The Personal Blog of Bradon Kanyid
Movie List

Well, this is my first more personal post on the site. It’s just a short list of movies that I am planning to watch with a few friends from school.

Evil-mode (Part 1)

I’ve been using vim for the last 4 years regularly as my text editor, and in many ways, vim has permiated all the other tools I use. In any application that I can, I will use vi/vim bindings if they are offered. I use vi-mode emulation in my terminal shell, zsh. I use a vim emulation layer in Firefox called Pentadactyl. I use a pdf reader called mupdf that has vim bindings, and the list goes on. Since learning the programming language Clojure, though, I’ve been interested in learning the text editor emacs, as there are a lot of Clojure tools designed around emacs. I still have no idea what I’m doing, nonetheless…

Evil-mode is a thing!

Evil-mode is an installable addon for emacs that recreates the familiar (to me) environment and keybindings of vim, all while allowing the emacs thing at the same time. At this time, I really can’t say much about the emacs thing, but I’m hoping that being able to start from something so familiar will allow me to have my cake and eat it too. Now, how about a little bit about installation.


I’m going to assume you’re coming from vim, like me, and have a fresh emacs install. As I understand it, starting at emacs version 24, a package management system is built in. This is called packages.el. Unfortunately, the default package repository that comes with emacs is very limited, and doesn’t offer the evil-mode package. On first run of emacs, it will create a directory called .emacs.d in your homedir. Adding the following lines to ~/.emacs.d/init.el (which you will need to create) will add the ‘marmalade’ repository, which offers many more packages.

Setting Up This Blog

Ok, so my name is Bradon Kanyid, and I’m a Senior Computer Engineering student at Portland State University in the [Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science ]. I have a lot of interests, mostly computer-related. At the end of fall quarter, I decided that it would be useful to start documenting projects and things I enjoy somewhere online.

Where to start?

I decided to make this blog, but definitely do not have a lot of prior webdev experience. I’ve made little internal pages for work and such, but never really looked into hosting, domain registration, frameworks, or anything of the sort. I started asking my fellow students and CAT members, and decided that the best thing for me would be to get my own VPS, register my own domain name, and find a static HTML site generator.

Virtual Private Server

A friend at school was talking up BuyVM as a VPS solution, mainly because the price is so awesome. For $15/year, I could have an OpenVZ VM sitting on the Internet that I have root on. The main restriction of the $15 VM is that it is limited to only 128MB of RAM, ‘burstable’ to 256MB for short times. The BuyVM availability is also limited. When I first attempted to purchase a VM, their website said that they were \”sold out\”. Apparently, it’s common for VPS providers to over-provision. That is, even though each customer is supposed to have a guaranteed amount of memory (in my case, 128MB/256MB), the VPS provider has less RAM than the sum of the customers’ guarantees. BuyVM doesn’t over-provision, so they make sure they have the resources before selling more VMs. Luckily, I only needed to wait a day for more VMs to become available. Once my VM was purchased, I had to decide on a few things, including which distribution to use. Initially, I thought I would use Arch Linux, as this is the distro I use on my personal computers. However, it quickly became apparent that Arch Linux was not a viable choice with the pre-packaged version they offer for OpenVZ. It was built circa 2010, and Arch’s rolling-release model doesn’t really lend itself to old installs. Since Arch was out, I had the option of either CentOS, Debian, or Ubuntu. I am more familiar with Debian-based distros, so it was really down to Ubuntu or Debian. I had never used Debian before, but was hearing good things about it from the same friend who recommended that I look into BuyVM, so I figured that if I ran into any problems with BuyVM + Debian, I’d have a friend who could help.