• From macOS to Plasma: Making Myself at Home

    I have been a Mac user for the last few years and, while I have been a GNU/Linux user for more than 22, I have to say that some of the macOS desktop conventions very well matched my needs, and rooted very deep in my work-related workflows, carving themselves into my brain.

    I recently changed my great MacBook Pro for another great machine, a Lenovo ThinkPad T490s. I have chosen Debian with Plasma by KDE (formerly just “KDE”) as the desktop environment. It is known that Plasma is much closer to the Windows 10 usability conventions than to the macOS’, so I needed to enable a few features to make myself at home.

    Desktop Result

    The result is a very clean environment that doesn’t get in the way, that doesn’t distract with too much eye candy, and for that, perfect for coding tasks and data display.

    I left the neofetch output just in case someone wants to know more about the themes used (quite unremarkable choices I think, but hey).

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  • Installing Linux with Secure Boot and Friends

    This post is motivated by the confusion and the still prevalent recommendation of disabling Secure Boot when installing GNU/Linux, no matter what distribution we are talking about.

    Contrary to the mainstream trend of such a disablement and proceeding with an outdated bootstrap, security-wise, many distributions do support Secure Boot since a while ago.

    In this post I will provide some links, references, and “glue text to make sense” in order to provide clarity about Secure Boot: what it is, what it provides, and what it takes from us –mostly in terms of user experience, or friction.

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  • Lenovo ThinkPad T490s: a Battery Review Under Linux

    It’s been a while since I decided to get a new laptop and, finally, the replacement to my MacBook Pro mid-2014 came in the mail last Monday (April 21st, 2020). The selected laptop has been a Lenovo ThinkPad T490s, and I decided to use it entirely with Linux.

    In this post I will link some power management tweaks and explain them, as well as some other tips and resources, and analyse how this laptop battery performs using Ubuntu 20.04.

    TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read

    The battery life of this integrated GPU laptop can comfortably last a whole 9 to 5 day for a developer-like job, with CPU demand peaks here and there, like building binaries and running automated tests. That kind of usage also includes browsing static documentation and not very fancy sites like Stack Overflow connected to a WiFi, and streaming music to a bluetooth headset to get in the flow.

    When it comes to browser-based jobs, like online publishing or editing, the battery life can drop a bit but I still believe that it can make the day if we are not too much into graphics and animation-oriented web publishing.

    We have to be careful about the choices we make with regards to the browser we use, and take some precautions against parasitic browser code like tracking and advertising. These things are draining our battery and making our laptop work for someone else, and that’s definitely something to avoid.

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  • This Site is Still Up And Running

    It’s been a while since I started this website in 2018, using a very simple setup with Jekyll on GitHub Pages. I haven’t used it very much, namely I’ve written 4 posts in these, almost, 2 years. Indeed, the previous post is exactly one year old today! I’m back to it because I miss a space in where I can share my thoughts on a subject, my conclusions after some specific chain of events, studies, experiments or personal projects (if they don’t die after a few weeks, which is often the case). Or if I have a position on something on the news, or if I just want to share content.

    I don’t promise that I will post more often, what I’m saying is that this will be the place for them. Also this is not a new year’s resolution, it’s just the conclusion of a series of events that made me turn back to personal websites instead of just having social media profiles.

    This post is about some thoughts about websites, Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Notes on budgeting

    Those of you who follow me on Anchor, or who listen to my Spanish-spoken podcast “Sobre la marcha” may have listened to a bunch of episodes about personal finance, You Need a Budget (YNAB) and budgets in general. In this post I want to share some notes with those of you that you haven’t listened to that, either because you don’t understand Spanish or because whatever reason.

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  • I left Twitter for a month

    I’ve been using Twitter for about 11 years, since September 2007. Through all this time I have been quite neat in my approach to maintain my timeline clean of both bullshit, human garbage and hathred; my timeline is useful, inspiring and valuable to me. Thanks to that curation Twitter has been, by far, my best source of news and a very useful way to stay connected to many matters, as technology and security, and to many social movements.

    It was the beginning of last November when I realised that I had developed a mechanic habit of browsing Twitter blindlessly, mindlessly and meaninglessly, almost as an act of reflex. I was scrolling through my timelne while literally daydreaming. After that moment of realisation, I decided to stay away from it for a month.

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  • There is no security by default

    Security and safety by default are things that many people claim that technology should provide, some sort of baseline requirement for any digital product or electronic device. I profoundly believe that such a statement is naive and unrealistic. It is merely an excuse to avoid our own responsibilities. We have not been succesful when it comes to provide security and safety by default in anything, no matter how old and established is the practice or the objects we designed, so, how could we pretend to make something that is not even one hundred years old, secure or safe by default?

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  • This site is up and running

    If you can see this line, then this site is OK. You should also see that it has SSL-enabled. You can check the about page to find out what you can expect of this blog. See you soon!