Commit b497da8e authored by Ambrevar's avatar Ambrevar

tech-non-programmers: Fix typos and some edits.

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......@@ -86,35 +86,33 @@ I wrote more extensively on filesystems and encryption in [[../reproducible-comp
* Cryptography: SSH, GnuPG, KeepassXC
In this day and age, privacy is under the spotlight. I believe that fully
empowered citizens of an increasingly technological world require a decent
understanding of basic cryptography.
In particular, asymmetric cryptography: understanding how to deal with public
In this day and age, privacy is under the spotlight. I believe that digital
citizens of an increasingly technological world require a decent [[https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/what-should-i-know-about-encryption][understanding
of basic cryptography]] to be fully empowered. Knowing how to deal with public
and private keys can be crucial.
[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ssh][SSH]] is a simple protocol for public and private key management. It can be used
to safely access systems remotely and to transfer files between two computers
you control.
[[https://gnupg.org/][GnuPG]] is a more extensive software suite that deals with the PGP protocol. It
[[https://gnupg.org/][GnuPG]] is an extensive software suite that deals with the PGP protocol. It
can be used for digital signatures, encrypted emails and file encryption among
others. GnuPG can also manage SSH keys.
other things. GnuPG can also manage SSH keys.
Passwords are another topic that tend to be devastating to the users who
innocently set too weak a password. If you've thought of a password yourself,
don't think yourself safe: Your 15-character long password with special
characters is probably not safe against a powerful attacker who can dedicate
months and a supercomputer to crack your password.
Passwords are another hot topic: innocent users who use too-weak passwords can
easily be compromised with devastating consequences. If you came up with a
password yourself, you will have to think again: Your 15-character long password
with special characters is probably not safe against a powerful attacker who can
dedicate months and a supercomputer to crack your password.
[[https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/animated-overview-using-password-managers-stay-safe-online][This short video by the Electronic Frontier Foundation]] provides a good
explanation on why you should use a password manager to stay safe online.
/Bonus:/ it's so much more convenient and you won't have to remember any password
beyond your "master passphrase" ever again.
ever again, beyond your "master passphrase."
Watch out for online or non-open password managers: Can you really trust them? If
you can't answer this question with confidence, you should probably not.
you can't answer this question with confidence, you should probably not use them.
[[https://keepassxc.org/][KeepassXC]] is an easy-to-use, free software password manager.
......@@ -138,14 +136,16 @@ But most of them fall short for a couple of reasons:
Emacs may seem a surprising choice considering it targets a rather geeky
audience and that it has a steep learning curve. But this issue can be mostly
alleviated by switching to CUA bindings (=Alt-x cua-mode=) and by [[https://melpa.org/][installing a
few packages]] like [[https://emacs-helm.github.io/helm/][Helm]], or more simply by using a [[http://www.emacs-bootstrap.com/][default config]]. There are
many different configuration flavours out there, pick what you like most.
few packages]] like [[https://emacs-helm.github.io/helm/][Helm]], or more simply by using a [[http://www.emacs-bootstrap.com/][pre-customized configuration]].
There are many different configuration flavours out there, pick what you like
most.
Regarding the above points, Emacs scores petty well:
- It's free software.
- It's very general. There is more or less one "mode" for anything you could
ever need.
ever need, from taking notes to writing books, through professional web
development.
- It's powerful for text editing and batch processing text.
- It's one of the oldest pieces of software still in use, so it's probably here
to stay.
......@@ -171,26 +171,27 @@ hard to do otherwise. Stupid examples that come to mind:
mogrify -resize 50% *.jpg
#+end_src
- Downloading web pages /recursively/:
- Downloading web pages /recursively/ (including all subpages, all pictures,
etc.):
#+begin_src sh
wget --recursive https://example.org
#+end_src
- Downloading subtitles automatically, for multiple files(!) with [[https://github.com/alexanderwink/subdl][subdl]]:
#+begin_src sh
subdl my-video-1 my-video-2 etc.
subdl --lang=eng,spa my-video-1 my-video-2 etc.
#+end_src
Possibly one of the reasons why the /command line/ is so infamous is because of
the very poor interfaces that we often come across (e.g. the default terminals
in most operating systems / desktop environements). I think it'd be wise to
bring an end to the those archaic interfaces, which is why I don't want to
bring an end to those archaic interfaces, which is why I don't want to
recommend anything that has to do with [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_emulator][terminal emulators]].
In my experience, Emacs offers a command line interface that has worked well for
years and that is here to stay. After starting Emacs, you can bring up the
command line interface with =Alt-x shell=. Check out [[https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Interactive-Shell.html#Interactive-Shell][the manual]] for more
details. "Shell" in this context is a tech term for "user interface," and it is
details. "Shell" in this context is a technical term for "user interface," and it is
often associated with "command line user interface."
In [[../emacs-eshell/index.org][another article]] I wrote about the benefits of using Emacs as a command line
......@@ -209,7 +210,7 @@ therefore I won't delve too much into it.
I believe [[../guix-advance/index.org][Guix]] to be possibly the most advanced operating system as of October
2019, in ways that are very practical to all of us:
- It does not break! You won't fear upgrading the system or any program ever
- It cannot break! You won't fear upgrading the system or any program ever
again.
- It allows for going back in time (think "the Git of operating systems"), so
......@@ -231,9 +232,9 @@ which makes it relatively easy to set up as long as your hardware is supported
If not, installing Guix is still possible but the process is a little more
involved. Maybe in the (near?) future Guix will be easier to install on
non-free hardware thanks to the [[https://gitlab.com/nonguix/nonguix/][Nonguix]] channel. But obviously a better
solution here would be that more hardware becomes free (as in freedom).
solution here would be that more hardware becomes more open.
Either way, hardware is not such a big deal since Guix can be installed on top
Either way, hardware is not a showstopper since Guix can be installed on top
of any other GNU/Linux distribution. So you might just pick any popular
flavour, install Guix, then use it to install everything else.
......@@ -266,8 +267,8 @@ many perks which make it the most commendable desktop environment in my opinion:
- It offers a great user experience (search everything, global view of everything).
- It's visually appealing.
- It's been stable for years and it's actively maintained.
- While it takes some storage space, it remains relatively light compared to
what 2019 hard drives offer.
- While it requires significant storage space, it remains relatively light
compared to what 2019 hard drives offer.
- It runs smoothly on most hardware that has been manufactured over the last 10
years at least.
......@@ -309,7 +310,7 @@ A good communication system is:
- Zero setup to use, it should not even require the creation of an account.
This last point is important: Because communication can only work between people
using the same protocol, it's hard to get people to use something other than
using the same protocol, it's hard to get our acquaintances to use something other than
what they already use.
The [[https://jitsi.org/][Jitsi]] software crosses all those check-boxes. In particular:
......@@ -339,7 +340,7 @@ So I'd like to recommend a programming language that is:
- with minimal idiosyncracies,
- and zero setup.
The setup part in particular can be a show-stopper for many programming
The setup part in particular can be a showstopper for many programming
languages. Indeed, it often involves installing an interpreter or a compiler,
configuring an editor, setting up a dedicated package manager, and possibly more
steps.
......
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