In the war between emacs and vim, I lean towards emacs, but what I actually use is jed. It’s a fairly minimal editor, great for use in a remote terminal, with syntax highlighting, smart indenting, and just enough features to be decent for programming in. After years of fighting with the defaults, I have finally figured out the configuration I like. Like all my other configuration files, my .jedrc is stored on github.
I recently abandoned the Gmail web interface in favor of good old mail user agents (MUA) like Thunderbird, K-9 Mail and mutt. This has been a wonderful experience all around, but there were a few settings I had to make that were not intuitive until I understood how Gmail operates. Namely, how it treats IMAP folders.
I am running my blog software on a Raspberry Pi that is not directly facing the internet. I will argue why you should consider doing that, or a variation of it.
It strikes me that modern blog software is monkeyballs. We are running a huge amount of poorly written code on a public-facing server, to generate dynamic pages that, in 99.9% of all cases, contain static content. This gives attackers a big surface area for attacks, and makes blogging a real threat to your infrastructure.
Whenever I tell people that I still have all my email from 1992, and source code going back to 1989, they look at me like I am some sort of wizard. One of those old wizard, too, because the first thing I hear is usually “I was three years old in 1989”. I guess I’ve just always been good at backups, even though I have never used a commercial backup software in my life. Or maybe because of that, and because my strategy is really simple and easy to follow. I figure I should explain my reasoning, and maybe it’ll help somebody else.
In my previous article, I described how to set up Thunderbird for use with your Gmail account. That solves my annoyances with the Gmail web interface, and allows me to use PGP encryption in my emails, something I’ll probably write a post about later. However, I also have a series Android devices on which I also read email, and the Gmail app on them has a few of the same problems, namely the lack of encryption. How much does the NSA pay the major vendors so they don’t implement this, and make it harder on us?
In this article, I’ll show you how to set up the free K-9 Mail app, and add a new identity to it, so we can prepare our eventual exit from Gmail altogether. You may not choose to do that yet, but I did.
I have had it with Gmail. The web interface is becoming more and more antagonistic every day, and it is my firmly help belief that Gmail is not email. Back in the days, Gmail was a standards-compliant service built on IMAP and SMTP, with a fancy web interface. A web interface that eventually became so usable, it convinced me that I did not actually need a desktop email application any longer. Those days are over. The new Compose, the inability to use it with a PGP browser extension, the G+ integration, the hopeless top-posting and that new thing where every attachment gets stored into Drive are all making me harken back to a simpler time.
Like many programmers, I use a US keyboard layout instead of my native German (or Scandinavian) keyboard. This makes programming easier, because I don’t need to put my right hand into contortions to get at the keys for angle brackets, curly braces, or the backslash, and I am able to use my coworkers’computers and vice versa (except for those Dvorak types). But sometimes, I want to write a letter home, and I need the Umlauts and all that other stuff. There are four basic solutions to this, all of which don’t work for me, and the final one that I use today (skip right to the end if that is all you want to see).
This month, I started developing a new Atlantis game, code-named Helios. I am hoping that other developers will join my effort eventually, so I am spending more time than usual on project management and documentation. Today sees the end of my very first sprint, and I am pretty stoked about how much I got done.
Atlas, my game of Atlantis 1.0 (with small modifications) is finally ending in turn 22, by vote of the remaining players. There are 6 factions left, and it’s time to look at what worked and what didn’t. I kind of knew a lot of this beforehand (A1 is pretty well-known), but I have not seen a critical retrospective of past games, and think it might be constructive to do a write-up. I know a lot of this is fixed in A5 or Eressea, but remember I wanted to go back to basics and see what the world was like 20 years ago when Russell Wallace first created it.