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Seamless Panes and Splits With Vim

·6 mins

Over the past few months, I’ve been on a bit of a journey through different OSes1, desktop environments, apps, and even editors. Ultimately I settled on Arch Linux + KDE Plasma + Neovim, but I ended up with some different ideas along the way.

One such idea was to ditch tmux and simply use a modern, more featureful terminal emulator. I primarily used tmux for splitting “windows” and its scrollback buffer, but it contributed another layer of abstraction to debug when things like performance, colour support, or displaying images became a problem. Meanwhile, almost any modern terminal emulator can do splits and scrollback buffers.

So I settled on Konsole, which supports all that I need and some other niceties (like ligatures). I set up my key bindings to create splits similarly to those I used in Tmux, and… immediately missed a feature of my tmux setup. This was the ability to switch between tmux panes and vim splits using the same key combination, as though they were in fact the same thing.

Faster Excel Parsing in Ruby

·3 mins

Update: This post originally benchmarked against Xsv v0.3.2, but many performance changes (particularly to memory) were made, so I’ve now benchmarked against v0.3.7 and updated accordingly.

TL;DR: Xsv was ~5 times faster than alternatives at parsing the XLSX file I benchmarked it against, allocating the fewest objects and memory, making it by far the least resource-intensive of all benchmarked gems.

When exporting data for general use, we in the industry are likely to reach for CSV files; they’re basically plain-text, but with a sort-of agreed-upon structure — well, there is RFC 4180 but Wikipedia agrees that implementations are inconsistent at best.

Powering a Windows PC via HomeAssistant

·6 mins

I have a PC hooked up to the TV in our living room, which is used primarily for Kodi and video games. I’m using a Logitech Harmony activity to switch the TV on, power the AV receiver, change to the PC input, etc. The only problem is that there’s no way to turn on or off the PC via Harmony, so I often sit down and forget to turn it on, or go to bed and find that it has been running all night. Inconvenient and a waste of energy!

Thankfully, we can use HomeAssistant to bridge the gap, but there are a few pieces to the puzzle.