Jeremy Herve That's me. And my blog. In English and in French. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:35:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jeremy Herve 32 32 53262711 On Repeat Today: Des Visages Des Figures, Noir Désir Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:35:47 +0000 Noir Désir. In France, it’s the band of a generation. Thinking back on my teenage years, 4 French rock bands immediately come to mind: Indochine, Mano Negra, Louise Attaque, and Noir Désir.

It’s hard to pick a specific song. They had so many hits. If I had to pick a few, Un Jour En France would definitely be one of the first. There was also L’Homme Pressé; Tostaky; Aux sombres héros de l’amer. But their last album, Des visages des figures, was my favourite. It was calmer, and I listened to it over and over again. Like I will today. :)

I can’t pick just one song; I’ll give you 3. Enjoy!

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From Mac to Ubuntu: getting rid of the desktop icon in the app switcher Wed, 08 Feb 2017 15:22:15 +0000 Yesterday I mentioned how muscle memory was the hardest thing to beat when switching OSes. Here is another quick tip that you’ll love if you’re switching from Mac to Ubuntu and if like me, you’re a Cmd+Tab Alt+tab addict.

When working on a Mac, quickly hitting and releasing Cmd+Tab switches you back to the app you were previously using. It’s super efficient when working in 2 different apps and when you must keep going from one to the other, to copy and paste data for example.

Ubuntu offers something almost identical, but with one key difference: the first app in the switcher isn’t the last used app, it’s the desktop.

Ubuntu / Unity default app switcher

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t care less about my desktop: I don’t need to see it, and even if some files are stored on my desktop I can access them via the finder.

Luckily, I found the Unity Tweak Tool app. Among other things, it allows you to remove the Desktop Icon from the App Switcher.

Unity App switcher with the Desktop icon

💥! One saved key press, and another step to get my sanity back!

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From Mac to Ubuntu: Cmd vs. Ctrl Tue, 07 Feb 2017 12:01:43 +0000 It’s the little things. So far, switching from Mac to Ubuntu has been relatively painless; most of the apps I use every day are cross-platform. There is, however, one thing that’s been bugging me a lot: Ctrl.

You see, for the past 9 years my fingers have learnt a few basic truths:
Command + Tab switches between apps.
Command + C copies, regardless of the app I’m using (even in Terminal).
Command + V pastes, and so on and so on. X, T, R, L, W, Q, A, S are all keys I used dozens of times every day in combination with the Cmd key.
Control is only used for a few selected keyboard shortcuts in specific apps.
Control is super important in Terminal; it gives me a ton of useful functionality in programs like nano, my editor of choice (yeah yeah, I know, I should use vim).

This is all great for me, and I don’t have to think about it anymore; muscle memory takes care of everything.

That is, until I decided to switch to another OS for a month. On Ubuntu it’s all different:

  • To switch between apps, you have to use Alt + Tab.
  • There is no Command key. Instead I got a “Super key” that triggers different things depending on the key you combine it with.
  • All the Cmd combinations above have been replaced with Control + Something.
  • To avoid conflicts with terminal programs, to copy or paste in the terminal you have to use Ctrl + Shift + C or V.



After a few Google searches, I started playing with xmodmap, a little utility that allows me to switch keys in Ubuntu. It’s a good start, but I would need a lot more:

  • I would happily get rid of the Super Key and make it a Control key instead, but this won’t solve my Alt + Tab issue.
  • I would really need to get back to being able to use Cmd + C in the terminal.

Does anyone have any tips for me? Thank you!

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Ubuntu: adjust your mouse settings Mon, 06 Feb 2017 21:44:00 +0000 One of the things that bothered me when I switched to Ubuntu was the mouse: while the Mouse settings panel offered options to change the cursor speed, I couldn’t change the scroll wheel settings: I wanted it to be faster, and I wanted it to use Mac OS’ natural scrolling direction.

After a bit of googling, this specific answer helped me get this fixed.

First, you get a list of the different devices linked to your machine, then you check the settings for one of the devices (number 10 in my case), and use set-prop to customize a specific setting.

Changing from 1 to -1 got me the natural scrolling back. Victory!

xinput list
xinput list-props 10
xinput set-prop 10 'Evdev Scrolling Distance' -1 5 5

Now if only I could do something to get all my additional buttons back, that’d be great! :)

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Jetpack: move Jetpack Ads further down in a post Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:00:05 +0000 You’ve probably heard about Jetpack’s new Ads module: it allows you to insert ads in your posts, in your sidebar, and in the header of your WordPress site without having to worry about finding the right ad network, managing ad inventory, or worrying about the quality of the ads. It’s available to Jetpack Premium and Professional users.

To use the feature, all you have to do is to click on the toggle under the Jetpack menu in your dashboard. Jetpack takes care of the rest.

However, sometimes you may not be happy with the default placement of the in-post ads: they appear right below the post content. That’s great, but sometimes you may be using other plugins to insert elements in there, like sharing buttons, related posts, subscription forms, …

The code snippet below will allow you to move the ad box exactly where you want it to appear.

 * Move Jetpack ads further down, below elements added by other plugins.
 * @see
 * @param string $content Post content.
function jeherve_ads_down( $content ) {

	 * Disable default ads that get added below the content.
	 * @see
	add_filter( 'wordads_inpost_disable' , '__return_true' );

	// Insert our custom ad.
	if ( class_exists( 'WordAds' ) ) {
		$custom_ads = new WordAds;
		return $content . $custom_ads->get_ad( 'belowpost' );

	return $content;
 * I used priority 99 below.
 * To move the ads higher, pick a higher priority.
add_filter( 'the_content', 'jeherve_ads_down', 99 );

You can add that code to a functionality plugin like this one.

You could also use the same method to insert the ads anywhere on your site, by hooking into a different filter!

Not familiar with Jetpack Ads, né WordAds? Check this video!

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No Mac OS in February Wed, 01 Feb 2017 20:46:39 +0000 You know the drill: new month, new 30-day challenge. After skipping alcohol, Twitter, and chocolate, I’ll be spending this month away from my favorite OS, macOS.

January was my hardest challenge so far. It was also my first failure: I had chocolate 3 times, at family dinners.

Going without chocolate for a whole month proved even harder than I had imagined. I’m clearly addicted. I had cravings, and even watching my daughter eat some chocolate was like torture. I also realized that I have been using chocolate to regulate my mood and avoid being too grumpy after a long day or a rough patch. Without it, I was clearly grumpier than usual.

I think everyone (especially me 😜) will be happy that the experiment is over.

Let’s now see if I can get rid of another thing I use every day: Mac OS.

Ever since I started working for Automattic, Mac OS has been my OS of choice. I’m really happy with it, it works well for me, and the Mac environment and apps are just what I need to do my job properly and efficiently.

Before that, I worked on Windows and had played with Linux a bit. I had installed Ubuntu and then Debian on an old laptop and enjoyed all the required tweaking to get it to work. I don’t have time for this anymore. When I sit in front of a computer I want to get to work right away. I don’t want to spend time tweaking the OS, or cleaning it just to keep it working like I used to do when on Windows. Mac is perfect for that. The OS is polished, works really well out of the box, and all the apps I use are well designed and boost my efficiency even more.

When macOS Sierra was released, I realized that most of the features outlined in that release just weren’t made for me. I don’t own an iPhone or an Apple Watch; I don’t rely on iCloud for my work; I use Google Photos to organize and store my images, Hangouts to communicate with friends, Google Play to store and play music, Google Docs to write documents; I have absolutely no use for Siri; I use Google Chrome and never open Safari. Apple didn’t mention any new feature that was tailored for me in their last release. It’s not a new thing either: I haven’t really needed to update my OS in the past few years, none of the new features were appealing to me.

This all got me wondering: maybe it is time for me to look at what others were building. Could there be another OS that’s designed for me?

Windows is probably not that OS; every time I’ve touched it it felt like I had to bend over backwards to get things done. How about Linux? Well we’ll find out :) I’m writing this post from Ubuntu, and won’t switch back to Mac OS until the end of the month. I picked Ubuntu since it seemed to be an easy step from Mac OS. Hopefully I made the right choice.

I’ll try to document some of my hurdles along the way. I already have quite a few notes, after a day of work :)

Using Ubuntu in February

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Discover Travelers, another Netflix success Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:28:26 +0000 After Continuum, here is another Canadian show about time travel. And it’s available on Netflix!

This is another interesting twist on time travel, and they’ve managed to make me interested in all 5 main characters. That doesn’t happen very often! I found myself liking all of them, and really fearing that one of them would just be a victim of the storyline.

If you’re looking for something to binge watch, and if you like Science fiction, consider Travelers: you’ll go through the 12 episodes and ask for me, I guarantee it!

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Surprise de Bretagne Sat, 21 Jan 2017 10:54:30 +0000

Ça fait toujours plaisir de recevoir un colis par surprise ! Si seulement je savais qui est l’expéditeur, pour pouvoir le / la / les remercier… ☺ 

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On Repeat Today: PV Nova Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:00:52 +0000  

I went down a rabbit hole last night, and I figured I’d take you with me. 🙂

I discovered PV Nova a few months ago. He’s a French musician and YouTuber, and is now mostly known for his experiments. Through his YouTube channel, he shares his love for music and explains how music is made.

I first got to know him via the covers he made with Waxx; it’s only this week that I discovered some of his other work. He’s done some super interesting experiments, like a cover of Get Lucky using different styles for each decade of the 20th century. He’s also done 25 different videos where he explains (in French) how to create songs of different musical genres. Want to create your own Punk Pop song a la Sum 41? Here is how!

This January, he’s taking on a new challenge: 10 days / 10 songs

For the next 10 days, he will create a new song every day. Every morning, he picks topics and constraints at random, and he has the whole day to create a song. The whole process is documented throughout the day, so we know how he factors in every constraint. It’s super interesting! I’d encourage you to subscribe to his channel and check his videos in the next few days.

On the first day, he picked the following constraints:

  • Style: Rock / Hard-rock.
  • Instrument to include: Melodica.
  • Color: Black.
  • Theme: Crazy love.
  • Writing: include some prose, not just verses.
  • Chords: Si minor, Sol, Mi minor, La.
  • Arrangement: harmonics.
  • Mix: Left – Right voices.
  • Composition: modulation.
  • Word to include: Skylantern.

Here is what he came up with:

The making-of is as interesting as the final result:

If you like the concept and the first few songs, you can join the project on Ulule and make a donation!

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TV: Prison Break is coming back Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:56:13 +0000 TV has changed a lot over the past 15 years. Shows are different, how we watch TV is different. 15 years ago, bingeing wasn’t a thing; very few shows had a real storyline, and the budget of prime time TV shows in general was quite low. There was HBO of course, but series like The Wire were the exception, not the norm. And then things changed. A few shows are directly responsible for making serialized TV series a thing. I think my generation will always remember Lost and 24, 2 of the first big shows that introduced us to good storytelling on TV. I personally became addicted to TV with 2 other shows: Heroes and Prison Break. I got hooked to TV with those 2 shows. And now, after 7 years, Prison Break is back!

I must say I wasn’t thrilled at first; reboots and sequels don’t often go well and the first trailer didn’t impress me. But the new trailer that was released yesterday is just what I’d like to see with a new season of Prison Break. My favorite characters are back (hello T-Bag!). In fact most of the team seems to be back. Most importantly, the new season seems to re-use some of the themes that made the first seasons of Prison Break so good. We want to see a Prison Break, after all! 🙂

I just hope they’ll introduce a good antagonist, someone that can match Scofield. I enjoyed the dynamics we had in the first Prison Break seasons, with Bellick, then Kellerman, then Mahone. Hopefully we’ll get something like that in Season 5, too!

But enough talking: all you want to see is the trailer, so here it is! 🙂

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