My old blog

Re-publishing the posts of my old erasmus blog

1 minute read

The other day I was browsing through the Wayback Machine and I tried looking up if they had a copy of my old blog dimlight.wordpress.com, a blog I wrote during my second Erasmus exchange program stay in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Of course, they had several snapshots archived. The images and videos are missing, but the texts are intact, so I decided to re-publish verbatim copies of these old posts here.

Run a command when files change

Learn about entr and how it can help you

2 minute read

If you usually develop your software without an IDE, it may come in handy to be able to run a custom command or two whenever a file or a group of files in the file system is modified. This post discusses ‘entr’, a small event notify test runner which might just be what you need to fill an inconvenient gap in your mouseless development environment.

Mouseless Rust

How to set up a mouseless development environment for Rust

4 minute read

The Rust Book

Lately I’ve taken an interest in the Rust programming language. I read the epub version of the Rust book over summer and found it quite well-written and overall interesting. Recently, I got myself a hard copy that sits on my desktop for quick queries, as I’ve been re-implementing the Gaia Sky catalog generation in Rust. The reasons for this are varied, but basically they come down to hardware. We need to load a humongous amount of stars (~1.6 billion) into memory, our old server, which had 2 TB of RAM, is being replaced by a newer, faster, and smaller (memory-wise, ~700 GB) machine in which we won’t be able to generate with the current Java implementation. But this is a story for another post. Today I’m here to document the completely mouseless Rust development environment I’ve been putting together as a sort of side project, to aid in my re-implementation.

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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