Hello, my name is Dmitry, I'm software developer and this is my blog. My passions are minimalism and continuous improvement1. Most interesting things I've done are rugged Raspberry Pi laptop (and other gadgets), collection of useful scripts for Linux users and Fish shell config.
I write about awesome or useful technical stuff I encounter. Also I'll share lots of useful tips. Picked name 'Developer Run' since I'll write notes on the run. I also enjoy running and always pick bad names in general. For updates, subscribe to RSS, Twitter, Mastodon or Pinterest.
This is static blog generated by bunch of Regexes hosted on Cloudflare pages for free, because I have strong belief that thats how blogs should function.
Your keyboard needs a Scroll Wheel: a Simple Mod
Let me start with a pretentious statement :). Human brains are pretty fast, computers times faster1, but communication speed between two is a disappointing bottleneck. I don't see interfaces like Neuralink in the near future without huge drawbacks, so we are stuck with input devices that have not changed much over the last dozens of years.
When interacting with computers, of course, the mouse is the simplest and most universal way. Or maybe a good touchpad. However if one invests time into learning keyboard shortcuts and tricks, they can do work much much faster. In addition to productivity gains, not touching the mouse (or touchpad) is better in the long run, as wrists will be healthier after 15 years or so.
Even browsing the web with keyboard is pretty convenient. Except for one thing - scrolling. Because the mouse wheel feels much more natural and precise control compared with mashing
To improve this, let me tell you about a fast and simple mod to add a scroll wheel to a mechanical (or even regular) keyboard. No need to build the keyboard from scratch, it is an add-on:
In this example, I will be talking about X-Bows Lite which conveniently has some free space in the middle. But you can apply it to any keyboard, by positioning the scroll in any place or replacing Caps Lock for example.Read More →
Why my daily Linux desktop looks like Windows 9x
Once, as an April Fools' Day joke1 I set a Windows 95 theme on my Linux desktop for a screen-sharing session. Like, look at me, calling in from a vintage computer, ha-ha! Haven't changed the theme back since then.
Turns out, the Classic Windows interface is actually a pretty good choice from a practical point of view. In terms of productivity, elements are compact and clearly distinguishable, colors are nice and not distracting, and icons are meaningful. Not that modern flat interface blur.
It also helps to draw a line between Work and Life mindsets. In the home environment, I have a bit more modern theme, so by creating clear visual associations it helps to switch the brain between concentration and relaxation modes.
And of course, I am nostalgic about 90 era Windows aesthetic. Not about Windows itself, it is a slow and inconvenient OS, but because my first computer had it, it brings back fond memories.
I don't try to reproduce Windows 95 interface 100%. It is more a mix of 95, 98, and even 2000. As reinterpreted nostalgia that captures important memories from a longer time period. Also not going back in terms of usability and productivity.Read More →
You probably know about SKÅDIS pegboard from Ikea, which makes your workspace more organized by making use of vertical space. Plus it looks nice. But did you know that if you have access to a 3d printer, you can print perfectly fitting holder for literally anything you own? Form any tool to even beer. Just search for skadis on Thingiverse. And in unlikely case you won't find what you need, theres always an option to super-glue a Generic Hook
So I had Xenomorph figurine...
So I had The Xenomorph figurine lying around and figured out it fits perfectly in a PC case (huge fans, orange lights, black wires, cooling pipes)...
X-Bows Lite — review of reasonably priced mechanical ergonomic keyboard
I have mixed opinions about the mechanical keyboard phenomenon. From one point I can totally understand spending 400+ bucks on a thing you are interacting with 8+ hours per day, every day. It should be nice. From another point, I'm all about sourcing nice things for a minimal price. Also, I have all skills and resources to build one from scratch except for time.
For a long time, I wanted to try an ergonomic mechanical keyboard (real ergonomic means button rows aligned with the wrists' natural position) but was not sure if I'll like it in the end. So it was hard to justify investing much in that experiment.
Recently I found out about X-Bows Lite — an entry point ergonomic mechanical keyboard. I was able to get mine for 55 bucks, and I'm enjoing typing on it since.Read More →
Militarish Pi: Status update 1
I'm building Raspberry Pi Laptop called Militarish Pi, remember? You are probably not interested in the many reasons1 that stopped me from working on the project, but you might be interested in the status update.
So here are photos from the current prototype. As build is in progress it looks ugly. Still publishing an update as soon as I could because I'm aware of multiple people doing their own great builds based on that. Hope you might find something useful:
Read More →
A couple of Laptop Tips
1. If you travel a lot tip
If you work on a laptop a lot, this ingenious vertical stand will save you from the Royal Pain in The Neck™! Because it is much more portable to travel with a light stand and keyboard, than an additional monitor, you know. Answering your potential concern - yes the whole thing is very stable, because of the low center of mass. alexdoit (author) made multiple sizes for different laptops.
Speaking about portable keyboards I can't feel more hackery than with B.O.W Folding Keyboard. There are tons of foldable keyboards, but that is the only one that in addition to Bluetooth is recognized as a regular USB keyboard1! Of course not as convenient as a full keyboard, but the best in cases when portability is preferable. The mouse is generic "Arc Foldable Mouse" btw.
Also, did you know that GaN revolution happened, and you can charge your laptop with tiny (compared with stock power brick) charger (for example Anker 735), simultaniosly with 2 other gadgets?
2. If you do not travel a lot tip
When a laptop is connected to power all the time, you might notice that battery health still degrades over time. This is a pity, especially if you don't use the battery at all. This happens because when the laptop is plugged in, the battery charge cycles all the time to get 100% charge if decide to unplug it2. The irony is chasing that 100%, overall battery capacity might degrade much worse than 100%. For some models, this could be solved by installing tlp and changing
START_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0="60" STOP_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0="80" RESTORE_THRESHOLDS_ON_BAT="1"
This configuration will not touch the battery until it discharges over 80%, therefore prolonging battery life.
How to label microSD cards?
Let me give y'all another simple everyday advice! I've almost stopped using USB Drives because microSD cards are much more portable and convenient, especially if you have the right holder and right card reader. The only inconvenience is to distinguish them once you have many.
Recently I've discovered a perfect way to label microSD cards:
- Using white permanent marker paint one side
- Best results are if you let it dry for 30 seconds then repeat 2-3 times
- Using extra fine (0.5mm) black permanent marker label them
- If you ever need to change the label either:
- Repaint the new layer with a white marker (step 1)
- Remove all paint using alcohol pads
This approach was proven much better than correction liquid because it holds and does not crumble over time.
Some lesser known items good to have in your travel/emergency bag
I travel a lot. Like a lot lot. I’ve prepared an achievement list to define “a lot”:
- ✔ Visit more than 10 countries (I’m currently at 15)
- ✔ Spend at least 1/3 time abroad (in a years perspective)
- ✔ Fly without ticket back (round trip is for rookies)
- ✔ Buy plane tickets in the morning, fly in the afternoon
- ✔ Get weeks planned trip extended to a month
- ✔ Compelled to stay overnight because of a missed flight
Because of that, I need to have my travel-survival bag always ready and with me. As unfortunate recent events taught more people to be more prepared for unforeseen travel, let me share some lesser known items that are good to always have in your bag.
What I'm trying to say, is items I about to recommend are carefully picked, tested and proven to be useful in a different life sutuations.Read More →
Simple way to get rid of code snippet spam (StackOverflow clones) in Google
As if internet is not already full of bad advice about software development, there are always people who will find a way to make situation worse.
Solving programming problems, might be very time consuming, and to waste your time even more, there are many spam websites, that just rehash Stack Overflow/GitHub issues.
Seems that Google can't (or won't) do anything about it. Situation got so bad, that for some queries you get only spam results, Google is unable to find original.
You can easily found a dozen spam sites by searching any StackOverflow question in qoutes.
To save your time, you can use one of browser extensions that block certain sites from search results. But as I've mentioned previously, extensions are probably bad for you. Plus you need to configure and maintain the list.
As the simplest alternative, I suggest a block list (filter list). You probably already have a uBlock installed (or any other blocker compatible with AdBlock format). Or Vivaldi has built-in AdBlocker (Settings→Privacy→Tracker and ad blocking→Manage Sources->➕).
So, to get rid of search spam,
subscribe to this list.
UPD exactly at the same time I wrote this post, another filter list was featured on Hacker News. So I'm not the only one who is bothered by this problem.
Since it gained more attention, please use it.
UPD2 Neither Google or filter list are able to keep up with the problem. New spam sites keep popping up too quickly. Seems the only way to get rid of it is to use DuckDuckGo.
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