Aug 6, 2017

Can't focus... I want to play Neverwinter now

A few days ago I found the MMORPG Neverwinter on the PS4. I know it's qute some time on the market now, but I never recognized it until Friday.

E3 Expo 2012 - Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter girls

By Pop Culture Geek [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Now I think this game can motivate me for a long time.  Today's researching for the netcasts are a complete disaster because I just want to play this game now.
I'll soon head over in my living room and play it for the rest of the day.
I really didn't have that WoW feeling when playing an MMO for a long time. This is close to it when playing. Nice. The controls are nicely made for the console. So let's see how it is after playing some time and getting deeper into the game.

See Neverwinter Website

Jul 21, 2017

Back to blogging... about tech!

Yes, I said it on the beginning of the year. I wanted to stop talking about political shit. But it went the other way.
I just couldn't watch that propaganda while people kicking our values that secured freedom for decades with their feet. But I have to admit, I'll let them crash right into the mess they are building up.

So, I'm having enough. I can't change the world, and to be honest, I don't want to change it anymore.
I'm a computer freak, a tech nerd, a science geek and an Android Fan. I like video games and Japanese Anime & Manga.
That's what I want, and that's what I should have sticking to, not making the same mistake that some leftist hipsters are doing: Trying to engage in a topic they didn't really care about since they were born and now forcing their absurd ideas into politics.

I'll really try to concentrate on those topics. Politics are only a framework for people doing really important stuff.
If you're a scientist, developer, engineer or other highly specialized person, just keep to your topic you're are good in. I've learned that. It makes no sense, and you'll harm your whole field of profession otherwise. Don't waste your energy on topics you are not qualified.
That's especially important in science. There is nothing wrong in having an opinion and state it, no matter what that opinion is, but if you invest most of the energy in a fight you don't understand, it will leave your much more important work undone.

New high tech products that secures the future are more helpful to bring people a better life than to cry out loud on TV.
Discovering new milestones in science will change the world view of people much more long-term than your hatred on Twitter can.
Even developing Apps can bring people of all kind closer together than you can by trying to force your views on everyone.

That's why I want to back off and concentrate on things I'm really committed to. And yes, that includes even "Russian" tech and science. Because talking about living together in peace, doesn't mean you can just bring up an outdated picture of an enemy and channel all hate towards them. That will badly go wrong at some point.
I only hope I don't let myself get sucked in that political discussions again.

Jul 6, 2017

The Death of the Free Internet

You can easily see, that recently my posts in all of my blogs are seldom.
That has something to do with teh social media sites. We know for long: Using social media kills blogging, right?
But it isn't that easy. There is a cascade of problems that emerges out of it.

Why social media is taking over blogging

First of all easiness. Retweeting/Sharing is all over the place. Just share stuff with a preview of the site or a photo, nicely presented right on your timeline with one click. Enter your own short opinion about it or not. Boom!
With blogging, it's not nearly as easy in both technical or legal procedures. Think about just pulling a preview of a photo and article header from a news agency right into your blog. Well you've got a problem in most parts of the world. You need to get permissions. It's timely and depressing. Why can't a blog have the same status than things you post on social media?
Then the technical site. There is no "share" button with preview etc. You only share a link to your blog. You need to do everything on your own. How does the post look like etc.

Then there are expectations. People seem to think you need to write a long article. Even if the thing you want to say fits into 140 chars. Ineffective! Don't write unnecessary words.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein

Why this is a bad thing

Companies like Facebook and Google are under immense pressure from governments all over the world. They openly admitted to censor things, even in the so-called free world.
In Germany laws have been applied that literally force those companies to delete things in 24 hours when "illegal". No judge necessary. So they need to decide on their own. Google said they rather will delete anything quickly than face the immense fine they have to pay otherwise.

People lose control over their own rights. The thing is, if you do something illegal, you have to face the consequences. But you can't be stopped to do so, if you're sure you're doing the right thing. Often, putting out information and opinions are at first not okay, later on they are valuable legal writings.
Think about what happened in the past if you could control a pen and only let you write things the government liked. Now pens are irrelevant. The Internet are. And if you hand over the control of free speech on the Internet to companies that get pushed by the governments, we lose our ability to write freely. We may do so by law, but we can't.

Bloggers are being hunted everywhere

Read those news before? "Blogger in <type in shady country here> got arrested".
Well you can say that in Europe, bloggers are hunted by the governments. They are under immense pressure and have to fear getting personally ruined. It's more subtle, you aren't get killed. But your life can get ruined quickly.
Imprint rules are taking away safety and privacy of the blogger. More and more legal restrictions putting them in a situation where you better just blog about cats, or else you are getting financially ruined by fines and compensation. Or worse, having one foot in jail if you have the wrong opinion, even in many "western" countries.
Those things are easily overseen.
So, it's no wonder why people just sharing stuff on social networks. You have apparently more rights there. Apparently, because although you have the rights, action will be taken to delete or mute your posts & videos.
Yes, it's easy. Very easy. But that comes with the cost of losing your right to express yourself freely. Think again.

The Internet is under attack. Using laws on private companies to suppress "unwanted" opinions is a clear sign for that. If we lose the Internet, we lose free speech. Because even now, but much more in the future, it's irrelevant what you say, until you can find it in the global network of people.

Jun 1, 2017

Using Twitter much more again

Well, you can't deny that Google+ is on the decline in general use. Google is repositioning it for business usage, and will continue to be an important tool for group and private communication.
For me that means, I have to choose another platform to reach general public. And so I find myself using an old comrade much more again: Twitter!

Instagram is tempting, but it belongs to Facebook. Don't want to use their services. But Twitter got many good features lately. Using it for photos is good enough, 140 chars capping doesn't bother in normal usage, and for writing longer article, I'm using my blogs anyway and link on Twitter.

And Twitter got much attention lately :). Did you recognize? No media without embedding tweets in their posts.

But no, that's not the end of Google+ for me. It's still the place where I share my stuff with my friends, and I still post public. But don't expect to post every tweet there, too. And that's the thing. Twitter took the crown of importance for me from Google+ again. No anger, no complain. Just the way it is.

With that, I'lll remind you of my Twitter-account. Check it out. But beware... I post weird stuff sometimes :).

Mar 15, 2017

i3wm as a C64 lookalike

Retro feelings are the new spring :)
So I decided to make my i3wm a C64 lookalike on top of KDE Neon (Ubuntu).
For that I used C64 TrueType v1.2 / Style, which is brilliant. The most exact font I found. Remember to disable anti-aliasing when using this font in GIMP e.g. since there was no anti-aliasing back in the days ;)

I made a "fake" C64 screen with a Ram and Rem visit (those from Re:Zero, you know, so I don't get confused with the konsole (KDE). I switched back to bash for this, just because I need a simple environment.

The C64-Wiki was very useful to get the correct colors. Thanks to the people behind the font and the wiki for keeping the spirit of this nice little computer alive with their work!

3 terminals with htop at the top
It's not emacs on the C64, calm down ;)
I made the Google Chrome theme with My Chrome Theme 
That's the fake C64 screen wallpaper. I thought Ram (!) and Rem (!) fits in perfectly ;)
Full Screen Konsole with i3bar on the bottom
Audacity. I changed the GTK-Fonts to C64 Pro
Gimp. GTK-Font C64 Pro
Konsole with some commands. It feels like the real deal.
Okay, while this is all "work in progress", I think it's a start. There are room for some improvements. And starting Vice64 in that environment, it naturally floats in :).

Feb 18, 2017

Installed KDE Neon 5.9 over Kubuntu 16.04 LTS

Yesterday I took the step and dared to upgrade a live system from Kubuntu 16.04 to KDE Neon 5.9. I didn't do a clean install to save work.

Again it turned out after several update/upgrade cycles, and force install neon-desktop with sudo apt install neon-desktop -f , the system rebooted without issues and I could go on. I still get 2 error messages regarding korcag and kgpg. The first issue doesn't seem to have something to do with the upgrade and the kgpg is to be investigated. Since the major programs like kdenlive and the multimedia players works, it seems to be consistent so far (fingers crossed). No dependencies left over.

I like what I see on the new Plasma desktop and I like to have the latest version of KDE running on top of a stable LTS base. So while the KDE team says that KDE neon is not a real distribution, for me it is and should be presented like it. Let's see how this works out over time. For now my needs are satisfied.

To be honest, most of the time, I'm not even running Plasma, since I use i3wm. But I use programs running on KDE, like the mentioned kdenlive and sometimes dolphin (but I like dired-mode in emacs). And the underlying structure is also used for kdeconnect and Konsole. Even those really bothered me when out of date. I can't understand that people think "stable" means "outdated". Stable is the newest thing that works. It does not mean you should get only security patches. Everything that is unstable is beta and has nothing to do with new features! Sigh...