A rantbox


Different Ways to Use Column Command in Linux

According to manpage, the column command “columnate lists”. In simple words, the column is a simple utility that can format your output into a column format (rows and fields) based on the structure of your source file. The column command is part of the util-linux package.

Making a LEGO Domino Machine

Building and testing a LEGO machine for making domino runs. Each 'domino' is a stack of 5 1x3 LEGO bricks. Turn on captions for some insight into the design and build process. Skip to 5:14​ to see the machine being used to set up a domino run.
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It was a pretty good week this week. At work, a big project is nearing realisation, kids have been spending their energy playing outside, and I finally finished two sagas. The first was Battlestar Galactica which for numerous reasons was a multiyear endeavour for me. But what a finale! Suitable …
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Morning walks

Morning walks are my way of staying sane(ish) in these times. Good for recharging and stretching the legs, starting the day by waking up with some fresh air in my face, maybe even some sun, or - even better - a lovely blanket of fog.
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The Pocket Challenge

Recently I installed a new, unofficial Nexus 7 2013 ROM on my trusty old handheld. It practically revived the device for me, as previously it was crashing in a repeated way and I thought it was finally done with its (notoriously iffy) flash storage. Now it runs the latest version …
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The Voyeur's Motel

Gerald Foos bought a motel in order to watch his guests having sex. He saw a lot more than that. Fascinating story, lots of (un?)expected things happening, and the author having to consider multiple times whether to intervene, contrary to his long-standing agreement with the owner. (Might need some …

Presenting presenting

Tips and thoughts on preparing and giving engaging presentations. As a person who does not give presentations often (lots of reasons), the points and pointers in this article sound really helpful. Also, one of the better explanations about why a full, information dense slide is unhelpful: Now imagine the audience …

The ineffectiveness of lonely icons

If your target audience is a general population, you should not be using icons alone to convey anything meaningful. By doing so, you have made assumptions that are unlikely to be appropriate to a general audience. You should not assume icons or UI elements are known to your users, as …

In need of recharging

It's easy to have the blues and be out of energy in these times. Being confined to our homes, changing our ways and lives; not all bad, but a challenge to juggle young kids, work from home and other things. On the other hand, one might find more free time …
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How Facebook got addicted to spreading misinformation

When I described the Responsible AI team’s work to other experts on AI ethics and human rights, they noted the incongruity between the problems it was tackling and those, like misinformation, for which Facebook is most notorious. “This seems to be so oddly removed from Facebook as a product …
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If you maintain an open-source project in the range of 10k-200k lines of code, I strongly encourage you to add an ARCHITECTURE document next to README and CONTRIBUTING. Before going into the details of why and how, I want to emphasize that this is not another “docs are good, write …

OOM killer, gun for hire

shorberg | I think total war got confused... ↪ | it thinks I have, 133 758 976 MB of VRAM tadzik | it's possible if M stands for mili ↪ | this many milibytes is just over 128 megabytes shorberg | :P ↪ | let's hope it doesn't actually try to use that much aquatix | the OOM killer likes …

Love for keycaps

I know it is a material thing, but I can become rather happy from a good-looking keyboard. The plus side of many mechanical keyboards is that one can change their looks with a different set of key caps. So I did. In the process I cleaned this keyboard up majorly …
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NestDrop: Presets Collection – Cream of the Crop

After my piece on projectM last year, I installed it on several computers, not really thinking about extra .milk preset files (which contain the animations). Today, after some short searching thinking there might be more out there, I found this little gem of a collection: Presets Collection – Cream of the …
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Modern retro computer terminals

3D printed, retro-futuristic looking computer terminals. Not all as practical as the other, but inspiring and great looking at the least. I now kind of want an ultrawidescreen terminal on our table now.
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A question about statically generated websites

When I made a remark that my commenting system is working again, a reader asked a simple enough question: how does one build a site like this? I realised there is no simple answer to this. Well, there is, but it takes a bunch of knowledge (and skills) one has …

isso comments are up again

Commenting had been broken since the 19th of December because of the host having upgraded to Python 3.9 and isso breaking. I tried installing it anew from pip, but there is still a really old version on there; installing it as egg directly from its Git repository1 kind …