Spring Cleaning

Figured I would do a little spring cleaning post to talk about the small stuff in my life that are too long for a mastodon post but too short for a full blog post.

Updates on the FOSS Fiio M3K

In my most recent blog post I talked about getting a Fiio M3K and flashing it with Rockbox, and open source firmware. In this post I had some issues I listed and some others that came up and I’m happy to say I’ve figured out most of them.

Resume Out Of Memory error & Auto Update issues

This error was an easy fix actually. I set the default screen on startup to be the playback screen and this error disappeared. Although I did accidentally create a new issue while enabling this and the “Auto Update Database” setting. So when auto update is on the database of songs will update on startup right? Where this causes issues is the database update cancels playback, so when I turned on my player the song I was on would resume for 1-2 seconds then it would stop and boot me back to the main menu because of the auto update. So I disabled auto update, problem solved.

Characters not rendering & small font

This was a bit more complex to fix despite being a straightforward issue. Essentially the font that is installed by default, 15-Adobe-Helvetica, does not have the Japanese characters of Kanji or Hiragana. So to fix this one would just install another font, but that’s easier said than done. The file format for fonts on Rockbox is *.fnt, not something you see everyday. These fonts can be generated from *.bdf files while are a bit more common, however to do so you need a small in house tool the Rockbox team developed called convbdf. To get this tool you need to clone it from their git repos and compile it yourself, so it’s not very non-tech friendly in that regard.

However, I managed to get it working and switched my font to 16-GNU-Unifont which both renders all those previously missing characters and increases the font size making my display more readable. Win-win for me there.

M3U playlists not liking non-english/uncommon characters

As mentioned previously when trying to play a *.M3U playlist with a song with uncommon characters like Breathe A•gain or 我々の手には、フェード it would just skip over them. This fix was stupidly simple which was just to convert it to the Unicode/UTF-8 supported version *.M3U8. Which can literally be done by just adding the 8 to the end of the file extension, and boom problem solved.

Moving to Bitwarden

I also decided recently to move my password management to Bitwarden as it is FOSS and the features I personally need are all free of cost. While I’m sure I’m going to find passwords here and there I forgot to track, the transition has been super painless, and the Android app is even available through F-Droid if you add Bitwarden’s repo. I wish the desktop app wasn’t Electron but you know, take what you can get in this day and age. I’ll mostly be using the Firefox extension anyways so I’m not too bothered.

New Job and Future Thoughts

It’s not really something I’ve talked about for privacy reasons but I recently got a job as an analyst at an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider). I’ve been there roughly a month and it’s been great so far. Got super nice and knowledgeable colleagues who are more than willing to help me out with questions and problems I have. But it got me thinking recently. I’ve been seeing a lot more tech cooperatives like Autonomic popping up here and there and I feel like a cooperative MSSP would be a great addition to this growth. Now I’m in no place of experience or financial solvency to even really think about starting anything up, but it’s been on my mind nonetheless.

Some things I would like to see for this would be a FOSS SIEM. Right now the only real open source SIEM is the ELK stack, which itself is not a copyleft license which stinks. And the general industry standard, Splunk, is proprietary. Not to mention the ticketing systems that need to be in place and the current reliance on Atlassian/Jira. While a cooperative MSSP could certainly use these tools, I feel as though it kind of goes against the spirit of a tech coop. So we’ll see, maybe things will change in the next 5 years and a true FOSS SIEM will become mainstream.

Running an Old Classic on Linux

So I grew up in a Mac household, which my explain my preference for Unix like operating systems. I remember when I was really young walking into my Dad’s office and watching him play an isometric space simulator game. I was enthralled from then on and would watch him play a lot until I finally was given my first computer. An old chunky Macbook, previously used by my Dad. He helped me setup everything and even installed the game I loved watching him play so much. That game was called Escape Velocity: Nova. It became my favorite video game for a long time until others like Lego Universe and Minecraft came out.

But, whether it is nostalgia or just the marker of a good game, I would always come back to Nova. It even got a Windows port, which was surprising for a studio dedicated solely to Mac OS programs. When I switched to Linux in late 2019 it was by far my hardest loss, and while FOSS spiritual successors like Endless Sky and NAEV have come out, they don’t have the nostalgic flavor. So it was a pleasant surprise when I saw this post on the Nova subreddit about getting it running on Linux using Steam/Proton. After following it, and removing the spaces from the directory names because Steam didn’t like them, I had Nova up and running just like old times. It even runs flawlessly on KDE Plasma/Wayland.

Closing Thoughts

I figured with me doing literal spring cleaning of my living space, a mental spring cleaning would be warranted as well. So I hope this wasn’t too much text, it was a bit more long winded than I usually am. I also don’t think I’ll be posting a link to this on my Mastodon account. I’m somewhat curious to see if people read my blog in others ways besides my Mastodon links. So if you’re reading this and want me to know, feel free to reach out by some method on my contact page. Or don’t. As I don’t track analytics you’re more than welcome to be a transient visitor unbeknownst to all besides yourself.