MC's Journal

CopperheadOS

Update 2018-07-25: Copperhead seems to be going through a lot of drama lately. There is a rift between the CEO and the lead developer, made even more complex since they both seem to own 50% each of the company. The old signing key for updates has been deleted! This has left me stranded, unsure if I want to re-install CopperheadOS, the only way to get new updates, or if I want do something completely different. Lineage, perhaps? A friend has even chosen to go without a phone.

In December 2016, about the same time I ditched Apple in favour of good old FreeBSD on my laptop, I gave my mother my old iPhone as a Newtonmas present. To replace it I bought myself a Nexus 5x and immediately installed CopperheadOS on it. It has served me well since then.

Installation of CopperheadOS was a breeze. Tools such as fastboot and adb was readily available as FreeBSD packages that was easily installed on my Thinkpad without having to install a humongous Android Studio or a huge Android SDK or anything.

Copperhead keeps a fork of Signal called Noise in their F-Droid repo. At the start, this was necessary since the Android flavour of Signal used Google Cloud Messaging to push messages. The Noise fork instead keeps a websocket open all the time. Bad for the battery, perhaps, but keeps you free from the Google services.

The upstreams Signal has since been patched to do the same thing, but you'll have to install it from the APK since it's not available on the F-Droid repo.

The Conversations XMPP client also keeps a connection alive all the time, but my battery time has been quite acceptable.

The F-Droid package repo is excellent. The FLOSS scene on Android is so much better than on iOS, where almost all free apps are closed source and many have advertisments. Some of the apps I use besides the built-in in Copperhead apps are:

I don't do e-mail on my phone. If I did I would probably use the K9 e-mail client.

My work phone is still an iPhone and thoroughly connected to both the Apple and Google universes, but it's nice to think that at least my personal phone is free from them.


org-static-blog

A few days ago I found Bastian Bechtold's wonderfully simple org-static-blog, probably after finding some wise words in his blog. org-static-blog is a simple Emacs blog exporter for entries written in Org mode.

Since I use Org every day, both in my free time and at work, it seemed natural I would want to write my blog entries in org-mode instead of Markdown. I considered for a while using Hugo's new Org parsing, but was charmed by the really simple org-static-blog, so I decided to do a few experiments.

First I made the HTML output validate, then, with a go-ahead from Bastian, I turned it into HTML 5. I also have a branch generating an Atom feed instead of RSS, but it isn't quite working yet.

There are some rough edges still, for instance how to handle relative paths in the feed, but it's promising. I also probably made a few mistakes in setting it up for my own blog because, for instance, the rendered date of the post seems to be included in the feed...

I converted my old Markdown posts with John MacFarlane's wonderfully generic pandoc utility. Actually installing pandoc on my laptop would install 128 dependencies and a total of 3 GiB of additional software! For a one-time job! Instead, I found James Gregory's pandoc Docker image which made the job quite easy. Well, that and a throw-away Go program that parsed the Hugo metadata into Org metadata.


The now page movement

Most web sites have an “about” page. This one does, too. Derek Sivers suggests adding a now page as well.

What you put on the now page is up to you, of course, but the idea is that you write something like what you would be telling a long-lost friend about you and yours.

Derek has even started something like a community of people with now pages over at:

https://nownownow.com/

See their about page for more. At a first glance, however, it seems like some of the entries on the community pages are used for rather transparent SEO, but I still think the now page is a good idea.

Of course, I've added a now page of my own, so if you wonder what happened to me and what I'm doing now, just head over to my /now page!


Teleservice offers IPv6 over 6rd

The local ISP I use in my holiday home, Teleservice Skåne, doesn't offer native IPv6 to us lowly ADSL customers. However, they do operate a 6rd gateway! This configuration in my OpenWRT's /etc/config/network made all the difference:

config interface wan6
        option proto '6rd'
        option peeraddr '85.30.128.12'
        option ip6prefix '2a02:83::'
        option ip6prefixlen 32

Ta-da! Thanks, Philip @ Teleservice!

Ask your local ISP if they can do the same!


Going native on a Chromebook

I've spent the last few days on my vaction experimenting with native GNU/Linux on my Toshiba Chromebook 2. I wrote about it in Native GNU/Linux on a Toshiba Chromebook 2. I'll try to keep the document updated.

Main points:


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