geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about geekery

Updating Wordpress to 2.6 (oops)


After nearly a month away from my site, it told me to update to Wordpress 2.6. I figured, why the hell not (I like living on the edge). I went through the very easy update-process and thought it all went well. Unfortunately, it didn’t. At first I thought everything had broken, all my single pages gave a 404, even the non-blog ones, and all my links to tags and archives stopped working as well! Panic!

Luckily, I found out pretty quickly that I only needed to fill in the ‘tags’ and ‘category’ field in the Permalinks section, which solved most of my problems instantly.

The last problem, the archives that didn’t work, took pretty long to figure out. I googled trying to find if anyone also had their monthly archive links throw them back to the main page I set the Permalinks to the ugly default, and that didn’t work. By now I started to worry and considered rolling back to 2.5.1 just to get the monthly archives links to work again. Before I did, I did an install in a different directory as a test and that one had working monthly archive links. As the new install did not have any but the default plugins, I started disabling plugins in my default installation until I found the culprit: the robots meta plugin. Once I figured that one out, it didn’t take long to find a notice of the creator of the plugin, stating that the update revealed a bug and ladida, problem fixed, just update the plugin and set all your settings again. Which I did.

The plugin has a ‘disable date archives’ option that got checked. In fact, everything got checked. I unchecked unwanted things, saved, and my monthly archive links work as they should again.

New design, new stuff in the background

And there I did it. I switched from Movable Type to Wordpress to manage my site.

It actually went really smooth and I actually like Wordpress so far. No unnecessary complications. Movable Type started acting up on me, not letting me edit post titles. I upgraded and then it wouldn’t let me edit post entries anymore. Or post anything new… So I decided to give Wordpress a shot. So far, I like it. :)

Markdown links in TextMate

My blogging-life became a lot easier with Markdown, which in turn became easy to use with TextMate. I don’t really like the inline linking style, I much more prefer the reference linking style. To keep myself sane I would ofcourse need some nifty TextMate magic to do so. It only took a little bit of googling to find the solution. Dr. Drang explains it clearly at his blog. Make sure to check both this and this link to create your own macro in TextMate. The second link has some additions to the first one, making the reference numbers automatic.

After that, check out the third follow-up to create a macro that lets you select a word and create a reference link (cause no doubt, you sometimes read back and think ‘Damn, I should link that!’).

So, you get the idea, and you want more! Checkout the next follow-up on how to create a reference link by selecting a word and letting your little macro do a ‘I feel lucky!’ google-lookup.

I love computers.

TextMate (and blogging)

I blogged about TextMate before but I neglected to mention how much I’ve used it to actual blog (not that I blog that much). I’ve also used it to edit templates and CSS for my blog, working mostly with Cyberduck cause I just like my GUI. I do on occasion simply scp, but I really miss the visual tree I do get in Cyberduck (and other gui-ftp-tools). With the help of the GTDalt bundle and SVK (and the bundle in TextMate) I also get more things done and have managed to organise my files better. Though I do still spend a lot of time tweaking and geeking about :) The next item on my list: dejunk my closet. Which I shall do right now!

(if I feel like it I might post the amount of junk I removed from it later on)

Hiveminder.com, and why I like it.

After playing around with the lovely todo.sh I decided to make the switch to hiveminder. This web-based application now has command line support. In fact, it’ll take my old todo.txt and convert it to hiveminder-tasks. This didn’t go extremely smoothly, my tags ended up in the task description, all in all, it worked.

Hiveminder.com has also started to support repeating tasks which I very much appreciate. I hadn’t figured out a good way to do that on my command-line and now I can never forget to take my pills on Monday, woohoo.

What I appreciate a lot (maybe even most) about hiveminder : the ability to make tasks dependant on each-other and the fact that the depending task does not appear unless you’ve done the main task. I will not see ‘fold laundry’ before I have actually checked off ‘wash clothes’. Yaay for that!

Tickler files and todo.sh

After fiddling around with the todo.sh script some more I got the idea to create a digital tickler-system.

I have not used a digital or non-digital tickler system before (I tried the mail.app IMAP version, but it just didn’t stick).

First, you need to add the following line to .todo: TICKLER_DIR="/Users/yourname/GTD/Tickler"

or whichever folder you’d like to use.

Then, create a foldertree like: Tickler days 01 02 .... 30 31 months 01 02 ... 10 11 12 today

You can use a short bash-script for that.

Next, download tickler.sh and place it somewhere you can find it (right next to todo.sh, I’d say)

Next, patch todo.sh with the .diff: patch todo.sh < todotickler.diff

Setup all done!

So how do you use this?

Pretty simple: tickler.sh checks the date, and then checks the appropriate days and months folder for the presence of a .txt file with the same name. For todays date, it would check ‘/Users/yourname/GTD/Tickler/days/20/20.txt’ and ‘/Users/yourname/GTD/Tickler/months/07/07.txt’. The script will take the contents of them and appends it to todo.txt .

It doesn’t stop there!

It also checks the entire directory and moves all files to the ‘/Users/yourname/GTD/Tickler/today’ folder and makes a todo stating ‘check /Users/yourname/GTD/Tickler/today/$filename’

So how do you get things into the .txt files?

Easy, the patch adds a ‘tickle’ option to ‘todo.sh’.

Say your todo-list looks like:

04 (A) get rich 05 (A) take over the world p:world domination 03 buy DVD 06 fold laundry 07 wash dog 02 vacuum p:household 01 x 2006-07-14 do dishes p:household

Type the following command: todo tickle 7

The script will then ask you if you want to put it in a day or a month folder (press ‘d’ or ‘m’) and which number and then proceed with moving the task to the .txt file. You can skip the questions by typing: todo tickle 7 d25

This moves task 7 to /Users/yourname/GTD/Tickler/days/25/25.txt

For month-folder use something like: todo tickle 7 m8

Leading zeros get added when needed.

Todo.sh / manager without colours in done items

As mentioned in a previous post about todo.sh / manager I wanted to remove colours for done items. For me it seems a bit pointless to have colours in items that don’t need any more attention. It took me some fondling but I managed to get it done, yaay! Uploaded a .diff for the original todo.sh and changed the manager-diff to include these changes. To apply the patch, download the .diff to the directory that contains ‘todo.sh’ and type: patch todo.sh < todocolours.diff

The script goes from this output:

colour everywhere

to: only colour in open items!



Recently I discovered Texmate, after searching for a nice text-editor for my mac. As I planned to save most of my personal files as plain text, I wanted something that could handle my needs and wants. I love a well implemented drawer and even though Textmate doesn’t show a drawer by default, it does give me one with my Projects (aaah Projects! such a wonderful feature!).

I very much like the perl-bundle and the other programming bundles. Those make the cake. The icing, however, consists of the blogging bundle, the fact that while typing an e-mail I can press ^⌘E and the entire text goes into textmate where I can edit it, the fact that I can use snippets to easily create replies to e-mails without having to type the same paragraphs over and over (yes, I know about mailtemplate, it just doesn’t do it for me), and that I can learn about handy little macros on other blogs.

Now, only mission left for today, making manager/todo.sh not display colours for done items.

Manager update

The todo.txt manager by Gina Trapani moved to a new site recently and has a nice short film to show you what you can do with it and how to use it.

I wrote previously that I edited the script to work as my own text-file manager. I updated the script and created a new .diff

Same changes apply.


A few years ago I sorted through my photos and put all my prints in boxes, sorted per year, month and event (rolls seperated by the indexprint).

With digital stuff, I tend to sort based on Category:

  • friends & family
  • work
  • party/holiday/birthday
  • vacation
  • dog
  • fun stuff

I have more categories in some other areas of my life, these basically apply to nearly all areas, nearly all the time. If I don’t use it, I’ll just not use it.

The problem with digital photos: I have many, I want them sorted in various way, cause I want to use the digital aspect, I want photos sorted into birthday and family and dog at the same time. With my computer I should be able to find a photo easily if I type ‘sister birthday’. That searchstring should just give me all the birthdayphotos of all my sisters.

Except it doesn’t, because until recently ‘tagging’ didn’t really happen on my computer. Not that I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t find a way to do it in a way that came natural to me.

Yesterday, I realized my good old print system would work quite well for my basic digital sorting, as a start.

I created a tree-structure looking like this:

  • 2005
  • 02_zoo
  • 03_momsbirthday
  • 06_eurotrip
  • 2006
  • 03_puppy
  • 05_Rome

Basically, I go for $year, and then for $month$event. The files inside the directories I have renamed to $mm$dd$event$number.jpg (month and date based on EXIF data).

I then created the basic category, along side the yearfolders, but also with years as subfolders, so I get this:

  • friends & family
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • work
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • party/holiday/birthday
  • vacation
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • dog
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • fun stuff
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2006

Any image of an event I bump into that falls into one of the categories (99% of the photos covered), I’ll put in these folder by creating an alias (symlink) of the original photo and move it to the sub-yearfolder. This way, one photo can go in multiple categories and I’ll never have to do funky stuff to open it, opening the link leads to opening of the file.

Sunrise and sunset in Remind

Yesterday I installed Remind after reading the article at 43folders.

I do like to know when the sun rises and sets, but somehow I couldn’t get it to work straight away for Amsterdam, NL. The times were completely off. After putting a - in front of the longtitude it turned out fine.


I put this in my ~/.reminders:

show sunrise/sunset
SET $LongDeg -4
SET $LongMin -55
SET $LongSec -6
SET $LatDeg 52
SET $LatMin 23
SET $LatSec 26
MSG sunrise at [sunrise(trigdate())],
MSG sunset at [sunset(trigdate())],
MSG next full moon at [moontime(2)] on [moondate(2)]%"%"%

Using postfix to get my shoppinglist per txt

My cell-phone provider lets me send messages to e-mail using txt and the reply will then come back to my cellphone through their e-mail to txt gateway.

This made me think of a setup where I’d send a message to my mailserver (txt message that gets forwarded to e-mail), requesting my shoppinglist. With all the new phones around a special phone e-mailaddress would also work.

First I activated the address by putting list@mydomain.com list in /etc/postfix/virtual and /etc/postfix/virtual-mailbox-maps

then I postmapped both: postmap /etc/postfix/virtual and postmap /etc/postfix/virtual-mailbox-maps (this step can wait till after the next one, but as it didn’t really matter, why not straight away)

In the file /etc/postfix/aliases, I added: list: |/Users/tannie/bin/list.sh

This points the user ‘list’ to a script (the | puts it through) in my ~/bin directory called ‘list.sh’ View the content of that script

Anything else than ‘list’ will ofcourse work as an alias, you’d just have to set it up like that.

If I send a message to ‘list+shop@mydomain.com’ with the subject ‘list @supermarket’ it’ll send back a message with the body:

potatoes @supermarket
 milk @supermarket @farmer
 eggs @supermarket

The script will only allow listing, it does pretend to ‘do’ things if you make the subject ‘do 3’ or something like that, but due to rights it won’t actually do it. I don’t mind, I just need it for listing anyway.

Keeping a todolist in plain text

After discovering the todo.txt manager by Gina Trapani from lifehacker I decided to give it a try. All todo-applications annoyed the hell out of me, even though I really do like a good GUI. It just never did what I wanted to do, involved a lot of mouse-clicking and most of the time took too much time to set up and adjust to my needs. I don’t mind using a mouse, but using only a mouse makes my arm hurt.

The project has since moved to todotxt.com and I joined the mailinglist. My version has a few additions the current official version doesn’t have and I’ve uploaded the .diff.

The most important changes I made:

  • Removed the need for a temporary file
  • Items marked as ‘done’ get ‘x:done ‘ in front of them. I prefer x:done over just plain x, x:done immediately means ‘marked done’ in my brain
  • The x:done part gets stripped when archiving / reporting.
  • The reportfile has a year attached, so it looks like report2006.txt
  • The donefile gets created per week, looking like 2006-25.txt
  • Creating multiple lists by using symlinks. I use ‘manager’ as a name for the script, and created symlinks to keep a shoppinglist and a todolist seperately (ln -s manager todo). The archive directory and the lists use the linkname to create the names, running ‘todo’ means it checks ‘listtodo.txt’, running ‘shop’ means it checks ‘listshop.txt’
  • The script does not yet create the archive directory, this needs a ‘mkdir archives/shop’ (or todo or whatever)
  • Pretty outlining:
 1 do laundry
10 wash windows
 5 hoover

It all should ‘just work’ but be sure to backup your existing copy of your todo-list and your todo.sh.