Entropy Arbitrage Newsletter, (Almost) November 2020

Today is Commonday, 15 of Skarl 4113. [4113.07.15]

…assuming you follow the Common Calendar, of course, but I assume you probably do not. Or should. Ahem. Newsletter!

Entropy Arbitrage welcomed visitors from Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States this month, which never fails to please me. Remember, all content is made available under the CC-BY-SA license, so if anybody needs to provide a translation, you don’t need my permission.

October’s Idle Thoughts

Newsletter number four, away! I’m sending out a bit early, since there’s an entire week (and Election Day) between now and the first Saturday of the month. So, it’s Halloween, and we’re all just counting the minutes until Daylight Saving Time ends.

Archiving Physical Media

A while ago, I started working on archiving my DVD collection. I have some movies and shows that aren’t readily available on streaming services, don’t want to track down a working DVD player to watch everything, and I could make better use of the shelf space than DVD cases.

I’m nearing the end of that project—it’s almost time to start thinking about setting up Emby or something similar—and have learned some surprising things.

The next steps are probably going to turning the files into individual videos for different episodes, and then—as mentioned—setting up Emby for a home media server. One or the other will probably warrant a blog post, at some point. One day, I might even get ambitious enough to tackle the massive pile of VHS tapes, too.

Project Previews

Work has continued on projects I’m keeping relatively quiet until they’re done.

Renewed Lease to Doomsday

Here’s an actual preview, a bit of doggerel—meant to represent a part of a song—that will probably make an appearance in the novel.

wohi naw chéyélichyo téchyi-ye

mowéwe maw ma, wohi ma chéle,

ma shéno naw mopi. ma michaw a

le hipi fo chéle. le shémochyo

chuyéli, e foke me mete. ma

hichya michyi le metechyo, ma h’na

nuchuna chyochichyo. le chél-metyo

chuyéli ma. ma te ha péchyécho

ma chéle shuméshe péchyécho. (Oh!)

ma tifora shuméshe péchyécho.

le mete fo tifochyo wopo m’ha.

te hahére me tifora achyéfaw.

No, you’re not going bleary-eyed, it’s not in English. The story might lurch in a different direction as I write it, but currently, the plan is to use a predominantly immigrant neighborhood as one window onto the plot.

What’s that? You’d like a translation? Well, that would be telling, at least for now…

I will say that I’m a bit disappointed that the generated grammar (courtesy of VÜlgÅr, for anybody who needs such things) is a bit too English-like, in case any of you are trying to parse it.

Otherwise, the setting and the characters have mostly been chosen from existing sources and I have a good idea of the overall plot arc.

All Around the News

I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself that this project was suitable for Django, but it wasn’t coming together. So, I abandoned that—at least for the time being—and decided to go with Ruby on Rails, instead. Django seems fine, to be clear, and I’m sure that my problems with it are more a matter of taste than anything else, but it feels like there are more steps to getting everything accomplished than I want to bother with.

That is, I can cook up the basics of the site with almost no work, with auto-generated scaffolding. Django, even with tools like Cookiecutter, seems to create an empty site and expect everything beyond the initialization to be written manually. By contrast, Rails doesn’t provide that sophisticated-looking empty site, but it does make it easy to get simple functionality working in minutes.

That delayed things, a bit. But domains are ready to go and launch should be coming later than I wanted, but soon.


In no particular order, here are some things that I finished watching or listening to in September. No, I don’t remember when I started them.

Fewer daylight hours probably correlates with more screen time.

Blog Posts for October 2020

In case you missed one and don’t like RSS readers, here’s a round-up of the past month’s worth of posts.

The most popular posts on the blog have been Recutils - Small Technology Notes, Victor Séjour’s Le Mulâtre, Writing Visual Studio Code Extensions, and Writing Browser Extensions with Configuration for the month.

Articles I’ve Been Reading

You’ve seen some of these already in Friday posts, but here’s more from the sources in my RSS reader that I thought were worth reading.

Web Pages That Caught My Attention

These are pages I bookmarked, basically. They might be old articles, non-articles, fiction, or any number of other possibilities. You’ve seen the web. You know what it’s like out there. And you also know that half the titles are probably bogus, because people are terrible at setting their page titles to something useful.

That’s it for this month. Stop by the blog and leave comments or contact me however else you see fit.


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