Denshi's Blog Entries

Added features to the blog system

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Recently, I've been tinkering around with Luke Smith's 'lb' script and adding various useful features.

The most useful one (which you will notice at the bottom of this entry) is the new (Reply-to) link at the end of all articles. This is appended automatically by the script everytime I publish a new article, and it works on RSS as well! This way, people have a convenient way of contacting me about any article; The link also sets the subject of your email to the title of my article, for extra comfiness.

One minor addition is that I fixed the links in the RSS feed. Now my articles link directly to their blog page counterparts, and not to the very unhelpful rolling blog page. I hope this makes reading my articles more convenient for all.

I am considering getting rid of the rolling blog page in future, or maybe adding some extra features. If you have any suggestions, click the "Reply-to" link and send me an email with your ideas!

Sat, 25 Sep 2021 09:38:53 +0400

Music production on Linux

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For a very, very long time, musicians all over the world have employed the use of computers to aid them in music production. GNU/Linux, being the OS of choice for tinkerers and the technically inclined, gained a major following in the music and video production scene for it's speed, reliability and compatibility over the years. But what does music production on Linux actually look like?

LMMS

LMMS, also known as the Linux Multimedia Suite (or more commonly as "Let's Make Music) is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for Linux, Windows and MacOS. It's the single music production software I'm most experienced with, so I'm going to list some pros and cons:

Pros:

Cons:

The biggest flaw with LMMS is the complete and utter lack of proper recording tools. It's only really good for sequencing; if you intend to use any audio samples or record anything in your songs, I'd recommend Ardour instead.

Ardour

Ardour is a professional-grade (but still completely FOSS) DAW for Linux, Windows and MacOS. However, there's a catch: unless you're on Linux, where your package mantainers already offer Ardour free to download, you'll have to pay for binary builds of Ardour. I haven't heard of anyone on Windows or MacOS successfully compiling Ardour from its freely available source code, so this one's basically only for Linux users (unless you want to pay for binary Windows and MacOS builds).

I won't go through and list pros and cons like I did for LMMS, because Ardour only really has two big cons: firstly, dealing with MIDI can be awful. Most people who do anything complex with Ardour utilizing MIDI will tell you about the various bugs and inconsistencies present in the software. These aren't enough for me to recommend LMMS over Ardour, however if your music is heavy on sequencing, you might want to consider using LMMS just to make the MIDI sections. The second big con is the learning curve. This is a minor con, as all audio software is designed by alien creatures with no understanding of intuitive design, but Ardour can be especially weird and specific in its UI. Just something to consider.

Proprietary DAWs (eg. Reaper)

While there are various proprietary DAWs available for Linux, I don't recommend any of them. Not only are the proprietary, closed (and sometimes even paid) software, but they're never as fast, stable and supported as their FOSS counterparts.

With that said, I have used Reaper before, and I didn't find it to be entirely awful. It works, but I'd recommend using Ardour over it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while LMMS is a great learning and sequencing tool for music, anyone intending to do any serious music production on Linux should look into Ardour. It can be hard to learn, but like previously mentioned, DAWs are designed by aliens. They're going to be difficult to use!

Fri, 24 Sep 2021 21:24:12 +0400

Why a simpler web is a better web

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Ever since I've gotten into self-hosting and making videos about it, I've heard people talk about Pleroma, ActivityPub, and other decentralized social media-like protocols. It sounds excellent at first, creating new standards to re-create the centralized social media experience of Twitter, Facebook and other "walled gardens", but after a while I realized that it's not quite for me.

The problem with the Fediverse

The Fediverse is a simple concept: A few standardized protocols (ActivityPub, Diaspora, and the older OStatus) are used by individual servers to communicate information with each other, to allow for one massive decentralized network. However, this system has some fundamental flaws.

The biggest single flaw is that servers can still ban you! This has happened before (just look at Mastodon) and it'll only keep happening unless people realize that any form of decentralized system that still relies on a centralized host (ie. the most popular Pleroma instance) isn't going to prevent censorship.

In the end, the real problem with the Fediverse is that it still requires the end-user to use a single web client, which can enact censorship. You might think this can be mitigated by simply switching to other, more free-speech friendly websites, but the most popular ActivityPub/Diaspora instances can just block that one, effectively cutting you off.

Older standards are better!

A far better standard for social media communication is RSS, which is what you're likely using right now to read this blog post. Because RSS subscriptions are handled directly between the individual user and server, it means that no intermediary server can censor them. This is so much better than any Fediverse social media.

What truly makes RSS so much better is the fact that it's basically everywhere, from large corrupt news sites to tiny self-hosted sites like this one. This also means RSS clients are everywhere, making the technology hyper-accessible.

"B-but MUH REPOSTING/LIKING/DISLIKING!!!"

Social media is the devil. While I can understand wanting to keep up with your friends' blogs and art feeds, I will never understand people's fixation with online "socializing" in this manner. You don't need to be constantly retweeting and liking posts to survive. Luckily, most people seem to agree with me on the incredibly detrimental effects of social media addiction, which restores a lot of my faith in humanity.

Also, if you want to communicate with anyone in a decentralized manner, you can always be using XMPP or Matrix to message them. Both are effective at offerring secure, decentralized communication for individual and group chats, and I think we'll see far more adoption of both of them with time.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, social media itself is awfully structured. Even if the Fediverse was completely censorship-free, it'd probably just become like Reddit: A hivemind powered by upvotes and downvotes in perfect balance so that Keanu Reeves and Big Chungus memes can reign supreme over what was meant to be a platform for proper discussion. RSS feeds and personal websites are and will always remain the most direct, simple and free way to communicate ideas and knowledge on the internet, and I can only see this becoming more and more important as the Fediverse continues to gain traction.

Sat, 18 Sep 2021 09:32:27 +0400

Lots of people on the Webring!

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Alright, I know, the "webring" is not actually a proper webring, just a list of poorly-linked websites, but I had no idea what to name the page otherwise.

I've added lots of new websites to the webring page! I've also added colorful icons next to everyone, for extra visual flair! I'm probably going to add a few more friends there, and maybe some social media links too.

Anyways, in other news, the shift over to the new domain, denshi.org, begins! I've already moved the PeerTube and the wiki but the Matrix server will take a while to move over, if I move it at all. I am considering switching over to XMPP though...

Anyways, I hope whoever's subscribed to this RSS feed keeps enjoying these new articles! I have tons more where this one came from!

Fri, 20 Aug 2021 11:30:20 +0400

Wownero.xyz, TheOfficial.Uno, Monstro1.com...

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I've recently added a "webring" page to my website! Spoiler alert: It's not an actual webring, it's just links to other websites I run and the personal websites of others.

I'll probably be adding more people and sites there, so stay tuned!

Thu, 05 Aug 2021 17:27:42 +0200

Wowneria is closing.

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After a lot of consideration, I've decided to close down this pool in support of Wownero's new "Junkie Jeff" fork.

After the second and final block is confirmed and the final payments are through, Wowneria will close to support the new solo-mining initiative catalyzed by the new Wownero fork.

A cryptocurrency is only as good as its community makes it; the increasing corporatization and centralization of cryptos like Bitcoin displays a clear threat to other, smaller projects. If the "people" mining Bitcoin, Litecoin and other non-ASIC-resistant cryptos aren't individuals but massiveily-funded mining operations that fill literal warehouses of ASICs, then in my eyes, these decentralized currencies have failed at their objectives.

Monero is bold in its defense of privacy, an everlasting yet increasingly overlooked human right in the modern age. Just as it refreshingly improves upon the concept of Bitcoin for the end user, Monero also improves the ecosystem for miners, who now have a CPU-centric algorithm that anyone with a computer can use to contribute to the Monero network.

In a similar way, Wownero is bold in being both a supposed "meme coin" that maintains integrity by refusing to be endorsed by "lame celebrities" and shills, but also offering genuine technical improvements and notable differences to Monero. Take the new mining system which essentially eliminates the prospect of creating large, centralized pools mining Wownero.

So yes, Wonweria is closing after the final block is confirmed and everyone is paid. if you want to mine Wownero, I HIGHLY SUGGEST you solo-mine Wownero.

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 19:52:30 +0400

Software Recommendations

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A lot of people know me for my "Just use" software series.
But while I try to make as many videos as possible to cover all the "free software" replacements for software many people use daily, I couldn't make a video on every piece of software.

This article simply contains the software I use and recommend; Most of it requires little to no eliteĀ® knowledge of GNU/Linux or software in general; which doesn't mean learning is bad.

Operating Systems

I prefer to run UNIX-like operating systems.

Of course for the most part I run GNU/Linux systems; Operating systems based off the GNU core utilities and the Linux kernel that some people call "Linux distros" for brevity. My Linux distro of choice is Arch Linux, mostly because it offers a fast package manager with a large-enough pool of updated software, all the configuration and software is kept as simple as possible making maintainence a breeze, and the Arch User Repository offers an excellent way to installs packages outside of the relatively small vanilla repos. The AUR makes Arch (probably) the single distro with most software available for it.

However this doesn't mean Arch Linux is flawless...

(Other) Operating Systems

I think many more advanced Linux users wish to compile more software, for example their kernel, from source. Compiling your software from source offers a lot of performance advantages, and for this a distribution like Gentoo or KISS Linux is what I'd recommend.

There is also the issue of systemd, the init system of choice for Arch Linux. Systemd does not follow the UNIX philosophy of being a small, simple, one-purpose program that's easy to understand; Just like the Linux kernel, it is large and evergrowing, and mostly monolythic. I choose to use systemd and Arch Linux merely out of necessity and convenience; A distribution such as Artix, Arch Linux without systemd, may ship more broken or incomplete packages. There are also some packages I use that rely on systemd. If you are willing to live with these slight flaws, then Artix or Devuan is for you.

Shell

I normally have multiple shells installed on my system at once; Fish and Bash. I have Fish set to my user shell due to its convenient autocomplete and memory functions along with wonderful colorscheme compared to boring 'ol Bash. However, I still keep Bash installed and run it ocassionaly to run more complex one-liner commands.

Text Editing

My choice of text editor is often vim; it offers a lot of complex and powerful functionality while also being usable by anyone who can open and type in a terminal. However, while I mostly use vim to write I understand why people may wish to use a more "user friendly" option such as a graphical text editor. For this I recommend gedit.

Window Management/"DE"

I personally prefer using the Openbox floating window manager as I find it to be the single one that most easily gets out of my way and puts emphasis on what I really care about: The actual programs I run on my machine.

Web Browser

My web browser of choice is Ungoogled Chromium. This is a fork of Google's Chromium, but with all Google spyware and bloat removed. You get the performance and wide support of Google Chrome, without any of the privacy concerns. I chose to use this web browser simply because it's the most "minimalist" of them all, not counting independent web browsers like Suckless' Surf.

A similar web browser is LibreWolf; essentially Firefox, but with all telemetry and Mozilla bloat removed. It also includes uBlock Origin, which to some people is a plus. Then there's also the Brave Browser, which blocks ads and shows you more "privacy respecting" ads to pay you in their crypto, BAT. I find it to be a bit bloated and not exactly my sorta thing, but I don't hate it or oppose people using it.

That's pretty much it for me. Most of my other recommendations of software can be found in my Just Use software series anyway.

Tue, 06 Apr 2021 11:09:43 +0400

Autism awareness day?

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We all know how much people love dedicating days to pointless things. From international pancake day to "national step in a puddle day", there's no shortage of random holidays human beings have devised.

However, we are meant to take these days more seriously when there is some supposed valued "cause" or "movement" behind the holiday itself. Just to clarify I am not speaking of religious or historical celebrations; these are not what I'm addressing in this post. I'm instead speaking of days akin to "Autism awareness day".

Let's cut the crap. We all know that Autism, just as race and gender, is what politicians and people on the internet are going to begin using as a crutch to gain victim points. It's the next in a long line of victim cards which will be used against anyone who dares speak against what the owner of said card believes in. And as an individual with autism, I find this very very upsetting.

The reasoning behind "Autism awareness day" is supposedly to make people aware about the existence and nature of individuals on the autistic spectrum. I guess it's called "awareness" because you can't always tell someone is mentally disabled just by looking at them, unlike you could with other minorities such as racial minorities, or other victimized groups such as women.

While the idea of making people aware of autism is noble in some sense, I think anyone with any shred of critical thought can instantly devise it's simply yet another way for pointless labelling and tribalistic attitudes to propagate in the world. Making people aware of autism's existence subconciously tells people without it that they are different to people with it; this feeling of difference from a natural, genetic standpoint is what deplorable websites like Twitter.com prey on: Identity politics and tribalist attitudes are widespread as everyone is out there to prove they're either the most oppressed or the person who is most in touch with the supposedly oppressed.

It's perfectly fair to say that attitudes on Twitter do nothing to help those who are truly in need of this sought-after "equality". Twitter represents the walled-off rich suburbs in California, or the hipster coffee shops in New York City: Completely and utterly out of touch, yet supposedly "on the side of the people" or at least the "minorities" when in truth they're probably the most destructive thing for any group they claim to be helping. Autism is simply yet another "oppressed" group for these people to prey upon, and these international awareness days are their opportunities to whine and pout about how sensitive they are and how much they tolerate a people group(autistics) when this couldn't be further from the truth:

I personally believe the day will come when something akin to "Black Lives Matter" will happen with autistics: A violent or at least highly vocal movement that claims to be on the side of the oppressed, but does much more damage than actually helps. However, this will only happen once all the autistic people who yet are not victims are either censored or eliminated. A prime example is 4Chan: It's undeniable that lots of the website if not most of it is populated by people on the autism spectrum. Autism affects the reasoning of the brain, something other victimized groups don't really experience, which means that autism has some inherit mental features. I have reason to believe the nature of autism makes people attracted to political extremism or at least some political polarization, both to the left and to the right. I've often seen more high-functioning autistics be on the right, but I don't have any imperical data.

4Chan is mostly populated by people with right-wing or at least poltically incorrect opinions, the sorts that make users of Twitter and other politically correct social medias seethe with rage. It's pretty funny honestly. But if we are to believe most of these people are autistic, then I don't think an "Autistic Lives Matter"-esque movement could ever happen without the censoring of all these politically incorrect autistics. In a sense, autism is far more difficult to contain and use as a victim group for empathy points, at least when compared to something like race or gender.

So yeah that's my opinion on all this autism awareness day and Twitter stuff. More based blog posts to come!

Mon, 05 Apr 2021 00:09:10 +0400

Testing out this lb...

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Hey! Thanks for checking out my blog. It's powered by Luke Smith's lb, a minimalist "luke's blog" or "less bloat" script that essentially generates a static website. Much better than JavaScript backends or a LEMP server!

This also has an RSS feed: https://denshi.org/rss.xml. Subscribe to it to recieve all my blog posts!

Sun, 04 Apr 2021 17:57:46 +0400