Blog | Hendrik Erz


Telemetry, Data Privacy, and Zettlr

A few days ago, a scandal erupted in the Open Source Community: After being acquired by the Muse group, the free audio editor Audacity was supposed to receive an update that would include telemetry in the app. And users didn't like that. So today I want to talk about telemetry, what it is, and how the Audacity debacle prompted me to finally purge any form of data transmission from Zettlr myself.

Update: Setting up Python, numpy, and PyTorch natively on Apple M1

A few months ago I received my first MacBook with an M1 chip – a.k.a.: It uses the ARM-architecture instead of the default Intel-architecture that most modern computers use. Back then I told you that installing PyTorch is a pain; and back then it was because the ecosystem wasn't fully adapted to the fact that suddenly MacBooks could also have ARM instruction sets. However, in the past six months, lots has changed. As I'm getting more and more emails by people asking whether or not my old instructions still hold true, I've decided it's time for an update.

On Electron, the Bloated Web, and Trade-Offs

After a short discussion on the Zettlr issue tracker about possibilities of making the app portable, I began a quick Google search about how to actually do that. Instead of finding ways of creating a portable version of an Electron app, I found a rabbit hole. And it was a rabbit hole I know by heart, because I've followed it down many, many times. It's a story about the bloat of the web and why Electron is bad. Here I ponder about the thought of efficiency, and why certain trade-offs are sometimes beneficial.

Bitwise Flags are Beautiful, and Here’s Why

This is an article I've been wanting to write for a long time. Programming and writing code is often about efficiency: It has to work, and that's it. But there is more to code. Sometimes, it can be very beautiful, and there are a few patterns and capabilities of code that make it almost like art. Today I want to devote a full article to one such concept: Bitwise flags.

I stopped Measuring my Time, and you should too

We live in a very data-centric world and like to measure everything, from the steps we take each day to the time we spend online. While measuring steps can simply prompt you to walk more (especially during a pandemic where it’s normal to not leave the house on many days) sometimes measuring can have detrimental results. I had one of these experiences just recently, and therefore would like to warn you sometimes not to measure yourself.


A hashtag has appeared on the German Twitter trends yesterday. #IchBinHanna, or “I am Hanna” is a hashtag born out of a promotional video by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), promoting the alleged benefits of one of the most detrimental laws in German academia: The WissenschaftsZeitVertragsGesetz (WissZeitVG). This article explains what it is, why it is detrimental, and closes with a showcase of all those people who deserve to be heard.

What the Hell is LiDAR?

There is a rumour around that Apple will allegedly introduce LiDAR sensors into the iPhone 13. In this article, I want to debunk that mystery. If Apple is reasonable, they won’t introduce LiDAR sensors to their iPhones. Here, I give you the reasons why that is the case. I explain what LiDAR sensors are, why the rumour might have begun, and why it doesn’t hold.

How I work, Part VIII: Calendar, Task Scheduling and Organisation

At least since Marie Kondo became famous, everything sparks joy – but only, if you do it right. Organising anything is hard, and especially if you have a part-time OCD and can’t stand things littering around, it becomes even more important to get the right tools for the job. In this article, I want to dump unto you my collected knowledge of how to organise the universe!

« Le Bricoleur »

If you have visited this page in the past, you might’ve noticed some hiccups over the past weeks. The reason is that the CMS which runs this site has been completely locked up, so I searched for an alternative, which I found, only to be pointed towards a fork of that very CMS which remains Open Source a few days later. In this article, I give you a small update of what happened, why it happened, and I also go over a few changes and additions to the site itself.

Writer’s Block

This week’s article is about a sudden realisation I had this week: Writer’s block. We’ve all had our share of writer’s block, and there are plenty of articles out there. I’m not going to tell you how to get out of it in very much detail, since — as I said — there’s already a lot of good and valuable info out there. Rather, I’m gonna reflect upon the kind of writer’s block I had and why I strongly suspect that writer’s block necessarily correlates with the amount of text you write.

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