Android – three weeks later

I am using now an Android-phone for three weeks and have now a clearer opinion than in my post from two weeks ago.

Even though I run into some problems with Android which are very annoying, I am still all in all happy with my Moto X. The phone feels great in the hand, has some very interesting features, apps are very good, I still like the customizability etc. I still do not look back at having an iPhone.

The good

If you are into encrypting all the stuff™ Android is probably your way to go on a mobile device. Thanks to The Guardian Project and some other stuff, encrypting mails etc is not that hard.

For mail I use APG with K-91 which delivers a very good GPG-experience. Far better than anything on iOS and actually even better than most of the stuff, I’ve seen on desktop operating systems.

For chatting/texting I use several apps. One is Threema because I used it already with several people on iOS and it is there far more reliable than Jabber-based solutions. In addition I use ChatSecure as a Jabber- and Hangouts-client2 because it allows OTR. If you are coming from iOS then you are in for a surprise. ChatSecure on Android looks and works far better than on iOS. For SMS I use TextSecure but I think I know only one other user of it, so no encrypted SMS so far. But at lest there is the possibility for it.

As a browser I use the mobile Firefox with https everywhere and some proxy-plug in I cannot remember right now to interface with Orbot if I want to. What is Orbot? Orbot is a Tor-client on Android and it can run in the background. And when apps have settings for a proxy, you can let them work together even though, you did not root your device. Thus I can easily start Tor if I want to and when using it for example with ChatSecure it will try to use an hidden tor service3 for the jabber-server you are connecting to.

I even had already an encrypted phone call with RedPhone.

The whole crypto-stuff is so easy, that I used more encrypted communication in the last couple of weeks than in several years before. After all most of my communication nowadays works through my smartphone.

I tried now also multiple keyboards and found several good ones. It is nice to try them but trying out keyboards is always a risk as well, since they can read everything you type. But it is nice to have an alternative, and there are some pretty great ones.

I also tried out some launchers and I am actually still in a phase of trying stuff out. Right now I have Terrain Home installed which is nice. The one with the best theming-capabilities and nicest themes but not working for the way I use my smartphone was Themer which I can really recommend to try out for seeing what can be possible. And for most of the time I used Nova Launcher.

The twitter-client I am using is pretty good. Looks good, works well. No Tweetbot 3 but close in my opinion.

There is a Dropbox-client which allows syncing directly with folders of the internal storages called Dropsync and this is pretty cool. Far better than having Dropbox-integration in each app. And if you don’t like Dropbox you can use Bittorrent-Sync. And since 1Password allows for syncing via a local folder, you can sync 1Password outside of Dropbox over the air with BT sync.

Last but not least a comment about Active Display. This is a feature which is only available on the Moto X and it is awesome. You take your phone out of your pocket and you get to see the current time and if there is a notification of an app in a minimalistic style. And only the white pixels are lightened, everything else of the display is switched off. When tapping the notification button, you see on top the current notification and can swipe up to it, to open the app. On the bottom you see the last couple of notifications and can swipe down to unlock the phone. Swiping right dismisses the notification. It works and looks great, saves battery and somehow I think that this is the way notifications should work. But well, as soon as I go the step to a custom rom because updates do not come out any more I probably loose this great feature. I know that there are now alternatives but they do not switch off the black parts of the display afaik.

I think I touched now all the good stuff, maybe there is more4 but that’s what comes to my mind.

The mediocre

Quantus Tasks didn’t work out for me so far. Thus I switched to todo.txt and use SimpleTask which is better than the official todo.txt-client and there is even a cloudless version available. For reminders I am using Bzzz because it has a persistent notification for easily adding reminders.

I found a client with natural language input for calendar events which is called Quick Add. It works good for English but I didn’t try German yet. It is not as good as Fantastical in terms of design and language parsing but it works.

The bad

I have a phone that is pretty much stock Android and is getting updates to the newest version of Android (4.4.3) in several countries. For whatever reason Motorola decided that Europe shouldn’t get the update yet. I have no idea why. They only write in their blogpost about the US but actually they mention the US only for the Moto G. And their link to the software upgrade page doesn’t tell me anything about when the update will be available in Germany, only that it isn’t available. As if I wouldn’t know that already. And for fun: Motorola just updated the boot-loader-animation today to a worldcup-related theme. Seriously? These are real priorities.

But why is it only in the bad-section? Well, core apps like Google Play are nowadays not part of the OS, so Google updates them outside of the Android-update cycle. It would be nice, if Apple would do that for all the apps on the iPhone as well.

Still when there are security holes, it could take some time until they are fixed. Still the problem is not that ugly to me. I know people with iOS-devices who didn’t update to latest dot-releases because their device doesn’t have sufficient space right now and they don’t know what to delete.

One last bad thing: There are some ok-ish apps for learning Kanji but they are far from fun and design compared to iKanji Touch. At least AnkiDroid looks better than Anki on iOS but it is a little bit worse when using it.

The ugly

Let’s start with the literally ugly: Emojis. The font that is used for emojis is just plain ugly. I hope the designer at Google who is responsible for these crappy looking emojis is wearing sackcloth and ashes for these fugly icons.

Next up: no system-wide undo for text-fields. There is an app5 that will help you out getting deleted text back and there is a third-party-keyboard that has an undo-functionality. Luckily the keyboard is pretty good and it might replace SwiftKey for me.
But seriously, no system-wide undo for text-fields? It reminds me a bit on the situation when everybody laughed about iOS that it has no copy+paste.

And then there is the problem of space for apps I constantly run into the last days. It seems that Android-devices have several partitions. One for apps, one for all the other data. I have still a gigabyte of data on my device available and get all the time the notification that there is not sufficient space to install some updates. So I have to delete apps, I do not really use to update apps, even so there is more than sufficient space. The genius at Google who had that idea, should get hit hard with a newspaper on his or her head. Maybe someone could tell me a good reason in the comments why this partitioning still exists. Maybe there was a reason in the past, but I do not see one nowadays.

Update: Apparently the problem with the partitioning for apps is vendor-specific. The Nexus-devices do not have the problem but devices from a lot of vendors. It seems that they think that for working seemlessly with SD-cards it is necessary to have those partitions. With HTC-devices you usually get 1GB of space for apps and it doesn’t matter how much space your device has. And the partition map problem sits deep enough that installing a custom ROM doesn’t help. According to the infos I have so far it might be possible to change the partition map when using custom ROMs but whether unified storage is possible like with the Nexus-devices is possible, I do not know.

Update 2: I might even have unified storage and the problems I am encountering are of a different nature. I am just not understanding it and will have to have another look at it :/

  1. Just install APG before K-9, otherwise you will have to re-install K-9

  2. As long as Hangouts supports XMPP for IM

  3. I hope I use here the right terminology

  4. the better AppStore comes to mind but I already wrote about that in my last post which is linked above

  5. not tested


My reasons for switching from iOS to Android

The obligatory blog post. When one switches operating systems, especially on smartphones, it seems that one has to write a blog post about it. I just moved from iOS to Android on my smartphone. I handed over my iPhone 4S to someone whose iPhone 3G was totally broken down and got myself a Moto X.

Before I made the switch I could borrow a Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini1. The phone was ok but especially the screen was bad. Low resolution pen-tile AMOLED-display which was too bright in the night and too dim in sunlight. But the operating system was fun to use and far from the horrors I heard so far from people who are accustomed to iOS and tried Android. In addition, I didn’t see any stuttering when browsing the web or scrolling or whatever. It’s a phone more on the low-end side and neither in the stock Samsung-taste of Android 4.1 nor on Cyanogenmod 11 (Android 4.4.2) I’ve seen performances issues.

So it didn’t took me long to decide that my next phone won’t be by Apple but some other vendor.

So what are the reasons?



When I think about it, then this is probably the main reason. Apple devices are expensive. They are good devices, are probably produced in the most humane way capitalism allows right now but are always pretty much on the high-end side of the spectrum. And the low end-phones aren’t very reasonable priced in my opinion. So usually only the newest phone is a viable choice with Apple. And then you have to pay even for a 16GB-model something like €700. This is a lot of money. And they won’t get cheaper after a couple of months. The whole year the product is the newest available it will cost €700. And buying them used isn’t really cheaper as well. Yes, I know the argument that this is actually a good thing because I can buy an Apple device, sell it a year later and then buy a new one for “cheap”. But I keep my device until they break down or I get a new one and give my old ones away to people who need one2.

I bought now a Moto X with 16GB of internal storage. According to benchmarks and that’s the only way to compare Android-phones somehow to iOS-phones it is somewhere between the iPhone 5 and 5S. And I paid €379 for it3. I am buying my devices usually by paying in installements. With my dealer of choice I have to pay €30/month for an iPhone 5S with 16GB and €15 for the Moto X. It is only €15 per month but that’s already noticeable. And I had already once the case that my iPhone got stolen and I paid for two and then it really hurt4.

And I just bought some Micro-USB-cables. After the cable-tax of Apple where I have to pay €19 per Lightning-cable when switching away from having a dock-connector device, I paid €7,20 for the three cables (€2,40/cable) I wanted to have5.

So after the whole price-argument I come to the parts that I actually like better in Android. Thankfully to the iOS8-announcement I can shorten this a bit because it seems that 80% of the announcement was about stuff they copied from Android and maybe other mobile OSs.

I am talking about the Android-version the Moto X ships with. This is a stock Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) with some nice additions but nothing like the modified HTC- or Samsung-devices which seems to have some hefty modifications.


I like that I can set a different default browser, mail-client and what not. And that browsers can actually be browsers and not yet another wrapper for iOS-webkit. My default browser for example is Firefox because it supports plug-ins like https everywhere and I use usually Firefox on my desktop operating systems these days as well. In addition I can change a lot of stuff. The share sheet which allows me to send stuff from one app to another got replaced by Andmade Share because that allows me to change the order of the apps that appear in the share sheet since I want to share 90% of the time to Instapaper anyways. I can also hide apps from the share sheet. By the way I hope the share sheet in iOS8 works equally well. Each time I tried an app that supports sharing to Instapaper I had to enter my credentials. That can be really annoying. With Android I entered them once and since then I can just share from my browser, my ADN-apps, my twitter-apps etc. I replaced also the launcher (the Springboard) with something else which had some extra functionality I like. An example would be definable gestures like swiping up will open my preferred ADN-client with a window for writing new posts. The stock-stuff works and is nice but being able to replace them is great.

Downloading from the desktop browser and the Play Store

A thing I missed more or less immediately when using Android and having a look again at iOS is the ability to buy on the desktop Play Store and it will immediately download to a device. And I do not need to have iTunes installed for buying apps. I just go there, click install or buy, select my device and it will directly download to my phone. It’s not that it will download to my computer and in addition to my phone. And when an app is free I do not have to enter my google-credentials. Something I do not understand until today why I have to enter my Apple-credentials for free apps.

And since we are on the topic of buying apps, the Play Store beats the App Store hands down. Sorry Apple but except a bit of a refresh on the design side (mainly for the worse imho), the AppStore didn’t change since iOS 2. The Play Store has videos (for all developers), an imho better overview of reviews, developers can respond directly to reviews etc. The whole experience of buying stuff is a lot better. Please Apple: Learn from Google and give at least developers a way to upload a video-demo of their app and let them respond to reviews.

Apropos buying stuff. Every time I listen to podcasts from iOS-users who talk about the Play Store and that everything is free there, I have to say that they are wrong. There are lots of free apps but many of them are trials or offer in-app-purchases. Yes, you read that right: trials. The Play Store has them. Swift Key Free for example works for one month like the normal app and then ceases to work. But you can buy the full app to get it. Other apps have limited functionality and then use some app that I guess work like a plug-in to extend the Pro-functionality. Or the apps are ad-supported and you can pay for removing the apps. Most of the good stuff costs money, like on iOS. Interestingly apps seem to be cheaper though even though there are trials. SquareEnix-games are as expensive like on iOS but the rest feels in general a bit cheaper. Another reason could be that the Play Store doesn’t seem to work in the tier-scheme like iOS but that developers set one price for one region and other prices get directly converted to the local currency and setting prices for all regions is optional. But I guess trials aren’t necessarily the solution to get reasonable prices for software again.


Because my iPhone did some weird things, I reinstalled it a couple of weeks ago and did a clean install without using my backup. Thus I installed apps when I really needed them. And found out that there aren’t that many apps that I actually use. So I got curious what the Play Store had to offer in that regard and I found out that pretty much everything was there. The only thing missing was OmniFocus but with Quantus Tasks there is an app available that will sync with OmniFocus. It doesn’t have the same functionality as the iOS-app but it is a neat companion-app that works quite well. Otherwise everything is available in some form or another for Android. A client for Anki, a client Instapaper, a client for Fever, the next 1Password-app is in Beta and now a full-fledged 1Password-client, the Kindle-app is available and better because it allows buying directly from the app etc. Even newer games like Monument Valley or Threes are available. And in regards to games I had to find out that thanks to the Humble Bundle I have already a lot of games for Android.

Because the Play Store allows more type of apps, there is even some stuff, that I won’t get on iOS. Like an SFTP-client that allows me to copy stuff from my computer to my phone which can be used in apps, without the need of iTunes or some companion app on the Mac. I can get Dropbox-free because I can just use Owncloud or Bittorrent-Sync since apps usually can access the file system and for example Bittorrent-Sync can do its magic in the background. I have a very good e-mail-client called K-9 which works together with another app to directly provide GPG-support. If you are into encrypting your stuff you are probably better off on Android anyways thanks to the Guardian Project. Even apps that are also available on the iPhone like ChatSecure just work better on Android. Or there is Tasker which allows me to automate my phone by location, events, dates whatever. When I put in my headphones, a pop-up comes up that shows me my main media-player apps and when I leave home Wifi gets disabled and when I reach my workplace it gets automatically enabled again and some other stuff gets turned off automatically.

One comment about the design quality of the apps. Apps are usually equally good designed on Android as on iOS. But on iOS there are some apps which are outstandingly designed and those I have not yet seen so far on Android. So the average might be worse but if you cut off the 5% of best/worst designed apps, Android and iOS are probably on the same level. And if apps are using the default design of Android which is called Holo, then they look usually equally good to apps that use mainly the default design of iOS 7.


It should be known by now that I have a thing for retrogames. Even though touch controls aren’t that great, it is awesome that I can officially install emulators from the Play Store. Being able to play some Lucas Arts-adventures on the go or having turn-based strategy games of the big consoles or handheld-consoles without having to carrying around all the time my handhelds with me is nice. Since controllers for Android seem to be quite cheap it might even be a nice replacement for my PSP. But this will have to wait probably a month or two.


iOS has the notification center but notifications on Android are better. You can have multiple audio-players in your notifications, you can have persistent notifications, notifications can have buttons so that you can reply immediately to an ADN-message etc. They are plain better. Apple just did enough that it could count as just enough but there is still some work to do.
And on the Moto X with Active Display they are even better. When my phone vibrates I can get it from my pocket, hit the lock-symbol and it will show me the newest notification in detail on top and older non-acknowledged notifications on the bottom. Thanks to the AMOLED-display only the text and the graphics are using battery, everything else is black. I read it already in several reviews of the phone but this is the way notifications should work for a locked phone. If only design-wise because not every phone has an AMOLED-display which has some disadvantages to an LCD-display.

After getting into all the advantages without the stuff I like but you will probably see in iOS 8 as well, I will now talk a bit about the disadvantages.



On iOS backups are no problem, either you back up your device to iTunes or iCloud. On Android, well not so much. There is backup to Google which apparently backs up settings but that’s it. And then there are some apps on the Play Store that should help but the apparently best app called Helium says that it has problems with Motorola-phones. The settings-part didn’t work so well when I switched from the S3 Mini with Cyanogenmod 11 to the Moto X. So, no backups it seems. Thankfully most of my data is synced nowadays, contacts are in my owncloud, calendars on iCloud6, 1Password is synced, Anki is synced, podcast-states are synced because of PocketCasts, photos get uploaded to Flickr automatically and so on. Not a lot of data I would loose except maybe how far I am in some games but because of my gaming habits that doesn’t hurt that much. And setting up the settings didn’t took long. The one thing that got saved was which apps are installed on my phone and as soon as I entered my google-credentials all the apps that were installed before got downloaded to the phone.


As written above Quantus Tasks is nice but it is no OmniFocus 2 like on the iPhone. But I am thinking about switching to Todo.txt or some other plain text-solution plus an app for reminders for my todo-needs. The reason is that I am not sure if I want to pay the $40-upgrade fee and I can’t use OmniFocus with my computer at work. And there are some nice apps for Todo.txt now available and in the end at least the shell script and the file itself will always work. And on Android there is Simpletask available which is a great todo.txt-client. Looks better, has more features and works better than the official todo.txt-app. And there is even a cloudless-version that I can sync via local storage which means I can sync it via Bittorrent Sync.


Modern iOS-apps are heavily gestures-based. In Android pushing buttons is usually the way to go. While using gestures might be faster and sometimes more comfortable, they have also the problem that you have to learn them and that developers have to put a tutorial into the app. I like gesture-based interfaces that’s why I put this part into the disadvantage-section but you could also argue that interfaces that need a tutorial are majorly flawed.

No Spotlight

In iOS I often used Spotlight to open my apps. Pull the springboard down, start typing the app-name, tap it, start. It is simple search and it doesn’t seem to exist in the Android-universe. Seriously? The layer were all installed apps are presented are sorted by alphabet, so one finds an app reasonably fast but it is still way slower than Spotlight. I really miss it.

I was wrong. There is a way to search for apps. Thanks @evs.

So, these are the main disadvantages I have seen so far. Otherwise I honestly found no problems. Nothing in the consistency-department, even the by iOS-users often dreaded back-button was a thing I grew accustomed to. It took a couple of days until my finger accepted that there is no back-gesture but a back-button. And unlike from what I heard so far its behavior is usually not inconsistent. In my scenarios it worked always as I was thinking of it and only when I really tried to get it to behave inconsistently, I broke it. Yes even that shouldn’t be the case but in general it works. Just an example:


  • I open my twitter-client
  • from there I open the details of a tweet
  • tap a link and get moved Firefox
  • and navigate there one page.

Using the back-button:

  • Back 1: one page back in Firefox
  • Back 2: back to the details-view in the twitter-app
  • Back 3: back to my main timeline
  • Back 4: back to the homescreen
  • Back 5: nothing happens

I know that I will never see Carcassonne by The Coding Monkeys or Omni-products but I am not sure if the overall price difference is it worth. After all I change my phone every two to three years7 and getting a €700-€800-device is really a lot of money.

After I bought the phone I had a short while a tiny bit of buyer’s remorse, and while I am writing this I am thinking whether I am a case of post-purchase rationalization because the whole thing just works too good for me. Especially when I am thinking about what loads of other iOS-users who have used an Android-phone told me about their experience. But maybe it is just good enough for me and the advantages8 weigh heavier than the disadvantages. All in all I am happy with the phone I am having now and that’s good. I don’t know if I want to switch back, right now I think that iOS8 got some real neat features but Apple would still have to release a far cheaper phone that I would consider buying one again. And then I wouldn’t have stuff like emulators, tasker or the customizability. But like I explained to an Android-user who would never use iOS because he thinks that it puts you under tutelage, you pay Apple for making decisions for you and for that you get a cleaner looking, probably more secure OS that lets you make less errors. But that’s not for everyone. And sometimes it is nice to have to think a bit less by having less choice in some areas. Right now, I prefer the way of having more choice and having to pay less.

  1. Somehow the phone-names by Samsung remind me on names of games for the Street Fighter 2-series. Super Street Fighter II X Turbo Revival-style.

  2. Like this time. My iPhone 3G was in use until the person who had it got now my 4S because the 3G was just unusable anymore because it had a broken power button, problems with making and receiving calls etc

  3. Yes, this is more expensive than a Nexus 5 which has better stats but I wanted the smaller device, the active display and be able to pay in installements

  4. Even so I got a bit of cushion thanks to awesome people who gave me a bit of money, so I was able to buy a new one

  5. 1 for the charger at the bed, 1 for my laptop, 1 for the computer at work and then I have the one that came already with my phone which is for the bag

  6. I will switch to Owncloud for that porbably soon

  7. Maybe I should change this habit as well since I am using a prepaid-card anyway but this is really hard like I noticed this year with the iPhone 4S.

  8. Yeah, a real Terminal without jailbreaking the device for stuff like pings and ssh


I failed

Well, I failed. My deadline for my grad thesis is tomorrow but on the weekend I figured that I won’t be able to finish it. I had half a year time and got even an extension of six weeks. The last two weeks I had usually less than six hours sleep. Sometimes I went to bad past midnight, carried my tiny one around once or twice in the night and then I got back to work at half past four in the morning. But I didn’t get a lot done. And I am still far from finished?

So, what happened? People who know me, know that I am totally in this GTD-thing, yadda yadda. For starters as I already noticed with my term papers, GTD doesn’t really seem to work with that. The problem is mainly that reading books for example is hard to break down into smaller tasks. The best I could get out of it was noting down questions and reminders when I have to extend or return books to the library. But otherwise my draft-files had just comment lines with TODO: in it, so that I know what I have to do at that place.

Ok, so I found that out, but what happened?

Well, what killed me in the end was that I didn’t worked continously enough. I have a full-time job, I had one kid, now two and did stuff like going to karate-training for preparing for a tournament1. I started a new blog where I posted on a daily basis, just a couple of weeks before the deadline. I beat several video games and for some I played for a week every evening and each time I was commuting. All that while knowing that I have a hard deadline and a second kid is coming. Procrastination at its best.

The result? Tons of stress in the final weeks without a chance to finish the thesis. A deep feeling of failure that still follows me a couple of days after realizing that I won’t make it2. I have to get a new topic or have to spin my topic enough that I can recycle work from the old one. Again a hit in study career that went for too long already.

And now? I have to meet with my professor to talk about what to do now. At least I started to gather my book lists for my written and oral exams that I have to do. And when I met with my professor, I will have some failsafes. Every sunday evening I have to report to someone on what I’ve done this week and I will try to set up meetings with my professor what I was reluctant to do before. I hope those two things work to get me working. And then there is the additional pressure that I have only a second try. If I don’t meet the goal this time, my studies were worthless and I won’t get that paper that prooves that I learned something in the past.

And why did I write all this? For one because I don’t want to explain me too often, it’s hard enough to tell the world that you failed in an important task. And then I hope I can help others that they read this and might see the signs in a similar situation earlier and start installing failsafes for themself.

  1. Which I failed utterly, too. Always more or less in last place and one of my fingertips will be crooked for the rest of my life probably.

  2. Didn’t ruined my birthday but still no good :/

Computer General Rechnerkram Retrozirkel Videospiele

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 300×300 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.

    Fundstücke General

    Wenn der Zweite Weltkrieg eine Kneipenschlägerei gewesen wäre

    Übersetzt mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Nico Crisafulli nach seinem Blogbeitrag If World War Two Was A Bar Fight, der ihn erstellte auf Basis eines Forenthreads auf

    Noch fertig von der letzten Nacht, hatte Deutschland einen über den Durst getrunken. Es kroch Russland in den Allerwertesten und entschied, dass es die Zeche nicht zahlen musste, auf der Frankreich bestand, dass es ihm die schulde. Es gröhlte dann betrunken, dass Österreich sein Bruder wäre und Italien wäre sein bester Freund seit jeher.

    Besoffen und streitlustig starrte es über die Bar. Italien marschiert schon herum und fordert jeden heraus mit ihm vor die Tür zu gehen. Amerika hat schon vor einiger Zeit die Bar verlassen und niemand ist sich sicher wohin es gegangen ist.

    Weil es nichts besseres zu tun hat, fordert Russland zum Armdrücken am spanischen Tisch heraus, während Japan im Hinterzimmer China mit einem Billardstock vermöbelt.

    Nach dem Armdrücken geht Deutschland wieder zur Bar zurück und bestellt für sich und für Österreich ein Glas Bier. Es blickt zur Tschechoslowakei und sagt: “Hey, schickes Hemd. Ich will das haben.”

    Bevor die Tschechoslowakei vom Barhocker springen und ausholen kann, kommt Britannien, stellt sich zwischen die beiden und sagt: “Können wir uns nicht alle vertragen? Los, Tschechoslowakei, nur das Hemd, mehr nicht.”

    Erniedrigt gibt die Tschechoslowakei Deutschland das Hemd und Britannien läuft wieder zum Ecktisch an dem Frankreich sitzt und meint: “Siehst du, Frieden in unserer Zeit.”

    Auf der anderen Seite der Kneipe hat Italien endlich jemanden zum Kämpfen gefunden: Es tritt Äthiopien in die Eier als es gerade in die Bar kommt. Deutschland hebt sein Glas hoch um Italien zuzuprosten.

    Dann schauen sie Russland hinterher, das gerade ins Hinterzimmer geht, um nachzuschauen was Japan macht und danach blicken sie rüber zu Polen, das ganz alleine an einem kleinen Tisch sitzt… direkt neben Deutschland. England und Frankreich starren und Deutschland und und England droht Deutschland mit dem Finger. Deutschland grinst sie mit einem “Och je”-Grinsen an, dreht sich um und stößt das Bier von Polen vom Tisch.

    Polen steht auf, um Deutschland gegenüberzutreten und winkt England und Frankreich zu, dass sie rüberkommen sollen, um zu helfen. Russland tippt dann Polen auf die Schulter und als es sich gerade umdreht, greift Deutschland seinen Stuhl und schmettert ihn über Polens Kopf nieder. Russland kommt gleich dazu und tritt Polen immer und immer wieder, während es sich auf dem Boden krümmt.

    Deutschland dreht sich zu England und Frankreich und macht eine “Na los”-Geste, aber England und Frankreich schleichen zu ihrem Tisch zurück und murmeln leise Drohungen vor sich hin. Dänemark, Norwegen, Holland und Belgium, die eigentlich nur kurz vorbeikamen, um einen nach der Arbeit zu trinken beeilen sich ihre Getränke zu leeren und rufen nach der Rechnung.

    Finnland, das leise in einer Ecke sitzt, sieht wie Russland abgelenkt ist damit durch die Taschen vom bewusstlosen Polen zu gehen, und schleicht sich schneller dahinter, um Russland eine Flasche Vodka über den Kopf zu ziehen.

    Russland steht auf, schüttelt seinen Kopf, greift Finnland an einem Arm und schleudert es gegen eine Wand und schlägt es damit bewusstlos. Russland geht dann zurück zu einem Tisch in einer weit entfernten Ecke und schmollt. Japan bekommt das mit und schleicht sich in das Hinterzimmer, um zu schauen, ob China inzwischen wieder aufgewacht ist.

    England greift sich ein Telefon und ruft Australien, Neuseeland, Südafrika und Indien an, und sagt ihnen, dass sie schnell in die Kneipe kommen sollen. Ach ja, und vielleicht könnte noch einer kurz bei den USA vorbeischauen und ihm sagen, dass es auch kommen und seinen Baseballschläger mitbringen soll. Dann läuft England rüber zu Frankreich um mit ihm gemeinsam Deutschland, Italien und ihre Kumpel zu konfrontieren, die jetzt in der Mitte des Raumes standen.

    Alle anderen bezahlten schnell ihre Zeche und liefen Richtung Tür.

    Deutschland durchquert den Raum, krämpelt die Ärmel hoch und schlägt mit vier Schlägen Dänemark, Norwegen, Holland und Belgien nieder. Dann nimmt sich Deutschland ihre Portemonnaies und wirft sie auf einen Tisch, um sie später durchzugehen.

    Frankreich ist sauer, dass Deutschland seinen kleinen Cousin Belgien niedergeschlagen hat und rennt zu ihm rüber. Italien ist endlich fertig die Taschen von Äthiopien durchzugehen, sieht Frankreich rennen, und stellt ihm ein Bein. Als Frankreich sich aufrappelt, nimmt Deutschland sich einen gesamten Tisch und schmettert ihn über Frankreichs Kopf. Wenn es nach mehreren Stunden aufwacht, ist es leicht schizophren, krabbelt in eine Ecke und redet mit sich selbst.

    In der Unterzahl und ganz alleine verbarrikadiert sich England hinter der Bar und beginnt leere Biergläser auf Deutschland zu werfen in der Hoffnung, dass die Kinder bald auftauchen.

    Deutschland und Italien erledigen in der Zwischenzeit die anderen Tische und stolzieren in der Kneipe herum. In einem Separee sitzen Bulgarien, Ungarn und Rumänien und sehen gerade was passiert ist. Sie stehen auf und erklären, dass Deutschland und Italien ihre neuen besten Freunde sind und geben ihnen einen aus.

    Auf der anderen Straßenseite machen sich die Vereinigten Staaten Sorgen um den Lärm und die ganzen zerbrochenen Scheiben und will rübergehen, aber seine Frau sagt, dass es sich hinsetzen und erst fertig Abendbrot essen soll.

    Kurz nach dem Abendbrot hören die USA Lärm im Hinterhof und kommt gerade rechtzeitig, um zu sehen, dass Japan seine Veranda im Tiki-Stil zertrümmert, um sich dafür zu rächen, dass die USA ihm gesagt hatte, dass es zu viel getrunken hatte. Die USA ist sehr sauer und bewegt sich Richtung Kneipe. Japan bewirft auch das Haus der Niederlande mit Eiern und zeigt Australien seinen blanken Hintern. Danach geht es zurück, um noch ein wenig auf China herumzuhacken.

    Während Deutschland seinen Rücken Italien zugekehrt hat, entscheidet Italien sich mit dem Balkan Fußballclub anzulegen, der in der Ecke sitzt. Der BFC ist um einiges stärker, als er aussieht und haut Italien ein paar Mal kräftig in die Fresse. Italien versteckt sich schnell hinter Deutschland und guckt zwischen seinen Beinen durch. Deutschland dreht sich mit einem “Was zur Hölle?!” um.

    Nachdem es mit ein wenig Hilfe von seinen neuen besten Kumpels Rumänien und Ungarn den BFC erledigt hat, sieht sich Deutschland im Chaos in der Kneipe um. England droht immer noch lautstark von hinter der Bar und Canada reicht ihm frische leere Flaschen zum Werfen an.

    Dann kommt noch ein Hilferuf von Italien – es hatte sich entschieden die Taschen von Ägypten zu plündern, dass vor einiger Zeit im Sandkasten in der Ecke zusammengebrochen war. Aber England hatte Australien, Neuseeland und Südafrika auf Italien angesetzt, die ihm jetzt auf der Höhe der Knie schlugen. Deutschland seufzt und fragt sich, woher es bessere Verbündete bekommen könnte.

    Als Deutschland sich auf den Weg zum Sandkasten macht, hat es Augenkontakt mit Japan, das die Finger knacken lässt und wissend rübernickt. Japan klopft sich auf die Brust und läuft durch den Ozean an verschüttentem Bier zu den USA, die unvorbereitet dastehen, hysterisch lachen und sich auf die Schenkel klopfen. Die USA gucken aber gerade rechtzeitig hoch, während Japan gerade mit einem großen Teil eines Tisches nach ihm schlägt. Es macht eine Rückwärtsrolle und stößt dabei Deutschland and. Das ist nicht sehr glücklich darüber und verspricht, dass es sich um die USA kümmern wird, sobald es im Sandkasten fertig ist. In der Zwischenzweit dreht sich Japan um und prügelt auf die Niederland ein, die auf dem Boden kauener.

    Die Philippinen gehen derweil raus und versprechen wieder zu kommen. Am Ende der Bar, versucht Indien das alles zu ignorieren, wird mit Bier übergossen und beginnt sich aufzuraffen.

    Nachdem Deutschland mit dem Sandkasten fertig ist, läuft Deutschland rüber mit einer Hand zum Gruß ausgestreckt. Russland nimmt die Hand und bekommt zum Dank Deutschlands Stiefel in die Nüsse und Finnland, Ungarn, Italien und Rumänien kommen alle dazu. Blutig und benommen zieht sich Russland in das Lager zurück.

    Um Deutschland abzulenken, flüstert England etwas zu Kanada, dass sich durch die Kneipe schleicht und versucht Deutschland eine Flasche Bier über den Schädel zu ziehen. Die Flasche zerbricht nicht, Deutschland dreht sich grinsend herum und gibt Kanada einen auf die Nase. Kanada zieht sich, die blutende Nase haltend zurück und sorgt dafür, dass es einen Fluss an leeren Biergläsern zu England gibt. Australien und Neuseeland bekommen einen dringenden Anruf von ihren Frauen, dass sie schnell nach Hause kommen sollen, weil Japan sich in ihrem Garten herumdrückt und sie rennen raus. Südafrika ist immer noch angepisst, weil England es gezwungen hat, es mit Deutschland und Italien aufzunehmen und schmollt noch immer im Sandkasten.

    Deutschland will in das Lager gehen, um Russland noch ein wenig mehr zu verprügeln und bemerkt den schicken begehbaren Gefrierschrank mit hängenden Würsten und Schnitzeln und bekommt dabei nicht mit, dass Russland sich drinnen mit einem großen gefrorenen Schinken versteckt. Während Deutschland beschäftigt ist, tritt England Sand in das Gesicht von Italien. Als es ein wenig ruhiger im Hauptzimmer der Kneipe wird, beginnen England und Kanada Soleier auf den Rücken von Deutschland zu werfen.

    Deutschland und Russland, ermutigt von ihren neuen Freundne Rumänien, Kroatien, Slowenien, Ungarn, Finnland und der Ukraine, begannen eine ernste Runde russisches Roulette im Gefrierschrank. Dadurch hörte Deutschland Italiens bemitleidenswerte Schreie nach Hilfe nicht.

    Nachdem Italien entschieden hatte, das Äthiopien genug Training war, um es mit jemanden in seiner eigenen Gewichtsklasse aufzunehmen, beschloss es mit Britannien aufzunehmen. Aber rannte weg nachdem es den gigantischen Stiefel von England tief im Hintern stecken hatte.

    Währenddessen sitzt unser freundlicher Barkeeper Schweiz da, schaut sich alles an, Geschirrhandtuch in einer Hand, Bier in der anderen und duckt vor der gelegentlichen fliegenden Flasche, Stuhlbein und Billardkugel weg. Unser anderer freundlicher Barkeeper Schweden sitzt da, zuschauend, Bestellzettel in der einen Hand, Waffenlizenzen zum Verkauf in der anderen und verkauft Schlagringe an beide Seiten.

    USA, Kanada und England arbeiten jetzt zusammen. Sie schlagen zusammen auf Italien ein und hauen es bewusstlos. Dann verbünden sich Südafrika, Neuseeland und Polen (dass rausgegangen war, um sich neue Hosen zu holen und gerade zurückgekommen war) und lassen Schläge und Tritte auf Deutschland einhageln, bis es nur noch um Gnade betteln kann. Selbst Brasilien vom Ende der Straße ist auf einmal dabei, genauso wie Frankreich, dem es wieder gut zu gehen scheint. Italien und Deutschland entscheiden, dass es genug genug ist und schreien, dass sie aufgeben. Die Kneipe ist vollständig ruiniert.

    Japan stichelt immer noch im Rücken der USA herum. Zusammmen mit ein paar Ingenieuren, die gerade in der Kneipe sind, hieven sie ein Klavier über das Geländer des zweiten Stocks, das mit einem ohrenbetäubendem Lärm direkt auf Japans Kopf landet. Darunter erhebt sich aus den Trümmern eine winzige weiße Fahne.


    Fixing a clang-error when installing the Command-T-plugin in OSX 10.9.2

    I tried installing the Command-T-plugin in OS X 10.9.2 with a current command line-vim installed via homebrew.
    When I did the make-command I got the following error:

    linking shared-object ext.bundle
    clang: error: unknown argument: '-multiply_definedsuppress'
    clang: note: this will be a hard error (cannot be downgraded to a
    warning) in the future
    make: *** [ext.bundle] Error 1

    The solution I found was to edit the Makefile in the folder ruby/command-t of the plug-in. I just commented out the ‘-multiply_definedsuppress’ in the following line:

    dldflags = -undefineddynamic_lookup -multiply_definedsuppress

    So it looks now like this:

    dldflags = -undefineddynamic_lookup #-multiply_definedsuppress

    after that make ran without any problems and command-t works for me. I didn’t try it with MacVim yet and there might be problems because of different ruby-versions (this is described in the manual). But I use usually the command line-version anyways.

    Computer General Netzpolitik Opinion Rechnerkram


    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?

    Opinion Videospiele

    Heldinnen Yay, Hot Pants Nay

    Gerade habe ich einen Blick in Sa・Ga2 geworfen, ein Rollenspiel von SquareEnix für den Nintendo DS, das auf dem gleichnamigen GameBoy-Spiel basiert 1. Am Anfang des Spiels muss man sich einen Charakter bauen. Dafür hat man mehrere Klassen zur Auswahl: Mensch männlich/weiblich, Mutant männlich/weiblich, Roboter und diverse Monster. Ich fand es damals und heute super, dass man auch weibliche Charaktere zur Auswahl hat. Und damit ist es den meisten Spielen voraus, da ist der Hauptheld in der Regel männlich.

    Beim Game Boy sahen die Modelle folgendermaßen aus:

    Screenshot Final Fantasy Legend 2 Game Boy

    Nun gut, man kann sich überlegen, dass die Frauen hier auch eher keine Bekleidung an den Beinen haben. Aber richtig klar ist das nicht, mein damals elf- oder zwölfjähriger Kopf2 kam jedenfalls nicht auf die Idee.

    Im DS-Remake sind die Frau und die Mutantin jedenfalls eindeutig gekleidet. Hot Pants und Minirock. Die anderen Modelle, die zur Auswahl stehen machen es nicht besser3. Das gesamte Spiel sieht eher so aus, als ob es für Kinder gemacht ist.

    Screenshots der weiblichen Charaktere in Sa・Ga2

    Warum werden in einem Rollenspiel die weiblichen Spielfiguren mit so einem Outfit versehen? Ist das notwendig? Man könnte sie doch auch in normale Hosen, Röcke, was auch immer stecken? Warum wird schon Kindern gezeigt, dass coole Frauen, und so sind wohl die Helden in Videospielen einzustufen, gefälligst in kurzen Klamotten rumzulaufen haben?

    1. In den USA ist es als Final Fantasy Legend 2 bekannt, in Europa ist es meines Wissens nach nie erschienen.

    2. Eins der Spiele mit denen ich Englisch lernte

    3. Hinweis: man kann die Charaktere “umfärben”, so dass es PoC werden. Das sind die Standardmodelle, die angeboten werden.

    Retrozirkel Videospiele

    WhereAmI.txt – “a solution to the replay but never finish an RPG”-problem

    When we are honest, we all know the problem. We start an adventure-like game be it an RPG or a Metroidvania-style game and in the middle of the game we stop playing it. Hours and hours put into it but something else comes along and we just stop playing. Then a couple of months later, we pick it up again and ask: “What the hell am I supposed to do?”

    We have no idea where we are, what we have to do and sometimes even what our characters can do. I might have found a solution for me: WhereAmI.txt

    It is a little text-file sitting in my dropbox and when I stop playing, I use either a Drafts-action to append my current whereabouts and tasks to that file or just a text-editor.

    Right now I am playing Final Fantasy IV Advance, and I need to grind, buy some stuff and then go to the next dungeon. Thus my last entry looks like this:

    # Final Fantasy IV Advance 2014-02-09
    After Dwarven Castle, on my way to the Tower of Babil
    ## Tasks
    - Grind to mid-30s - level 40 (in the dwarve cave is a well that restores HP/MP)
    - Try to get 2x Flame Mail in Dwarven Castle for 30k each
    - After that [Tower of Babil](

    So, I am using markdown-syntax for formatting the file. It is still my favorite way to mark up plain text. First heading level one, name of the game and the date of the entry. Since I am always appending because it is faster, and I know myself and won’t tidy up the file all the time, the date is important. YYYY-MM-DD as entry-date for easier searchability.

    After that a heading level 2 “Tasks”
    That’s what I am up to right now. I need to grind and those are my target levels because I think that those might be the right ones to not get directly fried in the next dungeon. Some expensive gear I want to get and which I surely forget about after a couple of weeks and last my next destination. And for making my live easier to get back into the game, with a link to the walkthrough in the StrategyWiki. I will need it because I won’t remember each and every detail.

    That’s my easy to go solution. I think it works but I have no idea how it will scale to games like Final Fantasy V or VI with the extensive job-system in V and the spell-learning system in VI which actually allows each character to learn each spell. It should work. Maybe I have to link back in the file to previous entries for that to work better.

    Computer Rechnerkram

    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 thesis1.

    Thus I have my editor open in full screen and just have a split view, left with my notes, on the right with my thesis2. 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-syntax3

    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 file4 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
    elif [[ $line =~ ^Highlight ]]; then
    printf '%s - [%s][%i] ' "$line" "$file_name" $(($pnum - 1 + $number))
    elif [[ $line == 'and Note' ]]; then
    printf '%s: ' 'Note'
    $is_note && { line="${line#\"}"; line="${line%\"}"; is_note=false; }
    echo "$line"
    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.

    1. 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.

    2. which I write in LaTeX, to be correct I write it with XeTeX

    3. 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.

    4. Well, I am using mutt nowadays, thus I just save the mail-body as a text-file.