codekobold's microblog

Hello, I'm user codekobold :)

I like software that sparks joy, tabletop role-playing games and learning new things.
I also like the idea of a little community that shares a Linux server!

My home on the web is This place here is where I ramble about small things.
This is also an exercise in minimalism. A single hand-written file, including the CSS.

If you have comments or suggestions or just want to chat I hang out at #ctrl-c on Or feel free to send me an email at

2023-11-04 — quickly playing youtube music and videos from the terminal

I found out about ytfzf a few days ago and I immediately threw out my old bash script that was trying to do something similar.

Here is how I put on music while I code now:

		ytfzf -m -a lofi hip hop radio beats
which selects the first video (-a) from those that match the search terms, and plays its audio track discarding the video (-m).

Similarly, for chill fantasy ambience when I prepare a D&D session:

		ytfzf -m -r lotr lofi
where -r selects a random video from those that match the YouTube search for Lord of the Rings lofi mixes :)

2023-10-19 — celebrating 30 days of Botany!

botany is a chill multiplayer gardening game in the terminal. Several people on ^C play it.

My "uncommon violet flowering ficus" just turned 30 today, so here it is in all its glory:

         	 &*&\/& *&&
                  &\|,/  |/& *&
                   *&/   /  /_&& &&
                     \  {  |_____/_*
                     {* / /   &  &   *&&
                     `, \{___________/_*&
                      } }{  *\____&
                      }{{     `&\*&
                     {}{         &&
          .  , , -=-~{ .-^- _ _ .

2023-10-18 — venturing out of my comfort zone

I started a new job. Still scientific software engineering, but in a different research field. And with a private start-up rather than a more academic research organization.

The work is familiar enough that I could be productive from the first week, but it's just enough outside of my comfort zone that I am picking up so, so many new things! It's been a breath of fresh air.

It also made an old friend raise its head after a few years: impostor syndrome. But we know each other by know. I know it's part of the process.

Some of the new software engineering ideas and tools I picked up so far:

2023-10-16 — ytfzf opens youtube videos from your terminal

I used to have an old shell script I hacked together to search and open youtube music videos from the terminal. I used it to quickly get some background coding music on without getting distracted by YouTube's UI, short videos, popular content and whatnot. Today I found out that my old shell script did not work anymore and looked for an alternative. ytfzf just works!

2023-10-13 — Things people should not code without

These are not small things, rather tools that made my life a lot simpler, that actually made me happier. Bit of an opinionated list, based on the type of coding I do, but I still hope it can be useful, or an interesting discussion starter:

2023-10-08 — Wizard Zines was recently brought to my attention. I think it's a great learning resource for Linux novices as well as veterans that want to fill some knowledge gaps.

2023-09-28 — C++ pet peeve #83

auto y = std::move(x) can silently copy x instead of moving it into y (for example if x is const). I understand the technical reason, but it's a bad reason.

2023-09-27 — Starting a Python project in 2023

Wow, Python project management changed a lot since the last time I set up a repository from scratch, 4 or 5 years ago.

2023-09-25 — New tetris-bsd high score

At the time of writing, I own the server's record at tetris-bsd. Your move, Ctrl-C!

2023-09-24 — Playing tetris-bsd

I have been playing tetris-bsd on the server to relieve stress -- I'm getting there, protodrew! :)
I only played two or three sessions of around one hour each, but I came up with simple strategies. I'm not sure they are optimal, I would love to hear yours.

I like filling the sides first, making sure I don't leave tall gaps there that could only be filled with a straight piece. Then there is a lot of managing the general structure of the floor: you want it to be just a bit uneven, so most pieces will have a position in which they fit. Lastly, to get the highest score possible you want to pick the right level: too high, and you lose too soon, too low and it takes too long to score enough points. My current record is with level 3 but I'll probably try 4 next.

2023-09-22 — Be more bloggy

I just realized that this is turning into more of a life log than a micro blog. I'll try to be more bloggy and less loggy.

2023-09-21 — Kagi, a search engine that loves the small web




Eco-anxiety is a thing. Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries |

2023-09-15 — Pentesting is fun

Started looking a bit into pentesting and reverse engineering, it's a fun world.
For now I'm using to learn, but I'm open to suggestions!


Back from vacation. I can feel the stress already getting back to uncomfortable levels, but that's just the first impact. I will get used to the routine again.


Started this micro-blog.


Finally enjoying a little bit of vacation. Escaped from crowded, scalding hot beaches to our little b&b up the hill, where there is silence and a gentle breeze.