apple   art   china   net culture   productivity   reading   shots/pics   stories   tech   work

Ecto and Textpattern
20 Februar 2012

If you don’t use Textpattern you may want to skip this post. Written during a few moments were doing real work was almost impossible but spare computing time was left, this post deals with an offline blogging solution for Textpattern.

Again and again I tried to find a nice tool to streamline blogging with Textpattern – i.e. a tool to avoid using the webpage itself to post stuff. For Wordpress and MoveableType MarsEdit has become the weapon of choice for many. However, somehow it did not work with my setup.

Enter Ecto, which I discovered only recently. Ecto interacts nicely with Textpattern (during the setup stage it even offers the option of a Textpattern blog). Textile works and you can use a custom CSS to preview your post. Remember to set the correct RPC path.

Only adding pictures to a post remains an issue. Textpattern usually requires using a web-frontend to upload pictures. When posting via Ecto I now use the URL of images that I put on my FTP server before. Cyberduck is a great tool for this and allows to easily copy the URL of any file on a FTP Server.

12 Februar 2012

McAfee, the security company, said that if any employee’s device was inspected at the Chinese border, it could never be plugged into McAfee’s network again. Ever. “We just wouldn’t take the risk,” said Simon Hunt, a vice president.

(via Electronic Security a Worry in an Age of Digital Espionage –

"just china und duisburg"
30 September 2011

Just tried this and I like it.

Logging out
30 September 2011

But logging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the Web application, a number of cookies (including your account number) are still sent along to all requests to Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.

Another solution would involve disconnect, right?

(via Michael Tsai – Blog – Logging Out of Facebook Is Not Enough)

28 September 2011

The easiest way to stop unwanted web tracking

Besonders sinnvoll für Süddeutsche & Co mit ihren neuen Facebook-Boxen, die sich hiermit auch verbergen lassen.

(via Disconnect)

Applescript to translate a markdown file into a textile file (for later use in Textpattern)
18 September 2011

Ever since I started using Writing Kit I wondered if there would be an easy way to transform its output (which is in Markdown) to Textile. Textile is the markup language used by Textpattern – which this site runs on. Also I’m much more used to it.

The following script will translate a selected Markdown file (sorry, only one) into a textile file with an “.textile” extension. To run this script you need to have Pandoc installed.

tell application "Finder"
set theItems to selection
set fileName to name of item 1 of theItems as text
set fileFolder to folder of item 1 of theItems as text
set folderPos to POSIX path of fileFolder
end tell

set pdCall to "/usr/local/bin/pandoc -f markdown -t textile "
set pdCall to pdCall & quoted form of folderPos
set pdCall to pdCall & quoted form of fileName
set pdCall to pdCall & " -o " & quoted form of folderPos & quoted form of fileName & ".textile"

do shell script pdCall

I use this script in conjunction with Spark, in order to start it with a keyboard shortcut.

ps. Learning a bit of Applescript has been the true value of this exercise for me.

Textexpander snippets to pull frontmost Safari or Chrome webpage title and URL
15 September 2011

Inspired by an (Applescript) Textexpander snippet of Dr.Drang I created two snippets to make linking to a page a little easier for me.

First we need this snippet/script, called !furl, to pull the URL from Safari or Chrome:

tell application "System Events"
set numSafari to count (every process whose name is "Safari")
set numChrome to count (every process whose name is "Google Chrome")
end tell

if numSafari > 0 then
tell application "Safari" to get URL of front document
if numChrome > 0 then
tell application "Google Chrome"
set frontIndex to active tab index of front window
get URL of tab frontIndex of front window
end tell
end if
end if

(via furl at master from drdrang/te-url-snippets – GitHub)

And this one, called !fname, to pull the title from the frontmost webpage:

tell application "System Events"
set numSafari to count (every process whose name is "Safari")
set numChrome to count (every process whose name is "Google Chrome")
end tell

if numSafari > 0 then
tell application "Safari" to get name of front document
if numChrome > 0 then
tell application "Google Chrome"
set frontIndex to active tab index of front window
get name of tab frontIndex of front window
end tell
end if
end if

Now these snippets can be used, for example, to create links for Twitter with this snippet:

%snippet:!fname% %snippet:!furl%

or to create a proper blockquote (I use Textpattern, therefore this is a Textile) blockquote). Note that you have to select and copy the text that you want to show up in the blockquote first:

bq. %clipboard

(via "%snippet:!fname%":%snippet:!furl%)

iMacs and/or SSDs
6 Mai 2011

Marco, the inventor/creator of Instapaper, struggles to decide between several options regarding a new Mac.

In 2008, and for a long time before that, three major factors severely inhibited the performance and long-term usefulness of laptops (and iMacs, since they used many laptop-class components): – Laptop hard drives were extremely slow relative to desktop drives, and most laptops can only hold one drive. – Laptop CPUs usually had significantly lower performance than desktop CPUs. – No laptop components, except RAM and the hard drive, can be upgraded after purchase. And RAM often maxed out too low for power users.
Some things have changed since then. For one thing, laptop CPUs are now awesome. But the biggest change, by far, is something that 2008-me never thought would be economical and practical: SSDs.
The hard drive — usually the biggest bottleneck in personal computers, and formerly the biggest performance gap between laptops and desktops — can now be replaced at sane prices with an SSD that’s hundreds of times faster. The SSD is the most important performance increase to happen to personal computing in a very long time. And, notably, desktops and laptops use the same SSDs.

Having a brand new iMac 21.5” and a two year old MBP, with a new Intel X-25 SSD, I totally agree with his thesis. Performance-wise my old MBP is soo much ahead of the iMac that it again has become my main working machine. Also, the glossy screen of the iMac was a good second reason to do so (what was the benefit of having those, again?).

Byword and QuickCursor
4 Mai 2011

Just learned about Byword and QuickCursor and this blog post is one of my first attempts using it.1 I experienced so many issues during my first few days of trying that I won’t recommend this setting for productive work.

1 Using a Byword, QuickCursor and nvALT combination.

nvALT2 ftw!
17 April 2011

After weeks of anxious waiting nvALT 2 has finally come out and what a fine piece of software this thing has become… The three things I like most about this version:

1. Preview with custom.css: If you know how to type in textile or multimarkdown nvALT lets you preview a compiled version of your document (this feature was already included in earlier versions and is really just a keystroke away). The new version allows you to add a custum.css file and now everything I type here looks like a real post in the preview.

2. OpenMeta support with autocompletion: Every note now can have its own OpenMeta tags. OpenMeta was added already earlier in the original Notational Velocity project of which nvALT is a fork. nvALT adds the autocompletion/suggestion feature.1

3. Support for nv-references: Like in the original Notational Velocity, nvALT now supports nv-urls.

1 Really looking forward to use this with Leap.

ältere Artikel...