Igor Bubelov About Blog Notes Photos

March 2022

Notes · Apr 9, 2022

Table of Contents

Canada

I’m still a Russian citizen, but it looks like such a citizenship is a pretty undesirable thing to have nowadays. I never had any illusions about the nature of Putin’s regime, and that’s why I’m not living in Russia, nor I have any business in that region. Still, living abroad for many years didn’t really protect me from certain sanctions imposed on Russia. Indeed, it’s an easily solvable problem, and it’s nothing compared to the horrors many Ukrainians are facing now. Still, the recent events encouraged me to break my last ties with Russia, primarily by becoming a citizen of a more stable and peaceful country.

There are many countries with the welcoming attitudes and policies towards immigrants, but the immigration process can be a royal PITA and I have no illusions about that. I was considering quite a few options, but it looks like Canada is best suited for my needs, here is why:

  • Easy and transparent immigration process
  • Political stability
  • Far from Russia
  • Access to good jobs (including US jobs)
  • Decent healthcare
  • Reasonable cost of living

Canada seems like a good long-term bet, so I started preparing the documents I will need to start the immigration process.

IELTS

One of the documents which Canadian laws require is an up-to-date IELTS certificate. Getting a good score is also crucial if you want to have a good chance of getting invited to apply for a permanent residence. Needless to say, it’s important to prepare for this test. Knowing what to expect always helps, and there are also some simple tips and tricks which need to be memorized in order to get a good score. It’s no joke, even a native English speaker can get a low score, so it’s certainly not enough just to be a decent English user. You really need to understand what is expected from you and how to better demonstrate your English ability.

I’m planning to prepare for a couple of months, at least. My listening and reading skills are good enough, but my writing and speaking skills certainly need to be improved.

Arch Linux

I’m starting to recover from war-induced apathy, and I got my feet wet with Arch Linux. The actual experience wasn’t that different from what I expected from Arch: the whole setup process was terminal-based and extensively documented. I learned a ton of new low-level things while playing with the different configurations, and I’m planning to use Arch as a daily driver on my Dell XPS 13 9380. Everything works like a charm so far, although pacman is quite an odd piece of software, and I’ll need some time to learn its quirks.

Gnome 42

One of the coolest things about Arch is the ability to use the latest versions of Linux packages such as GNOME shell. GNOME 42 is amazing, it introduces built-in dark theme, and it also allows fractional scale factor to be set above 200%. I really missed the ability to set the scale factor to 250%, because that’s what required to get everything is perfectly sized on my XPS. New screenshot flow is also great, I really like the recent developments in the GNOME project.

S4 / Hibernation

I was curious about the performance impact of S4 Linux sleep mode, so I made a few tests. It turns out, resuming from hibernation is slower than a cold boot! I was shocked to see that, but a cold boot is 2 seconds faster than returning from “suspend to disk” mode. I’m not sure if it’s possible to speed it up, but I’ve decided to stop using swap and power off my laptop automatically when its lid is closed.

Movie: Winter on Fire

This movie can be quite enlightening for people who don’t understand the reasons behind the current war in Ukraine. This is a documentary movie, and it provides a nice overview of what’s going on and why. It’s focused on the events of 2013 and 2014, but it’s clear that they are directly related to the current developments.

Game: Cyberpunk 2077

It’s a nice game overall, but I didn’t find it well-balanced or re-playable. The graphics is great, the story is interesting, and it doesn’t feel too scripted and limiting, but for some reason, I quickly lost interest in this game as soon as I finished its main story.

Game: Civilization 6

Speaking of re-playability, it’s really hard to match Civilization 6 in this regard. It still feels challenging and unpredictable when I choose a difficulty level at “Emperor” or higher. Playing this game at high difficulty means starting with a serious disadvantage to other civilizations, so you won’t be able to afford to be too relaxed and sloppy in executing your strategy.

Game: Elden Ring

As a huge fan of Bloodborne, I couldn’t resist buying a copy of Elden Ring on Steam. That wasn’t easy due to sanctions, but I managed to change account country to Thailand by adding a local payment card. The game feels satisfyingly familiar, but it also offers a few new gameplay elements such as mounted fights and stealth. I didn’t finish this game yet, but I certainly will.