My Last Post on This Domain

OK guys,

I think that it is time for me to publish the last post on this blog using WordPress as a domain. As you probably already know, GitHub is my favorite company and I have decided to switch my blog to a completely new domain.

I have published a couple of posts exclusively on the new domain and backed up every post from this domain to my new address (with one exception, but I’m working on it). I feel confident now to make the switch and I started to feel really comfortable using GitHub + Jekyll as a blogging platform, so I’ve decided to drop by and say good bye to my old domain.

From now on, you can follow me on r3bl.github.io. Be sure to use the http version of the site because https version is currently not properly implemented in the code. If you run into some issue while browsing the site or you miss a feature that I had implemented on this domain, feel free to report it here.

As always, you’re more than welcome to contact me anytime on aleksandar.todorovic@mail.ru. I hope that you’ll continue to read me on my new address.

Sincerely,
Aleksandar Todorović

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Why Have I Decided To Switch My Blog To a GitHub Pages + Jekyll Combination

WordPress was a great platform for the beginning of my blogging experience. The simplicity needed for the creation and maintaining of the WordPress blog is amazing. It literally took me 10 minutes from the creation of my blog to my first post. But, a few days ago, I’ve decided that it is time for me to switch to something more powerful. I’ve decided to switch to Jekyll blogging platform.

Why have I chosen GitHub + Jekyll as my new platform?

Well, first of all, my PHP knowledge is very limited. I have always considered PHP to be the weakest spot in my education. And, on top of that, I’m not that comfortable with databases for now. Jekyll has allowed me to run a completely self-maintained blog without using any PHP or MySQL.

Using this combo is going to boost my GitHub profile and my Git knowledge

Because of the excellent Jekyll integration with GitHub pages, maintaining a blog using Jekyll is going to force me to use GitHub even more than I have used it so far. And I think that is great. By doing so, I’m going to visit GitHub more often, which will boost my desire to hack and program new things (this is the newest project I’m planing on making a reality).

It will also boost my GitHub profile in the search results, which is something I desperately need to do. While Google-ing my full name, I found out that there’s an actor, a photographer and a war criminal with the same name as mine. You can imagine the surprise of my future employer if he sees my name associated with a term such as a war criminal.

I love every single product that GitHub developed over the years

Lets be honest, GitHub is my favorite company and I love every single feature they’ve developed over the years. I love their tight integration with Git, their pages, their Gists, their Atom text editor and their Student Developer Pack (even though my request is still in the verification process).

Markdown has become my favorite markup language

Ever since I’ve started using GitHub more regularly, I’m amazed by the simplicity behind Markdown. I’m using it to type everything from by blog posts to my collage papers and essays. Now, to be honest, I’ve written most of my posts using Markdown even back when in my WordPress days, but Jekyll allows me to update my blog in an incredibly simple way. I just have to write my post inside of a new Markdown file, update my repository and that’s it. I don’t even have to open Firefox to post something.

An option to choose a commenting platform

Lets be honest, if you need comments on your website, Disqus is the way to go. Most of the sites I’m visiting are using it, and I see no reason of why I should choose anything else.

I love having the full control over my blog

Worpress.com is a free platform and as such it does have some advantages and some limitations. Even though I loved the simplicity of some feature (like a WordPress stats feature), I hated the way I was limited in the customization of my blog. Using this combination, I have no limitation that I’m uncomfortable with. I can customize my blog in any way I want and it feels great! Every Jekyll customization, every theme and every plugin I ran into were completely free (as in both speech and beer) and because of that I can customize every single aspect of them as I wish.

So, how will I make the transition happen?

Now this is a tricky one. I have decided that I’m going to be using this combination permanently, but I do have a lot of work to do before making the final switch.

First of all, there are still some parts of this excellent HPSTR Jekyll theme that I haven’t customized properly (or at all). This is why I’m regularly updating a TODO.md file to remind myself of what still needs to be done.

So, if you like my blog, I encourage you to go through that TODO.md file and to report any issues that I haven’t noticed inside of that file here.

In the meantime, I’m going to post on my old platform and my new platform until I’m completely satisfied with the switch. I have also started posting my most interesting articles on Medium not too long ago, so you might want to check that out as well.

You can expect some great new things like SSL support, my own domain and a fully customized home page in the near future. And, in the spirit of open source software, every single line of code is available for you to fork and use in your project in any way you want.

Reasons Why GitHub is My Favorite Technology-Related Company

In this post I’m going to share with you a few reasons why I consider GitHub as my favorite technology-related company. If you still don’t know what GitHub is, you should continue reading this article because I’m going to share with you some of the most popular features GitHub has integrated in their service.

GitHub logo

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service, which offers all of the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.

This is the definition I borrowed from a GitHub Wikipedia article. In short terms, it’s a place where every developer (or a student soon-to-be developer like me) can share their source code and their stories with the world. It’s a huge and highly respected collaboration platform.

It’s been used by every big technology company you can think of. Let me give you a few examples: Google, Twitter, Mozilla, Microsoft, Facebook, Adobe, IBM, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Netflix, Dropbox and PayPal. Still think GitHub doesn’t have a huge support? What if I told you that White House uses it too? I bet you didn’t know that some of these organizations even participate in the open source community at all!

So, why have they all chosen GitHub as a platform?

A Great Place to Store Your Code

Let’s be honest, today, if you’re not hosting your source code on GitHub, your open source project does not exist. I have a lot of respect for other solutions such as Launchpad and BitBucket, but lets be honest, GitHub is the place to go if you need a place to share your source code.

Huge Developer Community

There are 8.2M people collaborating right now across 19M repositories on GitHub. Developers from all around the world are building amazing things together. Their story is our story.

I borrowed this quote from GitHub’s press page. Over eight million people is not a small number, and they’ve all chosen GitHub as their choice. Together, they’ve created around 19 million repositories.

GitHub as a Replacement for LinkedIn

Don’t get me wrong, I love LinkedIn and I’m using it myself for quite some time (you can find my LinkedIn profile here). But the truth is, you can post pretty much anything you want on LinkedIn and you can perfect your profile in any way you want. GitHub does not allow you to do the same.

Everything you publish on GitHub, you prove it right away.

As an example, lets say that you posted on LinkedIn that you know how to program using C++. Your connections can endorse your skill and your employer can be sure that you know how to program using C++ if enough of your connections endorse it. But, if he visits your GitHub profile, he can see your C++ knowledge in action. He can read the code you’ve posted and based on the code, he can make sure that you’re a creative and a collaborative person, and that you have an experience in working with C++.

Now don’t get me wrong, your GitHub is not a replacement for your resume and you should not think of it as a replacement for your resume. But, it is a place where you can show your skills instead of talking about them. And there are some projects like Open Source Report Card that grabs your public GitHub data and represents them in a way that’s pretty similar to a resume (check out my Open Source Report Card here).

GitHub Pages

Now, let’s say that you want to build a website that represents you, your organization, your company, or anything else. You have a couple of options. You can buy your own domain and hosting service and build it from scratch. You can choose some freemium service like Wix, where you will create a stunning website in minutes without any coding knowledge, but you will be limited to the features that service allows you to do.

So, lets say that you want to have a full control over your site, without any limitations what so ever, and you showcase your website development and design skills in the process, all of that completely free of charge. The solution? GitHub Pages! You can create your personal website, a website for your organization or a website for your project straight away. And it’s not really complicated to do that. Don’t believe me? Check out my online portfolio! It took me less than 15 minutes to create it using a template offered by GitHub, and I have a full control of that website, which explains how I managed to alter the design of the template called Hack by Ben Bleikamp (see how original template looks like here).

GitHub Training

GitHub uses Git, which is a distributed revision control system designed and developed by Linus Torvalds for Linux kernel development back in 2005. It has become the most widely adopted version cotrol system for software development there is (source).

Now, lets say that you don’t know how to work with Git, the same way I didn’t know how how to work with Git not too long ago. Problem? Heck no! All resources for working with Git using GitHub as a platform are already provided for you by GitHub itself! GitHub offers you free resources (or training kits as they call them) here and you also have a few free online courses available here. Whatever learning option you choose to use out of those provided, you’ll see that your materials are divided in three difficulties: beginner/foundations, intermediate or advanced.

GitHub Gists

This is the newest addition to the GitHub services. It’s a place where you’re able to share your text or a part of your code publicly (which means that your gist will be searchable by a search engine and viewed from your profile) or privately (which means that only people you choose are going to be able to view it, and you share Gists with them by simply copying a link).

Atom Text Editor

After I found out about Atom, I fell in love with GitHub all over again. Atom is a hackable text editor for the 21st Century (as advertised by GitHub).

So, a hackable text editor, what does that even mean?

That means that you can hack every single thing inside of that text editor. Don’t know how? Not to worry, there are thousands of packages already available, all of them hosted on GitHub and offered free of charge. Don’t like the design of the editor? Pick your favorite flavor of Atom out of thousands of them available here. You can customize your installation to be anything from a simple text editor to a full IDE (short for Integrated Development Environment). Heck, you can even write your publications, your blog posts or your books in it. In fact, I even used it to write the post you’re currently reading (see the picture below) in the same way I’m using it to write every single post on my blog.

Picture of how I wrote this post

GitHub Student Developer Pack

This is something I recently discovered. A few days ago, I got a letter from my collage professor stating that as a student, I’m eligible to get a GitHub Student Developer Pack, which offers me over 15 free and paid development tools from GitHub and its partners at a huge discount. Now, I should point out that I’m still in the verification process at the time this article is published. This process could last for weeks! But, I should also point out that a guy called Alex Fernandez from GitHub staff has personally apologized to me for that. The reason why this process lasts for so long is because they have to review each request manually, which does take quite some time.

GitHub-Mark-64px

GitHub Has an Amazing Support

I’m a developer. I use a lot of stable and unstable software and services on a daily basis and it is important to me to get the support as fast as possible. I had an issue with a certain GitHub feature so I decided to contact GitHub support. I’ve got an email response in like 20 minutes, and they’ve been very helpful in the process. They’ve managed to explain to me why I had this issue and what I had to do to resolve it. I have to give them a straight 10/10 for their support.

So, if you are a developer, is there a reason not to use GitHub?

Honestly, I don’t think there is. If you’re developing a proprietary software, there are plenty of reasons why you should not post the source code of your application on GitHub. But, that should not stop you from working on open source software in your free time. By doing so, it will benefit you (once you start looking for a new job), it will benefit the developers behind a project that you’ve decided to be a part of, and it will benefit every single user of that open source project. GitHub offers you a wide variety of opportunities and you should take advantage of them!

My Manifesto

Across my Reddit feed, I came up with this great article titled Why You Should Write a Personal Manifesto, published by Wiseism. I feel like this is a great way to keep yourself motivated, so I’ve decided to do just that: to write down my own manifesto.

I’m pretty confident that this manifesto really represents who I truly am, so I’ve decided to share it with you guys.

At the end of the post, there’s a picture with the manifesto that I made because I wanted to use it as my wallpaper. From time to time, I really enjoy reading Hacker’s Manifesto, and I made this Manifesto to replace that occasional reading with something I wrote myself. This Manifesto is not new, it’s saved on my computer for a long time now and I had a different reason to write it. After reading this article, I’ve just rearranged it a little to look more “manifestish” (whatever that means).

My Manifesto

I’m not like most of you.

I do not have emotions. I don’t feel the same way as most people feel. I don’t get hurt easily. I don’t believe I’m going to go to hell if I do something. I don’t believe I should be forbidden to do something I would like to do.

I’m not a role model of any kind and I’m not trying to be a role model to anyone. I’ve tried most of the things people consider bad. I don’t think that anyone could help me if I don’t want to help myself. I don’t believe anyone will be by my side until death do as apart. I realize I’m on my own in this world and that’s the way I like to live my life.

When I meet someone, all I see is a game. A game that I can win or loose. I don’t get attached to people, all I see is a way to exploit them. A way to manipulate them to get what I want. And you know what I want? I want to be happy. And I am just that.

You wanna know why? Because I have something that most of the people surrounding me do not have. I have my mind and I know how to use it. I know how to make the best out of any situation and I’m perfectly happy in every situation I can possibly run into. I’m not saying I’m any more intelligent that you. I’m not saying that I think of myself as some higher species than most of the people. I’m not saying I’ve read more books than you. I’m just saying that I know how to be happy. I know how to feel alive…

PNG version:

manifesto

The font used in the picture is my new favorite font called Ubuntu Mono. If you like the design used in this picture, you should thank Tom Brewe (GitHub username: nylki) for creating this awesome syntax theme for Atom called pen-paper-coffee-syntax. The wallpaper is basically a screenshot of the text (using that syntax theme and Ubuntu Mono font) slightly edited using GIMP.

I’m also thinking about creating a dark version of the wallpaper. If I decide to make it, I will update this post immediately.

Advice for living in this world (by Quinn Norton)

Wow, this is the first time (although I can’t guarantee you that it will be the last) that I’m going to share with you a story that was not written by myself. And there’s an excellent reason for that. I don’t think that I’ve read a single story (or an article if you please) that had so much influence on me about today’s technology. It was written by Quinn Norton and published in a book called Share This Book (2012) by Share Foundation. Please, read it thoroughly. I promise you that you will be amazed by this astonishing piece of writing.

Advice for Living in this World

Every day is stranger than the last one.

Each of us has a point where we fall short, where we can’t go on at this mad pace. We ride the wave as long as we can until we start to drown in time and change, and nothing makes sense anymore. And then we fight back from that insanity. This is so common an experience, it’s practically a rite of passage in our new online lives.

Somewhere along the way our networks exceeded us. We spent 12,000 years carving civilization out of the wild, and at the very edge of
its most technical, most complex, most beautiful moment, it became wild again. Like a matryoshka doll of our human disasters, from within our safe, designed and managed world, we built forests of infinite darkness. In the spaces between our devices, we populated this new wild with the predatorial spirits we’d exterminated from the outer landscape. Once again we face disease, dark creatures, black magics, and the all-seeing eyes of evil gods, all in the worlds we’ve created between us, all embedded in our most logical and mathematical system.

Technological life is just becoming life, it takes the weird and violent paths of life. Our network is biologically complex, unpredictable, a state of nature. It’s obtaining the qualities of forests, seas, galaxies — filled with unearthly beauty, the apprehension of which will pull the breath from your lungs. And like nature, it’s complex and messy and every story, every single one, ends in death.

We need the oldest human tools for this new landscape. This is an age of elemental magic, battling wizards, and capricious gods. To make sense of this world, the routers and servers need their own nymphs and dryads, cable lays need the Shinto river gods, and we need to see Coyote and Raven passing through the application layer, bickering and upsetting the world as they go, but eventually bringing us pieces of the sun.

These are the opening moments of a mythic age, a polytheistic age. The drab but reliable monotheism, the old man God, and the careful
and slow secular rationalism he engendered, then fought, kept order in the world for a long time. God and Secular Rationalism were both
cut from the same cloth, mostly by reasonable men with proper ways to go about things that made the world predictable, rational, reasonable, hierarchal. But they couldn’t run fast enough to catch us in the 21st century. We overwhelmed them with a trillion tiny imps, little daemon servants that spawned, made trouble, and died before an ant could so much as shake its legs. We can still hear the Old Man and Rationalism screaming in the ever receding distance behind us, and before us, a world of chaos and weird constructed and endlessly self constructing from their technological inventions.

Our laptops will live in the corners of our domiciles, and we will take them with us, like the ancestral Roman housegods. We will come to see programming as magical incantations: cantrips that make small things happen, or great and long rituals that can stop time or turn the world from light to dark. We increasingly live in fear of these magics, not understanding them, but knowing there are those few gifted and sinister humans who do.

And the stories we will have, of them, of us! In the coming years we are going to need many gods to make sense of this world. We will
write many new myths to teach our loved ones and keep them safe. With no chance of understanding it all, we will need superstitions to guide us through the forests of the net. We face the old magic of ghosts in our machines, the sympathetic magic of DNA samples, and the voodoo of control in true names. Any sufficiently advanced magic turns out to be indistinguishable from technology.

I encourage you to pick up one of the old religions, and an amulet against the evil eye– perhaps TOR + one of those lovely mediterranean glass beads. Read the old myths, and consider how they might be useful, how they are, in fact, true now. Find out the basic sigils that folks use in dark woods, and carry talismans against things that prey on network travelers in the downcycle night. We have ways for times like these, we just haven’t used them in a while. These are the things we need to dust off, gods and myths are
how we manage unmanageable nature– even if we supposedly built it. Without them, we are lost, outdated, clinging to old ways and being harvested by evil things that eat the slow and careful. Nature, even this strange network nature we’ve created, does not reduce, it does not compress, and like all free things, it is terribly dangerous.

Rationalism had its run, but it’s just not rational anymore.

Every One of Us Changes the World in One Way or Another

We are all raindrops. We might seem small and insignificant, but together we have the power of the world.

This is a quote by an unknown author from a book called What The Hell is Saint Louis Thinking? (2014). It’s an excellent book and I suggest you to read it. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?

I really think that this quote really covers it all. We all shape the world somehow. Maybe we did something important today, and maybe we didn’t. But even if we didn’t, we might have influenced the world in some indirect way, by bothering someone with our problems and taking their time that might have been spent doing something that might influence the world in a much larger way, or by giving some kind of a motivation to someone which will help him to do something significant.

I keep hearing that “I want to change the world” cliché and frankly, I’m sick of it. It’s not about changing the world, changing the world is something that you do while you’re thinking about changing the world. It’s about changing the world as much as you can. It’s about broadening your change to a much higher spectrum than the average person.

Every action that we take our ancestors took helped to the design the world we live in today. And we need to be quite careful because actions we do now will design the future for our future generations. And every action counts, be it a coffee with someone, writing this, programming something, going to a conference, spending the night drinking, or anything in between.

I’m going to end this with one more quote. I can’t remember where I read it and searching for it on the Internet did not gave me any usable result.

A man has two deaths. The first time when he physically dies, and the second time when his name is mentioned for the last time.

Run Your Own Copy of Pirate Bay Now!

Open Bay logoOK, so, as you probably already know, the official Pirate Bay was shut down 10 days ago. There are plenty of articles already covering this subject. I already stated my opinion on Pirate Bay disappearing for good, where I agreed with Peter Sunde (co-founder and ex-spokesperson of the Pirate Bay).

There are already some non-legit Pirate Bay clones like this one, the Pirate Bay has not been ressurrected – yet, the Pirate Bay crew itself does not know will the Pirate Bay come online or not, and researchers are currently working on making BitTorrent anonymous and impossible to shut down. It’s pretty obvious that the copyright industry has learned absolutely nothing in the least fifteen years.

The system now is messed up, but that hasn’t stopped people from sharing using their favorite technology.

Presenting: Open Bay

Out of all those alternatives that came online after the raid, one really stands out and it’s called Old Pirate Bay. So, why exactly did it stand out? Well, the whole point is that this copy is from a reputable source (isoHunt). Now, isoHunt is taking one step further by doing something Pirate Bay should have done a long time ago: they released the source code of Old Pirate Bay to the public and called it The Open Bay.

You can find all of the source code in the GitHub repository. You can host your own version of the Pirate Bay on your private server. You can even create your local torrent search engine, something I will try to do (if I manage to do that, there will be a tutorial on my blog on how to do that).

The point of doing this is simple: making pirates impossible to stop.

Issues

Of course, this brigs up so many issues.

  • How will we know what site is legit?
  • How will we update our torrent database?
  • How will we know what site does have an updated version of the torrent database?

These issues are yet to be resolved. If you do have some suggestions, leave them in the comments bellow or create an issue on the repository itself. Lets make pirating impossible to stop together!

Ljudi vam dosađuju pitanjima tipa kako postati haker? Evo rješenja

Uvod

Svako od nas se bar u jednom trenutku života zamislio kakav je osjećaj biti haker? Možda ste i pokušali da istražite malo tu temu, a nemate dovoljno dobro znanje engleskog jezika da bi pratili engleske tutorijale? Možda imate druga koji je vidio da koristite Linux i odma je pomislio da ste haker? Možda vodite blog post i dobijate konstanta pitanja tipa “Kako da hakujem Fejsbuk od svoje bivše”?

Ukoliko spadate u bilo koju od ovih skupina, velike su šanse da nemate baš dovoljno živaca, motivacije i želje da objašnjavate svakome šta znači ovaj pojam. Zbog toga sam odlučio da sve postove domaćih autora sakupim na jedno mjesto, tako da od sada kada god dobijete slično pitanje možete sagovorniku poslati jedan link i završiti sa diskusijom.

Predstavljam vam kako-postati-haker repozitorij

Ideja ovog repozitorija jeste da se na jednom mjestu objave linkovi prema svim tekstovima domaćih autora (bili oni na “našem” jeziku ili na engleskom) na ovu temu, da se poređaju smisleno i pravilno grupišu. Na ovaj način se kreira jedinstvena lista tekstova preko koje nove osobe mogu da nauče nešto više o ovom pojmu, te se na taj način skida teret sa nas ostalih da prelazimo iste teme više puta i oslobađa nam se vrijeme da radimo neke bitnije stvari (tipa rekompajliranje kernela).

Repozitorij sadrži samo linkove prema teksovima. Na taj način piscima nije uskraćen broj posjeta na njihovim web stranicama. Pored svakog teksta se nalazi i naziv autora, te link prema njegovoj službenoj web stranici.

Budući planovi

Trenutno imam samo jedan plan za budućnost ovog projekta, a taj plan jeste da listu postavim na sopstveni host umjesto da se listi pristupa GitHub repozotorij. Pošto trenutno nemam iznajmljen vlastiti host, kreiraću GitHub stranicu za projekat i predstaviti ga tamo u međuvremenu.

Kako doprinijeti projektu?

Doprinijeti projektu možete na više načina. Prvi način svakako jeste da pronađete tekstove na ovu temu i dodate ih na listu (ukoliko ne znate kako, jednostavno me kontaktirajte i ja ću to odraditi umjesto vas). Možete da dijelite ovaj repozitorij ili pišete o njemu pa da na taj način više ljudi sazna za njega. Možete da pišete originalan sadržaj na ovu temu da popunite praznine. Možete da mi pomognete da napravim web stranicu projekta učestvovanjem u izradi HTML verzije stranice ili dijeljenjem svojih hosting resursa za ovu svrhu.

Tekstovi koji neće biti primljeni

Dozvoljeni su samo tekstovi prema kojima čitaoc nije dužan da se registruje na neki sajt da bi ih pročitao.

Is It Time For The Pirate Bay to Disappear For Good?

Selection_002

So, a few days ago, The Pirate Bay was raided. The site itself is still not online and we have no indications whether or not it will come back online. There’s a lot of fake sites that advertise themselves as The Pirate Bay, but are basically of no use (users can’t upload new torrents, the database of torrents is either too old or don’t work at all).

I myself can’t figure out do I want The Pirate Bay to stay down or to come back online. So, why am I saying that?

Well, first of all, the fact is that The Pirate Bay had a huge influence in making the world what it is today (I will probably cover that topic in some future blog post). But, lets be honest, the design of the website is way too old, the code behind the website is pretty outdated too, and there’s nothing new going on on the site itself for quite some time.

If we look at those flaws, we can basically say that the site itself got ran over by time. But don’t get me wrong, The Pirate Bay itself did an excellent job at what it was supposed to do. It had the biggest torrent collection available on the Internet, it had the biggest reputation amongst all other peer-to-peer (P2P) services, and it is one of the top 100 visited websites at the moment (according to Alexa).

So, maybe it’s time for something new? Peter Sunde, co-founder and ex-spokesperson of The Pirate Bay definitely agrees with me on that.

Peter Sunde: It feels good that it might have closed down forever, just a real shame the way it did that. A planned retirement would have given the community time and a way to kick off something new, something better, something faster, something more reliable and with no chance of corrupting itself. Something that had a soul and could retain it.

Is the Old Pirate Bay exactly what we’re looking for? Old Pirate Bay is a search engine provided by Isohunt, one of the biggest competitors to The Pirate Bay.

The design of the site feels like it’s an upgraded version of The Pirate Bay. The site works perfectly and the workflow of the site is pretty much the same as in The Pirate Bay.

I have to agree with Peter, it is time for The Pirate Bay to shutdown completely, and it is the time for the community to think of something new and original to revolutionize the way we share files. The Pirate Bay did it job perfectly for over a decade and now seems like a perfect time for it do disappear from the Internet. In the meantime, Old Pirate Bay seems like a pretty decent alternative.

Interesting read by Peter Sunde: I went to jail for my cause. What did you do?