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Senior Web Engineer. Open web / music. Remote DJ. Tall Dutch guy. #3million

micro.blog/sander

github.com/svandragt

mixcloud.com/cloudseer

 

Stay focused

If you follow this blog you will have noticed that I've commented multiple times on needless distractions that seem to have pervaded modern computing. Today, let's present a few solutions.

Firstly, when in the flow of doing deep work, watching animations delay your actions can be a source of frustration. While we can't speed up GitHub, we can speed up macOS. In the accessibility settings, check Display > Reduce Motion. This will speed up the interface and Mission Control animations. If you miss the garishness, you can turn it back off but chances are you will notice the system not getting in the way as much.

Secondly a tip for fellow Homebrew users. When you're ready to work through that difficult project tooling setup, it can be the worst time for Homebrew to decide to update it self, especially as this can take up to half a minute depending on how far behind your version is. Not now Homebrew! If you follow the instructions at Homebrew Autoupdate you can setup Homebrew to update itself in the background.

Finally, if you're using oh-my-zsh or bash equivalent, there will be a setting for it to update itself without prompting. Edit .zshrc and add DISABLE_UPDATE_PROMPT="true". I've not had any issues.

Cheers to a focused work experience!

 

Faster rendering through a Local DNS Proxy

Unless you're using DNS over HTTP (DoH), you can speed up general DNS requests by running a local DNS proxy, and increase the expiry time of DNS queries. I'll go into this further once I've updated this post for DNSMASQ to do DoH.

The following configuration will speed up browsing in Safari for example.

Install DNSMASQ:

brew install dnsmasq

Load all configs from /etc/local/etc/dnsmasq.d/:

echo "conf-dir=/usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.d,*.conf" | sudo tee —append /usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.conf
mkdir -p /usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.d
nano /usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.d

Edit /usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.d/proxy.conf:

# Tell dnsmasq to get its DNS servers from this config file only.
no-resolv
# Add router dns
server=192.168.1.1

# cache for 2h
min-cache-ttl = 7200

Start DNSMASQ on boot and launch it:

sudo brew services start dnsmasq

Test:

dig cnn.com @127.0.0.1

Query time should be 0 the second time and an ANSWER SECTION should be returned. If that is the case open System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS > +

Enter: 127.0.0.1 and hit OK > Apply.

 

SecondLife is reinvesting in events

Improvements to the Events pages are in the works for 2020, too. You’ll soon see more functionality and a new look, such as the ability to set an alert on an event you want to attend, to follow your favorite event hosts, to share your event calendar with friends, and to see the latest event developments in a news feed. 

https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/3016-the-return-of-last-names-and-changes-to-marketplac...

 

Making Recents more useful

Clean Recents list

So if you open Recents in the sidebar it's likely it's full of files you have no idea you recently opened. It's most likely that you didn't. We can make Recents more useful by restricting the last opened date, and make using it more convenient. This is how:

  1. Open Finder, then Recents in the sidebar.
  2. From the cog menu, select Show Search Criteria, add a criteria via the plus button.
  3. Change the filter name to Last Opened Date within last 14 days and press Save.
  4. Name it My Recents, and enable Add to sidebar.
  5. From the sidebar, drag the smart search into the dock next to the Trash.
  6. Optionally remove the recents icon from the sidebar. You can restore the item via Finder > Preferencers > Sidebar by dragging it back in.

As a bonus tip, update  the icon for the smart search (just like any other folder and app) as follows:

  1. Open /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/ and search for "Recents" to find the current Recents icon, or choose an alternative.

  2. Right click on the My Recents icon in the sidebar and choose Get Info.

  3. Drag the preferred icon from the folder into the icon slot in the top left of the Get Info window.

This changes the icon in the window title, but I haven't found out how to change it in the sidebar.

 

Working with Two SSH keys

If you're working with two SSH keys (work / personal) then the following setup is quite elegant. It assumes all repositories are work related, unless they're hosted under your own user:

Host *
 AddKeysToAgent yes
 UseKeychain yes
 StrictHostKeyChecking no
 User git
 IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa_corporate

# personal account
Host github.com-MYUSERNAME
  HostName github.com
  User git
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_rsa

 

Howto setup Python in Pop!_OS 19.10 or Ubuntu

A new OS, another two hours wasted. Pop!_OS 19.10 comes with Python3.7rc5, which is nice but my project requires 3.6 just now. As you know we've gone through this before, but this time we can setup multiple python version support.

Let's setup pyenv, pip, pipenv and then install another python version.

# Setup pip.
curl
https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py | python

# Pip can setup pipenv.
pip install pipenv --user

# Manage multiple python versions through pyenv.
# @see https://github.com/pyenv/pyenv/wiki/Common-build-problems

sudo apt-get install -y make build-essential libssl-dev zlib1g-dev libbz2-dev \ libreadline-dev libsqlite3-dev wget curl llvm libncurses5-dev libncursesw5-dev \ xz-utils tk-dev libffi-dev liblzma-dev python-openssl git
curl https://pyenv.run | bash

Follow the instructions to add pyenv to the path. Now we can do stuff like:

# install another python version.
pyenv install 3.6.9

# OR let pipenv do it.
cd ~/dev/myproject
pipenv install --dev

Leave a comment if you have any issues, as this was written retrospectively.

 

Informed reasoning

I'm starting to realise how often I say good / great / well without being explicit about what I think is positive about something. Trying to replace ‘that is a good idea’ which only communicates my positive assessment with the explicit thing I appreciate so people can make their own assessment based on their values. Maybe this thought helps someone else!

 

NPM global installation permission issues on macOS

I had trouble installing global npm packages, which failed due to permission errors. I don't want to use sudo as this will lead to problems later, and I don't want to set the global installation directory to a local directory, as that means other users don't have access to the packages.

As recommended by the NodeJS documentation this is best fixed by installing node via a version manager.

First, remove node which I incorrectly installed with homebrew:

brew uninstall node

Then install nvm as per the official instructions. In my case this also failed as this is a new system that doesn't have a .bash_profile yet. Hower as I wanted to install the zsh shell, I installed oh-my-zsh as per the instructions on their site.

Once zsh was installed (or you've created a .bash_profile using touch ~/.bash_profile, you can install node in a correct manner as follows:

nvm install node

Happy yak-shaving!

 

 

 

Carbon 0.3

It seems today is 0.3 day, as I'm also releasing Carbon 0.3, my hackable performant semi-static blogging system.

This release mainly deals with technical debt as I first started this project 6 years ago as a playground for figuring out how a CMS is written from the ground up. This means there are out of date requirements, references to a Windows platform with Powershell and other such bad examples.

That said the codebase isn't in a terrible state although it will have to change significantly before it's production ready. If you know a bit of PHP then after a short study it can be customised to your needs quite easily.

So, if you're interested you can use it and quickly whip together a documentation or simple blog using only markdown files. It will produce a feed and there's even a half baked cli application and static site generation that I have to review before I can recommend it in honest.

carbon 0.3 theme

Have fun hacking!

 

Fresh Cookies 0.3

I've released Fresh Cookies 0.3, my browser extension for limiting the lifetime of browser cookies to a maximum of 15 days.

It is now a web extension and can be manually installed in Firefox (it also works in Chrome). I'm looking for feedback before I'm ready to submit it any extension directories.