jlelse's Blog

Thoughts, stories and ideas

💭 Thoughts

Welcome to the Thoughts section of my blog. Thoughts are better kept on my blog than on Twitter or other online platforms.


The best of both worlds

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This might sound like a post by a Microsoft fanboy, but honestly, WSL 2 on Windows 10 2004 is really great. It allows me to use Windows on my Surface Go, but at the same time use Linux (Ubuntu 20.04) on it, in a small optimized VM. For example I can run Hugo inside WSL 2 at Linux speed (fast) instead of Windows speed (slow). I just need to take care to save the Git repository with my site files inside the filesystem of the VM and not on Windows (passthrough is really slow). And it’s easy to start Visual Studio Code from inside WSL 2 by just tiping “code .” and the current directory will be opened in Code. I’m really waiting for official GUI support so that I can even use graphical applications under Linux. The best of both worlds.

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Music programming

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It sometimes happens that I fall down a rabbit hole. Suddenly a subject catches my attention and excites me very much. The latest topic where this is the case is the software Sonic Pi and making music by code, basically “music programming”. I played the recorder for many years, but I do not have a real feeling for beat and rhythm. I like to listen to music, especially electronic music, but I couldn’t make music myself, I would miss the musical feeling.

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Blogging in German

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For those who haven’t noticed, I’m blogging more regularly in German again 🇩🇪, the last days even more often in German than in English. And this although there will be much less people reading these articles. Somehow it is much easier for me to write texts in my mother tongue. The words flow much better and it is much easier for me to express my thoughts. I will probably write more about my life and stuff like that on my German blog, while my English blog will be more about technical topics. Some things, like my monthly reviews (the next one will be this week) I will also publish in both languages.

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You can finally directly register domains with Cloudflare

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I know, Cloudflare is often criticized in privacy groups and also I do not find everything good. I myself use Cloudflare actually only for two things, which do not concern the privacy of the visitors of my websites. DNS hosting and domain registration.

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Apple sucks 🙅‍♂️

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I’m currently looking for a possible replacement to my Xiaomi Mi A1 (it’s showing signs of aging and has an annoying GPS bug). I’m evaluating previous-generation refurbished phones as well. While iPhones look great on the surface and aren’t really more expensive than premium phones from Samsung etc., I won’t buy an iPhone though. First, iOS is locked down so much, the only smartwatch you can use without problems is the Apple Watch and I won’t buy one to replace my Galaxy Watch. You also can’t install any apps Apple hasn’t approved. Second, the whole drama about in-app-purchases and Apple’s uncompetitive behavior is annoying as well. I won’t take an iPhone unless someone gives me one for free. Apple sucks! 🙅‍♂️

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A successful day

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Today (or already yesterday at the time of publication of this article) was a quite successful day. 💪

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Principles or convenience?

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Actually, I’m more of a fan of free, libre and open source software. So if possible I prefer to use Libre Office instead of Microsoft Office. But now, for two presentations for university, I tried Google Presentation. And what can I say? It’s actually not the bad. It is very easy to use. The suggestions, similar to those in PowerPoint, are very good for giving slides an attractive design. And also the slide master editor is somehow easier to use than I remember from Libre Office.

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Platforms

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I built myself a TikTokToJsonFeed tool a month ago to follow some profiles, because I don’t want to install the app or create myself an account there. That tool uses a JavaScript library called tiktok-scraper. Unfortunately TikTok changed some things in the UI or unofficial API and now the scraper is broken. This and the fact that platforms like TikTok or Instagram (and many more) block IPs when they detect scrapers is actually a big warning sign. ⚠️ Such platforms don’t want to do anything but keep users on them, show them ads and make the big bucks.

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My own Static Site Generator

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Because I don’t have enough side projects yet, I started programming my own static site generator, with the creative name GoBlog. I doubt it will replace my use of Hugo in the near future, but it is exciting to write a Go program that is designed for high speed. I get to know features that I have never used before. I also learn what to pay attention to when thousands of files have to be parsed and processed concurrently. Maybe I will never be able to use this project for anything useful, but side projects are mainly there to have fun or learn something useful.

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Self-hosted server(less) functions

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One thing which I have never looked more closely at, but which I think is very interesting, are “Serverless Functions”, although they are not so serverless because they run on a server. Whatever. On Hacker News, I found a GitHub repository and an article about it.

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