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 Half-Baked Ideas


A half-baked idea a day keeps the doctor away. Wouter

These are fleeting, half-baked thoughts, that may or may not get fully baked into fleshed out blog posts. The notes below are also syndicated to other platforms, such as Mastodon. Enjoy reading my ramblings!

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2021

April

I just built a few Go projects on my Windows XP retro machine using Go 1.10. I love how easy that was - besides fixing missing 1.10+ library funcs… And yes, I know, nobody cares, but after watching Rob Pike’s new Go Assembler talk, it’s just a matter of mapping pseudo machine code to the win/386 architecture.

It’s a shame that support has dropped. Can’t we get back to getting stuff compiled on Win9x the same way? A few weeks ago, I compiled a hello world C program on my 486 with gcc under DOS 6.22. It took three minutes - but it worked.

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Jeremy Clarke wrote a set of Nim tools that allows you to program Game Boy Advance games in Nim instead of in C. It makes smart use of Nim’s built-in importc capabilities to wrap Libtonc. Watch Jeremy’s talk at NimConf 2020 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZUM7MhWr88

I did the same in C++ with gba-sprite-engine but my intention was to hide low-level complexity instead of expose a GBA programmer to it.
Makes me wonder if it would be possible to leverage cgo to write GBA stuff in Go…

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I spent the day pretending to attend a virtual GopherCon thanks to the plethora of YouTube recordings. I promptly ordered two Go programming books after the first talk. Professionally, I was a Java/C#/JS dev, and I dabbled in C/C++/Python. This looks like a (relieving) breath of fresh air - and luckily, I’m very familiar with pass-by-value and pointers.

Things still bewilder me, of course. The books haven’t arrived yet 😅 The presence of many Makefiles in GitHub Go projects - even though Go is explicitly designed to do without them - freaks me out. Devs saying “just place the _test.go files next to your implementation” freaks me out. (src/main/java, src/test/java…) The magic of “go build” without any verbosity freaks me out. The absence of “–save-dev” in “go get” freaks me out. I’m used to so many mundane complexity in development environments that encountering something touting simplicity is immediately marked as suspicious by my subconsciousness!

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This is so frustrating. Suddenly, my local banking app started complaining while attempting to transfer amounts: “This can not be executed without Google Play services, which is not supported on your device.” It worked fine a week ago. If we want something like #LineageOS to be more widely accepted, then it’ll also need to be officially supported by companies.

Even the ProtonMail app says it can’t do alerts without Play services. Which is rubbish, as Signal - or even WhatsApp - all manage without. And since Proton is very much privacy-focused, you’d expect a company like that to at least support Lineage. No?

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Good news everyone! Brain Baking was just launched into Gemini space! gemini://brainbaking.com/ Thanks, @david

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March

I noticed Tumblr sites do not support receiving pingbacks, trackbacks or webmentions. Yet, they have some sort of self-reference in the form of “notes” next to the comments section. Fellow Tumblrs can repost or like others' tublelogs. E.g. at the bottom of https://www.strifestreams.com/post/628317276707405824/another-classic-bobby-prince-soundtrack-from-the

Is there any way I can support this on my own non-Tubmlr sites while sending out mentions? Does anyone know how this works?

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Today, I got a bit weird and made an animal crossing bot that lets a random villager say their favorite quote once a day.

The perfect loneliness antidote! If you’re curious, follow ol' Tortimer at @acvillagers - and don’t forget to pay off that rent. Spread the word! 💚

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Spring is in the air: it is sunny and temperatures rise above 20 degrees for the first time here in Belgium. That means I can curse some more, having to close windows while working from home thanks to extremely loud lawn mowers, chainsaws, brushcutters and the like.
Why do we love to make noise? Is that what you do when you’re “working in the garden/nature”?

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Today, I threw out https://buttercup.pw/ in favor of https://keepassxc.org/ - works flawlessly. Buttercup’s Firefox plugin regularly did NOT do what I wanted, the install is 200+MB (wtf? Oh, Electron…) and it consumes more memory than KeePassXC. I held off using password managers for a long time because I feared the server-sync thing, but both mentioned managers simply allow you to create a local DB. 👍

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I changed my mind on my toot syndication to brainbaking.com policy. From now on, only non-replies (in-reply-to) get pushed to https://brainbaking.com/notes/ - it was cluttering up the RSS feed and most replies are useless to non-followers anyway. Sorry about that!

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“You are a product of your environment. Eventually, you’ll adopt the ideology of the place you’re in.” - DHH, Small Tech stream of @aral and @laura
I need to let that thought seep in. It could be a reason why I change that (work) environment every 5 years, on the lookout for new and better things…

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So, we rewrote our CS courses in Markdown. I’m looking for ways to make things more interactive for students, e.g. by embedding replit.com snippets. However, I dont’t want to create 34235 repls for every snippet, and a single backed repository is not supported. Any ideas? Jupyter notebooks are out of the question, and sadly, so is codepen.io or jsfiddle: I need Java and C compile support. It should be something simple - snippets are mostly single-page, small things. E.g. https://kuleuven-diepenbeek.github.io/osc-course/ch1-c/intro/

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Enjoyed an afternoon of oldskool Diablo II on the Europebattle servers. We did a few Mephisto runs, managed to hit Hell, and I re-converetd my druid into a windy one. Good times!

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@eli_oat a serious fire destroyed the data center of my VPS last night: https://twitter.com/olesovhcom/status/1369478732247932929 - guess what I did NOT backup: my Mastodon instance. What a disaster. No idea if things get pushed back to this new instance. Just wanting to see if your instance recognizes this username, cause it's a fresh install?

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I've been fiddling with IndieWeb stuff the last week and all in all, I think it's a mixed bag: https://brainbaking.com/post/2021/03/the-indieweb-mixed-bag/
@kev after I published it, I found out your "removing support for indieweb" post. Seems like we agree that it's overly complicated, sadly enough! Loving the guestbook alternative. What to do, what to do… 😅

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I spent some time with Yarn/Jest/ES2019, it felt good to be programming again. I am developing a serious JavaScript FOMO since switching from the software engineering industry to academia, and I'm not quite sure if I like that…

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Dog-walk thought: how cool would it be if the Nintendo Switch would support publishing screenshots through https://indieweb.org/Micropub ? Instead, I'm left to fiddling with Birdsite to manually https://indieweb.org/PESOS these things, after which I can finally use them in jefklakscodex.com/ … As long as big companies only support silo infrastructures, we're left with PESOS instead of POSSE.

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Heads up RSS feed readers of brainbaking.com! Federated half-baked thoughts (https://brainbaking.com/notes/) are now integrated in /index.xml 🤓. Don't like that? Subscribe to /post/index.xml instead! Next up: webmentions, PESOS-ing of Goodreads reviews. I'm not sure if die-hard POSSE is worth it…

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February