Generating accessible PDFs in LaTeX: or how I learned to worry and hate the machine

:: latex, rant

Note: This is a rant. Technical information may be better found in another post. However, I’ve not seen anyone do this, so…

I recently had to submit a PDF to my university for a poster detailing my research this semester. (This research went nowhere, by the way. Unfortunate.) IU requires that all PDFs be accessible, and I have no issues with this at all! I already provide alt-text for all my images that I post on social media, and I even get mildly annoyed at people who don’t; so why would this post even be necessary—

Note: The process of creating an accessible PDF requires the installation of Adobe Acrobat Pro. IU Students and Staff may download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Pro from IUware.


Oh no.

Nix(OS) Thoughts

:: linux

This post is relatively scatterbrained, and if you’re familiar with Nix, there’s not any explicitly new ground to tread here. However, I have enjoyed my experience with NixOS so much that I felt compelled to write this post, although there’s already a plethora of posts drilling the same points.

From time to time, I find software that immediately seems to click with me, and I start integrating it almost irreversibly into my workflow, to the point where it’s difficult to think outside of its scope. Emacs is one of these: when I began using it, I started integrating most of my software into Emacs, be it IRC or RSS.

Proprietary creep

:: rant

Fair warning: this post is pretty passive-aggressive

I recently participated in the Hack-a-Sat CTF. How my team did and the write-ups for that are entirely outside the scope of this post, but the uniquely notable part is that we organized a team, coordinated solutions, and worked as a team with entirely open-source communication, much of it self-hosted. Namely, we used:


:: linux, meta

This post is going to be odd, as unlike all my others, it’s structured more like a live account and will be continually updated as I continue to work.

For a while, I’ve been running this website, and its related services, off of a Linode VPS running Debian with 2GB of RAM. In addition, I recently completed my computer vision project for AP Capstone Research, so I have a free Raspberry Pi 4 to work with. Under this logic, I’ve begun trying to move my services to a locally hosted server, since I already have all of the components. This shouldn’t impact anybody, because everything I have is private anyway…

Using Emacs for the FIRST Robotics Competition

:: emacs, frc

For a large portion of the Infinite Recharge build season, I’ve been attempting to entirely forgo usage of Visual Studio Code, which is WPILib’s official IDE. Not only have I had countless issues with it (specifically, Microsoft’s “IntelliSense”, which often acts less intelligent than the name implies), but the majority of my programming and digital life lives in Emacs. In particular, I use DOOM Emacs, which makes the majority of this configuration extremely easy to implement; however, all the advice in this post will apply to vanilla Emacs in a similar fashion.

Attempting (and failing) to escape Google

:: rant, android

Alternative title: Young NB Yells At The Cloud

Note that this absolutely isn’t vetted for technical accuracy. It’s probably also not a very coherent post altogether. I just needed to get this off my chest.

Ever since late 2019, I’ve been using a Google Pixel 2 as my day-to-day cellphone. While I’ve known that it didn’t respect my privacy, per the Google tradition of being creepy and generally terrifying, I wasn’t entirely aware of this phenomenon until Google told me when I registered my rooted Nook Tablet with their services in 2014. The fact that this has been recorded six years later was enough to set me off on a path to de-Googlify my Google phone.


:: emacs, meta

2021–08–06 update: This post has been horribly out-of-date for a while.

This website has received a much-needed refresh, one that I’ve been putting off for years. While I’ve made a personal blog in the past (albeit all of them being short-lived), all of them have used Jekyll, a popular static site generator written in Ruby. This is fine and dandy, sure, but I don’t know Ruby, so I didn’t know how to maintain a Jekyll site well. Furthermore, I’ve always used some random theme I grabbed off of GitHub and slapped it on there with the might of Zeus. Again, worked, but wasn’t great, and didn’t reflect well on my competency as a developer if I couldn’t whip up a simple blog on my own.