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Debugging Android devices with adb on Ubuntu

Just some notes for myself next time.

Either download the Platform Toolscache package or directly install adb from the repository:

sudo apt install adb

If you are running Ubuntu, make sure that you are in the plugdev group (sudo usermod -aG plugdev $LOGNAME if notcache). You may have to create a udev rule to ensure the device is mounted under the right group.

To do so, create a file /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="18d1", ATTR{idProduct}=="d002", MODE="0660",
GROUP="plugdev", SYMLINK+="android%n"

Where vendor and product id must match your …

Lonely Planet on Kindle - The Cheap Way

Lonely Planet guidebooks are nice to get a quick overview of a place, or find some things worth seeing and doing around where you are traveling. However, lobbing around an extra half a kilo or more isn't great.

I'm already carrying my e-reader, so wouldn't it be great if I could just save the relevant sections there?

However, while they do sell an official Kindle edition, I prefer using the paperback versions when planning my trip. So instead of buying it twice, I simple scanned the relevant pages at the office, then cropped them into a single paged pdf with …

VPN with Wireguard

Today I spent some time setting up a Wireguard VPN on a Linode VPS.

Overall the process is not too complicated, but there are some things I was confused about initially. Initially I followed the guide on the Linode websitecache, but then I switched over to this excellent article: How to setup a VPN server using WireGuard (with NAT and IPv6)cache.

My biggest confusion was about the distinction between the private IP assigned to the server/client within the VPN, and the externally visible IP of the server (the client does not need a public IP). Importantly, the …

Master one skill at a time instead of learning many at once

Every skill has both a cost to maintain and a cost to learn. Take the case of learning a language: You need to spend some time every day rehearsing vocabulary and grammar you already learned so you don't forget (maintain), then you can also study new words and grammar points (learn).

The maintenance is a fixed cost - you need to spend this time just to not forget what you already know. As you get better, this cost goes down. Either because you can integrate the skill in your normal routine - read news in foreign languages - or because it has become …

xmodmap and Umlaute

If you speak German but prefer using an English keyboard layout for programming (dvorak in my case), then you will frequently face the issue of how to conveniently enter Umlaute.

Luckily, there's an easy solution with xmodmap, just add the below to your .Xmodamp config:

clear mod1
keycode 108 = Mode_switch
add mod1 = Alt_L

keysym a = a A adiaeresis Adiaeresis
keysym o = o O odiaeresis Odiaeresis
keysym u = u U udiaeresis Udiaeresis
keysym s = s S ssharp

Where 108 is the keycode returned by xev for your Alt key.

Remap Caps Lock to Tab

Don't want to waste prime keyboard real estate on a key you never use?

First, find out the keycode of your Caps Lock key: run xev, repeatedly press Caps Lock, note the keycode you see in the logs.

Next, create or append to the .Xmodmap file in your home directory:

clear Lock
keycode 66 = Tab

Where you replace 66 with whichever keycode you saw in the output of xev.

Finally, load the map: xmodmap .Xmodmap.

You can of course replace it with any other key as well, not just tab.

Ubuntu and Japanese Input

This is more a note to myself, but to easily type japanese on Ubuntu, install ibus-anthy (sudo apt-get install ibus-anthy), make sure ibus-daemon is running.

Then you can add Japanese in Anthy's 'Input Method' tab, make sure to select 'Japanese - Anthy'. If you use dvorak like me, also make sure 'Use system keyboard layout' in the Advanced tab is checked.

Cooking Recommendation: Serious Eats

If you like cooking (or eating), I recommend Serious Eatscache. They have many great recipes that are easy to follow as well as delicious - for most of the new dishes I've tried recently, I've followed recipes from Serious Eats.

Two of my favorite dishes for a lazy day are Gyudoncache, a simple rice bowl heaped with beef and onion simmered in a mix of soy sauce, sake and dashi:


And Salmon Teriyakicache, another rice bowl with seared salmon on top of a bed of cucumber and avocado:

Salmon Teriyaki

Both are easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Despite the …

Breaking the Rules to Improve Society

Recently, I was talking with some friends about the increasing power of technology, and how it is being applied to ever more accurately enforce laws. In just one example, facial recognition is now used in China to automatically identify and fine jaywalkerscache.

One common concern is that these technologies are easily abused for more sinister purposes - mass surveillance, identification of political dissidents, etc.

However, I think there's an even more direct danger: Too rigid enforcement of laws stops society from improving. Until 1967cache, homosexuality was punishable by imprisonment in the UK. If it had been possible to always …

fitbit v3

Good news! My attempts with wearing the fitbit in reverse, i.e. with the sensor at the underside of my arm, were successful:

Chart showing heart rate as measured by Polar H10 vs fitbit alta HR

This time the fitbit alta HR and the Polar H10 agreed much more closely, even during an hour of running! It also correctly detected the drop in heart rate in the middle of my run when I stopped for a bit.

So while not accurate enough for serious heart rate tracking during exercise (for that I still recommend a chest strap like the Polar H10), the fitbit is definitely good enough for 24/7 monitoring and more …

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