Everything I've written on this tiny blog, in reverse chronological order.

Am I a bicycle commuter now?

Two months ago I started collecting my thoughts on commuting by bike, mostly to convince myself to giving it a shot. Being in the middle of the winter, the weather was pretty rough for a period of time after that, but about a month later I rode to work for the first time. The weather was still a bit questionable on that day, with a very strong crosswind, but I went anyway and was thrilled to have taken the first pedal stroke.

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Eleventy excerpts

Wherever I list posts on this site, e.g. on the Home page and Archive page, I want to display a reasonably long excerpt from the linked post, to give visitors an idea of its content. There seems to be an almost comical variation in what people want from excerpts - how long they should be, whether they should be marked manually or picked out automatically, or entered separately from the content altogether, whether images should be included or not etc. etc. Fun!

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Automatic image pre-processing in Eleventy, Part 2

One of the Eleventy customizations I've set up for this site is automatic generation of responsive <picture> tags from images in Markdown posts. I was going to build it myself using the Eleventy Image plugin, but then randomly stumbled upon a plugin for the markdown-it Markdown processor used by Eleventy that did exactly that. It's called markdown-it-eleventy-img and provides the glue needed between the Eleventy Image plugin and the Markdown parsing performed by markdown-it. I wrote a post about this setup back in the day, but that is now obsolete. Starting with version 4.0.0, the Eleventy Image plugin itself performs all the steps needed itself.

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My bicycle

My bicycle is a silver Skeppshult STC Basic from 2005 or so. I don't remember exactly when I bought it, but I think it was around that time. Skeppshult is a Swedish manufacturer of bicycles founded in 1911. They've been making bicycles at the same location without interruption since then, and they're the only Swedish manufacturer that makes frames in-house. Iron, and later steel, has been very important resources in Sweden for centuries, and Swedish steel is world-famous for its strength and quality. It feels pretty cool then that the frame of my bike and the entire supply chain of raw materials needed to make it are extracted, refined, and produced within the borders of our little country. I'm sure pretty much all the other parts on the bike are made in China though, that's pretty much unavoidable these days.

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Bicycle commuting premiere

A while back I convinced myself bicycle commuting was a feasible alternative to driving for me, and started preparing to giving it a go. The plan wasn't to give up driving entirely, but to start going by bike maybe once per week or so, to introduce some much needed exercise into my life.

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Local links in Eleventy, Part 2

The only thing I didn't like about Eleventy when I started using it was that local Markdown links, like /posts/my-post.md wasn't automatically transformed into their rendered URL counterparts, like /posts/my-post/. Having links pointing to the source files allows you to follow them locally when working with the content, and many Markdown editors can both help autocomplete links as you type as well as highlight any broken ones. For me, however, the most important benefit of working this way is that the content can remain unaware of the output format, so to speak. The less site details there are in the content, the more portable that content will be.

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Making a case for commuting by bike

I live 11 km from work, and there are excellent bike paths all the way, yet I commute by car. I've successfully made several small but positive changes to my life in the last few months, and I would like to take on my habit of commuting by car next. I'm not looking to change it completely, but at least soften it up a bit. I have a colleague and a neighbor who frequently commute the same route as me by bike, so I know it's both physically and practically possible.

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Right here, right now

One day while reading a blog post I noticed the blog had a "Now" page, where the author briefly described what they were up to at the moment. Unfortunately, I can't recall the specific blog, but it did link to Nownownow.com, which is a page by Derek Sivers promoting the concept of the Now page. Two things stuck with me: Derek seemed to be a very interesting person, and as someone with periodic "flavor of the week"-style obsessions, the Now page concept was very appealing to me.

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The apps I use

Episode 97 of the Hemispheric Views podcast, called Duel of the Defaults, set of quite a trend on the web. In that episode, Martin Feld and Jason Burk compete for the coveted "Mr. Default" title, by comparing the different apps they use, and deciding who is most default (according to arbitrary decisions by judge Andrew Canion). After this, people started listing their own "default apps", which is not quite what the show was about, but a fun thing to do nontheless. Robb Knight has collected many of these on his website, and allow people to add theirs using Git pull requests (which I did). I'm a bit late to the game with this, but better late than never!

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Automatic pre-processing of post images in Eleventy

When I moved this blog from Hugo to Eleventy I wanted to set everything up from scratch to be in control. No more massive themes with mysterious features you're afraid to change because you don't know the potential side-effects. That being said, I did look around at different Eleventy starters, like the Eleventy base blog, and took note of a few features to set up myself.

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Customizing external links with Eleventy

I've recently written a couple of posts about the different ways I've customized the Eleventy, the static site generator used for this site. In the previous post I described modifying the HTML rendered by Eleventy to maintain working internal links between Markdown files. This modification makes Eleventy treat local links the way I believe it should by default. Next on my improvement wishlist was addressing the lack of visual distinction between internal and external links in my posts. With my successful link-transformation effort fresh in mind, I immediately set out to add some additional HTML post-processing.

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Maintaining working local links in Eleventy

This is the second post detailing the different customizations I've implemented in Eleventy for this site. In the first post I briefly described setting up code syntax highlighting, which primarily involved installing and configuring an existing plugin. Another tweak I really enjoy is the way links are handled, and for that I had to write some code off my own! I've actually customized both internal and external links, each in different ways, but let's focus on the internal ones first.

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Syntax highlighting code in Eleventy posts

This site is built using Eleventy, a very nice little static site generator. I've previously written a post about how and why I ended up using it, but that mostly covers how to get up and running with generic content. This is the first post in a little series outlining the different customizations I've made in order for Eleventy to produce just the result I want.

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Eleventy brings me joy

In the olden days, I had a completely custom site written in classic ASP and kept it up for many years, until social media platforms became my primary outlet for sharing thoughs online. I still built the occasional website for various endeavors, but moved gradually to more ready-made systems like Wordpress and Tumblr. It had been a very long time since I last had a personal website when a few toots on Mastodon inspired me to start blogging again.

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ATtiny85 Fuses Explained

In the world of microcontrollers, a fuse is not only a hardware device that protects circuitry from electrical overload, it's also a concept of low-level configuration settings stored in non-volatile memory. These fuses are typically used to set hardware configuration parameters like clock sources and boot sequences, things that are essential when initializing the microcontroller. Once set, these fuses remain set until explicitly changed, even if new firmware is flashed into the program memory.

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Setting the ATtiny85 Clock Speed

The clock speed of the ATtiny85 can be set using one of several internal clock sources, or an external one (like a crystal oscillator) for full flexibility. The default setting utilizes the internal 8 MHz oscillator combined with a clock divider of 8, resulting in a 1 MHz clock speed. This clock divider can be disabled to run at the native 8 MHz. Additionally, there's another clock source called the Phase-Locked Loop (PLL), which doubles the internal frequency to achieve a 16 MHz clock speed.

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Serial debugging on the ATtiny85

The ATtiny85 is part of the ATtiny family of microcontrollers, originally from Atmel, now Microchip Technology. It is very small, with only eight pins, six of which are available for I/O. Despite its limitations, it's surprisingly accessible to beginners (myself included) thanks to its compatibility with the Arduino IDE.

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