Switching Between Writing and Coding Styles on Notepad++

If you’re like me and you do both literate writing and code-wrangling with plaintext, (and you also have attention span issues which cause you to jump between the two often), you’ll probably have problem picking which text editor to use. Coding environment, with its monospace font and and code highlighting is probably not suited for simple writing. I like to write with Serif fonts, myself.

Notepad++ is an excellent text editor for coding, but as I found out, if you take out the highlighting and switch the font style, it’s perfectly suited for prose writing too. It’s just switching between the two that’s a pain.

So far, here’s what I do.

  1. Settings > Shortcut Mapper > Set something easy to reach Style Configurator
  2. In the Style Configurator, on Global Override, choose the colour and font style that you’d like for writing.
  3. Keep using your default coding style for coding. When you want to switch to writing, call up Style Configurator with your shortcut, then, on Global Override, check everything that you’ve modified
  4. Ta-da~

… Okay put like this it seems pretty messy just for theme switching. Still, it’s easier than it was before, and I don’t have to switch between apps when I’m jumping between writing and coding.

Hope that helps. And if you’ve got any method that’s easier, please let me know.

On Coding, Website-Building, and Relationships with My Hobbies

Let’s just start this by saying that this post is awfully overdue. I’ve been meaning to write it since I sort-of finished building my personal homepage (pseudomon.github.io) last month, but somehow it’s just been side-lined. My interest in programming jumps around with time, it seems. When I’m into it, I will bury myself in it, but other times I just let it slip out of my mind completely.

It’s like having a relationship with someone who travels a lot, and you only get to see them when they’re unexpectedly in town.

So. Yes. I have a personal homepage now. pseudomon.github.io, which I’m hoping to turn into a portfolio-like place where I can put my more notable works, just so they won’t drown in the sea of other posts in this blog. So far I’ve listed some reviews and stories that I’ve made. I was hoping I could also put up my programming projects, but after poking through my folders, I realised that I don’t really have any that’s worth showing. Mostly they’re just, well, code doodles? Experiments? The only programming project I’ve actually gotten done is the website itself.

I’ve been meaning to build my own website for a long time now. I think I even made a blog post about it here in, what, 2014? I was trying out static site generator at the time. I remember creating a working offline one with Hugo, with my own design.

At the time, my main motive for building a site from scratch was load times. WordPress was a behemoth that ate up resource and bandwith (still is, really), and I was thinking about creating somewhere that’s lighter. But, as I’ve mentioned above, I had an odd relationship with programming, and I guess at the time it was in town. That odd desire to mess around codes again must’ve been fuel too.

I had an early interest in coding and programming, I suppose. I can’t remember when I started using a computer, but I remember my first was Windows 98. For reference, I was born in ’97. And then I distinctly remember joining online communities around when I was 9. I was active at this website, Neopets, and they have a web page for every pet that’s customizable with (sanitized) HTML and CSS. I somehow found places where fellow Neopets player were putting up tutorials and web design references, and things were just going from there.

I didn’t stay in Neopets long enough to make anything notable (I was 9. What’s to be expected?), but I suppose I learned enough of the basic to carry with me. I never made an effort to remember what I did; I only sometimes make small web pages for the heck of it, but it’s.. it’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget how to do it. Continue reading “On Coding, Website-Building, and Relationships with My Hobbies”

January Playlist

So. January of 2017. What a nice month. For me, it’s the beginning of a pretty major turn in my life after dropping out of college and finding new ways to put my life together. For the rest of the world, it seems the beginning of an age in which 2016 (the most horrible year) is just a prelude. I can’t seem to go online nowadays without hearing of unrest and unscrupulous governments and war. Reading my twitter feed is like watching the world crashing down in slow, panicked, motion.

There’s a lot I’ve been hearing, and a lot that I want to say, but, uhh, I just don’t think I’ve enough words to put them down yet.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in the eye of a storm—nothing seems to touch me directly, but damned if I can’t feel for what’s been going on everywhere else.

So here’s an alternative: what I’ve been reading, playing, and doing this beginning of the year.

Reading List

The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore

AKA, Al Gore’s musing on the state of the world and where it’s going. Al Gore, former vice president, environmentalist, I tend to take as one of the good ones, and his musings are thoughtful and on point. It’s hard to summarize this incredible book, since it seems to, on top of being 500 pages thick, be able to tackle nearly every facet of our modern life. It’s also willing to look back on ancient history and using that the look to the future. The way history is meant to be.  Continue reading “January Playlist”

My 2016 in Video Games

Hey, it’s 2017. The last year has been kind of oscillating between “bad” and “meh” and “shitty” but also sometimes “pretty good” and “life’s pretty okay”. So what’s the best way to look back on it without getting too personal?

Games of the Year! I’m going to mostly list games that has made an impact on me on 2016 instead of a list of quality games that are released this year (there’s a kajillion of them and I barely play them!).

The Big Throne

Ori and the Blind Forest

goty2017-ori

I only started playing this during the December holiday season. There’s so many good, fantastic, beautiful things in it, I can’t even start counting. The gameplay and level design are perfect, the control is great (bless Ori’s fast walking speed) sans the need to press the Shift button for extended period of time (please have mercy on my pinky). The story is more a heartfelt fable than anything groundbreaking, but how it’s told is a beauty.

But my best takeaway from it is how easily Ori dies over and over and over again. Hit a spike, jump into a pool of poison, be destroyed by enemy’s projectiles. And he’ll still be back, kicking, and with every death I, or at least my fingers, learn more on how to handle the obstacle better. There’s something heartwarming in Ori’s many visceral deaths and all the dozens attempts he’ll endure again. Continue reading “My 2016 in Video Games”

A Non-Regret

While moving out of my dorm room a week ago, I found a whole stack of my fiction writings I don’t even remember anymore. Most of them are just doodles, none of them are proper start-to-end stories (I still have trouble finishing stories). I won’t be able to transcribe all of them, but I’d try to pick some of the better ones and put them on my writing doodle blog.

This one is pretty loaded with descriptions for the heck of it–the kind I’d call a garbagefic, but after typing it out and making some minor editing, I think it’s pretty good? Lemme know if you want me to continue it.


A Non-Regret

It had been a week since the incident, the accident, but every morning he still opened the newspaper with trembling hands. He scanned the pages, read quickly, and afterwards, nervously, he’d put it down and picked up the next one. He kept the TV for entire days, always tuned to the news. None of us had the heart to change the channel, to hide the papers, or even to tell him to sit down, relax, and forget everything about what happened. None of us told him that everything would be fine because we didn’t believe it ourselves.

The police investigations had found no clue, no fingerprints, nothing in the way of DNA leftovers. They knew the murder weapon was a knife, but they couldn’t find it. They wouldn’t. I buried it deeper than anyone could find, in a cemetery on the other side of the town. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that could incriminate him in the murder.

It had been a week. We’ve all forgotten it, or tried to, at least. Every morning he read the papers with his nerve wrecked, and every night he still spent an hour washing his hands as if he could still feel the blood on them.

But the people, as people do, in a city as large, bustling, buzzing as ours, have forgotten it faster than we could. The papers had stopped mentioning it, the news had carried on to more recent matters. It seemed no one will ever find us.

And then a woman came to our house. Continue reading “A Non-Regret”

Trying to build websites again

The last few weeks I’ve been digging myself a hole in web development land, again. It is a nightmare. Which I enjoy staying in, for some reason. Moments include: late night shifts because I can’t sleep until I implement just one more feature, hours of banging my head against the wall trying to traverse a framework’s maze-like documentation, gleefully alt-tabbing between my text editor and the CSS reference because I have terrible memories, et cetera.

I’m too tired to write a proper, uhh, thing, about what I’ve been doing. Right now I’m working on a static site for my personal homepage portfolio thing, taking a break from some server-side programming for a collaborative writing web app I’m working on.

I’m a vanilla guy; I like to work with no-frills HTML and CSS files with plaintext editor when designing a website. At first I thought of just building the entire website with it, but then, ugh, what if I have to change something in the header or the sidebar? I’d have to edit every single page in the site. What a nightmare. So I thought of using one of these static site generators.

I thought of using Pelican, at first, since I’m familiar with Python (I was building my other project with Flask, a web framework built on Python). Half an hour into its documentation and I went nope nope nope, too complicated. Then I tried Hugo, which I’m already sort of familiar with after trying it out about a year ago. Three tires and hours later I’ve gone to the conclusion that, screw this, screw all this mess. These static site generators tend to assume a lot on how you want to build your sites, and they just end up being more work than they’re worth.

Ha. Ain’t that a common thing for programmers. We tried building or using a tool to help us with doing repetitive tasks, only to find ourselves hours later at the centre of a spaghettified mess, realising that it’ll be way quicker if we just do things manually.

Software engineering: Where everything is a nightmare, but we keep on throwing ourselves into it anyway.

I end up implementing Jinja2 into a Python file that I make myself to generate the site. It’s such a relief not to have to wade through triple-layered documentations just to do what I want to do.

This is a preliminary to a more in-depth article I might do later

It’s almost the end of the year, which for folks who play games mean one thing, among others: Game of the Year! award, list, nominations, et cetera.

I was planning to make one (with slots filled by The Final Station and Hyper Light Drifter and some), but then, after this semester’s classes are over and I actually have some free time to delve into games, I finally tried out Ori and the Blind Forest after a friend’s recommendation.

And this game just completely, utterly, throw all that nominations out of the water.

It’s a metroidvania game with a heartful story, gorgeous presentation, and solid, solid, so solid it’s shining, gameplay. It gets the basic right: controls, feedback, level design. I’m kind of too tired to really make a write-up about it, but what I find most impressive about it is how it’s able to gradually give you new mechanics and arrange its level structure to have you learn by playing with it. Each new area is challenging not just because of the addition of tougher enemies and other number-based increment, but also because it challenges you to play with the new mechanics and your newly-learned capabilities with those new mechanics.

It’s sorta like Portal; how the entire game is really just a tutorial, but a very fun one. Ori and the Blind Forest is sort of like that; its levels are designed for you to learn its many mechanics without ever holding your hand. It’s so damned clever; I thought it really should be a thing in metroidvanias or other games where you learn new abilities as you progress, but I honestly can’t think of any other games that does it so well and so cleanly-cut.

The game’s released last year, so I’m definitely late to the party. It also means I’m too late to start yelling at people at how it’s an undisputed GotY.

Ah well. It’ll be on my list, at least.

Every Man’s Watchman

Review of Go Set a Watchman, along with some nostalgic impression on To Kill a Mockingbird, both novels by the late Harper Lee.gosetawatchman

I was around thirteen when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird. As someone who lives all the way across the Pacific and growing up with English as a second language, it was a wild ride of lingo and figures of speech. I remember having to read the first few paragraphs over and over again until I managed to get what it was rambling about, but afterwards it was easier. I got swept in; American South is so far off from my own life that it might as well be a fantasy land, but it became familiar. Continue reading “Every Man’s Watchman”

I think this was supposed to go somewhere, but I forgot

Programmers everywhere will tell you that computers are the source of all woes, and that their craft is a complete utter shitshow. Everything is built up on something else that someone made just couple of years ago and depends on something else that someone else made and it seems like none of these things are going to last any more than a couple of years.

This isn’t unique to programming (I mean, I’m sure anybody who has spent long enough with their work, from accounting to zumba fitness, will tell you that their work is complete rubbish, independent to whether or not they actually enjoy it). This is also basically how science works, too.

Every piece of mathematics’s black magic is just built on something else some other guy has established. Every successfully proven theory on how physics even work rely on the theories that were proven long ago. When you’re studying a science, you’re not so much filling yourself with knowledge of the universe’s intricacies, as just trying to understand whatever the folks before you were talking about.

 

Is there a word for the anxiety for the passing of time?

I wonder if part of my anxiety for the passing of time is because of my habits with video games. In games it’s easier to see the numbers and carefully plan your actions. If there’s only three slots left to play your cards, you don’t try to squeeze in two cards that require two slots each, you pick one and choose another card that only need one slot, or–occasionally this is an even better choice–play three cards with each only needing one slot.When there’s a card that says “Use up every slots left”, you don’t use it when you have five free slots. You fill up four slots first.

In real life, it’s easier to make mistakes, and to do over and over again. Every time there’s a free time, I tend to overthink of what to do, how much worth will they be for the time that they’ll eat up. Whenever I’m left with nothing to do but wait, like while commuting, or when it’s five minutes to class and it’s far to short a time to go out and get something to eat, I’m left feeling a disconcerted, uneasy, anxious. Like a complete loser, like someone who has only one slot left, but has already used up all the one-slot cards