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inception and emacs

There are three bees who have made their way through my window, and don't seem to be able to make it back out again. According to the Korg CA-1 chromatic that I keep next to me for when a situation such as this arises, they are buzzing in the key of F. Normally I prefer silence when I'm working, but for these bees I feel happy to make an exception.

I'm standing at a chest of drawers, which doubles as my makeshift standing desk - hence why I'm standing at it. The surface is covered with junk: a clay turtle, an egg timer, a cow figurine painted like a watermelon, and a Korg CA-1 chromatic tuner, because it's funny how often a situation arises when a tuner comes in handy.

In the middle is my computer, or to be more precise, half of my computer. I bought a cheap Lenovo computer a few years ago, one of the ones designed for casual internet consumers that come in bright colours. Mine is lime green, because it was going for forty pounds less than the others. It's definitely seen better days than it sees now; I've removed the screen, because the backlight stopped working; There is a hole where the trackpad used to be; it no longer runs off of battery, instead wired permanently to the mains, the greatest form of humility that a laptop could imagine, had laptops brains. Its green chassis is covered in scribbles, careless Sharpie tattoos from when I was too lazy to reach for a piece of paper.

The smell of chocolate hits me. On the other side of the room is a pile of Easter eggs, softening in the sun. I won't be able to eat them, my stomach is too full of tomato juice and jalapenos from last night's meal.

I'm using a fifteen inch 4:3 monitor as the window to my computer. They don't make them like they used to, monitors. I use mine to read articles, to write code. I liked the vertical space that square monitors used to bring. Now most of the time I make do with a widescreen monitor, perfect for watching films, playing games, and all the other stuff that I use my television for.

I run Alpine Linux. There's no particular reason for this, I'd heard some positive things about it and decided to try it out. I've recently been rewriting my Emacs configuration, and there is no better way to try it out than to see whether it works after booting Emacs for the first time on a new machine.

It is probably worth noting that I don't have X running on this new machine. If I were someone else, this would probably be the point where I run off with a spiel about how I use Wayland instead, but no. I find the TTY less distracting than being able to open a browser and while away the day looking at unproductive things. When I log in, TTY1 boots me straight into Emacs, and for most things that's all I need. If something else does come up, I can easily switch to a different TTY, but I have yet to come up with a situation where that was necessary.

I suppose I will lose any feeling you may have had that I have any competence now, but I am running as root. It's a security nightmare, they say. Well, all my data is backed up, and I primarily work on files stored on other machines, which I don't log into as root. I was just so frustrated by always having to use sudo to edit configuration files and the like - now at least I know that if something gets messed up, there's only one person to blame, and everyone is going to laugh at me. That's life, I'll learn.

At the moment I'm writing this document having connected to the https://tilde.town server via ssh. I used Emacs's ansi-term, and have spawned another Emacs over this remote connection. I have two mode lines now. The latency is rather high. And yet typing in this way feels more enjoyable than had I been doing it locally. Why? Perhaps it is the sense of foolishness, the idea that it is absolutely not a good idea. The same reason that people like to walk across train tracks. Maybe after I have written this, I will M-x ansi-term here and connect to another server. The way it takes a keypress longer each time to register is strikingly reminiscient to me of the way that time slows down in Inception. Perhaps me and Nolan are more similar than it would first appear. Maybe he makes a habit of creating chains of secure shells within Emacs. If I ever get the chance, I will ask him.

The bees have gone now. The only sound is my hands hitting a chiclet keyboard. Not quite the inspiring clack-clack-clack that it could be, if I had got around to finishing soldering the keyboard that now lies, half skinned, on the desk behind me. Maybe one day. There will always be more of time, of that I can be sure.

He felt that he, too, was stranded on that shore, unable to commit to a leap.

April 25, 2019