New Camera

22 March 2024

My main camera for the past few years has been a tiny little point-and-shoot that happens to have great macro capabilities. It's rugged, waterproof, and can focus as close as 1cm from the lens, which is great for taking pictures of moss, snowflakes, and insects. But after trying a friend's fancy mirrorless camera while on vacation, I'd been itching to get my hands on a "real" camera.

Unfortunately, "real" cameras are expensive, so I bought mine off eBay. It's a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which is a full-frame 21-megapixel DSLR released in 2008. It was all the rage back then due to being a compact DSLR that could take video. Now, it sells for around $250 secondhand.

My only lens at the moment is a 100mm Canon macro lens, which also cost roughly $250 on eBay. It works well, even though it lacks the crazy-close-to-the-lens focus of my point-and-shoot. I enjoy the fact that the focus adjustment is a whole big piece of the lens that you spin -- my point-and-shoot has a manual focus setting, but you have to use some buttons on the camera body and it's pretty frustrating.

My biggest gripe with the camera and lens is that neither have image stabilization, which is a big deal when you're holding the camera at an awkward angle because you saw a cool spider in the underbrush. If I want to spend more money in the future, I'll buy a lens with IS. Still, I'm happy about this setup for $500.

Backing Up Data on rsync.net

23 March 2024

After a long stint as a loud and public hypocrite, preaching about off-site backups while not actually having a solid system myself, I finally set up automatic Borg backups through rsync.net. I just set this up last week, and I haven't needed the backups yet (thank God), but so far my experience has been good. My UNIX account was created very quickly after payment and works as expected. Note that there's no complete Bash shell, because they don't want people using a bunch of computational resources or using the servers as a proxy or whatever, but there are a whole bunch of individual shell commands you can use, as well as many backup/data transfer programs. Up and down speed are sufficient for daily backups (though probably not for more time-sensitive things). I had a dumb question about their Borg server that was nevertheless answered courteously and promptly.

Now I have peace of mind about my laptop suddenly dying, which is pretty great.

We Should Improve the Static Site Generator Slightly

30 Sep 2023

I've been making this site with my own Handcrafted (TM) static site generator. My SSG was born out of laziness: every other SSG on the market seemed to be geared towards fancier sites (and therefore required you to think about configuration and templates and stuff) or just didn't work/was super buggy for me. I didn't want to squish my site into someone else's templating system. Enter the project that I've beeen calling dsssg, the Dead Simple Static Site Generator, which is like 150 lines of Rust.

The initial version of this static site generator was really gross -- it didn't delete files in the HTML output directory that had been removed from the Markdown input directory, and it also didn't check whether files needed to be rebuilt or not. So it was ultra slow and simultaneously buggy/bad. Very good combination. Lately I rewrote it slightly so that it Doesn't Do That Anymore, and now I'm slightly proud of it. It's certainly... minimalistic, but it basically works.

In a couple weeks I'll refine it some more, make a blog post, post it on GitHub, etc. I just think it's funny how long I've been limping along with terribly written code that took me literally 10 minutes to fix. And I need an excuse to regenerate the site with the new version, hence this post!

My Favorite Terminal Colors

3 Sep 2023

This is my current colorscheme on my laptop's xfce terminal. I think it looks pretty -- it has an organic feel, very heavy on blues and greens, with a background color that looks like a chalkboard.

It's very similar to Solarized Dark, but it brightens a couple of colors and shifts them closer to the "canonical" primary/tertiary colors they should resemble.

A screenshot of neofetch with this terminal colorscheme.

Here are the colors; I should really port these into config files for various applications, but I'm too lazy right now.

text color: #fffbee
background color: #002b36

                normal  bright
                ------  ------
black:          #073642 #736f62
red:            #bc2c29 #ed3411
green:          #63b64e #83e357
yellow:         #b5835a #ded176
blue:           #328ac9 #4ab1fa
pink:           #d33682 #f671b1
cyan:           #2aa198 #5dd4cb
grey:           #c3beb1 #fffbee