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How I built my website

For the past two years, I've hosted my personal site (first, then later on Blogger. At the time, I was using my site as a blog I rarely posted to, so it didn't seem like a good idea to pay for a host that supported WordPress. Even though Google rarely touches it these days, Blogger is still a decent platform, especially since it supports custom HTML/CSS/JS.

Last month, I wanted to try replacing it with a static site. My main goal was to highlight my social media accounts more promiently. I also wanted it to load quickly and not use any JS/CSS frameworks, like Bootstrap or Bulma. There's nothing wrong with those projects, I just wanted to try writing my own solution from scratch.

First, I had to choose a host. I settled on GitHub Pages, mostly because I've used it before. It allows you to host static web content (no PHP) for free, so it's perfect for basic websites. By default, it will host your site as a sub-domain on GitHub, but you can use a …

Star Trek: Discovery isn't amazing

It's fair to say I'm a Star Trek fan. I've watched most of the shows and all the films, except Voyager (which was incredibly boring IMO). Deep Space 9 is probably my favorite show, followed by either The Next Generation or Enterprise. I might write another post about how great Enterprise is at some point, because honestly, it gets too much hate.

But that's not what this post is about. Today, I want to share my thoughts about the latest entry in the long-running franchise - Star Trek: Discovery. This is a show that had very high expectations, as it was the first Trek show in over a decade (since ST: Enterprise ended in 2005). Discovery is set 10 years before the original series, and revolves around the crew of the USS Discovery in the middle of a war between the Federation (aka United Nations in space) and the Klingon Empire (the bad guys).

This isn't going to be an actual review of the show, more of a rant about my complaints with it. If you're looking for a w…

Introducing WhatDevice

There are plenty of instances where you may need to quickly find out information about your computer. But trying to find the information you need can be difficult, especially if you're trying to diagnose an operating system you don't normally use. If you usually work on a Mac, you might not know how to lookup the GPU on Windows without doing some googling first.

That's where WhatDevice comes in. It's a web app, currently in beta, that aims to display everything about your device on one page.

Not sure what OS your friend is running? Just tell them to type in Can't figure out if your video camera is properly connected? Just type in Pretty easy.

This is an early beta, and not every planned feature is implemented yet. For example, WhatDevice will soon allow you to save the complete details of your device to a text file. I also plan to make it an offline-ready Progressive Web App, but that isn't fully working yet.

If you have feedb…

NoPlugin 4.0 is now available!

NoPlugin is a browser extension that allows you to view some plugin content in your browser, without the need for actual browser plugins. I've been working on version 4.0 for a few weeks now, and I'm excited to finally release it.

Firstly, NoPlugin 4.0 works much better on devices running Chrome OS. The extension did work before on Chromebooks, but I was unable to fully test it, and some of the included instructions were incorrect. Now that I have a shiny new Chromebook Flip, I was able to fix the problems.

Starting with version 4.0, NoPlugin will sanitize all plugin object data before processing it. This is done to prevent possible XSS attacks. I'm not aware of this happening to any user, but better safe than sorry.

The new welcome page on NoPlugin 4.0.
There a few other minor improvements, such as support for RTSP media streams and detection for VLC plugin objects. NoPlugin 4.0 is rolling out now to Chrome users, and is in the review process for Opera and Firefox. Opera s…

Peek 2.2 has been released!

It's been a while since I updated my Peek browser extension - eight months, in fact. Over the past two weeks, I've been working on a new update, and it has just been submitted to the Chrome Web Store and Opera add-ons site.

Most of the improvements in Peek 2.2 are under the hood. The extension heavily relies on the jQuery and Tooltipster JavaScript libraries, both of which have been updated to the latest versions. The design for the previews has been slightly tweaked, as seen below.

The settings and welcome pages have a brand-new design, using the Bootstrap framework. They look much better than the previous pages, but work exactly the same.

Some functionality has been removed in Peek 2.2. Previews for HTTP links are now disabled on HTTPS sites, for security purposes. In addition, support for Flash video file previews has been removed, due to F4Player no longer working. Chrome now blocks Flash embeds by default anyways.

Peek 2.2 is rolling out now on the Chrome Web Store, and i…

NoPlugin 3.1 is now available!

If you're not familiar with it, NoPlugin (previously named QuickChrome) is a browser extension that allows you to play some plugin content on sites, without the need for plugins. If the content cannot be played in-browser, NoPlugin can download the file to your computer for playback with VLC Media Player (or another video/audio player).

Now I'm excited to release NoPlugin 3.1! This will be going live for Chrome users over the next day or so, and is waiting on approval for people using Opera.

The only major change in this release is how the extension handles plugin objects with audio files. If audio content is detected on the page, it is automatically replaced with an HTML5 player. Previously, the user would be required to click the 'Show content' button before the player would become visible. This was changed because the warning would often overlap other elements on the page (due to the small space the original plugin objects take up).

Left: Chrome with NoPlugin, Right:

Trying out Fedora linux

Like millions (maybe billions) of people, I use Windows as my main operating system. After being a Mac user for years, I tried out Windows on my 2012 Mac Mini - and I was instantly hooked. All of my games ran better, overall performance was snappier, and I had a far greater library of applications and games to choose from.

I now use Windows 10 on my custom-built PC and my Dell Latitude laptop, and I've had relatively few complaints. Unlike many other people on Windows 10, I haven't been stuck in an update, and I haven't received an advertisement in the file manager.

But in the past year or so, I've become increasingly annoyed with how Microsoft is treating Windows users. Windows 10 was the subject of criticism for forcing Windows 7/8.1 users to upgrade, sometimes breaking the system in the process. Privacy is hot topic as well.

I don't really have a desire to go back to macOS, but I did want to give Linux a try. I've been an on-and-off Ubuntu user for years no…