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Over the 15+ years I've been using GNU/Linux, there are many programs that have become second nature to me. As a hacker, I enjoy tinkering with my system---why use a desktop environment when I could do the same thing with 100s of programs and hand-written scripts...!?

Each day I feel up to it, I'll give thanks to a free/libre program that has made a positive impact on my life, from every corner of my operating system, with the hope that others will find them interesting too.

LibrePlanet 2021: Adopting Free Software Ideals

I will be speaking again at this year's LibrePlanet on March 20th, which will be online. This year, I’ll be talking about challenges with adopting free software ideals and the impact that it can have not only on individuals, but also on our community as a whole. This talk will be personal, drawing upon my evolution over the past fifteen or so years.

Speaking of speaking, I still need to catch up on the FOSDEM talks. I'm sorry to those of you who spoke and are reading this that I haven't taken the time yet! Soon!

I will be speaking at on March 20th. More information to come.

Representing ancient Greek numerals in LaTeX turns out to be a bit more difficult than anticipated.

With regards to the history, I found this to be valuable and interesting:

For the digamma at 6, \varsigma is often abused. But \varsigma does not have a distinct character in the Euler font (it renders as \sigma); fortunately that can be rectified in text mode using \fontencoding{LGR}{\char99}.

The archaic koppa ("qoppa") is \char19 in LGR.

Looks like I missed a lot of really interesting talks this weekend. I'm excited for the recordings!

I should have just planned ahead and recorded the streams, but I didn't even have the time to do that.

The talk ended up looking like a demo of new features I worked on as I was preparing it.

One of the things I showed is the #GNU #Guix System Explorer, a new tool to visualize and query system components and their connections:

tl;dr: Ship every FOSS project with a "guix.scm" file.

These can be used to set up dev environments with
"guix environment -l guix.scm"

Projects built using Guix as a dev environment are free from the "binary-black-box-container-only" plague, healthier for user freedom!

Guix has made it into Debian Unstable! This means Debian users can use Guix as a "userspace" package manager now!

This is really wonderful! Debian and Guix both care deeply about reproducibility.

This could be a big win for user freedom on both (cotd ...)

With my recent C920 webcam purchase, I decided to give it a test by using it and another generic webcam with OBS Studio to create a multi-perspective live 1080p live stream of my kids' Leopard Gecko enclosure. It streams to RTMP nginx proxy on the same box so that other computers on the LAN can connect via e.g. VLC.

My kids love watching it and positioning the cameras (C920 as a top view, the lower-quality camera as a cute ground-level face view); it feels like a zoo exhibit.

As mentioned here, an older version of the C920 had a different ID (046d:082d, which is the one typically listed for GNU/Linux support) and had H.264 support:

Recent versions, including mine, stream MJPEG and do _not_ support H.264. Just an FYI.

And one of my golden retrievers decided to try to eat it while I wasn't looking. So it's also durable, though I don't recommend buying for that use case.

(Sorry for the delete & repost---I left a "not" in the original message that completely negated what I was trying to say.)

So I purchased a Logitech C920 webcam, which has UVC support. The USB ID is 046d:0892.

My primary driver is an X200, which is great for my typical uses, but horrible for transcoding. But guvcview is able to record 720p raw (no transcoding) at a full 30fps (well, just slightly under), with audio. So I could offload transcoding to another machine (either pre-record, or stream).

This works under GNU Guix System with entirely free software and zero setup.

I do have a system that supports OpenGL 4 (>=3 is needed for my kids to play SuperTuxKart), and it happily recommends 1920x1080. But it's not physically placed in an optimal recording environment, to say the least.

OBS on my X200, having to run in software mode since OpenGL 2.1 is not supported, has determined that my optimal output resolution is...a whopping 426x240.


As someone who works almost exclusively from a terminal and is happy with older hardware, I'm not used to my software basically outputting "lol".

What happened at the US Capitol is disgusting and disgraceful.

I have to leave it there [for now].

The four-person tech team at the FSF delivers a huge range of services for the free software community. Learn how you can support their work, and share with #UserFreedom!

The county I live in has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the entire state of New York (7-day rolling avg), and is on the verge of another shutdown of non-essential businesses.

The entire state. That includes New York City, on the opposite end of the state.

This also as my wife is heading back to work as a nurse on a floor with COVID-19 patients. Nearly half of them, according to the county, under the age of 64.

Whether you care or not, your actions affect those who actually do.

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Mike Gerwitz's Mastodon Instance

Mike Gerwitz's personal Mastodon instance