Musimatic Blog (HOMEPAGE LINK:

Table of Contents

1 November 21, 2020

I got my Gentoo VM up and running again, but its the classic scenario where you can't necessarily follow the Gentoo AMD64 handbook verbatim, as I had made the mistake in making '/dev/sda2' or /boot as 'ext2' when you need to make it 'vfat' to handle the UEFI based boot process.

I had to adjust this by moving everything from /boot to /home, reformatting /boot to be with:

mkfs.vfat /dev/sda2

Then, I re-installed Grub 2, and it worked thankfully after rebooting. I also enabled 'dhcpcd' this time around, so that networking is handled for me automatically.

That had to be like the 4th time I installed Gentoo (for reference, the third and fourth time were successfull). So, it's not like I didn't learn anything. I learned so much in how Gentoo works with its "emerge" tool, as well as how to merge changes between files. It's a pretty exciting process in the weirdest way, but then again, I'm really a Gentoo fan from the deepest part of my heart, and loathe Arch. The main reason is that Gentoo FROM THE GET-GO offers you the ability to choose to create a Linux system without 'systemd' while you have to use a fork of Arch to even give you this option. This fact alone makes Gentoo that much more based.

However, this did not come without a few losses as I did unfortunately lose all my Gentoo installation notes that I made since the stupid SSD that went into read-only mode is exactly where I stored the notes like an idiot. Honestly, SSD's are such a meme, but unfortunately they are the future of drive storage.

As a result to kind of circumvent this issue from happening again, I've vowed to only make anything OTHER than the main Linux laptop to have one-way Git repos meaning they should only PULL changes, and not do any upstream changes.

I also did some re-organizing on my local Linux laptop to have a "hub" section to house all my repos and directories in one spot. I'm debating how I might use this kind of idea to also host my Org-Mode notes on my site so I can interact with them between machines easily. I've been getting into really thinking and writing down different tasks for at-home projects, or even just pet projects, and it really really really has kept me focused on what I can do now, vs. what I can do another time.

I did a lot of research into cable management as well since I still have the world's most giant Ethernet cable running throughout the house, so there are a few options to fix this, as well as the multitude of audio cables for music stuff in the home office room too. I prefer it this way because most Wi-Fi drivers on Linux simply run on non-Free software (Free As In Freedom), so you can't trust any of the non-free drivers as there's always the potential of it working against you. So, just use an Cat 7 ethernet cable, and your problem is solved. Luckily there are a few ways to help manage cables like this, so I am happy to gauge what what options are the best for this scenario.

I found this dude's site since he's a guy from Freenode IRC that is into "Software Defined" Radio, which is pretty neat. Love the site's easy layout, and might steal some good design layouts, and I like how easy it is, especially with the left and right sides of the page:

Speaking of software defined radio, it's not that expensive to get into it, and you don't even need a Ham Radio license to listen in since its all about RECEIVING signals and not transmitting (Yes, there are transmitting-capable SDR's too, but they're boomer-tier priced, and its better to just use the cheaper option listen in anyway for this kind of thing).

Here's the more budget friendly option to listen to Ham Radio bands since you can stick this near a window sill, and you're good to as you just need to plug it into your computer's USB port and utilize it with related free radio software:

Here's the boomer-tier priced one I mentioned earlier that can transmit, but it ain't cheap:

Here's a list of RTL-SDR compatible software for Windoze and Linux:

On a total separate note, I've been debating getting a used Sony PS3, since the games are super cheap, and I would love to play some of the "Warriors" series ports again, as the Sony ports were always superior. More and more, I've become okay with game consoles being just better than PC's, as the modern Windoze PC spies on you anyway, and I prefer just single player offline games not connected to the Internet from time to time.

The deals on eBay for old used PS3 games are pretty enticing, I must say.

I might look into stealing more cool ideas from Emacs configs from the likes of "Uncle Dave" from YouTube, as well as Sacha Chua, both of which have deep knowledge of Emacs inside and out. Here are their configs for reference:

Looking forward to maybe getting EXWM aka Emacs Window Manager up and running as well as X-Org running on that Gentoo install, as I wanted to "live" within that Gentoo VM for 6 months before transferring the entire setup from a virtual machine to bare metal hardware. I just don't want to take the jump necessarily yet because I don't want to lose any data if I screw up along the way, and also, since I'm trying to ween into being that kind of elevated super type of Linux user.

Planning to use this Gentoo guide as a reference for the X-Org setup, as I'm kind of a noob that's a bit too used to making a login manager like 'lightdm' do this for me automatically, but I'm looking forward to figuring out how to make X-Org work with 'startx' and then figure out how to tweak it to my needs:

Ideally, I would want to boot into X, which would then boot into Emacs via Emacs Window Manager so that everything contained within each buffer could interact with Emacs seemlessly.

Some really cool YouTube videos that show how awesome this is include the following:

Keep Having Fun Tweaking Your Setup!

~ Sam

2 November 20, 2020

I finally uploaded my 'w3mBookmarkSorter' project to my Git repository, which can be found here:

You can 'git clone' the repo with the following command so you can use the utility locally on your Linux machine:

git clone

Further installation instructions can be found in the "" file included in the project.

It's a pretty cool little simple utility that sorts the bookmarks from A to Z for 'w3m' as the functionality just doesn't exist yet. Is it slightly bloated because its based on Python 3? MAYBE, but some programming languages like Python 3 just have better libraries for this kind of idea straight from the box, so its worthwhile for someone who needs this done quickly.

I DID note that there is an HTML parser from '' themselves, which helps maintain the internet standards for the 'www' protocol which seems kind of neat, and light-weight:

We'll see if its worth a re-write later using this utility instead. However, I'm too quick to just make a Python 3 based webscraper due to old habits, so honestly, I can't blame myself for it at this point.

I tried playing around with the '/etc/cgitrc' config for the Cgit instance of my Git repository to include the following config settings, which I'll have to see if they actually worked for the Git repository itself. The goal was to enable downloads, and to have syntax highlighting to easily read any code that is present:

# Enable ASCII art commit history graph on the log pages

# Allow download of atr.gz, tar.bz2 and zip-files
snapshots=tar.gz tar.bz2 zip

# Highlight source code with python pygments-based highlighter

# Format markdown, restructuredtext, manpages, text files, and html files
# through the right converters

Ideally, I'm literally shooting for copying the same kind of ideas from the Cgit creators' own repository for 'cgit', since they have easy accessible "Download" links, and "Clone" instructions:

Anyway, got some major wins today on those two points alone. There's definitely something that can be learned from my 'w3mBookmarkSorter' project: Keep your project scope small, keep it useable, and easy to use.

Here's To Making Awesome Utilities For People To Use To Improve Their Workflow!

~ Sam

3 November 19, 2020

I debated how to properly deploy the 'w3mBookmarkSorter' project, and it turns out that it'll be a hard uphill battle on how to package it for the Debian release. This is important because the major 'w3m' fork, even on GitHub, is for Debian itself. The project itself is based in C, while my plugin uses Python 3 with the BeautifulSoup4 library.

That being noted, I'm most likely going to just create an alt account on GitHub to host stuff as well, but also mirror it on my own Git page as well.

I've been assembling ideas in Org-Mode docs for what I want to learn, and this has helped me a TON for focusing on what I want to learn for work based skills, and especially in building my own current Linux skills.

I am really understanding that to better learn anything new, its better to consult the man page or the Arch Wiki, which is hilarious for someone like myself that refuses to run anything Arch based in the first place. However, the Arch Wiki is an amazing resource, so I think its something I'm going to learn towards. Too often I quickly try to search for something on DuckDuckGo when I could have easily just tried to find it myself.

For example, I'm trying to learn LaTeX so I can re-create my own resume in LaTeX because I think modern WYSIWYG editors are trash, and I want a resume that's not dependent on Microsoft products. I had to install a package called "texlive", which is apparently a distribution of LaTeX. That being noted, I tried to do the most obvious thing, and tried to just do:

man texlive

This yielded nothing for me.

Then, I looked into more resources on how to take advantage of man pages (manual pages), and figure out what manuals actually exist on your system. I found out that the 'apropos' utility is your friend in this scenario.

So, to use the previous example, we can pipe that into 'less' so that you can have nice readable output, and figure out what man page to actually use:

apropos tex | less

Using this, I was able to see many, many, MANY LaTeX related resources that already existed on my system.

And then… I figured out I could just look at the 'man' page for 'latex'…

But hey, I learned something in the process, and in doing so, I answered my own question in terms of what specific 'man' page I can refer to.

Found a cool site totally by accident as I was looking for games to improve my Vim skills:

It's websites like this that make me want to copy their look, style, and feel. The functionality of that site itself is inviting, and just overall easy to manage.

Definitely will be taking notes to improve the "Geocities"-esque overhaul later this year.

Here are some cool 'Vim' based games to check out too that I found:

I found out about 'Vim' games through this crazy, but informative talk on how to play Vim like an instrument, and YES, this guy actually uses sounds for his Vim macros, which is nuts, cool, and awesome at the same time:

I've learned a lot today in terms of Linux shell commands, especially how to utilize the 'man' command to reference manuals or 'man' pages.

I've also made a schedule of video topics to possibly do screencasts for. I think I'll do YouTube videos like 'gotbletu' without showing a webcam, as I would rather the content to be the primary feature being presented. I also plan to backup these same vids to Internet Archive and to PeerTube just in case as well given the state of YouTube these days.

However, I only want to do informative, helpful, and just fun screencast videos on Linux, BSD platforms, music creation, and neat pet projects to inspire others. Maybe even stuff on Ham Radio, mesh networks, etc., would be awesome too.

I also want to deploy my latest band's album on my own site too to not depend on any platform like Bandcamp. That has been a lot of fun to work on, and I'm up to maybe around 4 decent songs at the moment with a 3 or 4 other ones in very early stages. It's a lot of acoustic and vocals so far, which is pretty new to me as I used to never like acoustic until recently.

Lots and lots of goals, and only so much time.

Good thing there's Org-Mode to organize it all ;)

~ Sam

4 November 16, 2020

I finished the 'w3mBookmarkSorter' project. Its beautiful, and works just as intended.

I am debating to mail this to the 'w3m' team as a patch plugin for 'w3m' via email as I think anyone who uses 'w3m' would absolutely LOVE this functionality, as w3m doesn't sort bookmarks at all by default.

Emacs Conference 2020 is coming up next weekend (Thanksgiving weekend) and I'm looking forward to some of the talks, especially the talks with Rainer König, who has some amazing Org-Mode tutorials on YouTube, and RMS (Richard Stallman).

Here's Emacs Conference 2020 for anyone interested, as its virtual this year:

These are Rainer's awesome Org-Mode tutorial YouTube videos:

Keep on going! ~ Sam

5 November 15, 2020

I tried tweaking my Gentoo VM to be able to add a different "profile" to allow it to download the [20] desktop specific option. The reason for doing this is so that I can add the necessary "USE" variable flags to be able to install xorg-server, so that I can install Emacs Window Manager. During this entire process, the SSD drive gave in, and went into read-only mode, which freaked me out to say the least, because I thought the drive died on me. I vowed to never buy into the SSD meme again, but I did re-set the power and SATA cable, and that seemed to fix the issue, even though I have to re-install Devuan on that particular drive, and re-do the entire Gentoo install. Apparently that dumb 'read-only' issue is typical for SSD's unfortunately, so it's something you just have to live with. Just so that SSD drive doesn't go into read-only mode again, I actually might just stick with trying FreeBSD in a VM instead and to go with FreeBSD going forward, and never to try Gentoo again.

I think what I learned out of that experience is that distros like Gentoo or Slackware might put too much stress on harddrives, so even though its cool to learn the underlying components and to "tweak them" accordingly, someone like myself would be better off using something that's bleeding edge, but works better straight from the box.

Installing Gentoo is kind of like the process of maintaining Arch for me, where it literally takes hours trying to figure out what's broken or how it even works in the first place. I realized as I've gotten older that I just care about the pet projects, and as long as the underyling OS isn't spying on me and is working as intended, my level of caring stops there. I want to customize, but don't want to spend an entire weekend trying to wait to get something to work.

The biggest thing I've learned is that I have got to backup my data once a month to my spare external HDD just in case.

On a more positive note, I've been assembling more and more Org docs with todo lists, and am planning to possibly make a Wiki out of them and to place them onto my site.

I re-learned a lot of Vim through 'vimtutor', and am still amazed on how good Vim is comparatively.

I've come to the realization that I'll keep Emacs for Org mode TODO lists, but am more interested in pursuing more plugin options with Neovim instead.

I worked on the w3mBookmarkSorter project a bit, and thought of how to more effectively sort the links present, and will apply the same idea to the actual project sometime this week.

I also got my ElectronJS project for work to actually compile again, so I plan on learning either more NodeJS on the side, or go through a bunch for ElectronJS videos to figure out how to effectively add a feature to use HTTP requests to pull logs for one of the work apps I help support within the ElectronJS app itself.

I am in the process of learning how to use "Jami" on Linux, and will do a test run on Windoze 10 with Firefox so that family members who depend on proprietary operating systems could also use it, as I'm trying to find the best VOIP or messaging solution that's secure, and cross-platform. This is more so because I hate having to spend minutes upon minutes for a feature phone when I have unlimited internet that can do the same exact features. Will do more Windoze related testing later this week. On Linux, "Jami" is run by using "gnome-ring", since that was the name of the project before the name change to "Jami" a few years ago.

'Jami' can be found here:

Looking forward to Thanksgiving this year as we're planning on doing some Vietnamese and Hungarian food, as the usual turkey is kinda boring and we wanted to do something different this year.

Still going strong

~ Sam

6 November 5, 2020

I worked on the 'w3mBookmarkSorter' project, and made a lot of headway by just re-thinking and reducing the amount of Python 3 code present.

I think I'm pretty close to what I want, and will most likely release utilities like this on a public Git instance as I think 'w3m' as a whole could benefit from something like this.

Though I like Emacs a lot, I realized its much more fun and simpler to just use terminal apps instead. I'm done more fighting with Emacs to even try to get it to run shells, as it just doesn't do proper, fully-feature shells out of the box. I don't want to have to patch Emacs just to get a shell working on it.

Sure, there's "eshell", "shell", etc, but the only decent one, "VTerm", seemed usable only if you re-compile Emacs from source, which is a pain if you want to distribute it amongst multiple machines like I do.

I don't mind seeking to learn how to compile programs from source on distros like Gentoo, but for my current workflow, I just want it to be up and running ASAP. Especially if I'm primarily using Emacs as a text editor, and not an all-in-one utility. Its this lack of shell support straight from the box that makes me want to instead configure Neovim instead, as I still love 'tmux' so much.

I will still configure Emacs to help my Org-Mode workflow for everyday ticket work though, and still look forward to using it for that reason. However, even more on this, I even don't want to use Evil-Mode (Vim keybindings) on Emacs anymore either because I think the keybindings overall just fight you from step 1 when you try to do this. I think the best way to use Emacs is just to use it as intended, and just use packages to make it that much easier to use.

Either way, Vim and Emacs still beats using a mouse for text editing. ;)

I've worked more on the re-design of the site, and it's looking more and more what I want it to be in terms of it being simple to look at, and more Geocities based. You can check it out here:


I've been watching movies to chill out this week mostly, and haven't done too much art honestly.

Also, I saw that Parabola is moving to BSD in a few years because of dependency on "Rust", "systemd", and even "Pulseaudio" being forced on the Linux kernel level. Definitely will start checking out FreeBSD in that case within a VM, and using that as the daily driver instead of Devuan honestly. The cool thing about the BSD's is that you can totally run any Linux program you want with a compatibility layer, so I could still use AwesomeWM, Openbox, etc, without a single problem. Related Parabola announcement can be found here:

Keep your mind active, be thankful, and God Bless.

~ Sam

7 October 31, 2020

I deployed my 'cgit' instance here:


I basically replaced the existing 'GitWeb' instance with 'cgit', which is really nice. All it needs is a dark theme, and I think it should be fine.

I tweaked my Emacs config a bit, and its looking pretty good so far. I'm pretty impressed with just the simply default zoom based Hydra command for example since I really like the idea behind it to just keep repeating the same macro until another key is pressed.

Helm is pretty cool, but the colors with the somewhat default Emacs theme looks a bit jenky, so I might have to tweak it a bit. Also the "Ranger" implementation from MELPA kind of sucks, and makes me want to instead utilize a shell within Emacs for all my 'tmux' based programs to be pretty honest.

I kind of hate 'dired' mode as its not really inviting, intuitive, or helpful in terms of what features it can provide. I think Ranger is far superior to this, so I think the best thing I could do is to somehow run 'tmux' in a shell and go from there.

I played around with the Geocities re-design of the site, and I'll admit, its pretty fun going back to basics in terms of CSS styling. Bootstrap, although nice looking for some startup websites, is a bit too much, and in itself kind of generic if you think about it.

I think my best approach would be to just make the new Geocities site mobile friendly first (or I guess, just not care about mobile) and then size it up from there.

I tried to install Emacs Window Manager on Gentoo, but didn't realize that my networking device had reverted from 'eth0' to some randomized interface name, which is a bit annoying. I had to modify the Grub init file to allow the ethernet cable network adapter to just be named as 'eth0' to resolve the connection issues. With that in mind, I'll have to try EXWM another day.

I've been debating what IRC server to install. I'll have to probably use 'Unrealirc' for the IRC server itself, or 'ngIRCd':

In terms of the front-end IRC webpage, I think I'll probably choose one of the following:

~ Sam

8 October 30, 2020

I'm in the process of deploying 'cgit' to via nginx.

The one important link command to create a symlink in this kind of scenario, let's say "default" would be:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

It's not working yet, but I do understand the concept of what I'm doing in terms of making sure nginx understands to listen on Port 80, and then run 'fcgiwrap' to actually deploy the website showing the git repository. I did install it from source by using the related tarball.

I know the end result will look awesome, so it's worth the effort.

I tried working on the one 'w3mBookmarkSorter' project, but I couldn't get my head around how to really fix the underlying issues present. The output doesn't really look like the desired format. I'm wondering at this point if instead I could just treat blocks of HTML tags within the bookmark html file in the BeautifulSoup4 parser. I do use 'w3m' quite a bit so it would be a cool utility to have, and I might even fork 'w3m' to add it as an additional script.

I might work more on the ElectronJS app for work to feel a bit more productive. I ran into an issue earlier this week where I got some obscure JS compilation error, but I blame Windows honestly since it was a Microsoft based error. It MIGHT be because of the use of 'puppeteer-in-electron' dependency though as a lot of the related forum posts on the related error are for obscure PATH variable references.

I try to get Emacs Window Manager working on that Gentoo VM this weekend. Will also keep at it in terms of drawing, as I'm getting more and more comfortable with Andrew Loomis style wireframes, though they're pretty crude and hard to do at this point for me.

We'll see.


9 October 28, 2020

I am looking into how to deploy "cgit" instead of my current GitWeb instance, as I never seem to use it anyway, and kind of think it sucks.

There's something a bit uninviting for it, especially if you just have it present to show dotfiles or something else in a public repo.

Here's the site for 'cgit':

I did find a blog post on the same topic that I might rip from if I can't figure out to get it working on 'nginx' myself though. I do still plan on building it from source as I don't see a Debian based port unfortunately:

Here's a related example article from 'nginx' on deploying a FastCGI to host something like 'cgit':

An even neater thing to note is the 'cgit' creator's own website:

I absolutely love how he just displays his projects in a never ending page, that basically links to just cgit repos for each project. That is PERFECT. I plan on trying to do the same thing once I get my 'cgit' instance working.

His own 'cgit' instance is awesome too, and I love the idea of mirrors at the bottom as well:

One minor 'wget' command I learned today to archive entire sites is the following command:

wget -r -np -nH -R index.html 

The parameters that it uses include (from the 'wget' man page):

  • -r: recursive: Retrieve recursively
  • -np: no parent: Do not ever ascend to the parent directory when retrieving recursively
  • -nH: no host directories: disable generation of host-prefixed directories
  • -R: reject list: Specify comma-separated lists of file name suffixes or patterns to accept or reject

You can use this to archive your own site from a Linux bash terminal.

I've been debating what mail program to deploy for my own email next year, as I want to move away from the paid service I've been using. It's okay, but I want the challenge of doing it myself.

Since I already pay for a separate VPS for this site, and paid for a year of service for the other paid email provider, I think it makes more sense to just then beef up this VPS instead.

On that note, I might even jump to a different VPS provider like Vultur or something.

These are the email clients I've been debating to deploy:

The only downside to hosting your own email is that you have to nuke spam emails from orbit with the right tools.

Some of the best tools I've seen include the following:

Have fun archiving sites, and deploying your own email.

~ Sam

10 October 27, 2020

I looked into FreeBSD, and wow, I am impressed. It pretty much can run most Linux software in its own compatibility layer. This includes window managers, and other key things I use on a daily basis.

Here's some great vids on the topic of using FreeBSD as a Desktop-centered OS:

I think I might even swap out my go-to Devuan setup for just a FreeBSD setup to run Linux based VM's though I'll have to try out FreeBSD in a VM first. Also, I'll probably get into this if I get bored of my Gentoo install as well.

I saw this website randomly, and I really like how he has his web apps setup, so I might steal this kind of design for the "Apps" section of all my web app projects for the re-design of this site:

I found out about that previous site because that same person is the one that re-designed the Org Mode website, which looks awesome by the way, and WAY better than the previous site:

Found out about "Binder mode", and this looks awesome as well. Definitely would try this in terms of binding together several free-flowing idea type notes. Would be great in the context of songwriting lyrics, etc.:

I bought a used NUX Solid Studio pedal the other day, so I'm looking forward to using it on the album I've been working on.

I've been debating a keyboard amp or guitar amp setup, and I think this would be a great alternative for the time being, as I primarily just record music and play music at home anyway. I can finally use the amp-in-a-box type pedal I've had laying around, and put it right in front of the NUX Solid Studio, and then use an existing multi-fx pedal I have for the effects section.

I also plan on slowly building a pedalboard from some of my existing pedals, but also a separate one dedicated to loops and effects.

I cheaped out a while ago, and got two Ikea Hejne shelves for like around $10, and voilah, two full size pedalboards. Just have to get some more velcro tape and I'm set. It's hilarious how much money you can save on things like this, as the metal variants are about $60 to $100 more, especially if we're talking about the Pedaltrain Pro type pedalboards.

I learned about this trick from this vid, so I would check it out if you're interested in creating a pedalboard on the cheap:

More and more, I've decided that instead of potentially building or buying a cheapo or used guitar, I'll just mess around with my existing Tele clone guitar. I will most likely have to buy a soldering iron later on, but I think this would be my entry point into electronics and instrument building to be honest. I will most likely swap out the neck pickup, and the underlying electronics as I'm interested in the GFS Kwikplug system to easily swap out pickups on the fly.

I think the idea of getting more pedals is because I've been watching more and more guitar pedal demo videos just to relax. This channel in particular is pretty awesome on this topic:

Some of these guitar pedal designs are so beautiful and inspiring. I honestly wish I could make some to demo out and have some fun with, and somehow make them interact with the internet in weird ways.

I've been also on the hunt for more VSTs or plugins to use in Reaper. I found this one to be a pretty cool one, as it emulates the Super Nintendo's Yamaha SPC700 sound chip. I'll see if it'll play nicely in Carla on Linux based Reaper. Worth a shot though:

A really good reference on the SPC700 soundchip, as well as related Super Nintendo music is this site. Definitely worth checking out for the simple site design alone:

Here's to still having fun making music.

~ Sam

11 October 24, 2020

I mostly chilled out today and did some art.

Here's a cool link to a site that features color cycling art from Mark Ferrari that you can experience in your browser. You can change the time of day, and observe the constant shift of color palettes as a result. Really neat and inspiring scenes:

Hope everyone is well. ~ Sam

12 October 21, 2020

I began working on the "Yahoo Finance Stock Ticker App" project.

I'm planning on assigning a "Scrapy" based agent to each of the pages, and to consistently return the same data feed.

Here is a link to the related "Scrapy" Python 3 module:

I'm using this instead of BeautifulSoup 4 as I'd like multiple agents to send asynchronous requests instead of just one at a time.

I'd like maybe deploy this with some kind of lightweight backend program like 'Flask' in combination with React to make it sort of a hybrid between Python 3 and JS.

We'll see how it turns out :)

I've learned how to use the 'venv' Python 3 command to store a virtual environment for this project as well, as I usually have had the bad habit to just pull in dependencies for cron job projects.

With this approach, you can easily deploy the same project to multiple platforms without having to run a million pip3 commands to make sure that dependencies are pulled in, since 'requirements.txt' takes care of that for you.

To get started, make sure you first 'cd' into your project:

cd /path/to/your/project

Here's the command to get started using 'venv' to create a virtual environment for your Python 3 project by utilizing the 'python3 -m' parameter so that we can focus on utilizing the script from one specific module, which is 'venv', aka the first instance of 'venv' in the following command. NOTE: The second 'venv' parameter can be named whatever you want, though usually, its a convention to name any Python 3 virtual environments as'venv':

python3 -m venv venv

Here's the major 'venv' command to activate a virtual environment once you have entered your project directory:

source venv/bin/activate

Once you activate your virtual environment ("venv"), then use 'pip3 install' and install any required packages. In my case, I did 'pip3 install scrapy' for example so that I can work with that module for this project.

Here's the related command to store all the 'pip3' packages into 'requirements.txt':

pip3 freeze > requirements.txt

The most important thing is to NOT add your 'venv' to your actual .git directory if you plan on using 'git' as your version source control method, as you only need 'requirements.txt', and the user just needs the 'requirements.txt' file to build the 'venv' themselves.

Here's the command to exit the 'venv' virtual environment:


Here's another scenario: Let's say that you wanted to utilize the 'pip3' modules that are native and already present on the current machine but ADD to those packages for a given project.

You can instead use the following command, which allows you to add more 'pip3' dependencies for that project by initially piggybacking off the already existing global dependencies and allows you to add in new 'pip3' dependencies JUST for that given project:

python3 -m venv venv --system-site-packages

If you wanted to list the local dependencies in that above scenario, you can utilize the following command:

pip3 list --local

It's interesting that I've gone through the entire gambit of a lot of Linux based installs, both OS-level, and just installing Linux programs (by compiling from source, etc), and something like Python 3's 'venv' virtual environment just makes sense to me. I never used it before because I thought it was useless, but after having to revive my old Python 3 project websites for probably the third time after a site re-design, I realized that its the best way going forward to deploy Python 3 apps.

On a separate note, I found a pretty cool "public access" UNIX system that allows you to access remote shells, and shared logins. Very cool concept, might play with this sometime this week:

Here's to learning from your mistakes!


13 October 20, 2020

I've been doing more and more art in Grafx2.

It's one of those positive things to do despite any frustrations in life.

Any time doing art is time well spent. I don't care what anyone says on that front, since if they say its a waste of time, then they probably don't have any useful talent either.

What I've always like about art is that I can easily see the progression, as well as the risks I took. I definitely hit a block mid-year this year where I didn't really do much art or music. I did some more self-analysis recently, and realized that I still had fun with it, even if the quality of said art was getting good or bad.

I would love to do some demo scene type art, but realize that I still need to keep building the fundamentals. I've been playing around with the ideas of proportions from the Loomis book. However, his eye for perspective is almost too freakishly good to the point where you either quit, or at least try to imitate it.

Perspective is definitely a weakness of mine, even with the reference "Perspective Made Easy" book I readily have available to me.

I can think YEARS back in time when I still thought it was such a weird concept anyway. It sort of almost ruins the creation process a bit, but as you get older, you realize that it's really important in order to scale things up appropriately.

I've been writing more songs for another album for a band I'm going to call JeeveSobs, which is more or less just another midwest emo band.

However, this time, I don't want to suffer from poor audio mixing quality, and I really really REALLY want to make sure it sounds good this time around. Though you can tell I became more aware of how a mix should be over the years through my music, I really never gave the thought to just hand that sort of thing to someone else instead.

I've only trusted maybe a handful of people who even know the vibe of the kind of music I make, but even then, its still hard to find anyone who won't charge a lot just to mix a few songs, so we'll see if I actually get the album mixed by anyone in particular.

I don't think I have a gift for mixing, and I think that's the best thing you CAN admit in order to improve. I'll have to think of the best options around this but I'm glad to say this as I critique my own work alot.

I even sat back and thought about this website, and though I am happy with the progress, I could easily just turn it into a demo scene art page or something and even be happier.

I have learned a lot in terms of what "scope creep" is, and to just keep your ideas to a bare minimum.

I'm at a point of my life where if I don't see progress on something within like 2 weeks or so, I easily lose interest. I just don't want another repeat of that "ExpressOrLocalApp" project where I spent several months on a project to ultimately not really see the effort being actually used. Let's all take a laugh at how I made an MTA data app that is basically now useless. It still is kinda funny.

But yeah, in all seriousness, that's why I stick to small web apps these days.

Keep on working at it! ~ Sam

14 October 19, 2020

I re-organized the site a bit more, and got rid of the "Radio" section as I really only had web apps on that page anyway.

Though I think Ham Radio is pretty cool, I'm still not that versed or well into the hobby yet to show off any cool projects, so I think its a bit of a waste to have a section on that topic anyway.

With that in mind, I re-organized all those web apps I've made just on the "Programming" site itself:

I'm checking out how to make a literal Emacs config from an Org Mode document to help simplify things a bit, should be fun!

~ Sam

15 October 17, 2020

Today was a great day.

I finally did it.

I finally installed Gentoo in a VM.

It took three separate attempts over two weekend sessions but I got it booted thankfully. I plan on figuring out how to maybe get Emacs Window Manager present in that particular VM as well, so that's gonna be a cool project indeed. Otherwise, my related installation guide is now pretty complete, so I could easily do it again in less than an hour if I needed to.

I also got my old-as-heck ExpressOrLocalApp project back up and running, which is semi-hilarious because I doubt anyone actualy still uses the 7 Train in NYC anymore. But hey, its updated every minute for anyone who wants this data. I had to re-adjust a few things as the MTA changed their data feed to be more API key specific, so it was a bit of a pain of trying to read their recent post in the related MTA Data Google Group post on the API Key change.

However, I had enough ingenuity to figure out how to change the "headers" section for the requests.get() function call, and baby, we are LIVE again! :D

I've been trying to wrap my head around placing my Emacs configuration file into an Org Mode document since I found out about "Hydra" and "Helm" within Emacs, and just felt the need to figure out how to finally configure Emacs since I've been using it for quite some time now.

Some really good references on this topic include these links:

Also, in this same burst of research, I found another guy just like myself who literally blogs on his site using Emacs Org Mode in one giant org doc:

I also found this really cool Linux reference link page from a guy on IRC, which is neat and very organized:

Also, through that same guy's site, I found other really really useful Linux reference links for Linux based audio programs as well:

I found this really useful comprehensive list site on Window Managers as well:

This part of his page lists window managers based on the programming languge they're based in, which is super helpful in deciding what window manager to use, since if you can better understand the config file, you can easily modify yourself:

This same guy's list of helpful Linux utilities is awesome too:

On a total side note, I found these pretty hilarious Geocities looking sites, which I might copy in terms of style when I re-design the site later this year:

Keep having fun :)

~ Sam

16 October 16, 2020

This week has been a bit long in many ways, so I was looking for more ways to get back into doing digital art this weekend to just relax.

I still have that Loomis art book laying around so I might read that.

I found these two goldmines for art learning, both of which have a ton of related links:

I didn't even know people replace drawing tablet nibs with weed wacker cable snippets that are sanded afterwards. This thought alone blew my mind as I just have a cheapo Huion tablet I bought a few years ago which works just fine on Linux with Krita and Grafx2. I think the current digital pen's nib is pretty used at this point, so I definitely am debating how to go about doing this. Here's the specific 0.65" trimmer line that you can use to create your own DIY replacement nibs for digital drawing pens:

I watched so many Adrian Belew based videos this week, so I've been pretty inspired to just keep doing music on the side. The guy's a genius in my opinion. Some of the old King Crimson 80's stuff is just mindblowing, especially their 80's tour videos with the weird looping segments between songs. Such cool stuff. Clips like that always make me want to get a Digitech JamMan Stereo from eBay to do some cool music loops.

Here's some King Crimson 80's vids at their peak, just great stuff:

I plan on possibly taking down my Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages, and just re-hosting it on this site. However, I will have to find a nice streamable media player that runs on a page. If that exists (which it probably does), then I'll be set, and depend on one less platform, which is always a good thing.

I might also however have a Donate button at the top of the related music in case the bandwidth caps out though ;).

I found some good ways to self-host audio streaming on my own site:

On that "" site, I noticed how on this page, he was able to change the CSS stylesheet on the fly, which is EXACTLY what I wanted to do. Time to somehow copy his "setActiveStylesheet()" JS function ^_^

After careful examination of that page's "Network" tab, I believe I found the source of the magical JS script that changes the stylesheet on the fly. I definitely am debating how I can adapt this to my site, very cool:

Other than that, I'm doing some cleanup on the "Programming" page and am thinking more about the small React JS app I want to do to pull down Yahoo! Finance stock data. I've been trying to get some of the older projects running again, and realized that a lot of them would have been better suited towards running them using 'venv' in a virtual environment to prevent having to pull in Python 3 library dependencies for cron jobs.

Maybe I'll look into running a BBS or hosting an IRC server on this site, who knows.

Just gonna chill out as far as I know though :).

Hope everyone is doing well.

~ Sam

17 October 14, 2020

I've been looking up more Hungarian food recipes to make this year.

Here's a great YouTube channel to learn how to make some Hungarian food, as the recipes use both metric and Imperial measurements:

Here are two great YouTube channels on Hungarian cooking, but be warned, they're both in Hungarian without any subtitles or captions, so I would recommend this only if you can understand Hungarian (like me):

I'm gonna chill out and check out some more Demo Scene art to see if I can get ideas of what to make myself one of these weekends for fun.

I am also thinking about what to add to my Emacs config between all my machines.

I would like it so that the modeline at the bottom has more auto-completion. Also, I would like to try making a few Hydra key combinations to make things a bit easier. I might even learn some more Org Mode as well, who knows.

Still planning on finishing the Gentoo install this weekend, and am looking forward to it :)

~ Sam

18 October 13, 2020

I began work on an AngularJS app to record callsigns for Ham Radio:

I plan on making it AngularJS based, and want an easy way to quickly record callsigns and look them up on a related callsign lookup site.

I'm still debating the usefulness of it, as it would be cool to export the same data. However at the same time, instead of exporting it to Excel or .txt formats, you could have easily made a similar list in your text editor of choice, so why bother exporting it?

However, that's where we can abuse the fact that its a web app in a browser since we can then create anchor links to easily get information about a person given their callsign for future contacts (email address, etc.).

Here's the link for AngularJS for reference:

I wasn't able to easily get a ham radio callsign lookup using the popular ham radio site,, or even the FCC database. This is most likely because both sites most likely use AJAX calls to refresh the page without refreshing the overall page. This means that the URL itself is never updated with your actual search query so you can't just build anchor links unfortunately. To see this in action, use your favorite search engine, and notice the "q=" variable for your search query change within the top URL as you progress throughout the site.

Also, I know for a fact that uses an API, which means that even if I were to apply for an API key even for a basic app, there's still the chance that someone might abuse my given API key with 60+ API calls per second. Plus, I hate API's so… that's that.

It's always easier to just scrape data instead ^_^

However, I did find this jenky third party website that allows you to easily lookup ham's by their callsign without an API , so I'm just going to use that instead:

It's gonna be fun :)

After that, I'm planning to make a React JS web app for a stock ticker to rip the top stocks from the the Yahoo! Finance stock tickers directly, or through a Python 3 webscraper data pull.

I'm going to most likely have to re-arrange the "Programming" page to accommodate this, but I can easily have a "web app" section near the top, and any of the archive or Git repo related projects at the bottom, so it shouldn't be too hard.

I also have been browsing for some art to follow, and really trying to see what's out there to push myself in what I am to be able to do.

Since its pretty obvious I'm into a lot of technical topics, there's a lot of art that translates from the "Demo Scene" that relates to my interests, and the art I want to do. The "Demo Scene" is a bit hard to explain, but it basically features computer based art for the most part. It also involves gatherings similar to LAN parties, but with mostly demos including computers, music, and art.

Here's some "Demo Scene" art website I found to be pretty cool:

More so, if I could do Grafx2 style art in the vein of this guy, I would be pretty happy with myself:

Unfortunately, that "ProwlerGFX" guy is primarily on Facebook, which I don't use at all, and his website is pretty non-functional at this point.

But, I will find similar artists in this style, and see how they were able to get to this level as I really really really like scene based art a lot.

I believe I will get there to the art based apex I want. It's just that I have to keep practicing art on the weekends whenever I want to chill out. It's hard sometimes because I burn out from the week easily, but I'll figure it out somehow.

I've made a few icons in Grafx2 for fun the other day, so that's a start haha.

Also, I would like to start recording for a new band this weekend so that will be fun too.

Happy to keep on going!

~ Sam

19 October 12, 2020

Still working on the "Space Weather" JQuery UI app.

I got the actual K-Index and Sunspot data to display on the page itself, so that's pretty cool. I also got the "K Index" graph to also display by using appropriate "src" attribute for the related img tag. Only thing I have to modify is to include a setTimeout() statement to have it continously looping. Otherwise, its pretty much done:

Now to think of what to do for a simple Angular JS app next :)

Maybe something with open data feeds, not sure.

Was gonna mess around with the solderless breadboard setup I have to learn a bit of electronics, but I was a bit dumb and forgot to buy a multimeter, as well as a few ranges of resistors as I assumed the starter kit I got came with everything.

Boy, was I wrong.

More so, I'm debating getting a Ardunino Uno copy from Amazon as well since its purpose is primarily for entry level electronics as well, and they're super cheap and run on USB powerbanks, so there's no risk of getting shocked or anything while learning basic circuits.

I'd like to build up basic circuits, and maybe make a few small synths eventually.

Here's to learning,

~ Sam

20 October 11, 2020

I have been in the process of installing Gentoo. Though it has been fun and I have learned so much throughout the process, the process itself is pretty long to the point where I had to pause the KVM Virtual machine in Virt-Manager to continue the process sometime later today. The IRC channel for Gentoo on Freenode has been SUPER helpful though, and overall, the process has been so much better than trying to do the same thing for Arch or something. Plus they allow you totally ignore 'systemd' which is a backdoor to avoid putting on your system anyway.

Though I haven't found any Librebooted computers worth getting yet, I still want to move in that direction to maybe score a Thinkpad X60 or Thinkpad X200 on eBay so I can libreboot it for that purpose. In the worst scenario, I could even look into building a computer whose motherboard is Libreboot compatible as well.

I was looking into packet radio, and somehow found the "" website, which allows you to tune into radio stations throughout the world. It allows you to move a virtual globe to select any nearby radio stations. They've even got ones at "the ends of the earth" including an arctic radio station, which is pretty neat. You can check it out here:

I found this packet radio network where they have created an IP-based digital network for Ham Radio use, but it seems to be primarily in the Washington state area. Though I have no plans at all to move to that part of the U.S., it is pretty neat though. I would do love to run a similar mesh network through the South though, so it's definitely something to model after:

Sometime yesterday, I was doing a TON of research in credit card churning, and how to go about doing it. I think it's a pretty valid thing to do, especially since the economy sucks for anyone like me in my generation that doesn't have any real estate, and is just continuously working week to week to just to pay bills, and get pretty much nothing else in return . Sure, I could blame boomers for basically rigging the real estate market for what it is now to the point where you can't even fathom how to own a reasonably priced house or even land for that matter sometimes without somehow having to convert a fixer-upper property to make it somewhat affordable.

However, the positive way around that would be to just figure out how to play around those stupid barriers, and rig your current financial system for your own benefit.

Though a lot of what you initially read about the credit card churning subject are articles by credit card companies telling you why its so bad, I have found so many different sources contrary to that narrative to the point where its pretty obvious that these same credit card companies don't want you doing it in the first place.

Sure, a lot of the deals are primarily based on travel points for flights, hotel stays, etc, so if you're not really intro travel, it's not THAT great. However, there are still good intro offers for a lot of credit cards to abuse with the minimum spending limit and to just cancel the card before the annual fee is charged, so if you plan it right and don't over do it, its not that bad.

I'm not going to link to any credit card churning sources I found, since its really really subjective, and is kind of YMMV (your mileage may vary), so its not for everyone. All I know is that it would definitely work for me.

That being noted, I'm totally going to check it out as it looks like a good way to gain some extra cash on the side to maybe invest in a few stocks. It's the best I could do before having to becoming some cryptocurrency shill or something. Even people who are into trying to find the next cryptocurrency just irk me because they don't even use the coin itself, and just literally convert it back to dollars. In that respect, the only reason to ever get into trading cryptocurrencies is to abuse it for some kind of get rich quick scheme. You might as well try one of those pyramid scheme type "Poor Dad, Rich Dad" seminars at that point since both efforts would totally result in failure.

I'm glad that I figured out that people are just into cryptocurrency for that reason alone, so its something to just avoid altogether.

In terms of stock tickers, I found a lot of good links for that purpose, which I might turn into a few dashboards on this site for later use with the help of some Python 3 based webscrapers.

A lot of the stock software I found was primarily Windows and Mac based, but I DID happen to find some Linux based software (thankfully :/).

Here's a link for any Linux based financial software:

The "JStock" Linux stock software alone looked pretty promising as well, so I might considering figuring out how to use it as well:

Enjoy the day!

~ Sam

21 October 9, 2020

I did some slight work on that "Space Weather" app.

I was able to index into the related JSON data from the NOAA Apache Web Server in the JS console, as its just a JSON object with specific key values.

I'm still debating on how I want it to look though, so I'm torn between the JQuery UI's "Tabs" vs "Accordian" look.

I found this cool site that gives homage to old Geocities cities, and is worth looking at, as the guy took assets from older Geocities sites:

An even cooler page is the "" website, which basically archived ALL of the Geocities web pages before it got taken down.

This means that if you somehow remember your Geocities username, you can find your site still active here:

Here's a very nichey Super Mario themed Geocities site I found as well:

The reason I was looking into old Geocities sites is that I want my next re-design of this site to be Geocities themed.

Maybe, just maybe I can find my old Geocities page with all the Pokemon sprites and icons.

That would be the day.

Also, I've been debating if I should move over to a VoIP setup since even though I prefer the fliphone setup I currently have, even not having text would be ok with me too.

Also, they're going to slowly get rid of 3G towers, so sadly I probably would be forced to move over to a 4G phone eventually.

After that, I would DEFINITELY swap to a home phone at that point with an AX-25 enabled ham radio BBS node in the car to match haha.

These VoIP services were hard to find, but here's a list of potential VoIP services for personal use since a good chunk of them are geared towards business use, and I think they're assuming every Zoomer would immediately prefer a cellphone (Side Node: I'm pretty surprised Vonage still exists):

Keep your mind active!

~ Sam

22 October 8, 2020

I did more thinking about what to deploy on this site.

So far I'm thinking of deploying:

Cool links for other data projects:

Here is a list of some SysAdmin based apps to deploy as well:

Here is a link to some privacy respecting Linux software:

Here is a page full of alternative internet and privacy respecting software:

Here are libre software projects (free as in freedom):

Here is an Internet alternative I found called "Freenet":

Clearly… there are several options :)

And a lot of choices to be made ^_^

I'll keep an "Apps" page to host all these ideas pumped up by JS.

Otherwise, my main page will become a Geocities type hub spot sort of page.

Keep having fun,

~ Sam

23 October 7, 2020

GitHub is pretty much trash these days, but here is one cool thing I found from it:

Basically that link is a ton of apps and resources that you self-host yourself on sites like this.


I was already kind of just set on deploying Unrealircd to create a IRC server to connect to via SSH key or password or something, but I'm glad to find more ideas of things to deploy :D.

The only other thing I could think of was to maybe to create a email server, and maybe even a public pastebin to link to code (without syntax of course to prevent SQL injection attacks, or cross-site scripting via PHP scripts).

I still shudder when I think of when this site was hosted on a public hosted server, and the dang PHP infested portion that appeared out of nowhere which was a result of some hacker in India. Worst part about is that the shared hosting provider, InMotion Hosting didn't even care, despite my multiple emails regarding the issue.

Let it be a lesson to anyone to NEVER pay for shared hosting. Always host your website yourself on a private VPS instance using a VPS service provider like Vultur, Digital Ocean, etc. You can be even more based by hosting it at your own home using a single board computer (Raspberry Pi, etc) but you would have to figure out a safe way to do port forwarding as well to not allow the entire internet to access your home network though. With this in mind, make sure to do your research first before doing this option.

I've been working on hashing out ideas for that Solar Weather JQuery UI app as I've had to learn more about what actual practical applications for showing solar weather regarding Ham Radio's HF (high frequency) propagation.

The coolest thing I learned today was that after a solar flare, the ionosphere will be loaded with more ions which BOOSTS your HF propagation to allow for a much greater distance for contacts.

Now if I could just afford to buy a DMR radio (MD-UV-380), we would be set…

And maybe then I could finally make a DX contact with Hungary :/

I have a few fun things planned for the weekend to relax, so I'm staying positive as I can.

Been going through Book of Samuel (KJV) still between tickets at work sometimes when I need a boost.

God Bless :)

~ Sam

24 October 5, 2020

I've been debating what I want to do in terms of a JQuery UI style App.

I'm leaning towards using the JQuery UI "Accordian" widget to make some kind of expandable web app.

I found two cool NOAA based directories to either obtain JSON and image data from:

Here's the overarching site if you're interested in other forms of data from the NOAA server, which is neat since you don't have to apply for an API key in order to utilize their data:

Related progress on the "Space Weather" web app can be found here:

Also, a LOT of ideas can be gleaned in terms of space based weather for use in Ham Radio on this site I found from QRZ, which is CONSTANTLY being linked on personal ham radio enthusiast pages:

I've also been playing around with some ROM hacking via some related utilities from this site:

One ROM hacking utility that worked right from the get-go using WINE in Linux was "YY-CHR" which allows you to open up a related ROM file, and just edit sprites right away, which was super cool:

Now what kind of ROM hack I would make… that I'm not sure. But I'll admit, it is super cool how easy it is to just open up a game's sprites and just have at it so I'll come up with something cool I guess.

Way easier than attempting to make a game in some constantly shilled engine like Unity or something.

Probably will make a ROM hack for Gameboy Color ;)

I've been debating what separate piano songs to learn, so I've taken a look at some video game based sheet music:

Also, I got Qemu to load up on the Linux Desktop, so I'm planning on installing Gentoo in a VM this weekend when I get a chance.

Looking forward to learning some more hands-on Linux skills, and finally taking the Gentoo challenge.

Keep having fun :)

~ Sam

25 October 4, 2020

I got my Jitsi instance running.

However, it's only usable using a Chromium variant browser. Because I despise Google, I've had to resort to using Ungoogled Chromium which works flawlessly for Jitsi thankfully.

There are a TON of Firefox issues for Jitsi-Meet, so I don't feel bad at all why Firefox doesn't work, since its a known issue, and there's no known workaround:

I basically followed this blog post to deploy a Jitsi instance on this site for anyone wanting to do it on their Debian VPS server:

Also, if you ever need to troubleshoot the related technology, aka "WebRTC", there's a test site to test your webcam and mic setup:

I also got my Desktop machine back and running with its video card plugged in, so now I'm just trying to move my dotfiles back on the machine before proceeding with using 'qemu' to install Gentoo in a VM.

The command that I used to obtain the dotfiles on the Desktop machine is:

git clone

Also, apparently, you can shorten the URL itself by adding this to the "~/.ssh/config" as well:

Host git
User git

Now if I can only get GNU Stow to work to just stow away my dotfiles properly…

26 October 3, 2020

I've been trying to get the Searx instance running, but it appears that the "filtron" component is the part that is doing excessive rate-limiting for some reason.

I'll have to lurk on their IRC channel to maybe get some feedback of what to do.

Speaking of IRC, I found a couple of links that are interesting and useful as well to find IRC networks OTHER than Freenode:

Been also debating the best ham radio setup as well, since I might just get one of those meme-y type 40 inch antennas for my HT (Baofeng UV-5R) to improve my signal strength to hit a few more repeaters for like $20.

We'll see.

Keep having a good time :)

~ Sam

27 October 2, 2020

Learned a little more about APIs from the JS book I have.

Debating what kind of web app I should create, either with JQuery UI, or Angular, just for the experience, and also debating the "why" aspect of it.

Also debating what else to deploy on this site, will most likely be one of the following ideas:

  • Unreallircd Server
  • Mumble Server
  • Jitsi Instance
  • Searx Instance
  • BBS

I've been playing around with KiwiSDR, which is another "Software Defined Radio" type website where people basically allow you to play around with their already configured shortwave radio via a web page.

Here's a few helpful links regarding KiwiSDR:

List of public instances of KiwiSDR:

Map of existing public instances of KiwiSDR:

Signal-to-noise ratio score based site that ranks KiwiSDR instances in terms of how loud their signal is:

And hey, there are a BUNCH of Hungarian KiwiSDR's present too, here are a few:

Have fun listening :)

~ Sam

28 October 1, 2020

I changed the "favicon" for my site to be a cool neat lightning bolt I customized myself, which you'll see at the top of each tab.

The fact that it had the old stupid "InMotion" favicon bothered the heck out of me recently, so I decided it was time to get rid of it once and for all.

I originally tried using this site to create the favicon using some example Pokemon sprites:

However, I realized this site was a little bit easier to use, allowed you to edit it on the fly, and even allowed you to export it:

I'm pretty happy with the results, as icon work brings back such good feelings, and remind me of fun Geocities pages, especially my old one.

Now if I could just find my old email and dig up my Geocities name and find the associated site, and bring it back to life!

Now THAT would be something!

Keep enjoying life :)


29 September 30, 2020

After a lot of effort during lunch breaks at work, I was able to finally fix the issues with the "ISS Location Receiver" project on this page:

I have to thank this blog post since it basically did the same idea, but their project is a little bit more refined and polished:

I found a Budapest, Hungary based SDR to check out for anyone interested in Hungarian Ham Radio:

I've been trying multiple Hungarian based Echolink repeaters, but can't seem to get a QSO with any Hungarian Ham Radio Operators yet unfortunately.

It must be a timezone thing, or maybe Echolink just isn't as popular in Europe.

I've been debating getting a DMR based radio with a PiStar node (either my existing Raspberry Pi 3, or get a Raspberry Pi Zero later).

The idea is that you can hook up a DMR radio to a Pi-Star hotspot, and then connect with radio towers across the world, much like Echolink, but with an actual radio instead of a headset, which is pretty dang neat.

I can't say I have the $200 or so to even do this setup right now unfortunately due to just making enough right now to pay the bills, however, it something to consider down the line.

I bought a breadboard for electronics based stuff, but forgot to get a related battery for it, GO FIGURE ha!

Also, I've checked out a few BBS's by using the 'telnet' command, super cool stuff:

Anyway, keeping my mind occupied with the site, and happy I still have it. I'll keep thinking of cool sections to add, and also the grand ol' re-design I've done every year. This year, I plan on doing a Geocities themed makeover, so it's gonna be rad.

I found out how to use 'mpv' to display videos in a terminal using the following command: mpv –vo=caca (name of video)

It'll look like something similar to this, but you can least view videos on lower-spec computers in terminal without a problem:

Makes me want to start a "TTY" or "X-less" based blog where I just PURELY use terminal based programs, and don't rarely boot into X. Now THAT sounds like fun ^_^.

Keep having fun :)

~ Sam

30 September 25, 2020

I found out about "SDR", which is Software Defined Radio through someone who talked about this on IRC.

This is better explained on the SDR website found here:

Also, there are other ways to listen to Ham Radio online, so check out this link:

Just give the SDR's below a shot by loading one of the links below in a modern GUI based web browser, and play around with the tuner (yellow icon) to change the frequency. You can also change the "band" to change the different wavelength bands as well. Also, you can listen to basic FM/AM radio too if you're into that sort of thing.

Here's the list of web-based SDR's I found:

Washington DC Area Based Web SDR:

Northern Utah Area Based Web SDR:

Milford, PA Based Web SDR:

Currently debating between two separate radios, both of which can be programmed easily via CHIRP:

  • Anytone AT-778
  • Anytone 5888

I've also been looking into how to properly connect to BBS's via this link:

Keep having fun :)

~ Sam

31 September 24, 2020

I've been working on utilizing a few links to get the "ISS Location Receiver" project underway, which can be observed in the "ISS Station Location" section on this page:

I've been utilizing the following links to do so:

Still deciding on how to best do this as you can easily just have it run every five seconds with a "setTimeout()" JS function.

Also, I would like to do this via an AJAX request via a button too if possible which would be cool.

We'll see.

Otherwise, still looking for a $200 mid-tier Ham Radio since I'll be able to get a free J-Pole antenna and power supply from two different Ham's in the area. Looking for one that can be easily programmed with CHIRP software, but can reach repeaters in the area.

I think I'll keep myself occupied with Echolink via QTel for the time being though while I keep doing my related research.

Also, I'm looking into VoIP based services to make internet calls with cordless or corded old-school phones, since I pretty much am fed up with using cellphones these days.

Some VoIP software I found that works on Linux:

Keep staying positive :)

~ Sam

32 September 23, 2020

I did a lot of backend website modifications, including re-ordering of my Git repos for my projects.

Though I haven't gotten all of the older projects up and running, one particular new project I have up is the ISS Location Receiver based script that pulls in the longitude, latitude, and Unix timestamp of when the ISS Space Station is overhead.

This means that you can monitor it going over your house over the course of the day.

For now, you can pipe in these longitude, and latitude coordinates into a search engine to figure out where it currently is.

You can find out more about the "ISS-Location-Now" API through the documentation here:

I'm planning on somehow incorporating this with "Leaflet" to provide a real-time map in a webpage as well to keep it relevant:

Anyway, you have to celebrate the small wins, as this helped me learn how to save a JSON request file ("isslocation.json") locally, and each time you press the "Click Here To Display Current ISS Space Station", an AJAX request is performed so only that portion of the page is refreshed.

This means that it doesn't have to reload the page in order to display JUST that information since it pulls all of the information from the JSON file that I obtain every minute via the Python 3 based requests module.

Keep having fun,


33 September 20, 2020

I've been getting more into Ham Radio recently, and it has been super cool.

The license exam itself is kind of useless for someone like me that is using a low-tier handheld radio, as the questions are geared towards older enthusiasts who have amples amounts of money to build radio towers on their property, with a $500 to $1000 radio to match.

However, once you kind of get past the somewhat useless exam which encompasses a good majority of high school level physics, its not too bad.

Would recommend "" for anyone interested as it has the SAME exact question pool as what's on the test, and it is what I used to study for the exam:

The possibilities of using packet radio, BBS's, and Echolink (via QTel) has been really fun to play with. So far, I've received a ton of support from Ham's in the Echolink based net calls, since the Ham's near me don't really do much packet radio. Most people online kind of dismiss packet radio as a "fad from the 90's". I, however, see it differently as the potential of using a mesh network to connect devices such as computers across the world without having a centralized ISP dictating everything is MIND BLOWING.

Of course, a lot of these kind of mesh networks are limited to Hams, but hey, just get the basic Technician level license, and you're set.

I've expanded to the world of VoIP over Echolink, which allows you to basically to anyone throughout the world that has a Ham radio license via the internet. It might sound like Skype to some people, but is way less proprietary or invasive privacy-wise. Though you might be thinking, "Yeah, isn't that kind of dangerous?", I honestly have not heard nothing but positive people that are super encouraging. The ham radio hobby attracts very tech minded individuals, so its not anything weird like in a strange internet chat room or something since its FCC regulated.

Also, you have to keep in mind that although you are accessing these radio towers via the internet, a lot of them are PHYSICAL radio towers which are repeating your same radio signal throughout a PHYSICAL region. With this in mind, people aren't as open as you would think, and are pretty polite with each other as a result. Plus, most of the topics discussed are pretty much centered around the hobby itself. Honestly, a good chunk of the people I spoke to so far are just retired individuals that are looking for positive conversations throughout a given day. I've heard it all from what people are doing at a given moment, such as errands, fishing, etc, to just talking for minutes about a given topic, which is called "rag chewing" in Ham lingo.

Echolink can be found here, but NOTE: You NEED to have a callsign registered with the FCC in order to use it, so you CANNOT use it unless you are a licensed Ham:

It's primarily aimed for Windows users, but you can also utilize "QTel" if you have a Debian based Linux computer via your "apt" package manager:

I learned that there are "net calls" which are basically group calls that occur once every week on a given topic. I was pretty surprised that there are several net calls around very specific medical based ailments on certain frequency bands, so that was something I never knew people actually did with ham radio.

For example, one guy was going on about how there's a stomach based net for ham's who suffer from stomach ailments, so its kind of like mini-support groups for given topics. However, though I mentioned medical based topics, net calls span a whole range of topics. For example, I listened into a Raspberry Pi based net call, and learned SO MUCH more about Linux with radio than even on IRC. I absolutely will tune in next week at the same time slot, since I want to learn more and more to expand my base knowledge on the topic.

In terms of this website, I've taken care of a few minor things, including:

  1. Revised my GitWeb site to include a dark theme CSS stylesheet:

  1. I've been able to make two of my existing project sites work again after the

recent NGINX backend upgrade:

The remaining goal would be to maybe get some of these other project websites running.

However, projects like my "ExpressOrLocalApp", though cool when I first made it, wouldn't benefit anyone since everyone's leaving NYC nowadays anyway, so it might not even be worth it to get that specific project website working again.

The cooler thing would be to start running a BBS or something, and roll with it. That and run a "Searx" instance, run a "UnrealIRC" instance, etc.

Or maybe, even get the page looking like an old Geocities or Angelfire site like this for example (without the dreary gothic theme, but you get the point):

I've been working on getting the "ISS Location" page running, so that's been fun, so far I've been working on making sure the JSON request saves properly so that I can run an AJAX request with the push of a <button> tag on the page to pull the latest JSON response that's downloaded to the same directory via a crontab job:

I've been toying with the idea of possibly creating a "Lode Runner" game but based on someone else's game, change out the sprite sheet, and have it running on a JavaScript based engine so I can run it in browser on a page, and across multiple devices.

That alone would be pretty cool imo.

You can play Lode Runner for free on Internet Archive ( on multiple old-school computer emulator platforms IN BROWSER: Mac Version: Apple II Version: DOS Version (Sequel):

I've also been trying to get Retropie working to use Amiga, Macintosh, and DOS based emulators.

So far, I've been able to boot Retropie without a problem. However, if I try to run any Amiga games, even with the necessary "kick" (BIOS) roms present in the proper directory, it boots into a black screen.

However, it'll be pretty dang sweet when I get some cool Amiga, Mac, and DOS software running on the old Raspberry Pi 3 I have, since its been a while since I used it. I really do like the Retropie menu a lot. I think the last project I tried doing with that box was "DietPi" which was ok, but I'd rather get some kind of old desktop computer, put a super lightweight Linux distro on it, and run it as a Desktop computer with just a TTY prompt without running X.

Now THAT would be a cool challenge.

I've been trying to find a cool old broken Macintosh from the 80's to house my Raspberry Pi 3 in, but I can't find a good deal for one on eBay or locally since every older dude knows EXACTLY what they're selling, regardless if its broken or not. The idea would be to just remove the guts of the old PC, fit in a new monitor in the front panel of the Mac, and get a glorious BBS running or something.

THIS is what I would love to do, but don't really have the kind of eBay money to do so:

Looking forward to possibly installing Gentoo in a VM, but I STILL am unpacking boxes from the move (go figure), so I would need to find the screws for the video card so I can remount it to the Desktop machine I have.

Staying positive, and still doing my thing (which is, having fun :D).

Stay well,


34 August 30, 2020

I changed the CSS of this page to be a tad bit simpler as the solarized theme for the CSS was a bit much.

Pretty happy to get back to the whole dark blue purple theme, so I'm pretty set.

Might add some small tweaks with fonts, but the simpler the better as I plan on overhauling the theme to like a Geocities-type old school theme at the end of the year as well.

I was able to find my Desktop computer in my moving boxes with the power cable, but need to dig in other boxes for the screws for the video card, as well as the TV I've been using forever as the monitor for it.

That being noted, I'll probably get to trying to install Gentoo in a VM another time in that case.

I've been trying to schedule a remote-based Technician level ham radio license exam. The earliest I was able to schedule it is in the second week of October, which slightly sucks, but I might be able to schedule it sooner with one of the other two remote based ham radio clubs that are running the exams remotely.

I've been pretty much consistently passing the practice exams online, so it shouldn't be too bad.

However, the requirements of most of the remote exams minus ONE of them include the requirement to use Zoom, which sucks since its basically glorified spyware, but I'll just smack it on my work computer so I don't have to risk a test procter getting mad about me running it in a VM or something since a lot of the remote tests are kind of vague about using VM's to run Zoom.

The main formulas to remember for the Technician-level Ham Radio License Exam include:

  1. E = I * R

OR with its units: V = A * O

This would be Energy (E) = Current (I) * Resistance (R)

Also, the second portion regarding the involved units include: V = Volts, A = Amps, O = Ohms

  1. P = I * E

OR with its units: W = A * V

This would be Power (P) = Current (I) * Energy (E)

Also, the second portion regarding the involved units include: W = Watts, A = Amps, V = Volts

Everything else, despite what anyone else says online, is basically just memorization of answers, since someone like me is only planning to utilize the junky Chinese type handheld radios like the Baofeng UV-5R to make contacts locally, and even if I DO like the whole hobby, I'll probably only get a CB type radio at best for like around $200. I kind of laugh when I see these boomer type prices on eBay for like OK looking ham radios for like $500+, so I'm only skimming the surface of the hobby for fun, and not planning to invest too much into it.

In terms of Emacs Org Mode, I learned that if you want to change an ordered list item to have a different index, you would use: (number of item) '[@(new index number)]'

For example:

  1. Cool Thing To Do
  2. Second Cool Thing To Do

Could Become:

  1. Cool Thing To Do
  2. Third Cool Thing To Do

I've been taking it easy otherwise as there's still a few errands that need to be done after settling into the new place over the course of the month.

I'm looking forward to cooking a lot of Hungarian and Vietnamese food to keep my mind occupied despite the times, since the days and weeks are pretty much blending at this point, which sucks on a personal level, but there's not much else that can be done.

I'm definitely still thinking of useful things I can add to this site as well, including mini sub-pages would benefit people like myself who are getting interested in ham radio, as well as Linux based info.

Stay thankful, and happy for the things you have today.

~ Sam

35 August 23, 2020

I did a very big move recently, and we just got all of our stuff settled into the new place.

It's been great so far, and pretty laid back comparatively.

However, its been a lot of ups and downs regarding how to rent a house, so I can't say its been too easy, but I've been grateful that we made it in one piece and are closer to family given these crazy times.

After a few weeks of just chilling out after work so I don't burn out, I realized my efforts in terms of learning any tech stuff on the side should be focused on what I can apply directly into actual projects.

For example, instead of doing the related JS book from start to finish, I think I just need to read through a related chapter, see what's applicable, and make a part of this actual site that features that capability instead of working on silly fake websites that would be used as part of some "portfolio" or something.

Even as far as portfolio websites are concerned, I'm pretty sure if you can deploy a Wordpress site, you're pretty much close to doing anything similar, so I might actually devote some time deploying some small tinkering Wordpress (WP) sites in that case to gain that skill.

As far as the work based ElectronJS app I've been working on, I plan on just following some YouTube tutorials, see what sticks, and just apply it to the app itself as its not rocket science.

I've been also working on getting my ham radio license, and figuring out what I'd like to do with the yard gardening wise since I do have a garage to get some projects done now.

Also, I'm posting some useful Emacs based Org Mode shortcuts for anyone who does finances like myself in Org Mode as well:

C-x-h: Select everything on screen
C-c-|: Turn the entire Org document into an Org-Mode table
C-c-}: Turn on row and column numbers to make formulas easier in Org-Mode
M-S-Left: Delete a column
C-c-^: Sort a column based on the provided choices (Note: Do this in the Date column based cell for an easy date sort)

Other plans for this site:

Idea Description
Deploy Searx Instance Search engine without the ad tracking, and to be used among people I know / better alternative to Google or DuckDuckGo
Useful Ham Radio Utility Webpages Maybe could scrape some useful frequencies, NOAA weather, etc
Radio (FM, AM, etc) Could be a fun little side page
Change the CSS stylesheet for the "Blog" page Solarized theme is kinda looking OK at best, could be better
Deploy UnrealIRCd IRC Server Would be a great private IRC instance for family and friend use

Staying positive, God Bless.

36 August 2, 2020

I've been in the process of trying to get "BasiliskII" emulator to work, so that I can run some cool old Mac programs for fun. I was thinking to maybe setup my old Raspberry Pi 3 to boot into BasiliskII to run MacOS7 or MacOS8 to possibly do some cool audio recording ideas, and play some old games / use older Mac software.

This link looks promising as a good guide, but we'll see:

For the time being, I've been checking out Internet Archive's collections for fun.'s Mac Software Collection:

Apple II Based Software Collection:

37 August 1, 2020

I have been in the process of trying to deploy a 'Searx' instance on this site, but so far, I haven't made much progress and am kind of stuck on why its always stating "Rate limit exceeded" when you attempt to visit the Searx instance via the 'curl' Linux terminal command.

I've been trying to utilize this part of the Searx official documentation guide and a related GitHub issue that has a very close nginx based configuration for the 'searx' site but haven't really figured out the root cause of the issue as I've followed each of the installation steps VERY closely:

Only other thing I noted this weekend is that "" looks like its going to taken down in September 2020, which sucks because I try to access YouTube through that instance to pull down videos for later viewing so that I don't get a million tracked ads while on YouTube.

It is 10x better to watch content locally on your computer than having to stream and potentially deal with ads and the like. Also, watching videos locally with 'mpv' is amazing. I just hope someone forks the "Invidio" project here, and keeps it going so that I can keep checking out content on YouTube with a minimal browser like w3m:

There are other public instances of "Invidious", but who knows how long these will last if the main project will end in September:

Will post details if I actually get 'searx' up and running though, as I'm looking forward to it.

38 July 28, 2020

I'm back to just using regular Emacs.

I tried Doom Emacs out, and what bugged me is that the overall community's sentiment towards it is correct. Doom Emacs is really just someone else's config. Sure it might be faster than regular Emacs, but at least I know how I want my Emacs experience to be configured.

Also, using Doom Emacs with Org-Mode kind of sucks since the C-u C-c C-. command doesn't work right at all, which is SUPER crucial for my every-day ticket based work at my actual job.

Hence, I nuked Doom's configs and am back to plain Emacs. The one thing I did like was the auto-completion sections within the mini-buffer at the bottom of Emacs, as well as the recently found files part in the intro-menu.

Other than that, eh.

Anyway, here's some cool links to check out for old-school style internet fun, or just fun in a Linux terminal:

Here's a cool old site from the early days of the Internet as I found this randomly after searching for "Tera Melos" online, worth it to check out as his page is pretty extensive:

From the guy who made '' which is that cool Weather based internet service I've used for the "Weather" tab on my site, this person listed some pretty neat console services that I found to be cool:

Notable Highlights:

Finding remote work through terminal, very cool:

The "Telnet/SSH-based games:" section is pretty cool too, so all you have to do is run the following commands in a Linux terminal to play some neat games via 'ssh', 'nc', or 'telnet':

  • ssh ~> snake game; play with AWSD keys
  • ssh — multiplayer tetris
  • ssh — 2048 (source)
  • ssh - 11 arcade games
  • ssh -p 2222 — guess free minesweeper; Pass: play
  • ssh — play various games including checkers
  • ssh - Competitive puzzle; password: intricacy
  • ssh - Multiplayer Chess; password: simulchess
  • ssh - Pacman; password: pacman
  • ssh - Roguelike; password: lag
  • ssh - Khet; password: ckhet
  • ssh - nethack and others
  • ssh - rogue; password: yendor
  • ssh - singleplayer pong
  • ssh - requires you to make an account first
  • nc 23 — MUD (MUD list here, also works with telnet)
  • nc 23 — Chess Game (also works with telnet)
  • nc 6969 - play/watch the game of Go (also works with telnet))
  • nc 4321 - multiplayer backgammon (also works with telnet)
  • telnet 20028 - infinite cave adventure
  • telnet — games: Pong, Break out, Tetris
  • telnet 1701 — Star Trek
  • telnet

Have fun :)

39 July 27, 2020

I was able to utilize a few Crontab commands to update the weather part of the page.

Crontab based 'wget' commands are as follows:

*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/newyorkweather.png
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/nashvilleweather.png
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/scrantonweather.png
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/poincianaweather.png
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/newyorkweather.gif
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/nashvilleweather.gif
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/scrantonweather.gif
*/5 * * * * wget -O /var/www/musimatic/images/poincianaweather.gif

The end result can be found here:

If you ever want to find a specific area's weather from the National Weather Service's Apache server, you'll have to dig a bit yourself here:

If you ever want to bookmark a specific section from the 'Weather' page, you can use one of the following links as they take advantage of the "#" id element values of the specific locations within the links themselves:

Weather Forecast Links:

Weather Radar Links:

40 July 26, 2020

I was able to figure out with the help of IRC how to actually git clone my repos as the 'git' user:

For example, if I had SSH access to my VPS on another machine, then I could do:

git clone -v

Also, I learned how to configure Virtualbox on a Windows 10 'host' to run Devuan inside of it as the 'guest' with the help of this guide:

The only other tweak I had to do was make sure that in Virtualbox, I had went into Settings (Gear Icon) > Display > Graphics Controller: VMSVGA

Pretty stoked because I decked out the Devuan based virtual machine on my Windows 10 work computer with my dotfiles config, which means I can potentially work primarily in a Linux environment in the near future and never have to touch Windoze for work ever again unless in a VM or something locally on that machine.

41 July 25, 2020

I am happy to note that my git repos are live at the following site:

What does this mean?

You can see the progress of any of my own public repos that I contribute to, so that you can steal my 'dotfiles' configurations for your own use to tweak for example.

For example, I will literally be able to go to another machine, pull down related configurations, and it would look exactly like my current machine without any problems.

I've been at this for a dang week, and I'm happy to note that its all because I had to be inclusive of ports INCLUDING port 80, which is the specific port that helps handle HTTP requests on the web.

Because the lack of Nginx docs or guides on how to specifically configure "GitWeb" to work, I'm literally going to copy and paste my working config so that anyone using 'nginx' can benefit from it as I had to use over 5 different separate guides to even attempt to figure it out:

NOTE: You'll have to place this in your '/etc/nginx/sites-available' directory on your website's VPS as a file name of your choose, for ex: you can save it as 'git':

server {
	listen 80;
	listen [::]:80;


	location / {
		root /usr/share/gitweb;
		index index.cgi;

	location /index.cgi {
		root /usr/share/gitweb/;
		include fastcgi_params;
		gzip off;
		fastcgi_param SCRIPT_NAME $uri;
		fastcgi_param GITWEB_CONFIG /etc/gitweb.conf;
		fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/fcgiwrap.socket;

Here are the specific links I found to be IMMENSELY useful in this process of using 'nginx' with Debian 10 and GitWeb:

42 July 17, 2020

I am in the process of trying to figure out how to get the Git bare repos online as public repos on this site.

Unfortunately, the Git book is mostly 'Apache2' based, which doesn't help because this site is now running using 'nginx'.

However I did find a couple links that I have to go through to make some decisions on how to properly configure and serve the following directory:

I'm also debating whether or not I should even serve the Git repos in the var/www directory on this site as well or keep to using the /srv/git repo as mentioned in the Git book.

Helpful reference links on how to possibly do this include:

Ideally, my Git repos would look like the one from '', which looks awesome, minimum, and just perfect:

Things To To Do This Weekend:

  1. Work on my C based ncurses project as well.
  2. Learn more JS for work and keep utilizing this practice site as a means to apply the techniques from the related chapter:
  3. Work on my "ArmoryApp" NodeJS / Electron based app for work as well. It's coming along pretty nicely as I'm able to automatically pull logs for the one app I help do tech support for, which is pretty cool.
  4. Configure the Devuan work based VM so I can move all my work inside of it.
  5. Keep researching how to install Gentoo and configure the related installation guide.
  6. Deploy 'Searx' public instance on this site now that I have the desired 'nginx' + 'Debian' combo that's preferred
  7. Make Awk script to sort ~/.w3m/bookmark.html based on <h2></h2> tags present
  8. Make LinkedIn Job Scraper based on their API so I don't have to use LinkedIn anymore +10k points for making an NCURSES interface to read results afterwards
  9. Learn more from gotbletu videos
  10. Work on weather based webscraper based on, and the National Weather Service Apache server to display the contents on a webpage
  11. Turn Emacs into a C based IDE with this guide:

43 July 16, 2020

I am happy to note that this site is now running on 'nginx' thanks to Luke Smith's video on the topic:

Pretty stoked because dealing with Apache configurations was a bit of a pain, especially since I wanted to add a Git server to this site, as well as Searx.

We are now running on a Debian 10 based VPS droplet running on Digital Ocean's VPS servers in NY :).

I've been meaning to do this for a very long time, so I'm pretty glad.

I finished learning C, and went through that ncurses guide. I've been modifying two or more projects to get the hang of it, and am basically making a glorified menu that runs a few Git commands, which is about it.

Does it work yet? Not really.

Can I show it off yet? Not yet, because I'd need to setup the Git server first.

However, because I'm now using Debian 10 on this box, it should be way easier to do it than friggin' Ubuntu was.

Plus, since I now have the great combo of 'nginx' + Debian 10, this means I can finally revisit being able to host my own Searx instance as well so stay tuned for that.

Other than that, I've been debating making a LinkedIn Job Webscraper that would access the LinkedIn Job API since I hate logging into that site, and be constantly spammed with unnecessary news articles.

LinkedIn, like other platforms, needs to learn its place, and just stick to jobs, and nothing else.

Here's 'nginx' for reference:

44 July 3, 2020

Regarding My Digital Art:

I got good news in that I was able to finally get around to modify the existing JS code for the "GIFs" section to make the Digital Art 2020 and Digital Art 2019 "back", "random", and "forward" buttons actually work.

You can check it out here:

Regarding 'Audacity':

I tried to get Audacity to work on my Devuan laptop, but attempting to do overdub tracks made weird sounds on the overdubbed track. I don't think it's due to CPU issues present, but I'll see if I can just at least record demos with Audacity on the desktop instead. It would have been nice to do demos on the fly with the laptop alongside my Focusrite Solo (2nd gen) audio interface, and then master songs in Reaper on the desktop later, but ah well.

So that would have to be the third fail of the week, but ah well, good and bad things happen in 3's, so I'm hoping that stupid bad luck spree is over.

Regarding 'GNU Stow':

I re-arranged my dotfiles config and plan on deploying them with GNU Stow, so that I can go to another machine, and use the following stow command so I can deploy configuration dotfiles easily:

stow -t ~ *

This basically sets the target directory as the '~/' or $HOME directory where normally all your dotfiles are located anyway since I usually place my dotfiles in its own repo, ex: ~/programming/dotfiles. By doing this, Stow would properly place them into the home directory on the target machine.

This helps a lot if you want to have your nice looking AwesomeWM or Openbox config to be present in two seconds on a newly installed machine.

'GNU Stow' can be found here:

'AwesomeWM' can be found here:

Slight meme-tastic picture of AwesomeWM in use (from the AwesomeWM website):


'Openbox' can be found here:

I'd like to probably overhaul the design of this blog post portion of my site since solarize themes aren't really my thing anymore, but I at least got to figure out how to change the CSS styling of an Emacs Org-Mode document. This is important since that's all this page is at the end of the day, just an blog.html file that was exported from the '' file. It's hilarious that you can just make a website using an Org mode file, and I still plan on carrying the torch as there's no really big reason for wasting extra time in configuring HTML/CSS with JS just for blog posts anyway.

Regarding 'Emacs Org-Mode' Being Used For Finance Based CSV's:

First of all, I've been using 'sc-im' to do my finances for the past few months. I first attempted to document my attempts of the commands I wanted to do on each of the CSV files involved in the process, which include the credit card and checking account statement CSV files. However, after combing through the 'sc-im' internal help a few times, and their GitHub page, it doesn't seem that there's an easy way to do commands like 'dc' or "Delete Column" with external scripting at all.

I then got the idea that if I like Emacs so much, then why the heck SHOULDN'T I use it for CSV spreadsheets either.

Then, I realized after a little bit of searching that you can easily make your finance .csv files into Org-Mode tables by opening up the .csv file in Emacs, select all the values, copy it into your copy / paste buffer, and then paste the values into a new .org document.

Then, in the .org document, highlight all of the values, and then use the following command:

C-c |

This turns the entire sheet into an Org-Mode table, which is sweet!

I learned this from this Stack Overflow post:

Since I wanted to learn how formulas in Emacs Org Mode tables work, I also learned that the following command will turn on row and column numbers to make formulas easier in Org-Mode:

C-c }

More info on how spreadsheet formulas work in Emacs Org-Mode can be found here:

Very happy to be moving on past 'sc-im' for this purpose alone. 'sc-im' neat for basic spreadsheets but was just a bit disappointing in terms of its scripting ability to manipulate existing .csv files but I guess there's other terminal programs for that purpose too.

'sc-im' can be found here:

45 July 2, 2020

I debated installing 'firefox-esr' since Qutebrowser just wasn't working with YouTube's sign in page at all. It turns out that the dumb blanket error message they give when you try logging into YouTube with Qutebrowser, "you're using "a browser […] that doesn't allow us to keep your account secure" is totally a lie.

They just want more control over your browsing experience to monitor your viewing habits, and to make ad revenue, plain and simple. This is explained more in detail within the following workaround found here from Qutebrowser's GitHub page:

Here's the workaround you have to use within Qutebrowser itself to make it work with YouTube's Google Sign-In page: :set -u* content.headers.useragent 'Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x8664; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/57.0'

What does this workaround do?

From the looks of it, it utilizes a Mozilla based agent that makes it seem like you're using a Mozilla based browser to Google, when in reality, you're still using Qutebrowser.

What does this prove?

Don't depend on Google for anything. I literally only login to maybe check related content to see if there's anything else cool within the Linux YouTuber scene these days to add to my RSS feed list. However, like most based Linux users nowadays, I mostly just download videos from RSS feeds from Newsboat with 'youtube-dl' to be later viewed with 'mpv' anyway because streaming videos is a waste of internet bandwidth, time, energy, and patience.

Just in case you're one of those people stuck into the "Oh, but I NEED Google for things like Gmail, Google Drive" etc, then you need to read these blog posts and wake up to an improved user experience for better alternatives:

Also, here are better 'Gmail' alternatives, or even 'Outlook' for that matter since I despise Microsoft as well:

I personally have used 'Fastmail' so far, and I like it a lot. However, for good things come a price, so even though its not free like all of these other email clients where YOU are the product, it does give me a little peace of mind at least. The middle tier plan they have is $50 a year, and seems worth it. If not, I'll probably just host my own email server later on a VPS next year if I don't like it, but I'll keep it for now:

Regarding 'searx': Oh man, what a fail this was too.

Why is it that every deployable web app just does NOT work nicely with Ubuntu 20.04? This is the second fail I've had this week since the first was Jitsi Meet which just did not play nicely with Ubuntu 20.04 + Apache running this site.

Now, after a few hours of trying, I just could not get Searx to work at all.

It was so frustrating because they changed literally EVERYTHING about their installation process within a month of Luke Smith's video:

This makes his recent video absolutely useless in comparison. Even though there are installation scripts, its just mindboggling how nice and easy the installation process was a month ago via the instructions on screen on Luke's video vs the current mess that exists:

I DID however find a guide on how to deploy this on the Raspberry Pi, but this would be for a local instance, and not necessarily a public instance for people in my family unfortunately:

Let's just say I am not going to be attempting deploying another web app for family any time soon. I would be more inclined for changing the entire backend of this website to 'nginx' instead of Apache2, which I aimed to do at some point anyway, so this is probably just a lesson to never use Ubuntu as a server basis, and to finally overhaul Apache with 'nginx' instead.

The only thing I'd have to recreate is the bare Git repositories I created earlier, but that can ALWAYS be re-done.

Anyway, moving on to more positive things and projects, and will just label this as another attempt I guess. The best way to learn is to fail, so I plan on just moving on.

46 July 1, 2020

After much deliberating, I was able to kind of get 'transmission' working on both my local machine and my Raspberry Pi since I wanted to download safe files like Linux distro ISOs, wallpapers, etc.

Think of 'transmission' as one of your typical BitTorrenting clients, but with a bit more control, and a heck of a lot of less ads and potential for getting viruses.

The reason why you would want to have 'transmission' on a Raspberry Pi device is that you don't want to waste so much power downloading things like torrents, images, etc, when you can do it on a low power device to do it all day for you if needed. The capabilities of this kind of setup are cool because if you hook up an external HDD to a Raspberry Pi, you can also debate how to make it work on scraping the internet for data with cool scraper projects.

For example, I would love to somehow scrape the "Wayback Machine" for old school icons, and early internet assets as it brings lovely memories of Yahoo! Geocities back to mind. Ah yes, back when everyone had their own personal website, although heavily templated. Looking back, its easy to say that having your own site WAS the internet, and the direction it took really sucks.

Face it, its pretty sad when most people only can think of maybe 5 major sites that they visit on a daily basis. Back then, you had tons of splintering personal sites, all for the basis of being able to express yourself freely. Sure the DotCom bubble was a meme in itself, but I remember all of those weird personal pages that had highly specific content. Ex: If you searched for old school game art on Yahoo! back then, you would likely land on some dude's personal website where he hoarded tons of video game sprite sheets that he somehow collected from using ROM palette tools. Sure there's tons of community sites that still do this, but it meant more when a guy's whole personal page was just dedicated to solely that purpose, which shows the life and soul of the early internet.

That makes me want to grab every Pokemon based sprite sheet from late 90's websites from The Wayback Machine ASAP :), good times.

'The Wayback Machine' can be found here, and chances are, your old personal website or favorite site was archived, so check it out:

You can also laugh and see how badly I designed this site over time, but also keep in mind just how restricted I was in terms of being able to develop this site while on my lunch break at my first tech job. Geez, I used to have to SSH into a shared hosted site just to be able to modify this website, but nowadays I just work on this site locally, and then use 'rsync' to post my changes onto the website that's hosted by a private VPS.

Here's the old past history of '' for you to enjoy (and wow did I love a good purple color scheme early on haha):*/

Back to the topic of 'transmission': I tried to make it easy by modifying the 'settings.json' file in the '/etc/transmission-daemon' directory to accommdate the '~/Downloads' folder. However, after trying two or three workarounds in this Stack Exchange post, I gave up:

However, I will work on creating a related symlink that will link to the 'var/lib/transmission-daemon/downloads' directory as 'torrents' or something in my '~' home directory.

I believe all I would maybe have to do is just to add the 'sam' user to the 'debian-transmission' group anyway. This is important because for the time being, in order to access that particular directory, '/var/lib/transmission-daemon/downloads', I would literally have to use sudo priviledges to do so. This is fine for now, but might be easier if I just add the user to the 'debian-transmission' group appropriately.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy it works at least, but let's just say 'transmission' out of the box is NOT newbie friendly in that respect. However, it is a pretty powerful torrenting tool that can be run on any lower end PC if needed, which is super cool.

'transmission' can be found here, and can be used with CLI or with a GUI;

Also, if you're someone like me who's just looking for legit torrents for nice purposes like 'wallpapers', Linux ISOs, etc, I found a good blog post for relevant torrent sites in 2020, which is new to me as I only knew Pirate Bay back in the day like everyone else:

As always, try the CLI version of 'transmission' instead.

In Debian distributions, you're gonna need 'transmission-daemon' and 'transmission-remote-cli' installed, so you're going to want to do the following command in terminal to install the terminal version of transmission:

apt install transmission-daemon transmission-remote-cli

After installing the two parts listed above, I would follow along with gotbletu's YouTube videos on the topic as its not too easy to figure out on your own, so here's a related playlist to help figure it out:

'gotbletu' shows a lot of bash aliases you can put in your .bashrc config to make using 'transmission' a lot easier too, so I highly recommend checking those out, and any of his other videos since he's pretty good at just demoing Linux utilities in general.

Plus, you can always access your downloads at any time in any browser by going to this website URL once you have the transmission daemon up and running: http://localhost:9091/transmission/web/

One more good thing taken care of this week.

Next, I'll attempt adding a private 'Searx' instance. It's a dang shame about how badly Jitsi Meet doesn't play well with latest Debian or Ubuntu distros though. However, I learned a lot in attempting to deploy it though. I probably might even resort to just deploying an IRC based server like 'XMPP' or something:

Also, I'd like to do a few screencasts with gifs using 'screenkey' as well as the idea of being able to showcase Linux utilities with screencasts is probably the next best thing I could do to emulate my favorite Inconsolation blog. That and being able to utilize thumbnails correctly with Emacs Org mode would help as I'd love to replicate his Wordpress site's ability to just do thumbnails out of the box.

Here's 'screenkey' for reference:

Stay tuned :)

47 June 30, 2020

I figured out how to handle images with Emacs Org Mode and related formatting to make this blog a little more lively with images:

I figured out how to use thumbnails with the 'mogrify' command from 'imagemagick' will become SUPER useful later as I make more and more useful tutorials on this site with just .org mode sites for specific topics:

Here's the relevant 'mogrify' command: mogrify -format png -path thumbs/ -thumbnail 100x100 (name of image)

For example, I created a thumbnail for later use in the weather portion of this blog post: mogrify -format png -path thumbs/ -thumbnail 300x300 weatherCommandScreenshot1.png

I also stole this 'Dark Solarize' theme from this GitHub page and used it for my own blog page as well:

I also combed through the National Weather Service (NWS)'s Apache server, and found the following locations to be useful for myself and for my family's purposes.

They're GIF's of the National Weather Service's doppler radar so you can check if its going to rain or precipitate in your area.

This is the NWS's Apache server where you can comb through each of the '.png' images or gif's present to find out your area:

NOTE: I THINK they're based on airport codes, but let's just say I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out which ones are relevant, and it wasn't easy since Scranton for example doesn't have a major airport connected to the National Weather Service, so you kind of have to look at the doppler for a nearby city instead.

Here's some useful weather doppler gifs I plan on re-hosting on this site at a later point with a CRON job on a related "Weather" tab on the site for family to use:


Figure 2: Nashville


Figure 3: Orlando


Figure 4: Orlando


Figure 5: New York


Figure 6: Scranton


Figure 7: Scranton


Figure 8: Scranton

On that same note, you can also just utilize the 'curl' command on Linux to grab your local weather information.

Here are two example screenshots in which I'm using the following command, 'curl', which will obtain the latest weather information for Nashville, TN:



In terms of re-designing this blog portion of the site, I plan on re-designing this blog portion of my site with the Org-Mode based themes from this guy's GitHub as I REALLY like the "ReadTheDocs" theme he's got:

Before I used to use the "Ox-TWBS" plugin for Emacs to export this blog into a Twitter Bootstrap CSS styled site. However, after moving into Doom Emacs, I realized I should play around with the default styling a bit for this blog, so I plan on exploring this a bit further.

Speaking of re-design, I STILL need to fix those the "Images" section on this site as I think its just a matter of not having the correct permissions to allow a user to view my old artwork.

I'm in the process of wiping my desktop drive so I can install Devuan on it, and just test out Linux distros in VM's to find some cool setups with some Window Managers. It's more so that I can possibly move to an Arch based distro without systemd sometime later this year, but didn't want to blow up the desktop computer itself like my last attempt with just an Arch install with Steam.

Speaking of Steam and 'muh games', I plan on really only buying games for my Nintendo Switch and to keep computers as just that. I think Desktops are cool for making music or possibly to aid in emulating older games, but past that, playing games on a Desktop computer is a bit of a waste of time. I'd rather be building some cool stuff with that same time.

Also, I'm kind of tired of playing a game on a console, I know when to put it down. However, when I had the latter on Steam, I could quickly forget the time, and kind of regret it later. Anyway, the cryptocurrency bros ruined the PC market anyway, so there's no point in building high end machines unless you plan on running VM's. Even for that use case scenario, you don't even need a top tier video card as well. You would just need to make sure you have a decent CPU and RAM. I do plan on getting a librebooted computer though, so I'm not sure how long my wanting to do VM's on a regular basis will last in that case.

These things I wish I knew before, but at least I have an ok Desktop computer for today's standards to just run VM's on, and to later become a cool media server or something. I've been using it for emulators and have been having a good time with it. I plan on making some demos with Audacity, and then remaster tracks within Reaper with MIDI for that newer band I'm going to create called "Sieges", which will be a Dungeon Synth band. I'm still debating if I should just release it on the Bandcamp platform, or just host it on my own site, with a custom CSS style sheet to mimic Bandcamp since all I would have to do is to just allow people to hit play in some kind of web based music player. I wouldn't charge for the music either, and will most likely do donation incentives through Patreon or something similar.

I also kind of debate making Linux tutorial type videos for sites like Library or BitChute, and not necessarily YouTube since YouTube is just become more and more censored as the years go on. I'd rather be on a platform where I'm welcome than be banned for being conservative or something. However, I might take up Luke Smith's philosophy to maybe just use YouTube until you get banned just to piss them off or something for being on their platform regardless as its still sort of the world's marketplace in the truest sense at the moment.

I'm gonna try deploying Searx sometime later today as a private instance so that should be fun as well. Feels good to put the power back into my hands, and to take back all of that free telemetry ad money from Google and DuckDuckGo.

Also, I plan on ripping this CD I got the other week since I couldn't find it on Bandcamp or Spotify anymore (though I don't use Spotify at all, it used to only be available on there for a long time):

Probably the most funniest, down to earth album you will ever hear in your life. I don't know why, but I liked it a lot as this guy is so honest, but its "so bad, it's good" if that makes sense.

I'm gonna try finding a CLI based CD ripper on these good command-line based blogs:

Have fun for now, stay well!

48 June 29, 2020

I tried to install Jitsi Meet but failed because of these two dumb issues that still haven't been resolved by the Jitsi team:

Related GitHub issue on the same topic:

Duplicate issue where they're still working on this issue:

Basically, in a nutshell, they're using "Certbot-Auto", which has been deprecated for releases like Ubuntu 20.04.

This means that unless they patch this into the installation shell scripts, I would manually have to apply a workaround using 'certbot' to install the appropriate certificate, and manually configure a lot of the files present to get it to run. I don't feel comfortable doing that so, I just nuked the Jitsi Meet private instance I created.

On the flip side, I plan on deploying a private Searx instance, so that I never have to use Google or DuckDuckGo again myself, so that'll be fun.

This time though, I'll read through the whole documentation to make sure that Searx is cool with Ubuntu 20.04.

'searx' can be found here, and you can actively use some public instances of it, though its more recommended to host your own instance to make sure its as secure as possible since YOU control it in that case:

On a good note, I was able to install Doom Emacs just fine, and I have gotta say, it looks, feels, and just responds amazingly. I know other Emacs enthusiasts would just say "its someone else's config" but I've been using Vanilla Emacs for quite a bit, and there's just so much that should have been added right out of the box as a default like this.

So it goes without saying, I'm back to using Vim style bindings, and I'm pretty happy about it. I still know Emacs style bindings for other shell programs wherever needed, but let's all agree Vim bindings are 100x better and more intuitive. Those who think they've memorized every C-c or C-o style binding in Emacs is insane, or is straight up lying. Some are intuitive for starters but when you delve into Org-mode with vanilla Emacs bindings, then you realize its almost impossible for a normal person to remember half of the bindings anyway.

'Doom Emacs' can be found here:

Otherwise, I have the week off, and am doing the following checklist of things to do to keep myself occupied, and have been pretty happy about the progress so far:

Checklist of things to do [11/28]

  • [ ] Go over moving inventory list
  • [ ] Relax
  • [X] Figure out Neomutt for Fastmail email address
  • [ ] Figure out how to use gnupg keys for Neomutt
  • [X] Attempt to deploy Jitsi on private instance on website
  • [ ] Deploy Searx on private instance on website
  • [X] Download and install Doom Macs
  • [ ] Figure out how to create a SC-IM based script with commands to automatically format the cc and c files every week
  • [ ] Install Audacity & Reaper (one for demos, one for mastering
  • [ ] Install Devuan on the main 2 gig SSD and try out VM's with Virtualbox
  • [ ] Start "Sieges" band
  • [ ] Figure out how to get Transmission-remote working
  • [ ] Play around with Raspberry Pi to make it a downloading agent via SSH or FTP
  • [ ] Look into how to possibly obtain recipes through a terminal API
  • [ ] Learn more C
  • [X] Research bug zappers for annoying gnats
  • [ ] Look up which ports my website is using, allow those ports, and block all others.
  • [X] Look up Captain Crunch (2600) biography: hard to find, not worth buying $45 signed copy
  • [X] Activate Tracphone with new sim card
  • [ ] Figure out how to split AwesomeWM config across multiple files
  • [X] Download gotbletu's playlists of content I want to learn
  • [ ] Watch gotbletu's video on gnu stow and utilize it for dotfiles repo
  • [X] Check out Brody Robertson's Linux vids on U-Tube and possibly add him to Newsboat Urls config
  • [ ] Look into LinkedIn's Job Search API, and work on making a Bash based console app to do curl requests
  • [ ] Debate how to use RMWeb Reports API for work based app (ArmoryApp)
  • [X] Activate Tracphone with new sim card
  • [X] Re-organize Newsboat "urls" to be more accurate for YouTube section

49 June 24, 2020

I got up to Chapter 5 for that C Programming Language book today.

C is such a cool language, and the power of it can't be overstated. It is embedded in so many devices to the point where if you can program in C, you can pretty much use it to program on anything (that isn't requiring pure assembly language of course :D).

I'm debating what the best things I can do to install on the work based Devuan VM I have so far. I'd like to maybe consider using something like "exwm" which is basically Emacs as a window manager, which is such a neat concept. The idea is that everything would be Emacs based by default. This would be cool because then you can basically run Doom Emacs as well for text editing so that you can use the glorious Vim bindings, but use the pretty decent Emacs standard bindings for other things as well.

Just an fyi, Doom Emacs doesn't have any evil connotation. It's named that way because it adds 'evil' mode style bindings (hence 'vi' in 'evil') which allow you to use 'Vi' or 'Vim' style key bindings within Emacs. Personally, I think Vim's bindings are far superior than Emacs. I love being able to write this blog with Emacs alongside the 'org-twbs' export plugin with standard Emacs keybindings. However, past using Emacs keybindings in Org Mode to write documents, I think they're pretty terrible for actual coding situations. More or less, they're very very very hard to remember and way less intuitive than Vim's default bindings.

However, for those that totally complain about Emacs keybindings as being 'painful' probably don't realize that you can totally use your left thumb for the 'meta' or 'alt' key based bindings, and also use the right ring finger for the 'p' key. Too many times I see the term, "Emacs pinkie", being used, and I just have to laugh since most likely the person is attemping to use the 'p' key with their pinkie, when the right ring finger is almost near the same position anyway.

Just to set the record straight, I like Emacs bindings for Org Mode and some terminal related applications that happen to have them, but I prefer Vim bindings for any coding situations (hence Doom Macs is probably what I should be using going forward).

'exwm' can be found here:

'Doom Emacs' can be found here:

'Emacs' can be found here:

'Vim' can be found here:

I've installed DietPi on the Raspberry Pi, and just plan to use it as a downloading agent. I might get a separate external drive for it to store media so that I can use it to scrape the net for content, and then later access it afterwards purely through SFTP or ssh to retrieve the data from it. That alone is such a cool idea because if you booted your huge desktop computer just to do menial tasks such as downloading wallpapers, then its a bit of a waste of energy.

I'm thinking of the possibilities of what I could do to either deploy Jitsi or Jami as a private instance for family communication purposes. I find both pretty fascinating as they can be used on most platforms AND they are secure communication programs.

'Jitsi' can be found here:

'Jami' can be found here:

I also wonder what can be done with mesh networks such as 'gnunet'. The idea of being able to link computers and devices together without depending upon a centralized internet service company sounds amazing. This idea alone could be used for sharing files, communication, etc, even when a grid is potentially knocked down. Sounds pretty useful given the times.

'gnunet' can be found here:

I'm planning on also figuring out what to do next week since I have it off from work. Most likely, I might go ahead and start that one-man dungeon synth band, "Sieges", as I've been planning in my head forever. That band will probably include loops, drum samples, and keyboard riffs. I'd like it to be the anti-thesis of what you can typically find in this genre under Bandcamp, as I would like to prove that you can create some cool themed music in that genre without having it to be so dark or dreary. As seen by a few select bands in that genre, I think the best encompassing idea of that genre is to utilize RPG video game style music but with relaxing themes. However, I think a lot of those great ideas are kind of lost between the all too many dreary dark albums of that genre on Bandcamp, so here's to proving that positive dungeon synth music can be made.

Never stop learning, and have fun with Linux :) God Bless.

50 June 23, 2020

Thanks to my dude, Luke Smith, I was able to finally get all my Git repositories back on my site with his latest video:

If you've never used "" before, then you probably should, as it allows you to check out YouTube videos in terminal based browsers like 'w3m' easily.

If you attempt to use vanilla YouTube's site in 'w3m', Google complains about the lack of the JS scripts that are not present because 'w3m' runs purely based on HTML alone, so they can't track you nor give you targeted ads.

Here's w3m for reference, as it is an awesome browser I use every day:

With this in mind, I'll have to wait until Luke's next Git video to finish off my bare Git repos, but I'm glad to say I have killed any notion of having to depend on Microsoft for GitHub since all I ever wanted was bare Git repositories anyway for my projects.

Other than that, still learning C, and dived slightly into 'ncurses' with the one guide I got from Internet Archive.

Pretty cool stuff, and compared to the C programming book, 'ncurses' is pretty light in terms of the difficulty in figuring it out.

I plan on making a 'ncurses' program to move over my dotfiles, and will host it on my Git instance when I flesh out the beginnings of it so that anyone can pull it down.

I've been playing around with the idea of using a Linux VM purely for work, and just remoting in with a terminal based app for Slack, and just use WINE to emulate the Windows based programs I help do tech support for on a daily basis.

That thought alone is pretty based, and I'd still be playing by the rules for work as I'd be running a VM inside of Windows so that I could still get security updates to make work's IT team happy, but also keep myself motivated as my workflow would most likely increase 100% if I could just do everything with Emacs or Vim bindings :)

Also, I made further progress on creating the all-in-one ElectronJS based app for work. Though I've detested just how bloated web apps are, in this context, ElectronJS would allow me to create a GUI based app for my coworkers to make their workflow better, and their daily life doing ticket work easier. That alone is a cool motivator keeping me going these days in terms of working since the days have kind of been blending for months now.

I'm looking forward to the Florida move in a month since it'll be good to get away from a city center amidst all this crazy stuff going on.

Staying positive, and thankful that I can look forward to better things. On the flip side though, Nashville was so awesome. Its a shame, since I really saw myself trying to start a family out here before all this crazy stuff this year.

The food, people, and music were 100x better than anything I've experienced in the NY tri-state area. I'll definitely miss this place but I'm glad to have at least tried it out. However, I doubt live music will ever recover, so I guess its time to leave 'Music City' for good.

God help us all in these times, and stay safe. God Bless.

51 June 18, 2020

Learned three cool things this week regarding Linux.

First Thing:

This is Linux file permissions in a nutshell from what I learned:

  • You first have '-' which is a file, or 'd' for a directory.
  • Past that, you've got three groups: You, your group, and everyone else who can execute scripts on the machine.
  • The options include 'r' for read, 'w' for write, and 'x' for execute.
  • r: 4, w: 2, x: 1

And that's basically it.

This helps a ton when you're trying to figure out what in the heck '777' means in terms of file permissions or '755'.

You have to break down each part of the number provided.

Ex: '777' in file permissions means the following: You've got read ('r'), write ('w'), and execute ('x') access in ALL three groups. This means that YOU, YOUR GROUP, AND EVERYONE ELSE can do those three actions on the file.

This isn't the best option because you don't want someone to somehow hack into your system and just give them permission to files without even being granted access as the root user.

Second Thing:

This is how you can utilize the 'Newsboat' RSS program across several devices (aka your Android phone running Termux, your website via SSH, your Linux laptop, your Linux desktop, etc).

You can utilize Newsboat's '-e' parameter to export your current news feed into an .opml file.

You can also utilize Newsboat's 'E' parameter to export a copy of the list of articles you read.

You can then go to a totally separate machine, and utilize Newsboat's '-i' parameter to import your newsfeed.

Then you can use Newsboat's '-I' parameter to import the list of articles you already read on your previous devices.

In this kind of scenario, it's better to use your personal website as a midway station so that if you have access to the internet, then you can technically just sync all these devices by using 'wget' to pull down these two files from your 'publichtml' folder.

You can even do the same thing with a separate device off the internet with a Raspberry Pi or even an Android device with Termux that has a mobile connection or is connected to WiFi.

Here's my latest Bash alias from my .bashrc config that incorporates these ideas, which I will probably modify to run on my website instead later on but is given as a cool example to possibly copy: alias ne="newsboat && newsboat -e >> ~/transformationStation/newsboat/currentNewsboatFeed.opml && newsboat -E ~/transformationStation/newsboat/articlesRead.txt"

Third Thing:

Here's a cool Bash function I made to change your wallpaper and color scheme with 'feh' and 'pywal'.

Afterwards, it copies the same image that was used by 'pywal' into Awesome Window Manager's theme configuration directory:

ranchw() { wal -i ~/Pictures/wallpapers/ && feh –bg-fill "\((< "\){HOME}/.cache/wal/wal")" && cp $(< ~/.cache/wal/wal) ~/.config/awesome/themes/multicolor/wall.png && xrdb ~/.Xresources;

background=\((ex -sc '/\*background:/s/^\S\+\s\+//p|q!' ~/.cache/wal/colors.Xresources); foreground=\)(ex -sc '\*foreground:/s/^§\+\s\+//p|q!' ~.cache/wal/colors.Xresources);

ex -c 'theme.bgnormal/s"[^"]\+""'$background'"/|wq' ~.config/awesome/themes/multicolor/theme.lua;

ex -c 'theme.fgnormal/s"[^"]\+""'$foreground'"/|wq' ~.config/awesome/themes/multicolor/theme.lua;


52 June 16, 2020

I was able to get sound working on my Devuan desktop, but let's just say Nvidia drivers are a pain to attempt to get running if you want to limit what's installed via 'pins' in the following directory: /etc/apt/preferences.d

This is important since I'd like to update my video card drivers to use game console emulators effectively, since the performance out of the box was pretty bad, which is weird since that desktop was an older gaming rig anyway, and I'm just using it for emulation and POSSIBLY music creation.

Might create a dungeon synth band with the moniker, "Sieges", since I've been wanting to do instrumental synth music, but be the absolutle anti-thesis of what they'd expect on Bandcamp since a lot of solo acts in that genre is pretty dark, when I'd rather it be a little more light-hearted and cheerful. That fact alone is kind of weird when a lot of people making dungeon synth albums are just ripping off game music ideas in the first place, so why the negativity? Who knows.

I've been learning C, and got to the third chapter of the "The C Programming Language (Second Edition)" book from the 80's. Neat stuff, though thank God I have the answers for the exercises as I am treating it more as a code along to learn enough C to pickup 'ncurses' based programs.

I might dive into trying to figure out Mutt with the manual this week.

I might also simultaneously go through the one 'ncurses' guide on how to make 'ncurses' based programs in C as well.

I would also like to figure out how to make a few hooks with 'Dired' mode in Emacs for my Org Mode TODO list for work. Moreso, I should just archive them into a giant directory and use the archive feature, or at least create a hook that would do the following items for me:

  1. Create tomorrow's directory in the directory above
  2. Copy over the contents of the current Todo List into tomorrow's

Todo List.

  1. Change the date at the top of the Todo List accordingly.

Also, I'd like to possibly change over the theme styling of this page using the "org-twbs-head" function:

Have fun for the rest of the week, stay safe :).

53 June 11, 2020

Minor point I learned the other night is to be able to pipe the 'pwd' command into the 'xsel' command.

This allows you to pipe the 'working directory' that you obtain with 'pwd' command into 'xsel' which copies your working directory onto your clipboard.

This allows you to be able to paste your working directory into another terminal pane in a multiplexer like tmux so that you can work on a similar task in the same directory.

Give this a try in a Linux terminal: pwd | xsel

You can also convert this to an 'alias' in your Bash terminal by using the following in your .bashrc config file ('pwc' in this context stands for 'print working copy'): alias pwc="pwd | xsel"

Oh, and I figured out how to finally do transparency in the terminal with urxvt terminal.

It turns out, you have to modify your .Xresources file to include the following:

! Transparency for urxvt: URxvt.depth: 32 URxvt.transparent: true URxvt.tintColor: white ! Set .shading to: 20 for slight transparency ! Set .shading to: 40 for fuller transparency URxvt.shading: 30

Here's what a glorious transparent terminal looks like (screenshots): Transparent Weechat Screenshot Transparent Newsboat Screenshot Transparent W3M Screenshot

I took the advice on how to adjust my .Xresources file accordingly from this link, so all creds to the answer to the OP on this Arch Linux forum post:

54 June 10, 2020

I installed Devuan on my Desktop computer yesterday with Openbox, and I must say, its a pretty comfy experience.

I was trying to get some game emulators working, but sound isn't working on the Scarlett Solo audio interface I have.

I got sound to work in the past, but maybe its an issue with alsa. I'm also thinking that I probably might have given up and installed Pulseaudio as a result.

Will keep researching that another time but I'm making it a mission to not give up and install Pulseaudio since I'd prefer just straight Alsa audio instead.

Openbox on the same note is a really cool and great lightweight window manager:

The idea is that if you like Windoze, just use Openbox on a Linux distribution, and kiss Microsoft goodbye. Openbox offers the same type of window experience in terms of dragging windows around manually.

Plus you can customize the window themes, and config files easily as well, so there's really no reason to keep Windoze, other than maybe for "muh games". Even that reason is dumb given that Steam Proton is getting pretty good for keeping up with Steam games.

More and more, if I wanted to play games, I'd prefer just emulating things, and would rather even get PC centered ports on Switch if I really wanted to play any new gen games.

Games in general are fun from time to time, but PC gaming as an industry and as a hardware market have really gone downhill in my opinion on a lot of factors.

Why keep up with hardware cost constraints when you've got cryptocurrency miners just completely ruining the hardware market in terms of video card costs. If you've ever shopped for a somewhat OK video card, you'll see how ridiculous its become. Now its to the point where you should just build an OK desktop, run Linux on it, or even just get an old Thinkpad to run some minimial Linux distro on it. Better yet, even take an old computer, run some stable Debian based minimal distribution (without Systemd :)) and you're golden.

Either way, pretty happy at the moment as I've conquered a few tasks this year so far that were really bothering me which included getting rid of my GitHub, and getting a FastMail email account to move away from evil proprietary Microsoft Outlook.

Richard Stallman was right in that if the product is free (MS Outlook), YOU are the product. So, why give Microsoft free money from the obvious telemetry that they're doing on my account when I could just be on a more secure and freer platform. I'll try out FastMail for a year, and if it sucks, I'll find a different solution (or maybe host my own on a VPS instead).

Looking forward to possibly improving the design of this site's images section, maybe the styling on this Blog portion of the site with a sample Bootstrap theme by modifying the "org-twbs-export-to-html" function's "org-twbs-head" function:

On another note, for better work productivity, I figured out how to rip a current ZenDesk ticket tab's information so that I can copy the entire ticket information into a ZenDesk TODO list item onto my clipboard.

I'm trying to figure out how to use the "GreaseMonkey" extension so that I can just run this on the fly as well, so that's been a new good challenge for work.

Other than that, I've been learning more C from the related second edition of the book, "The C Programming Language". C is definitely interesting, and I can see portions of it were used for Python as some of the syntax carries over.

I'll be interested in what projects I can create with C later on, but I'm positive that the possibilities are really endless as C is basically on most platforms anyway. Combined with the 'ncurses' interface library, I'll be making terminal apps in no time, so I'm curious on how far I'll be able to create some pet project C based apps this year.

I'm debating using either Neomutt in tmux for terminal based e-mail or give into using Emacs based email with 'mu4e'. Both options are cool but have their advantages and disadvantages. Mostly, both routes are pretty hard, but I'm leaning towards Neomutt, as I've liked using it before using Luke Smith's "Mutt Wizard" scripts. However, the last time I used his installation scripts, the GPG keys weren't working correctly.

Basically, terminal based email involves the following items as far as what I've researched:

  • Sync based utility to sync mail with IMAP
  • Utility to send mail via SMTP protocol
  • Utility to encrypt emails with GPG keys

I'm definitely curious on how to do this process myself, but know that it will probably take a good majority of a weekend day to figure it out to get it up and running based on the Neomutt manual alone or something.

We'll see what I pick soon I guess :)

Stay safe, God Bless.

55 June 8, 2020

I completely removed my GitHub account as I want nothing to do with Microsoft going forward.

I think GitHub isn't that great of a service and feel that I do better off with hosting my own projects as just .git directories on my own web page.

If anyone is really that interested in obtaining a repo for their own use, then they could just 'wget' the contents of the page and be done with it.

Pretty happy about this move though.

Now I just have to move all of my personal project repos to their own git instances on the public facing portion of my website, and we'll be good.

One step closer without any dependence upon Microsoft. Today is a good day.

Now to think about how to do this on the work computer to run Linux instead ;) and maybe even LegacyOS to match, ha! That'll be the day.

A day… coming soon :)

56 June 7, 2020

I re-did my Linux laptop with Devuan instead of Debian min installer.

It went well except I had to follow this post to fix the sound issue present with alsamixer:

Basically, I just had to add a "default.conf" file in the etc/modprobe.d directory.

Devuan is basically Debian without 'systemd'. 'systemd' is pretty controversial as it is an init system that could be potentially used as a backdoor.

I'd say as long as I have the freedom to install whatever I want on my computer, I'd rather opt out of systemd completely, so I did.

Devuan can be found here:

It was just as easy to install as Debian minimal stable net installer, so I highly recommend it the sound issue was the only issue I've had so far, but easily fixed it with the forum post link above.

The only other major issue was the pain of having to create a new SSH key by hand since DigitalOcean's dumb website didn't work nicely with Qutebrowser (most likely because they have a ton of ad-trackers that were blocked by default with Qutebrowser). Might pick a different VPS with an easier website later on as a result if I can find one. Let's just say I don't want to have to literally type in an SSH key by hand ever again any time soon to just re-gain SSH access to my site.

Next, I'd like to then look into buying a used Thinkpad X60 or X200 laptop to do a software based libreboot so I don't have to solder a Raspberry Pi onto the laptop itself to remove the proprietary BIOS from it.

However, it looks like people on eBay know what they're selling so I'll have to keep my eye out for a good deal. Might even have to get one without a hard drive, but this is fine since I'm ok with even HDD's as I think SSD's are kind of just ok to be honest.

In terms of learning Linux based utilities, I want to definitely take a look a learning the "coreutils" found here:

Along with core utils, learning C has been cool, and Bash looks like its gonna be fun to learn. Definitely want to check out the 'ncurses' library as well for good ideas of terminal apps to make.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my desktop machine.

I'm debating to just nuke the Arch installation since that ALSO has 'systemd'. If anything, Steam probably has a ton of telemetry anyway, and those games aren't really that essential anyway.

It would better to just run emulators if I want to run games anyway, however I might change my mind to just keep a games based drive anyway. Might just do Manjaro without 'systemd' for the games based based SSD drive instead.

Here's a list of things I'd like to get done sometime in the next few weeks:

Task Description
1. Move over all of my GitHub repos to a public facing one on the page Could just do this with a public .git instance
2. Figure out Neomutt with isync and msmtp for my new Fastmail email account Might give up and just use Luke Smith's mutt wizard but we'll see
3. Fix the images page on my website Doesn't even work for the art I made
4. Install Manjaro or another Arch derivative on the games based SSD drive Would be good to replace my Arch install since I have no desire to use Arch now

On another note, I've been going through 2 Samuel in terms of bible reading, and have learned a lot. Let's just say people in biblical times have had more difficult decisions to make, so it puts any of the dumb stresses of modern life into perspective and makes them kind of laughably meaningless in a good way.

Keeping positive despite the times, and am still having a blast learning Linux based stuff along the way.

Hoping for a good house setup later with a homestead to match, but one day at a time.

God Bless.

57 June 2, 2020

Tomorrow was so good that it came a day earlier.

In all seriousness, I wanted to make this post ahead of time as I plan on making progress on my own ventures in terms of self-learning fulfillment.

I realized after even downloading a single video from that Udemy course that Web Development is kind of a waste of time. Web apps suck, and are bloated. What's funny is that you can deploy an entire site using markup language with templates, and never have to even have to really try to make it all come together because it just does with the right deployment tools.

Yeah sure, I can list on my resume that I know so many backend technologies. However, at the end of the day, anyone with enough drive and motivation can read through documentation with a few examples or public repo examples with YouTube videos to figure out how to use a well known programming library.

For example: "Django"? Yeah, I've seen it in action. Useful? Not really. Just another complicated way to deploy a web app which could be much simpler than it pretends to be. "Gunicorn" is a bit simpler, and looks like a better alternative anyway.

"Pandas"? Great if you like data. Kind of useless if you don't want to depend on Python either.

"NodeJS" or insert-any-other-hyped-up-JS-library? Yeah, that's cool, but unless you really really really want to build bloated websites, what's the point?

On that topic, though Python and JS have its place and use, I think there are just better ways that have been tried and done in the past that are superior in many ways.

The world needs more optimization, and more people that care for older hardware to give older computers more love and a second chance to do great and awesome things.

That's why I rather would focus on learning C, as well as more Bash shell scripting to make more ncurses interfaces based programs, as terminal apps are always better.

Sure, C is hard to learn, but man, you can use C on so many devices without too much of a problem.

Also, there are still so many Linux based terminal programs that I just want to get better at using, and even distros I'd rather be trying than to waste more time doing more web dev work.

I'll see what else I can absorb from the one JS related book for work. However, that is the exception, as I want to devote more of my time after work to just keep thriving in learning cooler Linux and terminal app related topics.

Also, I learned that I could boot from a flash drive on my work computer, so I might give dual booting a shot, and even virtualization of Windows a shot as well since I'm kind of sick of using Windows on a daily basis, even for work.

Anyway, I'll be working on one of these topics tomorrow anyway:

TODO List Item Reason
1. Make the images part of this site actually useable Because it could look better
2. Migrate all my repos off GitHub and onto public ones on this site, and be done with Microsoft once and for all Because life could be even that much better
3. Install Devuan in a virtual machine on my laptop, take notes, and replace all Debian drives with Devuan Because 'systemd' is evil
4. Debate a few Thinkpads to libreboot (Thinkpad X400s, Thinkpad X200, Thinkpad X220) Because Richard Stallman was right
5. Keep researching best ways to make a small homestead Because God will provide for my family when its needed
6. Learn some cool Linux based apps to use in both 'x' and in TTY Linux terminals Because minimalism always is good
7. Keep learning C, while looking ahead in the book chapters itself / look into ncurses documentation Because C is an awesome programming language / Rust sucks
8. Keep figuring out ways to make my worklife more manageable with Emacs Org Mode Because its been a huge help in productivity
9. Keep reading the good word with 'KJV' Because God's Will is the best plan

God Bless.

58 June 1, 2020

After much deliberation, I was finally able to get "youtube-dl" to work with Udemy.

Udemy is basically a site where you can take online video courses.

The course I'm trying to just blaze through so far just so I can say I completed it, though I'm more and more realizing web development kind of sucks in that its poorly optimized and should be focused on helping people with lower spec machines.

I do however wanted to see if there were any decent small scale web apps I could deploy with that course.

The "Full Stack Web Development" course I've been doing has been pretty good in that the instructor is pretty good at teaching, though has pretty terrible cringey Reddit-style humor at times.

I combined a few ideas but here's what you have to do to download Udemy videos using 'cookie extractor' and 'youtube-dl':

  1. You have to first provide a web browser cookie that contains your previous login information.

This means that you'll have to literally use a web browser of your choice, login to the Udemy website, and close out of the browser.

  1. You'll then need to use a cookie extractor to finish the job.

I used this one to manually do the job:

There are web extensions for other browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as well if needed that do the same thing.

  1. Once 'cookie extractor' is installed successfully, you then have to point cookie extractor to the correct location.

I've been using 'qutebrowser' as my web browser, so my cookies are located in my home directory: ~/.local/share/qutebrowser/webengine/Cookies

This is the command I ran to export the 'cookies.txt' file successfully, and save it to the ~/Downloads directory: cookieextractor ~/.local/share/qutebrowser/webengine/Cookies > ~/Downloads/cookies.txt

  1. Then, read this 'youtube-dl' GitHub issue for more information as there's a pretty good guide in the 'Valid Cookie File':

  1. Here's an example command you need to provide to youtube-dl that

I personally used to obtain the .mp4 video of the lecture I was on, which discussed 'Heroku' which is basically a way to host your own apps in a cloud environment:

youtube-dl –cookies ~/Downloads/cookies.txt –playlist-items "184" -o '%(playlist)s/%(chapternumber)s. %(chapter)s/%(playlistindex)s. %(title)s.%(ext)s'

And there you have it.

I can finally watch course videos on my own time without the need of dumb streaming video players for online Udemy courses I already paid for.

Why waste the bandwidth, when you can just download it once, and never deal with buffering videos again?

'youtube-dl' rules, and this proves it.

Will keep learning 'mpv' and other related tools to make some cool scripts to share. Stay tuned.

God Bless.

59 May 31, 2020

I finally got AwesomeWM to display terminal windows with gaps, with the help of this example AwesomeWM config I found:

This is mentioned in the Arch Wiki, however, its not too clear where exactly the "Theme" section begins:

Here's a screenshot to show the "beautiful.uselessgap = 5" setting (which I was able to do via Emacs with C-u C-c C-l):


This is good since I was pretty dang close to just finding a new window manager if I couldn't figure out gaps easily.

However, the more I learned about 'systemd', the more I realized I need to get all Linux computers switched to distros without it for optimization reasons.

With this in mind, I'm debating Gentoo:

vs Slackware:

vs Devuan:

I'm also debating getting a backup laptop, specifically one that can be "librebooted".

The 'Devuan' operating system listed above flat out is totally against 'systemd' which is awesome, and their reasoning can be found here:

The reason is that if you libreboot a Linux computer, you're able to bypass the default Intel based BIOS that could be spying on you.

Though, normal users like myself don't have anything to hide, that thought alone is kind of dumb to not at least put the power back into your own hands. Its just better for peace of mind to just use free and open software overall.

Best quote on this topic is from Richard Stallman himself: "To be able to choose between proprietary software packages is to be able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master."

Richard Stallman's computer habits on his Thinkpad T400s can be found here:

Of course, though Internet Service Providers are likely to do the same dang thing anyway, I would still like the ability to run FOSS (free as in freedom) software in whatever manner I'd like to, and not on the terms of a Linux distribution like Debian that forces 'systemd' on its users.

Makes me want to get a Thinkpad T400s off eBay to libreboot.

A great resource for this topic for anyone considering to throw their Windows infested computers into the trash, and librebooting it with GNU/Linux is this site I found:

I do however like Debian a lot for its stability so 'Deuvan' seems like the best choice as its basically a fork of Debian without 'systemd'.

In terms of the last week off due to vacation, I'm glad to have been able to complete a lot of things last week in terms of minor things for my Linux laptop.

It really made me realize a lot of things, especially with how I spend my time and efforts for all of these computer related tasks. Though I aim to finish up that web development course for my own fulfillment, I realized that the web is too bloated, and web apps suck. Why waste time making a bloated Electron JS based "web page in an app" when the same task could have been done much more efficiently.

Its better to just create cool useful Bash shell scripts, and learn C to later make some cool ncurses interface based programs for people like myself who prefer to not work in GUI based programs anyway.

With that in mind, I plan on just skimming the rest of that course, and finish up the one JS based book to kind of finish my learning stuff for work.

After that, I plan on somehow optimizing my actual job's workflow for Emacs in Windows (or figure out how to dual boot the work computer with Linux and run Windoze as a Virtual Machine :D).

This debate of deciding what is the best OS to pick has kept my mind off the crazier and crazier world we are now living in.

But most of all, I trust in God's Will, since I would like to also get into homesteading one day as well, and need favor on the next couple of decisions for my life.

Looking forward to another month to kick butt at work, and yet another week off at the end of it :).

Stay safe, and God Bless.

60 May 27, 2020

I was able to install 'pywal' with pip3, which basically allows you to change terminal color schemes on the fly.

Here is the link to 'pywal' on GitHub:

However, it wasn't necessarily changing my wallpaper as well, so I created a function within my .bashrc config file to change both the color scheme via the 'wal' command AND the wallpaper via 'nitrogen' command:

This can be found in the "# 'pywal' based adjustment" section of my .bashrc:

The result is a bit of a workaround. However, it was pretty neat since it taught me how to obtain the default user input with the "$1" argument.

I'm thinking of ways to maybe incorporate this same idea to possibly give me a color scheme for my "AwesomeWM" (Awesome Window Manager) as well.

Also, I want to learn how to use AwesomeWM with gaps as well.

If I can't get that to work, I might even jump ship and try a completely different window manager.

On another note, the dang Arch drive is having issues powering off again since it just shows a blinking "_" cursor upon logging off from AwesomeWM on the desktop machine.

This most likely is an issue with the video card driver, or the lack of updates.

If I can't really fix it… well, I might just give up and try Slackware instead on the remaining partition, and just re-do the Arch install with Gentoo later on since its been just a dumb uphill battle to get Arch to boot. Using Arch so far on that machine has been a battle of "Will this system actually boot without errors today?".

Maybe I should just use something Debian based but with access to Arch repositories. Who knows.

I'm still glad to have figured out 'pywal' though, cause its so neat.

61 May 26, 2020

I made improvements to the "Outlook Terminal Client" so that it now has further enhancements to force the user to select correct prompts for the month, day, and year entries.

I also prevented future date entries as well.

I added screenshots and improvements to the as well, which can be found here:

62 May 25, 2020

I was able to refine the "Outlook Terminal Client" project further, and am pretty much almost done with it.

The only tasks left to work on for this project include:

  • Allow user to re-select the already chosen date if they

would like to

  • Allow user to select a date before 2020. For whatever reason, it

doesn't allow the user to do this, so this might be an limitation / issue with function with the 'SINCE' option.

  • Allow user to search for email in mailboxes OTHER than their

'INBOX' folder. Users like myself have heavily filtered folders for their Outlook email, so it would make sense to allow them to select from an integer picklist to do so.

Latest project progress can be found here:

I learned a few things in C which was cool.

Also, had some great food today for Memorial Day and got QTox working.

QTox is a super cool video calling program that runs on most platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac).

I would recommend QTox for anyone interested in Zoom alternatives:

Jitsi Meet was pretty promising for any smartphone users:

Hope everyone has a great week :) God Bless

63 May 24, 2020

I'm in the process of relaxing for a bit as I have the week off due to the buildup of one comp day, and I'm piggybacking off Memorial Day weekend.

As such, I have had a bit of time to really adjust my aliases for my .bashrc to allow to for quick two letter commands to open up programs easily in two seconds in Bash terminal, which is pretty cool.

Latest changes to my .bashrc file can be found here:

I also am in the process of swapping out internet browsers to check out IceCat, and then maybe just settle for Qutebrowser instead as well.

As such, I created a parser Python 3 based script that basically takes the "bookmarks.html" file that you can export from Mozilla Firefox and just rips out the "href" attribute into a resulting "links.txt" file so that you can import it into other browsers like "Qutebrowser" or utilities such as "DMenu".

This project can be found here on my GitHub page:

On the topic of GitHub, I've realized that I can simply host a public facing .git instance, so I might actually just move all my projects to this website's publichtml folder, and just nuke my entire GitHub profile as well since I'm more of a hobbyist anyway and could care less for proprietary Git vendors like Microsoft.

GitLab is tempting, but it looks like you'd still have to pay to have a free public hosting repository, so I'd rather just host it on my own site anyway.

On the topic of trying out new Linux OS's, I've also thought more and more about it, and I think I'll settle for trying out Slackware on the spare partition I have on my Desktop machine instead of Gentoo.

I'm going to save Gentoo as more of a challenge later on if I get more comfortable using Arch on my Desktop machine.

Currently, my Arch install is broken even though I literally only played a few Steam games on it. Not sure what the deal is with that. However, it is a cool thrill to really have a successful installation of Arch so that's fun in itself and a challenge completed for me.

I really really really like everything Gentoo stands for, but it looks like you have to compile most things to keep the system up to date, which sounds cool at first, but if its basic system level updates, that sounds like a pain to be completely honest, so I think I might save it for a rainy day to try installing it in a VM.

In terms of Bible reading, I've gotten to 1 Samuel - 26:1 so far. I've learned a lot, especially from someone as brave as David to have been chased by his own king (Saul) to his death, and has strengthened by faith a bit more. It really goes to show you that people in older times had it a lot harder, and we should be thankful we don't have to necessarily deal with war on a daily basis. I for one am still thankful for my fiannce, my family, the fact that I have food and shelter, and still have a job in these dark times.

I have a few goals for this week, and they include the following (which utilizes a cool few tricks I learned via Emacs's Org-Mode's Checklist option):

Goals for Memorial Day Vacation Week [10%] [2/19]:

  • [X] Create Bash aliases for moving dotfiles for w3m, newsboat, bash, etc to dotfiles and doing the commit commands
  • [ ] Learn and apply Dired Mode Shortcuts to quickly get to ~/programming directory, etc
  • [ ] Chill Out
  • [ ] Play retro games on emulator (random SNES, Genesis games, possibly Shining Force CD)
  • [ ] Play some DOSBox games
  • [ ] Play some ZX Spectrum Games
  • [ ] Keep learning C to one day be able to create ncurses interface based programs
  • [ ] Learn Wallpaper shortcuts with Pywal to make new color schemes
  • [X] Backup bookmarks from Firefox, and install Ice Cat on Debian to try it out. Worst case scenario, use Qutebrowser instead.
  • [ ] Configure Pywal to do a few trigger actions to .Xresources and AwesomeWM:
  • [ ] Backup the current .Xresources file
  • [ ] Trigger changes to .Xresources
  • [ ] Commit changes to .Xresources in ~/programming/dotfiles/Xresources
  • [ ] Backup the current AwesomeWM config theme
  • [ ] Change AwesomeWM color scheme to reflect changes from Pywal as well
  • [ ] Commit changes to Awesome color scheme in ~/programming/dotfiles/awesome
  • [ ] Learn more about Calcurse to make it more useful OR learn Emacs Calendar mode with agendas
  • [ ] Create a reverse Pywal program that searches for wallpapers based on a given color scheme.
  • [ ] Learn how to use AwesomeWM with gaps

Have a fun, and safe Memorial Day weekend everyone!

64 May 20, 2020

I learned a lot with w3m in the past few days but more so today, since I've been able to utilize a few macros from the YouTuber, gotbletu's videos on the topic.

Here's gotbletu's related video on the topic of advanced macros in w3m browser:

Here are some example commands that I added to my 'keymap' file in my ~/.w3m/ directory so that I can easily do some w3m commands with ease, the last of which I came up on my own to toggle the 'color' command in w3m to allow for color to be displayed on a page:

keymap \\\t COMMAND "SETOPTION displayborders=toggle ; RESHAPE" keymap \\\i COMMAND "SETOPTION displayimage=toggle ; RELOAD" keymap \\\e COMMAND "SETOPTION useragent='' ; RELOAD" keymap \\\a COMMAND "SETOPTION useragent='Opera/9.80 (S60; SymbOS; Opera Mobi/SYB-1107071606; U; en) Presto/2.8.149 Version/11.10' ; RELOAD" keymap \\\c COMMAND "SETOPTION color=toggle ; RELOAD"

65 May 19, 2020

Over the past few days, I figured out how to use YouTube without using YouTube, which has been the coolest and best breakthrough ever.

Enter ""

It's basically a website which you can run with a JavaScript-less browser like w3m which allows you to search YouTube without ever be thrown a targeted ad, nor be given any mention of any forced suggested videos.

What you can do is to literally pipe the link you're currently on, and then output it to mpv on a separate shell window.

This basically allows you to stream any YouTube video you want with mpv, again WITHOUT USING YOUTUBE.

This is totally awesome, and just helps overall as YouTube has been crazy with too much targeted content lately.

I'm just the kind of person who wants to be on their site for Linux info, music, and that's about it. Other than that, could care less about any other content period.

That being said, give it a shot. There's a really good video by the YouTube user, 'gotbletu', that goes over how to add links to Linux clipboard in 'w3m' which I highly recommend.

Here's the video from 'gotbletu' on w3m external commands:

I now have remapped the "EXTERN" function in w3m to be the 'e' key, and also remapped the "EXTERNLINK" function in w3m to be the 'f' key.

Combined with the two separate macros from the video from 'gotbletu', I can easily copy the current URL link (EXTERN) to the clipboard OR the one I'm hovering over (EXTERNLINK), so that I can pipe it into mpv to stream YouTube videos without ever involving YouTube.

Here are my current modifications to the 'keymap' file in ~/.w3m: code ######################## ## CUSTOM KEYBINDINGS ## ########################

keymap e EXTERN

keymap f EXTERNLINK code

Also, you can still output your YouTube Subscriptions into an OPML XML file to be imported by an RSS feed reader like Newsboat here:

It took a while as it seems YouTube hid this feature, but alas I found it, and was super happy I did.

You can basically download this file, and 'cd' to your Downloads directory, and run the following command to import it into Newsboat: newsboat -i (name of file)

Also, here is the more example of a YouTube based OPML XML link as well for a given YouTube channel which exposes some possibilities for cool scripting possibilities as you can add any of the XML tags as '&' parameters for the URL itself:

Example: From that example above, you can see the "<yt:channelId>" tag present.

This means that you can add the 'channelid' as a parameter to the base URL pattern:


This allows you to specifically look throughout a YouTube user's videos, and would allow you to create a OPML file yourself for YouTube if you needed to.

The More You Know :)

Also, I totally want to learn 'pywal' which allows you to change your terminal's color scheme based on your current wallpaper background:

Plus, I installed 'qtox' so that I can get into video chats as well, so I'm pretty stoked about that as well.

More stuff to learn this week ^_^

66 May 18, 2020

I was able to modify my Newsboat configuration so that I could use a macro to open up YouTube videos with "',' (Comma) + m" which opens up the video in MPV.

I also made a revision to do the same action but instead be able to open up the same article in Firefox with "',' (Comma) + f" as well.

How this macro basically works:

  1. It utilizes the "macro" key to set a macro in w3m.
  2. It then uses 'set browser' to change the browser to the

desired program, which in this case is 'mpv' or 'firefox' respectively.

  1. It then calls the 'open-in-browser' command to open up the article

(or YouTube video link in this case) in the desired program.

  1. It then sets my default 'browser' environment variable in Newsboat

back to w3m, as this is my desired default browser.

This means you can literally look at YouTube videos from the accounts you're subscribed to via RSS, and not even be on YouTube to view a single video.

This means you can access YouTube content without ads or any other unrelated content, which is super awesome.

Here's where you can find my current Newsboat config:

Here are the modifications I made to my "config" file in my ~/.newsboat directory:

macro m set browser "/usr/bin/mpv %u"; open-in-browser ; set browser "/usr/bin/w3m %u"

macro f set browser "/usr/bin/firefox %u"; open-in-browser ; set browser "/usr/bin/w3m %u"

67 May 16, 2020

I started work on a new Selenium based Python script project as I find it pretty frustrating how YouTube has elminated the ability to export your Subscriptions as an OPML file anymore.

I believe they are doing this purely for the fact that there's YouTube Premium now, and they want to squeeze as much ad revenue as possible by forcing people onto their site to view content.

However, the lack of being able to export your Subscription feed into an OPML XML file doesn't help anyone at all who accesses their site via Screen Readers who happen to use (ex: blind people who can't see video content but want to keep up with the audio versions of their Subscription content on YouTube purely on text based titles for videos).

This project aims to solve this issue by logging into a user's YouTube account via Selenium with Python bindings + the Firefox web driver so that the user can rip the list of the YouTube channels into a list to then later provide to a RSS reader (ex: Newsboat, etc):

I'm not finished with it by any means yet, but am getting close but I'm running into a few issues with the Selenium driver itself as I had to obtain the latest Gecko driver here, and had to un-tar it to a specific location on my harddrive:

I also learned how to use w3m more efficiently, especially with a lot of the options enabled within the 'o' menu to quickly refer to each line with 'g' + line number.

I also learned how to use w3mman which is a way to put a man page within w3m which is useful since most man pages have external links at the bottom for documentation references.

Using w3m alone is pretty sweet.

However, I would love to have my entire Tmux session to be based from Newsboat with w3m and other CLI utilities, so its been fun incorporating these tools into a terminal only workflow.

68 May 14, 2020

I've had a pretty easy going week at work this week, which led me to finish a lot of work projects in the next few weeks ahead of time in terms of a week off of vacation.

That being noted, I've also made strides to really see if I can attempt to tap into ZenDesk. I've come across a few barriers including the fact that I don't have access to the ZenDesk API for work. However, I'm working around this by utilizing Selenium with Python 3 in an effort to convert a list of tickets and import them into an Org mode document so that I would automatically have a todo list of recently updated tickets.

This would help my workflow, and might help others in my situation in which the API access is limited to someone's ZenDesk account. Also, I use Org-Mode quite a lot with TODO lists at work, so incorporating the current status of tickets into my workflow would be awesome. Even possibly having the ability to respond to tickets without even having to log into ZenDesk sounds awesome. I can probably achieve this with Selenium through either ZenDesk or my work email, so either of these two solutions will help me achieve my goal in that regards.

I have been learning more about the w3m browser, which is a super cool terminal based web browser. Using it with the w3m-img add-on is a must though as this allows you to display images while surfing the web in your terminal.

I also recommend using a terminal like urxvt or x-term which supports w3m-img.

More info. on w3m can be found here:

I've been playing quite a few ZX Spectrum games, and got X128, a DOS based pemulator for the ZX Spectrum to work just fine. However, I can't seem to figure out why mapping keys is so hard for that emulator. I also installed the FUSE emulator through apt so we'll see if that's better in the long run.

Games I'm Debating To Play This Weekend:

Game Reason
Dragon Warrior 3 (Gameboy Color) Awesome music, great art style, great gameplay.
Zelda II Always wanted to play this game as its really unique.
Mount & Blade: Warband Seems like a cool game to play
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Wanted to start a new character and just do whatever I want in this game. Fun game for sure.

Things I'm Debating Doing This Weekend:

Thing To Do Reason
Decide if I should install Tox, Jitsi, or Jami for video calls Pretty awesome FOSS apps to use to call family. Beats spyware infested Skype or Zoom
Do some ink drawings with scans into my computer Would like to get more into doing more litho style art
Learn more C I find learning C to be fun, and the opportunities to modify Linux utilities are endless
Possibly working on a Dungeon Synth album A lot of the songs I've been making have been themes, this genre seems to fit pretty well
Look into a decent image gallery for my art pics using a Bootstrap template I'll take a look around to see if there's a better way to display my images
Possibly learn Aria2 for downloading files Seems like a cool CLI utility
Possibly learn how to use Alpine Email client Seems pretty straight forward for my purposes, looks easier than "mu" / "mu4e"
Possibly modify my AwesomeWM config Wanted to explore other functions to tap into
Possibly modify my Tmux config Wanted to see what else I haven't tapped into yet since I want to use CLI only Gentoo
Possibly porting some projects from the Web Dev course Wanted to see if I could run self-contained web apps on my site
Figure out how to utilize Youtube-dl to access YT without being on the site Would rather just stream the content I want to watch than deal with ads

69 May 10, 2020

I worked on using the "SC-IM" program to manage my yearly finances and expenses.

"sc-im" which stands for "sc-improved" which is basically a spreadsheet program that utilizes Vim bindings:

Two really good videos on how to use "sc-im" which I have found to be super useful include:

Luke Smith's video on SC-IM:

gotbletu's video on "sc", which is the predecessor to "SC-IM" which covers some of the formula usage in "sc" which is pretty neat and not necessarily too intuitive in the man page for "sc-im":

With this knowledge, I've been able to make a master spreadsheet containing my finances for the year.

It took A LOT of manipulation from both the credit card and checking account based .csv's, but hey, it can be done.

It's pretty neat because by doing this, you can take charge of your finances and determine how much you're spending month to month.

Some Useful Keybindings For "sc-im" That You Might Find Useful:

Command Command Desc. Example Example Desc.
g(cell number) Go to cell number ga0 Go to cell, a0
dc Delete column dc Delete the current column
dr Delete row dr Delete the current row
// (This is an alias for :int goto Search for a particular item :int goto "ONLINE" Search for the "ONLINE" string
n Search for the next search instance n Search for the next instance of the "ONLINE" string
:format "(desired format)" Allows you to format a cell range :format "-#.00" Format the current cell to a negative number with two decimals
yc Yank the current column yc Yank the current column
p Paste the previously yanked item p Paste the previously yanked item
:e! csv Export the current spreadsheet into a csv of the same name :e! csv Export the current spreadsheet into a csv of the same name
:sort (range) "(+ or -)(# or $)(Col Letter) Allows you to sort a range of cells in asc(+) or desc(-) order based on a num (#) or str($) value) for a column :sort A1:C48 "+$A" Sort the range, A1:C48 in ascending order based on a string value
G Go to the last cell in the lower right corner G Go to the last cell in the lower right corner

Once you have formatted both the credit card and checking account .csvs to the desired column formats, you can utilize the 'cat' Linux command to combine them and re-direct them to a single file.

For example, this command would take the credit card .csv and checking account .csv files and combine them into one master .csv file:

cat creditCard.csv checkingAccount.csv >> masterFile.csv

I keep it simple however, so its not as granular as something like a Credit Card statement that breaks down "food" vs "expenses", etc.

However, I have the description fields intact within its own designated column, so I can check out line items if I want to for specific expenses.

To help anyone else who might be utilizing a Wells Fargo bank account, I created a webscraper with the Firefox Selenium webdriver.

You will need to have "pip3" installed Selenium, as well as "getpass" Python 3 libraries to utilize this Python 3 based webscraper script.

It aims to obtain the user's latest balance to copy it into a file of the user's choosing, or onto the clipboard (still deciding what would be the best for my particular workflow since I currently just need it to insert into a related .csv file, but most Linux users would probably want to just add it to their clipboard using x-clip).

My current "Wells Fargo Balance Webscraper" project can be found here:

I also played a bunch of games from the "bsdgames" repo from Debian's repository:

Also, I checked out a few things from this cool older terminal program based blog:

I highly recommend this blog if you're getting into minimalistic terminal program software since a few things stand out as cool ideas to add to a computer workflow for the newer or medium level Linux user.

Debating what DOS games to play this weekend, and also I would like to un-break my Arch install on the desktop computer that I have Steam on since I'd like to keep messing around with it to see what games Linux can run with purely Steam, and also might try to load a few emulators on that same OS as well.

Also debating whether or not to put Gentoo on the other half of the same drive, since I really really really like their philosophy and take on free software (free as in "freedom").

My Goals For The Upcoming Weeks Include:

Goal Description
Contribute to Christian based FOSS software Attempting to do so with Xiphos, but might find a different project
Create theme based music using MuseScore Self explanatory
Learn gardening techniques Would want to become more self-sufficient
Learn soldering techniques Will need soldering equipment but wanted to learn basic electronics
Learn Alpine Email Client OR mu4e for Emacs Would like to give this a shot as I'm sick of using Outlook in browser
Host my own email address either through VM or pay-for-service Sick of MS Outlook email, and want to change to a new email address
Figure out how to use cURL for ZenDesk for work Would rather do all my work in Emacs, but without the API, this might be the only way
Learn Org-Mode basics for calendaring and agenda Would want to explore these options for personal use
Learn Org-Capture Mode Need to develop better templates for work
Create a macro to copy today's TODO list to tomorrow's directory for work It's too manual at this point, and should be automated.
Learn more w3m browser Would want to become less dependent on GUI based browsers
Learn ImageMagick Reason being is that there are really cool ways to manipulate images via terminal
Install Gentoo I would like to attempt to purely use terminal apps using this distro
Possibly play Dwarf Fortress or Mount & Blade: Warband Always wanted to play these games
Develop useful web apps that blend Python3 and NodeJS Would like to make useful standalone web apps on my site beneficial for normal people's use

My best advice for these days is to pretty much keep the motto, "God's will".

That's been helping me a lot mentally in these times.

Living for today, and enjoy the blessings that you have each day.

Hope everyone is doing well, God Bless.

70 May 5, 2020

I am happy to note that I have successfully created the Scripture Of The Day project.

My resulting output webpage from this project can be found here:

Basically, this takes a random verse from the King James Version of the Bible using the 'kjv' terminal program, which can be found here and built from source:

It is updated daily via a cronjob.

Very happy to have been able to complete this successfully.

Looking forward to continuing progress in my other project, "OutlookTerminalClient", as I wanted to make a project to easily display current emails from Outlook.

After that, I will continue to explore other programs that morph Python 3 and JS based web frameworks to create interested web applications.

Also, I want to explore more terminal based applications to minmize the amount of bloat on my system.

I am also debating what should be my long-term email application to use, and am debating between the following options:

Email Terminal Program Name Pros Cons
mu / mu4e (mu for emacs) Seems light-weight No 'ncurses' interface
alpine Seems easy to use None that I can see so far
OfflineIMAP Stores emails on local computer I'm a bit hesitant to store emails locally, but most Linux enthusiasts prefer this route

71 May 4, 2020

I forgot to post this the other day, but I did make one final album for my Shibes band here:

Unfortunately, with all my attempts to re-arrange my Linux harddrives the other weekend, I actually erased the contents of the entire album, so I only have the final exported music files as remnants of those sessions. This is fine since I'm more of a person that just prefers to get stuff out there, then to dwell on stuff and never release anything.

However, this does mean I can never re-master that album, but that's okay.

I'm kind of done with that band as it represents a certain era of my life that I'd kind of like to leave behind a bit. I'm aiming to be more positive despite the crazy times we're living in, and dwelling on negatives isn't really my vibe anymore, even if it was partly for slight joke vibes.

I plan on making music going forward, but moreso, probably theme type music with tools like MuseScore.

I would like to learn more songs on keyboard, mostly game themes, and also a few harder songs as well.

I plan on also learning Ardour after maybe caving into the $35 license fee.

Another thing I've been working on is utilizing more terminal based programs.

One such program is "sc-im" which is a Vim based terminal spreadsheet program:

Very cool so far.

Also, I plan on checking out way more terminal based programs from this discontinued blog to add them to my array of tools to use:

I'm currently debating either Slackware or Gentoo for a purely terminal based distribution on a spare portion of my other harddrive as well on the desktop computer, which is going to be fun. I don't mind window managers with some GUI applications, but less bloat always leads to more productivity so I'm all for it.

72 May 3, 2020

I'm glad that I now have access to my own website again so I can freely post as I please again.

Clearly, the world has changed quite a bit in the last few months.

To stay positive, I've been re-affirming my Christian faith, so that's been a focus of mine.

I've been reading through the Bible with the help of 'KJV', which is a really neat terminal based Bible program:

A really cool quote amidst these crazy times that's pretty inspiring is from The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring from J.R.R. Tolkien.

To give a synopsis, Frodo and Gandalf are discussing the complications involving the ring he received from Bilbo, and the very real possibility that he will be hunted by Sauron for having the ring in the first place.

Here is the quoted conversation from Frodo and Gandalf from the book:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

With that in mind, time is pretty precious to someone like me with a full time job.

As a result, I've used Emacs Org-Mode for my actual job and my own personal life to manage how much time I've spent on tasks, and on skills.

It's really helped me a lot, so I whole-heartedly recommend giving Emacs and Org-Mode a try if you never considered adding "TODO" lists in your daily routine.


Also, I've been reading up on possibly growing my own food as well in case I'd like a self-sustainable house later on in my life. That being said, homesteading looks like a cool hobby on the side.

To stay positive amidst these times, I have re-vamped my current Linux computer setups, and have re-done several of my computers to try out a few things.

I am currently running Debian minimal installation on both computers, and have been trying out Arch Linux along with Steam to get some games working without ever needing Windows 10.

Pretty sweet so far, and am loving it.

I learned a lot, but let's just say the Arch install was pretty dang hard.

And to say the least, I totally wiped out my one hard-drive by accident as a result. Let's just say that even if you accidentally delete a harddrive's partition, doesn't mean you should use the "dd" command to wipe the harddrive afterwards since you can easily just re-create the partitions afterwards.

I learned this lesson the hard way.

I plan on picking another Linux distro to run on the same drive but with purely terminal based apps without ever using XOrg.

I also have been trying to get in touch with the "Xiphos" team, which helps maintain this cool bible study program, but haven't really heard back from them in their mailing list, so I might have to keep searching for open source projects to possibly contribute to.

My current Linux based goals include:

  • Learn Ledger or other CLI tools to monitor finances with .csvs from bank statements
  • Possibly learn sc-vim instead of Ledger, since it might be easier with just a master .csv file for all finances

My current programming goals:

  • Continue to learn web development through the Udemy course
  • Make Node.JS apps that blend with Python 3 as well
  • Keep looking for Christian faith based open source projects to contribute to

My current pet programming projects include:

Overall, I hope everyone is safe, and wish the best. God bless.

73 January 14, 2020

I completed the Bandcamper project which can be found here:

74 January 9, 2020

I redesigned the entire site, and am writing this blog using Emacs's Org-Mode

Author: Samuel Banya

Created: 2020-11-21 Sat 22:22