Cleaning the computer


I did a lot of tinkering with my computer in these last couple of days, mostly cosmetic stuff. I always try to keep my setup clean (in look and feel, more about this later), so I tried to stick to that, but in a more elegant, less ascetic fashion.


I use BSPWM without any bars, just the few windows I have open, with a small script that tells me the time, battery percentage, and the wi-fi status. I tried out xcompmgr on a whim, and was delighted by the fade animation. I could not get the shadow to work on my terminal window for some reason, so I switched to picom, which works wonderfully. This is somewhat of a luxury, since it is purely eye-candy, bit it makes using the machine more fun. Another change which makes the setup more friendly is my new shell. I switched to fish, I really like to automatic syntax highlighting and that it is more colorful in general. I went back to Hyper as my theme for Alacritty, and now the black windows look great against the painting of a winter scene I use for a background.


A change that I was hesitant to commit to before is using a fork of BSPWM, one that has rounded edges. This was mostly a psychological barrier, as I am hesitant to install stuff from outside pacman, but I was in the "changing" mood, so I did it. It is truly astounding that I could replace my bspwm version with this rounded-corner one in(!!!) bspwm, without it even flinching. Theming rofi to match this new look was the icing on the cake.


As I mentioned before, I like to keep my setup feeling clean as well as looking clean. This is also part of the reason why I don't want to install thinga outaide of pacman. But now I can't go back, I just adore how it looks! Even though I use a small corner radius, it makes a lot of difference.


A feeling of cleanliness of the setup also involves me trying to eliminate any packages that are unnecessary. Because of this I was reluctant for a long while to keep Inkscape or Sigil installed, since I rarely use them. But they are very handy sometimes, so I had to get over that (although I still might uninstall Sigil, since I have no real use for it, I can do some basic epub editing in Libreoffice...) I try to keep the number of packages I have under 600. At the moment I have about 570. I also try to minimize the number of programs I have installed ( I know, these two correlate, but it's not one to one). One such example of tidying up was me deleting epr and qpdfview, since I could replace them both with Zathura. I first tried it out for its minimalist looks, but came to love it for its speed and the vi controls. I also deleted Pulseaudio! I only installed it because when I set up the system, I was unable to get alsa to work, but since then, it was bugging me, as it was superflous software. So I deleted it, tried alsa, and it worked! My mistake was probably not adding my account to the audio group... Not very proud of that one.


These were my maniacal acts of cleaning. Now that I am rereading this, it might seem silly that these things matter so much to me. But this is how I feel, and I think that feelings towards things, ecpecially the ones we use often, are quite important. I feel a sense of satisfaction when I see that I eliminated two packages without sacrificing usability, and I'm okay with that.


Now I want to do something similar for my phone, but that will warrant its own entry. I thi k trying to directly limit usage is not a good approach, rather I try to look at how I use the phone, and try to mold that into something I still enjoy, but feel better about. This journal entry is one of those things.


Have a good holiday, and if you celebrate Christmas, merry Christmas!


2021.12.26



/gemlog/