Richard Falken

For Honor and Glory!

Books - Contact - Spanish Site

OpenPGP key update.

January 16, 2016 — Richard Falken

Richard's OpenPGP key was due to expire the 10th of January. The key has been conveniently updated and the new expiration date is set for the year 2018.

People who talks to Richard Falken using OpenPGP is suggested to update their keyrings with the updated key. The key ID and fingerprint remain unchanged, as only the expiration date has been modified.

Free Flaming Wraths of Arelor in Exchange for Reviews

November 09, 2015 — Richard Falken

Good news for Richard's Fans! Route 11 Publications is giving away electronic copies of The Flaming Wrath of Arelor for free! All what is asked from readers is an honest review of the book in some accesible place (for example, Goodreads or Reddit).

The book is available for the grab at iBooks and Gumroad. You can also use the contact section of this page for requesting a copy.

Feedback is very important, so don't hesitate. Get your copy and tell us what you think!

Link to the promotional page.

The Flaming Wrath of Arelor, more easy to Buy than Ever

October 30, 2015 — Richard Falken

The Flaming Wrath of Árelor CoverThe Flaming Wrath of Arelor is finally for sale for readers who don't want to buy books from Apple. The book is available in both epub and movi formats.

Richard Falken kindly asks the readers to leave a review or give some sort of feedback. Your support helps more than you think.

The people who helped out in the translation of the book from English to Spanish has been sent a copy. Some of those people could not be found. If you helped out making the book and reality and you didn't get a copy, just contact Richard using the contact section of this website.

You can find the purchase link here:

The Flaming Wrath of Arelor - Purchase Link

Why I Left XMPP

October 19, 2015 — Richard Falken

Some of my readers might have noticed that I no loger have an XMPP address in my list of means of contact, in this very website. For those who ignore it, XMPP is an Instant Messaging protocol, sometimes known as Jabber. XMPP has some strengths that made me look into it and adopt it, and which are worth some explanation.

Much like email, you can use your XMPP account to communicate with any user of the protocol, even if he does not have an account in your own server. Much like you can send an email from a yahoo account to a gmail account, you can send a XMPP message from a suchat account to a mijabber account. This is a great advantage over common messaging applications we can find in the mobile world today, such as Whatsapp and Telegram, which allow you to communicate only with people who uses their services.

Another big advantage is that XMPP is an open standard. This means that any programmer can make their own program for chatting over XMPP. As a result, a big number of XMPP programs have been written for multiple operating systems. You can use your XMPP account from your Android phone, your Windows computer, your Linux computer, your OpenBSD computer, or probably any platform you see fit. Again, this is a big advantage against certain messagning apps that are not really multiplatform.

Finally, many XMPP clients support OTR encryption. OTR encryption is a protocol independent system for securing chat conversations. It is not only available for XMPP, but support for OTR is mostly found in the XMPP world.

So what is the problem with XMPP? To put it bluntly: inconsistent user experience.

The problem with XMPP is that it was designed to be an extensible protocol. That means that people writting programs for XMPP can add functionalities that nobody else is supporting. This can be troublesome for many reasons. The end result is that many people ends up using clients that support functions that their server does not support, or the people they chat with does not support. This is not a theorical prediction, it is an everyday problem. If you use Conversations (a nice XMPP program which I used on Android) and try to send a foal picture to somebody who uses Pidgin, you will discover that the file transfer does not work because Pidgin and Conversations use different extensions for file sending. And that is just an example.

In the end of the day, the average user who hits a problem such as the one described above will end up thinking that he is dealing with a broken program or protocol. A poweruser will understand this limitation and not panic; a regular user will think the program is malfuctioning and it is better to stay away from it. One way to solve it is to get everybody in your contact list to use the same program for chatting and the same server, hence ensuring everybody supports the same features of the protocol. This is obviously impractical in most cases.

I am an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) user myself. There has always been a sort of fanboy fight between users of both XMPP and IRC. IRC is an old protocol for realtime chat with not many features. It can send files and text messages around the network , and that is it. Most IRC clients in use are very mature and the protocol itself has not changed a lot in recent times. XMPP has the potential to support lots of things via protocol extensions -including audio conversations, user authentication and so on. The problem is that many XMPP clients have trouble interoperating with different XMPP programs, which means that, in the end, you won't be able to use all those awesome features as much as you would like.

I am not defenfending IRC here. I am aware of the many limitations of IRC and I understand the reasons that can lead somebody to prefer XMPP over IRC. In fact, there is nothing preventing you from using both. The point I am making here is that, many times, less is more, and a simple communication protocol that is better standarized is less error prone than an awesome protocol which has operatibility issues across implementations.

It is clear for me that I cannot longer recommend people to use XMPP and expect them to be able to interact with me over XMPP without hitting some obscure compatibility problem. I am therefore dropping it from my contact page.

Richard Falken.

Deduper File Deduplicator 0.1.0 Released.

October 04, 2015 — Richard Falken

Richard Falken has recently released the Deduper File Deduplicator 0.1.0. Deduper is a program that helps you find duplicated or repeated files in your computer, and optionally cleans them up. If you are the sort of person whose computer is full of multiple copies of the same pictures, this might be helpfull.

The program is written in Perl 5 and requires you to have a Perl interpreter installed. If you are using a Linux distribution or OpenBSD system, you most likely already have it or can install it from your repositories.

Deduper is a CLI program. There are no current plans for making a GUI for it.

The program has been tested on Linux, OpenBSD and Windows 7. It should run on any platform where Perl is known to work, but no guarantees are given.

Deduper 0.1.0 includes improved documentation, some tweaks for increased speed and the option to decide if you want to delete the oldest duplicated files or the newest.

You can get the program and more information at the gopher server that hosts the project.

Deduper File Deduplicator 0.0.3 Released.

September 13, 2015 — Richard Falken

Richard Falken has recently released the Deduper File Deduplicator. Deduper is a program that helps you find duplicated or repeated files in your computer, and optionally clean them up. If you are the sort of person whose computer is full of multiple copies of the same pictures, this might be helpfull.

The program is written in Perl 5 and requires you to have a Perl interpreter installed. If you are using a Linux distribution, you most likely already have it or can install it easily from your repositories.

Deduper is a CLI program. There are no current plans for making a GUI for it.

The program has been tested on Linux, OpenBSD and Windows 7. It should run on any platform where Perl is known to work, but no guarantees are given.

You can get the program and more information at the gopher server that hosts the project.

The Flaming Wrath of Árelor, Finally Released!

September 04, 2015 — Richard Falken

The Flaming Wrath of Árelor CoverAfter more than a year of hard work, I am pleased to announce that The Flaming Wrath of Árelor has finally been released in English.

The Flaming Wrath of Árelor was originally written in Spanish and published in Spain. Five years after the original edition, it was decided that translating the book in order to make it available for more people was certainly worth a try.

The translation process was harder and longer than expected. Richard Falken himself converted the story from a language to another and coordinated a group of volunteers from many IRC networks in order to proofread and edit the result.

The book is currently available ar iTunes and iBooks. Don't forget to check it out!

Richard Falken wants to ackowledge the following people for their contribution to the process:

  • karan, from Blinkenshell's IRC network
  • luke, from Blinkenshell's IRC network
  • slobro, from Blinkenshell's IRC network
  • DMXroid, from DALnet
  • krofinzki, from DALnet
  • Imperia, from DALnet
  • Isky, from DALnet

You can find the book at the promotional page.