You can now Support this Site with BAT

- Posted in Uncategorized by

Just a quick update to let you know that users of the Brave Browser can now support this site by sending a tip in BAT now that I've just finished setting that up. Donations of any amount are much appreciated, and as always be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed and check back for further updates.

Setting up Volume and Brightness Keys with Percentage Indicators with a Tiling WM

- Posted in Tutorial by

Hello readers, and welcome to our first actual tutorial! So setting up volume and brightness keys with a tiling WM is pretty much trivial, and may even already be done for you. For reference, the keys you want to use are called XF86AudioRaiseVolume, XF86AudioLowerVolume, XF86AudioMute, XF86MonBrightnessUp, XF86MonBrightnessDown, etc, with the full list of supported keys being at https://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/XF86_keyboard_symbols. I use sxhkd, so you may need to consult your keybind or window manager's documentation for the correct syntax, but the actual commands will be the same. So basically, I just use pamixer and xbacklight like so:

pamixer --increase 5
pamixer --decrease 5
pamixer --toggle-mute
xbacklight -inc 10
xbacklight -dec 10

This gets the job done, but we can go further. Wouldn't it be nice if a little box popped up telling us what the new volume or brightness is whenever we change it? Preferably without spawning a million of them for every time you use the shortcut of course. Thankfully, dunstify has a feature for this, namely notification ID's, which let you overwrite an existing notification by giving them a set ID with the -r [num] flag. To get the current volume, we use pamixer --get-volume-human, which gives us the final command:

dunstify -r 13 $(pamixer --get-volume-human)

For brightness the process is a little more involved, since the max setting in the sysfs file for brightness is often an odd number that doesn't divide nicely, and xbacklight will give the result to the millionths place which is annoying. Fortunately, that's nothing a little awk scripting can't solve, with the command awk '{printf "%.0fn", $1}'. (If you're wondering how it works, well sorry but I don't know awk and I forgot what it said on StackOverflow.) But anyway our final command will be:

dunstify -r 37 $(xbacklight -get | awk '{printf "%.0fn", $1}')%

Now we can just append these commands with an AND operator (the "&&" thing), and depending on your window/shortcut manager you may even be able to use shorthand to condense the commands in your config file. For me the final result is:

#Volume
{XF86AudioRaiseVolume, XF86AudioLowerVolume, XF86AudioMute}
    pamixer {--increase 5, --decrease 5, --toggle-mute} && dunstify -r 13 $(pamixer --get-volume-human)
#Brightness
{XF86MonBrightnessUp, XF86MonBrightnessDown}
    xbacklight {-inc, -dec} 10 && dunstify -r 37 $(xbacklight -get | awk '{printf "%.0fn", $1}')%

Hope you found this tutorial helpful, if you liked it then please be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed, and until I get email protection setup if you have any questions then please feel free to message me over on Gab.

Some Underrated Minecraft Mods

- Posted in Gaming by

"Minecraft"'s always a hot search term, right? So I've been playing around with some mods again, and am thinking of actually releasing a new modpack with a major cave overhaul. Nothing major, no giant transgender laser chickens or total progression overhauls, just a relatively small collection of mods to expand upon vanilla's systems and add a ton of new variety underground. So while that's in the works, here's a small list of some underappreciated mods that I think more people should check out.

Minestrappolation 5

An assortment of blocks and items from the mod.

This is probably the most unheard of mod on this list, but has quickly become one of my personal favorites. It originated as a simple new ores mod for I think 1.6.2, but they quickly ran into the same problem as anyone else trying to add a bunch of new ores to the game - what to do with them all? To answer this, they've expanded and reworked systems all across the vanilla game, from crafting to farming to even worldgen with new stone types and better mountains and cliffs.

Animania

A goat pen, chicken coop, and hamster wheel all from the mod.

This is probably my favorite mod because it's just so much fun to directly play around with. Essentially what it does is it replaces the vanilla animals (which, let's be honest, basically do nothing but make noise and wait for you to breed or kill them) and they will require food, water, shelter, space, etc; and it's up to you to provide it. There are also several different breeds of each animal; for example some cows will be better suited for milking, while others' meats will give different potion effects. It's one of my favorite mods of all time, and I'd strongly recommend it to anyone looking to spice up Minecraft's animal farming.

Dungeon Tactics

A large tower, skeleton warrior, and interior of a dungeon.

Minecraft's dungeons are honestly just placeholders, being little boxes in the ground with a mob spawner. Dungeon Tactics is here to change that, adding significantly larger dungeons both above and below ground, a new sort of magic system, tons of loot, cool traps, and more. It adds new weapons, pirate ships, magic flowers with potion effects when you stand on them, and so much more that's really best experienced for yourself.

NetherEX

A Nether Village, Ghast Queen platform, and some strange new mobs.

While last year's excellent Nether update has largely solved this problem in Vanilla, for players of older versions NetherEX is an indispensable upgrade, and arguably better compatible with the pre-1.13 direction of Minecraft which may be a plus for some. Prior to 1.16, the only major changes to the Nether since the game's full release were the addition of the Wither and Wither Skeletons in 1.4.2 and Nether Quartz in 1.5. NetherEX solves this lack of content with new biomes, mobs, ores - essentially adding a whole parallel version of the game in the Nether that's actually worth building bases and surviving in.

YUNG's Better Caves

Incredibly intricate cave systems, and massive underground lakes of lava and water.

And last but not least, we have YUNG's Better Caves, a mod that completely revamps Minecraft's cave generation to include intricately twisting, winding, and intersecting caves, large caverns, vast underground lakes of both water and lava, and config options for everything in-between. There's not really a whole lot else to say, as it doesn't even add any new blocks or anything, but what it does it does extremely well, and that is adding by far the best and most intricate cave generation modded Minecraft has to offer.

So there we have it, five neat little mods with hours worth of new things to do and explore. I hope you have a much fun with them as I have, and I'll see you next time.

Quick Site Update

- Posted in Uncategorized by

Ok so just making a quick announcement that this Tuesday I'll be uploading my 1337 dotfiles for all you n00bs to download and hack to your liking, uploading some tutorials on how to setup some simple utilities and things on Arch Linux, and finally re-structuring this site's HTML so it doesn't use that ugly negative distance hack that makes it a pain to work with. (It should still look about the same as it does now.) That's all for today, see you guys later!

Get all your video subscriptions in one place with RSS

- Posted in Tutorial by

One feed to rule them all

As we all know, YouTube is becoming increasingly hostile to independent voices, in large part because of extreme political bias but also because they don't want to pay smaller channels who bring them less ad revenue. And if that's how they want to play it, then fine, the smaller channels and their audiences will just move to greener pastures and YouTube will remain the platform of choice for bottom-of-the-barrel normie garbage. Everybody wins! Except for one problem; while it's great that there are now multiple viable competitors to YouTube's dominance, it's also inconvenient having to check multiple different sites just to keep up with all your favorite channels.

Enter RSS, which I wrote about more in my last article but in summary is a simple way to get updates from practically anywhere on the web in a reader of your choosing. As I mentioned toward the end, finding a site's feed isn't always easy, but this article is here to help, at least with the more popular video sites. So let's get started!

YouTube is probably the hardest, but also the most popular so we'll deal with them first. The URL format is https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCzZpgppwC_XQMe8lFiI77-Q and usually the ID is at the end of the URL for the channel's page Sometimes this isn't the case though, so the easiest solution is to use a tool like the one at https://commentpicker.com/youtube-channel-id.php to get it for you. If you want to get technical, you can just search for "channel_id" in the page's source code, which you can see by pressing F12 and searching with Ctrl+F.

For Odysee/LBRY, official RSS support has recently been added! To subscribe, simply click the menu icon at the top right of the channel's banner, and click "Copy RSS URL". The URL format should be something like https://odysee.com/$/rss/@ComputingForever:9

With Gab TV it couldn't be easier, as there are feed buttons just below the normal "Subscribe" button on each channel's page. If you're curious, the URL is something like https://tv.gab.com/channel/thomasmoresoc/feed/rss with the channel ID being the same as in the URL of the channel's page.

It's much the same story for PeerTube instances, as you just click "Subscribe via RSS" at the bottom of the channel's "Subscribe" menu. Again, for those curious this uses a format like https://videos.lukesmith.xyz/feeds/videos.xml?videoChannelId=2 (note that the domain will vary depending on what instance you're using. Also, you'd need to know the channel ID, so this isn't very useful.)

On BitChute (which in lowercase without spacing is the worst domain name ever) the format is https://www.bitchute.com/feeds/rss/channel/corbettreport/ Note that you want the username of the channel's owner, not it's ID.

As for Rumble, well they don't have RSS so you're stuck using a feed generator, though given the absolute boomer-tier content on their homepage I doubt it would actually be of use to most of their users anyway. >_> Well, it looks like they have a decent API so if you wanted to you could scrape https://rumble.com/api/v0/Media.Channels.mrss?_p=APIKey&channel=DineshDsouza&criteria=sort=views and parse whatever is the output of that as needed to generate an RSS feed. Maybe I'll write a script for that; if I do I'll update this post and put it in the Goodies section of this site.

Well there you have it! With a good RSS reader, you're now ready to setup a one-stop spot for all your video needs. Next up, we'll be doing some more in-depth reviews of popular RSS readers and services. If you don't see instructions for your favorite platform, do let me know over on Gab or in the comments once I revamp this blog. Adios!

What are RSS feeds?

- Posted in Uncategorized by

tl;dr

  • RSS Feeds let you subscribe to your favorite sites
  • To use them you'll need an RSS reader
  • You can get a simple one here and add this link to subscribe to this blog

There's a lot that's wrong with the Internet today, not least black-box recommendation algorithms, egregious violations of privacy, blatant censorship, and domination by a corrupt media. Amidst all this chaos though, there is a technology that gives readers a simpler way to keep up with their favorite sites, and so much more. RSS feeds are simple files on the web that contain brief summaries and links to a site's most recent articles, for which you'll need an RSS reader, so let's go over a few.

One popular option is to use an online service rather than a traditional desktop program, since after all you'll be reading the articles in your browser anyway, and it can be cumbersome to switch back and forth between an external program. Of these, probably the most popular are Feedly, The Old Reader, and Inoreader, of which you can find more in-depth reviews here. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even host your own such service with Tiny Tiny RSS. These services often offer things like more advanced curation and recommendation, social features, and extensibility via API's and IFTTT integration. There are also browser extensions such as FeedBro if you just want a simple reader in your browser, and Thunderbird users already have an RSS reader built right in. Some other standalone desktop programs for Linux include LifeRea and Akregator, though there's not any I'd really recommend for Windows other than Thunderbird. And last but not least, for all you CLI lovers there's NewsBoat with a keyboard-driven text interface and all the extensibility you'd expect on the UNIX shell.

Now, it used to be that you could easily find a site's feed with a bright orange button like this rss logo but unfortunately nowadays you'll often have to dig a little deeper. Thankfully there are addons like Get RSS Feed URL for Chromium-based browsers and Awesome RSS for Firefox which will try to find the feed for you. Otherwise, a good starting point would be to try "example.com/feed", "example.com/index.xml", "example.com/rss.xml", or "example.com/atom.xml". If you really want to get your hands dirty, you could try searching through the website's RSS, but at that point you might just need to find an RSS feed generator, or write one yourself if you know how.

So you may be asking, if RSS is so great, how come it's so unheard of/unused? Well the simple answer would be that there's no money in it, and a lot of people are now accustomed to using social media for much the same thing, but RSS isn't entirely without blame. For one thing, the name is stupid, and can even stand for two different things: Really Simple Syndication, and Rich Site Summary. Its sister format, Atom, isn't any better, and the icon does absolutely nothing to convey what it means. Also, no one has an RSS reader by default, so all most users will ever see is meaningless garbled XML data. In fact, with no potential for monetization, and a tiny userbase, it's not surprising that some websites don't have feeds at all. Still, the technology itself is a very nice and simple way for keeping up with your favorite sites, and its usefulness as a sort of crude API for web developers will keep it alive even long after Facebook and Twitter are gone. Google Reader is dead, but long live RSS!

First video upload (finally) and 180 on site update

- Posted in Uncategorized by

Hello dear readers! So uh, looks like I'm hardly the only one interested in attending a based college this year, because St. Mary's got about 150% the normal amount of applications this year! Which means they had to be a lot more selective now, and I didn't make it in. :( Also I kind put all my eggs in one basket so now I don't really have much of a backup plan other than to work for the next year I guess and maybe take some classes at the community college. So that's the bad news, but the good news is I get to keep this site up at least a little longer.

In other news, I finally uploaded that video I mentioned last month! Real life got in the way between now and then, and I still don't have a 1337 intro, but it's past time, so sit back and enjoy!

New Video Series and Plans Going Forward

- Posted in Gaming by

Hello dear readers! (Do I even have readers? :P )

It's been a while since my last post, and for a couple of reasons I've been kind of stalling on writing actual content now that I've got this site set up, but more on that later. Anyway, the main reason for this new post is that tomorrow afternoon I'm starting a new video series (on YouTube and Odysee at first, may expand to other platforms later) that'll basically be me screwing around in games like Elite: Dangerous, Satisfactory, Minecraft, Kerbal Space Program, etc. I know there's literally thousands of gayming channels out there already, but the main reason I'm doing this is because I think it will help with my stutter. I think the best way to describe it is basically that though my mind is racing at 1000mph, I can't put my thoughts into words fast enough, and I talk really fast too, so I'm always having to "buffer" like a video on a bad connection as I try to verbalize my thoughts. I really just need to take a moment to slow down lol, but remembering to do that all the time for something as basic as just talking isn't easy, so I hope being on camera will help to serve as a little reminder in the back of my mind to do that.

Anyway, now for some site news. Basically I'm going to college (a really based one) at the end of August, and I'll be expected to actually do stuff in the real world and as such won't be able to maintain this blog so it's going offline. (If that sounds absolutely horrible to you, then you probably have an anime profile pic and as such your opinion does not matter.) But no seriously, for the last several years I've been min-maxing my skill set with 10 haxxing, and 2 of pretty much everything else, and spending two years almost completely offline sounds awesome actually. I'll probably finally start putting up some Linux-related articles on here until then, but after that you'll have to use the Internet Archive to read stuff on here (and I promise I'll have made a fully working backup on there). This site should be back online by Summer 2023, and hopefully I'll be a little older and wiser and the quality of my writings will reflect that. Then I'll also finally get started on that second politics blog! (The one that "Murica" is a placeholder for on the homepage.)

As for the lack of content thus far, well, basically I setup this site last summer, and had a dumb little placeholder homepage for several months until earlier this year as I was procrastinating on school and wasting time in the now-defunct Heck Off Commie! Discord (thanks furries). Then in February I had the idea for my current homepage (and the blog theme should pretty soon reflect it) and worked on that for about a month, but still posted no actual content. Since then I've been trying to focus on IRL stuff, and though I'm not quite where I want to be I think it's time that I get on with my life and do the things that I want to do (getting a job, helping with the garden, getting in shape, blowing myself up making Cherenkov radiation) and hopefully some of that productivity will spill over into school. And if not, it's not like I'd be any worse off than I am now lol.

Well that's all for now folks. See you tomorrow!