First and foremost, I would like to wish you a very happy new year 2022. I
decided to write this post to explain what I have been up to since the last
time you read me. I would like it to represent a new beginning, as a phoenix
being reborn from his ashes.
What I Have Been Doing Lately
Let us begin with linguistics. It is no secret that it is one of my favorite
things on earth, so it makes sense for it to be at the top of my priorities. I
have been working a lot on my Italian, but this will not come as a surprise. I
still need to learn many things and perfect my knowledge of others: I can
recognize the passato remoto when I read books, and understand, its meaning
but I am still having difficulty using it myself. I already have a good
vocabulary base thanks to my skills in French and in English but I would like
to broaden it even more in the months and years to come.
Since I have reached a decent enough level in Italian (I can speak fluently and
keep growing toward proficiency a little bit more everyday), I have decided to
begin learning a new language. It took me several months to actually make up my
mind but, in the first days of November, I finally picked up German again.
After years of focusing on other languages and having other priorities, I am
finally giving it the attention it deserves.
My current goal in German is more or less the same as it was with English and
as it still is with Italian. I am not yet targeting the same level of
proficiency but I hope to be able to speak it and understand it well enough by
the end of the year 2022.
Since this is also related to my passion for languages, I would also like to
tell you that I terminated my company. I may retry to be financially
independent later but I wish to concentrate on other priorities first. I also
want a more stable situation. For those of you who would be interested,
I still give online lessons: in English, in French, and even in Italian (I
am especially active on Italki!).
In my previous blog post My Sins As A Linux User, I said that I installed
Telegram and Instagram and that I had to make sacrifices for the success of my
company. Well, I no longer have to do that. I deleted many accounts in the past
few months: Instagram, Monster, Telegram… and more recently, I deleted my
Google account, which means that I no longer have a YouTube channel. I may
re-publish some of my videos on Odyssee but not all of them. I do not intend to
publish videos in which one could see my face, for instance. I may delete other
accounts in the future but, for the time being, I consider I have already a
decent enough online cleanup.
In terms of technology, I have not remained inactive at all.
Another great success was my switch from Thunderbird to Neomutt. It took me a
lot of time to configure it and then get used to it, but I do not regret my
choice. I learned SO MUCH! I now enjoy a freedom that Thunderbird could never
have offered me. I am certain I could optimize Neomutt even more but it is
fully functional, at the very least. I wrote a perl script, which you can find
in my wiki, (in the scripts section, surprisingly), and which warns me when I
get new mail. It is not perfect but, for now, it does the job well. Coupled
with a CRON job, it synchronizes my various mailboxes every 15 minutes. I could
have it run every minute but I find it unnecessary. Feel free to send me an
email if you have suggestions regarding how I could better my system!
I also fully configured Calcurse and wrote a script that I also coupled
with CRON. This way it emails me important events and to-dos on a daily
basis. I did a lot of research to directly get a message on my phone (send
an email from my server which I would get as an SMS) but I haven’t yet been
able to find something that works for me. Unfortunately, it seems that the
French network will not make this easy for me. I have thought of another
solution, such as KDEConnect, but it fails to satisfy me. Ideally, I would like
to stop being dependent on my smartphone entirely. I would like that potential
solution to work both on smartphone and older phones. Yes, I am part of these
people who think a phone should not be a smaller version of your laptop but
should mostly be used to make calls and send a few texts here and there… I am
not old yet!
Something that will certainly interest you: I re-published a much cleaner
version of my wiki!
It was originally structured in such a chaotic way that it took me days to
clean it up and organize it properly. You see, that wiki used to be a very
selfish project. It mostly was for me and I believed that a file would be more
than enough. Every once in a while, I would add content to it and it kept
growing and growing for so many months that, eventually, I had no choice. If I
wanted it to be actually readable by everyone, I had to redesign it entirely.
Which I did, and I love the result. Again, feel free to send me an email if you
have suggestions or fork the entire project if you feel you could do better!
There are several other projects which I am quite proud of, but I will try and
I installed Nextcloud and WordPress on my Raspberry Pi. I may not have
written about my Raspberry Pi yet, so here is what you should know: it is a
model 4B with 8 GB of Ram. The operating system I run on it is Raspbian, a
lighter version of Debian which was actually designed for the Pi. Both
installations offer me more freedom for various reasons. Nextcloud is a cloud
instance that I self-host. I mostly use it to experiment, but it did turn out
convenient to have my own cloud a few times. As you know, I recently
deleted my Google account, so I expect to use Nextcloud more in the
months and years to come. As for WordPress, I intend to stop using it
entirely very soon, but I still want to keep it around. It is a useful skill
to maintain and I enjoyed working with WordPress anyway. To put it clearly,
this means I do not intend to delete my current account. This way I get to keep
a private instance of my old blog. This is primarily for backup purposes, but I
am not yet certain how long this will last, since I have also downloaded my
entire blog with wget already.
The free time I had this summer also allowed me to study Perl more in depths,
as well as PHP and MySQL. I would not pretend that I have reached a
professional level in PHP or MySQL but at least I now have a decent
understanding of them. This makes me a more complete developer and I am certain
these skills will prove useful one day. As for Perl, I developed a project
which I added to my portfolio: a password manager. It is very similar
to pass but I very much encourage you to try it out. I could definitely use
some constructive criticism. When you do, you should notice that I implemented
dmenu by default! (It was necessary, I think!) It is a far-from-perfect
version of pass, so if you are a perl developer and want to better it, just
make a pull request already!
I re-discovered a lot of Microsoft software, playing around with it in
Virtualbox. This was necessary, because I am still looking for a job as an IT
professional. More specifically, I am not particularly looking to become a
developer, but a network and computer systems administrator. I would like to
begin with entry-level jobs (be a technician and then become sysadmin) and,
with this purpose in mind, I saw it as a necessity to refresh my Microsoft
skills. So I has a look at Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, revised network
protocols, learned what ERPs and CRMs are, and so on and so forth…
Finally, I have been very active on discord: I created my own discord server for
friends, fellow developers and linguists; and I also joined several other servers.
One of them is La Congrega degli informatici. It is an Italian group of
developers and technicians that I help administrating. We used to answer many
technical questions but we now focus on discussions and debates. If you can
speak Italian and are interested in technologies, I highly encourage you to
join us. I may not remain among their staff for a lot longer but I still intend
to keep around, so we could definitely have a chat!
The pandemic and all the propaganda contributed to convincing me to do one
thing: educate myself better. You see, my scientific knowledge is rather
limited when it comes to biology, chemistry, and physics. I decided to put an
end to that ignorance and make the first step: I purchased a book about
biology in order to understand the world better and make my own opinion. I
believe this knowledge is now essential to my survival. Otherwise, I might
always be subject to manipulations. That, I cannot accept. Knowledge is
power, people. Keep that in mind!
Start a podcast && publish blog posts more regularly. I am not yet sure about
the podcast. I know that I want to make one but I do not yet have the
necessary ideas and motivation to get started.
Learn Spanish: I am getting closer and closer to becoming a polyglot. I find
it very exciting since I should soon be able to communicate with most people
in Europe (at least countries close to France). I am currently working on a
priority list of languages I will learn when I reach a decent enough level in
German. Spanish interests me for several reasons: it is widely spoken, and
there are many variants (dialects). Obviously, it is not the only language
which I find appealing. Portuguese has also caught my attention and, after
many years of watching anime, I keep fancying Japanese. Recently, I also
began considering Latin and Greek. I would like to understand the depths of
etymology with more precision. I am already rather capable with etymology but
I would like to know so much more…
Travel: This pandemic has been hell for me, as for a lot of you. It has
had its upsides but its main downside is that it has completely stopped me
from traveling. There is so much political turmoil in the world at the moment
that I would rather find a stable job in France to let it all pass. I had
several opportunities abroad but I had to renounce them to remain loyal to my
convictions and principles. I even had to say “no” to my dream job. Would
you see yourself do this?
Restart writing: in French but also in English and perhaps even in Italian.
Work on more programming projects. Most likely in perl!
As you have noticed, my blog’s appearance has drastically changed again.
My blog will no longer be available on WordPress. I decided to have a much
simpler one with github pages and jekyll. This way I can control everything and
it will be even easier when I wish to move my blog to a personal server. That
server might be a VPS (Virtual Private Server), I’m quite interested in Linode
and OVH (it is French, after all!); or a dedicated one. I have not yet decided.
This is everything for today, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading me again after
all this time. Hopefully, you should read some more very soon! Do not forget to
share. If you like my blog posts, you now have only 2 ways of showing it:
Being part of a community of enlightened fellows running GNU/Linux as their main desktopoperating system is a huge responsibility: Would you not agree? Such a knowledgeable person should always follow a strict set of principles: ban Microsoft from her life, spit on Apple in her idle time, install Arch without a GUI, and absolutely discourage others from using any kind of social networks. Thus is the life of a committed free-software advocate… Is it really, though?
If you read until the end, I promise you a nice twist of events…
The Past Few Months...
My previous blog post goes back to April 10th… I should probably apologize to those of you who eagerly expect my articles each week. I have suffered a serious loss of motivation which is due to several factors:
1. My focus is elsewhere. Learning Italian is what drives me these days and making room for anything else is a real challenge. I must confess that I have completely fallen for this beautiful language: I listen to Italian music, watch Italian movies, play Italian games when they are available, I apply to Italian jobs… You will understand that it is now fully integrated to my lifestyle, just as much as English and French. It has quickly become a huge part of me and I did not expect the process would be so quick. It took me many, many years of studying English to reach a satisfying level and for the language to conquer my heart. With Italian, passion took over as soon as I seriously committed to it… It is a powerful force driving me forward but which does not leave much room for anything else. If you have ever lived a similar experience, I would love to hear about it in the comments.
2. I enjoy giving language lessons on Italki & even independently from any platform. I am still far from making an actual living out of it but it remains an interesting beginning. If you were interested in taking private lessons with me, feel free to contact me via email or send me a DM on Instagram. Since I belong with all these people who make money online, I would like to warn all of you people who might intend to take the risk of doing the same one day: the journey is worth it, but do not naively believe that you will passively and instantly earn a living as all the click-baits on the internet promise you. I have taught on Italki for 4 months and I can tell you firsthand that I am more than happy when I earn more than $100. Then, as a French business owner, I pay taxes on what I earn: 22% of the total, each month… Yes, I know, this is literally stealing… yet this is how it is, and this is the only option I have to teach languages legally and independently.
My Use Of Technology
For a long time, I was determined to get rid of WhatsApp, the only application still linking me to Facebook, a company I openly despise for what it represents. In my opinion, Facebook is nothing but a scam. You freely send it all your data but you do not get much in return. I fought tooth and nail, removing obsolete contacts, transferring others, always doing my best to convince those willing to listen that there were better alternatives… Today, I feel discouraged, facing this sad truth: Normies are too numerous. The ridiculous 1% of free-software advocates that we are cannot fight off a worldful of people who are so happy to give up on their freedom. Furthermore, I doubt the righteousness of my commitment. Part of me believes that a lot of power-users (or script-kiddies?) only advocate for open-source software to feel superior. Am I wrong?
As a business owner, I also realize that I hardly have a choice. If I wish to be visible enough andpromote my ideas and services, I have to be present on online platforms which actually allow me to do so. This is why I have created an account on Instagram. It seriously bothers me, since it means that I am supporting Facebook and social networks in general, but I consider it a necessary sacrifice for the success of my business. I installed Telegram too, on my phone and my computer. In order, not only to test it out, but also to join other groups of people who may help me find students. There is also this sad reality that I am very isolated. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, it has not been possible to go to social gatherings or to do any kind of social activity. Meeting new people has become a real struggle and being more present online is henceforth inevitable if I wish to keep interacting with others as much as I like.
I have always restrained myself from using social media because I did not want to support them, but also because I consider that we, as human beings, should not have such powerful tools in our hands. They are too powerful for us to use responsibly. Today, I believe more that each of us should do its best to use them responsibly. They unfortunately are here to stay and can actually be helpful, so this is our duty to make them healthier. This also concerns technology in general. Imagine how fantastic the world would be if modern parents stopped behaving like sheep for one second and did not put a smartphone in their 2-year-old’s hands just to buy a moment of quiet… A revolution starts with steps as small as this one, people, so wake up and take the small steps which will make our planet a better place. Please.
My Relationship With Microsoft
I am seriously considering purchasing a more powerful PC with Windows on it in order to play games without any hustle. You know what? I must say that I actually like Windows 11’s new UX. I cannot say I am thrilled with the idea that everything is moving to the cloud, on the contrary, but I am happy to see that Microsoft has made some progress in terms of UX.
Windows’ new desktop environment looks much less crowded and much more customizable. I actually look forward to trying it. It has taken them years to understand that their menu was a bloated mess and that dark themes could actually be more comfortable for people’s eyes, but well… we all learn at different paces, right?
I suppose I am no longer exclusively a Linux fanboy. I suppose that my relationship with computers has grown more mature, more realistic. I still love Linux, do not get me wrong, but I have accepted this simple truth:
Tools are what we make of them, not the other way around.
We are the users, and as long as this simple fact remains true, as long as it is not the other way around, we should be able to use whatever software we prefer. If Windows is more suited to your needs, there is nothing wrong in using it. Nothing.
What About The Surprise?
As promised, here is the last surprise of this post: I have decided to switch away from Gentoo... and try out Ubuntu.
Yes. You have read well.
No, this is not a joke.
You all know how the power-user community can be toxic, how satisfying it can be to show your superiority with 2 floating windows on r/unixporn when you have been running Manjaro & i3 for 3 days… Installing Ubuntu has been liberating for me. I no longer have anything to prove after my switch from Arch to Gentooand I am proud I seized this opportunity to learn some more. Indeed, I had never run Ubuntu before. My only experience with a Debian-based distribution was on Linux Mint, so all criticism I made of it was not firsthand. From now on, you will have the guarantee that you are reading my actual opinion of Ubuntu when browsing my blog.
I first installed Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Long Term Support), about a month ago. It was extremely stable (too stable for me) and it was also a pain to install certain software (such as Emacs 27), so I upgraded to Ubuntu 20.10, and the following day to Ubuntu 21.04. Now most of my Steam games work on my machine, even though it is a ThinkPad T440 with only a default graphics card. I expect my version of proton was too old when I used Gentoo. For this, I am to blame, since I did not spend enough time to fix the issue. Here is a quick list of games I managed to launch with Steam Play:
I would add Anno 1404 and Spore to this list but my computer screen turns black after launching them, which can only mean one of 2 things:
I am too incompetent to make them work. #Likely
My PC’s graphics card is not powerful enough. #EvenMoreLikely
You will understand that the second option sounds sweeter to me. I would happily be proven wrong, however, since I cannot afford to purchase a new machine yet.
Regarding my current window manager, I am still running Awesome WM. DWM belongs in my past, I am very content with Awesome. Very. It is extremely customizable and does its job fantastically. Here are some pictures:
For those of you who would be willing to test Awesome WM out, I recommend you check out this repository. and the official website. Indeed, the battery widget does not come by default and it is very likely you will miss it in your bar, especially if you come from a desktop environment. Regarding the wallpapers in the screenshots, they mostly come from a website called wallhaven.cc. As for the characters, you may have recognized Fate Stay Night. If you have not, I strongly recommend this anime to you.
By the way, I would advise against replacing the default awesome bar with polybar or any other bar. I tried and it resulted in a lot of pain. Here is how I managed to make it look, but there were many imperfections, mostly related to window borders and I had to do some fishy business to obtain this design. You cannot see it in the screenshot below but I had to add an empty awesome bar below polybar so that it would handle borders and gaps properly. If you look at my configuration files, you will also note that I added each tag (from 1 to 9) manually and I did not have the patience to code a proper widget in Lua to make a difference between active and inactive workspaces.
If you wish to know more about these recent decisions, keep following me.I might write another post to describe my experience with snaps and the satisfaction of getting (almost) everything to work with a simple sudo apt install [$package_name], or even worse, a click in Gnome DE. I insist on might, since I cannot promise I will write yet another tutorial about such an old topic.
If you know anyone who would be interested in taking French or English lessons, do not hesitate to tell them about me. I could surely help them out. As usual, my email is on my about page. If you are interested, I recently updated said about page, which means you may now follow me on YouTube, GitHub, Goodreads, Odyssee, but also Instagram. If you wish to message me there and have a constructive conversation, feel free to do so! :)
If you have been following my blog for some time, you must have noticed some (very exciting) change recently. Indeed, I have been working very hard on a services page. A page which I only published a few days ago. This post will aim at clarifying what I can or cannot do for a client.
A Wide Array Of Services ?
My filming skills have significantly improved. I am very proud of the last two videos I shot, respectfully for my Italki and then WellSpeak application. Since they are unlisted on YouTube, I thought that I could add them down below for all of you who would be interested in seeing how much I have progressed in a few months. Please, do not hesitate to give me constructive feedbackvia email or in the comments.
I am aware that both videos are very similar (even the thumbnails are almost identical), yet I would argue this is absolutely normal. They are for 2 different teaching platforms, and this is the only reason why they are not exactly the same. I would not like to have copyrights issues, since I would end up poorer than I already am... Re-shooting and re-editing the same video also was an excellent exercise for me. It gave me the possibility to compare 2 different final results and see more clearly what I could have done better.
You will notice I also added subtitles in English. I recently downloaded an opensource program called aegisub. It is amazing and allows you to time your subtitles in a very straightforward manner. To be absolutely sure they would appear online (and because of my lack of knowledge of a better way), I burned the subtitles with an ffmpeg command.
At the moment, I only teach Frenchon Italki and English on Superprof. This is because applications are closed for English teachers on Italki and this remains the online platform where I do most of my online activities. Hopefully I should manage to diversify them later. I am in no rush, however. I would much rather begin slowly and increase my workload progressively. I want to be able to guarantee a high lesson quality and this obviously cannot function if I try and do too much too quickly.
If you go and have a look at my profile & the lessons I offer on Italki, here is what you should see:
2 types of lessons: One structured around a casual conversation in French; One trial lesson ($1) in which we can have a conversation in French (depending on your level) or in English if you are merely starting out. In this second scenario, I give you the basics and we discuss the methods which may work best for you depending on your interests, goals and motivations.
The first type of lesson can have various lengths : 30 mins ($5); 60 mins ($10) & 90 mins ($15).
A warning: If you speak neither French nor English, I cannot take you as my student. It would be a waste of time and money for the both of us. For trial lessons, I would also be willing to take someone speaking Italian. Indeed, my level in this language would be more than enough to help you start your learning journey on the right foot.
I chose to focus my lessons on casual conversations because I no longer believe in "teaching". I believe in guiding. As a student booking a lesson with me, you should not expect me to do all the work for you. If you wish to learn a language, you are in for the full package, and that includes efforts (and frustration). As your teacher, I am here for several things:
Practice a topic with you or explain you things which you have not been able to understand on your own (grammar-related issues, for instance).
Psychologically support you through the ups and downs of your learning journey.
Advise you: there is a lot of free content out there. In fact, there has never been as much. The internet at least has this one advantage: if you wish to learn a language, the only thing you need is a solid motivation. Since all this free content I am writing about is not always easy to find, I consider that it is my job to select what would be most helpful and share it with you.
This method implies that you should be active, and not passively wait for me to magically make you bilingual...
'Cause it ain't gonna happen!
Services I Might Add In The Future
When I first published this new services page, I wanted to list everything I was capable of doing for a potential client: freelance writing, translating, teaching, website building and whatnot. As I am writing this article, I realize how much of an error this was. This is why I decided to remove the section about freelance writing, which you could still see a few days ago.
I might offer more services later, but I would rather focus on teaching for some time. I am only starting out, so this sounds like the most reasonable choice I can make: I have to concentrate or I will probably fail in everything.
Since I also have other skills related to GNU/Linux, or web development, I might also add more technology-oriented services (such as consulting). Only the future will be able to confirm this, however. Keep reading my blog in the next months and years if you are curious to find out ;)
Conclusion: Contact Me ?
I prefer to be contacted through my professional email address: madlibrarian[at]yahoo[dot]com. I enjoy having the freedom to reply at the time of my choice. I usually answer quickly to all queries but it allows me to think about your request if necessary. Whether it be for giving me advice or booking a lesson with me, I would love to hear from you. You may also feel free to create an account on Italki or Superprof & contact me there. It would be even better.
I would like to speak about my entire system’s configuration today, in terms of the programs I use the most often. I will start with the least obvious (that is the OS or Linux distribution) and go on to the most obvious (programs you run after the booting process is complete). I split this article into 3 main sections:
A Quick Word Of Apology
Before going any farther into the video, I would like to apologize for the awful sound quality in my last 2 videos. I recorded with audacity for the first time and, as you certainly all heard, I struggled finding my way around it. I only got one comment telling me how terrible the sound was but I need to say I am very sorry ^_^
The Overall Configuration Of My System
My computer is a refurbished Thinkpad T440. I have had it for almost 2 years and am still extremely satisfied with its overall performance. It originally shipped with Windows 10 but I removed it for Manjaro Linux. At this point however, I am no longer running Manjaro. If you have been following me for the past few months, you will be aware that I switched to Gentoo in October 2020.
Regarding the boot loader, I use GRUB (Grand Unified Boot Loader) like approximately 90% of Linux users. I know there are some other great boot loaders out there but I am not sold yet. It is easily installable and customizable, so I do not yet see a point in switching away from it, except for the accusation that it is bloat software.
You may be surprised with this, but I do not have a display manager (also known as loginmanager). I used to have LXDM (which ships with LXDE desktop environment) but I had some issues with it, so I got rid of it. Today, I only have the xorg-xinit package installed. It offers the startx command and I am very happy with it. It does have a dark appearance but it does the job. After all, I do not turn on my computer to masturbate on the login area.
Again, If you have been following me for at least a few months, you will already know which window managers I prefer: Dwm and Awesome WM. As I am writing this, I actually have not turned on dwm in a week. I tend to go back and forth between the 2 of them, however. They both have their ups and downs. I like the interface of Awesome better, but I still feel like my dwm is much more customized, since I have spent more time making it my own. I also met with more difficulty. Awesome is very straightforward to configure in comparison.
I have 2 terminal emulators on my main machine: St (the simple terminal) and Alacritty, which is a more modern terminal emulator written in Rust. You probably all are familiar with the tendency to re-write all programs in Rust these days. Well, the fact that I installed Alacritty does not mean that I support this movement. I only wanted to test out something new and have a spare terminal in case one stops working properly.
My main shell is Zsh (the Z Shell). I also have Bash installed because I write all my scripts in bash. This is for one reason and one reason only: portability. It is much more likely that you will have Bash as your main shell since it is the one which comes by default on most machines. I see it as a norm, and it also is the one I learned first. For browsing in my terminal, I would much rather use Zsh however, since it is much more modern but also more powerful in terms of command completion. That is reason enough.
Moc is not the best terminal-based music player on the market but I love it. This is why I have never turned my back on it and do not intend to do it. If it is not the best objectively, but it is what matches my expectations best. I did try other music players such as musikcube or cmus, but they have not convinced me. Moc allowed me to listen to music in the terminal when I still was a very beginner, and no program can rivalise with this, even if it is 100 times better.
I recently started reading RSS feeds. This mainly is because I listen to good feedback from my subscribers, and when one of you told me to install newsboat… Well, so I did. I was easily convinced, let me tell you: thanks to newsboat, I can watch my favorite YouTube content creators’ videos directly from my terminal. I have everything in the same place: my YouTube subscriptions, the blogs and news feeds I am the most interested in following. Everything. It also has a great advantage: I consume less content from YouTube. This allows me to spend more time doing more important things, such as creating content for this channel.
Another program I use a lot is my text editor: I run vim and neovim interchangeably and with the exact same configuration. Most often I just edit markdownfiles (when I need to jot down notes, for instance) but I also use LaTeX to edit more important documents, such as books or short stories. I happen to be more of a writer than a programer, which is probably why I enjoy shell scripting so much more than spending hours working on hundreds of lines of code.
For adding subtitles and extracting audio tracks from videos, ffmpeg is my best friend. I no longer use it to shoot my videos but it is really nice to have it around when more modern GUI-based programs over-complicate things too much. With ffmpeg, you just throw one command into your terminal and ***poof!***, you are done.
Regarding all the terminal commands I use the most, I am not going to list them all here. Neofetch, vifm, youtube-dl, ncdu, bat, cat, grep, xbacklight, alsamixer, htop, dmenu, man… It would certainly take the whole day if I went on and I would probably even forget things. If you are interested in reading such an article however, leave a comment below!
GUI-based Programs (With Graphical User Interface)
When I am not roaming about in alacritty or st, I usually fire up my web browser and my emails. I have several browsers installed on my main machine: brave, qutebrowser, firefox. Each I use for a different purpose. I do most of my browsing with brave, since it is fast and, as far as I can tell, secure.I keep the qutebrowser clean of any tabs for my videos. This way, my spectators’ view does not get polluted by everything I do online. Finally, I have Firefox for all web apps which I use but do not trust 100%. Those which rely on the middle ware, for instance, such as Google-based apps, YouTube, Zoom, and so on. Having several browsers also allow me to perform tests when programming.
Regarding my emails: I still am a rather faithful Thunderbird user. Thunderbird does way too much, however. I only use it for emails, and it is a bit of a waste. I have been looking for a replacement for a while. I have considered Gnome Evolution and Alpine (Terminal-based) to replace it but, as of today, I have not moved on to anything new.
When it comes to creating content, I have several programs:
Aegisub: Editing and timing subtitles.
Kdenlive: Video editing, adding effects, music, etc.
Obs: Filming my screen (or with my webcam), recording my voice.
Audacity: Recording my voice and increasing the quality of the audio with effects such as compressing
When I do not create content, I enjoy consuming it with vlc or mpv,which both are media players. Both work with and without a GUI. By the way, I highly recommend cvlc and nvlc, the latter being vlc with an ncurses interface.
Since I also write blog posts (as you all know), I need something such as LibreOffice Writer to edit them on my local machine. Keeping them on WordPress only would not be very responsible of me.
I do have other programs such as Zeal (for offline documentation), pavucontrol (to manage sound), and other I might have forgotten, but I do not open them everyday.
Conclusion & Sign-Off
I hope you all enjoyed this little overview of my system and software. If you have any suggestions, whether it be terminal or gui-based, feel free to shoot a comment.
Some of you may be wondering what is currently happening behind the scenes. If you belong with such people, then this article is for you and you should keep reading. I have recently been told that I was much less active on my blog and YouTube channel than before. Appearances are against me, indeed. In 2 months and a half, I published few videos and articles. Hopefully, everything will become much clearer in the lines to come...
Behind The Curtains
First of all, I have been worrying and focusing on what you, readers, cannot see: the administrative side of being a company owner. Being a young business owner, I have to figure out all of the things listed below:
Admin: founding the company, declaring my revenue to the state, having the right legal activity for the company, billing a service, accounting…
How to earn a decent living as a freelancer: which websites do I want to use, how to get clients, etc.
How to optimize my workflow: writing, making videos...
How to provide quality content: technically speaking but also in terms of schedule, writing... Shooting a video, for instance, requires good material but also writing skills and technical skills which I did not have only a few months ago. In fact, I consider that I still am in my learning phase.
There are so many things which I am still figuring out that it is a bit scary. It is an exciting, yet terrifying adventure. As I go on, I test, I fail, I succeed… All of this allows me to make progress, but it is extremely time-consuming.
On a more concrete note, I have also been working on ideas & drafts for my articles. I do not have a lot of content ready to be published at this exact moment, but hopefully this is content which you will enjoy.
I have been looking for material too. Since I have entered in my second year as a content creator, I am considering upgrading my microphone and camera. I absolutely want to publish more quality content. I realized that my last 2 videos are far from great, especially regarding the audio. This is not what I want to offer. I am still very much looking for my identity as a content creator. There are some people who publish less and offer tremendous content. I would like to be among them. I cannot be satisfied with mediocrity. I can only aim at AWESOMENESS!
Ideally I would like to be able to publish a video every time I publish an article. If this does not work, I could also consider podcasts instead of videos. It is a format which would probably suit me better. I cannot afford to focus on too many things at the time, however. Podcasts remain a media I am interested in, but I will only make one when I am sure that I can dedicate time to it on the long term.
I have been hard at work on a services page. I invite you to check it out if you are curious to know what I could potentially do for you or your company.
Other Professional & Personal Projects
Growing my business is not the only worry which has been consuming my energy these past few weeks and months. Of course, the sanitary situation and its restrictions affected my motivation and I questioned myself one more time. My life has been so full of uncertainties for the past 2 or 3 years that I have become rather good at that…
Since I am not yet earning any money with my company (though I hope it will not be the case for much longer), I have had to look out for alternatives:
I applied for a master’s degree in cyber security. I thought I would never be this person but this is true. I am actually thinking about getting back into the educational system and getting a master’s. It would allow me to work as an intern, earning some money, and keep growing my company at the same time. I must confess it would really be a dream position. Right this moment, I still am going through the hell of the admissions process.
I also have several other opportunities as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher but, for now, nothing is certain. There are 2 competitive programs offering positions as teaching assistants in Spain but I have not even applied yet. I would have a real shot but I want to be sure to get a negative answer for my master’s before sending any application. Let me also tell you that I cannot rejoice at the idea of relocating once again, especially in a country whose language I do not speak.
I still spend at least one hour a day learning Italian. I also call language partners once or twice a week. If you are not already familiar with this website, I strongly recommend that you check out conversation exchange.
Conclusion & Sign-Off
Trust me, I am going nowhere. Blogging and making videos are too much fun for me to give up! I also remain determined to see this adventure through, since it will give me the freedom I have always wished for!