Category: technology

Federate the WordPress. How cool!

Federate the WordPress. How cool!

I introduced you to the Fediverse in a previous post, and how cool that is. Basically it allows different platforms (websites) to communicate with each other. Something like a Twitter user being able to follow a Facebook or Youtube users, and vice-versa. Not only that, but comment/reshare and overall interact with the other users. Imagine a Twitter user following a Facebook user, and seeing their posts on their Twitter newsfeed and being able to comment, like, or reshare it. And the Facebook user to receive all of that feedback. The Twitter user comments on the Facebook post via the Twitter newsfeed, and the Facebook user sees the comment on the Facebook platform. So they can communicate with each other. That’s  extremely important for a saner and more robust internet.

Of course, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the like won’t give a fuck about such a thing. But lots of people have built alternatives to these platforms that do just that. Ok, you get it, I explained it in the post I linked above. So let’s move on.

These Federated platforms are in many shapes and forms, built in different ways. So, you choose it. But WordPress is perhaps the most well know platform that people use to build websites. And it is so easy to set up a WordPress website and manage it. It is click and install. And then you have access to a fuck ton of plugins to make the website as you want. For example all of our projects, except and, are built with WordPress. meaning, this website,,, and the directory,, They look in a diferent way and they even serve different purposes.


My website is more of a blog, but I also have video and photo galleries. is more of content-driven website with books, videos, documentaries, curated news and such. You can’t comment there, you mainly see what we create. VideoNeat is specifically designed to be a sort of encyclopedia of hand-curated documentaries/lectures/movies that are scientific. While is a website designed for an Operating System from where you can even install apps on your TROMjaro OS.

You get it, WordPress (WP) is a powerful tool to create any kind of website that you want, with 0 coding knowledge.

So then, wouldn’t it be cool if WP would become federated and communicate with all of those platforms? All of those social networks? Well, it can. And it is easy as flies.

ActivityPub is one of the “backbone” of the Fediverse. There are many such out there, but this one is new, shinny, and used by most of the well known platforms. Thanks to the plugin ActivityPub, WP transforms from a slow moving caterpillar that stays on one leaf, in one tree, into a butterfly that jumps from tree to tree. If you have a WP website, install that and I’ll give you a few tips of what to do after.

But first.

What this is doing is opening the doors for WP to talk to the other platforms. Basically, your post and pages (and more if you have custom stuff) can be sent to others on the Fediverse as posts. So imagine this: I have a Frriendica profile (sort of a Facebook profile, but sane and better). And then I follow (this website) by adding the Federated ID. Whenever there is a new post on I will see that in my Friendica newsfeed just like any other post from anyone that I follow there. That’s great, But what’s better is that I can even drop a comment on that post from Friendica, and the comment will go to the WP post itself. It should also work for me, the one behind, to reply via my WP site to this comment and for the comment to go back to Friendica. Right now this doesn’t work but they are working on it, to make it possible. In other words, anyone from the Fediverse can follow my blog via their platforms (Friendica, Mastodon, etc.) and of they like/comment on any of my WP posts, I can see that, and in the near future even reply to them and they can see the replies, so we can communicate with each other.

Another feature of the Fediverse is to send private messages. They are also working to integrate that with WP so that anyone from the Fediverse ca send you a private message and you’ll get it in your WP dashboard or perhaps directly to your email that you have for your WP install.

And so, this is what the Federated WP is doing: allowing your WP website to be followed by anyone on the Fediverse (granted their platforms use ActivityPub), and to comment/interact with your WP posts.


1. Install ActivityPub and set it up.

Simply install and activate. The go to Settings – ActivityPub. The first settings is to set up how you want your post to be displayed in people’s feeds. I chose Custom for my website since I wanted to tweak it a bit, such as to write “NEW BLOG POST” and make that bold, to add the excerpt and encourage people to read it fully on my website (since it may not format well on some Federated platforms) and such. This is easy, see my example. If you don’t want to bother with that, simply select one of the predefined options.

And bellow it, select the type of Activity-Object. I left it Note since it seems to be the recommended one. The last settings are about what you want to broadcast on the Fediverse. I chose only the posts. But you can even broadcast when you upload images and such. Which is cool.

And lastly, for the young generation of hashes, you can enable the tags :). So your post tags transform into hashtags for the cool kids to click on them. You can block domains from following you as well. But why do you want that!?

2. Tweak your profile.

Your WP user acts as the profile of your Federated WP. So go to Users – Profile. Add your Bio and all of those goodies if you want, so that they appear in your Federated profile. I recommend installing 2 other plugins: WP User Avatar | User Profile Picture and Username Changer. So that you can change your username if you want to make it prettier, and your profile photo. Like me:

When someone will add you to their Federated network, they’ll see all that. Here’s how it looks on Friendica:

Side note: your federated ID is your profile ID basically. So you can have multiple users, and the content that is federated is, of course, based on what your user posts.

3. Share your Federated “ID”.

In the same WP Profile Settings, at the bottom, you’ll see this:

And that’s your “ID”, or Identifier. Send this to anyone who wants to follow you on the Fediverse. As easy as that.

And you’re done!

On my “follow” page I now provide 3 methods for anyone to keep in touch with whatever I do: Fediverse, RSS, and eMail. That’s super cool. And it is up to you how you want to follow my stuff.

I’ve now done the same for videoneat, tromjaro, and the trade-free directory.….is used in a different way so it doesn’t make sense to integrate it with the Fediverse. What is posted there is not done via the traditional WP methods…so will see about that in the future. But if you follow the above links, you can follow our projects closely, via the Fediverse, RSS, or eMail. Fediverse is more like: I follow and I interact. RSS is like: I just follow. And eMail is for: I’m lazy so just send me an email when you do something :).

Why is this important after all?

It is true, you can follow our WP websites via RSS on Friendica for example, and all of our work via our main Friendica page, but if you simply want to follow only one of our projects and interact with, then you can do it now. It is also important for people who just want a more complex and customized personal place in the inter-webs, like a WP website, but they want to open the door to the Fediverse. I think that’s great!

It also makes the posts on teh Fediverse look better. Before I was using the RSS to pull posts from videoneat, tromjaro, or the trade-free directory to our TROM Friendica page. Now I use ActivityPub. And they look better:

Pulled from RSS – shows no thumbnail or image. Just a simple plain text.

Pulled directly from ActivityPub WP. Pulls custom text + excerpt + image + link. Much better.

The Beginner’s guide to Friendica

The Beginner’s guide to Friendica

I wrote this blog recently about what the Fediverse is and why it is so awesome, together with how I created a monster to automate our Friendica TROM page and my personal account to post everywhere (Facebook, Twitter, TROM Live, my Live). Yesterday we had a really great TROMcast with the people behind Friendica and Mastodon, and And I want to write a brief “beginner guide” to Friendica, because I love Friendica :). And the people behind the project are super friendly.

First of all, make an account to give it a try.

There are many “instances” so you can choose whichever. I personally recommend It works great and the guy behind the project seems like a very nice human. Register and wait for approval. I know, it seems like a pain in the ass to wait for approval, but trust me on this. It is going to be a fast approval and they do that so that they keep these instances nice and clean. Your account will be approved 100%.

Tweak your account.

After you are approved simply go through your settings and set up stuff. It is a lot better than Facebook and easier to grasp and very clean. You can choose to block content based on language, words, you can choose who can see your posts and such. It is up to you how you set this up. Take it easy. No rush. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, and you can do any changes in time. It is your baby dear.

Start to follow people and organizations.

This is what you are there for. But how can you find them? Don’t be like a hungry bear that goes into a house and wants to eat everything it finds, and if it does not find much, it goes away. Be a nice, civilized, and sane bear and you’ll get to eat in that house very good food and not get fat. For starters you can follow us, people from TROM. Sasha, Shas, Aaron, me, Alexio and more importantly our TROM page. Then look through our contact list and add more people. Let it grow slowly and organically. In the contacts settings, you can search people based on interests (keywords). Let it grow slowly and I mean that. You may be used with Facebook and the crazy of influx of information that engulfs your entire life. This is a way for you to start as brand new and meet new people. It is like moving from New York (facebook) to a small nice village. You’ll see, life is better there ;).

The awesome part that keeps me personally there.

Friendica opens the doors to pretty much any Federated network. Say you find a Mastodon account in the wild. Copy the url to your Friendica search bar then simply follow them. Do the same for any other Federated network. Now you can interact with these people (send private messages, see their posts in your feed, comment to them, like, share, etc.).

Follow websites!

Yah! You can. Pretty much any website (since most have an RSS feed). Copy our url, or,,,, or any other that you like, into the contacts page and just follow. You’ll get to see the posts in your feed whenever these websites post new stuff. How cool! You can also tweak the settings for each such website, individually. For example you can set up how frequently you get updates from them, if you want to get a notification when they post something new, or format how the posts should look like.

At times, if these websites support it, you can see their entire articles in you feed so no need to go to their websites. I recommend you select “fetch information and keywords” so you get to see their posts as a summary and link to the original article. And lastly, you can select to auo-reshare any of these websites’ posts on your profile if you wish. Or as your own posts.

Follow Twitter!

If you have a Twitter account, now is the time to never use but use it through your Friendica. Go to Settings – Social Networks and click the Twitter tab. Connect to your Twitter (easy, a few seconds). Now you should choose “allow posting on twitter” and “import the remote timeline”. Why? Because now if you want to follow someone on Twitter, simply copy their twitter url, the entire thing, into the same contacts page and follow them. And you’ll see their posts in your timeline. Easy.

You can reply to these Twitter accounts from Friendica and interact with them from there. Super cool. I already follow a few Twitter accounts and works great.

Follow Facebook pages and more!
You cannot follow people/pages from Facebook in a “native” and interactive way, but there is a way you can do that when these are public. Go to our RSS-Bridge service here. Search for Facebook Bridge | Main Site. Now click “show more”. And add a Facebook page name that you want to follow as I showcase bellow. “username” is the page name.

Now click “Html”. You will be redirected to a new page where you can see the posts of that page as such.

Right click the Mrss and then Copy Link. That’s all. Now you have the RSS link of that Facebook page. Go to your contacts page and add it there. Then click “connect”. Same as adding any contacts or websites.

And that’s how you can follow Facebook pages or public profiles. Use that RSS-Bridge. You cannot comment/interact with these, but well…at least you can follow them. I suggested to Friendica-friendy developers to add the RSS-Bridge as an addon to Friendica, so that if you want to follow a user/page to be as easy as pasting the facebook URL into the “add new contact” form, and the rest is magic.

Follow the entire internet!

Follow Youtube, WordPress plugins updates, Wikipedia daily article or “did you know?”, VK pages, Vimeo, photos from Unsplash, you can even follow Twitter users and pages without an account or even follow hashtags….you can follow Telegram public groups, or when new stuff is added to the BitTorrent network (like say you want to know when a new episode from whatever documentary series you like, is available on torrents). Follow Sub-Reddits, or even PornHub; follow the latest releases on FDroid and sooo much more. I am telling you, this RSS-Bridge is amazing and you can use it as a proxy for connecting your Friendica to pretty much the entire internet.

So yah…slowly you can add up as much stuff to your friends/follows as you want. Create a stream of what you love from the entire Internet.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the like, thought people that they should be spoon fed. You wait for them to feed you, and that led to a world where what you consume is always what these platforms are feeding you. And they do that based on their own interests, not yours. And you end up being unable to control that spoon ->>

It takes a bit of time to move to a place like Friendica. But not as much as you might think. However, you have to get used to feed yourself. Grab that spoon. Choose your food. You will see that it makes a huge difference in the long term.


Moving from Ubuntu to Manjaro + testing Windows after 6 years of using Linux

Moving from Ubuntu to Manjaro + testing Windows after 6 years of using Linux

Ubuntu is an operating system that relies on Canonical (the company) to survive and evolve and this is not good. They have added Amazon to their search and as an “app” in Ubuntu and recently they added an opt out data collection, which basically means they collect data about users unless users “opt out”. Why not add it as “opt in”? Sure, they say they only want to see what users are using in order to improve Ubuntu but this is a very slippery slope and Ubuntu has proven in the past that they are not all about “open source”, but they also have to be about “making money”. Anyways, I found a better Linux distribution: Manjaro. I tested several other distros before finally deciding to Manjaro.

Ubuntu is based on Debian and Manjaro on Arch Linux. So, at their core, they are different, but for a user like you and me they are not.

4 reasons why I moved from Ubuntu to Manjaro:

  1. I don’t like that Ubuntu relies on a company for funding and development. Manjaro seems more “decentralized” in that regards.
  2. Manjaro is newer and faster – it uses 50% less RAM on my laptop than Ubuntu did. Also, to have access to the latest releases of kernels and software is always a great advantage.
  3. Manjaro is a rolling release. Meaning you get updates all the time, forever. Ubuntu had major releases ever two years or so.
  4. Manjaro’s repositories and package manager (software center): if you enable AUR repository in Manjaro (super easy to do) then you have access to pretty much any software that is available on Linux. In Ubuntu I ended up manually adding lots of software via “ppa” or install it via deb files, flatpak, appimages or snaps, and it became a monster. In Manjaro is as easy as opening the “software center”, search for an app, and install. That’s all.

Therefore Manjaro is much faster, is super stable so far, I can find any Linux software I need and want, and it is pretty much at the “bleeding edge” of software and kernel releases. It also has a few of its own tools that makes it easier for you to install any drivers you need. And honestly it feels like it is a “one piece” thing. No more going on websites to find deb files to install on Ubuntu or add ppas and use the terminal for that. Anyways, I love Manjaro and I will be doing some videos to showcase how to install and set up, what customizations I did to my Manjaro and stuff like that. So, subscribe to my ytb channel for that. And, like with pretty much all Linux distros that I tried, installing Manjaro was a pain in the ass because of my Nvidia graphic card. I spent some 2 days without being able to boot into the distro, and I had to “hack” it a bit to work with the help of the great Manjaro community. It is not Manjaro’s fault, it is Nvidia’s fault who is shitty about providing an open source driver for its graphic card, or a proper proprietary one. Here are a few screenshots and a long video I did about testing Windows 10 again and comparing it to Linux (Manjaro and Solus).


And here’s a HUGE video I made: Trying Windows 10 again after 6 years of using Linux (Windows vs Manjaro vs Solus)

[ytp_video source=”SbZ9g1xH-hs”]

Ditching Gmail for Thunderbird

Ditching Gmail for Thunderbird

My quest of using only FOSS (free and open source software) continues. One of the things I could not change over the years was to move to a new email client. I used Gmail for the past many many years where all of my email addresses were flocked, and some big advantages were that it was super easy: to set up, to manage, to compose mail, to send files, to filter spam, to everything. Making a gmail account and then using gmail is super easy too. But gmail sucks – it reads your emails for different purposes (like serving ads) and it is not encrypted + is limited. Plus is owned by Google and you can have your account shut down by them for various reasons, like they closed one of mine and then reopened it in 3 months. So, fuck Google! 🙂

Ok. First thing first I have my own emails for my own and domains and I need a mail client to manage them. Thunderbird! Free and open source, and the most known and good of them all. I tried it many times before but it did an awful job at filtering Spam and it looked like it was made in 1994. But now I managed to change both things.

Dealing with SPAM.

I get tons of spam email for both of my mail addresses. To fix that, install Thunderbird, go to Edit > Account Preferences > Junk Settings. Now use SpamAssassin for sorting the junk. In Thunderbird, Spam is called Junk.

Now the key to this is to train the Junk filter for a few days, even weeks. Mark the Spam emails as Junk as often as you can. At first, can be annoying but the system must learn what is Junk and what’s not. To mark them just press “J”. When I added my emails to Thunderbird I was inundated with Junk and I thought I can’t train the filter for so much shit emails that I want to mark as Junk. Thing is I mark Facebook notifications as Junk alongside Twitter, and other such sources that are not on anyone’s list as “spam” emails, so I need to train the filter to understand that for me these are SPAM. I have to train this for my needs. But I found a simple solution: sort all your emails by “correspondents” – now select in bulk the correspondents (mail addresses) you consider Junk and mark them as Junk. So I selected hundreds like that in bulk and marked as Junk. Now the system had a lot of data to know how to sort my emails, but it was not enough. For the next days, I had to keep an eye on the system, on both the Inbox and the Junk folder. In Inbox I would mark any new email I considered as Junk, and in Junk I would “un-mark” any email that was not Junk. After just a few days the Junk filter started to do wonders and 99% of the new Spam emails ended up in the Junk folder. However, there were several good emails ending up in the Junk folder so I had to un-mark them as Junk. Basically from time to time the system will mark good email as Junk so you have to say “No no no, this is good mail.”.

Point is the system works wonders, as good or even better than Gmail, but you have to train it. Thunderbird recommends to keep a close eye daily for about 2 weeks, then for the next months look at the Junk folder at least once a week to see if there is any good email who ended up there.

Right now with SpamAssassin and after training the system for about a week, my Junk filter works wonders. I am so happy because this was the no1 reason I could not give up Gmail.


Make Thunderbird look cool.

Here’s how the original Thunderbird looks like:

not my screenshot

And this is how mine looks like:

Much nicer :). Problem is, this is not straight forward to setup. Here’s what I did it:

  1. Download a theme pack from Github. More info here.
  2. Extract it to a particular Thunderbird folder. For Ubuntu: /home/[user]/.thunderbird/[random letters and numbers].default/
  3. Rename the folder from “thunderbird-monterail” to “chrome”
  4. Now that you’ve done all of this, go to the new “chrome” folder and find the file “userChrome.css” – that’s what you have to slightly edit. Find the line that says “@import “themes/system.css”; and replace “system” with the name of the theme you want, and save the file. That’s it. They have several and they all look slick. Here they are:





So if you add “monterail” instead of “system” then your Thunderbird will look like in the image above. Don’t forget to restart Thunderbird after you edit the file.

But I made mine a bit better becuase although these themes look nice, once you go to menus and the compose window they look a bit odd. Maybe it also depends on what desktop theme you have installed. So, I went to Thunderbird Addons (from the menu) and installed the Theme “TT DeepDark”. Activate it. Now using the above tutorial use the “fulldark” theme. Right now Thunderbird combines the two themes (“fulldark” +”TT DeepDark”) to make a more complete one.

Here’s the original “fulldark” version:

Here’s mine:

The slight top left button changes fit better on my version but the biggest difference is with the composer window. Here’s their version and notice how those grey left buttons are very odd. You can’t even read what they are all about. Also the buttons for editing the text are hardly noticeable.

My version:

See? Small but important changes. And I only combined two themes, that’s all.

It is weird that you have to hack this tool to make it look 2018, but the good news is that Thunderbird developers already work on a new version of the app (see here) – it is in Beta now – and it will look more modern out of the box, interestingly enough using the designs above.

So now I have my own FOSS email client to manage my emails. Awesome! I also installed 2 more tools to encrypt emails. First is GnuPG (sudo apt-get install gpa) and second is Enigmail (sudo apt-get install enigmail) (source). Install these, restart Thunderbird, and follow the steps from here to set them up (2 min setup). Now you can also send and receive encrypted email, though only with those who support email encryption. In my case not many. Basically I can send and receive encrypted mail, but others can’t. The others suck, not me and my Thunderbird :D.

Anyhow, I say give up Gmail for Thunderbird because it’s worth it. Or for that matter give up any email client and use the big T :).