal repositories (all my websites and scripts) as well as mirror some open-source projects I like having available offline just in case.

There are many ways of organizing tabs in Firefox. For the longest time I was using Panorama Tab Groups but now uninstalled it due to worry about permissions. I now use Tab Stash which adds a sidebar for grouping tabs. It took a while to get used to this way of working with tabs and history but now I think it's the most natural way of organizing them. Another nice thing is you can export tabs URLs in a list. This Firefox extension is actively developed, open-source and more reasonable with the permissions it needs to function.

PLDT offered us TP-Link Deco Mesh units to improve WiFi coverage at home. They have been effective indeed in getting more consistent wireless connection all over the house but one still gets the feeling that these gadgets are very rudimentary. There is no way yet to choose a channel for the network which is very much needed if you're really intent on improving network quality. And judging by the comments in the official forums, there isn't much hope of getting more advanced features like this in the future. Tech gadgets these days really are designed to be used only for a few years so you keep on buying their newer models.

Dark patterns are abound in the tech service industry these days. The bigger the business, the more they are tempted to employ these tricks.

A dark pattern is "a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying overpriced insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills".
— Wikipedia

I wanted to subscribe to some TV channels to watch the recently concluded Indian Wells tennis tournament. A local TV channel provider has ways to subscribe to these channels online. But the only way to remove them from your account once you no longer want them is to phone (or email?) them to unsubscribe. Another case is a major airline company that auto-adds insurance when you book flights online. Recently, I experienced getting errors when trying to remove this insurance while booking a flight. Looking through the browser's dev tools network inspector shows an error about the insurance being required. I had to retry several times to finally discover that the insurance package can be removed after all on the actual insurance page and not on the add-ons summary page despite having a Remove option there too. These kinds of anti-consumer practices in tech really need to stop. It's pretty straightforward for any big business to implement better ways for consumers that will, at the same time, prevent abuses. But they don't do it, just because.

Practically a lifetime ago, I played this Mario game in DOS. Now, decades later, I learn that it's unofficial and just a hobby project made by someone to learn some coding. I installed it recently on a laptop with DOSBox-X to let my younger brother play with it (as an early birthday gift). This Mario game is his favorite game in the whole wide world! I tried introducing him to other Mario games but he finds those too complicated for him. So he mostly only plays this Mario DOS game clone (and that Super Mario Run game my sister bought for him). My brother and I will be forever grateful to Mike Wiering for creating this game. We have some very fond childhood memories just because this humble little game exists.


"ink"

When Peter, James, and John saw the Lord in his splendor on Mount Tabor, they were heavy with sleep, but the memory of this event proved a source of hope in the midst of their later hardships. Maybe there can be only one Tabor-experience in my life. But the new strength gained from that experience might be enough to support me in the valley, in the garden of Gethsemani, and in the long dark night of life.
The seven months at the Genesee Abbey might indeed have been enough to remind me constantly that now I see
only “a dim reflection in a mirror,”
but one day I will see “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).

– Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery (1976)


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My brother's favorite part in this Super Mario Bros. DOS game
My brother's favorite part in this Super Mario Bros. DOS game

 

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