Christian's Blog

I feel everyone should contribute to finding solutions to the climate crisis in the way that optimally uses their abilities. Honestly, I often think that I should go out and demonstrate on the streets as well. But somehow I feel, that this is not the best way for me to contribute to the solution. As educated computer scientist I believe, that the best way for me has to be through making software.

Writing software that enables people to help themselves and thereby everyone else on this planet and the planet itself is my dream. I am a person, that believes in the good of the people more than into restraint and punishment. But I also believe, that people, nay all organisms are notouriously lazy as they have to manage the energy they have available in the optimal way in order to survive.

So in a way I sincerely believe that the problem is not that (most) humans don't want to safe this planet, but that they are just lazy, caught up in their everyday, and slow in adapting to the changing system. I see this in my own everyday life every single day: The descrepancy between what I would like to do to protect the environment, and what I actually do is too large most of the days.

Recently though, I started working on a software project in my freetime that should help me and hopefully also others to #track #emission #footprints through daily routines. The project idea is broad, and I have yet only started working on a single aspect of it: A website with database backend that would allow to collect and curate emission data for various products and actions and connect this data with daily routines of the user to calculate an approximate carbon footprint. Not only that, but it should also provide the user with tools to investigate and understand the main sources of their emissions. Ideally, even make AI supported suggestions on how to improve upon them.

The core website should provide a RESTful API that can connect with mobile clients, allowing users to easily navigate their data and quickly enter data of the current day. Repetitive daily routines should be easily put into the system, without much hassle, as this makes up a large proportion of many of our activities. Typical examples could be: Commuting 25km to work daily, taking the car to do the groceries 5km away, ordering from that favorite pizza delivery place, heating those buns in the oven (model manufactured in 1998), or playing PS3 4hours a day.

The plan is to initially make a comparably simple prototype of the web app that is easy to try out in everyday life to see whether the core use-case is translatable as intended to software. For this I'd use a probably quite limited framework that allows for quick prototyping and iterating. This is to identify all my use cases important to be covered.

This probably means that the framework used in the beginning may be switched out for something more sophisticated later if the initial implementation looks promising.

I'll keep posting updates on my progress here.

#co2footprinting

A temporary workaround for building a maven project despite an unavailable remote repository is running the build in offline mode:

mvn -o/--offline

This prevents any remote repository communication and only locally cached artifacts will be used. Thus, this only works if all dependencies are actually locally available.

Only recommended, if you are sure that the locally cached artifacts are up-to-date.

Today I had it confirmed yet again that I am a heavy #pronator (not to be confused with donator), i.e. my angle “breaks in” towards the inside when putting the foot on the ground while #running.

Upon recommendation, I bought an #Asics Gel Kayano 25 shoe with stability.

Went on my first test run earlier, and it really feels like a huge difference to my previous shoe. My whole movement feels more stable, less “sluggish”, but it seems my body mechanics have to adapt to the change. For starters, I felt slightly uncomfy on the insides of my lower legs and for a short while also in my lower back. Anyone can confirm that this is normal?

Some time ago I decided to delete my Facebook account and to use the fediverse (short for the federation universe) as my main online social network as a replacement.

In my previous such attempts I tried out the diaspora network in the hope it could replace Facebook. However, back in the days the connections I made there were mostly to techies (like me), and hence gave me little inspiration beyond my own horizon. The opinions present there seemed to be very similar to my own, but what I like about social networks is not only to share my interests with others, but also read interesting, unknown, or creative stuff.

Due to these experiences, I was a bit skeptical whether I would find enough “non-tech” users in the fediverse:

So far it works out well and I'm very satisfied with the connections I have made. There are dedicated science and creative federation instances, to which I have initially connected to via some major “introducers”, people that know many others on the instance. Via those I was able to find more contacts, so far mostly artists posting there own creations. These are almost exclusively paintings, sketches, but I also got some posts about their latest craftsmanship projects.

This is amazing! This is exactly the kind of inspiration I like getting from a social network. And in fact, such direct contact to artists was or felt never possible on Facebook.

I'll continue to post about my worth-mentioning experiences in the fediverse in the future.

I'm now using a slightly modified version of the script at pedroetb/rsync-incremental-backup to keep incremental #backups of my external hard disks.

What else is there for incremental backups in the unix world apart from rsync-based solutions?

Before I moved from the Eifel region in Germany with all its mountains, valleys, forests and small rivers to Denmark, I was afraid it was this boring flat country, without any interesting nature.

For the most part I was right. just kidding ? I learned that one just has to look for the nice spots. They can be found everywhere.

Here are some impressions of the danish flora and fauna. These first ones are at a small lake just around the corner:

Svanesø 1 Svanesø 2

And these I took at a lake half an hour by car from Odense (yes, Denmark has tons of lakes):

Langesø 1 Langesø 2 Langesø 3 Langesø 4 Langesø 5 Langesø 6 Langesø 7

I renamed my/this blog. Simply, because the focus of it does not fit the old title (a pristine way) anymore.

After some, rather short, thinking I decided to go with my name as the blog title, and a pretty generic subtitle. Generic, because generic is good if you don't really have a plan about what the main focus of the blog should be. I pretty much just want to spontanuously blog here and there when and about what I feel like.

And even though the renaming of my blog wouldn't really deserve its own dedicated blog post, I wanted to write a short note to avoid confusion amongst people when they suddenly see a weird, unknown blog in their blog role ;–)

Some tools I'm using only, due to a lack of better alternatives. Suggestions are welcome. This is a list of stuff I'd like to replace by better stuff.

Suggestions are welcome.

This post is partly related to Projects I'd love to have more traction my other post about which projects I'd like to have more traction.

Thunderbird

Purposes

  • reading / sending /searching mails
  • optionally calendar

Shortcommings:

  • horribly slow
  • feels clumsy
  • development stale, mostly bugfix releases

Plex Media Server

Purposes

  • streaming media (mostly video and audio) via LAN, but also remotely

Shortcommings

  • freemium
  • closed-source

There are a couple of projects I would love to have a more rapid development cycle, more man-power, or a bigger audience. In most cases because I am looking for an alternative to another tool, or I have a use case I don't have any satisfying tool yet.

Recently, I was working on a manuscript in Word 2017 that should contain an Endnote bibliography of citations contained both in itself and also in a supplement document. After some googling I found advice, that this can be achieved using the master-/subdocument feature. There are guides online on how to achieve this exactly, so I am not going into detail there.

In the process of updating or inserting the EndNote bibliography into the master document, I kept getting weird errors such as “Please unprotect this document” or “This part of the document is locked”. Sometimes, Word crashed alltogether. However, none of any of the involved documents was locked and all of them had correct write permissions.

Eventually, I discovered that the problem was that I had “track changes” enabled for one of the subdocuments, but not in the master document. After disabling track changes in all documents it magically started working.