Midnight Pub

Ask the Midnight: What are you up to?

~nsilvestri

Shamelessly stolen from Orange Website.

Hello, fellow patrons! The ~bartender got me a peach cider from a local place down the street. Have any of you been working on any personal projects recently?

I've been off work for four months (and starting my new job and first startup job [literally employee #1] in a day, but that's a story for another time!) and have embarrassingly little to show for so much free time. Still, I've managed to start working on a little VR freeware game that's been bouncing around my head for a while. I've even purchased a domain for it, so things are getting pretty serious. Rubik's cube competitions are back where I'm from, too, so I have to spend some time practicing blindfold solves.

What projects have y'all been up to?


shiloh

Honestly, since school has started, I haven't done many projects. My guitar-playing and drawing have gone out the window, replaced mostly by accounting. I have been working out pretty often, and going to the Arab and Asian grocery stores nearby. A yesterday, I did a 50-mile ruck challenge. I was a 50 mile walk with a 20lb weight plate plus water and snacks. It took 20 hours, and the sky never showed, all wind and rain. I got a good night's sleep, then went to the store with a buddy of mine, and now I'm just enjoying some rum with 2 crushed kaffir lime leaves, a pinch of mahlep (I have no idea what it is, some kind of cherry it seems based on the label?) and a spoonful of jaggery. I think its going to my head a bit quick... Anyways, nothing too exciting or creative, unfortunately. It's just easier to put exercise in my schedule, I guess.

Cheers to all of you.

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bitdweller

Well aside from tinkering with an ever evolving Raspberry Pi that does different things for me, I'm working on a loooong project. We two actually, and they are ever-connected:

To begin with, I am a fucking dad now, 2 months already, so that's a project, right?

But the most interesting for you guys, or the one not everyone does, is that I'm writing a daily log of what's happening on her life. The things we do with her (sing, take her to the doctor, etc), the things she does (crying, babbling, smiling, shitting the walls, etc) and how we feel around all of this (Happy, stressed, blessed).

I decided it will not only be a "log", it will be a small website with other maybe-interesting stuff, like milestones (first smile, first word, first trip, stuff like that) and other bits of info that can be interesting or funny. Like a list of places where we changed her diapers outside of home, with name and geo coordinates. Or a list of trips we have made with her, or, if you wanna call it like that, places she has been.

I'm writing it in english, so that she will have to learn it or get better at it to understand.

I really hope she will be interested in this! This is for her of course.

It is taking the shape of a Gemini website. I'm hosting it on flounder and on my raspberry pi as well.

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tatterdemalion

I'm not producing much in terms of personal projects, even Gemini-related. My main personal project for the last month has been reading "The Mysteries of Udolpho" by Ann Radcliffe. Otherwise, I've been consumed with family and household work and activities.

At work I'm deep in legacy code and eye strain.

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edisondotme

Does it have to be orange website themed? I joined a bouldering league recently and it's gotten me to try a lot harder than I normally would. I completed two V6 problems in the past two weeks after not having done one in many months.

Bouldering grades

I've also been working on physical training a lot in general and I'm starting to get some decent results, gonna get shredded >:)

It's camping season where I am so I've also been doing a lot of outdoor climbing and camping, fall is beautiful.

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ew

Uh, lots of busy folks? Good on you! I managed to get alpinelinux and openBSD running on a small machine. I even learned how to run a gemini server without the TLS part, and get the latter as a service from nginx. Quite nice! I managed to compile emacs from source and toy with a straight based configuration, which must be offline-proof. That includes full offline email with mu4e and offlineimap (note to ploum). I had somehow managed to trigger "phoning home" at every start. No, thanks. And yesterday I have started to understand more details of this RISC-V machine I do have (Sifive unmatched). Lots to learn about boot loaders. Goal: get Debian running, and alpine, and maybe something like Genode/SculptOS (stretch goal, clearly). In real life I give a weekly Linux class, and I try to keep a small sports club afloat. Not exactly a project, but a time sink nonetheless. Look Ma! No computers!

Cheers!

/me nips at my hot chocolate

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edisondotme

Isn't TLS a *requirement* for Gemini?

What's your Linux class like, that sounds interesting.

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ew

Hej!

Sure TLS is a requirement. And from the endpoint it is all gemini. nginx will handle the TLS part of the communication and hand the clear text request on to inetd, which in turn will start a program (vger) to produce the response, which is funneled all the way back. Call it a three-layer-gemini-server :-) See

gemini://ew.srht.site/en/2021/20211023-alpine-vger.gmi

Linux class. Oh well, I could go on for a lengthy epistle ... Some day I was motivated to do this kind of thing by a peculiar ripple through space time. So I thought: How could I ever teach folks to use Linux? And who could that folks possibly be? I started with colleagues, a hand crafted set of computer affine folks. They would have the necessary understanding ... So I came up with the plan to go for 12 classes, 2 hours each. Attendees would bring a not so brand new notebook with them. Then:

  • class 1: give them a flash drive with a live system --- so they find out how to boot from a stick. Most have never seen a Live system, it's eye opening.
  • class 2: Install Debian on the notebook --- I encourage folks to try other distros as well, but that requires a lot of time
  • class 3: sift through all questions, problems that came with the installation.

Old fashioned. With homework assignments (install again! yay!).

And go from there: package manager, network fundamentals, a class about email, another about web surfing and yet another about backup. Always point out how to find out, what the system is doing. And why I prefer some things over others. Install zoom. All the way including verifying the signatures. One class asked for encrypted email. So I explained the bits an pieces and what you really can conclude from them. Interesting challenge. Intro to shell scripting, if the audience wants that. These 12 classes fly by fast. And a few of the attendees did stick. So, it's partially successful ...

Ok, this is getting lengthy. Better stop here.

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eaplmx

Ha, cool. The first step is always buying the domain :)

I've played only a few VR games on HTC Vive, my favourite one was 'Final Soccer VR', pretty realistic and fun for me.

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nsilvestri

I remember trying VR, specifically The Lab, for the first time in late 2016 and thinking it was fun but a bit limited and gimmicky. Then last year I got a Quest 2 and was able to play things like Half-Life: Alyx and Phasmophobia and I've been completely sold on the whole thing. I just find VR to be so much more engaging, to the point where I'm replaying my favorite pancake games in VR (Subnautica, Outer Wilds). I could gush more but I think I'll stop here, haha.

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eaplmx

Nice! The Lab is cool enough for mini-games, but as you say, a nicer experience like HL: Alix (I haven't played it) is required to actually engage on the whole concept.

I'm still betting more on AR games than VR, although that thin line between using a headset and having a secondary device like a phone is going to disappear in 3-5 years, I think.

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eaplmx

Hey! Cider! 🍻

Well, I've been working for a few days on a game based on the classic 'A Dark Room', but using the GPS of your mobile. The idea is to walk out of your home and find digital stuff around.

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nsilvestri

Sounds cool! I've always been a fan of location-based games, and have been a geocacher for what is now most of my life. Would like to try it out if/when you release it!

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bitdweller

Oh my, thank you for reminding me of geo caching. I really like to go on hunts with my girlfriend but have stopped since she got pregnant and she wasn't really able to go on large walks.

Now that we have the baby and she's recovering well, I will begin again!

I have already loaded c:geo to see what's around, and there's plenty! Thanks!

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eaplmx

I never had opportunity to use Geocacher, although it sounds so interesting! Could you tell us more about your experience ?

And of course I'll share the progress with you!

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nsilvestri

When I was a wee lad in Cub Scouts I was introduced to geocaching, and I've had an on-and-off time going at it since. I have a bit over 250 finds since 2010 across many US states and a handful of countries. It's mostly a tool to help get me off the beaten path when I'm exploring a new area, but there's a lot of enjoyment to be found in what is probably the closest thing to a real-life treasure hunt. If you're on Android, the c:geo app is a free one that can get you going when you connect it to a geocaching.com account. No harm in seeing what might be in your area!

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eaplmx

Wow, my first sight was fascinating, there are only two caches in my town, from 2012, and the record says they are gone by now. But having people from USA, Germany and some other places visiting my town and finding the caches a few years ago gave me good feelings.

I was talking with my wife about planting a few physical caches more nearby. Maybe it's something we will do soon.

Wikipedia - Geocaching
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eaplmx

Thanks! I'll try with 'c:geo', maybe I'll find something over here!

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eaplmx

And about life, has been traveling around. After 10 months of not getting out of my town, now I visited some faraway places, so I had time to think about life, creating games, spend time with family, and such.

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starbreaker

I've been working on a new novel called "Shattered Harmonies" with nothing but a fountain pen and a notebook. I manage 5-6 pages of closely-written text on a good day, with about 200-350 words per page.

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nsilvestri

Do you usually handwrite your novels? I know some people swear by it, but I've never personally found any personal benefit over digital typing. I did journal for an hour and change almost every day a few years ago, but that was mostly an excuse to use my fountain pens :P

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starbreaker

No, I usually type them out in Emacs. This is the first time I'm outlining and drafting one by hand. Once I get my typewriter back, this will be my workflow:

1. hand-write a chapter in my notebook

2. type it up with my typewriter

3. wait for my wife to take a red pen to it

4. type it up in Emacs with corrections

I'm also thinking of photographing hand-written and typed pages and putting them on my website.

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ploum

Trying to get my emails available offline with mutt/mbsync so I can connect only once a day. Also Deleting as much online accounts as I can. And trying to work on a protocol called Offmini.

All about trying to reclaim my living time.

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gert

It's not exactly a project but I've been learning how to take better notes and journals.

Congrats on your new job!

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nsilvestri

Thank you! I'm very nervous; I still feel like I deserve junior-level positions but I'm optimistic that I can find a way to fill in these big new shoes.

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