Raspberry Pi 4: First impressions

A suprisingly capable single board computer with endless possibilities

7 minute read

In the last months, chimp, my old 2013 ZOTAC ZBOX ID42 HTPC, has been struggling more and more to decode and transcode high-resolution video on the fly, especially when encoded in H.265/HEVC. Thus, I set out to find a worthy successor to act as a squire to my TV. The ZOTAC still works, mind you, but it has become slow, loud and it takes ages to boot Arch Linux.

Raspberry Pi NinkBox kit

In my crusade to find the perfect replacement, I have considered recent off-the-shelf HTPCs, options with a Mini PC form factor like the intel NUCs, and some of the affordable single-board computers. It is in this last category that we find the Raspberry Pi. I have been interested in the Pi since its inception, following its developments and the various versions with mild curiosity. Finally, emboldened by its low price point, I bit the bullet and got a NinkBox Raspberry Pi 4 (4 GB) kit which comes with a 64 GB SD card, a power supply, an HDMI cable and a case with a fan and three heat sinks. In this post I dump my first impressions of the little thing after a couple of days of tinkering.

Gaia Sky 3

Dramatic performance improvements and lots of new features in Gaia Sky 3

10 minute read

It’s been a while since I last talked about new Gaia Sky releases. Today I’m doing a recap of the last four releases, starting with 3.0.0. This very verison came out with Gaia eDR3 on Dec 3, 2020. It was a big jump for Gaia Sky, as it introduced a plethora of new features and QOL improvements along with lots of bug fixes and little tweaks. This post goes over the latest versions from 3.0.0 to 3.0.3, and reflects on what they brought to the table.

Jump to the analysis for each of the versions directly:

CSS prefers-color-scheme to implement a dark theme

How to implement a dark theme for your website, plus a small discussion on the recent redesign that aims at simplifying the experience

5 minute read

If you are like me and you like your user interfaces to be as dark as possible, you have the dark mode preference of your browser enabled. You may have noted that this site has now a dark mode which is activated by default. This is done by querying the prefers-color-scheme setting in the browser. This post describes how this is done, and it discusses a few tweaks I have implemented design-wise to simplify things and remove useless visual elements.

Map Wacom tablet to a single display

How to map a graphics tablet to a single display in a multi-monitor setup in Linux

2 minute read

Wacom Intuos graphics tablet

I have a Wacom Intuos graphics tablet for my occasional drawing and signing. By default, the tablet area is mapped to the whole screen area, making it almost unusable if you are using two or more monitors, as your drawing application of choice (Krita in my case) usually resides in one display only. Well, turns out there’s a very easy way to map the tablet to a single display in Linux with xinput.

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.

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