Replacing my aging Nokia 6.1 with …

I had been a happy user of the Nokia 6.1 I bought 3 and a half years ago, but with battery life slowly going down and both OS major updates and security-updates having stopped it was time to find a replacement.
Although the tech reporters and vloggers were underwhelmed by the screen (no Oled or Amoled, only 60Hz refresh rate) and CPU (the SM4350 Snapdragon 480 is considered too slow), I choose the Nokia X20 because:

  • bare-bones Android One experience
  • 3 years OS & security updates
  • 3 years warranty
  • 128GB memory & 8GB RAM
  • 5G

And you know what? This old man has no issues whatsoever with the screen or CPU. The only downside: the eco-friendly backcover is pretty ugly. But all in all pretty good hardware for a very reasonable price (€339 incl. VAT), so if all is well I won’t bother you with boring smartphone-news until 2024? 🙂

Pre-orders Boekenjagers-boek bijna afgesloten

Mijn vrouw, die bijna vijf jaar geleden de Boekenjagers oprichtte op Facebook, heeft zich naar aanleiding van verjaardag van die grootste FB boekengroep in Vlaanderen (meer dan 72.000 leden) nu ook in de wereld van het uitgeverij-vak gestort om het eerste Boekenjagers-boek uit te geven. Geloof me, als Veerle zich iets voorneemt, gaat ze er volledig voor en dat blijkt uit de indrukwekkende lijst van bijdrages van onder andere Lucinda Riley (!), Diane Broeckhoven, Toon Tellegen, Lize Spit, Patrick De Bruyn, Lectrr, Herr Seele, Boerken …

De pre-order fase loopt straks af, maar als je je haast kun je het boek nu nog aan €20 bestellen i.p.v. de €25 waarvoor het in augustus in de winkel zal liggen. Rep je dus naar https://boeken-jagers.be/boekenjagers-boek-pre-order/ en bestel er een paar, de opbrengst gaat naar 3 leesbevorderende goede doelen! 🙂

(even) more privacy with Firefox Containers

Being wary of all things tracking by Google & Facebook, both of who’s products I love but data capturing practices I hate, for the last 4 years or so I always logged in into these in “Private browsing” sessions in Firefox (because why trust the worlds biggest advertising platform with your privacy, right?)
Now I just “discovered” that the Mozilla team have rendered that somewhat clumsy procedure -which required me to log in each time I restarted my computer or browser- redundant with their “Firefox Multi-Account Containers” add-on, allowing you to contain entire sessions to one (or more) tabs;

Firefox Containers

So now I have one browser window with a couple of tabs in the Google container, one tab in a Facebook container and all others in the “default” container where Google & Facebook can’t track me (fingerprinting aside, but there’s an option for that).

Smartphones, social media and children. Yes, it is that bad!

If you have children you should read this article, really!
A very small excerpt;

Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.

So If you have children you should really read this article!

Loading webfonts just for a title? Switch to SVG instead.

So I wanted to replace a site’s (*) main title which required some fancy font (Courgette!) to be downloaded, by an SVG image.
Here’s what I did;

  1. make a screenshot of the node in Firefox Developer Tools -> Inspector -> select node -> click “screenshot node” in context menu
  2. convert the png-file into svg at http://pngtosvg.com/ result being a 6.93KB file.
  3. optimize the svg at http://petercollingridge.appspot.com/svg-optimiser resulting in a 3.1KB file (see above image) which remains crispy at whatever size.
  4. added the SVG as background image (not inline though, might do that next) and set “visibility” of the logo->a->h3 (which has the title in it as text) to “hidden”
  5. ticked Autoptimize’s “remove Google Fonts”-option (which also removed a slew of other unwanted requests for fonts)

(*) The site is my wife’s boeken-jagers.be which is an offspring of her successful “De Boekenjagers” Facebook group where people hide books for others to find (hunt) and share info about that. 27 000 members and counting, proud of my Veerleken!

Autoptimize Power-Up sneak peek; Noptimize

In case you’re wondering if those Autoptimize Power-Ups are still coming and if so how they’ll look like and what they’ll do;
AO powerup sneak peak: noptimize
So some quick pointers;

  • Power-Ups will be installed as separate plugins and will obviously require some sort of registration, payment and license key activation (still to be developed, will either be EDD or Freemius-based)
  • Once installed, they will appear as tabs on Autoptimize’s settings page (no clutter in your menu’s!)
  • You can actually see 2 Power-Up-tabs in this screenshot;
    1. the active one is “Noptimize” and will allow you to configure which URL’s shouldn’t be optimized (either entirely or just CSS or JS).
    2. The inactive tab is for “SpeedUp” which … speeds up the creation of uncached autoptimized files immensely.
  • Other Power-Ups that are on the table are
    1. Critical CSS” to enable you to define “above the fold CSS” for different types of pages (posts, pages, homepage, archives, …)
    2. Whitelist” which lets you specify what JS or CSS to optimize (“known good”), making sure unknown code is never autoptimized
    3. HTTP/2” which will have logic to take the most advantage of what HTTP/2 has to offer, although (part of) this might go into AO proper.

Next steps for me; register my “secondary activity as independent” (as I still have an official day-time job), get in touch with an accountant, decide on EDD vs Freemius, set up shop on optimizingmatters.com (probably including bbpress for support) and determine pricing (thinking a Euro/month actually for each PowerUp, what do you think?).
Exiting times ahead …