Everything you need to know about , distilled in one insightful episode

Evidence-Based Strategies for Being Happy | Laurie Santos | Knowledge Project

Made an extended battery pack for my aging MacBook that also acts as a comfortable base. The 55Wh battery pack consists of cheap and easily replaceable 21700 cells. Plenty of space to add more batteries, USB hub, hard drive, or other accessories.

tobykurien.com/images/microblo tobykurien.com/images/microblo

Computers were "good enough" 5 years ago, and we're still using them for the exact same purposes. So why do we have gigs of software updates every week, and why do our computers get slow and "out-of-date" every 2 years? Where's the extra value from all this added complexity, compared to 5 years ago? Is it purely aesthetic? I'd argue that we're regressing, not progressing.

Everything that becomes popular turns to crap. So now I have to ditch DuckDuckGo and find an alternative. No, I'm not telling you what I'm moving to, lest they get enough users to dictate their terms to us.

After decades of Ubuntu use, I've replaced my desktop OS with antiX. It's a minimal Debian system without systemd. Boots to desktop in about 5 seconds and uses only 150Mb of RAM. It's a simple system that I can get my head around easily and administer without unlearning and relearning things all the time like I had to with Ubuntu. It feels fast and efficient, and looks good too. For similar reasons, on the server side, I'm moving from Ubuntu to OpenBSD where I can… tobykurien.com/post-1650183163

"Nearly all of modern computer engineers are working above so many layers that there’s no human way to understand what they are doing." gemini://rawtext.club/~ploum/2

The Theological Problem Behind Firefox in Ubuntu 22.04

Back in 2015, I predicted that once ad-blocking became common, we would be faced with server-side tracking:
You know what will happen once most of us install ad-blockers? Server-side ad SDK's, that's what. Unblockable ads, unstoppable tracking. twitter.com/TobyKurien/status/
Well, it's here in the form of Server-side tagging in Google Tag Manager, and it's easier than the SDK I predicted.

Server-side tagging

Another one takes the red pill and wakes up from the Matrix - "I think the internet is broken - Chris Hawkes"

Chris Hawkes

The website is nothing like a modern website, and I love it! I mean, you can download this I am currently really enjoying (Casual Computing) for free, DRM free, without creating an account, without popups in your face, right now, just by following the link. No user hostility, you can read the ebooks on any device you want, and you get to support independent authors.

Casual Computing: Light Reading for Users of Open Source, About Open Source

"Digital Vegan" is a deep dive into the problems with our current technology (Big Tech and social media). It's "a call to disengagement and more careful, slower, deliberate and thoughtful relations with technology".

Andy Farnell

Did you know you can download all of Wikipedia onto your hard drive and use it offline? It's only 87Gb and will fit on a microSD card. Useful for distraction-free productivity for home-schooling, work-from-home, etc. Also useful for those with little or no connectivity or during internet take-downs. With the Kiwix software, it's searchable and you can also host it onto a local network with one click. Other useful downloads: Gutenberg books, Khan Academy, TED videos… tobykurien.com/post-1641711741

A free e-book on advice from a philosopher billionaire: "Almanack of Naval Ravikant". I don't agree with all of it, but there's a lot here to contemplate and dig into.

Eric Jorgenson

Nostr is: "The simplest open protocol that is able to create a censorship-resistant global "social" network once and for all." and "a truly censorship-resistant alternative to Twitter that has a chance of working"


You've heard of GMail and other 3rd party email, and "self-hosted email" which will make some of you cringe and trigger PTSD if you've ever tried it, but did you know there's a nice middle ground?: tobykurien.com/semi-self-hoste

The latest incarnation of my DIY audio player. Still a bit clunky, but it's now pocketable, and can run 15+ hours on a full charge. The software is now perfect 👌


A critique of Web3. It's a long read, but gives a good explanation of what the Web3 (NFT, DAO) fuss is all about, and then promptly rips it apart with some considered arguments.

The Third Web

As is the trend these days, @ForGoodZA have updated their site to be far more user-hostile: cookie popup, 7+Mb of javascript, and tons of 3rd party requests without which the site won't work. All just so I can pick a cause and donate some money. _Sigh_

Why, oh WHY, do those #?@! nutheads use vi? (2007)
learning vi/vim is an activity that will take a long time (weeks to months), and that the first experience is not pleasant


I discovered the protocol about a year ago, and it's still a thing! I spend way more time reading posts here than on Web. Check out this quickstart page if you're curious.

Gemini quickstart!

Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide
"I don't want to become some huge bodybuilder freak, I just want to get in better shape and look better. Should I read this? That's what this guide is for. It's a basic guide to diet and fitness for beginners who want to get in better shape. "

Liam Rosen

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