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This is the home-page of Karl Voit.

On this page you can see the latest blog updates. For further articles, please use the search bar or navigate through the blue tags. My recommendations are pim, privacy, or security.

I recommend any decent RSS/Atom aggregator to get notified on blog updates.

Most recent articles or updates:

2017-02-19: gThumb for Managing Photographs

Somebody reading my article about managing photographs was suggesting the GNU/Linux image viewer gThumb which works on the GNOME deskop. After playing around with it for an hour, I come to the conclusion that gThumb respects the JPEG files in the file system which is good.

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2017-02-11: Emacs Config Switch Depending on Hostname or Operating System

When you share your Emacs configuration between all of your hosts (which you should do!), you might want to do certain things only for specific hosts or for hosts sharing the same operating system.

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2017-02-11: Comparing MS Office and LibreOffice Ribbon Introduction and Keyboard Shortcuts

With Office 2007, Microsoft introduced the Ribbon which replaced the menu-based interface. There were many complaints because there was no option to enable the menus, the ribbon concept was not implemented properly, and the keyboard shortcuts were broken in oh so many ways. Therefore, Office professionals were not able to use their learned skills to do their jobs. Almost a disaster for Microsoft and surely a disaster for their customers from an usability point of view.

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2017-02-10: Evolutional Steps of Computer Systems

Throughout the history of the modern computer, there were several evolutional steps related to the way we interact with the system. I tend to categorize those steps as following:

  1. Numeric Systems
  2. Application-Specific Systems
  3. Application-Centric Systems
  4. Information-Centric Systems
  5. Application-Less Systems

Following sections describe how I see those categories.

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2017-02-05: WaveEx: Dreister Betrug mit Gesundheitsangst

Zur Abwechslung mal wieder etwas Lustiges. Etwas lang, aber gerade für Techniker ein Leckerbissen, wie ich meine.

Als ich vor ein paar Wochen in Kino war, lief da ein interessantes Video-Clip in Dauerschleife auf einem Werbe-Screen. Das beworbene Produkt heißt WAVEEX (ja, leider auch noch in Großbuchstaben). Im Video wurde auf die Angst angespielt, die ein jeder Handy-Vieltelefonerer kennt: die Strahlung. Besonders die »elektrohypersensiblen« Menschen werden adressiert.

Doch gottseidank gibt es ja WAVEEX, wo man durch simples Aufkleben eines »Chips« die böse Strahlung in eine »verträgliche Strahlung« umwandelt.

Schauen wir uns die Sache mal genauer an ...

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2017-02-02: Addicted to Your Mobile Phone or the Internet? Make it Stop

Update 2017-02-02: Article by Geoffrey A. Fowler and link to Time Well Spent and embed two of their videos.

I stumbled over an awesome Atlantic article about Tristan Harris which I urge you to read.

Tristan is a well-served Silicon Valley pro who likes to think about reducing interruptions, stop the addiction to mobile devices or cloud services, eat healthy food, and try to live in the present, focusing on stuff that really matters.

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2017-01-31: Der Clown Habakuk

Eher per Zufall stolperte ich über eine ORF-Dokumentation über einen gewissen Arminio Rothstein, der mir so gar nichts sagte. Aber es war "Clown Habakuk" im Titel. Das Ansehen brachte mir einen Flash-back in das Fernsehen meiner Kindheit und eine riesige Überraschung.

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2017-01-21: Choosing the Wrong Mobile Messenger Might Inprison You

Turkey officials arrested hundreds of people because they used an insecure mobile app when supporting the protest movements.

This is highly alarming for Turkey - once more.

And this also shows up how important it is to follow the guidelines of IT savvy people. Choosing the right app is not a matter of style. It is not a matter of "how many people are using it".

2017-01-15: Don't Use Google Search Estimates to Compare Terms

You are at a conference and the speaker compares two terms using the number of estimated hits returned by Google Search. A very common thing to do. Almost nobody seems to care that those numbers do not resemble the number of actual results.

When you search for something at Google Search and Google tells you that there are 11,346,000 results, this number is completely made up. There is an algorithm which determines those numbers without looking at the complete set of data. And this algorithm is based on some (secret) ingredients. Google has enormous capabilities but determining the number of actual hits of their search data can not be done in real-time.

Let's take a closer look.

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2017-01-15: Recurring Events with Org-mode

Org-mode has time-stamps which can be written manually or added via commands like C-c . (org-time-stamp()). Note that I am using inactive time-stamps (brackets instead of angle brackets) in this blog entry to prevent my agenda from showing all those example time-stamps:

 [2017-01-15 Sun] day
 [2017-01-15 Sun 12:19] time
 [2017-01-15 Sun 12:19-15:00] time period
 [2017-01-15 Sun]-[2017-01-17 Tue] date period
 [2017-01-15 Sun]--[2017-01-17 Tue] date period (alternative style)	  

When a task or an event is repeated again and again, Org is able to express it for most cases as well:

 [2017-01-15 Sun +1w] every sunday
 [2017-01-15 Sun +3d] every three days starting with this sunday
 [2017-01-15 Sun .+1w] every week after the day this task was finished
 [2017-01-15 Sun ++1w] like .+1 but it stays on the next Sunday after finishing	  

Complex recurring items can be defined using special sexp diary entries:

 * 22:00-23:00 The nerd meeting on every 2nd Thursday of the month
 [%%(diary-float t 4 2)]	  

However, for many standard recurring events (like +1w) and for everything advanced where I'd need sexp expressions, I do prefer a different approach: M-x org-clone-subtree-with-time-shift

And this is why.

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2017-01-15: Skandal Murkraftwerk

Ich habe die triste Situation rund um den Baubeginn des Murkraftwerks in einem Blogbeitrag vor kurzem zusammengefasst. Nun kommen weitere, für den Verlauf der Sache typische Facetten hinzu.

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2017-01-03: How to Use This Blog Efficiently

This page does explain a few things of this blog on how to use this blog in an efficient way.

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2017-01-03: Smart Pens

Update 2017-01-03: Interesting comments pro and contra smart pens on my reddit thread

Kevzettler asked me in a Disqus-comment of my article about todo-management on paper:

Have you considered a Smart Pen as a medium? I think they have some hand writing-to-text apps. I've been thinking about hooking up a Livescribe 3 to org-mode output. Check out http://www.livescribe.com/

Good question. Here are my thoughts.

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2017-01-02: Das Murkraftwerk wird gebaut: die Katastrophe kommt

Nun haben wir den Salat. Der Bau vom Murkraftwerk hat begonnen.

Ich habe schon vor Jahren vor diesem idiotischen Projekt an dieser Stelle gewarnt. Nicht nur die lokalen Organisationen warnten vor dieser Katastrophe, auch die Presse fasste unlängst wieder die Geschehnisse zusammen.

Hier eine aktuelle Zusammenfassung der Situation so kurz vor den Wahlen in Graz.

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2017-01-01: Fast Opening of Memacs Indexed Files

Memacs is a nice Python software that collects misc data and generates Org-mode files for me. This way, my agenda contains all of my emails, text messages, Git commits, photographs I took, and so forth.

With the Memacs-module filenametimestamps, all of my files whose file name begins with an ISO time-stamp are indexed and stored in an Org-mode file.

Using a custom link, I am able to define and access links to those files without the need of knowing their location in my file system hierarchy:

(setq org-link-abbrev-alist
      '(
        ;; tsfile = time-stamp file
	("tsfile" . "~/path/to/memacs/files.org_archive::/\*.*%s/")
	))	  

Therefore, this works with the standard Org-mode featureset: you create a link which looks like this:

 [[tsfile:2017-01-01_Manual_for_my_amplifier.pdf]]	  

or

 [[tsfile:2017-01-01_Manual_for_my_amplifier.pdf][My amp manual]	  

When you want to open the PDF file, you put the cursor on the link and press C-c C-o (for org-open-at-point()). Emacs opens the files.org_archive in a buffer and jumps right to the heading of this file. The heading consists of an absolute link to the file in your file system. Therefore, when you press C-c C-o once again, your PDF file opens before your eyes.

This method is totally independent of the folder that holds the PDF file. I can move around those files in my file system hierarchy without getting broken links.

Neat, isn't it?

In my case, I got so many files containing ISO datestamps, that my files.org_archive holds almost half a million entries. Opening this Org-mode file with my Emacs settings and jumping to the corresponding heading takes very long. So long that it is not feasible to be used any more.

Behold, grep to the rescue!

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