trenchant.org

by adam mathes
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How I Write, 2017

Amethyst

A tiling window manager. Set to “widescreen tall” mode.

Safari

Faster, leaner, and more dependable than the alternatives, in my opinion, on MacOS.

(Although not as fast or lean as w3m if you’re willing to go that route.)

Aquamacs

A version of emacs for MacOS. It’s sort of the spiritual successor to XEmacs, the weird version of emacs for X from the 90’s, kind of. It’s an acquired taste but I love it.

Used with –

Terminal.app

I use standard MacOS terminals when I’m not using my weird fork of CRT.

Usually there’s more interesting things going on, but here we have a live-preview setup for my new static site generator, snkt.

This is using entr to monitor a directory of text files. entr is great! It’s why I haven’t written a file-system watcher in snkt.

With something like

$ ls ~/dailytxt | entr -r snkt -b

Anytime a file changes, snkt rebuilds the site. This takes less than a second on my MacBook Pro.

The other window is looking at the directory of HTML files created, also using entr, and reloads Safari with a reload-browser script.

So anytime I save a text file in that directory, it will rebuild the site on my local machine, and reload the browser automatically, making for a nice fast feedback loop.

I suppose in the modern era I could be using wysiwyg tools but I find this to be more satisfying and efficient.

Behind The Scenes

The text files that compose trenchant daily are synchronized in real time via Syncthing to my Linux server. Syncthing is a great alternative to Dropbox if you have a lot of time, energy, and desire to not use Dropbox.

The local configuration on my MacBook Pro for snkt shows all entries, even future-dated ones, but the one on my server will ignore anything with a future date, so if future entries get sync’ed they are ignored.

Because the site only updates once a day, I don’t listen for changes there, but simply have a cron job that rebuilds the site every morning. (Builds take about 1-2s of real time, which is pretty good considering I have 2028 entries.)

I also turned back on a script that tweets new entries out when I include certain metadata in the entry (which is probably the only reason you clicked this!)

Hardware

2016 MacBook Pro, 15”

USA Filco Ninja Majestouch-2, Cherry-MX Black – still the best keyboard I’ve ever owned.

SteelSeries Senei Mouse – great despite awful aesthetics but battery seems to have lost longevity over long usage.

LG 34UM95 34” ultra-wide monitor – 21x9 aspect ratio is cinematic and I vascillate between thinking it’s awesome and being like wtf why did I get this. I tried replacing it with one of the new 5K monitors but failed (you’d know the whole tragic story if you were reading the trenchant.org list.)

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