== skovati ==
a digital minimalist.

hi, i'm skovati

i’m a computer engineer and amateur mathematician from the midwest region of the states

a few things i’m passionate about:

check out my articles below (or from rss)

lately i’ve been working on small projects like

professionally, i write modeling and simulation software for a space science research and development lab

encrypt a message with my pgp key and email me

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Why Unix?

unix linux operating systems FOSS
This post is meant to be inspiration to those considering using a unix-like system (I’m mainly referring to a Linux distro or one of the BSDs) similar to my Why Vim? post. The first set of blog posts I made on this website were about the history of unix/linux, and how to get started experimenting with these systems. However, I got carried away and turned this into a multi part saga, so this post will attempt to condense these thoughts into a standalone post about why you should use this flavor of operating system. Read more...

Neovim, why I switched

vim unix
Neo-what? Neovim is a popular fork of the famous text editor Vim that aims to refactor the codebase, create a sane API, and add modern niceties while retaining the Vim philosophy. Some of the first features the neovim team added were asynchronous processes and the built in terminal emulator, both of which Vim ended up implementing in Vim 8. I’ll go into specific features I like about neovim later, but in general they’re challenging the Vim status quo and aren’t afraid to change things that Vim has done for 30+ years, (a simple example being finally moving the configuration file to $XDG_CONFIG instead of ~/. Read more...

A minimal Vim, Markdown, and GPG powered wiki

vim unix minimalism
Motivation and Vimwiki Lately, I’ve been keeping notes, ideas, to-do lists, and journal entries in a test based wiki, thanks to the fantastic plugin vimwiki. If you’re not familiar, vimwiki enables easy hyperlinking between text files marked up with either Markdown or a feature rich vimwiki syntax. This can be a collection of programming language snippets, notes from CS class, project to-do lists, a personal diary—whatever you want. You can navigate between linked files with and and even convert to HTML to view in a browser. Read more...

Vim: The World's Greatest Text Editor

vim unix programming
Disclaimer: This blog post is not meant to teach Vim, (that might come later) just to act as inspiration to start the learning journey. If you’ve been convinced by this post and want to learn Vim, here are a few fantastic tutorials that helped me get started: vimtutor, Vim’s built in tutorial, if Vim is installed on your system, just run vimtutor for an interactive tutorial Ben Awad’s Tutorial - watch this first, no BS, beginner to advanced DistroTube’s Vim series - moderate BS, takes it slow And for Vim-god inspiration, check out a few Luke Smith videos - dude himself is BS, but rocks at Vim And these Vim meetup talks are a good rabbit hole Anyways… the post… Read more...

Privacy & Security in the Modern Digital Age

privacy security internet minimalism
Author: skovati Date: 2021-05-29 The modern web is plagued by data mining, cross site tracking, intrusive ads, analytics, cookies, etc. How does one escape? It’s easy enough to say, “oh I wish it were like the 90s again with a simple internet”, but then we’d be missing out on some fantastic things from the modern web, like instant video chatting with loved ones, or having the world’s wealth of information at your fingertips with sites like Wikipedia and Youtube. Read more...

Intro to Linux - Chapter 6

linux intro
Bash && Extensibility Author: Skovati, Date: 2020-12-29 So what is bash? It stands for Bourne Again Shell, and is a rewrite and play on words of the original Bourne shell (sh) written by Stephen Bourne at Bell Labs. It is mainly used as an interactive command line interpreter. When you login to a Unix-based system, or open a terminal, you’ll be greeted by a prompt that looks something like [username@hostname ~]$. Read more...

Intro to Linux - Chapter 5

linux intro
Chapter 5 - Server Configuration Author: Skovati, Date: 2020-12-29 This chapter is optional if you’re strictly using Linux as a desktop OS, but goes over some useful ideas like user management and security that are still applicable. SSH Keys First of all, what is SSH? It stands for Secure Shell, and is a protocol design to gain remote shell access to Linux servers. All traffic is encrypted by default, and the popular OpenSSH implementation of the protocol is one of the most secure pieces of software that exists. Read more...

Intro to Linux - Chapter 4

linux intro
Installing Linux Author: Skovati, Date: 2020-12-28 In this chapter, I’ll talk about the four main ways I recommend installing and getting started with Linux, in order from most-preferred to least-preferred. Option #1 - Installing on your main computer (Most Preferred) This option definitely seems the scariest to newcomers, but installing Linux along side whatever other operating system you have installed on your most used computer is easily the best way to get yourself to actually use Linux on a daily basis, rather than installing a VM that you forget about in a week. Read more...

Intro to Linux - Chapter 3

linux intro
Linux Terminology - Distros, Package Managers, and More Author: Skovati, Date: 2020-12-26 Distros So, say you wanted to install Microsoft Windows on a new computer. You’d go to the official Windows download page, download that one specific ISO, burn it to a USB or DVD, and insert it into your computer. The installation process for Linux is quite similar, except instead of there being one official download, there are thousands of different distributions of Linux, know as distros. Read more...

Intro to Linux - Chapter 2

linux intro
What is a “Linux” anyways? Author: Skovati, Date: 2020-12-25 This chapter is optional, but highly recommended. To really get a good perspective on Linux as a whole I think some historical context is necessary. It all starts back in the 60s when MIT and AT&T’s Bell Labs were developing Multics, a time-sharing operating system for the GE-645 mainframe computer. That baby had dual 435kHz processors, 3 MBs of memory, could connect to 35 terminals simultaneously, and looked like this: Read more...
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