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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

May

I discovered that a recent Nintendo Switch system update came with the feature to download screenshots and videos to your smartphone. I can finally delete my Twitter account that was needed simply to get those stupid shots onto my gaming blog. So, today, I deleted both my Facebook and Twitter account. What a relief.

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Me, cautiously applying academic etiquette:
Dear Prof. Surname, Regarding your work blah. Best regards, Wouter Groeneveld.
Reply: Wouter, blah. Cheers! Firstname.

Me, in a slight optimistic mood:
Hi Firstname, On your paper x: blah. Cheers, Wouter.
Reply: Dear Mr. Groeneveld, blah. Sincerely, Prof. Dr. Surname, winner of best paper award x, editor-in-chief y, director z, …

🙄

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@https://www.zylstra.org/blog/2021/05/16302/ Very cool, thanks for mentioning it, I did not yet have Peter’s blog in my RSS reader 😊 I ended up ordering a Pilot Capless, will blog about my findings soon.
Off-topic, but a bit troubling: I actually went to a pen shop in my home town, well-aware that I would be paying premium, but wanting to support local shop owners. It turned out that they charged 500EUR while La Couronne du Comte asks 215EUR. Yoink! I know many physical shops complain that they can’t compete with Amazon-like prices, but this is just bullshit: La Couronne is also a physical store, in Tilburg. I’m happy to pay 10-20% more but this is a bit too much…

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Let’s talk about fountain pens 🖋.
I am eager to spend too much money. My current daily writers are a Lamy 2000 F and Pilot Custom Heritage 912 WA. Any suggestions for a little brother/sister?
Aurora’s 88 looks great but my Ipsilon is terrible. A classic Platinum 3776 maybe? Or a European one? Not sure if a good Pelikan can handle the 2000’s competition! Belgium’s own Conid is tempting but the nibs are not that unique.

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@https://boffosocko.com/2021/04/27/55790631/ thanks! You should get a sourdough started soon. This will get you into fermenting stuff. Next, try to ripen ideas in a journal. It’ll work wonders!
Interesting “Twitter of our own” talk. Are you aware that you webmention stuff twice since you syndicate out your posts to twitter, which get fed back into brid.gy, which fire off another mention?

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April

Interesting video in which YouTuber Modern Vintage Gamer explains how he ended up building a GBC emulator to port Shantae to the Switch: https://youtu.be/eZRzaGFWoz8

A bit weird that this happened separate from Nintendo’s Virtual Console games. So every dev wanting to port old stuff has to build their own emulator?
Even weirder that those Limited Run prints - which are all sold out now https://www.limitedrungames.com/search?type=product,page&q=shantae - command for ridiculous prices on the second hand market. I detest these “exclusivity” practices…

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@https://seblog.nl/2017/02/13/3/how-i-hacked-my-own-site that totally makes up for the amount of time I put into validating incoming pictures based on the first eight bytes, instead of looking at the mime types! But now I realise that my storage idea, based on domain only, does not work, since mentions from brid.gy are from multiple authors…

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I’m looking into getting rid of Facebook for my Dutch bread baking community, and replacing it with something simple as mailing lists. Does anyone have experience with phpList or Mailman 3? The latter seems cool but a bit of a hassle to install.

I’ve also seen something like public email boxes to host comments on blogs. It should be simple, without requiring users to login and whatnot, just email as an interface - many bakers aren’t technologists.

Or could something federated work? Can I setup something masto-like without requiring users to create accounts?

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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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