All posts by Falko

#weeklyreview 12/23

I know this is rather late for the weekly review. The judges are paying attention:

should probably try to get this done on Saturday or even Friday, as Sundays are usually packed with getting back from the countryside to Berlin and getting everything ready for the new work/school week.

Nerd Stuff

Took a look at Logseq as a note taking tool as @moellus was advocating for it. He provided some articles where people described their use of the tool. Main selling point seem to be thats it open source, uses Markdown as text format, synchronises across devices via iCloud or Dropbox and others.

Sport

again a lazy week as I only got the weekly lake swimming done, but no running, rowing etc. 🙁

Fediverse

Was contemplating about Pixelfed. While I like the UI as it resembles mostly the old working Instagram UI I less and less get the point of running my own Pixelfed instance. The level of interaction on the instance is really low compared to the feedback/interaction I’m getting for stuff posted on my Mastodon instance.
Since Pixelfed ist just another Fediverse Service that can be consumed with most Fediverse clients, most people might just consume a main Stream on Mastodon and don’t want to follow a separate stream on Pixelfed. One can perfectly follow people on Pixelfed from a Mastodon account. Thats the whole point of the Fediverse. I can also follow my Mastodon Followings on Pixelfed. But I’m honestly too lazy to re-follow all the people in Pixelfed again.

To me, the Pixelfed mobile app as a special interest Fediverse client would probably be enough. An Instagram-like user interface that would only display ActivityPub posts which contain Images and Videos (maybe even more specific). So one can have the Insta UI but using a Mastodon Account. I don’t need to run or have an account on a Pixelfed instance for this. Of course currently the Pixelfed mobile app isn’t compatible with a Mastodon feed.

#weeklyreview 11/23

Obviously didn’t manage to get the weekly review done before Sunday. Weekend was rather busy as the weather finally felt spring-like and we got a lot stuff done on the property and in the garden.

We put in a tree to hopefully give us some shade in the summer (not this year, but maybe next year already)

replanted the tomatoes seedlings and also cleaned up the property. Since we had borrowed a large trailer over the weekend I was able to bring a lot of old stuff and trash to the local recycling yard. It’s amazing that you can just got there and get easily rid of most of your stuff that doesn’t belong or fit into the normal trash bins. Its free as its included in our yearly waste treatment fee. I’m always tempted to rummage trough the large scrap containers and get out useful stuff (like old electronics).

Hosting

This week I’ve installed my own instance of Overleaf – a web based LaTeX editor for collaboration. Not that I’m in need of LaTeX document system at the moment… but it’s always nice to play around with such stuff.

Mastodon updated to v4.1.1

Installed a Jenkins-Cron-Job to repopulate replies to my mastodon instance as suggested by Matt.

3D Printing

Got quite a bit of 3D printing done. Leveled my printbed properly and I’m still amazed how smooth prints come out with the right filament and settings on this rather cheap printer. Uploading the timelapse videos to my PeerTube Instance in their own channel.

I switched to a newer version of OctoPi and it was just really smooth. Simply download a backup bundle on the old instance and feed that to the setup wizard on the new instance. Thats it. Everything was just there again. No need to change our touch a single thing. I could just go on-printing.

Gina Häußge (aka @foosel@chaos.social ) is really doing a fantastic job with this piece of software.

Sport

Oh boy was I lazy this week. Almost no sport at all. Running partner still sick, office gym showers closed and me too lazy.

I hope at least the physical activity on the weekend and hauling that bulky package count a little bit.

And of course we went swimming despite some rain.

beast of burden

Today I was tasked with shipping a rather large and bulky package. How hard can this be? Short answer: very hard (if you don’t want to spent hundreds of EUR on it)

The object to be shipped is a rather stiff case. I thought I was well prepared with bubble wrap and some wrapping film. Oh boy was I wrong.

Took me about one hours to carefully pack the thing, wrap it first in bubble wrap and then in a couple of layers of wrapping film (like the one you might use in the kitchen to keep bowls of food fresh).

Went to the website of DHL (the shipping company of choice for this project) to check on the price and figured that the packaging material will have to be paper or cardboard to avoid the bulky load surplus charges.

Fortunately I still had some packaging paper large enough. Another round of wrapping and taping. Finally I put the monster into a large IKEA bag and trotted off to the nearest post office. Thats about 800m from here. Hauling this bulky thing which comes in at 15 kg is not as easy as one might imagine. The bag straps cut into my fingers and my arms are about 10cm longer now.

In the post office I learned another requirement for stuff you want to ship at lowest possible cost: it has to be box shaped so it can be stacked.

My package had one side with a hump and thus would again count as bulk load with a hefty surplus charge. As I’m frugal … I hauled the whole thing back home to organize a cardboard box large enough to contain the package and small enough to not exceed the shipping boundaries again.

In addition I 3D printed myself a bag strap holder to ease the cutting of the straps a bit. That came out rather nice and make a huge difference when carrying such heavy loads.

To be continued …

#weeklyreview 10/22

Tech Refresh

PeerTube

Finally took the time to upgrade my PeerTube Instance from Version 4.x to 5.x.

As always, this took a bit of fiddling. My setup is running inside Docker Containers and I had to add a new configuration item into the .env as a new Security Key was introduced in this version.

While the service did start with the new version of the software and videos were still served, I couldn’t get to the admin section of the UI anymore. There where a whole bunch of JavaScript errors in the console.

I ended up deleting the docker volume that the PeerTube container had created for assets. Apparently it was safe to delete that volume and the app would recreate and repopulate upon restart. This solved the problems and now my instance is running PeerTube 5.

Portainer

A friend contacted my as he came across Portainer to maintain his local docker setup. While I had heard the name before, I have played around with it.

Installed the Server (as a container) on my host and also the agent (also as a container) on a remote host to have a look. Turns out it’s a convenience tool to set up and maintainer Container Stacks. Boerge confirmed it’s a good entrance into the container world.

I personally don’t see a need for me, as I’m quicker on the commandline to do the setups. But if one wants to have a web UI to get a quick overview of whats running where and also be able to stop, start, update, edit Containers then Portainer might be worth a look.

Portainer also provides a bunch of readymade stack templates for well knows apps. This might be a good start for newbies.

Disk failure

My little home server, an old DELL optiplex desktop, had a disk failure on Friday. Apparently the HDD disconnected temporarily from the SATA bus and left the filesystem inconsistent. Since it’s a headless system and upon reboot it required manual intervention for the forced filesystem check, I had to pull it out of its cave and connect to monitor and keyboard. Disk seem to be still working, but I started to do more frequent backups and are going to prepare to replace the disk eventually the next days. Maybe I will even find some more old memory modules to upgrade the RAM.

Food

On monday I was invited to a now rare company dinner. One of y superiors from the US was visiting us for the first time in years. And since there are practically not formal restrictions anymore around COVID, we were able to have a joint dinner at the Zollpackhof in Berlin Mitte.

Given that just a few years ago we would have these gathering on a regular basis and around the globe, this was now a really rare occasion to see people from other offices in person again.

A plate with a crispy pork knuckle, Bavarian sour kraut and dumplings. In the background some beers.


Sport

Only managed to get one time running done this week. My running partner catched COVID, so I had to run alone. Also didn’t manage to get to the Office Gym this week. Next week the gym will have no shower due to construction works. So no gym I guess. Will have to do the running for myself as my partner probably will not yet have recovered enough.

Sunday swimming was good. The weather was fantastic on Saturday with about 7cm of snow in the Uckermark and lots of sunshine. Which we were hoping for for Sunday as well. But unfortunately if was slightly overcast but at least no ice on the like. Managed to do 65m at about 4:30 min at chilly 2°C water and air.

#weeklyreview 09/22

Climate Demo 03.03.2023

On Friday my daughter an me joined the #FridaysForFuture gang for a nationwide climate justice demonstration in the Berlin.

In Berlin there were reportedly about 18.000 people on the streets. First there were a couple of speeches at the Invalidenpark and some musician were playing. The ones that stood out for me were Santiago Rodriguez and “Provinz

One important topic was the upcoming public vote (Volksentscheid) on Berlin Climate Neutral by 2023. I hope you all got your vote notification and do you cross at the right spot. We need to push the government to do the right stuff.

3D Printing

Finally fired up the 3D printer last week to print another one of the moon globe lamp. That print took almost 2 days to finish. Now need to print the remaining parts for the stand and assemble it.

Sport

Started running again after 2 weeks ob absence. Felt good, but also rusty… I’m gettting old I guess.

Also started to do the indoor rowing again in the office gym. Feels good to get back into it and feel the old muscles getting stretched again.

And we were lucky on Sunday that there was no ice on the lake. It was still frozen on Thursday. So the water was pretty chilly but I managed to swim for about 4:30 min. Temperature outside and inside the water was ~ 2ºC.

Even my wife joined us this time and went into the water 3 times and took a few strokes of swimming. Wearing a neoprene suite, but nevertheless. Knowing that she’s suffering from severe ME/CFS for the last 4 years, this is a big deal for her.

Adventure

A friend of mine asked whether I’d join them to find a sophisticated geocache inside one of the old soviet bunkers in the area. Since we really didn’t had anything else important to do on sunday morning, my daughter and me joined. The entrance was a venting pipe that wasn’t designed for chubby unicorns like me. But with a bit of wiggling it fitted through 😉

#WEEKLYREVIEW 08/23

Tech updates

  • had to scrape my Pixelfed instance and re-create it
    • DB was somehow broken
    • started from scratch and noticed that Mastodon instances seem to automatically follow my account again. Looks like Mastodon is treating it similar to an account migration in the Fediverse
  • Also set up some Jenkins CI/CD pipelines to update Pixelfed and Elk automagically if there are updates on the upstream repos

Health

  • finally got my 4th COVID vaccination. Last one was from November 2021 an expired meanwhile. I’m still lucky to not have catched the disease at all so far. But why take a risk?
  • swimming on Sunday was good. Sun was shining and no ice on the lake. Water temperature was between 2-3ºC

Black Holes

On Wednesday K2 and me have been at the presentation of Dr. Victoria Grinberg on black holes and her research about them in the Zeiss Grossplanetarium Berlin.

It was very interesting to learn how she’s using black holes as “x-ray “light bulbs” x-ray the solar winds of blue giant stars.

Illustration by Dr. Victoria Grinberg https://www.sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de/~grinberg/#doodles

Books

  • Had our 3rd family book club session on Sunday
    • Kids are slowly getting into it
    • I’m currently reading “” and found some memorable quotes

Diese und andere ähnliche Heuristiken legen ein übergeordnetes Prinzip in der Entscheidungsfindung nahe, das der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler und Nobelpreisträger Daniel Kahneman als Verfügbarkeitsheuristik oder auch WYSIATI bezeichnet hat. WYSIATI steht für What you see is all there is (auf Deutsch: Was du siehst, ist alles, was es gibt) und meint unsere Tendenz, uns bei Entscheidungen auf die Informationen zu verlassen, die gerade verfügbar sind, statt noch umständlich nach weiteren Informationen zu suchen.

Die Illusion der Vernunft” – Philipp Sterzer – page 149

In unserem Zusammenhang ist die wichtigste Erkenntnis diese: Allein die Tatsache, dass wir uns für etwas entschieden haben, lässt uns gute Argumente für diese Entscheidung finden.

Die Illusion der Vernunft” – Philipp Sterzer – page 151

Movies

  • watched the whole 1st season of “The Consultant” at Amazon Prime with the brilliant Christoph Waltz – rating 4/5
  • StarTrep Picard Season 3 – rating 4/5 so far

Music

  • lately on heavy rotation “What’s your pleasure?” from Jessie Ware
    • she’s my latest Discovery from my automated Spotify playlists
    • to me she sounds like a mixture of Kylie Minogue, Roisin Murphy and Sophie Ellis Baxtor – very groovy.
  • On our trip to the countryside on the weekend I was listening to “The Blues Brothers – Original Soundtrack”
    • this recalled memories of a show act we did back in school at one of those legendary parties where I played Elwood.

Embedding content from Pixelfed

Testing some Pixelfed settings here

I think in order to have posts from Pixelfed embedded into other sites the Pixelfed posts have to be public (accessible to anyone in the Fediverse) and also the Pixelfed instance needs to be accessible without authentication (INSTANCE_PUBLIC_LOCAL_TIMELINE=true).

#weeklyreview 07/23

Tech updates

  • new version of GoToSocial deployed. It still crashes Ivory and other Fediverse Clients don’t seem to like it either
  • set up a continuous update pipeline for Elk – the fediverse web front-end – using Jenkins
  • Fixed my Pixelfed Avatar problem – my account should show an avatar picture again
  • switched the Docker engine on my home server to send logs to my NAS – to take off disc pressure
  • set up my own LinkDing instance to host my bookmarks

Movies

Sport

no Sport this week due to reasons. Now swimming on last Sunday due to too thick ice on the lake.

3D Printing

finally got some 3D printing done again. Tried out the new release of the PrusaSlicer which now sports organic support structures. Means, it will generate support structures that look like organically grown trees to support the overhanging parts of the models. This will save time during printing and also a great deal of material.

Fedithoughts

There are quite a bunch of Fediverse services meanwhile. And it’s nice that one can have a Twitter-like experience on Mastodon, an Instagram-like experience on Pixelfed, a GoodReads-like experience on BookWyrm etc.

But what slightly annoys me is the fact that it’s all separate accounts. People would have to follow several accounts of me to consume the various content types. Wouldn’t it be nicer if it would be just one account to follow and maybe just select the type of content that you wanna see? WordPress has different types of posts. What if WordPress would be fully Fediverse capable and could be used as the single account home instance. I would use the Pixelfed client to post pictures there and consume a stream of pictures from other people I follow. I would use one of the many Mastodon clients to consume a Twitter-like feed. Or I’d go to the web page itself (the Blog) to consume all content types at once.

Thoughts?

#weeklyreview 06/23

Sport

This week got a bit messed up as I didn’t made it into the office. So I missed my rowing sessions in the gym. Also missed the running with a friend on Monday as it was rather icy and slippery outside. But towards the end of the week I got my cadaver out two days in a row for running in the park at least. First day I really felt the rust. Second day, although there wasn’t any rest day in between was much better.

On Sunday we were swimming in the lake and had to toss off some ice. The lake was almost covered with a thin layer, but fortunately near the beach it was open.

Betraying Capitalism

Our oven broke the second time now in about 8 years. Every 4 years the lower heater seem to burn out. Last time I had it repaired for about 180 EUR. This time, with some hints from the Fediverse I managed to swap out the heat pipe myself. So the whole repair was only 20 EUR. Hope it lasts the next 4 years at least.

Disclaimer: This is seriously dangerous stuff if you don’t know what you’re doing. The kitchen ovens usually have their own dedicate power circuit and fuses because they draw so much power. This is current that can and will kill you if you make mistakes. So please don’t try this at home unless you’re qualified.

Bleeding Edge

Since the Pinafore Web-Based Mastodon client is discontinued, everyone seems to gravitate towards Elk as a replace. The elk team is building a rather beautiful web client for the fediverse. It can be tried out on their own instance at https://elk.zone/ or one can host it herself.

I tried the latter and built the Docker container to run the service. There are some caveats to that. The documentation is still rather sparse and doesn’t mention that the service must be accessed via HTTPS and also need a proper domain name. But thanks to Boerge I moved past that hurdle and got it somehow working. Of course not after some more struggle with file permissions in the Docker container. I submitted a Pull Request to the Elk team to fix the documentation and docker-compose.yml. Let’s see when this makes it into the main branch.