Tag: open source

Trying out Sway and Wayland

Is Wayland ready for prime time yet? Find out here.

5 minute read

Wayland is a modern display server protocol that will eventually replace X11. It is still not quite a hundred percent there, but it has been improving steadily and gaining ground over the past years. It is expected to become the new default display server on Linux systems at some point in the near future… Whatever near means in that context.

This past weekend I had some time to play around with Sway, a window manager and Wayland compositor that mimics i3. How did it go?

Searx: moving away from DuckDuckGo

The metasearch engine open source project Searx might be what you are looking for in terms of private web search

3 minute read

I have been using DuckDuckGo as my search engine of choice for the last few years. Howerver, DuckDuckGo seems to have a few problems:

  1. It is based in the US, arguably not the most privacy-respecting jurisdiction in the world.
  2. Only part of their source code is open.
  3. Uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud provider and Cloudfare CDS.
  4. It looks like their browser was caught tracking visited websites per user.
  5. At the end of the day, you can’t really know that they are telling the truth when they promise not to track you.

In this post, I’m discussing Searx, a better alternative to DuckDuckGo that is truly open and driven by the community.

1 minute read

A while ago Erwan Leroy, a VFX professional and trainer, contacted me with some questions regarding the catalogs in Gaia Sky. Basically, he was trying to decode the binary format used in Gaia Sky to load the stars using a Python script. Of course, my documentation was lacking in that very aspect, so I walked him through the format and then improved the docs. Today, he has come back to me to share his results.

Transmission, a CLI torrent manager

How to use transmission from CLI and remotely

3 minute read

Pirate

At home, I have a scrawny HTPC called chimp in my living room connected to the TV —as I don’t own a Smart TV for good reasons—. Even though I have a NAS in the network capable of serving media, I connected a dedicated external disk directly to chimp because my stock router is not the fastest around. Whenever I use the HTPC, I use it remotely from either my desktop, bonobo, or my laptop, simian. Sometimes I need to fetch torrents and download them to the disk connected to the HTPC. Enter Transmission. Transmission is a somewhat popular BitTorrent client that includes a ‘hidden’ command line interface which is very, very useful and simple to use. Learn to use it and you will probably never want to open a GUI torrent client ever again.

A few words about MPD

MPD is the superior way to access your music library

3 minute read

I remember many years ago, when I was a Windows user, and even later after I made the switch to Linux, I always struggled to find the perfect music player that would fit my needs perfectly. From time to time I would fantasize about programming my own little, perfect, shiny music player program that would fit my needs perfectly like Cinderella’s shoe. But I was nowhere near naïve enough to actually start the project, let alone finish it. I know how much time and effort it would take. Then I discovered mpd (Music Player Daemon).

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