Random happenings

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. But, my entry into Gemini space prompts me to finally write about what’s been going on with me. The simplicity of writing in Gemini, and the “cool new thing” feel is quite inviting. And, because the people at tilde.pink have given me a space to serve this, I have direct access to the files, processes that go into how things look, everything.

Static Site Generators and my disillusionment from them

I like Hugo, I really do. But a theme problem got in the way, leaving me unable to actually build the site. So, I looked for another one, finding


It worked well, but I couldn’t customize it that much. It had a great plugin that took the text of an article and made the whole blog into a podcast using ESpeak to speak the articles, but I had no idea how to customize the theme, put in my usual “reading time” functionality, or any of that.

So, I just left the blog as it is, a basic Nikola site on Github Pages. I didn’t want to mess with it anymore. I didn’t want to have to deal with config files, running scripts, all that. Besides that, I’ve been very busy with work-related stuff.

Python for lunch!

For a while now, I’ve wanted to write a script that grabs the lunch menu from the Moodle page, gets the menu for today, and shows it, or speaks it, to the user. A few weeks ago, I completed it. What I’ve learned:

So, below is a link to:

the Python source of the Lunch program

Entry into Gemini space

So, Gemini is this cool new thing that is like the web, but with simple “Gemini files” instead of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. There are only headings, lists, links, paragraphs, and preformatted blocks in Gemini, and no CSS and JavaScript. It’s basically just the information of the web; no web apps, no need to control looks and reactions, just sweet, simple, plain text.

At first, I was afraid that there would be lots of ASCII graphics. These never are understandable to screen readers. And there are some, but not as much as I’d feared. Then I found a Gemini browser for Emacs, called

Elpher (Gopher)

which is pretty good. It isn’t optomized for Emacspeak use, and it doesn’t show the Alt text of preformatted blocks, but it’s good enough for my use.

So, I jumped at the chance to host my blog in Gemini space. Plain text, no *need* for a static site generator, since *everything* is in plain text, human-readable text, no JavaScript or CSS required. Everything is in directories, and the Index file is plain, with links to whatever you want to show. And for drafts, I’ll just work on them, and when they’re ready, link to them from the Gemlog index. I think, finally, that I’ve found my home.

Switching *back* to Emacs

A while back, I wrote an article about

Switching tools

where I talked about switching from Mac and Emacspeak to Windows and VS Code. Well, turns out that VS Code being a memory-hogging Electron app, and it really just being another edit field, made that kinda fall through. Now, I’m on Linux (I’ll write about that, I promise), and use Emacspeak again. Reasons include:

Source (HTTP)

So, since I had nothing more to lose, and because Linux was calling my name, I switched, and I’m pretty happy with it now, actually. I don’t know if it’s my continuing maturation, or Linux accessibility improvements, but I’m finding that I’m mostly able to do anything from Linux, and even more, since there is an actually good podcast client for Linux, GPodder.