música

A Jukebox de Apolo #1

Apolo, o deus da mitologia grega a quem, entre outras coisas, era atribuído o “pelouro” da música, dá nome a uma nova rubrica aqui no blog onde vou partilhar algumas descobertas musicais que vou fazendo. Estes posts não vão ter uma frequência previsível; publicarei quando achar que tiver que publicar.

A primeira playlist da Jukebox de Apolo centra-se essencialmente em diferentes sub-géneros da música eletrónica, com destaque para Klimeks, Poldoore e Maximus MMC & Tilka.

A lista completa das músicas incluídas segue abaixo. Boas audições.

Playlist

  • Ray Ben Rue – Lo-Fi Smoke
  • Maximus MMC & Tilka – Switching Lantes
  • DIVERSA – Wonderlust
  • Killer Bee – Final Fantasy
  • Poldoore feat Jakaan – But I Do
  • HUMANS – The Feel
  • 7DD9 – Violet
  • Klimeks – Dreamscape ’95
  • Barrie – Canyons
  • Melby – Cross

Link para a playlist no Youtube

geekices

Tips for optimizing images

Not that long ago, disk space was an expensive commodity: five gigabytes of space for a website could cost you more than €30 per month. Today, you pay that for a whole year and the double or more of disk space. Some hosts even offer “unlimited” storage for a similar monthly price.

Even though disk space has become cheaper, you might be bound to hit the limit of your hosting provider. In order to delay that, you can (and should!) optimize the images you use. This can be done in several ways, but I’m going to document the ones I use.

First, avoid PNG’s unless you need transparency in the image. The format is open, which is great, but the more color information it has the more disk space it tends to use. You can easily confirm this by saving a photo in PNG and JPEG, and then see how much space they take. Chances are the PNG one will use at least two times more disk space than the JPEG one.

Second, if you use GNU/Linux, *BSD or macOS, leverage the jpegoptim utility. This tool does some neat things, like removing the metadata information (EXIF, XMP, etc) and applying lossless optimizations to help you reduce the file size. With the PNG images, you can use optipng to accomplish the same thing. There are also some websites that let you optimize your images (before uploading them to your website), like compressor.io.

This two simple things allowed me to save more than 5GB of disk space for Espalha Factos the first time it was done. It might not sound a lot, but it was around 4,17% of the total disk space.

geekices

sncli – Simplenote Command Line Interface

Notes can be a great way to store information for later reference. That’s why I’m always on the look for the “perfect” note-taking app. I use Google Keep for grocery lists and saving random links I want to read but don’t have top priority, because it’s available in most platforms. Yet, for storing notes in a (somewhat) knowledge base format, I hadn’t found a solution.

I’ve tried some apps and services, but they always fell short. One of those services was Simplenote; not because it didn’t have what I needed, but because I hadn’t found a command-line application to interact with the service when I don’t have a graphical session running. Until today.

While randomly browsing the web, I stumbled upon sncli, a command-line interface for Simplenote. The tool is written in Python3, and you only need the interpreter and Pip to install it. The configuration is simple, but the keybinds are awkward. To be honest, they seem to be configurable in the configuration file, located at ‘$HOME/.snclirc’, but I haven’t done that yet.

One of the cool things about this app is it allows you to use your preferred text editor. In my case, that’s micro. I find the keybinds in this text editor simple to use (mostly because they are the same as most text editors with a GUI).

Another nice feature is the ability to flag notes as markdown content. This allows a faster visual identification of them in the notes list. There are other flags, for example to identify which notes haven’t been synced.

Other notable features include regex and Google-like search, versioning, piping (inside sncli) notes content to external command and creating notes on the command-line with a simple pipe (echo “Testing” | sncli -t Test create -).

By the way, this was written in sncli.

divagações

X-Files

A 11ª temporada de Ficheiros Secretos começou. Ver esta série é uma viagem de regresso à adolescência, à ansiedade causada pela espera do próximo episódio, à paixoneta pela agente Scully. E é bom. Esta foi a primeira série televisiva de ficção científica que me colou ao ecrã como uma lapa a uma rocha e é com muito agrado que posso ver mais uma temporada.

música

Some relaxed and upbeat tunes to start the new year in a positive mood

I will not bother you with all that stupid new year’s resolutions crap. Instead, here’s a playlist for your new year’s eve. No need to thank me for giving you a way out of the shit music people tend to listen in this events. Praise Spaghetti Monster for no Despacito.

Ennja – Let Go

Alef – Sol

Unders – Syria

Kiasmos – Looped

Sahalé – Le Petit Prince

RÜFÜS – Innerbloom

Paji – The Old Gods

Popof – Serenity

Worakls – Elea

Nu – Amor

Claptone – No Eyes (feat. Jaw)

Møme – Playground

geekices, software livre

A few thoughts about IceWM and a theme I made for it

Today I decided to install IceWM in my Arch partition (I’m dual booting with Debian Testing). I haven’t touched this window manager in at least five years, but I had some nice memories of it, so I decided to use it again.

A few hours have passed since I’ve installed it, and I remember why I liked it. It’s very lightweight, using less than 5MB of RAM, and the (text-based) configuration is simple. The documentation is not bad either.

The default theme, however, is not to my liking. It was the one thing that I felt I had to change. So I went to box-look.org to find a theme and stumbled with erizo. While not exactly what I was looking for, although it looks really nice, it gave me a really good base to start tweaking.

And this is the main reason I’m writing this: to share the theme. I’ve darken a few elements, changed the typeface (I’m using Clear Sans, from Intel, but you can use any other you like) and made a few more small tweaks. The image in this post is a screenshot from the theme I’m sharing.

The theme’s license, like the original, is the GPLv3 (please refer to the COPYING file in the download archive).

Download it

divagações

The little things

message from lidl

Sometimes, the little things can make a business win, keep or loose customers. Like this small thing from Lidl that ensured they will keep me a customer for a foreseeable future, even though:

  • I’m lactose intolerant and won’t be eating the cake because it most likely has lactose in it;
  • I really don’t care that much about my birthday.

But I admit it’s a nice touch for the customers.

geekices

Firefox Quantum rocks!

Firefox got a major speed overhaul in version 55, the current stable version at the time of writing. I’ve used it for a few weeks and the differences are impressive.

In the same environment, it used less RAM (even with 20+ tabs), felt more responsive and started faster. Pretty impressive changes, if you ask me. And some needed ones, because the browser seemed to have a similar appetite for memory as Google Chrome and felt slow using it.

Can this get even better? Yes it can!

Meet Firefox 57. This is the version currently in beta and is part of the Quantum Project, which intends to improve the browser’s performance. Oh boy, and improve it did. The software is faster in almost every way: shorter render times, faster startup and less used RAM. Also, there are a few (more than welcome) changes to the interface, most notably the ability change between one single address and search bar or two separate bars (the current default behavior).

If you haven’t tried it already, go ahead, make your day. You can thank me later. 🙂

By the way, please be advised that some extensions do not work with this version. Luckily, uBlock Origin works.