New hobby!

Recently I got my hands on a telescope. I finally got to set it up outside and give it a try with my kids, and I must admit I’m hooked!
I will now save up for a better one, that can be used for much more.

The current one I use is this:

I was able to capture these images of the moon with it by using my phone:

Now it’s not the best quality, but I am now hooked. I’ll try and save up some cash so that I can buy a much better telescope.
The one I want is this one:

Pbrt render exporter update

I have spent some time the last 4 days, wrapping my head around what the next step should be. I’ve been wanting for a long time to move it from python to c++, but I did not know how. So I decided this weekend to spend time figuring that out. The result now is that I have PBRT API available inside a python module, this again means that I can go to the next step – deeper and better integration of PBRT in blender, without implementing it directly in the blender source.

My focus will be that the next weeks, but I will fix important \ breaking issues in the current exporter if needed, but I want to focus all my time on getting the new addon up and running as soon as possible.

I have attached a simple image, proof of concept. In this example I load up PBRT in python, through c++, then I use that to parse in and render a .pbrt file, so it’s doing the same as the pbrt.exe but from python, this was the first step to solve.

Install Centos 8 netinstall fails – how to fix it.

You can either download the full DVD or use the smaller netinstall boot image when installing CentOS 8. If you use the smaller netinstall boot image then you will get a error during setup that says ‘error setting up base repository’.

To fix this – simply enter the url: http://mirror.centos.org/centos/8/BaseOS/x86_64/os during setup. It will then find the correct repository and get the installation started.

Dropping firefox.

After the recent blunder from Mozilla I’ve decided to remove Firefox completely.
It’s become too centralized, and it’s kinda crazy that the issue happened.
What happened was that they let a certificate expire, then all addons got disabled for everyone. This even affected the Tor browser – which is very scary for those who actually depend on that for circumventing censorship, and for many their lives depend on the tools they use. I have tested tons of browsers over the years, but the one I feel like switching too is Iridium ( https://iridiumbrowser.de/ ) , one of the things I like about Iridum is that it has a very strong focus on privacy, and it also has support for all the platforms I use, and it’s very fast, does not feel sluggish at all. So, if you are a Firefox user, just think about what happened, and then consider what to do about it.

Gentoo

I’ve been wanting to set up Gentoo from scratch for a good while.
I have tried in the past, but failed. I decided to try again now since I have time to sit down properly with it.

Now, I will say I spent about 4 days in total on all this, multiple install attempts. I will now explain what went wrong, and what I ended up doing.

So, what I did first was to install regular Gentoo from scratch, without full-disk encryption, the initial install went fine, most things worked as they should, I then wanted to install a desktop, so I went on to installed Xfce4.

One thing during the install that wasted a lot of my time was figuring out that after you ’emerge’ a package – you then often have to do ‘etc-udpdate’ to merge the config file changes, I did not know this, so it was very confusing when I tried to install some thing over and over and it never started the install.

After doing all this I wanted to reinstall and see if I could get full-disk encryption to work. I tried the guides I found, but no matter how many times I tried it failed. And each install took a lot of time, so after trying 4 times I gave up on that.

I then looked into other distributions that are gentoo based. I have tried sabayon before, but I did not feel like that was what I wanted this time, I want something minimalistic, and ‘bare bones’ – not something bloated.

That’s when I found CloverOS https://gitgud.io/cloveros/cloveros/

This is a pure Gentoo with binaries as a alternative, but the beauty here is that it’s super easy to install, and you can choose between almost all desktops during install too, everything from tiling window mangers to gnome and KDE. And after install you can disable the binary repo with a simple command, so that it will pull everything from source after that, by running the ./cloveros_settings.sh script that is installed along with the OS.

The only downside with it is that it does not currently have full disk encryption in the install script. But If I can figure it out I would contribute to it.


Planck mechanical keyboard.

When I saw the ortholinear mechanical keyboard named planck I just knew I had to have one. Up until that point I did not really pay any attention to mechanical keyboards, and especially not custom ones. At first I was a bit skeptical to the whole idea of getting one, because it is  a DIY compact 40% ortholinear keyboard, and I had no idea if I would like it at all.

After a while the keyboard got sold on massdrop, I had some money in my savings account and decided to buy it. I placed the order for the sum of $141.97.

I ordered the version that has two separate keys where the spacebar is located.

The order details are :
CNC case color: Silver
Plate style: MX compatible (Cherry MX)
Keycaps: Beige XDA PBT blanks (MX Compatible)
49 switches: Gateron Clear (Linear) (+$9.99)
sleeve: Yes (+$7.99)

I did order blank keycaps, I did not want to shell out cash for keycaps with print on then, since I can write all day long without looking on a regular keyboard. The parts arrived, and I found my soldering iron, soldered everything, assembled it all, and here is the result:

This is where I have to admit the first mistake, and that was to order blank keycaps, it was really hard to learn how to type properly on it, I hated it at first. I struggled a lot learning how to use it efficiently.

So what I did then was to find ortholinear keycaps on amazon, I found some good ones there, ordered them and it was fantastic. Made it so much easier to use.

The keycaps I ordered was these:
DSA 40% Ortholinear dye-subbed keycap for mechanical keyboard.

Also I had to create my custom layout for it, since I’m Norwegian and need some extra letters like æøå, and also easy access to brackets and such that you use a lot when coding. That was very easy to do, I ended up using EasyAVR I stripped away to standard layout, removed all the default fancy key macros that came with the planck, and added what I needed.

I ended up only needing two layers, and they now look like this:

This was the key for getting the planck exactly the way I needed, and I have now gotten rid for my old keyboard and use the planck keyboard exclusively.

My planck now looks like this: