Site Updates and Plans Ahead

Posted in Site News at 12:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CentOS, here, try Alpine

Summary: A quick look at or a roundup of what we’ve been up to, what we plan to publish in the future, what topics we shall focus on very soon, and progress moving to Alpine Linux

MAYBE we’ve been quiet lately, except for Daily Links, but we’re improving workflows and becoming significantly more efficient. Since 2021 we’ve been sitting on top of some interesting stories (not forgotten, just waiting for the right time) and there’s plenty ahead about the company I left 6 months ago. There are victims other than me and plenty of coordination. The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ will be a recurring theme, but we cannot elaborate just yet (as that would give away the strategy).

“We couldn’t help but notice that many GNU/Linux sites had become inactive or barely active in recent months (in line with what happens to online news in general).”IRC is still active, as usual, but there’s nothing urgent to report here in the blog (that cannot simply be added to Daily Links). IRC was getting hectic (plenty of abuse) each time Microsoft had a big wave of layoffs which it wanted to distract from.

Here in Europe things aren’t well, set aside energy prices and war. The European Union is about to suffer profoundly by direct association with EPO corruption and we’ll certainly be covering that.

“For now, Gemini is a growing area of focus.”We couldn’t help but notice that many GNU/Linux sites had become inactive or barely active in recent months (in line with what happens to online news in general). That’s still better than becoming spamfarms or Microsoft pushers like some of them became (even worse than these sites shutting down, going offline permanently). If any readers out there can suggest additional RSS feeds for us to track and curate, get in touch with us. For now, Gemini is a growing area of focus. There are new Gemini projects, new releases, and plenty of new material. We recently started posting Gemini links in isolation. There’s enough of them for decent-sized bi-daily batches.

We never lack things to do; the only thing we lack is time.

At the same time we continue migrating old content to Alpine [1, 2]. It’s well overdue and it’s simpler now that I’ve left my job, aside from me spending a lot of time writing about it (currently my Member of Parliament is on the case, as the "official" channels seem unresponsive).

Migration of this site will be gradual and slow. We don’t want to rock the boat ahead of our 17th anniversary (#1 priority at the moment is Tux Machines, which enters its 20th year very soon).


RSS Feeds (or XML/Atom) Are Far Better Than Social Control Media, Doing It With CLI and Text Editors Works Best for Us

Posted in Site News at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum c6f31e80562b96bd70360acd7a2524e6
CLI and RSS Feeds
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Consumption (marketing term) of content (another misnomer) on the World Wide Web has been geared towards engagement (fancy term for time-wasting), so we’re trying to correct this with RSS feeds and processing of news (to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff)

THE curation of Daily Links in this site is done manually with help from hand-crafted tools, developed and improved over time to better suit our needs. This morning we reported — or rather attempted to report — to FreeBSD that its main feed had gone really bad, critically invalid in fact.

“Maybe more people will follow suit and find/gather/explore their news sans all the unnecessary cruft (tracking, pop-ups, paywalls, malicious JavaScript, autoplaying videos and irrelevant images).”For those who aren’t keeping abreast of these developments over Git (there are several programs used), the video above gives an informal overview; there are daily routines and weekly routines for fishing out news of interest. A lot of the heavy lifting is done with Perl, Bash and Python. Browsing is done with text editors and Web browsers. After nearly 20 years of using RSS readers I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the best way to get stuff done. Yesterday we shared this new article about “Informant”, a command-like news reader for GNU/Linux. Maybe more people will follow suit and find/gather/explore their news sans all the unnecessary cruft (tracking, pop-ups, paywalls, malicious JavaScript, autoplaying videos and irrelevant images).


On Anniversaries and Milestones

Posted in Site News at 11:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tux Machines turning 19 shortly!

Tux Machines: Make it 20, please...

IN a couple of weeks Tux Machines turns 19. Last year we celebrated with some cake (after the pandemic started no more parties) and this year Rianne is away on holiday, so probably no parties or anything — i.e. same as the 17-year anniversary and 16-year anniversary. As for Techrights, there are 36,500 blog posts in the site this week (blog posts aren’t everything). 40,000 some time next year? Almost for sure. In Tux Machines there are almost 200,000 pages already. Growing by about 1,000 per month.


Coming Soon: 10 Screens, More Peripherals

Posted in Site News at 4:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d37058853e2497e86d26b96a72d82e61
My Desk Explained
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: After various changes (adding plants, 3 large speakers etc.) I’ve decided to explain how my office is configured for maximal visibility (almost no need for virtual desktops)

THE other day I was asked about my desk’s arrangement and how it was facilitating improved workflow, productivity etc. in light of this post and photograph. It was about the site turning 16.5 years old (we’ll soon have 36.5k blog posts!).

“All the machines run GNU/Linux and the recording above was done using OBS.”The video above illustrates some of the things I learned through trial and error, including being able to exercise while working (mostly reading) and ergonomically important tips/tricks. Being at the desk about 100 hours a week means that posture and “micro-breaks” are very important. The way different computers and screens are used is explained in passing (not in-depth; we did that in past years) and there are changes coming next week while my wife goes on holiday, rendering her second computer available to me (so a total of 8 keyboards on the desk). All the machines run GNU/Linux and the recording above was done using OBS. No preparations done for this video; it was 100% spontaneous.


Techrights Turns 16.5 Years Old and for the First Time I Can Devote 100% of My Time to It

Posted in Site News at 2:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I left my job in December, one month after Techrights had turned 16 (it was known as “BoycottNovell” at first). Yesterday the site turned 16.5 — a fact that I only realised about an hour ago. Here’s “whois“:

BoycottNovell domain in 2023

Summary: Another small (or semi) milestone for us; it’s an opportunity for reflection

The site started when I was 24. I was a student at the time. I had begun writing my thesis months earlier and I didn’t feel eager to find a job in some centralised office. In 2007 I started working from home exclusively and that hasn’t changed since. The working environment evolved and improved over the years. When working in front of a computer it’s important to make things pleasant and last year I moved everything to a dedicated room, formerly the dining room. Here’s what it looks like this morning (minutes ago; I’ve since then added a plant to the beige table on the left, as there’s available space there).

Working 2023

The photo shows the 9 screens, 5 webcams, 4 mice, 3 large speakers (from 1994; they still work), 7 keyboards (two are external), and as of this morning (2 hours ago) there’s a cactus-like pair of plants on the table that I took out yesterday (because it’s getting warmer), the 16.5-year anniversary of Techrights.org. All these computers run GNU/Linux and they’re not expensive at all (refurbished, old, low-budget). Each serves its set of purposes. The electric bill is 1.5 pounds per person per day (inclusive of everything, cooking as well) as these machines dim down while AFK and there’s no GPU.

If 16.5 years from now the Web site does not exist it’s likely it’ll have already evolved for whatever comes after the Web, maybe something like Gemini or IPFS. We’re flexible enough to handle change and budget isn’t a problem because we are not a company.

Last year I started experimenting with a standing desk. With two soft carpets on the floor and ample space for weights it’s possible to also exercise a bit while reading. It’s like a form of therapy that is healthy not just for the body but also the mind. I’m stationed near the desk about 15 hours a day, on average.


Looking Back at the First Week of Gemini Daily Links (as Standalone Posts)

Posted in Protocol, Site News at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7f3874e4e26e0cc7e36499521020a341
Gemini Standalone in Daily Links
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Taking Gemini to the next step (parity in Daily Links) is the main thing that happened this month and the above video takes a journey through some of the changes

FIVE days ago we said we'd starting isolating Gemini and Gopher… or posting such links in isolation, separately in a disjoint fashion (not part of World Wide Web links). We started doing that later in the same day and it has thus far been a success. We shall carry on doing so.

The video above illustrates how Gemini is used and shows some of these latest changes. The video is unscripted and improvised. This planet-like page that updates every 60-minutes is, at least to me, the best way to keep abreast of Geminispace and Gopherholes. But our “Gemini Links”, posted at least once a day, are a curated and categorised version of more or less the same thing.

Towards the end of the video I discuss the size of the Gemini community (yes, it's still a community; corporations aren’t involved). We hope that more people will join us in Gemini. It helps reduce one’s exposure to misinformation, including veiled marketing (the Web has become heavily littered with junk, fake “content” and words that aren’t organic, sometimes even machine-generated).


Gemini Protocol Promoted to First-Class Citizen in Techrights Daily Links

Posted in Site News at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: After 15 years we’re adding an edition of Daily Links that’s devoted only to Gemini/Gopher; we also give a quick update on IRC

Our Daily Links turn 15 this year. They started in 2008. Due to the growing importance of Gemini and (perhaps more importantly) increased volume of new material, today we’ve begun posting Gemini links separately. Not much would seem different, except our Daily Links would be split (Gemini/Gopher in one, HTTP/S in another). We hope readers on both sides or both “worlds” are fine with these changes. If not, let us know in IRC.

“Our IRC community celebrates 15 years later this month.”We’re aware that the IRC “applet” on the right hand side (HTTP/S) isn’t working. It hasn’t worked since December and many sites have reported the issue (they embed from kiwiirc.com). Perhaps self-hosting Kiwi IRC would be the next endeavour for us. That project is still alive as well (last patch/change committed days ago). In the meantime, Mibbit is still available here. Our IRC community celebrates 15 years later this month. We adopted it and started in May 2008.


46,000 Gemini Pages and All-Time Record Traffic in Techrights

Posted in Protocol, Site News at 8:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

World Wide Web user vs: CSS, JS, DRM, Ads; Can I introduce you to Gemini?

Summary: Techrights is happy to report that its presence in Geminispace (with Gemini Protocol) pays off and later today we’ll hit another milestone

MAYBE it’s worth noting, as the month of April is now officially over, that in the month of April we had record traffic in Gemini (about half a million pages). Gemini started in 2019 and we joined 1.5 years later (it has more than quadrupled since. It continues to grow. Ever since then we’ve grown our capsules to 46,000 pages (milestone due later today) and we’re watching closely new pages in Geminispace (polling every hour for updates). Next year Gemini turns 5. It has been a long and positive journey for us.

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