"Alright let's do this"
For anyone unfamiliar with “Alright let’s do this”, see video below:
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Substack. They released a new thing called “Notes”, which looks to me like a full-on Twitter replacement. It’s not out yet though, so let’s wait and see!
This is my first actual post/newsletter on Substack, so if there’s any weird formatting in the email or the page itself, let me know. The writing interface is pretty nice so far.
As a reminder, this Substack publication is split into three “sections”, each of which can be separately subscribed to:
The “main” newsletter section you are reading now where I’ll post longer-form content like this.
“Today I Learned” is where I’ll post much shorter snippets and list of things I’ve learned recently (mostly programming and software, obviously).
“Elixir” is where I’ll post exclusively about Elixir, Phoenix, LiveView, Gleam, and the like.
I don’t know why Substack embeds the main newsletter but not the other sections.
I’m big into trying out new tools, to the point of it being an unproductive hobby (aka “productivity porn”), but lately here’s what I’ve been experimenting with:
I tried out Arc Browser recently but couldn’t get used to it’s quirky UX decisions. It’s not really their fault, I’m just too old for a completely new browser experience. Before that I was on Brave; I only switched to be more open-source friendly and “private”, I guess?
One day I’ll have to share my extensions list!
Notes: Standard Notes
A pretty neat take on note-taking with several clear nods to Obsidian (my previous note-taking tool), but with a few key differences for me:
Fully open-source (with optional paid hosted version).
Data stored E2E encrypted in the cloud and accessible from web, desktop, and mobile.
Their professional plan lets you publish notes to a service called Listed, here’s mine: listed.nezteb.net. I don’t know if I’ll use that feature much though, especially when I already have so many blogging/writing tools that I don’t use enough…
Todo List: Twos
Not a great name, but a really good free service/app for managing todo lists. I’ve been around the block many times with todo apps. Todoist, Things, TickTick, and easily a dozen others. I’m curious if and when they’ll start charging for it, but worst case scenario I can switch yet again…
I also end up putting a lot of my “todos” in my notes app, so arguably I don’t even really need a todo app. Oh well.
Password Manager: 1Password
Years of paying for LastPass Families (it’s so bad I’m not even going to hyperlink it) culminated in me switching to Bitwarden Families, an awesome paid/hosted version of their OSS product.
I have zero regrets and love Bitwarden, but I ended up switching to 1Password because their CLI is ridiculously cool. They also support more item types and are more approachable for my… aging family.
IRC Client: IRC Cloud
What year is it again? I’m already on Discord and Matrix, but I feel like IRC deserves a shoutout too.
I love me a good browser client, and this one is great. The company behind it also seems decent and contributes back to open-source communities around IRC.
I love Proton Mail and pay for their “unlimited” plan which includes mail, calendar, drive, and VPN. I just use the web browser and mobile client; I don’t bother with their fancy “bridge”. Their calendar product is okay, nothing super special. Their drive is alright but they don’t have any good syncing clients for it yet, oh well. Their VPN is top-tier, mostly comparable to other good VPN products.
This is an odd one. I think I was looking into setting up Pocket or Raindrop.io again, and I saw a couple Reddit comments mentioning this. So far it’s awesome, but it’s quite spendy. I’m sure once my subscription approaches its end, I’ll look around again.
This is like Keybase was back in the day, but “better”? I got majorly nerd sniped by this one and spent a few hours setting up all my various proofs and learning more about GPG/PGP/YubiKeys.
A cool service that brings the best of both worlds between the fediverse and a more traditional website/blog. I didn’t want to join yet-another Mastodon/Pleroma instance, but I also wanted to kind of have my own place to chat with folks. Granted, I still use Twitter heavily, mostly because the people and communities I want to engage with are still using it. Every day I get closer and closer to ditching it entirely though!
I’ve made quite a few issues and PRs on GitHub this last month:
One thing that doesn’t show up in that list is scrape-pdf. My good friend Gilbert helped me drastically improve it too; thanks Gil!
I’m trying to be better and more consistent about contributions, whether big or small (mostly small).
That also reminds me that I need to update my GitHub Stars Dashboard with my latest stars data, because oh boy there’s a lot of cool things I’ve starred recently.
I love programming languages and libraries and frameworks, but I’d also like to heavily focus on a few (Elixir/Phoenix mostly). Nevertheless, I frequently find myself on Exercism playing with Pharo Smalltalk, Racket, Common Lisp, or Prolog. They’re all extremely interesting in their own ways, but at the end of the day Elixir/Phoenix pay my bills. :) (inserting emojis into the Substack editor doesn’t seem to work)
GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT have actually been great tools to learn these new languages and tools, even if a lot of what they say is confident gibberish. It often gives me a good starting point at least.
Hosting and Networking
I’ve started hosting a lot of things on Fly.io. Git servers, pastebins, a few Phoenix servers, and random other tools I find. It’s a lot of fun, and surprisingly cheap!
I also started messing around with self-hosting those same things on my home network using Cloudflare (with Workers!) and Caddy. More to come on that.
Games I’ve been playing:
If you love disturbing Lovecraftian mythos and cute fishing simulator games like Stardew Valley, play this!
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
I don’t wanna talk about it… :D
Part of what motivated me to sit down and write this was a blog post I stumbled upon on HackerNews:
I want to read and write more. Arguably I probably do too much random reading and not enough digesting and learning from what I read. I enjoy it though, so I’m probably not going to change that.
Writing though, I want to do more of that. I don’t really care where: Substack, Hashnode, Twitter, micro.blog, listed.to, wherever. Whatever gets my brain working.
One problem I have is that I worry too much about forgetting something I wanted to talk about. Maybe I should outline these in advance, but that’d be yet another barrier that keeps me from writing. Instead of worrying about it, I’ll just end it here. :D
If you’ve made it this far and read most of this post, thank you!