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Alvin Sim Posts

It’s a Chocolatey Time

Chocolatey is a software or package management on Windows, similar to the apt command on Debian or Debian-based distributions. It’d be great if Windows has something similar built-in. This does make managing software so much easier. I have used Chocolatey for many years, since 2016 or earlier, and it is always one of the first things I install on a new Windows system. One of the main advantages of using Chocolatey and because it is a command-line-interface (CLI) power tool,…

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2019 Podcast Shows I Enjoy Listening To

I listen to podcasts because it is one of the ways I can learn something new. There was a quote from someone, from whom I can’t remember, “Podcast is like a moving university”. I will always have something to listen to when I am doing my chores, commute, having my walks or exercise, etc. Below is a list of the podcast shows I enjoy listening to currently and they are ordered in no particular order. It’s very different from the…

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A Better Web Experience with the Keyboard

When I use a computer, I like to have both hands on the keyboard, or specifically on the home row. I find that it is more productive than having to move them to grab the mouse every few seconds. This is one reason I am grateful for Software with great keyboard shortcuts and also that are easily customisable. Terminal (or terminal emulator) and command prompt which you do not really need to use the mouse. Websites with great keyboard shortcuts…

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‘git status’ in Your Prompt

Did you know: You can have a visual representation of the git status command output in your shell prompt? This is especially convenient for people who use the git command-line interface (CLI). Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with the Windows command prompt or cmd. But there are a few workarounds. git-prompt.sh Disclaimer: For this part of the article, I will show the how-tos by using Debian (on Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL) and FreeBSD as examples. These are the Unix-like…

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Why Not DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-first search engine which doesn’t track you. I started using it as my primary search engine in 2011. Below is my first tweet about DuckDuckGo. In the tweet, I shared an article on an interview (2012) by TechSpot with DuckDuckGo’s founder, Gabriel Weinberg. I’ve used duckduckgo for more than a year & it’s AWESOME. It is currently the default search engine in all my browsers http://t.co/Dngw2s9d — Alvin Sim (@alvinsim) August 24, 2012 My reason for using…

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My Experience with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

One day on my way back home, I was listening to one of Hanselminutes’s podcast episodes titled “Inside Linux on Windows with WSL and Tara Raj”. This reminded me of the first time I tried it when Microsoft first announced it back in 2016. Then, it was called “Bash on Windows” and Microsoft collaborated with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Personally, I didn’t use it much. It was just another shiny new toy and I didn’t have a use for…

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A War With My Laptop’s Touchpad

I use a 15″ HP Pavillion and the touchpad drives me crazy. This happens with Dells’ as well. The one thing about the touchpad that bugs me, is when I start typing and ghostly things would start to happen such as my web browser will be the active window and new tabs and/or windows will start opening; or the right-click context menu would appear. Changing the sensitivity of the touchpad didn’t help. When I am using my laptop, it’s either…

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Refresh Environment Variables in Windows Command Prompt

Have you ever added an environment variable in Windows and having to close and re-open the command prompt just to use it? Or worse, having to reboot Windows. I just found this cool command when I used Chocolatey to install maven. Right at the end of the installation, Chocolatey prompt me to run the refreshenv command to have the environment variable change(s) take effect without re-opening the command prompt. alvin@ALVINSIM-HP C:\Users\alvin\ > refreshenv Refreshing environment variables from registry for cmd.exe.…

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Symlink Me, Windows!

Microsoft Windows has this feature called symbolic links since Windows Vista. But, I am guessing not many are aware of this feature, nor did I. It wasn’t until I had a need for it and tried searching if there were any 3rd party applications which provided this feature. And I found this How-To Geek article. Eventually, I found other articles on this subject. What are symbolic links? Symbolic links are pointers referencing to another file or directory at a different…

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Coding Music With Sonic Pi

Sonic Pi Lately, I have been playing with Sonic Pi. In a nutshell, it is a music synthesizer. But instead of toggling knobs, switches, keys and what not, we write code. Ruby code to be exact. Sonic Pi was created by Sam Aaron. A bit of history now, if you have not heard of him, he, together with Johnathan Graham, was Meta-eX. They performed live coding music. Besides that, they also did tech talks to promote coding and music to…

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