Switched to Arc

I wrote about Arc browser earlier here. At that time, I was still on macOS catalina, version of macOS not supported by many, including brew and Arch browser. Now that I have successfully upgraded - I was able to get Arc working on my personal machine as well. I did not wish to make this default on my work machine - wasn’t sure if it was supported (based on Chromium, so it should work, still if something does not work, getting support from IT won’t be easy.

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→ Zed Editor

My colleague told me about this new editor written in rust yesterday. The feaure page mentioned vim-mode, so I was OK to try it.

It seems collaboration is their USP - I don’t see using that feature personally anytime soon.

So what about rest of the features ?

My first impression is that it can be light alternative to VSCode. It has similar UI structure, default keymap as VScode. It supports few languages Out of the box, Ruby being one of them, so I may try it at work as well.

Coming back to vim-mode - the reason for which I even was ready to try it. It was not easy to enable it. I had expected to find it under keymap.

But vim-mode is restricted to modal editing, so one needs to enable it via settings.json (similar to VScode) and set "vim-mode": true there. Other things - not related to modal editing, but I have come to rely upon - like : commands to save (:w), or :1 to jump to the beginning of the file, do not work.1

Opening new file wasn’t intuitive. It closed the existing file. There is no New tab either.

But after adding the folder to the project and opening anotehr file from the same project, opened it in separate tab. 😌

In conclusion :

  1. Good attempt to provide VScode alternative. Because it is a native app, it will be faster than Electron app
  2. This is not meant to be terminal app anyway. So for modal editing in terminal, I will stick to helix

  1. Cmd+S to save the file, and ^G to goto line/column ↩︎


I have written earlier that I’ve started using VSCode occasionally for work. Finding files and find-in-files is much better and faster. But I do miss modal editing. That is where VSpaceCode comes in. VSpaceCode is Spacemacs like keybindings for Visual Studio Code I had come across VSpaceCode almost two years ago I was using VSCodium at that time (hoping it is faster than VSCode - it isn’t - on my old machine) and could not install VSpaceCode.

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NANO Minemacs

In my earlier post I had mentioned that I might try combining NANO emacs features with Minemacs - which is my current Emacs setup. NANO emacs README has instructions for manual install which is what I ended up doing. There is a separate repo just for the NANO theme, but somehow it did not work for me. Instead, cloning the NANO emacs repo, and adding “just enough"™️ configuration to Minemacs worked for me.

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→ The Arc Browser

Finally, got the access to the Arc browser.

Quick overview of what it is.

It is build on top of Chromium browser engine. But adds difference experience altogether. Benefit of using Chromium is that most of the extensions that work with Google Chrome already work. In fact, one installs the extensions from Google Chrome webstore itself 😄

Most awesome feature that made me want to try it is that it will Auto-close inactive tabs after 12 hours (default - can be increased to 24 hours, 7 or 30 days)

They have and publicize the keyboard shortcuts. All browsers have keyboard shortcuts, but other the usual ones to open and close new window/tab, I hardly use any.

I also tried Notes that can be shared with anyone. I’m unlikely to use the share functionality. But the Easel - which allows drawing (and sharing) - seems interesting.

The concept of Little Arc is interesting. It is a smaller (hence Little) floating browser window.

They also have split view which I’m yet to explore. Seems useful when using bigger monitor.

If you want to try it yourself, here is an invite link

→ Nano Emacs

NANO emacs looks quite amazing, polished. Unfortunately, evil-mode is not turned ON by default.

One thing I’m going to try is to combine NANO theme (and some related packages) with Minemacs.

Minemacs has evil mode and keybindings which are close to Doom and I had no problem switching to it.

NANO emacs README has instructions on how to install just the theme and other parts, so that might do the trick.


→ Memos: A lightweight, self-hosted memo hub

I’m not sure what the main feature of this app.

Memos can be anything

Somewhere it says “Twitter like”, and it does have different visibility settings. Default being “Only visible to you”, but it can be changed.

It also has user management, so it may be useful for say family with 3-5 users, may be smaller start up 🤷‍♂

I think the best part is ability to self-host. Maybe on Rpi, or in house server (If considering for family)

For a small startup, cheap host may be better.

All the data is stored inside ~/.memos folder locally, which is mounted inside docker container.

Docker seems to be the only officially supported/documented/the easiest option to get started. They also have well written document for deploying to render (I might try it if I stay with it for a while - or not 😄)

Since all the data is stored in ~/.memos (in a SQLite DB, if it matters) it is very easy to migrate to different machine.

Currently, my real .memos folder resides inside Dropbox, and a symlink from ~ points to this real folder. So I can access/update the same data from two different machines (I tested it, it works)

→ Minemacs

I came across this new starter configuration, described as “Minimal Emacs config for daily use” via Sacha Chua’s Weekly Emacs Newsletter 1 If you are Emacs user, you should subscribe. You don’t have to share your email unless you want to. She shares the links on Mastodon2 (and other social apps)

Back to Minemacs 😄

It supports emacs versions 28.2 and above (But I got it working with 28.13)

It is kinda refreshing. Doom Emacs is quite solid, and I’ve tweaked it to my liking over the years, but wanted to try something new.

The developer is very responsive.

I also discovered org-roam by perusing through source code. (Hopefully another post about org-roam soon)

I think you should give it a try.

→ D2 Playground

I’m not sure whether they launched this recently, or it was always there (As in since I looked at D2 couple weeks ago)

Nevertheless, it is quite nice.

If one is not used to CLI and/or does not wish to (or can not, due to permission on say work machine) install it locally, then playground the best option.

It has all the options the CLI provides (At least the most widely used options)

One can

What else do you need ? 😄

The playground also has sample code right below it, so one does not need to refer to the documentation (Especially during initial days when one is still figuring things out)

Emacs D2 Mode

It was only a matter of time before there was Emacs mode for D2 😆 and here it is. I’m yet to try it though.