I like to have all "stuff that I need to do something with" collected at one place. For the virtual world, this place is my email inbox. To remind me of things, I send myself an email and can be sure that I'll process it at a later point in time for example. Having another place with the result of RSS feeds always annoyed me a bit. As soon as I realized that I find this annoying, a solution was easy to implement of course:
aptitude install rss2email
r2e new your@email.address
r2e add blag https://blag.nullteilerfrei.de/feed/
and a cronjob, executed every few minutes:
*/10 * * * * r2e run
will lead to all our fine blag posts ending up as email notifications.


Github has a history of not giving a frack what their users want[1][2]. For example, a few developer friends of mine were reluctant to click any links in their notifications-page, since after they clicked the link, the notification was marked as read and you might lose track of it, if you just close the browser tab[3]. So David Badura[4] and I decided to fix this problem by writing a browser extension. The result can be found on Github: https://github.com/larsborn/GithubToDos. After installation (also possible in Opera btw, the best browser there is), the extension injects an "Add ToDo" button on every issue page and pull request. When clicking, it, the URL gets saved to the local storage of the browser[5]. The list of all URLs added like this can then be access through a new button in the header toolbar of github. You can clone the project from github and add it as an "Unpacked extension" or just head to the Github ToDos on the Chrome Store and just install it from there. Pull requests are welcome, open an issue, if you find a bug, open source yadayada.
  1. https://github.com/dear-github/dear-github [back]
  2. https://github.com/isaacs/github/issues [back]
  3. on a side note, tellmewhenitcloses.com is pretty handy to avoid too many notifications in the first place [back]
  4. https://github.com/DavidBadura [back]
  5. Using local storage is handy for people that are not very concerned about privacy and just use the cloud synchronization feature of their browser: the content of their ToDo list will then also just be synced to all their devices. [back]


If you run cygwin applications such as [the rsync-backup script](/2014/01/31/incremental-backups-with-rsync-in-windows/), you will sometimes run into trouble with odd NTFS permissions being set by the cygwin application. My tip is to avoid this by making cygwin not set *any* permissions at all. If a cygwin application then creates a file, for instance, this file will only inherit its security settings from the folder it is contained in. This way, you can set access control on the root directory and all the files created by rsync inside that folder will inherit these permissions. How to do it? Open your cygwin shell and edit /etc/fstab which should contain only one non-comment line:
none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user 0 0
Now insert the noacl attribute, see [the cygwin manual](http://www.cygwin.com/cygwin-ug-net/using.html#mount-table):
none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,noacl,posix=0,user 0 0
And the next time you run rsync-backup, it will *not* set all kinds of awkward permissions on your files which make them unreadable on a freshly installed computer. Just saying.


I have been commuting between cities quite a lot for quite a while now, and I have given the issue of travel practicability quite a lot of thought. I was urged to share these thoughts, and so I obey. Let's start with the motivation: The worst thing that can happen to me on a trip is to be missing that one essential item, say a charging cable. This happened to me a lot because I usually do not have my charging cable with me at all times. It's at home, where I charge my phone/laptop. The solution for this kind of problem is redundancy. I present the concept of the onebag: It is the one bag which always contains everything you really need. That essential assortment of items should be in your onebag at all times. Mind you, though: Your onebag contains the items you'll need on every trip, it does not contain every item you will need on a trip. Its purpose is to never leave you pondering if you forgot something important. My onebag is broken down into three levels: * Level 1: I have a USB stick attached to my key ring which contains all my most precious data. Together with my wallet and my phone, this is level 1. This stuff is with me at all times. * Level 2: I use an organizer casket for all my electronic devices and cables that I usually need for work, together with my laptop this is level 2. I take these items to work every day, but I do not take them with me when I go out to buy groceries. * Level 3: A red backpack. It contains duplicate copies of all my charging cables in this cable organizer, hygiene products[1], one change of underwear and binbags. Together with levels 1 and 2, this is my onebag. This is just an example of course. The point is to minimize thinking about "what to pack". If I need to go to another city for 3 days, I grab level 2 and stuff it into the bag, take 3 shirts and 3 changes of underwear and I am essentially done. If you did it right, about 98% of your travel preparations should be as simple as packing the clothes you need for the trip into your onebag. For some trips, you might need an additional bag for more clothes or you might need to pack some items which are very specific to the trip you are about to take: But your essential gear is already in the bag.
  1. I have been thinking about putting a towel in there, but I never really need one. Hotels and friends give you towels, and one of those is usually where I stay. [back]


I was pointed to the cool rsync-backup script which uses cygwin's rsync and hardlinks in NTFS to provide a method for incremental backups which is probably the best I have seen so far. Basically, the effect is as follows: Whenever you backup your data to the backup location (which is somewhere on an NTFS drive), the only actual data that will be copied is for the files that have changed since the last backup. Nevertheless, there will be a new folder in your backup location which contains all files and folders you just backed up. Just: Those that did not change have not been copied, they have just been hardlinked to the old files instead. Now here comes the best part: The actual contents of a file with more than one hardlink to it are deleted only after the last link to it has been removed. Thus, you can delete old backups and the only data that will actually be deleted is the old data, the data that changed in later backups. Now, I modified the script slightly to better suit my needs. First of all, I only back up a single folder. If you want to backup multiple folders to a single location, move along. This is not for you. Use the original rsync-backup if you wish. Mine is different. Do you want to know more?


Finally there is an official way of setting a text file as your Desktop Background: Windows Sysinternals BgInfo. This tool can show a lot of information about your system but may also show the contents of a Textfile: Press the button Custom... on the right and then New.... There you may select Contents of a file and include a path to the text file. After you saved the BfInfo config file somewhere on your system, you can call BgInfo in the following way to update the background image:
bginfo c:\System\config\bginfo.bgi /timer:0
This may be useful to show log files that you want to keep an eye on or the shadowfile of your favorite TaskWarrior report.


There are scripts to enable shell completion in TaskWarrior (e.g. for projects and tags). Since I use cygwin with mintty this one was suitable for me. I added the lines
complete -o nospace -F _task t
complete -o nospace -F _task task
complete -o nospace -F _task ta
at the bottom though to support the shortcuts t and ta.


The Eisenhower Method is based on the simple understanding that urgency and importance are not the same (see for example The Eisenhower Method with a picture of the "matrix" at Wikipedia). The goal of this post is to implement it with TaskWarrior. Do you want to know more?


How do you launch applications under Windows? More precisely: How can you optimize this? I haven given this question some thought and tried a program called Quick Key Launch. If you are interested, you can find more details in my article.


The new version of TaskWarrior (2.2.0) supports the new field scheduled which is/maybe pretty handy. The short version of how to install it on a linux machine (without asking root): Follow the instructions in the file INSTALL from the source tarball and set the flag DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX of cmake to your home directory. Do you want to know more?


Today I stumbled across another useful feature of my beloved TaskWarrior: One can assign an urgency-coefficient to tags (and this coefficient can also be negative):
urgency.user.tag.maybe.coefficient=-100.0
I use the maybe-Tag to store ideas that I may or may not approach one day. Once a month and whenever I feel like doing something "useless", I can review the list and have every idea at one place (and I am always able to store such an idea). But of course I want to prevent +maybe tasks from showing up in reports like "next". This feature with a negative urgency-coefficient achieves exactly this. You can find more Options at the TaskWarrior documentation.


# Why TaskWarrior? After I've heard of the software TaskWarrior in summer of 2012, I started using it instantly. My main reasons are: * Since I'm a big fan of self quantification, I wanted the data to be accessible and independent of the existence of any software company. The TaskWarrior stores its data in text, which is imho the most future proof format. * Everything from the system described in David Alan's book "Getting things done" (short GTD) can be implemented with TaskWarrior. * It is cool and geeky to use (via command line!). This has a real advantage too: you have the full power of your shell at hand and the programm itself also has powerfull batch processing capabilities. --- Do you want to know more?


In the recent weeks, we have acquired the phony habit of customizing our Windows desktop PC's. The following is my checklist for making a Windows PC more pretty. ## Making Windows Themable You go and download the universal theme patcher: * Universal Theme Patcher Homepage (Author's Blog) * Universal Theme Patcher on nullteilerfrei Then, you click it. You can find a ton of themes on deviant art, but I'd strongly advise against overly dark themes, it really does not make for a healthy working environment. ## The Logon and Boot Screen To customize the windows login screen to look really nice, we have to do several things. * To change the background image, you simply use the Tweaks Logon Changer: * Tweaks Logon Changer Homepage * Tweaks Logon Changer on nullteilerfrei * To remove the little branding logo on the bottom of the login screen, you open the file
%SystemRoot%\Branding\Basebrd\basebrd.dll
in a resource editor of your choice[1] and simply delete the corresponding resource bitmaps. Note that some of the bitmap resources are not used for the logon screen but for other dialogs, such as the shut down menu that appears when pressing ALT+F4 on the desktop. * If you have a fingerprint reader and you are annoyed by the blue Fingerprint icon, you can change these icons by replacing the bitmaps in the file
%SystemRoot%\System32\BioCredProv.dll
## The Boot Screen To change the Windows boot screen, best use the Windows 7 Boot Updater: * Windows 7 Boot Updater Homepage * Windows 7 Boot Updater on nullteilerfrei ## The Start Orb For changing the start Orb in Windows, I strongly recommend using the Start Orbz Studio; * StartOrbz Studio on deviant art * StartOrbz Studio on nullteilerfrei ## The Wallpaper Seriously? I really like wallhaven, but there are most literally a million wallpaper archive sites out there.
  1. We recommend either resourcer or resource hacker. [back]