philaeni's log



Holding steady, if tired. Back to wearing flannel, and happy as a flannel-clad clam about it.

Looking really hard at my init.el, and pondering whether to declare bankruptcy.



Thinkpad X230

i5-3380M @ 2.90 GHz CPU, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 12.5" IPS 1366x768, 9-cell aftermarket battery from KingSener. Around €80 for the base system + dock, plus €35 for the RAM and €35-40 for the battery.

Can charge from a 65 W USB-C power supply through a cheap (~€5) USB-C to 7.9 x 5.5 mm adapter.

Things I like



philaeni's books

Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, shelved without rhyme nor reason: there must be hundreds of the things here.

On the floor sits what looks like a pile of the most recently read books. You can make out the following titles:


Inside the cottage

No two ways about it - the house is cramped. Books piled on a shelf take up most of the north wall, while a heap of computer parts covers the only table in the room.

What looks like a plain journal has been discarded on the couch near the fireplace, where a fire is burning happily.

Near the door, a pair of boots and a thick leather jacket are conspicuous by their absence.

The smell of wood smoke suffuses the air.

philaeni's journal

Reassured by the winky face drawn on the cover, you open it to the first page. Someone has helpfully written down an index of the entries.

Things I dislike

2023-08-10 refer, groff, and dictfmt

Back to poking at dictfmt, since I started building my own personal dictionary I can access through dict, and I don't particularly like any of the formats dictfmt expects.

I had a go at using refer + groff to pipe to dictfmt.

Formatting refer's output is trivial, since you can just override the .][ macro to access the various [K, [T, [X string registers, but it just inserts the annotation text - collected as is from the %X lines - straight after that, which troff takes to be a single paragraph.

Fixing that is just matter of setting a trap with .it so that it breaks and inserts an empty line after each input line, but troff behaves in a frustrating way where it comes to multiple runs of spaces, which it inserts as-is.

Fixing that is doable by shoving the output into fmt -u, made even easier by the fact that those lines will be indented and can thus be targeted via the -p option, but...

There isn't an easy way I can think of to differentiate between paragraphs (which should be followed by an empty line) and simple line breaks - e.g. in example blocks - and since I already got up to three "but"s, I am probably better off just editing the dictionary source by hand.

In front of the cottage

The path crosses an open gate, stopping at the front of a quaint little thing of moss-covered stone and sienna tiles.

The door is ajar, and a piece of paper is pinned to it:

I'm away for a bit; let yourself in!

philaeni's tinylog

2023-10-29 Sun 13:19

Looking really hard at my init.el, and pondering whether to declare bankruptcy. It'd be my... fourth full rewrite, since I started using Emacs back in 2015.

Really, though, I should be taking another look at all my dotfiles, and how I manage them - and my personal files - across my (too many) devices. My current setup is haphazard and messy, with cruft which started piling up a decade ago, and it's time I cleaned it up.

2023-09-30 Sat 21:52

2023-09-23 Sat 20:21

Today marks the end of summer, a day I have been looking forward to since before it even began. Somewhat surprisingly, I have managed to spend the last three weeks without falling into my usual rut, at times even feeling good about myself.

I have been making a deliberate effort to think about my spending, trying to stick to a budget, to cook rather than eating an unhealthy amount of take-out, clean up after myself, walk more, and to generally do all those things that a thirty-year-old woman should be already doing. It goes, and hopefully it'll keep on going.

2023-09-06 Wed 17:02

Inspired by kelbot's post, I had a go at scraping Antenna's feed to create a Plucker database so I can read it offline on my Palm.

I am using ploum's offpunk to get the actual data synced to a local cache, which seems better than downloading everything through gemget, and I somehow broke Plucker on my Palm TX (still works fine on the m125, though), but here's the script.

Like kelbot's, it relies on gmi2html.awk and PyPlucker. It does not need gemget, as it is replaced by offpunk, nor rewrite-gmi.

2023-09-04 Mon 12:55

2023-08-10 Thu 13:12

2023-08-05 Sat 14:23

The second season of Good Omens came out just last week. I got around to watching it, and while I liked the first episode, I am disappointed by how they wrapped it up.

The relationship drama, in general, feels cheap.

2023-08-02 Wed 15:26

Yesterday, I implemented a very simple stack-based VM (in C) and wrote an even simpler assembler (in Python) targeting it, driving myself crazy every time it broke (which might or might not have happened for something as trivial as writing jmp instead of jump in the source file).

This morning, I flitted from wtf (the script in the bsdgames package) to dict and dictfmt, first starting to write a personal dictionary, and then using an awful sed/fmt/cat pipeline to hammer /dev/urandom's toki pona dictionary into something that can be understood by dictfmt.

To be honest, I am not sure why.

2023-07-29 Sat 15:05

These pages are generated by a ~300 lines Awk script, which parses a single file in gemtext format (with my own extensions), creating interlinked gemtext or HTML files.

It can also shove everything into a single HTML file, toggling visibility of each section through pure CSS.

I think I am proud of it.

2023-07-27 Thu 15:51

Ho there, traveler! I just set up this place, so please excuse any irregularities that might pop up.

2023-09-03 A large glass of depressed nostalgia

I miss the days of Windows on DOS, of the early internet, of blue screens of death and recovery floppies, of listening to the modem connecting and watching JPEGs load line by line, of the joy of discovery, of the first Linux CDs, of working offline with actual documentation, samples, and physical books.

I miss the days of watching Xena and MacGyver while running a fever, of reading in bed with a crappy incan torch, of running around shooting crooked arrows with handmade bows, of having so much energy that sleep sounded like a chore rather than tiredness being my default state.

I miss the days of having neither worries nor regrets, before puberty struck and grief over multiple deaths delivered the coup de grâce.

I do not particularly miss the lack of agency, and things were in many respects objectively worse, but I miss waking up and looking forward to each new day.

2023-09-30 ROOPHLOCH 2023

I am cutting it really close, since it is the last day of September, but I managed to write an entry for this year's ROOPHLOCH - sitting on a bench in the park, composing the text on a Palm Portable Keyboard connected to a Palm m125.

I got this keyboard just last week, and I am loving it. It feels better than most laptop's keyboards, and it is objectively 300% cooler than any laptop's keyboard. The Palm itself, despite being a 21-years old BW PDA with a grossly underpowered CPU and only 8 MiB of RAM, is surprisingly useable for this kind of tasks.

Technobabble aside, today was a pretty good day, and a pretty good way to end a pretty good week. I held a lesson on cybersecurity with a goat plushie sitting in the middle of the classroom, picked up a new laptop - a P52, which is a wee bit more powerful than the device I am writing this on - chatted with strangers, cooked and cleaned and slept and was - if not happy - then at least not dissatisfied with life.

I do wish more people would participate to union activies, though. I did, but I was one of a handful of people, out of the multiple hundreds in my workplace (and multiple thousands of hundreds working in my field in the whole country). I also wishthat summer would hurry up and fuck all the way off: the equinox was six days ago, and it definitely overstayed its welcome.


The gameboy turned out to be no gameboy at all - its logo says Powkiddy, and it has rather more buttons than the original. There are some notes underneath.


Powkiddy V90

Allwinner F1C100S @ 533mhz CPU, 32 MB DDR1 RAM, 2.8" IPS 320x240, BL-5 battery, USB-C charging port. About €30 from AliExpress.

Lacks the required pull-down resistor for USB-C to USB-C charging; will only charge with an USB-A to USB-C cable.




philaeni's hardware

The table is solid wood, well-worn, and completely covered by half-dismantled laptops, bare PCBs, and sheaves of notes about them.

You recognize an X230, happily chugging along in the middle of the table, a P52, and an X201 - someone must like her thinkpads. A PDA is propped up on a docking station plugged into the laptop, and what looks like a clamshell gameboy is sitting nearby.

In a clearing

You are standing in a clearing in the woods. A paved path leads to a small cottage, its garden enclosed by low stone walls.

The trees are baring their branches, and their red and brown leaves cover the ground, crunching underfoot and rustling in the breeze.

The air is crisp, and the sun is starting to set. A thin plume of smoke rises invitingly out of the cottage's chimney.