Karl's Blog

The truth will set you free. Life is all about searching for truth. This search will last your entire life.


I am a computer geek. When I was little I would take things apart to figure out how they worked. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. Simplicity has been a focus of mine for quite a while. The simpler something is, the less there is to go wrong. I first computers I used were Commodore Vic20, TI 99/4a and then a 386SX. "640K should be more than enough for anyone." I never was exposed to the text based games of the 80's but the early graphic games required tweaking the high mem configuration in the config.sys and autoexec.bat files even if you had 2MB total RAM. My first CD Rom drive was a 1x for $500. It actually was not fast enough to play music cds.

Looking back on those times, I admire the people that designed and programed tools and applications that stretched the limit of the systems capabilities. During my first programing class in Turbo Pascal, I remember being very impressed when I learned tricks that would allow my program to run faster or use less Memory.

Today, I love to play with the raspberry pi which are like a throw-back to those times. I love to find apps that run well on a Raspberry Pi and I use them both for servers as well as my desktop. I believe that our work is better if we can focus and not get distracted by eye candy all over our screen.

This Blog

So I have been a long time user of Vim which is just one more of my getting back to basics mantras. Don't waste resources on fancy graphics (they are just a distraction). I discovered the Vim plugin, Vimwiki which is a great way to keep track of stuff that is going on, notes, material to reference for later and it also can output the wiki content to html. The html output is very basic so I have often thought it would be neet to take that output and use it to make a blog. My wife is a fairly big blogger and uses Wordpress which is beautiful but again it is complicated which doesn't appeal to me. Recently, I discovered that Vimwiki allows the use of HTML templates which provided the additional formating that I wanted for my blog. A while ago, I discovered the Nginx web server which is smaller and faster than Apache (the most commone webserver) but I wanted something even smaller and more minimalistic that I could run on say a Raspberry pi which is close to the ulitmate in low power and simplicity. Then I found the mako web/application server which is designed to be run on very minimalistic hardware. This server will work with either html pages or lsp (lua server pages). After trying mako with vimwiki's exported html pages, I found that it worked very well. Since that time, I have been playing with a template and css to use with this blog - so far I have been happy with the results.


I guess it could be debated whether Vim is considered "simple" however one of the biggest arguments for Vim is the use of "Home Row" commands. This means that commands that you use in Vim do not require that you move your hands from their normal typing position on the keyboard saving lots of time. When I first tried Vi or vim I was very intimidated and scoffed at the idea of spending effort learning and memorizing something that could be done much easier with another application. After several years though, I came back with the new idea of learning Vim to increase my productivity. The second time around, after spending several months getting used to it, I would say that it has certainly paid off.