Shom Bandopadhaya

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

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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
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filmPoster with Gum Hugo photo post bliss?

I didn’t have a good process to add film photos to my Hugo static site with consistent tags to serve as metadata for camera, film, developer, format, etc. so I cobbled together a small Bash script to collect some input and create a folder as a Hugo `page bundle` but it was a very manual process still and the tag template soon became tedious to maintain. I discovered Gum and decided to play with it to see if it would improve my post creation experience and it has been pretty good during my brief testing....

February 4, 2024 · 1 min

How to get Started

Sometimes it’s hard to get started with something new. Sure there are so many resources, almost too many resources, distilling just the essential information is difficult. Here I’m collecting the things I’ve learned over time, so if I were starting from scratch today, I could just jump in and get started. These are not blog posts fixed in time so if something changes I hope to change the information inline without clarifying edits....

February 2, 2024 · 2 min
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Alacritty: TOML and partial imports

I have written before about using Alacritty as my terminal and I’ve configured it using YAML. I’ve been a general fan of YAML, I like the way the syntax looks and there aren’t too many brackets of any kind, if it had a line terminator, that’d be great. The downside is that it is indent dependent. But for the most part I’m comfortable with YAML and wherever an option is provided for using YAML, I pick it over TOML....

January 25, 2024 · 2 min
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URL shortening for blog links natively in Hugo

This blog post can also be found at 1ba87346. This short URL is designed to make sharing online more compact without having to use an external URL shortening service. The permalink for this post is 62 characters (plus base URL, everything following discounts the base URL), while the short URL is 11 characters. Every post will predictably be 11 characters since I’m using CRC32 hash of the permalink to generate the short link....

January 21, 2024 · 4 min
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Tech debt for personal projects

A great thing about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is that anyone can create a thing, share it with others, and anyone else can contribute and make it better. It’s also great to solve a problem for yourself and just share it with the world just in case it helps someone else. I know I have benefited from both those modalities, so I have tried to share a few tools and knowledge on this blog and through my repos....

January 20, 2024 · 5 min
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Film Photography

There’s a new section on the website for Film Photography that is being built by Hugo but independent of the blogging workflow. I’ll create a new entry documenting how that is setup in a follow-up post. I’m not sure if the film photos should be a on the main blog feed but without realizing it I have flooded the RSS feed, perhaps it should be on it’s own feed (don’t want to inconvenience the non-existent readership of this blog!...

December 7, 2023 · 1 min
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More eagles

I went back to look for eagles again and found that the lake/pond/ditch had frozen over but there were still a couple of eagles milling about and several black birds. Lessons learned: 1/1600 of second still pretty slow for capturing even a big bird in flight. ISO 400 is pretty reliable on my camera and darktable matches the noise profile, doing a decent job of noise removal. Busy backgrounds are hard to work with but they aren’t show stoppers....

February 5, 2023 · 1 min