Krzysztof J. Weblog

Indie game developement, pixel art, open source and linux

Word Grinder

August 12, 2017 — Krzysztof Jankowski

Word Grinder

Once in a while I found some new software that's so perfect for my needs as if I write it myself. One of those is a Word Grinder. It's a terminal word processor for processing words (quote from the homepage). Nothing less, nothing more. Perfect.

Why?

Word Grinder simplicity

Most important thing while writing longer text is to avoid any distractions. Word Grinder puts you right into the document and hides everything else. No menus, no toolbars. There is a status bar at the bottom by default but it can be easly hidden (toggle view). Afther that it looks and behave like any modern "distraction free" editor. So the real question is why do you need those when there is already Word Grinder.

It works on any Linux powered computer. It's super fast and lightweight. All you need is a terminal. Raspberry Pi Zero can do that. And on Debian it's already installed.

Word Grinder menus

It is a word processor not a text editor. For those that don't know the difference: one can make text bolder, underline, set heading, bullet lists, etc and the other not. It can import/export Open Document Format files. So it's compatible with LibreOffice Writer. It can export as HTML and Markdown also. For my simple needs it's more than enough.

I just like terminal applications. Perhaps I'm just old enough that it reminds me the good old days. Or I'm old enough to understand that all those visual effects like windows, toolbars or icons are unnesesary. At last for applications like this. All I need is a blank page to fill.

Conclusion

I always try to make VIM as simple and as easy to write articles. It was possible but it requies config and some plugins. Managing thoes on multiple computers (including bunch of Raspberry Pi's) was too complicated.

Word Grinder makes this all obsolete. I's perfect as it is. Combining it with good mechanical keyboard is an "end game" of distraction writing for me.

Highly recommended. Give it a try. You'll love it.

Tags: linux, terminal

RaspberryPi Zero Timelapse

June 25, 2017 — Krzysztof Jankowski

ZeroLapse

I finaly dicover the perfect use for my Zero. I want to build the ultimate timelapse device.

Parts

It will have:

  • moving arm
  • infrared camera 5MP
  • scripts to automate the process

For now I'm working on the timelapse workflow. I'll have the moving arm in few weeks.

Setup

I ducktaped the camera to window and power up Raspberry with good power bank. Cron is runing raspiLapseCam.py script at each reboot.

piLapseCam.py by James Moore

I leave the Pi computer for and hour and then grab all images it takes.

gallery

Postproduction

Then I use bake.sh to make a 2K video file.

ls *.jpg > list.txt mencoder -nosound -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:aspect=2.39/1:vbitrate=8000000 -vf scale=2048:858 -o timelapse.avi -mf type=jpeg:fps=24 mf://@list.txt

There's always room for image quality improvements. LightWorks is perfect for this.

LightWorks

Colors

Final Videos

Tags: raspberrypi, photography, video

Benefits of being a Hipster

June 20, 2017 — Krzysztof Jankowski

Subtitle: Don't get in the hype of buying latest and greatest each year

Every company in the world will try to convence you that having a latest gadget in any category is a must have. That this year product is the best ever. But the next year it's the same story. I will share my story as an example.

I always wanted to have a pro video camera. I never like to use DSLR for video. And mirrorless cameras are even worse. Smartphonce are just silly. I like to use real camera. The one I can easly hold and balance in my hand. That have most important buttons in easy to access places. Semi-pro camera cost around 20K PLN ($5292). This is a huge price. So what I did?

I bought a semi-pro Sony VX2100 video camera for 1500 PLN ($397). In the time that camera was the best semi-pro camera around I has 15 years old. It cost much more than 20K back then. It was a dream to have one. Now 15 years later I have it.

And it's better than I could emagine. I am blown away of the image quality, camera build, super ergonomy in usage. And evrything works so smoothly. Even auto-focus is faster than legendary Canon 5DmkII in still mode. And at top of that all the battery holds for 850 minutes of work. 14 hours of operation. This is insane in todays world standards.

The only downside it have: SD resolution. Do not think as SD quality. No. It's super, almost film like footage but rendered on 560i frame. It sounds like very little. But in reality the most important part is always the content. And adding to it superb colors and low-light capabilities I get very nice image of it. Then I blow it up to 720p and it looks as the movie on DVD. Do you remember those? The same hype as today 4K. But we all watch those videos online (more compression) and on small screens. Smartphones and small portable laptops. In eader way SD quality is still enough.

So what about this super sharp 4K? I will test that in another 10 years. When I can get Sony semi-pro camera just taking some money from monthly paycheck. Because more than megapixels I love just making that damn videos! To master the skill 10 years will be not enough. So why bother about pixels and just concentrate on good lighting and composition.

And the conclusion is that in todays world nobody will quesion my camera choice. Evryone just thinks it's a hipster thing and they even like the "SD quality". It's a win-win situation.

Tags: notes

Front-Trends 2017 Or How I will-change

May 28, 2017 — Krzysztof Jankowski

Front-Trends is in my opinion one of the best conferences for web developers in Poland. It has it's ups and downs but overall quality is always high.

Front-Trends

This year there it was less awesome than year ago but still I learn something, get inspired and spend a nice four days in Warsaw.

Venue

Venue

Meh. In 2016 it was epic place, this time it was just a big hangar. No TV outside to watch talks. Only few sunbeds to sit. And garden umbrellas that were closed most of the time. Another thing I missed from last year was lack of comfortable sits in the main room. Sad but true.

Just look at the picture below.

Venue

Food && Drinks

As always delicious and vegan friendly. At last this doesn't change.

Talks

Venue Venue

Enough of the hate. It's time for commenting on the main and most important thing - talks. Overall professional and at high level. I selected most interesting ones so you can watch them when they become available on the web sometime in the future.

Highlights

Venue

  • The Power of CSS - Lot of code examples and an important tip to use 'will-change' property.
  • Field-tested interfaces For the Next Billion - most people on the web have low spec android with little to no internet access (and electricity)
  • Alternative Reality DevTools - grate ideas for the future of browsers developer tools
  • Rendering Performance Inside Out - a lot of valuable knowledge about rendering and detailed information how 'will-change' works
  • Easy and Affordable User-Testing - a few interesting tips for easy testing apps with real users
  • Changing the Layout Game - a lot of code examples and CSS hacks!

Besides some awesome talks there was one particular thing that I recognize - a lot of (front-end) girls. It's known that IT conferences are mostly a guy things. But this year there was a huge diversity. I thing at last one third was women. This is a big step up. We can be proud of it.

Missing Parts

Venue

Each year there is some kind of micro-controllers talk(s). This time it was named IoT to be more trendy. They're not front-end related but gives a nice and light pause between more hardcore talks. Each time I listening to any kind of IoT lecture and hope for some security advices. It was sad that we all know that this is a problem but to this day I did not hear of any resolution for this. What was hilarious is that someone hijack internet enabled drone live on stage. And try to fly it away. Security. Yeah.

Venue

Another thing that I missed was lack of highly technical talks and code examples. Year ago there was even live coding. This time it was more talk and confusing charts. Some times it was so low tech that we feel offended. In a room full of professional developers we saw tutorial how to make a web page as icon on your smartphone or how to use RGB values to change colors of a pixel. In 2017.

Fun Parts

Right at the beginning at the registration booth I was asked if I'm the guy with the 'big, strange laptop?' :) So yes, I become recognized by my DELL Rugged Extreme computer that I use to make photos at conferences.

As usualy the Code Wise provides beer. This time they made custom bottles! How cool is that?

Venue

Summary

Venue

It wasn't perfect but overall I spend a nice three days in Warsaw. I learn something new witch is the main purpose of the conference. I meet lot of people from last year. I eat good food. I certainly come back next year.

Tags: events, javascript