zimena: (Nature - Night sea)
So, we've spent the last few days taking down all our Christmas decorations. This year they stayed up for quite long, as I think we've taken them down at the very beginning of January during the last few years. We took down the tree about a week ago, but everything else just stayed up until now.

Anyway, I'm happy to have it safely stored back in the basement now. And better: We also sorted through a bunch of old Christmas stuff that we no longer use - like lights and decorations for a tree (we don't need it anymore, as we use a fibre optic tree now), and some electric decorations that we just haven't used in years. I think it was 4 boxes in total. Most of it went to the recycling station today, but we'll give the decorations that still work to a second hand shop.

Now, let's hope we're back on track with sorting through the stuff in the basement, as that's definitely needed.

As for other things, I feel like I slept for most of the day, except when we were at the recycling station. It's so, so annoying. Even now that I finally got online, it feels pointless to start anything, because I know I won't be here for long enough, anyway.

Also, WriYe stuff... and something not so obviously related to that. I think we all know that I'm not going to write 50k words of fic, because I just don't write that much fic anymore. I have, however, decided to work more seriously on getting better with programming (bash shell scripting, because that's what I kind of started with, and I also decided that I want to start learning Python - maybe because I found a beginners' tutorial that involves making a text adventure game). While I know that coding does not count for WriYe, the in-game text certainly counts. And also, I want to write a little descriptive text on what I learn from each project, and what can be done to improve them when my skills get better, and I think that kind of thing counts as well. (At least some people count their schoolwork, and programming is kind of my "schoolwork", so...?)

Is it stupid to learn two languages at the same time, btw? I can't see a problem with that myself, because some concepts are still the same across languages, even if the code to do them is different. And as a beginner, one thing I need to learn is "thinking" in the right way, understanding when I need to make use of what. Then, understanding every single bit of code probably comes with more experience. As it is now, even my Youtube script has code I don't understand in detail. Like, I understand what it basically does, but I cannot replicate the same code out of my own head in a new place where I'd need to do the same kind of thing, so that means I don't fully understand how it's structured yet.

Does that even make sense outside my own mind? I hope so.

Instagram news

Saturday, January 12th, 2019 16:21
zimena: (Nature - Pink beach)
I have been thinking of fixing up my Instagram account(s) for a while now. The thought of doing that just keeps getting pushed away, because I'm not that active over there to begin with.

But, my problem was that I had two accounts. One personal, and one Johannes fan account. On the fan account, I follow quite a bit of skiing stuff, but I don't follow random people back from it. I did in the beginning, though, so there might be some "randoms" on there still - either because I forgot to remove them, or because they post stuff I like to see, even if it's not fanstuff. This season I haven't been updating that account, though, so it's mostly just "there" - I don't look at it that much.

Then, there is my personal account. I keep it locked because of the personal stuff on it, but I also follow various stuff from it - friends, artistic instagrammers I like, athletes I admire, random interesting things. Yet, I'm also kind of nervous to comment and follow non-famous people with it, because I don't want to accept following requests from people I don't know outside of IG, and I kind of don't want to have random people on there as long as there are photos of me there. So, for that reason it's pretty clear that I need a non-private IG for the kind of stuff I don't mind sharing openly, and for following stuff, too.

Well, last night I cleaned up the personal account. I archived the dark poetry posts and the sports fangirling, so what's left now is the actual personal stuff. Then I unfollowed all the arts and famous people stuff, so that only friends remain. I also put my real first name in the account name (username is still the same as it was, though). The account is of course still private. If I had you friended, you're still friended now, so you probably would not even notice any changes if I had not mentioned it here. The only change might be that I'll end up posting even less than I already did, and probably only if I'm travelling, or very rarely if I take some interesting photo of something that is happening around me.

Finally, I also have an open account here: FireAndRain19.

I might not post THAT much on there either, but I feel like it's a good thing to have an account from which I can comment freely, without directing attention to the real me. I haven't even followed a lot of stuff yet, but I'll probably add back much of what I removed from the personal account. Of course I'll also be happy to add you from this account, so feel free to add me - and drop a note to say who you are if that's not obvious from your username.

Also, I won't fill up your feed with endless posts from this account either. There might be occasional outbursts of love related to sports or music, or perhaps a bit of thoughtful/dark text/poetry - kind of like the stuff I archived on the other account, I guess. However, IG is not the first place that falls into my head when I want to post something, so it's not like I'm gonna get much more active than I were in the first place.

At least now there is a public and a private account. And my Johannes fan account is... still on hiatus, because I don't feel like updating every time there are news these days. I kind of feel that running a fan account requires doing a proper job with updating regularly, and I just don't feel like posting in that way at the moment, so for me it feels better to just keep the account on indefinite hiatus. I did find out when I logged into the account yesterday that... Johannes himself follows it since about September 2018, so my heart kind of did a leap at that. There are tons of fan accounts, and he follows only a few of them himself, so it's lovely that he also follows mine, despite the fact that it's inactive now.

There, now you know about all my IG accounts.
zimena: Asian-style artistic waterfall (Default)
I had such a good day yesterday. It was the first time since my accident that I've been to town for a decent amount of time by myself. Went to the post office to pick up a package (a screen protector and protective case for my phone), posted a couple of letters, went for pedicure, and just all around had a really nice day.

I also talked to the best friend for a couple of hours in the evening, and that was really nice, too.

Then... today. It kind of feels like my body doesn't like me being happy and pleased and relaxed too much, because today pretty much everything is painful. I slept until past 10, so it's not that. Then I started packing away some of the Christmas stuff - curtains and tablecloths, mostly. It's not that much stress, though, so doing any minor task isn't a good enough reason why I've been feeling shaky and somewhat dizzy for much of the day. I'm just so tired; so sick of everything. I can't even explain it, but I kind of feel detached from myself, as if the only thing I'm able to feel is pain, hurt, stress, annoyance.

That probably sounds more dramatic than it is, though. But even being here, doing things by the computer that I normally love and enjoy, doesn't really stop me from thinking of the fact that I just feel horrible.

I have no strength left to actually feel like a person anymore. I'm just tired. Endlessly tired, but not sleepy enough to just go bed and hope that this all passes tomorrow.
zimena: (Nature - Night sea)
Music CDs are fragile and annoying things, sometimes. Especially if they play perfectly fine, but cannot be read for conversion on the computer. I've run into quite a few CDs like that while working on digitalising my entire music collection. Sometimes, I've managed to find the same albums for download, so that I could add them to my collection anyway. The main difference here is that downloads are mostly in MP3 format, while I convert to FLAC when I do it from the CD.

Maybe this sounds silly, but I don't really notice that difference much, as long as the MP3 is not obviously of very low quality.

Anyway, googling for downloads of flawed CDs is time-consuming and often difficult, so I've learnt to check Youtube first of all. There are lots of full albums there, and they're even neatly sorted in playlists, which means you can get just one link for the entire album. With youtube-dl installed, it's possible to download these playlists, and with the right arguments set, you can save everything as MP3 instead of video files.

So, youtube-dl does what I want... only, it needs a bunch of arguments for that, and I don't really remember which ones are needed, so I used to look that up every time I wanted to download something. Now that I've become more aware of just how much material is available straight from Youtube, I figured I needed a script to simplify the downloading... and so I decided to try to make one.

You know I can't code, right? The most I've done before is make a few scripts that run a few commands in a row, and I've also done a few versions of the obligatory "Hello world" learning script, but that's all. For the youtube downloading script, I wanted to be able to use the same one both for playlists and single songs, so this is already a bit more than I've done before. I had a basic idea of what the code would need to do to accomplish what I wanted, though, so I figured it would be a fun challenge to see if I could make the script.

So, what does it do? It asks for a Youtube URL, which is then stored in a variable. Then it asks whether the URL is a playlist. (Yes/No or Y/N are acceptable answers, everything else returns "Invalid input"). Depending on your answer, it executes either the download code for playlists or individual songs. Oh, and files are saved to a specific "YT" folder under your "Music" folder.

Now, getting it to store the URL was easy enough. Then the first challenge was how to make sure the playlist question is answered properly. When I first tested this out, I simply created a variable for whatever answer the user supplied on that question, but of course that would be a bug if the user inputted some garbage instead of Y/N. Also, how to make it accept either full words, or just single letters, and make it case-insensitive? Okay, after a bit of googling I figured I could do it with a case statement.

So, the next bit proved the most difficult. Execute one bit of download code if the URL is a playlist, and another if it isn't. Understanding that I had to use an if/else statement for this was not the hard part... but I kept getting errors no matter what I did to my commands inside those statements. I didn't understand this, as the same commands work fine when used directly in the terminal window - I was simply copy/pasting the same set of command and arguments I always use.

Now, at first I was simply typing my code up in a regular text editor, but then I downloaded one that has both a built in terminal for testing, AND code highlighting (and probably a ton of other coding functionality that I have no chance of understanding yet). Okay, now it got much easier to see which code belongs together, and whether there is a missing closing " or ' or ) somewhere, because if something is not closed, the whole rest of the code gets the wrong colouring. So, the first flaws I noticed were a couple of extra spaces. Then, after some more fidgeting around, I finally figured out that I needed quotation marks around the path to the YT folder in the downloading command/arguments.

And, yes - I have a working script to download music from Youtube, now!!

Also, yes - I realise that it still needs a few tweaks. Like, right now everything is saved to the same folder, so if you download more than one album/song, you need to go in there manually and put things in the right folders if you don't want that folder to get messy. It should be possible to add a question to name a subfolder that will be used instead of the main YT folder.

Also, I haven't checked yet, but I believe there must be a bug that makes the script break if you input an invalid Youtube URL. Surely, there should be some way to check that the URL is valid - or at least that it follows URL structure, and isn't just "yajldjfldaj" or some other garbage.

This is for tomorrow or some other day soon, though. But right now, I'm quite proud of making my first "real" script that actually does something useful.
zimena: Link from Legend of Zelda, with a text that says "My kind of Hero". (Zelda - My kind of Hero)
I have a new last.fm account. If you want to friend me over there, the username is MorningStar19. I'm always excited to have a look at what kind of music my friends listen to, so maybe you want to know about my listening habits as well? Go ahead and friend me - you know you want to. (And... maybe leave me a little note if it's not obvious from your username who you are, okay?)

Getting myself a new last.fm account has been on my list of things to do some time for a while. When the idea resurfaced in my head a few days ago, I thought it would be cool to create the new account on the 1st of January. In a few years, when I look at the yearly comparison charts, there won't be any "incomplete" years in my stats, and that's nice, I think.

So, from now on I'm going to scrobble to the new account. I've changed the bio on the other one to show that it's not in use anymore, but I'm not deleting it. I don't feel that attached to the stats on it, but in case I want to look something up, the account is still there - it just won't get updated anymore.
zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
So, first of all: Happy New Year, dear friends! Thanks for being with me and caring about me this year. I hope you get to celebrate the start of the new year in the way that is best for you, and I hope 2019 will bring you all lots of happiness, joy, and success.

I'm not really a fan of this day, as it tends to make me thoughtful and somewhat sad. That, coupled with my dislike of people shooting fireworks to the sky all evening and night, usually makes me want to skip straight from December 30 to January 1. But of course that didn't work this year either. So, because I want to end the old year AND start the new one on a positive note instead of a sad one, I have some goals for the new year. (Yes, I call them goals - if I called them resolutions, I would break them within three hours anyway. I might anyway, you say? Yes, maybe, but they're still goals).

... Things I want to do (more of)

* Read regularly (books, ebooks, manga).
* Knitting (I found an old learning project I started a few years ago. I still want to learn to do this properly.)
* Eat healthy (or at least eat less junk food and/or chocolate).
* Do daily stretches.
* Get out daily (if nothing else, just go to the nearest corner.)

Those are the important and somewhat doable ones. There are also some other things I'd ideally like to do more of, like driving practice and language studies and writing, but I'm not sure I feel ready to commit to doing them regularly, for different reasons in each case. Writing, for me, depends heavily on inspiration, and also on making myself sit down to work with that inspiration. Language studies - especially getting back into practicing and studying Czech - are a problem because I'm lazy. If I study, I enjoy it, but there are countless other things I also enjoy and tend to choose instead of studying. Finally, you all know my feelings about driving practice. I wish I could drive well enough to feel safe and comfortable doing it, but I also wish I could get there without putting myself through the endless torture of doing it WITHOUT feeling good enough at it. I know, I know, that's an impossibility.

So, not putting these last three in the goals list, even though I want to do them, too.

In any case, have a safe end of 2018 and a happy, smiley hello to 2019 when it's time to welcome the new year in your part of the world.

See you next year! 🎆

Reading

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018 18:31
zimena: A stack of books (Misc - Books)
So, I did a bit of cleaning up on my Goodreads account. I never got around to reading much this year, so it's pretty clear that I won't reach my challenge goal of 15 books this year. I am, however, planning to read more from now on.

I removed some books I'm probably not going to finish from my Goodreads "currently reading" list, and my first goal is to finish the things that are still left on that list. If that works out, I hope it can be a step towards forming new habits and reading more regularly again.

That's a goal for the new year, definitely.
zimena: (Nature - Night sea)


I don't know how much I'll be online during Christmas, so I just want to leave greetings for you right away. I hope that you will have a peaceful and happy holiday season, and I hope that these days will be filled with love and joy for you all.

Merry Christmas,
Feliz navidad,
Frohe Weihnachten,
Veselé vánoce,
С рождеством,
and
God jul!
zimena: Beautiful, somewhat scary woman. (Misc - Mystery Ana)
Just a quick question for the Android users on my flist: Is F-Droid and the apps from there safe to use, as long as the permissions they ask for are sensible? Or can they be hidden keyloggers or something else scary that I wouldn't want to put on my phone?

I keep seeing recommendations about the Tachiyomi manga reader, and I want to start reading at least some more manga in the new year, so it sounds like something I would want. Besides, I already started reading one manga which is available for free online, but the web reader is kind of clumsy and it'd be nice to have a proper reading app... and there's of course nothing sensible on Google Play, as Google don't like apps that offer things like manga (= copyrighted material) for free.

I use apps from homebrew (= a non-official source) on my computer with no problem, and F-Droid kind of feels like the phone version of the same thing, but I just want to be sure. Would you use it or not?

([personal profile] catness, I feel like you have some sensible advice here?)

Also, on a different note, I have all my DW icons back. In other words, I renewed my paid account after staying on a free one for a few months. So, I'm here for another year... yay?

Multitasking

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 17:57
zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
I'm not good with multitasking. No matter what I'm supposed to do, I prefer to do one thing at a time. I get stressed and annoyed very quickly if I need to constantly switch my attention to new and different things. Some people appear to have a special skill to juggle various activities at the same time, but I'm absolutely not one of them.

Perhaps, sometimes, I admire that ability. But also, sometimes it feels like lack of respect or care. If I text you to ask if you're available because we need to talk about something, I want your full attention for the few minutes that conversation takes if you text me back and say yes. I don't want a ton of obvious signs that you're doing Random Randomness when you said you were available to talk.

Is that really so hard to understand?

* Okay, so this is not specifically about something that happened today. This post happened because of something I saw the other day, and somehow I started thinking about this.

** This is how DW posts happen. Sometimes.
zimena: A pixel version of a mobile phone (Misc - Mobile phone)
So, I've had my new phone for a few weeks now, so it's finally time to comment on the iPhone to Android switch. I had been pondering the switch for a while, because nice Android phones kept coming out... while at the same time I don't like the newer iPhones. For one thing, they are too expensive, and there's also the fact that there is very little noticeable difference between models. If we look beyond the phones themselves, iOS has also remained similar since iOS 7, when the old (and in my opinion cool) design was scrapped in favour of a flatter, whiter, uglier one... but let's not even go into that too much.

In short, I might have wanted to switch for a while - maybe even before I bought the iPhone I had before switching now - but it's a big step because it means not only learning a new environment when everything about the old one is automatically in your fingertips, but also setting up important things like contacts and messages and photos in a completely new way.

All of that ended up going more smoothly than I feared, though. Contacts and photos transferred easily via Google Drive, while messages needed a third-party app to transfer. Either way, it worked well enough. However, even with all the data transferred okay, it took some time to set up everything the way I want it. Some contacts appeared twice or even thrice, others were in the contact list even though they were obviously supposed to not be there. It took me a bit of time to realize that the phone contact list gets populated from various sources, including contacts that I've sent mail to only once, or contacts from messaging apps like Telegram. Once I found out how to turn off that, the contact list went back to being sensible.

Also, during the first couple of days, the menu system and settings kept confusing me to no end, because it wasn't obvious to me which settings were in which sub-menus, so every time I wanted to tweak something, I was clicking on various unnecessary stuff first. Even with Huawei's nifty little search feature for settings, some of them still feel like they are able to "hide" in some sub-menu I'm not quite familiar with yet.

One more important thing after switching is of course my apps. I have not found any important apps that did not also have an Android version, so I had very few problems here. The only problem was the app for our heat pump at home... but that app is also a pain in the ass to set up on iOS, and it still was so on Android, so it's just that app being stupid, it's not about the OS. For some reason, it refuses to discover the local network (which it needs in order to pair with the pump, and send start/stop signals to it). Once it finds the network, it says "connecting" endlessly, without actually connecting. If you restart the process enough times, it just suddenly works - in a way it feels like one of those old games where you have to battle the boss X number of times, then you suddenly win the battle, even though you're just doing the exact same time you've been doing the whole time. So, after X tries and one deletion and reinstallation of the heat pump app, it paired and now works flawlessly.

Also - the good stuff if you are an Android fan: Android (or in some cases specifically Huawei's version of it) has a few major advantages compared to iOS:

* More control over where you put what if you download something from your phone. There's even a file browser, and more advanced ones to download if you want.
* If you want to transfer files to or from the phone, it's like working with regular folders.
* last.fm scrobbling works, and is as easy as downloading a scrobbler app (Good luck scrobbling from iOS, without using an app that also forces you to play your music through it).
* Many, many more customisation options. App drawer can be turned on or off.
* Different navigation options. Gestures are an option, not a requirement.
* Switkey for Android is miles better than the iOS version. The keyboard itself is just better, and you can have more active languages on at the same time.

There might be a few more things I noticed as well, but I can't think of them now.

Also, there are a couple of features I miss from iOS. I keep tapping the top of the screen to go to the top of the current page, and that doesn't work on Android. Even if you scrolled quite far down, you have to scroll back up if you want to go to the top. And also, the favourite sites list when you tapped the address bar in Safari would have little icons for each site, and I practically never typed any URLs for my most visited sites - I just added them to that list, and tapped where I wanted to go. That also works great as a "reminder" to visit certain sites, because you see the logo every time you go to something, even if you weren't thinking of that site specifically. There's no such thing in Chrome for Android. I know there's a favourites list, but it's text based and not such an in-your-face reminder as the icons were. Plus, I don't really use it, I simply start typing the first few letters of the URL I want, and then it comes up as a suggestion.

Sometimes there are things I miss from iOS, and I definitely miss AirPlay, because I can't cast videos from the web to my TV anymore, but overall I'm very satisfied with the new phone.... and there are some things about it that I really love, that I could never have on iOS in a million years.
zimena: Gift via Fandom Stocking 2017 (Skiing - JHK official look)
I don't feel like writing a long post, but I have a few things I want to mention on here, so let's see:

⭑ My arm is slowly healing. Well, at least they said that the fracture is in a good position during my last check-up, and I'm regaining movement slowly, but surely. Apparently I'm not allowed to attempt any movement that involves lifting my arm above shoulder height for another few weeks, though. Not that I could do that yet anyway, but I can at least type comfortably and normally now, and also move my hand/arm a bit out from my body. I still have to pretend being left handed if I want to hold or lift anything that weighs more than a cup of coffee, and sometimes I get frustrated at that, but.... yeah, it's getting better.

⭑ Winter sports are back on, YAY! Cross-country skiing has been slightly less yay from my point of view so far, because a certain Johannes did not have a great start to the season. He kind of gave away the win in the first sprint of the season, because he did not bother to sprint at maximum speed until the finish line. Then, when he looked to the side to check where competitors were, Alexander Bolshunov sprinted past and won. Two things about this: 1) Bolshunov was really, really fast, and I'm not 100% sure Johannes would have kept him behind even without the idiocy he did. Probably, but I'm not sure. And also 2) I really hope he will learn from this, because he's annoying with the "slowing down before the line" thing. He does it in most races if he thinks he is far enough ahead, and it's scary as a fan... and yes, annoying.
As if this wasn't enough, the next sprint wasn't much better. Let's just say, Halfvarsson stepped on Johannes' ski pole, and Johannes threw a crazy hissy fit on the track because of that.
... and that's just the sprints. There were a couple of longer races as well, but let's not even talk about his performance there.

In nicer news, other skiers I like did well, though. Pellegrino won the sprint this past weekend, and I'm also not sad about Bolshunov winning the first one, because I like him as well - I'm just not as happy as I might otherwise be for him because it happened at the expense of someone I like more, as you saw above. Also, a lovely surprise for me was seeing Didrik Tønseth get his first proper world cup win (I believe he had two from before, but one was a "best time" victory in a pursuit, and the other was awarded late because of Sundby's doping case). I didn't think he would make it when he was coming into the final part of the race with Røthe, because I know Didrik isn't good at sprinting for the finish line in a head to head duel like that... but he was smart and made all the right choices and WON, and I'm really happy for him about that! He smiled so much afterwards, too. So nice to see how much it meant to finally get that victory!

Biathlon has started again, too, but so far only with mixed relays. I'm looking forward to more races. And can I just say "YESSS, winter sports are back on!" one more time?

⭑ I have a new mobile phone. Not an iPhone anymore, but a Huawei Mate 20 Pro! In short, it's awesome and wonderful, and I love it. I haven't found any "missing" important apps yet, either. This deserves a longer post when I've had more time to explore it - I've only had it for a few days. Mom was supposed to get my old phone, because her phone screen is cracked, but right now she's not sure she wants to replace the cracked phone anyway. Resistant to change, much? I guess she just needs more time to adjust to the idea, though... but I wouldn't have got a new phone now if she had not initially said that she wanted my old one.
zimena: Asian-style artistic waterfall (Default)
So, first of all, my arm is much better. I can move it at least a bit, and it doesn't hurt too much anymore. Therefore, I was quite optimistic when I went for my first check-up at the hospital today.

...but unfortunately, there is still a visible anomaly on the x-ray pictures. It might even look like the fracture is bigger now than it was initially, but the doctor said that this might be just because the two sets of x-ray pictures might have been taken from slightly different angles. Because they're not certain that it's healing the way it should, I'm supposed to wear that annoying sling for another week, until the next check-up.

I'm not happy about that. Wearing the sling felt like it made sense a few days ago, when my arm was still constantly hurting. Keeping it still helped minimize the pain, but by now the sling just feels severely limiting. Another week with these limits feels like a long time, especially now that I feel able to do at least some movement. I guess I'll just have to manage, though.

And less pain IS a good thing, of course.

In other news, I randomly checked an old online Hogwarts site that some of you should know well the other day. I don't know what made me go there and look again, but... maybe I'm just curious? Much to my surprise, I still remembered my login over there, and after some guesswork I also managed to get into the email account I had used for that place, back in the day. It's quite strange to get into an email account where all the new mail is spam, and the oldest "new" spam is from 2006... that's so long ago.

Maybe I should've just closed the account, but seeing it again made me more curious what that place is like now...? For now I'm thinking of going back as a "casual" student, especially because classes look quite cool, and it's still mainly forum-based, and I miss having a forum to go to. I don't want to get back to the level of involvement I once had, though.

I'm still undecided about this, but it just feels right to mention it over here in case I end up doing anything like that.

Also, speaking of this reminds me that I still haven't seen any of the "Fantastic Beasts" movies. That's another thing on my to-do list. Another week with my arm in a sling sounds like the perfect opportunity to watch at least the first one, but I don't know if I'll get around to it. Someone needs to make me a comfortable nest on the sofa, hand me a bowl of popcorn, AND make me stop thinking of things I normally choose to do instead of watching a movie, and then maybe we'll talk about watching something....?
zimena: Asian-style artistic waterfall (Default)
I fell and fractured a bone in my arm, just under the shoulder joint. It... HURTS. I guess I could deal with the pain if I could actually have something to take my mind off it, but I have to wear my arm in a sling for at least a week. So far, that has meant sitting in a sofa doing a big fat nothing. I can't hold a book, so reading gets boring really fast. I struggle to get dressed every morning, or undressed every night. Going upstairs to bed hurts more than anything else, because I need at least a little bit of support on the "bad" side to even make it up the stairs. I haven't been able to be on the computer, because I couldn't put my hand onto the keyboard. Now I can, but only if I move the keyboard to where my hand is, and only if being on the computer doesn't involve using the mouse too much.

The vimium Chrome extension made things a lot easier, as it allows me to open links with the keyboard. That + learning a few Chrome keyboard shortcuts to go to the address bar or to specific tabs, means I can at least do some things on the computer today.

Maybe... just maybe I'll make it through these days of wearing a sling, anyway? I'm apparently supposed to wear that only for the first week, but the total healing time is much longer.

Right now I don't feel any pain in my arm (even while typing, I keep my arm still in the sling, and my hand quite still - only my fingers are moving, the hand/arm not that much), but I know it's not over yet. It still hurts quite fiercely, and I'm on a high dose of painkillers still. Also, it's hard to sleep comfortably, as I usually sleep on my right side - and of course that would mean getting the broken arm underneath myself. Not a possible move for now.

In short, I've been extremely down and depressed for a few days after the accident happened. Right now I feel a bit better, because now I can at least be here for a bit of time. Not as much as I would normally want, and not with the ability to do everything I want, but yes, I'm here, I can type, I don't feel like I'm just sitting there doing nothing. Oh, and I can also do some gaming, if I pick "calm" games that don't require very rash movement, so yay for that, too.

Everything that is important in life is on a screen, did you know? Well, maybe not everything, but many things that make life more enjoyable (and pain more bearable) are. That's just a fact.

(no subject)

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 18:43
zimena: Asian-style artistic waterfall (Default)
Sometimes I'm just surprised at what kind of things it's possible to sell online.

We had a robot vacuum cleaner since about 2013. Actually, I had no idea about the year, but that's what it said underneath the thing, so it must be from about then. It's not working too well anymore, because the battery needs replacement. Needless to say, that's a bit annoying, and more so if it stops underneath a sofa or in some other inaccessible place because the battery did not last long enough for it to return to the docking station.

Okay, so yesterday I picked it out from under the sofa. Today it stopped under a table. Well, marginally better than under the sofa, but... you know.

In a moment of annoyance, I decided to put it up for sale online. I did not try to say that it was perfect or any lies like that - I said things exactly as they are, and even mentioned that it might need a new battery. Within an hour, I had a message from some guy who wanted to buy it - and even wanted to pay me quite good money for it (at least "good money" by my definition, for a thing that is at least semi-broken). What's more, said guy also bought one of my old computers (one that's not actually worth that much anymore, because I had not discovered online sales at the time when I replaced that, so it's been sitting unused in a drawer for a few years).

So far, the sale went very well. I hope these things will reach him in good condition, and that he'll be happy with them.

But seriously... buying a half-broken vacuum cleaner? Really?!

Okay, I'm happy, of course. But... wow, so cool!
zimena: (Nature - Tulips)
I've started that huge CD ripping project I mentioned here a while ago. In the beginning, I ripped everything with iTunes, to Apple Lossless (ALAC, or actually M4A) format. However, I had some doubts about this method, because:

1) I don't actually like iTunes anymore. Some years ago, I used to like it much more, but nowadays it's getting less and less useable with each update. Not to mention, uglier with each update as well.

2) Using an Apple-specific format sounded like a bad plan, in case I decide to move to a different OS as my main one in the future. Right now I'm at the point where I continue to use macOS because it's what I have, and what I know best, but I'm not certain that my next computer - a few years into the future - will still be some kind of Mac.

Still, I went with the obvious choices at the start of this project, because I wanted to get started with the ripping, and I didn't feel like researching alternatives. However, after ripping a good few CD's, I started getting annoyed - with iTunes and with it being unable to rip CDs that I know are perfectly good in other contexts, with having ALAC files instead of FLAC, with my own nagging thought that I'm doing this to preserve my music collection for the future, so why not do it properly from the beginning... and so I started looking for alternative ways to do things.

... and I have them. I have a ripping setup I really like now.

First of all, I replaced iTunes with Clementine - which I already had once before, back when I was testing out Ubuntu a few years back. I liked it a lot then, and I still like what I'm seeing now - it's certainly a lot better than the current iTunes - but I still need to get used to it, and there are probably lots of cool features I haven't discovered yet.

It's apparently possible to use Clementine for ripping as well, but I found a much cooler alternative. There's a nice command line tool called abcde ("A better CD encoder"). When I first installed it, I didn't really know what I was doing or how it was supposed to work, but after some research it now works fine. It uses a configuration file to specify ripping options, like which format you want to rip to, which folder you want to save files to, which online database you want to use to fetch CD info, this sort of stuff, so once everything is set up nicely in that file, you just insert your CD and enter "abcde" on the command line.

...Well, except not.

I found that I needed to unmount the CD drive before ripping, and then mount it again after ripping is done, so I made a tiny bash script file which does that, and also ejects the disk when it's done ripping. So, I now have a folder with my own bash scripts (with just two files in so far - this one for the ripping, and one more which converts all files in a folder from ALAC to FLAC, as I needed to do that with the stuff I'd already ripped), registered in PATH so that I can use them from any folder. Learning more about what I can do with such scripts is definitely on my list of things to do, as these ones are just simple things - but they're simple things that I made for my needs, and I feel a little bit cool for that :)

Also, while I was researching abcde and stuff, I also found out that there is a nifty little thing called Midnight Commander - a file manager kinda like the old Norton Commander, so I installed that one as well. That proved to be a bigger challenge than I thought, because it somehow started up with menus and everything in Czech, with the odd Norwegian word thrown in here and there. Well, fixing that at least taught me to edit my .bash_profile. And, as a bonus cool side effect, I've also set up Midnight Commander - or mc - to always exit to the current folder I'm at.

Believe me, it's so much more convenient to browse the file system this way, instead of clicking in the Finder endlessly. Plus, MC shows hidden files and system folders, which is also a big plus while working in the terminal and trying to learn things there. In the old days of MS-DOS, I used to be a huge fan of a file browser/manager called LIST.COM, so for that reason I never really used the old Norton. However, MC feels strangely familiar in a computer-nostalgic way, even with the Norton-style dual-pane layout.

Imagine the work it would have been to convert 20+ folders of ALAC files to FLAC via the graphical file manager interface. Lots of clicking, plus I'm not even sure macOS has FLAC as an alternative to convert to - it probably doesn't. What I did instead? Used mc to browse to the right folder, exited and ran my convert script, then used mc again to go to the next folder and repeat the process. No clicking at all, no moving my hands from the keyboard, no unnecessary click-clickety-clicky stupidity.

Before you ask, no, I don't hate using the mouse, but I do find it a slow alternative to using the keyboard efficiently. And yes, I'm that old, now.

At least I've learned a number of new things - and now I'm off to rip some more CDs.
zimena: Gift via Fandom Stocking 2017 (Zelda - Sheik negative space)
I decided to change my keyboard again. Some months ago, I bought a Razer mechanical keyboard. It's very comfortable to write on, with tactile keys and a "clicky" sound every time a key is pressed. I love it, it's not that.... it's just that I don't have that much desk space, so if I want to do anything non-computer related at my desk, there's no space available. Also, it's a USB keyboard, so it takes up one of the ports on my computer... and I could use a couple more as it is!

So, for now it's back to my Logitech K380. Let's just say it makes a big difference on my desk.

Of course I'll probably take the bigger keyboard back at some point, because it is amazing in many ways, but right now I really need the space.
zimena: (Misc - Doll-like woman)
I haven't been posting here in an age, so let's fix that with a meme.

Swiped from [personal profile] catness.

1. Do you have the urge to do a Fall/Spring cleaning as soon as the weather turns?
No. I don't get how "urge" and "cleaning" fits into the same sentence.

2. What tells you that the season (a certain smell, a certain taste, that sort of thing) has changed?
The fact that I need to start putting extra clothes on to go out? For example, needing a scarf or proper shoes instead of sandals? Or also, especially when the season changes from summer to autumn, the air gets crispier and it's much more comfortable to be out.

3. What do you look forward to the most with the change of seasons?
Wearing the clothes that I haven't been able to wear for the past 6 months, maybe? Or also, getting rid of the things I don't like about the current season - if the summer is too hot, I look forward to autumn/winter because it'll be colder and more comfortable for me, but if the winter is too snowy, I look forward to spring/summer because it means No More Snow.

4. What is something that you probably should accomplish but won’t this season?
Learn more Czech, get started with Italian, get a move on about the Moving To My Own Flat process...

5. What is the most enjoyable part of the oncoming season for you?
The fact that the winter sports season is starting soon? Also, Christmas, of course.

Nintendo rant

Monday, August 20th, 2018 20:37
zimena: Gift via Fandom Stocking 2017 (Zelda - Sheik negative space)
So, I see Nintendo are at it with getting emulation sites shut down again. It will never make sense to me that they spend so much energy doing this, as long as they cannot actually make money from the original games and consoles anymore. These things are obsolete; they don't even work properly on modern TV's. While I get that they want people to buy old games via official means, such as getting the mini consoles, I just don't see how emulation defeats the purpose of that.

A person who is a life-long Nintendo fan, who has tons of memories around certain games, and who wants to preserve those memories and relive them in the modern day... will most likely buy the mini consoles anyway. Allowing the emulation scene to exist doesn't create fewer potential buyers, because people have emulation instead. Rather, it might make it more likely that new generations also grow up with these games, and these people might also want official products in addition to what they've already played on emulators.

Also, see previous point about the original consoles being obsolete. Emulation is THE way to play these games on modern systems. Even if you want to argue that emulation also makes it easy to download games you never owned or paid for in the first place, it's also the best way to enjoy the games you already own and paid for once before. As in, your own games, just in another way that wasn't invented or needed when you first bought them.

Oh, and also, let's not forget that the NES mini and SNES mini are both essentially just... you guessed it... emulators.

If only Nintendo could understand that fans spreading love creates new fans - new fans who might also want official content and products.

(I feel like I've done this sort of rant against the music industry in the past as well. In a slightly different way, of course, but still with the same point - sharing things makes more people aware of it, which in turn makes more people want the original and/or official content. Get it, already! It's so obvious!)

A little update

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 16:35
zimena: A stack of books (Misc - Books)
Time for a little update:

✮ The hot weather seems to be calming down a bit, so I'm starting to feel a bit better than I have been for some time. Feeling better might also have something to do with the fact that I escaped to Denmark for one and a half day recently, though. The weather there was partly overcast, and partly with a few showers of rain, and I honestly believe that humans need rain just as much as nature does. My mood is at least a lot better now.

✮ Some fun with new toys: I'm currently testing out the Vivaldi web browser. So far, I'm really liking some features here (vertical tabs, notes tab on the sidebar, bookmarks sidebar, nice show/hide system for the sidebars, nice themes and possibility of customising the colours to your own liking). It also works well with my password manager, and I've not seen any "broken" sites yet, so let's see if I'll switch to it as my main browser after some more testing? Especially the vertical tabs are amazing, and much more convenient than having endless tabs on top of the page. I tend to still move the mouse pointer to the top when I want to switch tab, though, so I guess I need to get rid of that habit.

✮ In a moment of stupid craziness, I installed cDock to change the Dock appearance on my computer. I've used it sometimes in the past as well, but it tends to stop working for a time every time a new version of macOS comes out, so I delete it then. Well, this time it wasn't that simple. No matter what I did, even after deleting the app and its obvious entries in Application Support, my Dock still kept coming up with some ugly theme on it - not even one of those I would choose if I was actively trying to use the app. In the end, I found a hidden cDock bundle in the SIMBL part of the Library folder, and that one apparently activated automatically each time the Dock started. So, put it in the trash can, emptied the trash, and finally I have a normal-looking Dock again. It's not supposed to be this complex to get rid of an app!

✮ I sold all my Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 stuff. I'm not usually one for selling games and consoles, as I prefer to collect it and replay it sometimes. I tend to replay older stuff than these, though, so getting rid of things I haven't touched in several years sounded like the right thing to do, especially now that we've started clearing out stuff in preparation for moving at some point. (Before you ask: no, there's still nothing definite about these plans). I'm especially excited about the PS2 sale, because I sold it online, and I went to post everything only yesterday afternoon, so I really hope it'll reach the buyer safely, and that he'll be happy. I'm a bit nervous, of course, but also excited, because I got quite good money for it, considering how old it is.

✮ What else? Yes, there are European Championships on in various sports at the moment. The athletics one is the most important one to me, so I'm off to watch it soon.
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