07 Apr 2017

Weekly Review: April 07, 2017

A relaxed weekend, where I mostly neglected to help to clear our garden, but hopefully made some amends by baking bread. I consolidated my progress on Dust's routing table, and tidied up my Emacs sync scripts too.

Baking

At the weekend I tried my hand at baking some small bread buns instead of my usual loaf, which turned out okay for a first attempt:

Plaited almond and rapeseed oil buns
Figure 1: Plaited almond and rapeseed oil buns

I also made a reasonably-shaped sourdough during the week. I'm finding the sweet spot to be around 72% hydration, anything more and I end up with pancakes!

Woodworking

I'm currently the custodian of dad's old woodworking tools, and it would be nice to know how to use them. I ordered an instructional Joint Making book, and on Monday morning I made a trip to a small timber merchant to pick up some off-cuts for practice. I now have some rough and awkwardly thin pieces of African Sapele, but if I plane them smooth they might replace the laser-cut MDF case on my Raspberry Pi MPD server.

Code

Dust continues to amble along nicely and I've added my NAT traversal and Kadmelia work from previous weeks. I've decided to use persistent storage for the Kademlia routing table, so this week I had the tricky job of persuading LMDB to sort arbitrary bitstring lengths instead of bytes, but it appears to work now.

Books

I finished The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. I'd enjoyed his other books, The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids (a favourite), and The Kraken Wakes didn't disappoint.

The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham
Figure 2: The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham

In predictable John Wyndham style, a comfortable middle-class protagonist bears witness to a catastrophe, and somehow stays surprisingly comfortable throughout. But, fireballs slice through the sky, strange creatures rise from the deep to do battle - all followed by the usual downfall of society as we know it. So, if that's your cup of tea, this is a nice piece of classic sci-fi to indulge in.

Emacs

I keep an encrypted copy of my org files on a remote server, which both my desktop and laptop sync with. Previously, I'd mount the remote directory using SSHFS, then mount an encfs directory from that - so no plain-text copies are kept on the server. However, using Unison to sync over SSHFS was slow, so I now just rsync the encrypted directory from the server first, run Unison, then rsync again. It's much faster.

I also decided to switch from emerge to ediff for resolving sync conflicts. While emerge is easier to use, I sometimes want to manually edit the merged file. Using ediff lets me do this, and it's not bad to use once you turn off it's more… unusual …defaults. My ediff config.

Links

  • explainshell.com - paste a shell command and it will augment it with nicely laid-out help text for each option (example)