Weekly Head Voices #248: Oh snap

Welcome back everyone to this completely normal and of course utterly on-time edition of the WHV which spans (checks notes…) the one (1) week from Monday October 31 to Sunday November 6, 2022.

Figure 1: Watsonia posing in front of mountain. Photo by partner.

Figure 1: Watsonia posing in front of mountain. Photo by partner.

(Yes, I am a little bit excited that for once this post is technically on time enough to cover only that one week. Of course what’s in the post does not necessarily have to do anything with the events that transpired in that week, but we won’t let that keep us from this little punctuality celebration.)

On to the post: We have keyboards, file synchronization approaches and some surprising mathematical terminology!

Keyboard never-endgame

It has been …9 (nine)… months since I last talked about keyboards on this blog.

At that point, I had just replaced the tactile brown switches in my Womier with linear reds, and discovered to my surprise that I do in fact prefer linears.

Since then, I have again replaced the switches on that board, but this time with Kailh Speed Silvers.

My plan was to get as close as possible to the effortlessly smooth feel of my Varmilo VA87m (with Cherry MX Speed Silvers) at work.

While that board was certainly inching closer, it was still missing a little something…

… perhaps, perhaps it was just missing a completely new little new keyboard!

When respected YouTube reviewers call a keyboard with factory-lubed switches, luxury double-shot PBT OSA-profile keycaps and this particular sound the “The Keychron V1 Bargain, and other reviewers remark that the only issue with this board is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find one in stock due to its level of bang-for-buck, you could probably predict that I would find it quite hard to resist.

I had to pull some (Aramex) strings to get the keyboard delivered here, but wow, it was so worth it!

Although I was hoping for something close to my Varmilo in terms of feel, this V1 with its red switches is at least the Varmilo’s equal, if not a little more.

Hell freezes over (again)

Readers of this blog know that I’ve been using (and paying for) Dropbox for quite a number of years.

We’ve been together for long enough that we even got to do a break-up-make-up cycle back in 2013, and in 2019 I tried and failed spectacularly to migrate to a cheaper competitor whose name starts with a G.

One would have thought that I learned my lesson in 2019 (that post even explicitly lists the lessons learned…), but apparently not.

After I recently discovered how to get the fantastic unison bi-directional syncing tool to sync between WSL and the Windows host, I decided that it was again time to attempt something stupid, this time migrating my whole digital life to OneDrive, the cloud file synchronization tool made by Microsoft, our erstwhile sworn enemy who later turned out to be pretty cool after all.

My main reason this time was again cost, and reducing the number of subscriptions and cloud systems we use. (we already have OneDrive as part of the incredibly reasonably priced Microsoft 365 family)

About two weeks ago I managed to copy all of my files (more than 500 thousand files totalling over 200GB) from Dropbox to OneDrive over a few days, using the amazing rclone tool, via my Hetzner VPS in Germany.

After some initial hiccups as the various OneDrive clients had to catch up to the deluge of new files that were coming in, this setup has been working pretty well!

On each of my Windows development machines (2 active, 1 semi-active) I have unison running in watch mode under tmux syncing only the subset of the folders that I need to be on WSL2, namely source code and my pkb4000 notes database. (the same notes database containing the month file that houses this blog post draft – every time I hit C-x C-s, the Emacs hotkey for save, this file is synced from WSL to the host drive by Unison, and then from there to the OneDrive cloud)

I also have the OneDrive client on my M1 MBA where it uses more ram than Dropbox, but where its RAM for some reason gets compressed much more readily than the Dropbox client.

While the syncing is not as fast as dropbox (in terms of picking up changes and zapping them to the cloud and to other machines), it’s entirely serviceable. unison is blindingly fast for its part of the job.

As an added bonus, this enabled me to exclude node_modules FOREVER in the default unison profile that I use.

Note that you can configure OneDrive to exclude files BY WILDCARD (see this superuser.com answer), something that even the great Dropbox has no way of doing.

Yes, you CAN keep your checked-out source code in Dropbox or OneDrive!

Finally, hereby I also officially announce that: Why yes, I do keep all of my checked out source code projects in OneDrive. Previously, I did the same for years and years in Dropbox.

I have very good reasons for doing this.

My tweet below and the blog post that I link explain some of these reasons:

… and here I recently came out about this issue on reddit:

I have been hosting all of my source code in dropbox AND pushing to various git repos for years and years now, with nary a hitch. For the past few weeks, I have been trying OneDrive, and so far it’s been going well.

I’ve been trying to explain to people over the years that there are good reasons for doing so, in my case primarily the fact that I work on the same projects on various machines and laptops, and I prefer NOT abusing git commits for manual syncing

Furthermore, I’m often working on a number of repos, and having to commit all of them just to switch ot my laptop does not make any sense.

The next time someone claims that this is what git is for, please send them to me, because it’s not.

From the Departments of Physics and Breakfast

I recently learned about the official names of the third to sixth derivates of position, from Twitter of all places.

(Over the years, I’ve actually learned quite a lot from there, but who knows how we’ll look back at it in a few years time.)

Wikipedia confirms that indeed after the pretty unsurprisingly named first and second derivatives, namely velocity and acceleration, things started getting just a little bit weird, but understandable, with jerk for the third, and snap or jounce for the fourth, but then the clown gloves came off with snap, crackle and pop for the fourth to the sixth derivatives!

Isn’t that just marvelous?!

I really wanted to reproduce the list here using the built-in \(\KaTeX\) support in this blog, and so I fell down a small rabbit-hole because \(\KaTeX\), while amazing and fast, does not have eqnarray, and its aligned environment needs some help with vertical spacing (\\[1.5ex] at the end of every line to give it a bit of an extra nudge).

Secondly, I had to update my modification of the hugo-minos theme so that it uses the latest version of \(\KaTeX\), and so that I could add that very aligned environment to its default list of delimiters via the optional options argument to renderMathInElement().

Finally, while Org-mode and the brilliant ox-hugo usually automatically pass \(\LaTeX\) fragments through to Hugo, in this case I had to wrap it in an HTML export block and manually specify the correct number (four) of slashes, as it was automatically transforming \\[1.5ex] into \\\[1.5ex] (note the three slashes instead of four, whilst without the [...] it correctly generates four).

Anyways, after all that, you get these nicely rendered equations:

\begin{aligned} \bm{r} &= \operatorname{position}\\[1.5ex] \frac{d\bm{r}}{dt} &= \operatorname{velocity}\\[1.5ex] \frac{d^2\bm{r}}{dt^2} &= \operatorname{acceleration}\\[1.5ex] \frac{d^3\bm{r}}{dt^3} &= \operatorname{jerk}\\[1.5ex] \frac{d^4\bm{r}}{dt^4} &= \operatorname{snap}\\[1.5ex] \frac{d^5\bm{r}}{dt^5} &= \operatorname{crackle}\\[1.5ex] \frac{d^6\bm{r}}{dt^6} &= \operatorname{pop} \end{aligned}

Wow, blogging with Org-mode and Hugo sure is easy! :)

P.S. You might remember that it was also a Physics paper that helped main-streaming the word embiggen from The Simpsons right into our dictionaries.