Little note

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 18:14
zimena: (Nature - Pink beach)
Okay, so I kind of solved the music file conversion issue. Perhaps not in the most ideal way, but in a way that works until I can do it better.

So, I couldn't figure out how to move MP3's out of their respective FLAC folders and into a suitably named folder for MP3's. I can, however, easily copy all newly created FLAC folders to a temporary folder, before I move the originals to their place. From that temporary folder, it's easy to convert all files, remove all the *.flac originals (which are just copies used for conversion, anyway), and then put MP3's where they should go at my leisure.

The only problem now? During conversion, the new files retain the .flac ending AND also get .mp3 added. So, basically they're all named like "01 - Some song.flac.mp3", which isn't quite right. This is easily fixable with an automator script that I can run on the parent folder, though - at least that is a solution until I can fix my conversion script to do the naming more suitably.

Okay, so it's not perfect, but it's progress and it gets the job done for now. Heh.
zimena: A cup with a hot drink inside. A heart drawn into the liquid, and the text "Coffee, love?" diagonally across the pic. (Misc - Coffee)
Have you ever tried doing something new and kind of complex, and then realised that you're completely unable to focus on that thing, and therefore unable to work out how to do it? That's what's happening to me today. I'm still trying to figure out the file-moving issue from yesterday, but even though I found example scripts and possibly nice explanations that might point me in the direction of what to do... I can't make sense of them right now. My brain is just not cooperating, and I don't understand a word of what I'm reading... and it feels like I should be able to both read and do this, if I'm in a better frame of mind. Not right now, though.

That said, I'm quite tired today. I was up very early, because we had a couple of appointments (car stuff). As it turned out, the place where we had the first appointment had messed up the dates, so they asked us to come back a few hours later than originally planned. In return, they did the necessary work without charging us for the working hours, so I guess that was okay enough.... except annoying when the task had not even started by the time we had expected it to be finished.

I kind of feel like falling asleep right now, and it feels like I would sleep until morning... I'll try not to do that, though... but maybe it'll still be an early night tonight.
zimena: Tetris (Misc - Tetris)
First things first, I have a couple of new Tetris 99 personal bests. I made second place once, third place once, and top 5 a few times. Still no win, though.

As for other things, I'm trying to make a script to move files of a certain type (like *.mp3) to a new subfolder that has the same naming structure of the current folder. So, if I convert some of my FLAC files to MP3, I want to move them to ~/Music/MP3/(same naming structure as there is under ~/Music/FLAC). So far I'm having no luck with that one. Converting files is easy enough, moving all MP3's also works, but preserving the folder/subfolder structure is the hard part. Ideally, it would be cool to run this script just once in a flac folder. If that one has 5 albums in it, all 5 should convert and get moved to the MP3 folder, with the directory and naming structure intact. It kind of doesn't sound like such a hard task, but... eh.

The day just went way too fast today... I literally feel ready to start doing things around now, but it's already evening.

Oh, and finally, Norway actually managed to pick my favourite song in our selection as our entry for Eurovision this year. I'm not sure how much that means, though - because 1) my music taste is generally weird, if you compare with what usually does well at the contest, and also 2) being "my favourite" kinda says more about the bland-ness of our selection than about the winning song. Honestly, it's not a song I would listen to that much by choice. It's okay, that's all.

Tetris 99

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 17:19
zimena: Link from Legend of Zelda, with a text that says "My kind of Hero". (Zelda - My kind of Hero)
Some gaming news today.

First of all, I sold my Playstation 4 system, and also an old Nintendo DS with some games. It's been on my list of things to do for a while, but I just didn't have the motivation to set it up and go through the formatting process just to take it to a store the next day. I guess it's better to do it while I can still get some money for these systems, though, so I simply decided to get it done.

Maybe I didn't get as much money as I would have liked, but it's still better than keeping the consoles if I'm not playing on them anyway. Right now I'm not even sad about having sold them - I'm mostly just happy, because I'm realising that I'm more into other kinds of games than what is typically available on PS4, anyway. And as for the DS - handheld systems were much more useful before mobile games were good. I still have a PSP, too, but it's too old to sell back to a store. I have to try to sell it online instead, but so far I had no motivation to take photos and write about it and do something about that.

One thing at a time, okay?

Then, I set up my Nintendo Switch again instead. We got it when the last Zelda game came out, but so far we haven't played any other games than that on it. However, Nintendo recently released Tetris 99, which is exactly what it says on the tin - Tetris against 99 other players at the same time. So, basically Tetris Battle Royale. That information was of course enough to have me fascinated, so I downloaded the game as soon as I could.

The game works in a similar way to other VS Tetris games. If you clear multiple lines, or even just lines in a row (as in, with different pieces), you send garbage lines to your opponents. Or, if someone already sent some garbage your way, you have a few seconds to clear lines of your own to reduce the amount of garbage you get.

By the way, you can choose a specific opponent to target with the garbage you send yourself, or you can target those who are targeting you, someone who's about to KO, someone with badges (you get badges by KO'ing people, or by stealing them by KO'ing people who have them - having more badges means sending extra garbage each time you send some), or simply someone random. For now I'm unsure if random really means random, or if there is some bias involved - I kind of felt that I got more people targeting me from the off if I did well in the previous game, for example, but I don't know yet how this works, exactly.

So far, my best result is a 7th place (twice). If you are among the last remaining players (so, in the last 10 or so, I guess?), the pieces start to fall really fast, so even though I had a good board on both occasions when I ended that high up the list, I messed it up myself by not being able to position pieces where I wanted them fast enough.

Most of the time I lose earlier than that, though - usually due to dying from the garbage that gets sent my way. Sometimes the garbage can be useful, if it's laid out in such a way that there's an easy Tetris in it as long as you can get an opening for a long piece, but if you have too many pieces in "your own" part of the board, there's simply no easy way to reach the "easy Tetris" that might be in your garbage pieces. And so, your board fills up and you get knocked out.

The good thing is that you can just start a new game immediately after getting knocked out, though - you don't have to wait for the players who are better than you to finish before you can join another game. So far, games I've played have been set up pretty quickly as well. As soon as I click on "new game", it immediately sets up a new game, finds 100 opponents and starts preparing the game for everyone. Typically, it takes 30 seconds to a minute for a new game to start, but it's probably closer to the former than the latter.

In my opinion, the game would have been even better if there had been a "normal"/single player mode in addition to the versus mode, because it would be easier to get used to the layout and the controls in a less frantic setting, but I'm also enjoying the game as it is.

Just so you know :).

Sigh

Friday, February 22nd, 2019 17:44
zimena: (Nature - Night sea)
I know it's old news, but lack of computer time makes me annoyed and uncomfortable. Even now that I'm actually here, I don't feel like starting anything because I know I can't stay online for more than half an hour at maximum anyway.

So, what am I doing instead of being online? Well, we're still trying to get rid of random junk from our basement or attic, but even that process is going more slowly than I'd like. And in short, it feels like entire days just disappear into nothingness, and I have no idea where they went. It's frustrating, and I'm annoyed with myself for letting that happen over and over.

I'm not doing important house stuff. And I'm also not doing any personal projects.

No wonder I feel useless at the moment.
zimena: Gift via Fandom Stocking 2017 (Skiing - JHK official look)
* It’s STARTING! The magic is finally starting!

* The sprint is the first event. It’s also simultaneously the event I’m looking forward to most AND the one that will be hardest for me emotionally.

* Because it means all my main favourites will be likely to race directly against each other… or also potentially lose to someone I can’t stand.

* I want Johannes to win, obviously.

* But I would also be really happy for Chicco to do so.

* The two of them are almost equally important to me now.

* There, I said it!

* So, besides the two of them, I also really want Sergey Ustyugov to have a good tournament.

* And I want to see Didrik Tønseth - preferably more than once. Nope, the “hitting-a-competitor-on-the-track” episode has not made me like him less. It disappointed me, but I still care about him a lot.

* And I also generally root for Team Norway, Team Russia, Team Italy and Team Czech Republic.

* Unfortunately with some exceptions.

* Therese Johaug and Emil Iversen can both kindly not win things. Or, if Emil gets a chance to redeem himself on the team sprint, I get that it would be important and okay, but I don’t want him to win anything else.

* And Therese, I simply don’t like. She WILL win things, though, because that’s what she’s been doing all season. But: Pffft, I won’t be very enthusiastic about that.
zimena: Beautiful sundown (Nature - Sundown)
So, I did my first professional task that involved a tiny bit of coding.

The task was to do subtitle styling for a movie, and to teach some other people how to do that task by themselves later. Only, I had to work out myself how the styling actually worked before I could do anything else. What they wanted was hard-coded subtitles that look like subtitles do on TV - as in, with two clearly separated lines of text on a semi-transparent background. Oh, and they had to be aligned to the centre, but with a straight left margin as well.

So, the big challenge here was to get the two separate lines of text, because there is no setting that indicates vertical space in the subtitle format I was supposed to use. I could easily put either a box around the subtitles, or draw a background across the whole width of the screen, but neither of those options were what I was after. I have to admit, it took me a lot of fiddling around to work out how to do this - even so much that I kind of gave up at one point... only I started working on it again the next day anyway.

The solution was to add a rotation code to every subtitle string that had two lines in it. If you move the rotation point very far off the screen, the end result is that the two lines get pushed apart without getting rotated at all. I don't understand maths or geometry, so I can't explain why that works, but it did. Only... it's not so fun to add the rotation code manually if you have hundreds, or even thousands, of lines of text, so I figured I needed a script for that. Now, my minimal coding skills are not nearly good enough to do that myself, so I was happy when I found someone who had uploaded a script that did kind of what I was after. His script pushed the text like 7cm apart, though, so I simply had to adjust some numbers to get a spacing that was more like what I was after. That, of course, involved figuring out where in the code to adjust that. So, nothing big, but it kind of looked impressive when I could send a mail and say "Look, I have a few scripts for you. This is how you can do subtitle spacing."

Once I had the spacing right, the rest of the task was just about finding the right settings for the background and the transparency levels. Finally, the center alignment with a straight left margin proved to be impossible in the preferred subtitling format - it even says in the documentation that "this is a format limitation", so I guess it's really not possible to do with a simple setting. What IS possible to do, however, is pushing the left margin further towards the middle, and that works well enough. It's not exactly the same as centered text, but the effect is similar enough.

So, task done, and I'm kind of pleased with myself for that.

Snow

Sunday, January 27th, 2019 18:56
zimena: (Nature - Snowflake)
We got about 40cm of snow during Friday night and yesterday. Then another 50cm fell last night. Heavy, wet snow, too. I've been out to shovel it away from the area in front of our front door a few times already... but especially this morning it was quite tough because there was so much of it.

Apparently it's supposed to keep snowing until tomorrow morning, then another snowfall is supposed to come in towards the end of next week.

Snow and me... we're not really friends, okay?
zimena: A stack of books (Misc - Books)
Some of you lovely people are doing this pretty regularly, and I keep thinking that I should do it, too. It might be a way to keep myself on track with reading, and actually finish some books, instead of postponing them indefinitely. Let's see how that goes. So, here goes - my first Reading Wednesday post.

Currently reading:
"La Belle Sauvage" (Book Of Dust #1): This is a prequel to the "His Dark Materials" series. I got it for Christmas in 2017, and I was so excited about it then... but somehow it ended up half-read and abandoned for a long time. It's not a "bad" book, I guess, but it does not have the same magical feeling to it that the other series from the same verse had. I still have about 100 pages left to read, and the story still feels quite slow and not THAT engaging.

"I am football": This is a biography of sorts about Zlatan Ibrahimović. I have a sort of strange relationship with him as a football player, because on one hand he has always been annoying to me because he comes across as quite arrogant and sometimes unpleasant. But also, I admire him as a player, and there is also something fascinating about him. It's a strange kind of hate/like, really. Either way, this book has a ton of pictures, and never a lot of text in one go. It's Zlatan's own memories and comments from his career, but also interviews with people who played with him or were otherwise close to him at various points along his professional journey. It's interesting to read for the insight it gives into his mind and thoughts and behaviour, and also quite cool because it gives a different perspective on events that I sometimes have my own memories about as a fan. The main negative fact about the book is that it's huge like an encyclopaedia, so you have to read it on a table - it's not something I can read on bed.

Just finished:
"Radio Silence": Another one that I had started a long time ago, but once I picked it up again, I read it in about a week. Nice book, and it's especially nice to read a book that deals with sexuality and identity issues in a natural way - as in, it doesn't present LGBT issues as the REASON people are different or having problems or going through hard times. This is something I liked. Sometimes the book was a little slow, but it also felt unique and refreshing, and I'd read more about the same cast of characters if I could.
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.

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