Learning a language

Learning a language is, to me, about grinding. Continously exposing yourself.

Ich lerne Deutsch. Oder, ich versuche Deutsch zu lernen. 😉

I try to expose my self to the language via YouTube (thx Nils for the tip about 7 gegen Wild), but also news papers and just chatting with people. I’d say the biggest hurdle is that people find English easier than having me try to find and reorder the words, so practice at full speed is hard to find.

I guess I do the same for people trying to learn Swedish, and i really shouldn’t.

If you have tips for how to expose myself more to German – spoken or written – please drop a comment here or join the conversation at mastodon.

Porting Godot

I just took the time to start porting the epic Mattemonster app to Godot 4.1, as Google thinks it is getting a bit too old.

You can tell that the Godot developers have done a stellar job. Up until now I’ve just fiddled with Godot 4, so I haven’t really done anything proper in it – until today.

The main porting task was to change to an object driven approach to signals, rather than the old string-based on. Great – because it catches so much more early on. The only tricky part here was that in order to pass along arguments with a signal I had to use the bind function. That was not really what the error message complained about :-)

Also, I had to re-add the translations into the project settings, and to handle some messages from the window manager differently (close and quit). I’m still not sure I got the latter right…

Now, all that is left is the UI styling, so I guess I know what I will be doing in the rain this evening…

Too Many Sites

I’m trying to come up with a plan to harmonize all my sites. There are way too many installs on too many machines spread out over vendors and sites. A general clean-up is really needed.

Right now I have a couple of sites that are self-hosted (they run on a old machine in my office), a VPS at Linode and a couple of VPSes at DigitalOcean. I also have a couple of sites run via github pages.

Right now, a majority of the sites are based around WordPress which is great due to the ease of use – but static sites are easier (and cheaper) to host. In addition to this, I also have a couple of Django apps running on VPSes. Nice, but requires quite a bit of RAM in my experience.

So, the general plan is to clean up my domains, and to harmonize the environments. Perhaps a single WordPress machine, that also hosts the static sites, and the dedicated machines for the more complex Django apps. There will also be a bunch of URL rewrites to make the structure better, i.e. this blog will probably live under e8johan.se, but be available via the old URL too (thelins.se/johan/blog).

When reviewing my domains, I found the following ones that I most likely will give up. If there are any takers, please tell me what you want it for, and I’d be happy to hand it over to you (contact me at e8johan-at-gmail):

  • oppenkod.se (open source in Swedish)
  • qt6book.org (I’ve already got qmlbook.org, and I won’t write another book until Qt 8)
  • qt6book.com (see qt6book.org)

Also, I plan to pull all the machines over to DigitalOcean, as they offer a really nice interface (and APIs!) for managing VPSs, DNS and more (and I’ve gotten used to them while building Eperoto’s infrastructure).

Finally, I intend to collect all domain name registrations at a single registrar (most likely Loopia, but let’s see.

Creating Apples

Time for another weekend post in the 100 days to offload effort.

A couple of years ago I had an excavator dig up parts of the garden to make room for a new deck. Apparently it took out a bit too much of the roots of my daughters favourite apple tree – the Transparent Blanche. So, yesterday evening we finally got a new one and planted it.

The 11yrs old found couple of red bricks (I guess they come from the the construction of the neighbours’ house across the street) so he is now turning into a fully fledged archaeologist looking for artefacts from as far back as the 1960s :^)

Sick kids

Who would had thought that having a child with a cold at home would affect my blogging cadence this badly. This week is going to be a short list of links, that’s it:

  • Paul Bourke, a wonderful website with collections of fractals, algebra for geometry, useful and just plain strange transformations, and much much more. Perfect for a lazy day of browsing.
  • fedi.directory, a directory of interesting people and accounts to follow on the fediverse.
  • nordiska akvarellmuseet, the nordic watercolour museum, located just by the sea. Usually has nice, but smallish, exhibitions. Recommended.
  • Lights in Alingsås, visit my home town for the annual lights festival. This year will be the 25th edition. If you like running, make sure to participate in Running Lights. It is a flat and fast track, so a good opportunity to set a new PB on 5km or 10km.

Growing Lemons

I’ve extended the house with a large glassed area. We call it the orangeri, which is a lie, since what grows there are lemons. So how do you grow lemons in Sweden?

First of all, you have a hole straight through the construction of your house all the way down to the soil underneath.

Then you send a child down the hole to clean out any left over gravel and stuff from the construction to get a good connection with the soil you pour in from the top. Also, add double layers of plastic to avoid getting the house wet.

Then you take a tree, and way too many bags of soil and assemble it into the gigantic pot you’ve just constructed.

You might notice the pile of styrofoam to the right. There is a vent there which needs a cover. Good thing I have a 3D printer. Designed using FreeCAD.

The tree came with a lot of lemons, so last spring consisted of lemon icecream, lemon drinks, lemon cakes, and various dishes requiring lemon (schnitzel – yay!). But how has it fared in my care? Apparently not too bad. It is taller and wider, and it carries a whole bunch of lemons in the making.

And yesterday I finally picked the first lemon of my making. I almost feel like a parent. I pollinated the flowers with a small brush, I watered the tree, and now I can enjoy the fruits. I just need a few more to be able to do a batch of icecream.

Home Charging

I recently wrote about my experiences in driving a fully electric car. Today, the electrician dropped by and installed a charging box in my garage. Finally I can do 11kW charging from home, at the lowest possible price.

The box was installed super late as the eesee box that I initially ordered was banned from selling in Sweden this spring, so now I’m trying Zaptech. I guess the next step is to install it in home assistant and see where it gets me!

Revisiting the PinePhone

I’m cleaning up my office. Like properly. Going to the city dump multiple times. That sort of cleaning. In the process I encountered my old PinePhone that somehow got lost in the lack of free time back when I bought it (KDE still got some money out of it, so the purchase still made sense).

I was happy to see that after a short charge, it actually booted. The installation was ancient, so I tried for an update of the system which failed miserably. Something in the session management failed – I’ve seen this error before on desktop machines when doing funky stuff to the GUI stack.

This resulted in me booting it from an SD card with the latest Plasma / Manjaro image. This process worked really well – but the phone runs really slow from my cheap SD card. A short download, unzip (took ages again, extracting 1.1GB to 6+GB on an already slow SD card takes patience) and some dd action, and the phone boots a fresh install from the internal eMMC again. Much snappier.

After this I did a quick system update and this time it worked like a charm – nice!

Recalling why I wanted a Linux phone (and not an Android) – I got nostalgic about the convergence story. Tangent – I’ve run the N900, N9 and the first Sailfish phone – all as daily drivers.

Let me put it like this: the whole convergence story sort of works, but doesn’t work. I’m not sure if the screen is too big, the phone is too old, or something else, but the whole thing just turns unstable. It does find its feet again when I unplug the USB-C connector, though.

So where does this leave me? I still have a great looking Plasma based phone. I’ll try to tinker with it and follow the development cycle along, but I’m unfortunately too dependent on a working phone experience to use it as my daily driver today.