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The original page address was https://waterpigs.co.uk/

Barnaby  Walters 
Arranging atoms and pressurising air in a variety of manners, such as:

Pronouns: they/he

Recent Articles
  1. CityNatureChallenge 2023 Wien Notable Observations
  2. CityNatureChallenge 2022 Wien Notable Observations
  3. How to Consume Microformats 2 Data

Last Seen: 2018-12-19
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This site is hosted in Lithuania by Hostinger (affiliate link). I use GPG, get my key and fingerprint.

  1. Some tips for using Teensy on linux:

    The teensy board support package is only supported in the Arduino applications downloaded directly from the arduino site, NOT on versions distributed by package managers. I used the AppImage and it worked fine. If you try to install the teensy board package on an unsupported version of Arduino you might see errors like “archive not supported”.

    Even when you have a supported version of Arduino installed, installing the Teensy board package isn’t totally reliable. The first time I downloaded it, compiling would fail with the following error:

    fork/exec /home/barnaby/.arduino15/packages/teensy/tools/teensy-compile/11.3.1/arm/bin/arm-none-eabi-g++: no such file or directory Compilation error: fork/exec /home/barnaby/.arduino15/packages/teensy/tools/teensy-compile/11.3.1/arm/bin/arm-none-eabi-g++: no such file or directory
    The 11.3.1 folder existed, but was empty. Down- then upgrading the board package didn‘t fix it. Removing the board package and reinstalling it did work.

  • If you’re getting the following error in Inkscape on (k)ubuntu when trying to open the Extension Manager:

    [long traceback snipped] ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'appdirs'
    the best way to deal with it seems to be sudo apt install python3-appdirs, as trying to install the appdirs module with pip or pip3 might not put it in the right place for the system python3 which inkscape is using, especially if you use something like conda or pyenv.

  • In a world where even “digital-natives” increasingly don’t understand basic file management, and where it’s more and more common for user data to be siloed per-app even on desktops, I propose a corollary to Zawinski’s Law: “All apps which don’t store data transparently in the file system are doomed to implement their own limited and fragile filesystem equivalent”

  • If you’re in the unfortunate position of needing to use MuseScore4 on linux for some reason (for example to use its excellent MIDI to notation conversion) and are having issues with the Flatpak version having an unreadably tiny UI on high-DPI screens, here’s how to fix it.

    Open the .desktop file for MuseScore 4 – mine was in /var/lib/flatpak/app/org.musescore.MuseScore/current/active/export/share/applications/org.musescore.MuseScore.desktop

    Find the Exec key, and change the command to include --env=QT_SCALE_FACTOR=2. Mine ended up looking like this:

    Exec=/usr/bin/flatpak run --env=QT_SCALE_FACTOR=2 --branch=stable --arch=x86_64 --command=mscore --file-forwarding org.musescore.MuseScore @@ %F @@
    Save (you’ll need to enter your password, or to have launched the editor with sudo).

    Try launching MuseScore again. If you’re lucky, it’ll have a readable UI. If not, try restarting and launching it again — I haven’t found a way of successfully getting KDE to force-update all its .desktop files. Presumably there’s a cache somewhere? If anyone knows how to reliably do this, please let me know!

    This should work for any Flatpak which uses QT, on any desktop environment which uses .desktop files. I really hope “UI Scale” becomes a standard per-application setting in the near future.

    EDIT: thanks to carmanaught on the KDE forums for this additional suggestion to copy the .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications rather than editing it in-place, and for details about how to set up a service to watch this folder and clear the desktop file cache whenever it’s edited.

  • Macbook -> Kubuntu Slimbook update 2:

    After a brief dalliance with PopOS (which I liked well enough, but convinced me that I much prefer Plasma over Gnome), thanks to advice from someone on r/Kubuntu I discovered that most of my Kubuntu issues had been due to Slimbook delivering laptops with an old version of Kubuntu and the linux kernel on, which isn’t really compatible with their laptops (and I had foolishly assumed that the system software update would also update the kernel — not so) tl;dr: if you buy a Slimbook laptop and want to run Kubuntu on it, install it yourself!

    Desktop Environment
    After trying out Plasma on both X11 and Wayland, I decided to opt for sticking with Wayland, despite a few “showstoppers” and other minor annoyances. It has excellent support for a lot of quite slick features, such as fractional per-monitor UI scaling and multitouch gestures for switching virtual desktops (currently not yet configurable, hopefully this will change in the future).

    The current stable release of GIMP uses an old version of GTK which doesn’t scale well under Wayland, but fortunately the development release (2.99.16) has GTK3 support and the UI scales just fine.

    VLC also looks very weird under Plasma. I kept it around as it’s so useful, but also installed Celluloid 0.25.1 from their PPA as a potential Plasma-friendly replacement.

    I type almost exclusively in ABC-Extended on my macbook, which gives me quick access to all the international characters I need access to, as well as some nice punctuation like en+em dashes, ellipses and curly quotes.

    I tried several keyboard layouts on my slimbook, and eventually settled for the English (Macintosh) one, which is almost the same with a few small differences. I will probably end up making my own keyboard layout which shifts some things around and replaces unused things with useful characters.

    For quick reference and learning different keyboard layouts, I recommend assigning this command to a global shortcut (I used ctrl+alt+shift+k), which brings up a keyboard preview, scaled to look good on my monitor. I haven’t found a good way of dismissing it other than using the trackpad (ideally I’d like it to only be displayed while I hold the shortcut), but it’s still very convenient.

    tastenbrett -qwindowgeometry 2500x850
    For some reason, my F2 button’s special feature is “toggle whether the super key is locked, without indicating the current status to the user at all”. Apparently this is a common feature, but some cursory research did not reveal why this would ever be useful, or what the intended use is. I also didn’t find many other people asking about it. What am I missing here? Why does anyone need an entire button dedicated to disabling another, unrelated button? Why can’t I make it do something useful?

    For the moment I decided for Thunderbird for mail, contacts and calendars (more about those later), and it was easy enough to set up for mail. I’d much prefer something which looks and works like mac os Mail, but installing the Conversation extension went a long way to making it usable (despite not always finding all messages in a thread for some reason).

    For the moment I chose Quod Libet as a basic iTunes replacement. It successfully scanned the contents of Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music with no complaints, and even played the AAC m4a files after I installed kubuntu-restricted-extras. Unfortuantely Quod Libet (and every other media player I tried) seems to be unable to inhibit sleep under Wayland — hopefully this will be remedied soon, as the “create a NoSleep activity and switch to it whenever you want to play music” ““workaround”” is not particularly appealing. I’d also settle for a status bar widget which let me switch power profiles quickly.

    Moving my photo library took a little more effort, but not much, thanks to osxphotos. Additionally installing exiftools and then running one command created a structured export of my entire library, with all the metadata I care about stored safely in EXIF fields:

    osxphotos export /Volumes/migration/photos --directory "{created.year}/{created.mm}" --filename "{created}T{created.hour}{created.min}{created.sec}{title?_,}{title,}" --skip-original-if-edited --jpeg-ext jpeg --exiftool
    This command takes the edited version of each file (falling back to the original), and stores them in a /YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DDTHHMMSS[_title].jpeg folder structure, which is my preferred way of organising photos on disk.

    I then imported this library into DigiKam, which quickly read all the metadata and made everything searchable. To get newly imported photos to fit into the same structure, I had to go into the Import Settings (plug in a camera or card, go “Import from device” and then open the sidebar on the right — unfortunately these settings don’t seem to be exposed anywhere else) and set the default filename to be the datetime, and the default “Album” to be YYYY/mm.

    I’m not a huge fan of DigiKam, as it’s cluttered, unstable and requires some very akward workflows (editing images opens them in a separate window? adding a tag requires opening the “tag manager”?? “hierarchical tags”??? I think the developers did not understand what a tag is and what makes them useful) but will do for now. To ensure longevity (and ease migrating to a different management application if I find something better suited to my workflow) I opted to store all metadata in EXIF fields in the files themselves. This way, DigiKam’s external database works as an ephemeral index and cache, which I can throw away or rebuild at any time without losing anything.

    A useful tip I learned along the way (thanks to ChatGPT): exiftool -a -u -g1 <file_name> will list all EXIF data found in a given file.

    Calendars and Contacts
    I set up a Nextcloud instance on my web host to see how much of my (already limited) iCloud usage it could replace. Despite learning that Hostinger doesn’t allow access to the .well-known directory required for zero-config carddav and caldav setup, I successfully managed to get my calendar and contacts migrated there. Thunderbird was able to sync with both without any issues, and mac os Calendar did eventually read my calendars from Nextcloud. No such luck with mac os Contacts unfortunately, but that’s much lower priority than calendar anyway.

    Pages and Numbers documents
    I had hoped that there would be a way of easily and mostly-losslessly batch converting all my Pages and Numbers documents into their microsoft XML equivalents, before then converting them to Libreoffice documents later on. Alas, that is only partially true. I ended up modifying a script provided by Viking OSX, which finds all Pages documents in a given folder and exports them as word docs to a separate folder. My changes instead export them in-place, and additionally export a PDF version so that I have a lossless read-only copy of each document exactly as it was:

    #!/bin/zsh : <<"COMMENT" Do a recursive descent on a folder hierarchy gathering Pages document. Export these documents from Pages as Word .docx and .pdf documents in the same location. Tested: Ventura 13.0.1 VikingOSX, 2022-12-06, Apple Support Communities, No implicit warranty or support. Adapted by Barnaby Walters 2023-09-08 COMMENT typeset -gi pagesCnt=0 docxCnt=0 STARTDIR=$1 function pages_export () { /usr/bin/osascript <<-AS use scripting additions tell application "Pages" activate try set infile to POSIX file "${1}" set outfile to POSIX file "${2}" set outfile_pdf to POSIX file "${3}" set thisDoc to open infile as alias with timeout of 1200 seconds export thisDoc to file outfile as Microsoft Word end timeout with timeout of 1200 seconds export thisDoc to file outfile_pdf as PDF end timeout close thisDoc saving no on error errmsg number errNo display dialog "[ " & errNo & " ]: " & errmsg end try end tell -- unhide the exported filename extensions tell application "Finder" if exists (item outfile as alias) then set extension hidden of (item outfile as alias) to false end if end tell return AS } function completion () { /usr/bin/osascript <<-AS use scripting additions set DialogIcon to "/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/MultipleItemsIcon.icns" display dialog "Pages documents found: " & "${1}" & return & ¬ "Pages documents exported to Word and PDF docx: " & "${2}" with title "Processing Complete" with icon POSIX file DialogIcon return AS } # do a case-insensitive recursion finding Pages documents and sorting by name setopt nocaseglob for f in ${STARTDIR}/**/*.pages(.Non); do (( ++pagesCnt )) # if there is no Word folder at this file location, then make one # construct the full path to the word docx document to be exported wordfile="${f:a:h:r}/${f:r:t}.docx" pdffile="${f:a:h:r}/${f:r:t}.pdf" pages_export "${f}" "${wordfile}" "${pdffile}" # do we have an exported docx that is non-zero in size? [[ -s $wordfile ]] && (( ++docxCnt )) done # give the user statistics completion $pagesCnt $docxCnt
    (aside: I initially tried to get ChatGPT to generate the necessary applescript to do this entire task for me, as I’d heard that it was good at that, and applescript is a notoriously unintuitive and badly documented language. It seemd to get fairly close but I was unable to debug the (incomprehensible) errors in its scripts. The approach taken by VikingOSX is much more efficient: use applescript only for the things it’s absolutely necessary for, and do the rest in bash or python)

    I did the same thing for Numbers documents, the necessary script changes for that are left as an exercise for the reader.

    Unfortunately, these exports (and/or their subsequent imports into Libreoffice) were not very successful except for the simplest of documents. I only actively use a total of maybe 5 documents, which I will simply reconstruct from scratch in Libreoffice, and for the rest a combination of lossless read-only PDF and potentially-broken Office XML files should be sufficient.

    Prusa Slicer, AppImages and KDE Plasma LC_ALL issues
    The official way of installing Prusa Slicer on linux is using an AppImage, a format which I’ve had mixed experiences with. This was no different, as opening it in Dolphin had no result. Opening it in a console revealed some sort of locale error, and suggested some commands to fix it, but they also had no effect.

    After doing some digging, it turns out that it’s KDE Plasma’s fault. Plasma splits your localization settings up into various categories (language, time format, currency etc.) — an excellent feature by itself. Unfortunately, if you pick different locales for any of these categories, it leave the LC_ALL environment variable empty.

    The Prusa Slicer AppImage (and who knows what other software) was expecting an LC_ALL environment variable, and refused to run without it. tl;dr, editing /etc/defaults/locale to set LC_ALL and LANG to en_GB.utf-8 allowed PS to run, without having caused any other issues (yet…?).

    Once it managed to run, Prusa Slicer somehow told the system about itself in a way which lets me launch it from the application launcher (not something every AppImage does), and worked absolutely fine. Importing my settings as a config bundle worked perfectly.

    Documents and file syncing
    For the moment I decided against trying to set up two-way sync of my ~50GB documents folder between os x and Kubuntu. Nextcloud on my cheap web host is out of the question, and Syncthing look promising but I’d want to test its limitations and performance on something smaller first. For the moment, I decided to just use rsync for a one-way migration, and can repeat it in the future as I convert more proprietary files to linux-compatible formats.

    rsync -avzu --exclude venv --exclude .DS_Store --exclude .h5 Documents/ slimbook:Documents
    venv and .h5 files are excluded to avoid transferring another ~30GB of unnecessary data. For syncronization after the first one, I need to make sure that rsync isn’t going to delete or replace newer files, but I will figure that out when I get to it. -u makes sure that files which are newer (i.e. made or changed) on the kubuntu side are not overwritten on subsequent syncs

    Pain points and next steps
    • DigiKam seems powerful but its UI kinda sucks
    • Plasma is great but has some drawbacks which will hopefully be fixed Soon™
    • Notes — I’m a heavy mac os Notes user, and have fairly high standards for its replacement. Nextcloud notes looks promising, but the iOS app has two editor modes: one which is fast but sucks, and another which is good but takes ~7s to load each note.
    • Converting proprietary file formats to their linux equivalents. I have some old Sketch documents and a LOT of Eazydraw documents, all of which need converting losslessly and perfectly to well-structured SVGs for use with inkscape, before I can switch completely to Kubuntu for work tasks. I had hoped to use a similar Applescript trick, but haven’t been able to figure it out yet as Eazydraw lacks an applescript interface. Using System Events to manually manipulate the menus could work, but seems fiddly
  • Notes from the first day using a Slimbook Executive running Kubuntu (probably applies to anyone moving from macos to Kubuntu on similar hardware)

    Generally, very good first impressions. The hardware is nice, the connectivity is perfect for me, it boots fast, the screen looks amazing. The keyboard and trackpad are fine, except for the surfboard trackpad button design. Came with a bunch of stupid marketing stickers on (what year is this, 2005?), most of which were easily removed.

    Here are the first settings I tweaked to make things more familiar:

    UI Scaling
    Settings -> Display and Monitor -> Global Scale = 200% for a readable UI while still remaining beautifully crisp.

    Settings -> Appearance -> Cursors -> Size: 48

    Settings -> Startup and Shutdown -> Login Screen -> Apply Plasma Settings so that your login screen is a sensible size.

    Right click status bar, enter edit mode, Panel height: 100

    Default sleep mode seems to be a hibernation which takes 10-20s to wake up from, including whenever you close the lid.

    Fix this by: In settings -> Power Management, in AC Powered tab set lid close to just turn off screen (or lock if desired). This will just turn off the screen when closed on AC power, but actually put the laptop to sleep when the lid is closed on battery power, to reduce power consumption.

    Then, sudo nano /etc/systemd/sleep.conf and uncomment AllowSuspendThenHibernate=yes, and reboot. This changes the behaviour of sleep to initially just suspend the system, keeping data in RAM and allowing immediate wake-ups. When the battery goes under 5%, it’ll instead hibernate, which takes 10-20s to wake up from but stores the contents of RAM on the SSD.

    EDIT: On further testing, this sadly doesn’t fix the issue completely (or at all? It’s hard to tell). Putting the computer to sleep using the meta menu works absolutely fine, but using F1 or the laptop lid (which I assume are handled the same way internally) leads to this blank screen with a cursor and hidden password entry field for 20s on wake up issue. I have no idea what’s causing it, and IMO it’s a big reason not to use KDE Plasma on these laptops — sadly, as it’s easily my favourite of the linux desktop environments I’ve tried so far.

    FURTHER EDIT: turns out this was all due to the laptop coming with an outdated linux kernel installed, which didn’t support the hardware. A fresh install of the latest Kubuntu works perfectly.

    By default, Firefox treats scroll events from the trackpad as scroll wheel inputs, causing jerky scrolling. To fix: echo MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1 | sudo tee -a /etc/environment

    Settings -> Input Devices -> Touchpad
    Pointer acceleration: 0.6
    Tap-to-click, tap-and-drag enabled
    Two-finger tap: right click
    Scrolling: two fingers, invert scroll direction
    Right click: press anywhere with two fingers

    Function Buttons
    Boot holding F2 to open BIOS settings, dig around to find and enable “Fn lock” to make the function keys perform their alternative functions by default (with numbered function inputs available by holding Fn, as on a MacBook)

    Next pain points which I didn’t find a solution to yet:

    • Occasional trackpad issues where the cursor freezes and only starts moving again after a two finger tap (right click). At the beginning this happened all the time, now it seems much better. Need to keep an eye on it.
    • File browser not having a column view. Apparently this is an ongoing struggle for years in Kubuntu, which seems hard to believe. I tried to install the ElementaryOS file viewer but it didn’t seem to work.
    • Setting up the keyboard for international typing. I got extremely used to typing special characters, diacritics and fancy punctuation on my macbook keyboard and am reluctant to have to re-learn all of that. Ideally I’d like to get a least a large subset of the key combinations working again.
  • Is this some sort of cruel joke

    [Image: two near-identical triangular lego pieces with a minor difference in their outline]  

  • CityNatureChallenge 2023 Wien Notable Observations
    Vienna’s 2023 City Nature Challenge had more observers, observations and species than last year, and many observations still need final IDs. Here’s some of the more notable ones.

  • I’m a couple of weeks into 3D printing with a Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro. My initial impressions are: tl;dr: mechanically good, firmware bad. Either install synman’s pro firmware (requires a screen downgrade) or klipper (drops the screen and requires a raspberry pi — I went with MainsailOS) and you’ll have a very good printer for the price.

    Here’s my best 3D Benchy so far, printed in 55 minutes in PETG using Klipper


    • Mechanically solid and well built, comes very well packed, does not feel like the stereotypical “cheap chinese” product at all
    • Quick and easy to assemble (I recommend using loctite on all screws to prevent them coming loose from vibrations)
    • Some replacement parts available
    • Well supported with (mostly quite good) profiles available for various pieces of software
    • Touchscreen interface is fast and convenient to use if you’re satisfied with the stock firmware
    • Main board is not locked-down so it’s easy to install different firmware, and just as easy to revert to stock in the unlikely event that you want to

    • The stock firmware is very limited and has various problems.
      • Most notably, the “print on resume” feature causes uncontrollable pauses between layers, during which the nozzle will leak filament, causing huge blobs and stringing. Not possible to turn off in the UI, requires a M413 S0 command added to the start g-code in your slicer (or changing to a different firmware, which you should do anyway). Here’s a comparison of the exact same part with and without “resume on power loss” enabled, both printed back when I was using the stock firmware:
      • The auto bed leveling feels extremely unreliable and hard to trust
      • You can only see the first few characters of gcode files, so it’s impossible to differentiate between two similar files with different suffixes
    • Fiddly to perform firmware updates — screen and main board require separate files, sometimes in different folders depending on the chipset you have (which you can only check by opening the printer and looking at the hard-to-read MCU part number), always with a new filename otherwise it’ll fail silently, both will accept firmwares for different models with weird failure modes like a rotated screen
    • v-wheels riding in aluminium extrusions have a limited accuracy. Definitely good enough for a lot of purposes, but can warp and wear over time, will never be as good as precision-ground linear rods or (even better,) rails
    • XZ gantry arrived with loose Z nuts, causing huge amounts of Z kickback and preventing any kind of accurate movement. No indication that you have to tighten these in the instructions, and sources on the web inconsistent about what you should do about it. I ended up tightening mine up so they don’t rattle and have had no further issues.
    • Flex cable XZ clip position sticker was placed slightly wrong and awkward to adjust once in, and the flex cable end at the extruder requires better stress relief IMO. I added ~6cm of heatshrink tubing around it which works great
    • The provided slicer is horrible, I only tried it out to see if it’d fix my z blobbing problems. Fortunately Prusa Slicer works great with these printers
    I tuned mine up with the usual tools until I was satisfied with the prints using the stock firmware. Then I installed klipper and set up pressure advance and input shaping, vastly improving performance and usability.

    20mm calibration cubes printed 1) on the stock firmware, 2) Klipper with a speed profile, and 3) Klipper with a detail profile (i.e. slower outer perimeters):

    Here’s my current Prusa Slicer config files for the printer itself (Klipper) and my 0.16mm layer height optimal speed print profile.

    Here’s what my Klipper START_PRINT and END_PRINT macros ended up looking like:

    [gcode_macro START_PRINT] gcode: {% set TOTAL_LAYER_COUNT = params.TOTAL_LAYER_COUNT|int %} {% set BED_TEMP = params.BED_TEMP|float %} {% set EXTRUDER_TEMP = params.EXTRUDER_TEMP|float %} SET_PRINT_STATS_INFO TOTAL_LAYER={TOTAL_LAYER_COUNT} G90 ; use absolute coordinates M83 ; extruder relative mode M140 S{BED_TEMP} ; set final bed temp M104 S{EXTRUDER_TEMP - 90} ; set temporary nozzle temp to prevent oozing during homing and auto bed leveling G4 S10 ; allow partial nozzle warmup G28 ; home all axis M190 S{BED_TEMP} ; wait for bed temp to stabilize so that the bed mesh is accurate BED_MESH_CALIBRATE M104 S{EXTRUDER_TEMP} ; set final nozzle temp G1 Z50 F240 G1 X2 Y10 F3000 M109 S{EXTRUDER_TEMP} ; wait for nozzle temp to stabilize G1 Z0.28 F240 G92 E0 G1 Y140 E10 F1500 ; prime the nozzle G1 X2.3 F5000 G92 E0 G1 Y10 E10 F1200 ; prime the nozzle G92 E0 [gcode_macro END_PRINT] gcode: M140 S0 ; turn off heatbed M104 S0 ; turn off temperature M107 ; turn off fan # Move nozzle away from print while retracting G91 G1 X-2 Y-2 E-3 F300 # Raise nozzle by 10mm G1 Z10 F3000 # Move out of the way G90 G0 X20 Y150 # Disable steppers M84 X Y E
  • From now on I will be making all reaction rolls with this die

    [Image: Two photos showing all sides of a six-sided die. Each side has a simple representation of a face displaying a different emotion]  

  • Working on schematics for the Enterprise-HG

    [Image: Technical drawings for a variety of hurdy gurdy building parts, arranged to fit inside a rectangle in an arrangement which looks vaguely like a plan view of a star trek enterprise-class ship.]  

  • Finished the ER rando run by pivoting to the ever-reliable blasphemous blade. I tried to deal with Fire Dragonkin+Placidusax with rot daggers and the ornamental straight swords, but it just wasn’t happening. Farum Azula was a breeze, with Godskin Horah Loux, Field Trip Rennala and Fire Giant. Godskin Duo replaced Gideon Ofnir (continuing the theme of duo fights in that arena), which also wasn’t much of a challenge.

    Unfortunately, Gideon had moved one step ahead as the first phase of Godfrey/HL, followed by Mohg, Lord of Blood. Two of my least favourite fights, but blasphemous blade prevailed.

    I was getting pretty tired of the rando at this point, but my patience was rewarded when Leonine Misbegotten of the Golden Order was followed not only by Elden Apostle, but also Elden Noble, resulting in a four-phase final boss fight culminating in the dramatic defeat of… Elden Snail.

  • First Elden Ring randomiser attempt highlights so far:

    Started out with dual rot daggers, quickly found Ornamental straight swords, Millicent’s Prosthetic and consecutive attack tear for a no-brainer dex build

    Malenia, the Fell Omen. I’m good at the Malenia fight… in her arena, with a level 125 character. Stormveil is off-limits for most of the game, but it doesn’t prevent progress.

    First hard wall was Valiant Gargoyles, The First Elden Lord. Their poison clouds can almost fill the entire arena. Eventually got them with Death’s Poker and a +10 Mimic Tear, well-supplied with rotten meat dumplings for healing.

    Smooth sailing through the underground and mountaintops until Fire Giant turned out to be ice lightning dragonkin into Placidusax. Time for a break, I’ll figure out how to deal with them later. Maybe dig out the rot daggers again…

  • tvtropes.org has a bizarre registration policy which completely rejects accounts from “suspicious” IP addresses, even if you prove in an extended email conversation that you’re a regular human who just wanted to make one small edit.

  • Does anyone have any experience getting serial data out of the multimeter quarter of a PeakTech 4110? Tried flicking through all modes and functions both via a cheap RS232 to USB adapter, and monitoring pins with a logic analyser, but I don’t see anything happening.

  • $50 per month patrons vs $5 per month patrons, 1761 edition

    [Image: Scan of a page from an old manuscript, with a dedication in florid cursive addressed to “The honourable Ms. Curzon.]  

    [Image: A subsequent page from the same manuscript, containing “A list of subscribers”, with many typeset names listed alphabetically]  

  • Finally got koreader and plato set up on my Kobo, and calibre set up for managing and converting ebooks. The default {author}/{title} file structure for moving ebooks to the reader doesn’t work at all for me, but fortunately(?) calibre supports no less than three different template languages allowing for very flexible ebook organisation schemes. These can be configured by opening the “Configure this Device” menu and editing the “Save Template” field.

    I ended up using this little script to organise books in a way which makes navigation easy for my collection:

    program: # If the book is in a series, make a folder for that series, and ensure books are in order # by prepending their series index to their file name. if (field('series')) then strcat(field('series'), '/', field('series_index'), ' - ', field('title')) # Otherwise, if a book has tags, make a folder for the first tag and put it there. elif (list_count(field('tags'), ',')> 0) then strcat(sublist(field('tags'), 0, 1, ','), '/', field('title')) # Otherwise, simply place the book at the top level for easy access and future sorting. else field('title') fi
    A couple of books ended up in the wrong folders, presumably due to some error with tag ordering or metadata syncing, but it was quick to clear up manually in the filesystem.

  • For anyone who wants to play current patch Hollow Knight enemy randomiser but is confused about where to find it and doesn’t want to wade through/sign up for discord: here is the google docs list of HK mods linked from discord. Enemy Randomizer [1.5 port] is the one you’re looking for

    If playing with item rando, I’d recommend NOT randomising boss geo or the coloseums, as both seem buggy and unreliable.

  • Heads-up for anyone in need of some OPA1642 op-amps, Mouser has a few in stock, get ‘em while they’re hot

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