links & ramblings
50 Years Later, We’re Still Living in the Xerox Alto’s World
Mar 16, 2023
Very interesting retrospective on the Xerox Alto, the first modern personal computer. It is fascinating to see so much good ideas were first invented at a printer manufacturer’s research lab.
I knew the mouse was invented there, but seeing they also came up with modern WYSIWYG word processing, Smalltalk, and the desktop metaphor, is crazy cool. Here’s a web-based Xerox Alto emulator, based on the cheekily-named ContrAlto.
@TwitterDev - Starting Feb 9, no more free access to the Twitter API
Feb 3, 2023
Just like that, Twitter is announcing the end of their free API. It had already been severely limited in the past years, now requiring a verified phone number and a manual verification by a Twitter employee.
I’m not on Twitter anymore, but following the evolution from afar is like watching a car crash in slow motion: inevitable, terrible, but for some reason you can’t look away. I hope the funny bots will be able to move to Mastodon, and that amateur data analysts will find a way to scrape the data anyway.
NewsBoat binaries for Debian
Dec 29, 2022
I’m using Newsboat to read RSS feeds on my netbook. Unfortunately, the version in the Debian “stable” repository doesn’t yet support FreshRSS, albeit the latest release does. I have built the last two versions, and will try to follow up when new ones come out (once every 6 months).
These builds were made on Debian 11 (Bullseye). Enjoy 😊
Mastodon RSS feeds
Dec 21, 2022
Cool tip I found online: you can access a Mastodon account’s RSS feed by appending “.rss” at the end of its profile URL. For example, to follow @Gargron@mastodon.social, you would add https://mastodon.social/@Gargron.rss to your RSS feed.
This is great, because it means I don’t have to create a Mastodon account to follow what people are saying on there 😊.
Apple to Allow Outside App Stores in Overhaul Spurred by EU Laws
Dec 16, 2022
News from Bloomberg tell us that Apple is working on allowing “third-party” App Stores to the iOS ecosystem (i.e. sideloading). In my opinion, that’s a huge customer win, but I’m waiting to see what actually comes out of this: Apple’s “right-to-repair” program had me really excited, but it turned out to be pretty much useless, costing almost the same as taking your iDevice to an Apple Store, with the added risk of breaking it even more.