Category Archives: Journal Entry

Dedicated space to post unedited and raw journal entries.

GeneratePress to McLuhan

It was a bold decision, but I had to do this.

Lately, I’ve figured out even a premium theme like GeneratePress is overkill for me. My GP customizations get bloated at times, and I’ve realized most of the visitors of this website doesn’t give a shit or two about the styling. I write guides and tutorials. For me, any theme works OOB if the font rendering and navigation are precise.

Rediscovering McLuhan

I knew Anders Norén’s McLuhan ever since its inception on WordPress repository. At that time I wasn’t good at getting comfortable around the theme. I wanted to tweak and tone it down a bit to meet my needs.

Kudos to GeneratePress. GP helped me focus and learn more on front-end coding. I love how it forces you to push the limits. I liked the idea. But, as I’ve said before, I don’t need it now. I want to spend more effort on writing instead of wasting my time on tweaking and WP customization. I’ve decided to settle down.

Goodbye classic editor, my old friend.

Another milestone in my WP journey.

I’ve uninstalled the Classic Editor WordPress plugin. I’ve always preferred the classic editor over Gutenberg for a long (really long) time. But recently, I’ve learned to live with Gutenberg. It’s neat and it gets the job done. I’m happy with it.

What have you done with McLuhan?

A bit of pure CSS edits. And a few PHP edits. For example, I’ve:

  • Removed Google fonts completely.
  • Set to render system fonts (Avenir on Apple devices).
  • Removed the search option. 
  • Converted front page to a minimal landing page.
  • Added the updated on filter to single posts.
  • Changed the position of category meta information.

The additional CSS for the time being

.entry-content li {
	margin-top: 5px;
}

.wp-video {
    margin-bottom: 20px;
}

.page-id-5931 .site-header {
	display: none;
}

.page-id-5931 .entry-title {
	display: none;
}

.page-id-5931 .site-footer {
	display: none;
}

.page-id-5931 {
	height: 50%;
	min-height: 50%;
	background: #121212;
	color: #ececec;
	padding-left: 0px;
}

.page-id-5931 a {
	border-bottom: 1px dotted #ececec;
}

@media (min-width:728px) {
	.page-id-5931 {
		margin-top: 7.33%;
	}
}

@media (max-width:728px) {
	.page-id-5931 {
		margin-top: 7.33%;
	}
}

blockquote p {
	font-weight: 400;
	hanging-punctuation: first;
}

h2 {
	font-size: 25px;
	letter-spacing: -0.35px;
}

h3 {
	font-size: 23px;
	letter-spacing: -0.25px;
}

h4 {
	font-size: 20px;
	letter-spacing: -0.25px;
}

.site-title {
	animation: myanimation 25s infinite;
	font-size: 130%;
	font-weight: 700;
	font-family: avenir, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;
}

pre,
code {
	font-family: SFMono-Regular, Menlo, Monaco, Consolas, "Liberation Mono", "Courier New", monospace;
	font-size: 90%;
}

.meta.bottom p.tags a {
	margin-right: 5px;
}

#side-pointer,
.button-dark {
	padding-top: 10px;
	padding-left: 10px;
	padding-right: 15px;
	padding-bottom: 10px;
	font-size: 0.9rem;
	font-weight: 600;
	background: #ececec;
	letter-spacing: .1px;
	text-transform: uppercase;
	border-radius: 10px;
}

#side-pointer a {
	border-bottom: none;
}

.social-menu .social-search-wrapper {
	display: none;
}

.main-menu .toggle-mobile-search-wrapper {
	display: none;
}

.page-title {
	font-size: 17px;
}

strong {
	font-weight: 600;
}

body,
button,
input,
select,
textarea,
h1,
.h1,
h2,
.h2,
h3,
.h3,
h4,
.h4,
h5,
.h5,
h6,
.h6 {
	text-rendering: optimizeLegibility;
	font-family: avenir, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;
}

.entry-title {
	font-weight: 700;
}

Some habits should change.

Combine Multiple Videos Using ffmpeg

As seen on ma.ttias.be. I’m just documenting this in my own way for future reference. This method is only applicable to videos of the same dimensions and encoding. Tested on FFmpeg 4.3. I use this method to download and concatenate youtube-dl outputs.

Step 1: Create a text file and make a list of video files.

touch files.txt
vi files.txt

Example content to save:

file 'p1.mp4'
file 'p2.mp4'
file 'p3.mp4'
file 'p4.mp4'

Step 2: Run the command below

ffmpeg -f concat -safe 0 -i files.txt -c copy output.mp4

New Laptop & Linux Mint

Update: Sold the HP laptop and purchased an Acer Swift 3 Intel variant. Running macOS and Windows 10 at the moment.

My Lenovo ThinkPad X230 is no more. Lost it to a motherboard issue caused by electrical surge. I’ve been using that laptop connected to direct AC.

Got hold of an HP 14q-cs0029tu i3 8th gen variant. The laptop comes with i3 8130u CPU, Samsung 8GB DDR4 2666MHZ Memory & 256GB WD SN750 NVMe™ SSD. They shipped the laptop with Windows 10 Home.

But, meh…I don’t have a good internet connection at home, which means I can’t install Steam and play lightweight indie games. So ultimately, except for FL Studio, Windows 10 is useless to me at this point.

Installed Linux Mint 19.1 Xfce right away. I’ve installed LMMS as the backup DAW for the time being. I really don’t feel like going to back Windows just for FL Studio. I haven’t installed GIMP yet.

HP 14q-cs0029tu Linux WiFi Driver

And if you’re planning to install Linux on this HP laptop, keep in mind that WiFi won’t work OOB. You’ve to install the Realtek RTL8723DE module for Linux and restart the Machine.

Footnotes

  • I took that cover photo while unboxing. Sorry about the distortion.
  • I use Mc-OS CTLina XFCE theme & OS Catalina icon pack.

iPhone SE, A13 Bionic FTW

I’ve loved everything about my iPhone SE (GEN1). One of the best form factors in my opinion. Now Apple decided to give us a budget iPhone in the iPhone 8 shell paired with the majestic A13 and classic design.

Highlights — Best Single-Camera System, A13 Bionic Chip & Dual SIM.

Lockdown Extension

So they’ve decided to extend the nationwide lockdown. It’s a good move in my opinion. But I disagree with the idea of bringing back the mass population of Indian ex-pats in UAE and other countries.

The best move would be financially and emotionally supporting them through the embassies. Give them proper quarantine awareness and move them to isolation centers under the Indian embassy’s supervision.

COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Traveling puts everyone at risk. Or they should travel as mini-groups.

Old ThinkPads

I love everything about the old Lenovo ThinkPads (≤ 2013). These machines are highly customizable compared to the latest ultrabook laptops. I use a T530, X230, and an X230 Tablet. And all of these laptops are capable of running macOS Catalina also.

I highly recommend old Lenovo ThinkPads if you’re on a budget. Plus recycling can benefit your community and the environment. It’s a sustainable approach.

Young Sheldon

Wasn’t a big fan of Sheldon nor The Big Bang Theory. But I’m hooked to the quirkiness of Young Sheldon. Maybe because I’ve got a daughter now. I find this is the right time to start appreciating family TV shows. Life’s changing. My favorite character is Meemaw. Annie Potts is so charming as Constance “Connie” Tucker.

Lockdown

Worst days ever. I miss my wife, daughter, and Chengdu. The Kerala government is doing its best to contain and isolate COVID-19.

More Video Games

Marui is dealing with a cough and the common cold. It’s the dark Chengdu winter to blame, and I think she didn’t use the anti-pollution mark in the last few days.

I spent most of the day playing video games. Slightly immersed in GTA V. Worked on some new music for a while. A synth-wave track.

By the way; I verbally accepted the job offer from an Hangzhou-based blockchain company. Still ambivalent about moving to Hangzhou temporarily for two months (once I sign the contract).

Prepared homemade food for Coco today and she loved it as always. I don’t know why she isn’t interested in the dog food we bought last month. The girl is very picky these days.

About to watch some old episodes of the Family Guy.