Some more suggestions for replacing google services:…

Trying to move away from US-webservices

Thanks to the new US-administration and its fast move to remove privacy protections for non-US-citizens I try again to move data out of the US.

It is as usual easier said than done. And a lot is about self-hosting. Let’s start with the easiest:


How do I get my news nowadays? Mainly Twitter but I am thinking about moving back to reading more stuff via RSS-feeds again. Right now I am using Newsblur for syncing and managing RSS-feeds. It is a small, fine, independent service that costs around 25€ per year. It has apps for iOS and Android and an API to allow syncing to 3rd-party-services. If you don’t want to self-host and don’t mind that the company is located in the US, I can really recommend it. But I want my data out of the US. So I am switching back to Tiny Tiny RSS. It is easy to install and is even usable on shared hosting platforms. It requires apache or nginx, PHP and either a MySQL or PostgreSQL-database. The nice thing is that it has quite some plug-ins for stuff like removing ads from feeds or getting the full-text-content from sites like The Web-UI is ok  and there are apps for Android and iOS. There is even a plug-in that allows the emulation of the fever-API, a self-hostable RSS-solution that doesn’t really exist anymore. But with the emulation feed-readers like Reeder can connect to Tiny Tiny RSS. And henceforth it is really neat. On iOS I use Reeder, on my computer either the web-interface or newsbeuter, a great cli-client for reading RSS-feeds. It claims to be the mutt of RSS feed readers and it is clearly so.


I had a Dropbox-subscription and it was neat. Now I need something else. I looked at Tresorit, a service like Dropbox in Switzerland which encrypts everything. It looked nice, is far more expensive than Dropbox (12,50€ for 100GB per month or 25€ for 1TB, so more than double) but in the end I decided to self-host a Nextcloud-instance. If you do not want to host yourself, you can find providers here and some even have a free tier, many are hosted in Europe.


There are providers that host in Germany like Posteo, or services like GMX. I’d suggest you to spend a bit of money on letting Posteo or host your mail than GMX because they are more trustworthy imho. The alternative is self-hosting your mail. There are projects like Mail-in-a-Box that make it a whole lot easier. I will probably do it without something like that for practicing purposes. Btw. self-hosting means that you do not need to hand out data to the government like the pros have to, since you won’t host mail for a thousand users.


I host my blogging for quite some time. I switched between static blogs and wordpress a lot, right now I am using Wordpress. I have to switch off Jetpack to reach my goal of getting data out of the US which means loosing convenience features… self-hosting Wordpress is not that hard but it will cost you a bit of money. Some webhosters have one-click deploys of wordpress, so that shouldn’t be that hard even for the people who are not that technical competent.

Micro-blogging is a bit harder. You can micro-blog via Wordpress and even crosspost to Twitter. You can use a Gnu Social-account at services like quitter or host it yourself. But I am not yet convinced. There is a new service called which I want to self-host and integrate it with Wordpress. I am not sure yet if I close my Twitter-account. I thought about it quite often but I could not convince myself yet.


Recently I am using more often Whatsapp because everyone uses it. And since I have an iPhone again, I am starting to use iMessage again and with colleagues it is Hangouts. I’d like to use more Threema and Jabber though.


You do not have to use Google Maps or Apple Maps, you can use OpenStreetMaps and it is actually pretty good. On the iPhone I use a client called But I am not sure how much of my data lands through that where. But it is probably better than Google or Apple Maps


That’s a hard one. I couldn’t find a good todo-app that I can sync between an iPhone and Linux and that isn’t located in the US. I tried plain-text systems like todo.txt or the imho better but not as well supported format used by Taskpaper. But on iOS the clients only sync through iCloud or Dropbox. On Android there are clients that can sync through the file system and thus you can use something else. Now I am trying myself at using a paper-based system again. I started to use a Bullet Journal again. I used it last year for a couple of months but abandoned it. Now I am using it for a week and it works out better for me this time. The Bullet Journal is a nice system that allows a lot of customizability[footnote]Search for Bullet Journal on Pinterest or Youtube and you will find a lot[/footnote]. And using a paper based system means that I moved my todos completely away from the internet except the occasional reminder in my calendar.

The really hard ones

Things I do not want to stop to use in spite of them storing data in the US are Netflix, Google Music All-Access and being able to sync my ebooks through Amazon. I am thinking about not using the last one anymore. I can buy ebooks somewhere else and there are enough other software and hardware ebook-readers out there. Netflix is irreplacable in my opinion and the convenience of a music streaming-service is just sooo big. And they have a lot of radio plays for children which I use a lot. Buying all those would be far more expensive than the 10 bucks/month. But I am open to suggestions.

And then there is My go to-service fo bookmarking and archiving sites. I guess there is some self-hostable solution but the archiving part will be the hard one. But tweets of the owner of the site give me a lot of trust in him and that he will take care of all those data we entrust to him.

Ok, that’s it I think. And when you think about self-hosting something, don’t forget to do backups because those are your responsibility then as well.

P.s.: I forgot read-it-later-services like Instapaper or Pocket. There is an open source-alternative called Wallabag. It even has a hosted service for a small fee with the data stored in the EU. But I couldn’t get the application to work on FreeBSD or CentOS because I am already failing while installing it. And the iOS-app doesn’t work offline yet. When your connection is crappy you cannot even log into the iOS-app. The devs promised though to fix this. So maybe I give it another try at a later point of time.

Switching and Linux, macOS, Android and iOS

TL;DR: Yay Linux, Nay Android. Let’s stay with Linux but switch back to iOS.

Recently I am thinking about getting a new computer and phone and whether I should go back to macOS and iOS. I am using Linux and Android for a couple of years now and I am thinking recently about getting new devices. Let’s talk about computers first.

macOS and Linux

macOS is a really nice operating system. It is not open source but thanks to homebrw etc a lot of open source-software runs on it and the command line environment works as expected. Besides that you get a lot of commercial software from big and small companies that you either get on Linux or which you just do not get in that quality on other operating systems[footnote]An example would be OmniFocus…or anything else by the OmniGroup. Or OpenEmu which rocks still a lot more than RetroArch or EmulationStation[/footnote]. Additionally you do not need to tinker with them. Most of the time stuff just works.

But for one I like using open source software even though not everything works always. Just yesterday I tried using the proprietary NVIDIA-driver on Fedora 25 and failed miserably which led me to re-installing the system[footnote]which took like 15 minutes plus installing a bit of extra software and updates…thanks to enough bandwidth that’s not taking long as well.[/footnote] but eventually I will get it to work or the open source-driver might even be working well enough which I actually didn’t test yet. Or podcasting doesn’t work as smooth for me as it does on macOS. But I am getting it to work eventually. And nowadays most of the normal stuff just works. Especially when you are using Ubuntu. 16.04 was a “just works”-experience, even after moving my SSD from a Thinkpad X201 to a Dell T3500 with two NVIDIA-cards and a Xeon. The upgrade to 16.10 worked as well. I guess I wouldn’t have there any problems with podcasting, too. Playing games is possible nowadays as well with Steam etc. My recent problems came from trying to get NVIDIA-drivers to work in Fedora 25 which I like for some reason more than Ubuntu. The only thing that I dislike about Linux is that there is no backup-solution like Time Machine. TM is just awesome. But for most of the other stuff modern Linux-distributions just works. And there is even a simple solution for backups but it is not as good as that for macOS. All in all the pros of Linux, be it that it is open-source or that I can run it on commodity hardware just outweighs the cons of macOS with its high prices and hardware that is not servicable at all anymore.

iOS and Android

Android is quite nice in the customizability-department and there is some stuff you can’t do with iOS. For example syncing a single folder in my Dropbox with a single folder on my device, or doing the same with Bittorrent Sync. But nowadays I don’t use capabilities like that really a lot. I like to customize my device though. And buying games for cheap via HumbleBundle is great. And now comes the big “but”. And it is updates. First I owned a Moto X, now an LG G4. Both companies said that they will release updates a short time after Google released the updates. This didn’t happen. In addition Android seems all in all less secure than iOS. I am not even talking about installing apps from outside the Play Store. That’s a matter of using your brain. But the Play Store has from time to time malware and the Stagefright-stuff is frightening. If I am not mistaken I have several public known security bugs on my phone which aren’t patched by LG in a timely manner. That sucks. And the devices by Google cost now as much as iPhones and have an update guarantee of two or three years max. And I cannot install a custom ROM that might get more often updates since that would break my warranty because I would need to unlock the bootloader of my phone. And I already had a warranty case with this phone. I don’t want to risk to unlock my phone and then have a hardware-problem.

Since I do not need to use a computer nowadays in combination with an iPhone, I don’t see why I shouldn’t get a high quality device with a more secure OS than Android. I don’t buy the 100€-Android-devices anyway. I won’t necessarily buy the newest iPhone but the next phone I want to get is definitely an iPhone. Bye bye Android.

P.s.: I’d really like to try Ubuntu Phone but I don’t see a cheap way to do it. I don’t want to shell out 100+€ just for trying out a phone-OS which I might not like.

Yet another week

This week was actually quite eventful even so it doesn’t feel like it.

I started in my first race. After training for it for a couple of months, I did the 6000m in 28:36.9 minutes. That was in the best 2000 of I think 14.000 runners. It was fun but was weird that I was I overtaking all the time people and some people started walking after a couple of hundred meters. And the organiser already created blocks for different finishing times so that slow people are more in the back and fast in the front.

I also started converting a book in PDF-form to epub and mobi. My old workflow was using markdown and pandoc. Now I am trying asciidoc. That seems to be a better choice because it has built-in support for sidebars etc. The book is quite long and it will take some time. But it is kind of a job, so I have to find the time for it even so I have no fixed deadline.

In Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, a very fun RPG for the Nintendo DS, I am playing for the last months I am finally close to the end. I skipped side quests because I just want to finish it. I played it long enough. It is a really fun game but I am now at 22h play time and needed like 2 or 3 months for it. I cannot see how I will finish a Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy at that pace. Anyway, it is really fun. Nice story, cute graphics, the combat system is ok-ish and very timing based. I don’t like the special attacks which are kind of mini-games and I don’t choose them by power but at how good I am in executing them. A very expensive powerful attack that is poorly executed does far less damage as something weaker that is executed well. And I don’t want to start exercising them. I could see that I would have done that 10 or 20 years ago when I had time for games but now I just want to see the story. Right now I am only two end bosses away from the ending I think. I hope my characters are powerful enough and I don’t need any grinding anymore. The next game will probably the classic Castlevania or maybe Circle of the Moon or so. But that games saving sucks for a mobile game :/ Playing Mother 2 (Earthbound) or Mother 3 would be nice as well but I think I need a break from JRPGs for now.

And at last I found 411. A tool by Etsy for getting alerts on results in an elastic search database. I am using a log server with logstash, elastic search and kibana. And this tool allows me to generate queries, executes them via cron and then sends me a mail if they get results. And all this with a nice GUI [footnote]not the query generation though[/footnote]. But I will try elastalert by yelp as well. This doesn’t have a nice interface but also allows to get messages when certain message volumes change. Like when the denies of the firewall suddenly increase by a lot for example.

That’s it for this post. Subscribe to the feed if you want to get informed about new ones :)

vimfest 2016

This weekend the vimfest happened in Berlin. A small and nice event about vim, my favorite editor. I attended only saturday because of time constraints. There were some presentations and a couple of flash talks. The highlights were a talk by Justin Keyes, the maintainer of neovim about it and a talk by Bram Moolenaar, the creator of vim, about the new stuff introduced in vim 8.

Both were very interesting. The most interesting “feature” of neovim is that it is not as centralized around one developer like vim is. There was an interview with Bram which asked him

How can the community ensure that the Vim project succeeds for the foreseeable future?

And his answer was:

Keep me alive.

neovim does have a central maintainer but there are more people with an intimate knowledge of the code and more people with commit-privileges. Thus it is not as dependent on a single person as vim is. The next interesting feature is that it tries to be very embedabble. Therefore it is easy to create a gui for it etc.

The new features in vim 8 seem to be more relevant to plugin-developers. But the new features for asynchronosity and communication might enable interesting stuff in vim. It also might have now better defaults. The discussions in the Q&A were very interesting as well.

Besides that I learned about a couple of new plug-ins and software:

vim-bbye: a plug-in for vim that allows you to delete a buffer without closing a window tagbar: a plug-in which generates a window with a list of tags. For me that means that I can easily navigate in structured text tig: a neat CLI-interface for git asciidoc: a markup-language that might fulfill my needs better than markdown. Especially since I have to do some conversions currently to epub and mobi where it will be part of my toolchain, while I used markdown for that in the past.

I did a short presentation of newsbeuter. A CLI-RSS-feed reader that wants to be the mutt of RSS. It is a nice piece of software that I used a lot before I switched to newsblur[footnote]And I just rarely use it for newsblur because the sync is so slow[/footnote].

And I learned that splitting up your .vimrc makes it far more readable and easier to configure.

If you are a vim-user, I can really recommend that you go to vimfest 2017 next year.

I didn't blog in quite a while

So, I noticed that I didn’t blog in quite a while and I need to change this. As always with a re-try in blogging I switched my blog (this time from static to wordpress) for reasons. I think I will never be happy with what is out there and I do not have the time to even think about writing something of my own. This post is quite personal - a bit about my diet and sports, my linux-travellings, retrogaming and pen&paper-RPGs.

What else is up with me recently. Well, after reading a book called “Fettlogik überwinden"[footnote]Conquer fat logics[/footnote] by Nadja Hermann I decided that I have to do something against being overweight. I was still far from adiposity but I never would have wanted to get that far. I didn’t already like that I had to start L-size-t-shirts and that my pants-sizes increased but I didn’t bring up my will to do something against it. After reading that book my mindset changed. I lost 10kg[footnote]ca. 20 pounds[/footnote] in ca. 3 months and build up some muscles as well. Now I officially ended the diet but I still want to get down to a weight that I am jacked. Thus I still have to do something about it but after 3 months I already don’t want to count calories anymore and weigh all the food I eat. I am trying now intermittent fasting in a 16/8-rhythm. 16 hours of fasting a day (from 10pm to 2pm) and 8 hours of feeding. Last week I definitely snacked too much in the feeding time, this week I’ll try to reduce that.

In addition my sports-activities radically changed. A couple of years ago I went up to four times a week to karate-training. But after I got a minor injury in a competition, then my second child was born and so I didn’t went to training at all for ca 2.5 years. In the meantime I tried several bodyweight-programs but nothing for very long. And half a year ago I started going to Karate-training again once a week. Shortly after starting the diet though this completely changed. Now I am going to training twice a week, I go running 2-3 times a week and do bodyweight-training two or three times a week. Thus it is now 5-6 times a week sports for me and sometimes even on every day while one day involves very light training. I kind of have to make now training plans for myself. This whole thing takes up a lot of time even when my running/bodyweight-sessions are only 30-90 minutes[footnote]Karate is always longer: 90 minutes training + the ways to the dojo, changing and showering. So it is more like 3 - 4 hours.[/footnote]. This also means that I do not have that much time doing something else in my leisure time. I am not sure yet how I feel about this. My body likes it and it is better than watching Netflix and reading Twitter all evening.

I also changed operating systems in the meantime. You might remember me posting about Manjaro, Arch and Fedora. In the meantime used Qubes for a couple of months. It was great and probably secure but it had its flaws. For one I couldn’t get my optical drive working in the way I need it to because of technical limitations because of the security features of Qubes. And there was always a bit of a mental overhead where I want/have to do what. So I abandoned it. But I didn’t want to fiddle that much because my amount of free time is limited and so I gave Ubuntu another try. After my pretty bad experiences with 15.10, 16.04 is great. I installed it, the installer supports now even full disk encryption, and everything worked. No fiddling, nothing. It just worked. And it is still working. I am enjoying Unity[footnote]the default desktop environment[/footnote], play around with some other stuff and have so far no problems at all. I am surprised. This is the most Mac-like experience I ever had with Linux.

Podcasting is happening not a lot lately. Japanbezug, a German podcast about Japan I was doing, just needs too much time per episode. I don’t see me doing anything with it in the next months or even years. EMUI, the podcast accompanying this blog, is not doing anything either. I just don’t feel like podcasting at the moment. But I miss doing regular Retrozirkel-episodes. This has more to do with scheduling issues. The next episode will come.

I expanded my retrogames-collection by some nice titles and bought a GB Boy Colour. A Gameboy Color-clone with a backlit-screen. It is really excellent.

And I found a way to organize my collection better. Gameboy and Gameboy Advance-games are now in binders and I use the sheets used by trading card gamers to put the games in the binder. 9 GB-games per page or 18 GBA-games. For my NDS-games I find nice boxes by Hori which hold 24 games per box. gba_smallgb_small

Right now I am playing Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. A really nice RPG where you play Mario, Luigi and Bowser. But where I liked in the past when games were long, it is now a bit harder. Usually I play now only while commuting and so it is like 20-30 minutes per day. Luckily this game has a lot of save points but after 3-4 weeks playing I am like only half way through the game. I am already thinking about what to play next. Maybe Castlevania 1 or Super Mario Bros. 2 Lost Levels? Or will take the plunge into the Metroidvania-world and start playing Castlevania: Circle of the Moon? I also have a lot of Zelda- and Advance Wars games I like to play. Problems I didn’t have a decade ago when I could play several hours a day…sometimes it sucks to be an adult ;)

And now to the last topic: pen&paper-RPGs. Thanks to a very good friend I was part in a short L5R-campaign with some great people. It was really fun. But I had to trade the biweekly RPG-sessions to have another day of karate-training in the week. And I want to get better in karate and go to competitions. Maybe I’ll find the time to play or run a one-shot from time to time. Especially since I found out about a couple of japanese RPGs that were translated to English which have some great concepts. I really want to play those. And I miss playing Shadowrun. At least I can read Shadowrun-novels again since the old ones get re-released as ebooks and from time to time a new one appears. My favorite of the re-released ones is Burning Bright[footnote]The Bug City-novel[/footnote] and from the new ones it is Shaken: No Job to Small. I can recommend both and I think even non-Shadowrun-fans might like them.

This post is now more than long enough and I won’t write about to-do-lists and minimalism. Maybe I post later about those. We will see. Have a nice day.

Japanese input in Fedora23

First the fix:

Set the following in $HOME/.config/imsettings/xinputrc

export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus

If the folder $HOME/.config/imsettings doesn’t exist, create it first.

And now a bit of background.

I switched for a short time to Ubuntu. My reasoning was that I can give better family support but I switched back to Fedora. Ubuntu was so far the worst Linux experience, at least with my existing configurations. But after switching back to Fedora 23 Japanese input didn’t work. Fedora 23 uses ibus as default method. And it tries to do things automagically and in doing that, they totally failed for me.

There is a script /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/ This script tries to do some magic and works pretty late in the process of starting your GUI when using the default GDM. First it unsets a whole bunch of environment variables and thus will probably anything you set up locally, when you come from another distribution like in $HOME/.xprofile or $HOME/.xinputrc or some other candidate for setting the variables above. Then it looks up if you have $HOME/.config/imsettings/xinputrc. If not, it should create $HOME/.config/imsettings and looks if you have a file $HOME/.xinputrc. If you have it, it gets moved to that folder. And then the file gets sourced and the script is finished.

The folder creation part is the place where I guess the script failed for me.

And if that file doesn’t get sourced by the script for whatever reason, the script looks up which LANG-variable you have set and compares it to a hardcoded list. And then sets up environment variables depending on your LANG-variable.

If you have set en_US.utf8 like me that means that they get set up in a minimal way which leads to not being able to use an IME. And of course the script doesn’t bother logging anything.

Dear Fedora Project, this is too much magic and can fail. Especially since there are multiple places in $HOME where you can potentially set up the three environment variables, not all recommended but possible. There is .xinputrc, .xinitrc, .xprofile, .profile and even .bashrc. And every tutorial in the net suggests setting it in one of these. Why do you add a new subdirectory in .config? And if stuff doesn’t work because of bugginess, why do you make everything dependent on the set language of the system? Never heard of anyone using English for example as native tongue and then speaks a foreign language? And then apparently you didn’t document that anywhere and do not log anything in the script, so troubleshooting gets really hard. I know those problems of setting up Japanese input in Linux. But I had those problem in the beginnings of 2000 and before. Great job catapulting us back 10 - 20 years, a blast from the past :/

More about Fedora

So, now it is a week with Fedora. I stopped using Gnome and I am using again i3. I learned about copr which offers unofficial repositories that can be easily integrated in your Fedora install via “dnf copr enable repo/name”. That way I got again current versions of vim (Patch 1194, which is like 300 builds ahead of the official Fedora-vim) and tmux. For tmux this means that I can use again the new way to handle a mouse. And there is a repo for hugo, the blogging-engine I use. Copr feels a bit like the AUR but is not as complete as the AUR. I guess you can’t host there repos for software that use patented stuff like handbrake or makemkv. And the built for khal and vdirsyncer is not very current, so I still can’t use that. But the maintainer knows that but doesn’t have the time for rebuilding all the necessary packages. Anyway, copr makes me a happier person :)

I also got my first contact with the community in the IRC besides lurking. And I got fast answers on my shamingly stupid question without any mentioning of RTFM or some wiki. I could have answered it myself with the manual though…shame on me.

I get updates nearly daily on my system, which is more often than with Manjaro but not as often as with Arch. In the end this means hopefully more security and stability.

Btw. after a short chat on Twitter yesterday I looked again into switching to FreeBSD for my laptop but it still seems not ready for my use case. Netflix is still a problem and the proposed solution I found is running Linux or Windows in a VM and using there Chrome…yeah… Skype and Steam seems only available via Wine, no Dropbox afaik, Spideroak might work…it seems to be a further step back from using Linux in terms of available software and compared to running OS X. But maybe I upgrade my CentOS5-servers to FreeBSD instead of CentOS7. But actually I want an environment that is as heterogen as possible since it makes life easier…

Fedora23 - First Impressions

When you read my blog posts, you know that I switched not that long ago from Manjaro, an Arch-based distribution to Arch. And now I switched again - this time to [Fedora]. Even so I was really satisified with Arch. It worked, it was fast and the Arch User Repositories are awesome. I rarely had to google how to install a software. I just had to use a wrapper to search them. And when I googled the first hit was often the Arch Wiki. Right now the Arch Wiki is probably the best documentation for Linux-related software.

But, yes there is a but, recently I started to look more into securing my system. Following more and more ITSec-people on Twitter, I got a bit paranoid and want to have a securer system. At work most of my servers run CentOS and usually I deactivated SELinux because it always meant annoyances. To be honest I didn’t know a thing about it and so when it made a problem I just deactivated it. I wanted to play with some new software, not learn how to troubleshoot some security system I do not need for my internal systems. Now I started to look into SELinux and the tools for redhat-based systems are really good and SELinux isn’t that hard and my systems get more secure[footnote]I really recommend to watch the talk Security-enhanced Linux for mere mortals. And I actually need it also for my internal systems. If there is a breach, this could make life harder for the intruder.[/footnote].

So I wanted to have more security for my system. I tried Grsecurity but I couldn’t get Chrome to run and hibernation wouldn’t work either. Then I tried to install SELinux but I failed. And when I asked on the forums and on the mailing list, I got not very satisfying answers and felt like I got hit by the infamous pseudo-elitism of the Arch-community. Henceforth I thought I try a redhat-system. CentOS is a bit too stable for me and I want regularly new packages. So I decided to go Fedora.

It has a nice installer which worked out of the box. I could use my full encrypted disk and keep my home-directory. After installation I got booted into Gnome which is ok. I like Gnome but I prefer tiling window managers nowadays. When I opened a terminal and typed vim, I got my first surprise. vim wasn’t available but I got offered that it is available in this and that package and if I want to install it. I did and it got installed. Neat. DNF, the package manager of Fedora, is quite nice. I really like that when I remove software dependencies from that software get usually removed as well. What I don’t like is the available software in the repositories. You need extra repos for non-free software (like codecs with patents), I need to google for a way to install software and sometimes it takes quite some time etc. I really miss the AUR. And I didn’t know that a lot of sotware is available for debian-based distros, but not so much for rpm-based distros. Another problem I didn’t expect was that I had now older software than before with Arch and that this could become a problem. I do encrypted backups with Backintime. For the encryption it uses encFS. Well, Arch has encFS 1.7.5, Fedora 23 1.7.4 and that meant that I couldn’t open my backup. I googled but I couldn’t find a way to install it. Maybe if I compiled it from source. I tried Linux Brew but that stopped when there was a dependency that needed XCode. What the…‽

Then I learned to know about Fedora Rawhide which seems to be some kind of beta-channel for Fedora and is closer to a rolling distribution. But when I wanted to switch to it, I would have lost Handbrake and the repo I am using offers only packages for Fedora 23. Probably it is for the better.

Another problem I had was with Japanese input. It was a lot of hassle and I thought it is the beginning of the 2000s. According to the internet it should have been easier, but it wasn’t for me. さて、 今日本語を入力できます[footnote]Well, now I can type in Japanese.[/footnote]。

Other small things are that I switched my login-shell to zsh but all the terminal emulators didn’t respect that and that some packages or the software they provide have strange names. For example the package that provides gvim (graphical vim) is called vim-X11. Or I installed “rxvt-unicode-256color-ml” because I wanted a urxvt with 256color-support. It isn’t started with urxvt like I am accustomed to but with urxvt256c-ml. And I wondered what went wrong when my mutt complained about missing colors. I understand the reason because then you can have standard urxvt also installed, still it is a bit weird imho.

So far, it doesn’t sound well. But, and here is a but again, there is some stuff I really enjoy. Using SELinux is a breeze. There are great tools that show you that something went wrong and how to fix it. IPtables is installed and pre-configured. There is a graphical tool to configure it further and it makes it really easy, even if you have no knowledge about IPtables. I like DNF as a package manager so far. Easy to use, good search, I like that it also removes unneeded dependencies by default etc. Fedora also uses Gnome-software which is like an App Store for Linux-software. It looks really nice and is easy to use. I will not really need it, since I like the command line but for browsing and finding new software it is nice.

I will need more time to get to a final conclusion. Thanks to the AUR Arch feels a bit more easier to use for me. But I like that I have now a more secure system. And I can experiment with stuff on my home machine I can later use at my job. Arch is nice for a desktop but I’d never install it on a server. There it will always be CentOS or Debian I guess…or some BSD. Thus for the time being I will stay with Fedora and I wonder how the upgrade to 24 will work out.

Some more experiences one week later.

Would I switch back from Linux to OS X?

Since I switched from OS X to Linux, one of the questions I get asked now and then is whether I would switch back. Since recently I clearly said that I would switch back to OS X and iOS if my income situation would change that I could afford it again. But recently my opinion is changing. When I get to hear that people are forced to upgrade from 10.6 to a more recent version of OS X because iOS got updated to iOS9. And iOS9 syncs only with a version of iTunes that doesn’t run on OS X 10.6. Thus one user I know had to upgrade and move away from the apps he still used with Rosetta and had to buy newer versions. Another user has an old MacBook that doesn’t run anything newer than 10.6. Thus she would need to abandon her working laptop and get a new one for things like syncing music to her iPhone. Hint: the user won’t get another iPhone. Then there are problems like the user where I couldn’t get to work again and moved the user over to MailMate, reports that OS X gets more and more annoying about updating which sounds like Windows to me[footnote]Yes, I know updates are important but for example updating to an 10.X.0 can be problematic.[/footnote], stuff like not allowing an app with video content about IT-security into the AppStore for the AppleTV etc etc.

In addition I see more and more value in using F/OSS. If I want to I can get the source code and fix a bug myself. I am most of the time not able to, but I have the possibility. And that’s in addition to having software that is free as in beer[footnote]From time to time I donate money to software projects I use a lot.[/footnote]. I also have no real problems with my setup. Even though I am using a rolling distribution, it just works as long as I do not get “creative”. And if I do not like the desktop environment/window manager I am using now, I can try another one[footnote]But i3 is really awesome and I try from time to time stacking/compositing window managers/Desktop environments and return to i3 after a short while.[/footnote]. I have also a bigger choice in hardware, even though it will be hard for you to move me away from X-Series Thinkpads ;) I can buy good serviceable hardware for cheap as used computer, I can build up my own computer from parts or I can buy some high end new shit and nowadays most stuff already works with Linux. A lot has happened in the last 10 years. I can use the same operating software for my servers, my raspberry pi and my own machine. Even though I will use different distributions. Thanks to systemd distributions got more similar in handling them. And that is great. More and more I think that if I could get those 1500€ for a new computer, I might spend it on a Thinkpad X250 and not a MacBook Air/Pro. And don’t let us get started about docking stations. I love mine. It is so awesome to move my laptop around and when I am at home, I connect it to my docking station and it gets connected to two external displays, several hard drives, a DVD-drive[footnote]Which I still need regularly for getting movies cheap or for childrens movies[/footnote] and my ergonomic keyboard and the vertical mouse. With my MacBook Air this was quite cumbersome and involved a chain of USB-Hubs…

Btw. it is similar now for my Android-phone. My LG G4 is awesome and I really do not see a point why I would want to switch to a current iPhone for loads of more money. Games would be the only reason and because of time constraints I play less and less and I have more than enough games on my pile of shame.

Creating systemd timers instead of a personal crontab

Yesterday I’ve got rid of a to do I had for months in my list: converting my crontab to systemd timers. Once the timers are set they can be controlled via systemctl, log to journald, systemctl –user shows if something failed and systemctl –user list-timers shows a list of your timers, when they ran the last time and when they will run the next time. It is great. But since I am not a pro when it comes to systemd I had a hard time figuring out how I get systemd timers to run for my personal context. For example I am using mutt with isync[footnote]isync is far better than offlineimap. It is faster and uses a less ressources but it is imho harder to configure because it is not as widely used as offlineimap. But the developer is very helpful on the mailing list.[/footnote] and for getting automatically my mails, I run several cron jobs or now timers.

After a lot of googling and try and error, this is my solution. There is probably a way to do it more elegant and more efficient, but this works for me.

In ~/.config/systemd/user you have to create two files per job. One file is the service-file, the other one the timer-file. For example myjob.service and myjob.timer.

myjob.service looks something like this:

Description=This is my job I want to run

ExecStart=/home/user/bin/ foo bar


myjob.timer looks something like this:

Description=Run my job every 6 minutes
RefuseManualStart=no #I can manually start the timer
RefuseManualStop=no #I can manually stop the timer

Persistent=false #when it is true systemd stores when the timer was last run and when the machine boots up after a long time, it will automatically catch up onto this timer if it should have run in the meantime
OnBootSec=80 #how many seconds after the boot should it run the first time
OnCalendar=*:0/20 #I will explain that later


OnCalendar takes different arguments which define when the timer runs. You can do stuff like “hourly” or “weekly” or “*:0/20” will run the timer every twenty minutes. The times that can be used by timers are explained in systemd.time(7).

After you created both files, you should start at first your service to find out, if it will run or fail and you need to debug:

systemctl --user start myjob.service

When it runs succesfully:

systemctl --user start myjob.timer
systemctl --user enable myjob.timer

The man-pages you want to read regarding timers are systemd.timer(5) and systemd.time(7).

This is really a quick and dirty-solution and I bet there is a far more elegant way to solve this, but this way I could convert my complete crontab and it is working.

Here are the sources I used to figure out how to get the stuff to work:


Messenger hell

I remember 1994. I had one messenger: the AOL Instant Messenger and the world was good. Then someone showed me ICQ and suddenly I had two messengers. One for people I knew from my AOL-times[footnote]Yes, I moved on but before that AOL was just cheaper. I had the choice between AOL (local call + a fee per minute for AOL) or a distance call over 50km to log into a university-account. AOL was still cheaper.[/footnote] and for people who used ICQ. Then I learned to know some people from Australia. And believe it or not, Yahoo Messenger was popular over there. So I had now 3 accounts. And then I met through a public chat room[footnote]Remember those? Not IRC or twitter but a webpage with a chat in HTML where people met to chat with strangers?[/footnote] some people I started to go to parties with. And yes, they used the MSN Messenger. Later I learned about Jabber/XMPP and another group of people used that. Multi-messengers to the rescue. But it still kinda sucked. Time moved on and there was the hope that services are switching to XMPP. Because networks of friends where changing my messenger-needs changed, too. But the problem is the same. I still have to use several messengers. Thanks to mobile and how messengers set up nowadays I just have the disadvantage that a multi-messenger is not really possible anymore. I use Threema for some friends and family. TextSecure for group chats at work, Hangouts with a couple of friends, Twitter-DMs with other friends, Skype-IM when I am playing P&P-RPGs online[footnote]But Hangouts for the video-part. Strange world, isn’t it?[/footnote], if I would still use actively, I’d probably use also Some people still use only SMS on their phone because they do not have a smartphone and don’t see a reason why to get one[footnote]Which is perfectly understandable in their cases[/footnote] and when I still used an iPhone, I also used iMessage. If I really wanted to be reachable by everyone I know, I would need to install WhatsApp and FB Messenger, probably Telegram and Line as well. And if I want to bring together people from different circles of friends, I run into the problem that person A doesn’t always use one of the messengers person B uses and both are reluctant to install yet another one.

And then the new hot shit comes along - perfect crypto, maybe stickers, maybe group chats. And how the hell should I move people from one of the messengers I recommended in the past to the new one? I am the “tech guy” in my family and I do not know how I can explain why they should switch from Threema to TextSecure, just because it is open source and therefore it might be more secure but doesn’t have features like audio messages[footnote]or built-in voting - lolwut[/footnote]. It seems that we are in for the long-haul with messenger hell and that it will never stop[footnote]Since XMPP wasn’t succesful it might be proven that a distributed messenger won’t work and when one company comes along to own them all, someone will say that it is an evil monopoly and therefore won’t use it and switch to another one[/footnote].

And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

Manjaro - user friendly for various degrees of user friendliness

Recently I switched to Linux. At first I used Linux Mint but it’s philosophy that there shouldn’t be dist-upgrade but a clean install every six months was not very comforting. Then I heard about Manjaro in an episode of Going Linux about Sonar GNU/Linux. Sonar is a distribution which is specialized for disabled people and they just switched from some distribution to Manjaro. In the episode I heard phrases like “Manjaro does for Arch what Ubuntu does for Debian”. Quite a claim. And since Arch is a rolling release and thus I didn’t have to worry about dist-upgrades anymore and Manjaro is based on Arch but in user-friendly, I gave it a try. Right on the frontpage of the Manjaro-website they boast there is the following sentence in big fat letters:

"Professional and user friendly Linux at its best."

Sounds great, so I tried it for a short time and my laptop worked with it fine. Thus I decided to abandon the Mint-install and switch to Manjaro and stay with it. I do not want to waste time with switching distributions, even so it is tempting.

Unfortunately Manjaro is user friendly for various degrees of user friendly. Let’s compare it to other distributions, I would call user friendly like Mint or Ubuntu[footnote]Ok, Mint is based on Ubuntu, so well…[/footnote]. I installed Mint and everything worked out of the box. I connected my external hard drives and could read and write to them, I connected my secondary display and in contrast to OS X it directly detected the correct resolution, if I needed some software, I could usually find a deb-package except Gnome Shell, stuff like i3 worked like I would expect it from the manual etc.

Then I started to install Manjaro. I know that it does not yet have reached the state of a 1.0 but it boasts to be user friendly. The graphical installer couldn’t be used by me because when I chose English as UI-language, I couldn’t choose a German locale. Thus I used the command line-based installer which is menu-driven. It worked but I needed the help of Google to set it all up with an encrypted hard drive. I ended up with an XFCe-desktop like I expected. Then I installed Gnome3 because that is actually the desktop I wanted to use and missed from Mint. That worked but suddenly the splash-screen was messy and when I switched to the TTYs I could see parts of the splash screens. The only way I could get rid of it, was to edit my grub-file, thus the splash-screen doesn’t show up anymore.

I tried using the graphical install-tool called Pamac which also supports AUR. AUR are the Arch User Repository. As far as I understand it there are official repositories but those have not a lot of software. So users can add new software via the AUR and with the package manager of Arch, you can easily install them. Unfortunately Pamac had quite often the problem that when I tried to install more than one package from the AUR or had to install dependencies, then it usually stopped working. But I could never got it fail consistently enough to write a bug report. Henceforth I abandoned it and started using the command-line tool called pacman. And learned how to use AURs. Later I found out about yaourt and packer which made my life easier. But really user-friendly is something else.

For more fun: I just learned about how to remove orphans with pacman in manjaro and it just removed git from my system.

Next thing: I installed vim. And when I installed it, it was quite a recent version, nothing like the old stuff Mint gives you (350 patches behind or so). There I had to compile my vim from hand to get something fairly recent. When I opened the first time a markdown-file my vim gave me errors that it is not compiled with python. Thus I had to google and found out that I have to install gvim because the vim-version just gives you a watered-down version and only gvim is compiled with (probably nearly) everything possible. Why? An Ubuntu or CentOS have for example various vim-packages like vim-tiny, vim, vim-gnome etc. So you can quite easily see what you get. I just wondered why my vim won’t work with python and had to google again. Please Manjaro, be friendlier to the user and tell her straight what she gets.

When I wanted to dip my foot into i3, I found a meta-package called i3. I thought that this is great and easily installed. Then I started i3, pushed win+d which should call up dmenu and nothing happened. I really wondered what the problem is. Searched the i3-manual and yes, that should call up dmenu. Well, dmenu wasn’t installed. The i3-meta package handles dmenu as optional because it isn’t required to install dmenu to run i3, even so the i3-user manual on the i3-website prominently speaks about dmenu. When you offer something like a meta-package, you shouldn’t offer a piece of software that is mentioned in the manual of that software only as an optional install but just install it. I didn’t install i3-wm, I installed i3. Yes, I oversaw that dmenu is optional but it shouldn’t be optional in the i3-package but should be included.

When I installed Openbox, it was pretty barebones, too. I expected the full experience since there is a Manjaro-edition with Openbox but nope, not really. And I cannot even find packages that give me a decent configuration.

After installing Gnome 3 I had to set up by myself that the laptop suspends when the lid gets closed. It is configured correctly in XFCe, so why don’t they apply configurations like this to other desktop environments as well?

My secondary display is not detected correctly and shows the same problem as in OS X. Now I have to figure out, how I get it to work in 1280x768 :(

But my absolute favorite is how Manjaro handles external hard drives. I have several disks that are formatted with ext4 and several with HFS+. When I connected the ext4-disks in Mint, I could just use them. Manjaro mounts them by default with user root and group root and the permissions that only they can write to them. Asking in the forums just led to what I could find easily: change by hand on the command line owner and permissions. I know that I can configure it somehow with udev and udisks. But why do I have to? Manjaro claims to be user friendly. It should work as a user expects it who comes from user friendly distributions or beware from Windows or OS X.

I do not expect behavior like that what I described above from Arch or Gentoo. Those distributions are not aiming to be user friendly in my opinion. But Manjaro states that it is. Thus the distribution developers/maintainers should think about the needs of true users. Right now Manjaro is like Arch but at least you have a ready available desktop environment and some applications after installing it. That makes it a bit more user friendly but it is far from user friendly.

I really like Manjaro. It is some work and I have to tinker and learn more about my system. And things work mostly the way I want them to work[footnote]There are some pieces of software I cannot get to work but I had the same problem on Mint with other pieces of software like Gnome 3.[/footnote] but I would not dare for example to install it on the laptop of my brother-in-law who asked to install Linux instead of Windows on his new used laptop. There I installed Ubuntu since I know from several non-technical persons that they have no real problems with it and could fix their problems easily. With Manjaro, well, I do not waste my time on more inner-family-support calls. But I will keep it on my laptop.

Using a fingerprint-reader on Thinkpad with Linux

I had the problem that just using fprintd on my system as an authentication-method lead me to a state where I always had to input my fingerprint or fail three times until I could finally type my password. In the pam.d-config-files not fprintd should be used but fingerprint-gui. That works then also for the TTYs and when you have registered several fingers, you can use them all and not only your right index-finger for authentication. There is an Arch-How To for this:

Apples Lock-In

As you maybe know I switched recently to Linux and Android and lived before that the Apple-Lifestyle. I had a 2011 MacBook Air, an iPhone 4S and an iPad[footnote]which I still have and use[/footnote]. So I really could see what Jobs meant with his e-mail when he wrote"tie all of our products together, so we further lock customers into our ecosystem".

This is only a critique about Apples way locking someone in. That doesn’t say others do not try the same. Google tries to get you into their eco-systems or Amazon wants you to lock you into the Kindle-ecosystem. Therefore Google can show you more ads and Amazon can sell you more Kindle-books etc. But their lockin-strategy involve to be ubiquitous thus I can at least change the manufacturer of my laptop or my phone. Yes, I know Apple is in the hardware-selling business but not being able to change hardware and operating systems is in my experience worse than having several apps for reading ebooks on my device.

So, let’s start.


I’ve seen more and more applications adopting iCloud as a medium to share documents between devices. Usually you need the same applicaiton on all your devices. Like iA Writer on the iPhone and iA Write on the Mac and the iPad to get to those documents. So if you saved your documents to iCloud, you won’t be able to get them onto another operating system.

Contacts and Calendars

Apple uses Caldav and Carddav, standards, to synchronize calendars and contacts between devices. It should be easy to get read/write-acces to them, right? Right? Nope. You can share a caldav-URL easily but that is read-only. If you want to give someone write-access, you can do this only easily when they are also in the Apple-ecosphere. And I cannot remember having something similar available for Contacts at all. Sure you can export all the data and get ics-files for your calendars and vcs-files for your contacts but I cannot use iCloud easily. And I need to use iCloud for syncing because I am doing stuff together with people and we are all accustomed to use the the Apple-service.

Fortunately some other people wrote software to get those URLs[footnote]A solution for desktop-computers is here. For syncing iCloud-calendars on Android you need iCloud Sync for Android and for syncing contacts you need Sync for iCloud Contacts. Or if you have already the URLs you can probably, just use apps for adding caldav- and carddav-support to Android which makes it a more general approach.[/footnote] but you have to find that first.


iTunes won’t let you sync music to other devices than iOS-devices and iPods, everybody knows that. And getting your music collection onto those devices iTunes is the only way to use. Btw. I know several people who switched away from iOS-devices or wouldn’t get one because they dislike iTunes or cannot use it for some reason like using Linux.

And iTunes Match is only usable with iTunes and iOS-devices. It’s nice to have but when I thought about switching, I didn’t want to give up that functionality. Contenders have at least software for iOS and Android to make that possible.

And then there is the DRM. It is not necessarily Apples fault but the content industry that wants DRM. But if I do not have iTunes available, I cannot legally watch the video-content I aquired licenses for. Yep, I am into buying DVDs[footnote]And maybe sometime in the future Bluerays but HD doesn’t give me enough bang for the buck that I will start using Blueray in the near future.[/footnote] again.

I checked it today and couldn’t find any way to export podcasts. To be honest it is the only podcast-app on iOS that I know that doesn’t allow exporting subscriptions as opml. But afaik it works great together with all the other Apple-products.

Update: You can export your list of podcasts from iTunes and you can sync the app with iTunes. But you cannot export a list of podcasts right from the podcast-app on the iPhone.

Apple TV

Nice device, if you are living the Apple-lifestyle. Step away from the path and it becomes pretty useless afaik.

Facetime and Messages

Oh, you want to use Messages or facetime with someone who doesn’t have an Apple-device? That’s your problem. All the people you know have iOS-devices, but you don’t? Well you can’t use what they might be accustomed to.


This is actually a problem of all operating systems and ecosystems. But this was a reason for years for not even thinking about switching to another mobile OS. I just spent too much money on apps, that I won’t be able to use anymore. This was really hard to overcome in my mind.

The Future

Thinking about upcoming releases and the lock in, Continuity comes to mind. The feature in which you can start working on something on your computer and seemlessly continue to work on it on your iOS-device. Sounds great, but moving away from Apple and that feature will be lost.


Using only Apple-products is great. Everything works pretty much seamlessly together but moving away one step and a lot of things just break. Thus Apple really tries to get you to use their new features, so you integrate them into your workflows. And when you use only Apples products and some of their third-party-developers like Omni, you are becoming dependent on them and cannot switch easily to anything else. After all you have to rethink how you get things done at the end of the day. With using those features you gain some utility but also loose a bit of freedom of choice in the future.

I don’t have a grudge against Apple that they are doing what they are doing. It is an important strategy to get more sales. But I see often complains about other companies that try to lock you in, but Apple mastered it imho.

Installing Oracle JDK in Mint

When I installed the Android Developer Studio and started it, I got the message that OpenJDK has performance issues and that one should install the JDK/JRE by Oracle. Oracle offers only tar-balls and rpms, thus I needed to find a way to install it. Thanks to Google the solution wasn’t far away but for making it easier findable for me, I post the way I did it in the end here as well in a more generalized way.

Download the JDK from Oracle, then start by removing OpenJDK:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get remove “openjdk”

Then go to your downloads-directory and untar the tar.gz (tar -xzvf jdk-$version)

Create a folder in /opt for the jdk:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/java

Move the JDK to the folder:

sudo mv ~/Downloads/jdk$version /opt/java/

Make the JRE and JDK the default sudo update-alternatives –install “/usr/bin/java” “java” “/opt/java/jdk$version/bin/java” 1

sudo update-alternatives –set java /opt/java/jdk§version/bin/java

sudo update-alternatives –install “/usr/bin/javac” “javac” “/opt/java/jdk$version/bin/javac” 1

sudo update-alternatives –set javac /opt/java/jdk§version/bin/javac

Switching from OS X to Linux

After my switch from iOS to Android, I switched now from OS X to Linux. I wrote already about my reasons for switching. I switched in 2004 from Linux to OS X because my laptop got stolen and I needed a new one. My requirements were a unix-style operating system where I have nothing to do to make it work and a small laptop with great battery runtime. The iBook 4G 12" was the best in that regard back then. Last year I tried my luck with running Linux for 30 days and talked about it in some podcast-episodes of mine. The short version: running Linux from a USB-stick on a MacBook Air is not a very bright idea to get to know if Linux is any good. It works somehow, but not well.

But in the last couple of months or maybe it is a process which went already for a year or longer, I moved more and more of my workflow to open source-tools that are also available on Linux. The last things that were a problem were my iPhone, OmniFocus and 1Password. Since I switched now to Android, the iPhone is no problem anymore. Because the OmniFocus-client I tried on Android wasn’t good enough, but the todotxt-client <a href=“"Simpletask (Cloudless) was really good, I switched my todo-workflow over to todo.txt. So the next hurdle was gone. And then I found out that you can run 1Password 4 in wine with working browser-extensions. So somehow the most important parts should work. I thought several times about switching to Linux but thought that I actually like my MacBook Air and have no real issues with OS X, so there is no good enough reason for it. But then one of the laptops in our household is on the verge of dying and a new Apple-computer is just too expensive right now. So I decided to go for a used Thinkpad X201. I added a 250GB SSD, got me a docking station and will get a 9-cell-battery in the near future. That is still cheaper than a used MacBook Air and far cheaper than a new laptop.

This blog post is about my experiences with getting the laptop up and running to a state that I want to and can work with. You will find some advice, links and nice software I found.

Installing Linux and first software

I started out with installing Mint 17. Why Mint? Well it is partly the fault of @tante. I asked him what I sould use: Ubuntu, Mint, Arch or Gentoo and his anser was Mint. Arch and Gentoo are closer to the bleeding edge and need more maintenance and Ubuntu is often a bad fork according to him. And what I read in the past it seems that Ubuntu goes more and more its own ways and therefore might get shunned from the community. The latter one is just my own concern. Installing Mint on the X201 was a breeze. It installed and every piece of hardware in the laptop worked out of the box. When I put the laptop into the docking station, everything continued to work and even using a secondary display over the display port worked. My secondary display is an old TFT-TV which I got only correctly to work with OS X with the help of SwitchResX and fiddling around. With Mint, it worked out of the box. So far so good.

Installing software was mainly no problem. Steam was installed fast and it didn’t need long until I could play my first games of VVVVVV, Super Hexagon, Super Meat Boy and Shadowrun Returns on my Linux-machine. In comparison to the past, I could suddenly play the games I want to play problem free on Linux. What a blast.

The version of vim is something like 300 patches behind in the repositories of Mint, so I had to compile it by myself. That was rather easy by following a guide called Building Vim from Source.

Let the fun begin

And then I started with the not so easy stuff. I wanted carddav-sync for syncing my contacts between my phone, my laptop and owncloud. I needed caldav-sync with calendars from iCloud, I wanted emulation of retro-console- and arcade games, I need Japanese input, I want to use mutt instead of a GUI-mail client, I need 1Password etc.

Syncing Carddav with owncloud

There are two ways I got cardday-syncing to work. But first you need the correct URL from Owncloud. I got the working one from logging into my owncloud, going to contacts and then push in the lower left corner the button for the Carddav-Link (a small globe). Mine looks like:…

And after getting that, which was actually the hard part because I couldn’t find it and googled which led to lots of wrong results, it was easy to get it working.

Number one is Evolution. There you can add a new addressbook with your credentials and the link and then it just worked for me. Number two is pycarddav. That worked as well, but I have no idea yet, how to get stuff into it. But at least I can pull my addressbook. I have a cronjob that runs it every 10 minutes. And with pycarddav I have an easy way to get completions for addresses in mutt.

I cannot recommend Thunderbird for syncing with carddav because Thunderbirds sync can only pull one e-mail-address from a carddav-addressbook per user. And if there are multiple addresses, it will choose one randomly.

Syncing calendars from iCloud

My wife is still all Apple and we need shared calendars, so I haven’t have a look yet how owncloud works with multiple users, calendar sharing and I remember only that it wasn’t that easy to get it to sync with OS X and iOS. So we still use iCloud for our calendars. The problematic part was again finding out the right URLs. I used a software from which I installed on my Uberspace. It was just unpacking it into a directory of the webserver and visiting the site. Then entering my credentials and I got all the URLs. There is even a URL for carddav, so you might even be able to sync your contacts with iCloud.

I am using again Evolution to sync my calendars. It works fine.

mutt and offlineimap

I had already settings which worked quite well but needed a bit of fixing up. I followed mainly The Ultimate Guide to Mutt to get everything to work. The only real problem I had in the end was getting offlineimap working as a cronjob. I ended up putting my passwords into the .offlineimaprc because I just couldn’t get Gnome Keyring to work with a cronjob and only the pure offlineimap-command worked in a cronjob. When I used for example “offlineimap -q -f INBOX -u quiet”, it didn’t work. Only “offlineimap -u quiet” (or whatever interface you want) works for whatever reason. I added hooks for Mairix in offlineimap and added a keybinding in mutt for doing a fast-sync of the inboxes, when I see on my phone that mail arrived and I am too curious.


In the beginning it looked a bit desperate in terms of emulation. I only found command line emulators and had problems getting everything to work. But then I found solutions. a) Nintendo-consoles (NES, SNES, GBC, GBA): Higan which is in the repos of Mint 17. b) Sega-consoles (Master System, Game Gear, Mega Drive/Genesis + CD + 32X): Kega Fusion which I needed to install from the site

For arcade games you can search for MAME and for the rest you might have to use a command line-client.

If you use an XBox360-pad there is a better driver than the built-in one which is called xboxdrv. If you need to map your joypad to keyboard-buttons there is the tool QJoyPad which does it. It is a bit weird to use, but it works.

The rest

The easiest way to get Japanese input working was ibus with anthy. As dictionary software I am using gjiten and installed additionally the wadoku in the edict-format.

For syncing I am using Bittorrent-Sync which has nowadays a nice GUI-tool in Linux as well: Linux Desktop Gui Unofficial Packages For Bittorrent Sync.

I am accustomed to have escape and control on my caps-lock-key. Control for key-combinations, escape when I just press it. This is great when you use vim a lot. For getting this mapping to work, I use xcape. This works only in X, but on my private laptoop I am most of the time in the GUI anyways.

For getting 1Password to work, I have a blog-post for you. If you are a YNAB-user, it works fine in Linux with wine as well.

After testing out several Twitter-clients in Linux, I ended up using the Chrome-app of Tweetdeck which works quite well. For there is Cauldron which works as good as on Windows and OS X.

For music I am using Google Music All-Access in combination with the Nuvola Player. With that player I get native integration into the desktop with Google Music, at least as native as it gets with Flash in the app. I get notifications for song changes and can use the media keys of my keyboard.

My GUI-client for todo.txt is DayTasks which is better than the other clients I tested. It is quite nice, when I do not want to use the command line interface of todo.txt.

The only thing which I did not figured out yet is a workflow for creating screencasts for Let’s Plays. There is ScreenStudio but this didn’t really work in an initial test. And from time to time Cinnamon just freezes - everything freezes except the cursor. Restarting X helps but this is not really satisfying. I did not yet find out what the reason might be.


So far I am positively surprised. The hardware worked out of the box and the laptop is really neat. If I wouldn’t have certain demands, I could have started to work directly after the installation of the system. The system is really fast, the fans are not too loud, when I am running tons of stuff, it seems to have lower RAM-needs than OS X and all in all it works and is pleasant to use. I enjoy having the docking station which makes live easier since I do not have to unplug my external HDDs and controllers when I take my laptop with me, but just remove the laptop from the docking station. I wonder if I stay as satisfied with this system, as I do with my Android-phone right now. Would you have told me a couple of months ago that I go from all OS X and iOS to Linux and Android, I would have laughed. But right now, everything works and is fun to use. I wonder what I will think in a couple of months once the novelty has worn off.

1Password 4 in Linux

First: huge thanks to @thatswinnie and @PhilippeLM . Winnie for pointing me to Philippe and Philippe for pointing me to the right forum-entries and his helpful posts to get it to work in Linux with 1Password 4 and Firefox. Supposedly it works with the Chrome-extension, too.

Please take note that this solution is not officially supported by AgileBits and can probably break with any update. But let’s hope that it doesn’t.

So 1Password is a pretty popular password-manager for OS X and there is also a version available for Windows. In addition there are great companion apps for iOS and Android[footnote]I am syncing the different installations with the help of Bittorrent Sync. OTA-sync with my own infrastructure. The iOS-version gets synced via iTunes.[/footnote]. Since I have licenses for all the versions, I wanted to continue to use it on Linux. But how?

First you have to install Wine. There should be a package for it in the package manager of your distribtion. Then start Wine once, so it can configure itself.

Next up, download 1Password for Windows and open the downloaded exe. It should be opened by Wine and start the installer. Just let it do its thing. Then you have to edit the following file ~/.wine/user.reg[footnote]The reg-files are representations of parts of the windows-registry for Wine.[/footnote] for disabling browser validation. Search for [Software\AgileBits\1Password 4] and add beneath it a new entry:


Save the file, open 1Password and restart the 1Password Helper. This option is in 1Password in Help - Restart 1Password Helper.

Then you have to download and install the Browser-Add On/extension from AgileBits. Restart your browser and it should work. I had to restart the 1Password Helper once more and after that it worked flawlessly for me.

Update: I have now my real machine and couldn’t get it to work even with this manual. To get the 1Password-extension working I had to open the preferences of 1Password, had to go to the Browsers-tab and check “Unlock on Secure Desktop”. After a restart of Firefox, it worked.

My virtual videogame shelf

I felt the need to track my old video games and I wanted to be able to do it from my smartphone and my computer. After a bit of search, I had the idea to do it with a wordpress-blog. I know that at least one other person (Hi @streakmachine) wants to do something similar, I thought it might be a good idea to explain what I am doing.

I am using a recent Wordpress. The theme I am using is called Market. The plugins I have installed are:

  • Antispam Bee (against spam obviously without sending all data the US)
  • Archivist (for a better archive-site)
  • QuickCache (if more people than expected should be interested in the site
  • Then I created categories for each console I want to track games for. Other interesting data I want to easily filter for I add via tags. The title of the article is the name of the game. If it is a Japanese game it depends on which name I usually use when I talk about a game. Often this is the US-title and if it is a Japanese-game where I use the US-title usually I just add (Japanese). For each article I use now the following boilerplate text: Japanese Name: The Japanese name in Kana and Kanji with a translation. Other Names: Some games have different names per region which are commonly known. For example Seiken Densetsu is known as Final Fantasy Adventure in the US and as Mystic Quest in Europe. Release Date: YYYY-MM-DD Code: There is a code on Nintendo-modules that identify them Packaging: Do I own the packaging? Manual: Do I own the manual Battery Date: YYYY-MM - if the module has a battery it is useful to know how old is approximately Condition: I am not sure yet how I want to quantify the condition of the module, manual and packaging Genre: Which genre is the game part of. The genre is used also as a tag. Rating in tests: How was the game rated? I try to add the Famitsu-, IGN- and Video Games-rating (the last one is my favorite German videogame-magazine from back in the day) Personal Rating: a rating from 0-5 in .5-steps if I have a opinion Completed: Did I finish the game. Also added as a tag. Now you can see my pile of shame and I can think if I really need that other game. Wikipedia-article: A link to the English Wikipedia-article Language Skills: Which language skills are needed. More a service for other people Notes: Some personal notes which can grow up to a blog-article in its own rights

    Then I add some tags, usually the genre and whether I completed the game or not. Maybe I should add the release year. I add this because I can search then easier for it.

    With my iPhone I make a square picture of the module, packaging and manual. I add the picture with the size 300x300 to the article as a feature picture via the iPhone-app from Wordpress and put the picture on top of the article. The feature picture is needed to show it on the front page.

    The last thing to mention is the archive-page which I create with the Archivist-plug in. The games are sorted by console and within that by alphabet. The entries look like this:

    [archivist query=“category_name=CATEGORY-SLUG&orderby=name&order=asc”]

    That’s it I think. It seems to work but at one point I’d like to add better photos. I can now easily search the games, have a look which I have, can see which I did not yet complete etc.


    Es schreien ja in letzter Zeit so viele “Krypto, Krypto”. Und auch wenn es nur das Aspirin gegen den Kopfschmerz des Hirntumors ist, versuche ich Krypto zu benutzen. Und dann kommen immer wieder diese Fails von gerade den Leuten, bei denen man erwartet, dass es klappen sollte. Und ich frage mich: Wenn ihr schon die ganze Zeit davon erzählt und es selbst nicht auf die Reihe bekommt, wie sollen es normale Menschen auf die Reihe bekommen?

    Drei Beispiele, die mir spontan in den Kopf kommen:

    • Das SSL-Zertifikat von war vor einiger Zeit abgelaufen. So richtig aufgefallen ist es, weil iOS sich dann geweigert hat die Seite zu besuchen. Es hat gefühlt Ewigkeiten gedauert bis ein neues eingespielt wurde.
    • Der Sub-Key von für ist abgelaufen. Mal abgesehen davon, dass ich ne Weile gebraucht habe, bis ich gerafft habe, was das Problem ist, weil der Haupt-Key eben nicht abgelaufen ist, ist das schon ein wenig peinlich. Auf die Frage an @netzpolitik gab es nur folgende Antwort: "ja, steht auf der To-Do-Liste. Bis dahin kannst Du mir direkt auch eine verschlüsselte Mail schicken."
    • Ich habe heute eine Mail an ein eher öffentlich stehendes CCC-Mitglied, das den Eindruck eines Aluhuts hinterlässt und bittet, dass sein PGP-Key verwendet wird, geschrieben. Also Key importiert, verschlüsselte Mail geschrieben (und es ging auch erstmal was schief, weil die angegebene Kontaktadresse nicht im Key ist). Und was bekomme ich als Antwort? Eine signierte aber unverschlüsselte E-Mail, die den kompletten Inhalt der ursprünglichen Mail enthält. War nichts weltbewegendes, aber ernsthaft?

    Jetzt mal Butter bei de Fische: Wenn es der CCC mit SSL ewig nicht hinbekommt, Netzpolitik seine Keys nicht aktuell halten kann und bekanntere Aluhut-CCC-Mitglieder auf verschlüsselte Mails mit unverschlüsselten antworten, warum sollte man dann auch nur ansatzweise annehmen, dass Otto-Normal auch nur den Hauch einer Chance hat Mittel zur Kryptographie zu verwenden und zu verstehen? Warum sollte man es überhaupt benutzen, wenn gerade die zumindest gefühlten Verfechter sich nicht mal wirklich die Mühe machen?

    Outlining academical notes in plain-text

    When writing a term paper or like now my final thesis, I need for myself to do an outline of all the notes from articles and books I am reading. In the past I used OmniOutliner for that job but I want to convert to plain text more again. Plain text just has the advantage of portability. Also I can use one editor for writing my notes and my thesis[footnote]In my case it is vim and when I understood how awesome the combination of vim+tmux is, I even converted from MacVim/gvim to vim on the cli. If you want learn vim, I can really recommend the Vimcasts and Practical Vim, both by Drew Neil.[/footnote].

    Thus I have my editor open in full screen and just have a split view, left with my notes, on the right with my thesis[footnote]which I write in LaTeX, to be correct I write it with XeTeX[/footnote]. Because I am using a Bib-File for compiling my bibliography, each text has a cite-key which is kind of a unique date to identify the text. My cite-keys have the following format: firstauthorxyearyz, for example cukiermanx1992hc. So first the first author, then an x to divide author and publication year, then the publication year and then to random letters. The advantage of an x in contrast to a special character is well, it is not a special character and won’t make any trouble when using my files on other computers. For administering my bib-file I am using BibDesk which is an awesome piece of software for that and hands-down beats any other bib-application in my opinion. I have unfortunately no suggestions for good software in that regard on *BSD, Linux or Windows.

    Usually I start with compiling notes by creating a file per article. Those files are just called And when I see the bigger picture I move to files that have a topic name and move my notes over from the specific article-files to the topic-files. I use md as an ending, even so the files are not really Markdown. But then vim will recognize it as markdown and with it, it does folding accordingly and when I want to format anything, I can do it with the very very easy to learn markdown-syntax[footnote]lists are prefixed with -, italic is word, bold is word, heading is 1 # per heading-level like ### Heading 3. That’s all you need to know for the beginning.[/footnote]

    The note-format is what I had to fight the longest with but I have now an easy solution that is quite satisfying. One line just looks like this:

    - [citekey][pagenumber] Text

    And I use tab-stops for the indentations. Essential is that each line has the citekey and the page-information. Only with that information you can move stuff around without loosing this information for being able to cite later correctly.

    Bonus Content

    For reading PDFs I am using now PDF Expert on an iPad. I highlight everything interesting in a PDF, then I “share” it as an e-mail with the notes in the mail-text. On my computer I copy the text in a file[footnote]Well, I am using mutt nowadays, thus I just save the mail-body as a text-file.[/footnote] called After that I run a bash-script which was written by @kopischke after he saw my bad tries doing it.

    #!/usr/bin/env bash declare -i pnum=${2:-1} file_name="${1##*/}" # remove path file_name="${file_name%%.*}" # remove extension page_num_re='^PAGE ([[:digit:]]+):' # match “PAGE XXX”

    while read -r line || [[ -n “$line” ]]; do if [[ $line =~ $page_num_re ]]; then number=${BASH_REMATCH[1]} elif [[ $line =~ ^Highlight ]]; then printf ‘%s - [%s][%i] ' “$line” “$file_name” $(($pnum - 1 + $number)) elif [[ $line == ‘and Note’ ]]; then printf ‘%s: ' ‘Note’ is_note=true else $is_note && { line="${line#"}"; line="${line%"}"; is_note=false; } echo “$line” fi done < “$1”

    The bash-script is run like this: basepage filename

    The basepage is the page number on the first page of the PDF. PDF Expert will give you notes stating “Page 1”, “Page 2” etc, even so the article started at page 362. The result is a file that looks exactly like what I have written about above (- [citekey][pagenumber]) when the file-name is in the format of course. In addition anytime the word and Note is found at the end of a line, it will remove the and put the word Note in the next line.

    Since PDFs usually have some ugly hyphenation, I have to clean that up as well. How to do that depends on your text-editor. In vim I use the following command

    :%s/.\zs- //g

    This removes all “- " that are not in the beginning of a line. And then you have rather fast a file you can work with.

    [Resolved] vim-latex: cite-completion does not work correctly

    I am using vim with the LaTeX-suite for writing longer texts. But I had one problem when using the \cite-completion with F9. Instead of getting one split-view with nicely formatted entries of my bib-file, I got two split-views: one with cite-keys, one with my unformatted bib-file. I could go through the cite-keys and the bib-file would jump to the right entry but that’s it. Nothing to see of functions like filtering etc.

    The solution was to install vim-latex manually. I am using normally NeoBundle and used previously vundle for managing my plug-ins. But those seem to interfer with the functionality of vim-latex. So, if you run into the same problem, just de-install it with your package-manager and install it manually from Sourceforge. It is cumbersome but it works and the plug-in got updated the last time over a year ago, so missing out on updates do not seem to be that much of an issue.

    P.s.: Another problem I found when googling many people seem to have is, that the cite-autocompletion won’t work when there is a space in the path to the bib-file or when there is for example a leading space in bib-entries like “@article{kobschaetzkix2014gh, …”

    Ich verbeuge mich vor euch

    Ich hatte ein kleines vim-Problem. Datei und Ziel sahen folgendermaßen aus:


    - Das ist ein Test- datei Notiz: Blubber - noch mehr Text - Blub- ber Notiz: Foo- Bar


    - Das ist ein Testdatei Notiz: Blubber - noch mehr Text - Blubber Notiz: FooBar
    Selbst bin ich wie so oft trotz Google und :help nicht darauf gekommen. Aber @kopischke hat mir wie vor kurzem schon mal bei einem Skript aus der Klemme geholfen und auch die vim-use-Mailing-Liste half mir sehr.

    Dazu gab es mehrere Lösungen, die alle dasselbe Ziel erreichen: :%s/.\zs- //g :% v/^- /s/- //g :%s/%>2c- //g :%s/\v^(.+)- /\1x/g

    Die diversen Leute waren sogar so freundlich auf meine Anfrage hin, mir die Sachen zu erklären. Aber irgend etwas in meinem Gehirn blockiert. Vim, Ex und RegEx kommen mir gerade wie Magie vor und ich glaube, ich weiß jetzt, wie sich Kreationisten fühlen müssen, wenn sie versuchen zu verstehen, was Evolution ist.

    Vim, Ex und Regex, ich verbeuge mich vor euch und mögen eure Ninjas meine Priester sein.

    Von alten Smartphones und Computern

    Gestern schrieb ich in meinem Jahresrückblick, dass ich ein wenig unglücklich darüber bin, dass mein eines MacBook Air im fünften Jahr zerfiel und das iPhone 3GS in seinem vierten, dasselbe Schicksal erleidet. in einem Kommentar wurde mir dann vorgeworfen, wann ich denn endlich begreifen würde, dass man nach fünf Jahren einen neuen Computer und nach zweien ein neues Telefon kauft.


    Neue Smartphones und Computer sind schön, aber wirklich brauchen tut man sie nicht.

    Das neue Smartphone

    Fangen wir mit dem Telefon an. Meiner Meinung nach ist ein Smartphone an sich ein Spielzeug. Natürlich ist die Funktionalität nützlich und ich möchte es auch nicht mehr missen, aber wirklich notwendig ist es nicht. Musik und Podcasts könnte ich auch mit einem Billo-MP3-Player abspielen, Kalender können auch viele Dumbphones und die Online-Funktionalität ist nett und komfortabel aber wirklich brauchen tu ich sie nicht. Viel Zeit verwende ich darauf Spiele zu spielen. Mal abgesehen davon, dass ein Billo-Android (die 100€-Kategorie) das wahrscheinlich auch erledigen könnte. Nur nicht so schön und würde sich dabei nicht so wertig anfühlen. Und in Sachen Spielen habe ich auch so einige (ältere) Handhelds, von denen immer einer in meiner Tasche ist.

    Dann kommen wir mal zu dem finanziellen Aspekt. Ein 16GB iPhone 5S kostet ohne Vertrag 699€, das sind über zwei Jahre etwa 29€ pro Monat. Was kann ich mit 29€ im Monat machen. Ich könnte eine ordentliche Hose für meinen Sohn kaufen, oder ein paar Kinderhausschuhe. Es sind mehrere Tage für die Familie essen oder ein Kinobesuch plus kleines Dankeschön für den innerfamiliären Babysitter oder oder oder. Und das 24 Mal. Ich find 700€ sind eine Menge Geld, selbst wenn man sie über zwei Jahre streckt. Und warum soll ich das Telefon in die Tonne treten, wenn es noch einwandfrei funktioniert? Herje selbst mein iPhone 3G ist noch im Benutzung und die aktuelle Besitzerin ist ganz glücklich damit. Klar hätte ich gerne alle zwei Jahre, oder gar jedes Jahr das neue noch schönere iPhone. Aber ist es wirklich notwendig? Nein. Notwendig wird es erst, wenn es kaputt ist. Und selbst dann stellt sich die Frage, ob es wirklich notwendig ist. In meinen Augen ist ein Smartphone ein schönes Spielzeug und ein iPhone ist ein schönes Luxusspielzeug. Da ärgere ich mich, wenn die nach exakt zwei Jahren grundsätzlich über den Jordan gingen. Zum Glück tun sie das meist nicht.

    Der neue Computer

    Nun zu den Computern. Da kaufe ich aufgrund von OS X immer von Apple. Weil ich Garantie haben will, kaufe ich neu. Schauen wir, was da das neue Wunschgerät für den Haushalt kosten würde (ist nicht für mich). MacBook Pro 13" (weil das interne optische Laufwerk explizit gewünscht ist) mit 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD und Apple Care. Sind wir bei 1747,99€. Sind über fünf Jahre auch 29€. Ein MacBook Air in der Ausstattung, wie ich es neu haben würde, wäre bei 1648€. Über fünf Jahre etwa 27,50€. Meins läuft aber noch wie eine eins, ist ja auch erst zwei Jahre alt. Wobei ich bei einem Computer noch nicht einmal den finanziellen Aspekt beleuchten würde, sondern lieber auf den funktionalen eingehe.

    Was mache ich mit meinem Computer? Wenn ich darüber nachdenke ist es folgendes:

    • Texte schreiben mit vim
    • Texte kompilieren mit TeX
    • ab und zu einen Word Prozessor wie Pages, Word oder Writer verwenden
    • Tasks verwalten
    • Webdienste wie Fever,, Twitter benutzen
    • im Web browsen
    • PDFs lesen
    • einen EDICT-Client nutzen
    • Bibtex-Dateien verwalten
    • Mails abrufen
    • Musik hören und verwalten
    • ebooks verwalten
    • Spreadsheets verwenden
    • Podcasts aufnehmen
    • Spiele spielen, teils neu oftmals via Emulator
    • Remote auf andere Rechner per SSH, RDP oder Teamviewer zugreifen
    • Photos verwalten

    Sicherlich sind da noch ein paar andere Kleinigkeiten dabei, die alle nicht die Rechenleistung eines Core i5 benötigen und nicht weniges davon könnte ich sogar direkt auf der Kommandozeile machen, was dann so gut wir gar keine Ressourcen mehr benötigt.

    Ein Bekannter von mir macht fast alles das mit einem zehn Jahre altem Aldi-Rechner, der nie aufgerüstet wurde und Windows XP. Wir überlegen aktuell, ob wir die Kiste auf eine Linux-Distribution mit geringen Anforderungen umsatteln. Als ich ihn das letzte Mal sah, meinte er aber, dass sie wieder gut läuft, nachdem er Acrobat 11 runterwarf und sich nen PDF-Viewer runtergeladen hat, der sehr simpel ist.

    Mein zweiter eigener Rechner war aus der Not geboren. Mein Laptop war irreparabel kaputt, die Garantie futsch und ich hatte so gar kein Geld. Also habe ich ihn mir selbst zusammengebaut mit dem was wirklich notwendig war und der lief super. Klar, die neuesten Spiele gingen nicht, aber ich konnte super für die Uni damit arbeiten, im Web surfen und auf Emulatoren spielen. Weil ich ihn nach mehreren Jahren selbst nicht mehr nutzte, hatte ich ihn verschenkt an jemanden der überhaupt keinen Rechner hatte und dem der Rechner ausreichte.

    An sich könnte ich all das was ich mache, auch auf einer alten Kiste umsetzen, es ist eher der Komfort und das Bedürfnis nach einer schönen glänzenden Kiste, die fix ist, dass ich einen neuen Rechner will. Ich habe in der Vergangenheit schon häufig alte Kisten wieder flott gemacht und damit gearbeitet. Denn für das was ich sie brauche, reicht in der Regel was altes. Das einzige wofür ich einen aktuellen Rechner brauche sind HD-Filme und halbwegs aktuelle Spiele. Mein Pile of Shame ist aber so groß, dass ich die nächsten Jahre an sich mit Spielen beschäftigt sein kann, ohne etwas neues zu kaufen. Warum soll ich mir alle fünf Jahre einen neuen Rechner kaufen? Wofür? Es ist einfach nicht notwendig. Und wenn ich mir einen neuen Rechner kaufe, kann ich einen funktionierenden alten Rechner immer noch für andere Dinge verwenden. Sei es ein Rechner zum rumspielen mit Linux- und BSD-Distributionen, als Heimserver oder als Geschenk an ein Kind oder Bedürftige in der Verwandtschaft oder Bekanntschaft, die froh sind, dass sie überhaupt einen funktionierenden Computer haben. Ich sehe nicht ein, dass es ok sein soll, dass Computer nach fünf Jahren (oder noch schneller) kaputt gehen und sie dann nicht reparabel sind. Das Bedürfnis mit OS X arbeiten zu wollen und was kleines leichtes haben zu wollen, lässt mir leider keine andere Option als einen nicht wartbaren Computer zu kaufen. In der Not könnte ich aber auch in den sauren Apfel beißen und mir ein altes Thinkpad zulegen, ne SSD (so lang SATA drin ist) reinstecken und die Sachen erledigen, die ich erledigen will. Nicht so komfortabel und shiny, aber es ginge.

    Der Bedarf sich alle paar Jahre ein neues Telefon oder Rechner zuzulegen, ist doch hauptsächlich der Bedarf ein neues, glänzendes, hübsches Gerät haben zu wollen und nicht, weil man dann um Längen produktiver wird und seine Arbeit so viel besser verrichten kann. Es ist schicker und dadurch besser, aber wirklich nicht notwendig.

    Und wenn ich eins “in meinem Alter”, zurückgreifend auf den Vorwurf aus dem Kommentar, gelernt habe, ist es, dass man eben nicht alle fünf Jahre einen neuen Computer und alle zwei Jahre ein neues Telefon brauch. Es ist zwar schön, aber fern von notwendig.

    Jahresrückblick 2013

    Hm, Jahresrückblicke. Ich hab ja das große Problem, dass ich teilweise wirklich ein Problem damit habe, was wann geschah und gerne Dinge zeitlich durcheinander werfe. Da denkt man sich, dass das alles ganz kurz zurück liegt und dann ist schon viel länger her und andere Dinge fühlen sich so weit weg an und dann ist das gerade erst ein paar Monate her.


    Ergo: alles nicht so schön.


    Versuche ich trotzdem mal meine Gedanken zum Jahr 2013 in Worte zu fassen. Das große Thema war wohl die Sache mit der NSA, die immer noch weiterläuft. Aktueller Stand in meinem Kopf ist, dass sie alles und jeden abhören können, erstmal mitschneiden, wie der GMail-Bot scannen und evtl. mehr Interesse an der eigenen Person äußern. Wer dieses und jenes kommuniziert hat, begeht auch häufiger einen Anschlag. Und die “westliche” Geheimdienstgemeinde teilt sich ihr Wissen auch.

    Was bedeutet das für mich? Wenn ich kommuniziere, kann ich davon ausgehen, dass zumindest die USA, wenn nicht auch andere Nachrichtendienste inkl. deutscher zumindest erstmal abgreifen. Hat sich dadurch meine Kommunikation geändert? Nicht wirklich. Ich hab’s versucht mit SSL-Everywhere, aber das funktioniert nicht im Safari und auch nicht unter iOS. PGP-Signaturen sehe ich immer noch selten und Jabber nutz ich eh wenig, wobei dann häufiger mal mit OTR. Mein Dropbox-Nutzungsverhalten hat sich auch nicht geändert und ich nutze weiterhin OS X. Also nein. Keine Änderung.

    Es gibt nur ein allgemeines Gefühl von Ohnmacht und wenn mich jemand zur Thematik fragt und was sie oder er machen soll, antworte ich: Verschlüsselung ist grundsätzlich gut. Damit kann man zumindest den Hacker aus Kleinkleckersdorf in der Regel abhalten. Wenn du Angst vor einem Nachrichtendienst hast, hast du noch ganz andere Probleme und du würdest vermutlich nicht mit dieser Frage zu mir kommen. Gegen einen Nachrichtendienst kann man sich als einzelne Person nur begrenzt verteidigen. Und digitales Leben wird dann sehr kompliziert.


    Im Zuge der ganzen Sache, habe ich mir aber wieder mehr Gedanken über Linux gemacht. Als Tante 30 Tage mit OS X gelebt hat (Podcast-Feed), habe ich versucht mit Linux für einen begrenzten Zeitraum zu leben und habe darüber gepodcastet (Folgen 8-11). In meinem Job habe ich auch einen Linuxversuch gestartet. Beide Versuche sind gescheitert. Am Laptop lag es daran, dass ich von einem USB-Stick lebte. Der erste war zu klein und zu langsam, der zweite war viel zu langsam. Im Job war Linux in der VM und Windows das Host-OS. Am Ende hängt man dann doch wieder hauptsächlich im Host-OS rum.

    Am Ende muss ich aber sagen, dass das Leben mit Linux ginge. So viel zu vermissen gäbe es auch nicht. OS X ist schicker, aber wenn mir mein MacBook Air irreparabel kaputt gehen würde und ich nicht mal ansatzweise eine Finanzierungsmöglichkeit sehen würde für ein neues Gerät, könnte ich zu Linux wechseln ohne allzu großes Gejammer. In meinem Job könnte ich vermutlich auch zu Linux wechseln und die Fachanwendungen einfach in ner VM laufen lassen.

    Das einzige was ich vermutlich so richtig vermissen würde, wäre OmniFocus, OpenEmu und BibDesk.

    Außerdem hatte ich für nen Monat oder zwei eine Kommandozeilenphase. Da habe ich mich mit tmux, mutt, ttytter und Texapp auseinandergesetzt. Und alles funktionierte erstaunlich gut. Da war die Haupterkenntnis am Schluss, dass auch ein Leben mit Linux wirlich gut ginge. Aber nur in der Shell leben geht leider für mich nicht so ohne weiteres. Obwohl mit einem extra Gerät für PDFs das vermutlich schon wieder ginge. Aus früheren Zeiten weiß ich, dass ich auf einem recht schwachbrüstigem Gerät (ein Toshiba Libretto L1) auch Videos auf’m Framebuffer schauen konnte. Was wiederum heißt, dass ich auch mit sehr kleinem Geldbeutel notfalls arbeiten könnte und mir mal wieder bewusst gemacht hat, was für ein Luxus eigentlich so ein MacBook Air ist. Ab und zu schau ich schon mit ein wenig Neid auf Thinkpads. Die sind einfach so viel besser zu warten.


    Allgemein hat sich eh mein Verhältnis zu Apple mal wieder verschlechtert. Mein MacBook Air von Oktober 2008 hat sich mit einem RAM-Fehler verabschiedet. Und so konnte ich einen Laptop, den ich normalerweise für 15€ hätte reparieren können in die Tonne treten. Oder in meinem Fall sogar noch auf ebay verscherbeln. Ein sehr unschönes Gefühl, wenn sich ein 1000+€-Gerät so verabschiedet. Ich drücke beide Daumen, dass mein aktuelles MacBook Air lange hält. Und dann stand der Kauf von neuen iPhones an. Das alte 3GS hat eine kaputte Scheibe und vibriert ohne Ende wenn der Mute-Schalter gedrückt ist. Mal abgesehen davon, dass nur noch iOS6 funktioniert. Und wenn man sich mal bewusst wird, wieviel so ein neues iPhone kostet, überlegt man sich das doch dreimal, ob iOS das wirklich wert ist und ob man es braucht, vor allem wenn der Monat häufiger doch noch ein paar Tage hat, wenn das Geld all ist. Aber zum Glück arbeite ich jetzt Vollzeit. Damit wird zumindest das 3GS ein 5S und das 4S bleibt noch ein Jahr in Betrieb. Aber ein schaler Geschmack bleibt. Vor allem, wenn man sich die Preise von nem Nexus ansieht, was in einer ähnlichen Klasse spielt. Aber da hat man dann keine Software für und hängt an Google.

    Das war es in Sachen Technik denke ich.


    Was gab es noch? In Sachen Politik gab es die Wahl zum Bundestag. Meiner Meinung nach sehr enttäuschend. Auch wenn die Piraten sich selbst zerlegt haben, hatte ich doch gehofft, dass sie gerade so die 5% reißen. Dass die AfD fast 5% erreicht hat, ist erschreckend. Aber sie haben sich vermutlich gut verkauft und von Gesprächen, scheinen viele nicht die rechten Untertöne gehört zu haben. Die FDP ist raus, das ist gut. Aber die kommen vermutlich wieder. Schwarz-Rot ist nicht unerwartet. Eine alleinige Regierung durch die CDU hätte ich besser gefunden. Dann hätten sie keine Ausreden mehr gehabt. Schwarz-Grün wäre ganz schön gewesen, damit viele der Grün-Wähler endlich mal mitbekommen, wie konservativ die Grünen und auch sie selber sind. Und Rot-Rot-Grün wäre grandios gewesen, aber nun ja. Mit der Linken will ja niemand. Tja, wenn alles gut läuft, passiert vier Jahre nichts. Wenn alles schlecht läuft, haben wir am Schluss Vorratsdatenspeicherung mit entsprechender Verfassungsänderung, keinerlei Netzneutralität und weitere arge Einschnitte im Sozialwesen. Die Reihenfolge sagt nichts über die Wichtigkeit dieser drei Dinge aus.


    Zum Thema Japan fällt mir nur ein, dass wir eine relativ rechte Regierung haben, die für mehr Militär ist und ein Gesetz eingeführt hat, dass Whistleblower bis zu zehn Jahre in den Knast bringen kann und Journalisten, die entsprechendes Verhalten motivieren bis zu fünf. Vermutet wird, dass es zur Vertuschung von Skandalen eingesetzt werden wird. Außerdem findet der aktuelle Premier die Geschichtsschreibung nicht so pralle und will da vermutlich Änderungen in den Büchern vornehmen lassen. Den Yasukuni-Schrein besucht er auch. Wen wundert’s.

    China hat dazu eine Luftverteidigungszone über dem Ostchinesischem Meer ausgerufen aufgrund der Senkaku/Diaoyu-Inseln. Ist jetzt nicht so gut.

    Und dann gibt’s da noch die Abenomics. Ein Versuch der Regierung zusammen mit der japanischen Zentralbank (ab hier BoJ) die Nachfrageseite der Wirtschaft anzukurbeln. Zurzeit sieht es meines Wissens nach ganz gut für die Wirtschaft aus, dafür hat die Sparrate gelitten. Aber das ist ja auch kein Wunder, wenn die Nachfrageseite angekurbelt wird. Nächstes Jahr werden wir sehen, wie gut die Abenomics wirklich funktionieren. Ich bin gespannt. Auch im Rahmen der Auswirkungen auf die Bevölkerung.


    In Nordkorea wurde der Onkel Jang Song-Thaek von Kim Jong-Un zum Putschist erklärt und relativ fix exekutiert. Er war die Nummer Zwei im Staat und wenn ich es richtig verstanden habe, ein wichtiger Kontaktpunkt zu China. Seine Verbündeten erleiden das gleiche Schicksal, so wie es aussieht. Aber die Auswirkungen sind nicht so drastisch wie man erwartet. Also nicht ganz so viele Tote. Die Lage könnte sich trotzdem destabilisieren und wenn die Verbindung zu China schlechter wird ist das auch kein gutes Zeichen. Außerdem hat Amnesty International berichtet, dass ausgehend von aktuellen Satellitenbildern Lager für politische Gefangene vergrößert werden. Also alles in allem sieht es nach einer Verschlechterung der Lage in Nordkorea aus.

    Mehr Themen fallen mir spontan nicht ein, aber sicher ist noch mehr passiert 2013. Aber an sich kein schönes Jahr in allen Bereichen, die mich interessieren. Vielleicht wird 2014 besser.