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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:

2019-11-26: Tagging Files With Windows 10

This quite lengthy article explains and discusses the built-in file tagging implementation of Microsoft Windows 10. I do have a strong background with PIM and tagging and this article is written from the human perspective when manually tagging user-generated files.

To my knowledge, Microsoft is currently not actively promoting this feature. Therefore, complaining on bad design decisions does not apply here as long as Microsoft does not understand this kind of tagging as something which was designed to be used by the general user. Because from my perspective, it obviously can't be meant to be used in practice. Unfortunately. Let's take a closer look why I came to this conclusion.

TL;DR: Microsoft Windows does provide NTFS features to tag arbitrary files. Some applications do also merge format-specific tags with these NTFS tags. Although there are quite nice retrieval functions for tags, it is very complicated to use this for general file management. Applied tags are easily lost so that in practice, users will refrain from using native Windows file tagging like this.

Table of contents:

  1. What Does Tagging Mean Here?
  2. A Well-Hidden Feature
  3. How to See and Assign Tags
  4. How to Make Use of Tags
  5. Playing Around With Tags
  6. Enabled File Types for Tagging
  7. How to Enable Tags for More File Types
  8. Relations Between Applications and Meta-Data
  9. History, Implementation Details, and Similar Implementations
  10. Windows 10 Tags Considered as Fragile
  11. Summary and Remarks

Read the whole article ...

2019-11-23: Johann Puch Museum

Yesterday, I visited the Johann Puch Museum of Graz. Johann Puch founded a company in Graz that got famous for their bicycles, motorcycles and cars.

I do recommend you to visit the museum on your own since there are many cool artifacts to see.

Here are just a few impressions from my trip.

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2019-11-16: UOMF: Linking Headings

This is an article from a series of blog postings. Please do read my "Using Org Mode Features" (UOMF) series page for explanations on articles of this series.

In this article, I'm going to explain how I am using internal links to create links pointing to headings using unique :ID: properties.

Read the whole article ...

2019-11-15: Per MediathekView Beiträge von der ORF TVthek herunterladen

Update 2019-11-15: ZIB2-Dateinamensergebnisse und Hinweis auf youtube-downloader

Der ORF bietet ein gutes Programm. Gerade für Österreicher ist er wohl das Maß aller Dinge im Bereich des täglichen Bewegtbildes. An Qualität und Inhalten ist er den privaten Konkurrenten meiner Meinung nach haushoch überlegen - besonders im Nachrichtenbereich. Ich oute mich als großer Fan der ZIB2, die ich keinen Tag versäume.

Dieser Beitrag beschreibt, wie ich Sendungen vom ORF herunterlade, um sie am Handy anzusehen - oder meistens sogar nur nebenbei anzuhören.

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2019-11-15: UOMF: Easy Entering Values for Org Mode Properties

Silent update 2019-09-25: added to blog series "Using Org Mode Features"

Update 2019-11-15: Screencast demo

Please do read my "Using Org Mode Features" (UOMF) series page for explanations on articles of this series.

If you are using Org-mode you might find yourself in a position, where you want to set or update a property value for an existing property.

In my case, I frequently do this for my contacts. Whenever a phone number changes, I add a note to the heading of the corresponding contact. Additionally, I maintain phone numbers in properties as well. To do this in a sane way, I only mark the new phone number (region) and press a keyboard shortcut which calls an Elisp function. This function asks me for the name of a property (with tab completion). Then, the value of this property is set to the string of the region.

Very handy.

Here is the Elisp code of my-org-region-to-property() which was made possible with the help of Antoine R. Dumont:

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2019-11-11: The Best Restaurants In and Around Graz

Updates:

From time to time, I do love to eat in more or less fancy restaurants.

If I'm in the right mood, I blog about my experience.

Here is my list of my personal restaurant recommendations for Graz mostly in no particular order:

Please note that I did not get any money or other benefit for this list.

2019-11-09: Programming With PowerPoint

I just watched a video with Tom Wildenhain demonstrating how he is using Microsoft PowerPoint as a graphical programming environment:

Besides the fact that the video has great entertainment value, Tom is demonstrating quite impressively how someone is able to reverse engineer the inner workings of something. In this case, he did a very good job in finding out how Microsoft implemented the morph transition for various objects. This way, you can use PowerPoint to render 3D animations, for example.

I was astonished about handling cyclic dependencies between embedded slides within slides and navigating between them. Building interactive fractals within PowerPoint? Why not!

With that knowledge, he built a Turing Machine in PowerPoint which is actually pretty handy for demonstrating how these machines actually work.

Even if you're not interested in programming in PowerPoint, this fifty minute video shows you hardly known features you can use in your daily PowerPoint life: special transitions, use of high-quality 3D assets, export these 3D assets for using them in other tools, and so forth.

Lastly, he presents the Design Idea feature I noticed myself just a couple of days ago. With this awesome PowerPoint feature you create very high quality slides without any effort. While Microsoft was famous for having the ugliest templates of the market for decades, this is a new killer-feature where the alternatives do not have anything as good as that.

2019-11-09: UOMF: On How to Define Projects in Org Mode

Update 2019-11-09: my-mark-as-project()

This is an article from a series of blog postings. Please do read my "Using Org Mode Features" (UOMF) series page for explanations on articles of this series.

In my world, I tend to define "projects" as a construct that contains a set of tasks in order to reach a common project goal.

Within Org mode, I need a syntax element to decorate my projects as such in order to make sure Org recognizes projects in case I need Org mode support for projects.

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2019-10-30: Das SEPA Lastschriftverfahren ist schlecht für den Konsumenten

Ich habe im Laufe der Jahre aus Bequemlichkeit der Abwicklung heraus Firmen SEPA Lastschriftaufträge erteilt. Dabei erteilt man dem Vertragspartner die Erlaubnis, beliebige Summen vom eigenen Konto zu überweisen, um einmalige oder laufende Rechnungen zu begleichen.

Meiner Erinnerung nach wurde bei der Einführung vom SEPA-System gegenüber der Konsumenten auch so argumentiert, dass deren Position gestärkt wird. Jederzeit wird man seine SEPA-Mandate einsehen oder Mandate zurückziehen können. Es erschien mir logisch, dass das auch so gemacht wird, denn wo sonst hätte der Endverbraucher Vorteile. Die menschenunwürdigen IBAN sind ja definitiv eine Plage. Ältere Menschen empfanden die Umstellung als Qual oder gar als Ausschluss vom Finanzwesen: "IBAN der Schreckliche".

Es hat mich mal interessiert, wie meine Position als Kunde nun so aussieht.

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2019-10-26: All Things Org Mode: PIM, Scientific Writing, Presentation, Programming

On September 11 2019, there was a community-driven Emacs Org mode event in San Francisco called "All Things Org Mode". Luckily, it got recorded and published. The four speakers were:

  1. John Wiegley: how he is using Org mode in his daily life
  2. Tikhon Jelvis: how to produce nice HTML presentations via org-reveal
  3. Jeff Trull: some helpful findings on babel
  4. John Kitchin: writing scientific documents

I spent many hours with this one hour and 45 minute video. I took notes, did research on things I did not know so far and learned really a lot from it.

If you are interested in Org mode, you want to watch it. Even if you're not an Emacs person, you want to see at least the writing scientific paper part of John in order to get an impression how awesome the Emacs environment could be as a universal tool for generating digital things.

Here are my notes on most important findings, in case you want to go through them. For most readers, my notes are probably not relevant at all:

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2019-10-24: The Average Price Per Month for My Smartphones so Far

A few facts on the history of my Android smartphones so far are summarized in the following table:

Smartphone From Cost Years €/Month Notes
HTC Magic [2009-12-04 Fri] 230 1.5 13.00 2nd hand price
HTC Desire [2011-05-26 Thu] 410 2.4 14.01
Nexus 5 [2013-11-01 Fri] 399 3.8 8.67
OnePlus 5 [2017-09-01 Fri] 200 2.1 7.77 company co-funded
[2019-10-24 Thu] If I'd replace it today

Out of curiosity, I played with the numbers.

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2019-10-18: Lazyblorg Allows to Override Language Auto-Tags

If you are using lazyblorg to generate your blog, you may now override the auto-detected language for each article.

So far, the software supports German and English. The resulting auto-tags are language:deutsch and language:english respectively. In case the algorithm is not sure about the language, it results in language:unsure.

In any case, you may now override the language auto-tag by assigning a normal user tag like :deutsch: or :english:. On my blog here, you may find examples of overridden language tags on this, this or this article.

Everything related to tags and auto-tags is now documented in the new Wiki page for tags.

2019-10-16: Lazyblorg Now Links Larger Images

Today, I finished working on a lazyblorg feature I was thinking of for a long time: embedding images that link to a differently sized image. This way, you are able to include a smaller image within the blog article itself and allow your readers to take a closer look at a larger version of the same image.

This comes with some changes you might want to understand before upgrading lazyblorg and using that feature.

Read the whole article ...

2019-10-15: Grazer Pub: Konkurs wegen Rauchverbots. Seriously?

Heute gab es auf ORF Steiermark einen Artikel, wonach das Irish Pub "Molly Malone" den Betrieb einstellt. Als Insolvenzgrund wird das bevorstehende gesetzliche Rauchverbot angegeben.

Das halte ich für eine Ausrede.

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2019-10-12: UOMF: Presentation Slides Via Reveal and PDF Handout

This is an article from a series of blog postings. Please do read my "Using Org Mode Features" (UOMF) series page for explanations on articles of this series.

In this article, I will explain a neat method of conducting HTML screen presentations as well as generating the presentation handouts in PDF.

Read the whole article ...

2019-10-09: Memacs: Major Update of the Filenametimestamp Module

In the recent days, I was investing quite some work in a rewrite of the filenametimestamp module of Memacs for referencing files within Org mode independent of their storage path.

If you are already using this module, you should think of upgrading now because I fixed quite some bugs. Further more, it provides new functionality which could only be found in the corresponding stand-alone PoC module.

I won't go into details here, since I also updated the module documentation. For developers, I also created a decent set of unit tests.

The most current version of Memacs is available via pip install memacs but it may need some help from experienced users of pip.

2019-10-05: Microsoft as Hardware Innovation Leader and: HW Is More Innovative Than SW

Frequent readers of my blog know that I'm not quite a fan of software products by Microsoft. However, I was a fan of hardware done by Microsoft since decades. I was using the very same Microsoft mouse for probably twenty years. Yesterday, I was able to briefly test an Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse. Impressive device with brilliant design solutions, particularly for mobile workers. I own a used Microsoft Surface Pro 3 running Windows 10 which is a great concept and a remarkable piece of technology. Only to mention a few examples.

Now, Microsoft announced Surface Duo and Surface Neo - very unusual - over a year in advance.

Read the whole article ...

2019-10-02: Ein Blick in das Jahr 2000 - Sowjetische Programme, Projekte, Prognosen

Beim Ausräumen einer alten Garage viel mir dieses nette Stück Geschichte in die Hände: Ein Blick in das Jahr 2000 - Sowjetische Programme, Projekte, Prognosen

Es handelt sich um ein kleines Heftchen aus dem Jahr 1984 vom russischen Verlag RIA Novosti, der für russische Propaganda im Westen zuständig war und nach wie vor ist.

Die Titelseite des Heftchens.

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2019-10-01: Snowden on Personal Security and Privacy

Starting with the following tweet, Edward Snowden published a thread with recommendations of device/application choices and configuration measurements for maximizing security and privacy .

In recent interviews, I've gotten questions over if or how I use a smartphone. They're so dangerous for someone like me, so it's quite difficult to give an in-depth answer. But I published a paper with @bunniestudios a few years ago discussing some risks: https://t.co/hFexpqTefA

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 21, 2019

This blog entry is an excerpt of this thread of tweets, not only but also to my personal reference.

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2019-09-25: UOMF: Using Org Mode Categories Versus Tags

This is an article from a series of blog postings. Please do read my "Using Org Mode Features" (UOMF) series page for explanations on articles of this series.

Emacs Org mode does provide two basic features to assign shared topics to entities: Categories and tags. Users might get confused when to use categories and when to use tags for labeling things. This article explains the fundamental differences and gives my recommendations on when to use what. Although I don't want to duplicate too much content from the Org mode manual, there are few things I repeat.

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2019-09-25: Blog Series: Using Org Mode Features (UOMF)

Since I've written many articles on how I am using elements and features from Org mode, I decided to introduce a new blog series for these articles. I also added already published articles to this series in case their topic fits this category.

It is crucial to know that these articles are my personal approach to deal with various situations within Org mode. It is driven by my own requirements and use-cases. It is not an exhaustive reference on how to use things from the great Org mode manual. Some articles do not even provide solutions. Sometimes, articles just mention things where I'm struggling with or shed a light on things to be aware of when using Org mode for a long period of time.

Read the whole article ...

2019-09-25: On Not Using Tags for Categorizing Blog Articles of a Series

I started to write articles that I embraced in "Blog Series" such as, for example, the one on bad design decisions.

A probably obvious choice would have been to introduce tags for each series which could be used to link and find articles of these series. I decided not to. On purpose. And this is why.

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2019-09-17: I'm Probably Not Going to Buy OnePlus Smartphones Any More

Since almost exactly two years, I'm using a OnePlus 5 Android smartphone.

This is a small add-on to my previous blog posts on this device which explains why I refrain from buying another device from OnePlus.

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2019-09-11: 2FA Using oathtool in the Command Line

Update 2019-09-11: added link to https://paste.debian.net/1100018/

So far, I was using two-factor authorization (2FA) with TOTP and FreeOTP on my Android phone only. (I don't want to use the more popular Google Authenticator because of Google and personal preference.) TOTP provides a higher level of security in contrast to any text message-based (SMS) or network-based two-factor authorization.

A couple of days ago, I stumbled over a great blog post where the author explains how to set-up TOTP using oathtool in the GNU/Linux command line. This has the advantages that I am able to use TOTP authentication on my Linux machines without my mobile phone and it forces me to backup my TOTP secrets and not only some recovery keys.

However, the proposed method uses key-value-pairs of the services and their secrets within a clear-text file. This was a clear no-go from my point of view. It would expose my secrets to any intruder on a silver plate.

Therefore, I extended the shell script with a GnuPG encrypted file for the secrets.

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2019-09-08: Today, I Am Tweeting for Ten Years

Ten years ago, I started using Twitter for micro-blogging. It was an experiment, mainly to find out why people are using this media and see how my opinion changes when using it. At first, I was quite sceptic.

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