Category: FOSS

Firefox was already getting bad, then they started pushing ads

The Firefox logo with a sad face replacing the globe against an abstract, geometrical background.

When it comes to the Net, I’ve got a lot of goodies in my toolbox. Email, Discord, ssh, Telegram, Remote Desktop, Signal, curl, Messages, BitTorrent, wget, RSS feeds, and the list goes on. But of all those tools, there’s nothing more important to my digital workflow than the web browser. I’ve never measured this in any scientific way, but when I’m using a computer, I’m probably using a browser 90% of the time. I’ve often joked that my favourite operating system is Firefox, because it’s so integral to what I do professionally and personally. But over the last few months, that started to change. The slowness was always there. I don’t mind it if a web browser can’t render a website in 1.2 seconds or whatever. So long as I can start using the website in five seconds, that seems reasonable on my internet connection. And yet Firefox would spin,…

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New Tech, New Features, New Pants

The Raspberry Pi logo

This morning I was working on a guide and process manual for building a digital signage system using Raspberry Pis and open source software. One of the libraries I work with is switching out their digital signage system and they’d like something they can own, rather than something they need to subscribe to. It’s been a while since I set up a new Pi. I’ve got three or four older Raspberry Pis running around my tech stack, but they’ve been running for a while now, so there’s nothing to set up. But, for this project, I wanted to use a brand new Raspberry Pi 4 from CanaKit. The setup process hasn’t changed much, except for one small feature. I built the Pi, and I dig the new cooling fan. That’ll be great because these digital signage Pis can run MP4 video as well as image slides, so I figure the…

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Beautifying Calibre

The main Calibre screen

I’m not really a fan of Calibre more than I’m an evangelist. The word “fan” doesn’t really cover my adoration of Calibre because, as a librarian with a love of digital books, Calibre is one of those things that presses a lot of my buttons. But, I’ll be the first to admit it’s not always a pretty bit of software. The user interface is… interesting, I guess? I mean, you’ve got BIG, FRIENDLY ICONS to help you do all the things you might want to do. It’s very candy-like, and the icons are quite lovely for 2008. While the UI is often the subject of conversation, it mystifies me that people will complain about it. I mean, don’t they know they can change their user interface? Here we have the stock Calibre UI that you’ll find at the top of the app. It looks like this no matter the operating…

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