Remember when I played about with installing NixOS on an old MacBook Air?
Recently, I decided that I would have a go at using Nix as a package manager on
an ordinary macOS machine, in much the same way as using homebrew to install
software, but more declarative and (hopefully) more reproducible. You may also recall
before with — shall we say — mixed results. Here’s how things went this time.
I find it hard to resist an interesting fountain pen. I can’t remember where I
saw them reviewed, but my interest was piqued by Gravitas Pens, and specifically
by their range of pocket pens. As I got some generous gifts of money for my
birthday a few months ago, I decided to buy one, and — spoiler alert! — I
Today is International Dawn Chorus Day, so in my own typically awkward
style, I will talk about a recent experience of an evening and night chorus.
Over Easter Mr Bsag and I went on holiday for a few days to Lewes in Sussex,
which is on the beautiful South Downs. It’s an area that’s reasonably familiar
to me as I grew up not far away on the North Downs, but I always forget how open
and spacious it feels. We spent every day walking on the Downs, and on the
Saturday of Easter weekend, I heard the songs of skylarks and nightingales in
one day. It was the most wonderful day I’ve had in a while.
I don’t think I had realized until recently how much the past two years have
taken out of me. It was my birthday this week, and since it was the first
birthday I’ve had since 2019 not in strict lockdown, I took the opportunity to
take the day off and go out for the day. It was wonderful.
As Jane Austen might have written (had she been a geek with a keyboard obsession), it is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of keyboard they have built will soon want to build another. Having built three Corne keyboards (two from conventional PCB kits, and one handwired), I was keen to try a different style. I definitely wanted a split, ortholinear keyboard, and one that supported Kailh Choc key switches.
At some point during the pandemic, Mr. Bsag and I switched from waking to BBC Radio 4 on the radio alarm to Radio 3. If you’re not based in the UK (or not a radio listener), that’s a switch from news/current affairs programmes at breakfast to (mostly) classical music. We still listen to Radio 4 at other times of day, and to news and current affairs, but first thing in the morning it just got too… much.
It will surprise no-one (least of all me) that I am back in the arms of Doom
Emacs again (not for the first time), after playing around for a while with a
configuration built from scratch. It was a really fun experiment again, and I
had a chance to play around with some of the packages that weren’t (at the time)
included in Doom Emacs. Once again, I learned a bit more about configuring
packages, and also thought about what features I really need. It is tempting
with Doom to just enable all the things. That isn’t a bad approach exactly, but
it does make it more difficult to figure out where there are conflicts and
inevitably it can make things a bit slower.
It seems that building keyboards is addictive. After my first attempt, I made another, this time a version with LED lighting. At least, that was the plan. While the soldering for the keyboard itself went smoothly, soldering the LEDs (SK6812MINI 3228 LEDs) was enormously frustrating. These LEDs have tiny contact pads on the back of the unit, so to solder them into the openings in the PCB so that they shine through the switches, you are supposed to create solder bridges from the back of the LED to the PCB.
I’ve been here before, but I find myself back here again. I think that many
people who start off with one of the big frameworks (like Spacemacs or Doom
Emacs) eventually circle around to thinking, “hey, why don’t I just build my own
Emacs config that includes the best bits of Spacemacs/Doom?”. Usually, that is
followed some time later (as happened in my case last time), by the realization
that those frameworks are really well crafted, and getting anything like that
degree of polish and sleekness yourself is very difficult without basically
replicating the entirety of those projects. However, I’m playing with
configuring from scratch again, just for kicks.