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  1. Blogofile -> Pelican

    After running blogofile for four years (who knew it was that long with the little posting i've done :) and getting less done with it than I hoped, I finally decided to move on again. The main reason is, that Blogofile is basically unmaintained and writing custom controllers was harder than it should be (and documentation clearly lacking).

    So I looked around for alternatives and found surprisingly few that were interesting to me. The requirements were:

    • simple static blog compiler
    • solid templating engine
    • python
    • markdown support

    The only one that fit well was Pelican so I decided to give it a go. Migrating was surprisingly straight forward and done in basically half a day (that includes understanding Pelican, porting the CSS, moving all posts over, and implementing every missing feature I used to have in Blogofile in the Pelican templates.

    I'm not 100% happy, but so far Pelican seems nice enough, everything works (even better than before). A few of the problems I have:

    • the design seems unnecessarily complicated, compared to blogofile
    • the error handling is quite poor, it is basically impossible to get useful error messages
    • the documentation could be better (still much better than Blogofile though)
    • the ...
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  2. script to play a random series episode

    I love to watch TV shows, and often have them running at random in the background. Thus for some shows (like Futurama, Family Guy, Mitchel and Webb...), I don't really care about which specific episode is running.

    Because picking one at random manually is a) stupid and b) boring, I used to use a simple, but really horrible, shell one-liner to pick one. Now I finally decided to replace it by a more flexible and much much nicer implementation, written as a simple zsh shellscript. It uses only zsh magic and no other tools.

    Maybe someone else finds it useful, for details see the short description in the script, it's really trivial and works very well.

    You can get it here: https://github.com/tg--/scripts/blob/master/rsplay.zsh

  3. Using a google account as OpenID

    You might have a Google account, and encountered various websites and services who allow you to log in with for example a Facebook account, a Google account or an OpenID account.

    As usual, Facebook wants (or rather forces) you to use their services exclusively, so if a Facebook login is the only possibility, you're screwed.

    Google however tends to use open systems, and they do this for logins, too. Even if a website requires you to log in using your Google account, it is using Googles OpenID services. Unfortunately you're still screwed: if the site supports the Google account excuisively, it will have the Google OpenID URI hardcoded.

    Now for the good news: if a site offers OpenID login directly, you cannot only use any OpenID provider you'd like, you can also use your Google account. Unfortunately, it is (imho) less than obvious - Google doesn't provide a short, practical URI for this purpose. The Google OpenID URI is https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id.

    Not terrible, yet inconvenient, because you'll have to type it in if there is no huge "Google Login" button.

    To make it easier, I first tried various link-shorteners, but this ...

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  4. A Change of Seasons

    I haven't really had any spare time I felt would be best spent writing something here lately, so I think it is at least time for a short update.

    The title is not only one of my favorite Dream Theater songs (if you can call 23 minutes a song) - here it also means that my favorite time of the year is coming. And yes, apparently you can go skiing in October. :)

    2300m: Stubaier Gletscher 2300m

    3200m: Stubaier Gletscher 3200m

    Now, off to Sweden.

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