2019 has been one of the hardest year of my life

At some point in your life you come across a series of choices on how you want to continue your life. In truth, these choices are always available to you at any time and it’s up to you how you want to proceed. 2019 has been a beautiful year of growth. It has also been a very painful year, especially on all things related to my health, both mental and physical health were impacted.

It wasn’t the best. I wasn’t the best. It just wasn’t the best year.

What makes a year good?

For me, it’s finally having the courage to throw all the baggage I’ve carried for so long in my life. It broke me, it was the heaviest of the heaviest, and yet I still carried so much of the pain and anguish. From the past, present, and future. Some of the most painful moments in my life were the ones that never happened. It was just created from anxiety and depression. Some moments were real as well, and they were equally painful.

2019 is itself the end of an era for me. The final chapter to a badly written book with really bad characters in it.

 I really look forward to the following years, because they are going to be amazing and not because I say so but because I can finally walk the path I want to walk. Steer where I want to steer. See what I want to see.

To experience the world for the first time without the shackles of judgement is what I’ve wanted. I’ve judged myself harshly through this decade more than I have judged anyone in my life.

2019 is itself the the end and the beginning.

So for the following years all I can hope is that every year is met with many events. I want to enjoy my time with friends, family, and take as many decisions of what I want to do free of judgement. Whether it’s a good decision or not, it matters not.

iPhone X impressions

It almost feels like a decade. Back then I knew that I would never own any Apple product because I was just too poor to afford anything other than low quality phones. Plus, everyone sort of just wanted to hate on the brand because it was more of a status than anything else.

Of course those were the days. I still consider Apple products to be vanity items. They are fashion items that impresses no one these days because of how mainstream it has become. These days Samsung/Google/LG and a huge array of manufacturers can match and outmatch in certain scenarios the iPhone in terms of hardware.

As for me, well I’m just a guy that doesn’t like where Google is heading. I think Apple knows where the direction is heading. Mozilla were actually the first organization that started to market Firefox not just as a browser but a browser you need because it doesn’t track everything about you and try to sell your data.

It’s not about I have nothing to hide but more into “whatever I do is my business. I don’t know marketing companies profiling what I do. And if they are they should pay the big bucks to me.”

Well, enough about my opinions of how I feel about the current things going on in 2019.

So I received the shiniest of the shiniest: an iPhone X 256GB (unlocked).

How is it?

I think for the first time in many years I don’t feel compelled to talk about the performance or compare it to anything. I moved away from Google Pixel 2 XL to iPhone X. Both phones have an amazing performance.

It’s not about the performance. It’s about the company.

These days I’ve wondered who’s got my back. I think Apple recent advertisements on privacy are rock solid. They deliver a crystal clear message that whatever you do — be it browsing, watching, listening — it all stays in your phone. Your data doesn’t go to chinese servers to be analyzed.

I’ve been trying to cut off Google products for many years…. it was one of the hardest thing to do. Years ago I decided to move to Fastmail. It took me like 2 months of preparation of what I needed to do. I’ve yet to replace the search engine because Microsoft hasn’t improved theirs… and Duckduckgo is basically Bing in disguise.

As far as impressions go. I like the iPhone X. The Face ID feature works better than I thought. Performance-wise it’s okay but I knew that already. Apps wise, let’s be honestly, there’s an insane amount of apps in the App Store.

Functionality-wise could be better… but I don’t really have many complains because by now I’m used to iOS due my iPad.

In conclusion: I like the iPhone X. It’s all I expected it to be. It has a very sturdy design with an amazing display and a good battery life too.

You did what now? So I am now part of the Apple “family” with the switch to iPhone

I know what you are thinking. Them judging eyes, shaking your head in disgust. But why?

I grew tired of Android. I didn’t grow tired of Windows 10, heck, I love Windows 10 and I love the new Microsoft, but there is no Windows Phone is there?

Google has left me a bit bitter, especially with the garbage the is the Google Pixel 2 XL. Whoever did the quality control on those devices need to be fired. That’s how bad it is.

For a long time I’ve been investing into Apple products… I own the iPad which I love and I think it’s probably one of the best tablets in the market right now outmatching any out there. The iPad has an insane battery life and you could literally browse for hours or watched 4-6 episodes (probably a bit more depending on settings) of series.

The MacBook Pro has left me a bit of a bittersweet taste. I do love the build quality but the recent MacBook Pros have left me scratching my head because it seems Tim Cook isn’t doing his job. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs that’s for sure. It seems he has focused all his ideas in pure vanity and not usability.

But, the main reason I love my MacBook as some of you may guess: the battery life, and because it’s UNIX but it factors really low into the decision-making. I’m not really petty to throw a tantrum if it’s UNIX or Linux. I could use Windows just fine.

But the recent problem that I’m seeing about Windows 10 is that all their updates are shipped broken. That’s a HUUUUUUUGE no for me. I have gotten to the age of not wanting to deal with more technical issues on my own devices. I’m just not putting up with more broken updates until Microsoft fixes their mess.

With Microsoft’s move to Linux and OSX I’m actually very happy. I can use my favorite editor: Visual Studio Code which honestly I don’t think anyone from Microsoft ever thought it’d be one of the best tools out there. C#/F# and .NET Core runs pretty well on my machine. Python/PHP/Java/etc are already languages that ran on my machine.

The investment has been done already. I’ve had my MacBook Pro for like a year now… and the iPad about the same length. I am not happy with a few things like Finder actually being a very crappy app that makes Explorer look almost oscarworthy. But maybe I’m just used to Windows File Manager (Explorer) and I actually deem it better than Finder. It also provides even more value with OneDrive now that you can leave your files in the cloud.

I don’t know what’s going to be the future of OSX. I don’t think whoever is making the decisions knows what they are doing. Microsoft is catching up fast and I don’t think they are prepared for it. OSX needs to up their game.

Having said that. Strange times ahead for me as I fully submerge myself in Apple.

The quest to eargasm?

I feel like I may have… gone a little overboard on a lot of things. Buying headphones is certainly one of them.

In full picture:

Sony WH1000XM3, Bowers & Wilkins PX, AKG N60C, Sennheiser HD6XX (Massdrop Edition)

I don’t consider myself an audiophile or anywhere around that. Heck I could explain right now, or try to, on why I have so many… headphones. Part of it is experimenting. The thing about headphones, especially reputable ones is that the retain value so I can easily sell it back without losing much.

Sony WH1000XM3 is meant to be replacing my Bowers & Wilkins PX. These two are the ones I use at work right now and they’ve been wonderful. The Bowers & Wilkins PX certainly wins against the WH1000XM3 when it comes to acoustics…. but when it comes to bass Sony headphones just have the upperhand as the Bowers and Wilkins aren’t as bassy as I’ve had hoped for.

The AKG N60C is actually the one I use at home and it’s connected to a bluetooth transmitter that is connected to my TV. The consoles and most devices are connected to the TV using the TV input ports provided… so I basically route all that sound through a optical audio cable that plugs to the bluetooth transmitter. The AKG ones aren’t meant to outmatch anything. I just found them super cheap and quite reliable for my needs and all I wish is it had more battery life in them.

The Sennheiser HD6XX I use mostly with my Macbook Pro. I just use when I’m alone as they are open headphones, else I’d switch to the closed ones that I listed above.

In terms of quality… I’d dare say I’ve had a greater impression with the Bowers & Wilkins PX and the Sony WH1000XM3 when pitting it against the Sennheiser HD 6XX. Don’t ask me why. I just find the Sennheiser ones to be lacking something and I don’t know what.

Overall I’ll probably end up selling the Sennheiser HD 6XX if I can’t find what’s wrong with it. And part ways with the Bowers and Wilkins PX but as of late a big part of me doesn’t want to give up on the Bowers & Wilkins. I love them. They were my second headphones and I’ve found them to be incredibly delightful to use. I do have minor complains with the clamping… it’s quite… rough after a few hours, but overall I really enjoy using them.

If I ever go high-end with cans… you won’t see me do that this year for certain. I think I’m going to stay in the mid-zone for a long time. I’m also hoping to do a write-up on Sony WH1000XM3 at the end of this month.

Fixing Ghost scrambled IDs after importing data

I’ve written a plug-in that exports data from Pelican to Ghost in JSON format. After writing the plug-in I realized that Ghost has a few quirks of its own and that is that if updated_at field is NULL the behavior in the admin panel gets a bit freaky.

This is why I came up with this small script. All it does is sort in ascending manner the posts and update the updated_at field with the value in created_at.

In case of emergency use ubuntu-drivers!

Your wireless drivers aren’t working, you spend hours looking for a solution. You find over 8k google results of people having the same problems over the years.

You are a big gamer, new to Linux. You just realized that the drivers you are using isn’t from NVIDIA or AMD.

The answer to a painless, and successful drivers installation? Use the command line tool ubuntu-drivers.

How to use it?

Well, all you need to do is open the terminal and type

sudo ubuntu-drivers autoinstall sit back, wait for it to finish and reboot. That’s all to it.

There’s also ubuntu-drivers devices if you want to see the drivers available, you can choose what to install with apt-get install [package name]

GPG keys updated

I’ve updated my GPG keys. I’ve been dealing with a case of losing my secret keys and therefore I can’t retrieve my old keys or do anything with them, I can’t even revoke them if I wanted to (as far as I know).

I ended up generating a new pair of keys, this time I just backed up .gnugp and export the secret keys in hope that if I lose them in transition to another distribution I’ll have it restored in no time.

And yes, I DID back up my old keys. For some reason I could list my keys, but I couldn’t list my secret keys. I only had my public keys.

This doesn’t mean much to people in a way. However, if you have been downloading WINE binaries from my server and you are a responsible person (unlike me 🙁 ) then there’s a high chance you’ve been validating my signatures against the archives I’ve uploaded.

I don’t think my keys have synchronized with the public key servers. Anyway the key ID is now 4B505975.

gpg --keyserver [the keyserver] --recv-keys 4B505975

Ubuntu, you look wonderful!

I’ll probably disappoint plenty openSUSE fans with this post. Yes, I’ve ditched openSUSE in favor of Ubuntu, and I’d like to believe my reasons are sound.

Ubuntu 14.10{ .center }
I had problems with openSUSE, mostly with their rolling release which inexplicably I had to spend a lot of time dealing with buggy packages, in comparison to Arch Linux which is surprising… but well, this post isn’t about pointing the flaws of openSUSE, or any rolling release distribution.

In a nutshell:

  • Plenty of unstable packages
  • Dependency hell (this one annoyed the living hell out of me)
  • And most importantly, zypper ended up frustrating me. I know a person who told me zypper is faster than apt. I’m scratching my head wondering what was he smoking. At the very least, zypper is one of the slowest package manager I’ve used in my life. yum is pretty fast in comparison, pacman remains the fastest.

And I wasn’t happy with all the friction I had to deal with in openSUSE. Enough of openSUSE, let’s talk Ubuntu.

So, I should let you know that I haven’t touched Ubuntu’s main flagship in years. I also should tell you that my heart belongs to Debian and its based distros which is why I feel five times more comfortable using Ubuntu.

I am enjoying the Unity experience. I’ve heard a lot of “awful experiences” from users, I gotta give it to the Ubuntu team: Ubuntu 14.10 is fantastic.

In terms of getting everything running, due to my knowledge of Debian and its packages in less than two hours I was up and running with all my development applications. That’s really, really fast!

Everything works. The pain of setting Spotify is gone, the pain of dealing with fonts is gone.

I’m a DIY (Do it yourself) guy. I don’t like getting spoonfed, however this type of spoon I love. The whole Ubuntu is “bloated” is itself a fallacy probably chanted by neckbeards or zealots who, in my opinion forgets the main purpose of Ubuntu.

And I gotta say, after learning the little shortcuts of Unity and setting up hotcorners for fast access I’m all set.

I wasn’t planning to jump ship to Ubuntu. Yesterday I just got fed up on dealing with openSUSE. It was time to jump ship. I frankly never expected Ubuntu be this refreshing to use.

Ubuntu 14.10 using Nemo with Unity patches{ .center }

Why asking is annoying

I find that asking people for help has become an incredibly tedious task given the answers are so opinionated, and warmly unwelcome.

You, and me? We want answers. Not your half-assed opinion on why you believe you shouldn’t obfuscate code, or getting questioned why you are implementing DRM. See, I saw StackOverflow as that site to learn and satisfy that hunger on how things get done. What we get in exchange (no pun intended) is a soap opera of morals.

Taboo questions are not allowed. It’s like throwing out the purpose of StackOverflow usefulness. You have a question, if you don’t have an answer then don’t leave a comment.

I know, I sound a bit abrasive but I’m not really mad; annoyed would be the right word, I guess.

I didn’t plan to use StackOverflow as an example. However the more I thought about it the more I realize that it was actually a perfect example on why asking is incredibly annoying.

So you get all these opinions, you are scratching your head why people think it’s okay to flood your question with comments instead of you know, giving an answer.

Plenty of people want to get the word out there and show how smart they are. Or make a taboo question like a soap opera to the point that the it becomes too controversial and the moderator has to close it with all the mundane comments.

Have we fallen into a trend?

Have we? I hope not, sadly I think we have. It’s not rare, especially in mailing lists such as Debian that whenever someone asks something there’s this flood of people saying leaving incredibly off-topic comments in the subject:

“Oh, why use that? You should use XXX software.” – random joe

“Why use that bloatware in the first place? You know what you should install Arch Linux” – random joe (I just wanted to poke the fun in Arch Linux users though, whenever someone asks which distribution a user should use everyone turn their heads and say “GO USE ARCH LINUX!” hopefully their mouth aren’t foaming in crazy.)

“Hey, can you install the debug packages? I couldn’t reproduce it here so I need to coordinate with you to fix the problem” – Developer of XXX software, his comment never reaches the recipient as he/she has given up.

And this trend has to end. There’s a fine line between having opinions on a matter and keeping quiet about it and sabotaging a whole question thread because you didn’t like what you heard. It’s childish.

The internet has gotten louder, and quite frankly way too annoying.

Yes. I’d like to say it’s a good thing, but it isn’t. Comment sections has gotten worse than they were. A lot of people out there want to prove to the world that they are right on the subject.

Discussion never takes place. I think somewhere moderators are just drinking scotch/whiskey silently weeping in bed in the hopes that someday there’s actual discussion and not an ego fight.

Which is why ultimately we become arrogant bastards

I’ll admit a lot of things I say and how I word it comes off as arrogant. This is done deliberately. I’m telling you that, “I will stick to my guns no matter how much you cry your lungs out”. And it’s not a matter of becoming someone impossible to deal with; it’s far from that. If I want an opinion I would create a thread with the respective tone that I want to discuss said topic. If I’m looking for answers, then I want answers and that means not your opinion.

And this get people a lot. Citing Linus Torvalds: “This ‘you have to be nice’ seems very popular in the US”. Nothing personal, I actually didn’t want to bring nationalities to this post, but it must be done.

I think I have said enough. Asking about things have gotten way too tedious, every corner has a person waiting to give your a comment instead of an answer. Your wish to improve in the programming language of your choosing is a road full of noise.

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this!” get some earplugs to block that noise.