Installing NsCDE for Nostalgia 2022-07-28

Back in college the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) was the cat’s meow of Unix workstations. I’d be running that on the many thousands of dollars Solaris or HP-UX workstations in my university’s computer labs. If it wasn’t that then it’d be IRIX on the SGI workstations. At home when I finally got Unix running the only thing that was available to me were things like FVWM, Afterstep, or Enlightenment. They were poor approximations but still better than Windows95. In recent years you’ve been able to actually install CDE on Linux thanks to the continuation of the project on SourceForge . However it is a bit long in the tooth architecturally and there are some problems with configuration etc. Thanks to this OSNews story I discovered there is a project meant to theme modern FVWM to act/look like CDE called Not so Common Desktop Environmynt (NsCDE) . So I decided to give it a whirl in a VM.

UPDATE: I ended up doing the “eventually I’ll do a CDE comparison” today in this post . In there you will find some good alternatives for the wonky behaviors you get with the standard GNOME text editor and file manager (hint there are some pretty good alternatives you just have to install them and use as default when you configure the system).

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Getting an Ubuntu 22 Desktop Virtual Machine on Apple Silicon 2022-07-22

I traditionally live most of my life in virtual machines, both in the cloud and on my desktop. It allows for proper sandboxing of development environments, customer projects, apps, etc. Whenever I can I try to stay within just using them. In the past I’ve relied on VirtualBox for that, since it was available on Linux, Mac, and Windows host OS’s. When I switched to Apple Silicon the only viable option that “just worked” out of the box was Parallels Desktop . It comes out of the box with wizards for several Linux versions and Windows. For my new PHP development with real debugging however I needed Ubuntu 22. The version in Parallel’s wizard is Ubuntu 20. While Ubuntu does have AMD64 versions of Ubuntu Server for download, they only have Intel versions of Ubuntu Desktop. These are the steps to taking the Ubuntu Server install disk and making a fully operational desktop environment. This is the first part of my Debugging PHP and Friendica Series .

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PHP and Friendica Debugging Post Series 2022-07-21 After getting my first low hanging fruit change contributed to Friendica I’ve decided to start tackling some larger problems. While my simple writing to the log debugging style worked fine for the first one I figured it was time to start doing real step-level debugging. (More ...)
My First Friendica Contribution...and Getting Over Developing in PHP 2022-07-11

I first joined the fediverse back in March of 2018 after being fed up (yet again) with some Facebook shenanigans and concern over hyper-consolidation, as this post detailed . It started with an account on the Diaspora network , which feels very Facebook like. It was soon followed by one on Mastodon , which is more Twitter like. It wasn’t long after settling in that I started doing development on the Diaspora platform. My first couple pull requests (1st Diaspora PR , 2nd Diaspora PR ) were accepted just about four years ago. That then blossomed into doing some major work on the API which is in the 0.8 version of the Diaspora software. As I documented here though , by early 2019 I was kind of done with having a bifurcated fediverse existence. Friendica bridges many federating protocols so gave me what I wanted. I had considered contributing to Friendica instead, as I wrote in the previous link, and again here earlier this year , but it wasn’t until last week that I finally made that contribution.

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An Update on my 'Jots' Process 2022-07-11 A couple weeks ago I started experimenting with “jotting” here on my blog. The idea was to create an easy way from the command line to write little quips I would put up on social media but have them be persistent on my blog. (More ...)
Mozilla Firefox Networkless Translation 2022-07-08

On the fediverse (gratuitous personal profile link) I follow lots of international people. As a consequency I see lots of posts in other languages. I always hated dumping it into Google Translate to get an English representation. Fortunately in June Mozilla announced the result of their partnership with Project Bergamot to create a Firefox browser extension . The project is creating open source trained datasets for translation between many European languages. Because the model is pre-trained all of the translation is done on the local machine, thus with no network interactions whatsoever!

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Linux X86 Builds on Apple Silicon Are Impractical 2022-07-06

In Jupiter Broadcasting’s Matrix General Chat room we all got into a bit of a conversation spiral about running Intel x86/x64 VMs and code under emulation. Will the hypothetical new Rosetta for Linux make it possible to use Intel x86/x64 Linux on their platforms at reasonable speeds, or at least x64 only apps as needed within ARM64-based VMs? The conversation ended with the point that for most of my needs all I really need is to be able to build x64 Linux apps on my machine. Is that possible even with the performance hit of running emulation? Yes it is very possible. Is it practical though? Sadly, no it is not.

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Open Source Contribution Quandary 2022-06-30

I recently rediscovered an open source project in an area I am interested in and like to contribute to. The presentation layer aspect looks good. The installation procedure and language about streamlining looks good as well. It would solve a lot of the problems that I’m having with software I’m using in a similar area. Yet the more I looked into it the more I felt, for lack of a better term, icky at the notion of being associated with such a project for reasons beyond the software itself.

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Jukeboxing Into Modern Music 2022-06-17

At some point in adulthood, for me it started in my third decade of life, you start to notice that you know less and less about modern music, television, movies, et cetera. Some of us start early in our over-embrace of nostalgic media. Others it’s all looking forward until they die. Most of us though, me included, start indulging more in the past than the present. I’ve tried various times to break that by listening to nothing but Top 40 stations on streaming services. I end up getting pretty tired of it quickly though so after a day or so the whole experiment is over.

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Blog Transitioned from Jekyll to Hugo 2022-06-13

Back in the end of 2018 I wrote this first post in Jekyll after converting from WordPress . WordPress had started feeling too clunky for me and I always wanted to have something simpler. I looked at Jekyll and Hugo at the time. Back then the big bonus for Hugo was compilation speeds and it was supposedly a bit easier to get started with. The advantage of Jekyll flexibility and it being more seasoned, not that either were new. Because I was doing Ruby development at the time and Jekyll is written in Ruby I decided to go with it instead of Hugo. It served me pretty well for the past several years but with increasing compilation times and trouble getting Ruby Gems configured on my Mac I decided to take the plunge and try to convert to Hugo. I was not disappointed, which is why this article is the first post to the Hugo-built site.

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