Command Line Interfaces (by )

Yesterday I saw this thread on Twitter by @thingskatedid about Kitty, a featureful terminal emulator.

I use the terminal a lot. My normal working environment is:

  • herbstluftwm
  • emacs
  • firefox
  • thunderbird
  • Lots and lots of terminal windows

Up until now, I'd been using alacritty as my terminal of choice, after frustrations with getting xterm to do unicode properly, but I've moved over to kitty now - as far as I can tell it's a superset of alacritty, at least for features I actually use.

So, why was I excited about kitty? Having proper graphics in the shell is a tiny step closer towards what I'd really like to have, but perhaps as far as can be done without ripping up a whole lot more infrastructure... Let me explain.

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An actually usable voice assistant interface (by )

Ok, this is going to sound a bit weird, but I had a dream last night and part of that dream as an actually usable voice assistant system (as in, Google Assistant / Alexa type of thing). I woke up all excited about this, so I need to write it up so that I can see if it's actually a good interface when I come back to it in few days, or just dream-hubris... Read more »

Pictures from Space (by )

So the International Space Station (ISS) contains some equipment that's part of a project called ARISS, or Amateur Radio on the ISS.

One of the ARISS projects is occasional transmissions of images via SSTV, or Slow-scan television - basically colour faxes sent via radio.

Anyway, a few days ago, I saw that there was an SSTV transmission scheduled, and the ISS would be passing over England at times I would be able to try and pick it up, so I gave it a go... Read more »

A call to action: Installing a cluster of servers shouldn’t be hard (by )

One of the reasons cloud servers (AWS EC2, Google's GCE, Azure, etc) are popular - despite their eye-watering costs once you get to any sort of nontrivial scale - is that they give you a web interface and API to provision resources, rather than needing to set up your own managed cluster.

This is crazy, as managing a cluster of servers is just a software problem, and not a particularly tricky one, so there really should be a decent open source solution for doing it. Read more »

A keyboard design (by )

Ok, so a friend of mine is making himself a custom keyboard - there's a whole hobbyist community of people who design their own, often based on a published design like the Ergodox.

This is related to something I've long wanted to do, which is to obtain myself a chorded keyboard. So I thought I'd write up my current thoughts on the matter, given that they've been brought to the forefront of my mind again!

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