Shom Bandopadhaya

I like people, dogs, photography, scuba-diving, computers, open-source software, privacy, and generally improving things where I can.

📌 Getting Started Guides

Long form guides on esoteric topics like themeing, keyboard mapping, etc.

📷 Film Photography

Collection of photos shot with manual film cameras.

Recent blog posts

To our own detriment

This post alleging extortion from CloudFlare is plausible/cautionary. Market monopolies/tech mono-cultures suck so it’s tempting to just be outraged at CF. ...

May 27, 2024 · 1 min
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Enshittification protests beget more enshittification

Like many others, I am frustrated by corporations that have ingested immense amounts of user generated content and are using/selling it to train LLMs1. However, deleting the content now is counter productive, let’s protest more effectively by building a better web. ...

May 7, 2024 · 3 min

In appreciation of podcasts

I’ve seen several posts and threads lately on the fediverse that take a rather pessimistic view of podcasts and advocate for written media instead. I guess here’s my hot take about it because no one asked! ...

April 30, 2024 · 2 min
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Starting a webring in 2024

I’m happy to see that a lot of people, both regular and “content creators”, are relying less solely on commercial social platforms. But discoverability is still an issue, maybe taking back the web requires using ancient tools like webrings. ...

April 17, 2024 · 3 min
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2024 Total Eclipse Prep

Partial eclipse from SFO 2017 The total eclipse is tomorrow, I’ve known about it since the last one I missed in 2017, so of course I started preparing (earlier today). Here’s some handy information for myself and it might help you too. ...

April 7, 2024 · 3 min

Joy is free and comes in small packages

Two little neighborhood kids MADE my day! I’m rolling in my small Subaru hatchback and these kids run to the edge of their yard and give me the trucker/train conductor honk fist pump hand signal! I tapped out a festive sequence of mini honks and everyone was happy. Joy is free and comes in small packages! I shared this on Mastodon but wanted to remember it, it was awesome!

April 7, 2024 · 1 min
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When open source goes source available

Redis went from an open source license to a source available license. This is not a new pattern of trying to protect share-holder value against large cloud providers extracting value they didn’t create. Corporate finance discussion aside (since that’s a really sad can of worms), it’s interesting to see what the FOSS community did about it. ...

March 27, 2024 · 2 min
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Face lift

I created my online Avatar in the early 2000s using a Flash tool that someone made and I really wish I could remember more about it. It’s been my online presence for over 20 years and it’s almost like my real face. Fun fact: One of my co-worker’s husband recognized me at a company social event solely from having seen my avatar on caller ID. ...

February 16, 2024 · 1 min
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Alacritty Auto Theme Switcher

I like and use the Alacritty terminal emulator, but it does not automatically follow the system theme. The issue tracker discussion made it clear this feature won’t be supported, fair enough. And after switching to TOML and discovering partial imports, I knew I could scratch my own itch. Someone wrote a rust tool which was helpful as a guide but I wanted something with low dependency. So I made a bash script and a systemd service and it was fun(?) to learn more about dbus. So, alacritty-auto-theme was born which automatically switches themes with manual override possible, repo on Github and Sourcehut. ...

February 13, 2024 · 1 min
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Firefox scrollbar size

I don’t like seeing the scrollbar until I want to see it. I want to see it when: I’m scrolling with an indication of how big the page is I want to grab the scrollbar with the mouse to move it to specific location When I want to grab the scrollbar, I want it to be a big target to hit, not something I’m chasing around trying to click accurately on a 4K monitor....

February 8, 2024 · 1 min