The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

Autotags for Vim

Autotags is my second “official” Vim plugin (after Lawrencium). It confirms a trend of having a terrible name (although this time for different reasons), but I’m open to changing it since it’s still early. And as that terrible name implies, this new plugin is all about automatically managing your tags.

Classic Airline Baggage Tags

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Upgrading to PieCrust 2

The recently announced PieCrust 2 is all fine and dandy if you were to create a new website — the command line interface and user experience are essentially the same out of the box — but you will find that it can’t handle an existing PieCrust 1 website. This is because a few things have changed… luckily, the chef import command and this blog post will get you going in no time!

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Announcing PieCrust 2

I’ve been busy on it for longer than I expected — neglecting the freshly announced Wikked along with several pull requests on PieCrust — but I believe it’s at last ready for a public alpha release: PieCrust 2 is here!

073/365 - Pi Day Pies, 2012

WARNING: before you go clone the new repository, be aware that, at the time of writing this, it has been tested on a glorious total of 2 machines (both my own), and 2 websites (both my own as well). So don’t use it in production, but please do give it a try and post bug reports, thanks!

This post is a short overview of the reason for going a full major version number up, and of the new things you can expect to find. There will be other posts in the following days about breaking changes and upgrade paths, and a more in-depth look at the new features.

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DRM-free backup on Comixology

Me, a few months ago after the “scandal” of Comixology removing the ability to buy comics directly from inside their iOS app:

I would hope ComiXology manages to revert the change, but frankly I’d rather put my hopes in more DRM-free comics available directly from the creators and publishers instead.

Well my hopes have been answered in a way: Comixology announced last week that you would be able to download DRM-free versions of your Comixology books for publishers who are OK with that:

The first wave of participating publishers making their books available as DRM-free backups include Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. In addition, creators and publishers that are self-publishing through comiXology Submit are now able to choose to make their books available with a DRM-free backup.

No surprises here about the publishers who are indeed “OK with that”, since they’re the ones who were already offering DRM-free comics on their own website… but those are excellent news. I can’t stress enough how huge this is.

I’m not sure whose idea it was — whether publishers like Image pressured Comixology to do this, or whether Comixology came to this logical conclusion on their own — but I’m very happy either way. As I said before, I had completely stopped buying Image comics from Comixology, preferring instead their own DRM-free website… but that website was slow as hell and barely usable. Ideally I’d rather give 100% of my money to Image, instead of — probably — 70% through Comixology, but the usability is night and day between the two, and uploading independently acquired files to an iPad is still a huge pain in the ass1.

“For those out there who have not joined the comic reading community because of DRM – you have no excuse now,” said co-founder and Director of ComiXology Submit John D. Roberts

Indeed.

The only problem I’ve found so far is that those backups are extremely bare: just a ZIP file with the pages as JPEG images. They’re the “retina” hi-res versions, so that’s good, but the archive is missing any kind of metadata. The only way to know what it is, short of having a human open it and read the cover, is to parse the file name.


  1. Something I’m hopping will be greatly improved in iOS8.