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  1. 2023 Summary

    First I would like to wish all the readers (if there is any), a merry Christmas and a nice happy end of year.

    The time flew since the last article. As I was more busy with my other hobby, improv theater, I had less time to hack stuff and build new things. Nevertheless, I will summarize here what I did in the past months.

    My First Thinkpad T

    First, I bought a refurbished Levovo Thinkpad T480s. It is the best machine I've had. For around €300 it is really a great purchase from my point of view. I had already purchased a second-hand computer for some relatives at Media Monster, and I wanted to buy one myself to be more autonomous.

    I am not a gamer and I don't have big needs. I just upgraded the RAM to 24Go in total, which is sufficient for my needs. After checking that everything was alright with Windows 11 installed by default, I formatted everything and updated the UFI Bios. Then I installed Arch Linux with ext4 partition in an encrypted LVM.


    For 15 years, I have been using Enlightenment as my primary DM. I loved it, especially the ability to change from one virtual desktop to another by moving the mouse outside the screen. With the arrival of this new computer, knowing that I would have a 14' screen, I wanted to be more efficient and to use the keyboard as much as possible. Therefore, I decided to try a modern tiling window manager. In the past, I already tried the tiling mode of Enlightenment, but I did not liked it in the long run. This time I installed Sway, a tiling WM compatible with i3. I love it. Even if at beginning, it was a little bit difficult to remember all the shortcuts. I feel really efficient, and I like to keep my hands on the super comfortable keyboard on the Thinkpad. I also installed Foot as my primary terminal emulator.


    I also took the opportunity to start to use Neovim as my primary text editor. I wanted to try it for a really long time but never took the time for it. I recently discovered the :Tutor mode of Neovim (vimtutor) and adopted it as my primary editor. For now, I use it quite basically instead of Nano but I feel it will really improve my productivity and speed in the future.

    Cleanup of this blog

    This year, I also took the time to improve the performance of this blog. With time, and the growth of article, I observed that the blog was slow to load. The main issue was the use of non-optimized pictures or videos. I decided to use the Lighthouse tool natively available in Chrome/Chromium and follow the diagnostic help to improve the blog. At first, I was afraid it was not possible, and I would have to move the blog to Hugo, another static site generator. Even if Hugo is more modern, I was not happy with that idea because it could mean that the RSS feed would have been republished. As this blog pushes updates to the jabber Planet, I was afraid it would spam all users with old articles. After reading the diagnostics of Lighthouse, I was able to highly improve the performances of the blog. I can keep Pelican, my current static blog generator. I even updated the blueidea theme according to the latest changes in notmyidea, the default theme of Pelican. Two pictures are better than one big sentence.


    ligthouse before


    lighthouse after


    In order to improve the score, the following changes were made:

    • Convert most of the images into webp, reduce the size and resolution of the biggest ones
    • Update the iframe settings of some embedded youtube video
    • Decrease the number of article per page
    • Improve some links to avoid "read more", "go" etc. generic descriptions
    • Activate HTTP2 on the blog virtualhost
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  2. Écouter des Podcasts MP3 en voiture

    Pendant mes trajets en voiture, j'aime écouter des podcasts. Ma voiture supporte la connection Bluetooth avec un téléphone mais pour diverses raisons, je préfère utiliser une bonne vieille clé USB. Je récupère les épisodes à l'aide de l'application GNOME Podcast qui récupère les flux RSS/Atom.

    Les scripts ci-dessous me permettent d'écouter La semaine des 5 heures pendant des heures, étant donné qu'ils sont passés à une formule quotidienne. J'écoute également d'excellents podcasts de France Inter: Blockbusters et La Science, CQFD sur France Culture.


    Il y a quelques mois, le site Auvio de la RTBF a changé et les liens des podcasts n'étaient plus autant mis en avant. Je suis nénmoins tombé sur ce forum qui m'a aidé à trouver la solution:

    Le nom du programme en toutes lettres est remplacé par des chiffres, identiques au code d'Auvio, la plateforme de Replay/Podcast de la RTBF.

    Ainsi, la semaine de 5h, l'émission cinéma dont l'identifiant 1451 voit ses addresses évoluer comme ceci:

    • AUVIO https://auvio.rtbf.be/emission/la-semaine-des-5-heures-1451
    • Podcast http://rss.rtbf.be/media/rss/audio/1451.xml

    Scripts de conversion et renommage

    Par ailleurs, ma voiture ne sait pas lire les fichiers m2a récupérés par l'application. Je les convertis à l'aide de FFMPEG afin de les lire. J'utilise les scripts ci-dessous pour lire le tout.

    Le premier converti les fichiers en mp3 et le second les renommes en fonction de la date de l'épisode.

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  3. Updates: chatty server and HTTPAuthentificationOverXMPP

    It's been a long time since I updated this blog. It will be a short update post about two projects.


    The first is chatty_server, a small XMPP bot I use to interact with my server. It allows me to get information about the CPU load, traffic, weather etc. It also has a small feature to get reminder messages. There was a bug that allowed anyone to spam reminders. Anybody can add the bot to their rooster and could create random reminders that I would get. I got none, so the bot must remain quite unheard-of.


    The second project is HTTPAuthentificationOverXMPP, a component that I use to allow 2 Factor authentication with XMPP. The original project had not been updated for a long time and I wanted to try to modify it to rely on another XMPP go library. I have never coded in the Golang language and it seemed like a nice introduction. I relied on go-xmpp where I added the support for XEP 0070. It was really interesting. The new component is running for several months and I am quite happy with it even if I don't have any serious project relying on it.

    The https://demo.agayon.be/ website is still up if you want to test it.
    I hope being able to provide more update about my projects in the future :-).


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  4. Agayon at the Hospital 🏥

    Today, I was lucky to be invited in the school of the Hospital Mont Légia in Liège. It was an afternoon session following their science course to present the Agayon to children and teenagers (~6 to 16 years old). They follow their schooling while being hospitalized. I was contacted by a friend of a friend who works there as a physics teacher. He likes to organize interactive sessions with the children to ease their day. It mainly teaches to the older ones but the youngest were quite happy to discover it too.

    Equipment and setup

    I brought the Agayon, R1D1, my other small robot, the wireless PS4 controller,some material and additional batteries.


    The day before, I made sure I could connect to the robot through SSH using the WiFi of my phone as a tethering hotspot. I would not be able to have another internet connection. Fortunately, the webcam streaming and web connection works well with my Fairphone 3.


    The animation

    I started with a small presentation available online (in french) and question/answer with the children.

    Class Window

    After that, the children played with the Agayon using the remote or the autonomous mode. They also used some awesome accessories. Doll

    I was super happy with the result, the interactions and to see that I made the day of some of them 😁.


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