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)

How It's Made

How It's Made. That's the title of my current favorite TV show. I've seen it many times on cable TV but now I'm having a newfound appreciation for the sheer genius of it. What makes it even more enjoyable are the puns and clever quips the host makes every now and then. Seriously, this show has me grinning like an idiot whenever the host drops something really witty and punny. It actually almost feels like the writers are even holding back because I noticed a few missed opportunities for something wink 😉 wink to say. Sigh. Just a great show to learn about the things we often take for granted, mixed with some history lesson and lots of smile-inducing plays on words. This show plus those awe-inspiring nature and astronomy shows easily makes Discovery+ my current favorite streaming service. If you don't have it, numerous episodes of How It's Made are on YouTube all free to watch.

The Adam Project on Netflix is the Jenna+Matty reunion movie I didn't know I wanted. This April, it will be 17 years since the greatest romantic-comedy-musical premiered on the movie screen. (30-13=17! gasp!) And I must say, 13 Going on 30 has never lost its luster for me, glitter and all, even after all these years. That's two Ryan Reynolds movies that I love now. The reprise of Christophe Beck's Paperman theme in Free Guy is quite possibly the greatest cinematic moment last year. Speaking of soundtracks, Austin Wintory just released a reimagining of his masterpiece soundtrack for one of the greatest videogames ever made. Journey offers one of the most unique experiences a human can have and only through a videogame. It's hard to put into words and maybe rightfully so because the game itself doesn't use any!

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The homepage for Hope PH quietly launched last month. I don't remember what I had envisioned having there when I first bought the domain but what is now up there live is at least practical and useful. The idea came to me one night and I hadn't stopped coding ever since. There are still a few more ideas to add to it but it will remain a minimal single page (despite running on WordPress) with things I deem relevant for the Philippines. Keeping things simple is a mantra I intend to keep in mind for all my coding projects.

The directory site is now called Philippines Internet Directory. The word “web” is not exactly something non-techies understand as techies do—hence the change. A huge update was also pushed adding more categories and links. The original intent of having only the “best” of the Philippines was very limiting so now the directory will cater to more quality links to widen its scope. Google has not yet picked up the site which is unsurprising as the once most useful search engine giant only gets worse each day, rewarding higher page rank for the uglier, noisier and sometimes bot-generated websites. If ever there was any justification for the existence of curated link directories, it's Google's demise.

I now use Trilium as my primary note/knowledgebase app. The decision to switch from Zim Desktop Wiki didn't come lightly and would need an entire blog post to tell. Suffice to say that it has been a good change for me. So good that it had me making trilium-customizations!

Another project I had is camerafilesorganizer – a PHP command-line tool to organize camera photos into folders by date. It's something I've always wanted to have done automatically as I tended to procrastinate clearing out SD cards when they are filled up. It only works on the JPEG files for now. The MOV files might be handled differently by another script utilizing ffmpeg because I often concatenate videos.

Found recently this nifty little tool called rofi. With it, I managed to setup:

  • a better launcher with calculator
  • rofimoji – an emoji character picker so I can do this 👨‍🏫‍🏫 😋🧜‍♀️ anywhere 👌
  • zzzfoo – quick yet powerful full-text search tool using rofi and recoll

I developed a fork locally of zzzfoo that allows it to remember search history. I'm still untrained on the ways of doing merge requests on GitHub so I don't know if I'll be submitting a PR for it. At least this little enhancement helped me practice some Python debugging.

When Firefox ceased supporting desktop web apps (a.k.a. Site Specific Browser (SSB)) last year, sensible Internet users everywhere lamented the loss. The need for it was so great that thankfully, a solution came: PWAs for Firefox. Now I can have hckr news, Tiny Tiny RSS and YouTube Music, for starters, running on their own Firefox windows.

Because of PWAs for Firefox, I can now have singlefile autosaving browser history. This is very useful in keeping a history of all the pages I read on the Internet during every day "research." Coupled with recoll, I can now do full-text search through every single webpage I read on the web and have saved using singlefile. Previously, I manually saved each page I find worth keeping. But it broke my concentration having to remember to click on the singlefile toolbar button. Well, no more of that. Adding a few regex in singlefile to exclude certain websites from the autosave is enough to keep the amount of pages saved minimal. In my case, the average size of a saved HTML file is a mere 500 kilobytes. Having all these running in separate browser profiles is of course essential so I don't autosave email or shopping websites unnecessarily. I looked through several options for doing this and this solution proved to be the most simple yet also extensive while offering a virtually frictionless workflow. The power it gives will be explained next.

Recoll search using rofi with zzzfoo is perhaps the most exciting thing in my thinking arsenal right now. The ability to search through a knowledgebase the immensity of which could rival the lost Library of Alexandria… Wow. Google Books dreamed of it. Now it's in the hands of anyone who know how to Internet. Alas, the promise of a better society through the help of the Internet which I had dreamt of when I was still a budding webmaster in highschool is all just that, apparently. A dream. Still, it gives one hope to find people working to use the better parts of technology for the greater good. A code, no matter how small, still has all the potential to change the world. Because we refuse a dead Internet. ✊


"ink"

If you've never programmed a computer, you should.
There's nothing like it in the whole world. When you program a computer, it does exactly what you tell it to do. It's like designing a machine—any machine, like a car, like a faucet, like a gas hinge for a door—using math and instructions. It's awesome in the truest sense: it can fill you with awe.

A computer is the most complicated machine you'll ever use. It's made of billions of micro-miniaturized transistors that can be configured to run any program you can imagine. But when you sit down at the keyboard and write a line of code, those transistors do what you tell them to.

Most of us will never build a car. Pretty much none of us will ever create an aviation system. Design a building. Lay out a city.

Those are complicated machines, those things, and they're off-limits to the likes of you and me. But a computer is like, ten times more complicated, and it will dance to any tune you play. You can learn to write simple code in an afternoon. Start with a language like Python, which was written to give non-programmers an easier way to make the machine dance to their tune. Even if you only write code for one day, one afternoon, you have to do it. Computers can control you or they can lighten your work—if you want to be in charge of your machines, you have to learn to write code.

We wrote a lot of code that night.

– Marcus in “Little Brother” (chapter 7, page 119-120)
by Cory Doctorow


*space*

My Boarding Pass for NASA Artemis I 🚀
My Boarding Pass for NASA Artemis I 🚀

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