Nix as OS X Package Manager

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Power users on OS X are familiar with Homebrew or MacPorts for installing and managing software packages conveniently. Yet, those two well-known tools are not the exclusive players. There is a growing interest in Nix, particularly for its use on OS X. Package management using Nix is quite simple and intuitive. It does work quite… Read more »

API Names and Begging the Negatives

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When using a programming library, it is unfortunate that we often encounter the use of function and property names in its negative variant. Particularly when there is a choice of two values, using the positive variant would help reducing confusions and ambiguities. As a non-native speaker, understanding a request for help sometimes troubles me a… Read more »

Always-on VPN on Your Phone

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We often hear stories of harmful last-mile content tampering, from YouTube video downgrading to JavaScript-injected advertisement. This prompted me to run an experiment of always-on VPN on my phone (Nexus 5X running Android 6). Surprisingly, I come to the conclusion that it is definitely feasible to do so without affecting the battery life. Even if… Read more »

Using MozJPEG via Docker

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MozJPEG, a JPEG encoder project from Mozilla, is a fantastic way to optimize your JPEG files. Setting it up however might be quite a hassle. Fortunately, a virtualized environment such as Docker offers a much simplified way to use MozJPEG. The important requirement is that you have Docker installed and ready to use. If you… Read more »

Easy Docker on OS X

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Using Docker on OS X is getting easier. Previously, it involved setting up boot2docker by hand. With the new Docker Toolbox (which wraps boot2docker and Kitematic, among others), installing Docker is almost trivial. The first step is to download and install Docker Toolbox. In case it encounters a problem during the initial run, I recommend… Read more »

Playing with ChakraCore on Linux

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ChakraCore, the JavaScript engine that powers the new Edge browser, has been open-sourced by Microsoft. While currently it only runs on Windows, support for other operating systems is in the roadmap. It is fun to follow the progress of the Linux version of ChakraCore. Obviously, nothing works on Linux yet since the porting is still… Read more »