Blaise Alleyne

Toronto, Canada

Technologist, musician, writer, theology student, free culture/software advocate.

  • The lyric attempts the impossible — to stop time

    2019-01-02T07:59:24Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Reflections on songwriting and the lyric poem, inspired by thinkers at the University of Toronto.

    McClane likes this.

    If the lyric stops time, the lyric will be unable to "resume time" 😨

    JanKusanagi at 2019-01-02T14:39:06Z

    I think that's what happens with Sylvia Plath or Kurt Cobain... but the objective is to work through the block while time is stopped, so that you can return to the normal progression of time!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2019-01-02T19:35:44Z

  • Once in Royal David's City - Blaise Alleyne

    2018-12-27T09:39:38Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I arranged, recorded and produced this on Boxing Day:

    A near completely free software and free culture production:

    • Original song is in the public domain
    • I've waived all my copyright and related rights with CC0
    • Recorded in Ardour using KXStudio under Debian GNU/Linux
    • Drums powered by Drumgizmo and the DRSKit
    • Video edited and produced using Kdenlive
    • Will make stems available (just haven't put in place a mechanism for publishing them yet)

    Laura Arjona Reina, McClane likes this.

    McClane shared this.

  • Video Editing Tools

    2018-12-23T06:05:50Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Any recommendations for video editors?

    Back in high school, before my free software days, and when camcorders wrote to DV tape instead of SD cards, I used to use Windows Movie Maker. It was remarkable easy to do a lot with that tool.

    I've been using Kdenlive recently. It's... remarkable difficult to do anything but make simple edits to video. Something like adding a title template or creating subtitles is very difficult to do in a way that looks good and that you can replicate consistently or edit and adjust as you go. (Maybe it's just a lack of presets and templates?)

    iMovie and Windows Movie Maker seem to excel at being simple and easy to use. Kdenlive is a powerful tool, but it's not that kind of tool. What is?

    Has anyone tried OpenShot, Shotcut, Pitivi, Flowblade? So many options, not an obvious winner... I feel like I've got a lot of experimenting to do...

    Scorpio, Scorpio, McClane shared this.

    Then... Cinelerra? 🤣

    Upon seeing the title and initial question, I was going to say "Kdenlive" 😅

    So... if that one's too complex... Many years ago I tried Pitivi briefly and I remember it being much simpler (i.e. crappier 😁). No idea about how it has evolved, but it might be suited for your purposes.

    For subtitles you might want to consider a proper subtitling tool like SubtitleComposer.

    EDIT: Also, LiVES?

    JanKusanagi at 2018-12-23T14:24:06Z

    You're right, Kdenlive may actually be the best. I just needed to spend a bit more time with it... and it works really well!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2018-12-27T09:03:53Z

  • 2018-12-23T04:15:43Z via AndStatus To: Public

    I've been playing around with Ardour 5 with MIDI and video monitoring, AVL Drumkits (and Drumgizmo), my camcorder, and KXStudio. Super excited to begin recording again.

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

  • My best laptop sticker placement yet

    2018-11-28T18:22:28Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I pulled out a Macbook today because I had to do some screensharing thing with and needed a proprietary OS for that. Totally forgot I had put this sticker on it. Had a good laugh.

    (I got a Macbook for free a few years back when doing some tech support for a family friend, an old beat up machine with a cracked screen but that still worked. Whereas I'd normally wipe the OS as a first order of business, I've just kept this one around as an OS X testing machine for the odd time that I need access to try something on a Mac, or as a proprietary sandbox that I can occasionally install other proprietary stuff if needed.)

    McClane likes this.

    Couldn't think of a better surface for that 🤣

    JanKusanagi at 2018-11-28T18:45:48Z

    Blaise Alleyne likes this.

  • 2018-11-14T03:48:19Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I've mostly settled into a 90% free software workflow on everything and come to terms with the few proprietary platforms I need to interact with on a regular basis... but I get pretty annoyed with schools and daycares and all the proprietary stuff that teachers and administrators expect me to install and use as a parent if I want to know what's going on with my kids. Opting out is not easy...

    McClane likes this.

    McClane shared this.

    The world at large uses all kinds of crap that "everyone uses", and assumes everyone else is perfectly fine using it, because... why not? Everybody's using this!!

    *sigh* 🙄

    JanKusanagi at 2018-11-15T16:46:40Z

  • One (Decentralized) Cloud to Rule Them All

    2018-07-05T16:51:17Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I love Nextcloud. I really love Nextcloud.

    5 years ago, I was running so many different applications that have just been replacing by Nextcloud apps.

    • SOGO (CalDAV/CardDAV) => Nextcloud Calendar/Contacts
    • Snowy (Tomboy notes sync) => Nextcloud Grauphel
    • Tiny Tiny RSS => Nextcloud News
    • Roundcube => Nextcloud RainLoop

    Plus, I've just been playing around with Nextcloud Talk which offers an easy-to-use Hangsouts-like WebRTC video chat.

    I really love Nextcloud.

    Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Stephen Sekula, sazius likes this.

  • 2018-05-12T01:21:25Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Cutting out RSS feeds without full text from my life...

  • 2018-01-10T05:17:08Z via AndStatus To: Public

    I have done a thing: I'm taking the Canadian government to court, asking in judicial review that a policy to compel speech attesting support for a variety of social beliefs in order to qualify for unrelated funding be declared unconstitutional. It's not illegal to disagree with the government, and the government of the day should not be able to compel speech or discriminate on the basis of beliefs.
    It's been getting attention in the Canadian media:

    McClane likes this.

  • Christmas carols

    2017-12-19T04:51:00Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I'd play these public domain Christmas carols all year long if people wouldn't look at me funny.

    These are old recordings from 2008. Each year, I wish I'd carved out the time to continue on this CC0 project. I have at least three other arrangements to record: We Three Kings (Tool-esque), O Come All Ye Faithful (ringy acoustic guitar), and Angels We Have Heard On High (modern folk finger-picky guitar). One of these years...

    Dana, Black Canary likes this.

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  • Backdrop > Drupal

    2017-09-05T19:00:33Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Okay, so far I'm super happy with Backdrop CMS over Drupal. Over Drupal 7, and especially over Drupal 8. It's like this fork is focused on fixing everything that was wrong with Drupal and preserving everything that was great about it. My only fear is that the fork has enough support to survive in the long-run, that it has a big enough userbase / developer base....

    » Blaise Alleyne:

    “[...] fork is focused on fixing everything that was right with Drupal [...]”

    Fixing everything that was wrong? =)

    JanKusanagi at 2017-09-05T19:09:54Z

    Blaise Alleyne likes this.

  • Backdrop CMS?

    2017-09-02T04:05:36Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Anyone have any experience with Backdrop CMS? Working with CiviCRM, WordPress has its limitations for more complex sites, and the Drupal 6/7/8 upgrade path is a thing of nightmares. Backdrop CMS (a fork of Drupal 7) seems to be taking all the things I liked from Drupal, but forking it to avoid all the things that are awful. I'm two days into Backdrop and kind of excited so far... the only downside being the level of documentation you'd expect from a newer project. Anyone have any experience working with Backdrop CMS or following it for longer than a week?

  • 2017-08-30T16:28:05Z via Web CC: Public

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

  • 2017-08-15T22:23:26Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Just switched from Tiny Tiny RSS to Nextcloud News. Should have done that ages ago. Next up, switching from Snowy to Nextcloud's Grauphel for Tomboy Notes sync. One self-hosted cloud to rule them all...

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

    I'd be interested in hearing more about why you prefer the new one. Installing Nextcloud seems like wrestling 100 pound of infrastructure for 5 pounds of feature (on the RSS reader front). If you're using a lot of Nextcloud's other apps, I'm sure that changes the calculus ... but what about the newsreader in particular is an improvement?

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-16T08:39:26Z

  • 2017-08-14T15:08:02Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I was worried it'd take a while to adjust to a new T470 keyboard after using an X60/T61 for the past 10 years. While it still feels a bit new, I was shocked at how unfamiliar the X60 felt when I returned to it just a week after switching. The familiarity fades fast...

    I feel sorry for your family now xD

    JanKusanagi at 2017-08-14T16:15:19Z

    Ben Sturmfels likes this.

  • From 3GB RAM to 32GB RAM

    2017-08-04T21:04:48Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    My ThinkPad T470 has arrived. 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, ~17h battery life, i7 processor... from using a X60 (160GB SSD, 3GB RAM, 1.5-2h battery) and T61 (240GB SSD, 4GB RAM)... fresh install of Debian Stretch is up and running. I'm still keeping the X60 and T61 in rotation from now, but getting used to a decade difference in laptop computing! (And searching for webcam blockers and such...)

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

    Show all 5 replies

    Wow, big step up xD

    JanKusanagi @i at 2017-08-05T12:31:05Z

    Whoa. Writing down that model number for my next work laptop replacement choice. (scribbles) ThinkPad T470... 17h battery life... YES PLEASE.

    Stephen Sekula at 2017-08-05T13:43:04Z

    Still to confirm and measure myself, but that was from a review, not Lenovo marketing stuff. (I went with the non-touch screen based on that recommendation, for better battery life.)

    Blaise Alleyne at 2017-08-05T14:54:36Z

    >> Blaise Alleyne:

    “Still to confirm and measure myself, but that was from a review, not Lenovo marketing stuff. (I went with the non-touch screen based on that recommendation, for better battery life.)”

    I assumed this was either your own independent research or personal experience, but thanks! I look forward to your verdict, especially w/ GNU/Linux installed.

    Stephen Sekula at 2017-08-06T13:24:08Z

  • First new laptop in 10 years: ThinkPad T470

    2017-07-18T05:19:00Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I just ordered my first new laptop in 10 years...

    In 2007, when I was 20, I got a ThinkPad T61, and my mom got a ThinkPad X60 (which became mine too a few years later). These two machines have lasted me 10 years, with RAM maxed out and in recent years SSD upgrades.

    I've been looking at new machines for the past 4 years, but kept settling on upgrades or deciding to stick it out. But I just pulled the trigger and ordered a brand new fully-loaded ThinkPad T470.

    Here's to hoping it lasts until 2027...

    ps I'm keeping the T61 and X60 around

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

  • Huge Geek Fatigue

    2017-04-24T03:54:27Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I have such a massive amount of geek fatigue these days. I've just had so many problems and so little time, over the past year specifically. Debilitating problems that have caused so much downtime for my mobile device, and my living room server and a bunch of self-hosted services. I'm still nowhere near 100% (e.g. my living room xserver/gdm isn't starting properly as of last week, and my mobile contacts sync has been broken for months). In 10 years of self-hosting and running OSes, I've never had this level of problems... It's just so exhausting.

    No point here. Just venting. And I suppose explaining some of my absence from social media here.

    Dana, Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

    der.hans, ❌ shared this.

    Sorry to hear! I know how exhausting it can be when a few things start going wrong at once and you don't have time to investigate fully.

    Ben Sturmfels at 2017-04-24T04:33:10Z

    Blaise Alleyne likes this.

    I can feel your pain, I had somewhat a cathastrophic week (some weeks ago) in which al my computers/devices seemed to have a problem (except my PC at work).

    I hope your stuff get better soon, and yourself too #sendingGoodVibrations

    Laura Arjona Reina at 2017-04-24T05:43:02Z

    der.hans, Blaise Alleyne likes this.

  • Let's Encrypt rocks

    2017-01-03T21:17:44Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Just used Let's Encrypt for the first time (since experimenting with the beta but never using it). certbot is awesome. Here's to never paying for an SSL certificate again!, EVAnaRkISTO, Charles Stanhope likes this.

    Good to know... It's on my todo list for this year.

    hope it can handle Multi domain name certs because I host on a Dynamic IP and so my main domain "" is C named to my Dynamic host name. So would be good to get a cert that handles both. (like my current Self signed one does)

    Freemor at 2017-01-03T21:27:35Z

    >> Freemor:

    “[...]hope it can handle Multi domain name certs [...]”

    I believe it does.

    James Dearing 🐲 at 2017-01-04T02:19:10Z

  • 2016-12-29T06:44:00Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Argh. I spent 2016 back and forth between Maemo and CyanogenMod, making a slow transition from my N900 to an S5. Now CM is dead (and reborn)? I can't keep up...