jerous' ::1

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Trying to manage tasks more efficiently, I created a new project that reads todo.txt files, but with the added benefit of supporting dependencies! Read more about it on the project's page

2015-06-23 [E] [D]
travel,asia Comments 0

Mongolia, a rugged land where traditions of the past are still practiced today by enduring and hardy nomads who conquer the vast steppes and deserts.

A couple of years ago I went to the Naadam, a Mongolian traditional festival, in Antwerp and was quite fascinated by the Mongolian throat singers. Since then the idea of visiting this special country had been in the back of my mind. Then some friends joined in on the idea, and after some discussion we decided that organizing it ourselves would take too much effort, and we went to joker and asked them to do it all for us.


Itinerary (click for more detail)

The trip is split into three parts

Read on, for some more information on Mongolia or click on one of the above links for the adventures! read more...

2015-06-22 [E] [D]
books Comments 0
Richard Feynman

"What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character (1988)

read more...

2015-06-18 [E] [D]
hardware Comments 0

Acquired a new piece of hardware today: the Kobo Aura. I already have an e-reader (Sony PRS 350), however it lacks a light, and its battery would not survive two weeks without power.

So far, the kobo seems to reacts a bit faster, has built-in wifi (with a bookstore), and some decent dictionaries that are easy enough to replace (unfortunately, there can't be more than the predefined ones)

2015-06-05 [E] [D]
music,live,record Comments 0

If Mark Knopfler -- once rated by Rolling Stone magazine as the 27th best guitarist in the world, and probably better known as the lead guitarist of the Dire Straits -- passes through your town you better buy a ticket and go listen to this master of the Stratocaster.

Since the Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 (for real this time:(), Mark has been having great success as a solo artist, and his newest creation, the album Tracker [2] demanded he did another tour, hooray!

I made an MP3 recording (168 MiB) of the entire concert with corresponding cue file which contains the tracks and offsets and is supported by many players (e.g. clementine), or you can just stream it! Another hooray!

Some reviews:

And some photos:

2015-05-26 [E] [D]
web,project,code Comments 0

Call me old-fashioned, but I like feeds: they're clean, they're fast, they're sort of local. The problem is, however, not all sites provide an atom (or RSS) feed, and if they provide one, it sometimes is more than I want.

E.g. someone recommended the language articles by Michele Berdy at The Moscow Times. It provides a RSS feed to all opinions, but not to a specific subset. It does, however, give a HTML listing of most recent articles.

I went out for a quick look on the webz, and found a couple of paying services, and the free Feed Creator byte FiveFilters.org. It seemed to do what I want, but as it wasn't open source and actually seemed quite easy, I did a very basic implementation myself.

The hosted version can be found at http://jerous.org/tools/site2atom.php, is self-documenting and its source can be downloaded from my git repo

An example for the above site: http://jerous.org/tools/site2atom.php?url=http://www.themoscowtimes.com/sitemap/authors/174191.html&url_contains=/opinion/article/&title=MicheleBerdy

It contains three entries:

  • title optional title
  • url what site to fetch. There is a limit of 1 MiB
  • url_contains perform an XPATH query //a[contains(@href, '$url_contains')]", i.e. return all a-tags whose href contains url_contains

Currently, there are a couple of keys available that can be used. Values are first converted to lowercase, unless otherwise noted.

  • url[not]contains select if the href [not] contains the value. Multiple occurences are and-ed together;
  • urltitle[not_]contains select the url if the link's title [not] contains value. Multiple occurences are and-ed together;
  • div_class select only urls that are inside a div with a class containing case-sensitive value. Only last occurence will be used.

In the future there'll be some additions, which are probably documented only on http://jerous.org/tools/site2atom.php only.

Feel free to use in any way you see fit, and let me know if it suits you in any way :)

2015-05-15 [E] [D]
music Comments 0

I, uh, 'spose y'all still wonderin...why I named my guitar Lucille...

Famous words, from one of his signature songs, told thousands of times. But it won't be told anymore, nor would Lucille whisper gently, as the last of the three kings, B.B. King, and one of the few remaining guitar blues legends, has passed away on 14th of May 2015 at the age of 89.

I'm glad to have seen this musical giant play twice, once in Vorst, 16th of September 2006, his 81st birthday, and another time at Gent Jazz, in 2009. This week I'll be sure to put on his Live at the Regal album many a times.

Amen, brother B.B., rest in peace, you deserved it.

read more...

2015-05-13 [E] [D]
latex Comments 0

In academia Latex rules the world.

In the industry it is Microsoft Word who is master.

When they work together, it is, unfortunately, MS Word that wins.

I usually write my documents in latex, so I can use the tools I want and not be restricted to having to use an exact version of Office, have clean and simple diffs, smaller files etc.

To convert latex to other editable formats, there are a couple of alternatives, such latex2rtf, latex2html and pandoc, the latter of which is the most moder, up-to-date and versatile, it seems. It can convert from a multitude of inputs (among which latex) to another multitude of outputs.

Converting from latex to docx pandoc proves to be not as easy as I hoped, since pandoc does not support macros that well.

There is a tool called de-macro (you probably already have it installed) that expands macros to their full glory (a bit like m4, but then for latex), so e.g. other tools, which don't handle macros well, can be used.

read more...

2015-05-08 [E] [D]
/tag/ Comments 0

Because I often forget these cunning plan quotes from the great Blackadder series, and they're worth remembering :)

Baldrick: Have you got a plan, my lord?
Blackadder: Yes I have, and it's so cunning you can brush your teeth with it!

Blackadder: I've got a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel!

Baldrick: I have... a plan, sir.
Blackadder: Really, Baldrick? A cunning and subtle one?
Baldrick: Yes, sir.
Blackadder: As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?

Blackadder: Baldrick, I have a very, very, very cunning plan.
Baldrick: Is it as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has moved on and is now working for the U.N. at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning?
Blackadder: Yes it is.
Baldrick: Hmm... that's cunning.

2015-04-02 [E] [D]
web Comments 0

I moved the content of jerous.thimhallan.org at dreamhost.com to jerous.org at digitalocean.com. This should make everything faster (SSD! My own optimized FreeBSD!).

There probably will be issues on this site because of this move (links site still pointing to the old domain, or pages not showing any content), or from external links pointing to the old domain. These will get (hopefully) fixed, over time :)

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