Luke's Blog

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Series on Old Norse and Language Learning?

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One request I get a whole lot is to talk about how to learn a language, or one harder, a language using only a book. I could just "talk" about it, but I figure doing it real time might be a lot better. I taught myself Latin this way nearly 10 years ago, and now use my Latin knowledge all the time academically. Part of my knowledge of Chinese also comes from my particular method of learning.

Anyway, I want to record myself going through an introductory language-learning book, verbally externalize my thoughts to make it clear how I interpret what I see. Obviously I have a lot of initial knowledge about languages generally, but as it comes up, I'll mention and explain all the needed concept and why they're relevant.

The language I've chosen to learn is Old Norse/Old Icelandic, which, as it happens, is very close and mutually intelligible with modern Icelandic with some minor differences. WhyOld Norse? (1) It's an ancient language that can be useful for my own understanding of historical linguistics, and the development of Germanic languages, (2) it still has some older linguistic properties that will keep viewers informed of a more highly inflected language, but (3) it also has a vocabulary similar to English, which will minimize the rote memorization aspect of learning it.

The book I'll probably be going through is Old Icelandic: An Introductory Course by Valfells and Cathey. I'll either have a physical copy or a pdf of it, which ever ismore convenient for recording. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to give me them! Again, the point of the series isn't supposed to be just on Old Norse/Icelandic, but on language learning generally, so everyone is welcome to watch! ;-)

Wed, 23 May 2018 18:23:48 -0700

Stream soon

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I'll be doing a stream in a bit, probably within the hour. Keep your eyes peeled on YouTube.

Tue, 22 May 2018 10:23:59 -0700

Forum now has HTTP & SSL (Lunduke BTFO once again)

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I've finally put HTTPS on the forum for security's sake. I appreciate that people have been signing up already anyway. I'll probably reannounce it on the channel when I do a live stream probably tomorrow.

You may've noticed that there was also some server downtime, that was actually relevant to the SLL upgrade. I stupidly miswrote something and broke my Apache server for a minute or two. All fixed now though.

Sun, 20 May 2018 20:03:14 -0700

How I Write Accent Marks and IPA Characters in Vim

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I just released a brief video on how I put special characters into vim.. There is a built in system (with control-k) for inputting special characters, but it's not as manipulatable as I'd like. Instead, I have two little vim files that coin functions to enable/disable deadkeys (for diacritics) or extra shortcuts for characters in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

The deadkey function turns ', ", :, ` and other symbols into deadkeys that place diacritics onto different characters. The IPA function is similar, but allows a sequence of semicolon plus two letters to correspond to an IPA symbol. E.g., if I want to type 'ʃ', I just type ';sh.

The links are in the video description (the files are in the voidrice repository as usual). The system is pretty customizable, and you can easily add whatever characters you need, potentially imitating the toggling commands I have there already.

Sun, 20 May 2018 13:54:58 -0700

Video on the blog system

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I just put up the video on the blog system, if you're interested. Check it out here.

Again, the link to the Github repo is here. Enjoy!

Sun, 20 May 2018 09:43:03 -0700

Guests now allowed on forum; Perks for supporters.

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Now that the forum is being reborn, I've openned up one of the subforums, the tech support one to non-registered posters. This makes it so people without an account can come and ask questions.

Additionally, I'm going to give perks to people who support me/the channel on Patreon. For now, it's going to be for anyone who gives any ammount of money, but I make increase the required input in a bit. Perks will include a gold-plated name, access to a private forum, and possibly other abilities like bigger avatar size and such (that's not implemented yet).

Sun, 20 May 2018 09:14:04 -0700

More tinkering today

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I'm changing a couple lines in the blog script (lb) that beautify the standalone pages, giving them UTF-8 encoding, actual titles and the website's stylesheet. While the standalone pages were originally an afterthought, I'm sure someone will like using them. I'll also probably put a video up about the blog system anyway

I've also been working on the forum today, and I'll also be putting up an update to the mutt-wizard which will hopefully fix compatibility with certain sites. Originally, I made the apparently improper and pessimistic assumption that some providers don't use +INBOX as the inbox location, encouraging me to writing a very skiddie line in grep to filter out all non-inbox boxes to smartly guess the true inbox. This caused the system to detect people's "Contacts" or "SMS" folders as their inbox in some cases.

I'll be fixing this soon so that it always just assumes that "+INBOX" is the real thing, which I think will lessen the errors people have.

Sat, 19 May 2018 13:36:26 -0700

Check Github for the blog system

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I put my new blog system on Github. Again, just a little 70-ish line script that generates HTML and RSS/XML code automatically from a post; it'll get me a lot for very little, and obviously doesn't involve any silly databases.

Check out the link at https://github.com/LukeSmithxyz/lb. Play around with it if you're interested in it for your own purposes. I might do a video on it in a bit, and I'll be refining it as needed.

Wed, 16 May 2018 15:13:06 -0700

Excuse the RSS mess!

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As I said, in a post before, I'm figuring out a new blogging and RSS feed paradigm which has been 95% done for several days, barring those little annoyances. I've been moving things around, including the GUIDs for RSS entires, so you may be seeing double, triple or quadruple entries in your RSS feed reader.

Feel free to purge your RSS feed cache to fix this. You won't lose anything since I have everything on my RSS feed (I'm not one of those people who has a rolling 15 entry RSS feed).

Wed, 16 May 2018 10:38:11 -0700

New Forum Up and Under Preparation

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My subscriberbase has been pretty consistently dogging me to put the forum up. I figured I might as well just start a new forum with updated myBB software now. The old forum was a good trial run, but with newer software and now on my own server, there are more possibilities for a longterm forum.

So check out forum.lukesmith.xyz and go ahead and register the name you want and start posting if you'd like. As a minor warning, I don't have https for the forum yet, but that will come pretty soon.

Wed, 16 May 2018 09:23:55 -0700

On my new blog system

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For the past day or so, I've been "writing" a blog "system". Really it's only about 100 lines in shell script, which sure as hell beats installing WordPress and having huge databases on the server.

I want to have one rolling blog page, automatic RSS feed updates and maybe even standalone pages, so that's what I wrote. I also want to be able to link to individual blog entries on the rolling page, so I have it automatically label each header for the use of interior urls.

If you're reading this, wherever you're reading it, it's been successfuly.

Really all the script does is let you write a HTML draft entry, and when you're done, it appends it to the rolling page and converts its information into an RSS feed entry and appends it to your RSS feed. "Append" is probably the wrong word though, since it's not being added to the end, but in front of other entries.

Anyway, I hope to be able to have a fully functioning and synced blog and RSS feed, without the hassle or bloat, now I'm pretty confident that I'm right about at it. The only thing I haven't implemented (and might not) is the ability to change and delete posts from the RSS/rolling blog/standalone page directory. I'm the kind of person who doesn't believe in revision though, so maybe I'll slide without that.

Mon, 14 May 2018 15:09:10 -0700

New turbo-minimalist site

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I've decided to severely trim down my website, not in content, but in frills. We'll see how this works out, and if it does, I plan on keeping it this way with maybe minor beautification.

At a surface level, my site is just going to be two main HTML pages: the main page and a blog/updates page which I have made automatically (This also includes RSS updates).

One of the other things I've made use of is an Apache server's capability to display directory contents in and index page. You've probably seen things like this, see one of mine at talks/. You can also give these pages CSS and descriptions for the files, which I've decided to take advantage of. It seems like a much better way of organizing files on your website and making them accessible than doing it manually in HTML.

Mon, 14 May 2018 14:53:20 -0700