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Chomper is an internet blocker for helping prevent procrastination/mindless web surfing. It’s in the same vein as Cold Turkey or SelfControl. However, neither of these programs support Linux, and the only similar program hasn’t been developed in over 7 years. So, I developed Chomper.

Chomper has a simple command-line interface through which you can implement blacklists and whitelists at the URL level (e.g. you can block amazon.com/gp/video/*, but not amazon.com). You can see a demo of its use in a gif at the Github repo. I’ve been using it successfully for the last week, and I finished polishing it off so that it’s fit for general use. It’s GPL-licensed. I’ve written a bit more here about my motivation for creating Chomper. Please try it out, and let me know how you like it!


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    I like the idea. Since you’re proxying the connections, you can also do some deeper inspection.

    I added some feature requests on GitHub but I am not allowed to add labels, sorry for that.

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      Mindless web surfing has prevented me from programming a similar tool. I have been wishing for such a tool for a while. I meanwhile have changed the way I work to account for my bad habit: I drop to a console and code from there for as long as I can. A combination of my Pebble watch and my cell phone ensure I get urgent notifications and direct pokes from my team, and I just make sure to tell them “I’m going under”. Works wonders when I’m working remotely, because there’s also not the temptation to talk to people.

      That being said, very cool tool, can’t wait to try it out, I hope it helps with my Controltee-eff-enteritis.

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        Chomper looks great, but the introduction to delayed-admin alone was worth the price of admisison.

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          I do know the distraction problem, but is it really required to solve it via a programme? Can’t you just pull the Ethernet cable and/or disconnect from wifi? After all, the main cause of distractions are notifications from all kinds of programs, and they are effectively removed by that. If you need the documentation for your programming language or library, there’s often a way to download it and read it offline, and some languages offer documentation via commandline (like Ruby’s ri). I often make use of this when travelling by train, where Internet tends to be wonky.

          Side note: For distractionless writing of anything that is not source code, I have – not kidding – switched to a physical, mechanical typewriter. It’s a relief. No distraction, just you, the keys, and the paper. For source code that doesn’t work due to lack of special keys, but otherwise it’s great if you really want to concentrate on a specific topic and just write.

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            The all or none approach is a bit more difficult when you have actual work that needs to happen on GitHub or some remote server.

            Though I’ve been a bit more honest about the ratio of that kind of work. Most work can happen offline

            (I have a Pomera DM200 for typing up paragraphs in a concentrated way. Not perfect but good enough for my needs)

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              can you recommend a good typewriter that’s old enough to be simple and durable, but also new enough to be easy to use?

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                Um … any manual typewriter that still works? They’re not complicated to use …

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                  I have helped in courses on C programming, and when I explained the difference in newlines between Linux and Windows, I used to bring around a typewriter to make the students see what a “Carriage Return” really is. Of course, I left the typewriter available for playing around and from that I can definitely tell you that a typewriter is not self-explanatory anymore. By far the most common question I was asked was:

                  “How do I advance to a new line?”

                  It’s not obvious if you’re used to have an Enter key.

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                  Any mechanical typewriter that was manufactured before 1970 should be good and durable, after that date quality appears to decline, and for electric/electronical typewriters it’s much more difficult to repair things if they break. I’m happily typing on a 1960ies Olympia SM9, but really, take a look at eBay, your local antiques shop or similar and just buy one that looks nice to you. You shouldn’t probably start with a “Standard” (i.e. full-size) type writer, because they’re very heavy and hard to sell again. Don’t worry if the ribbon is dried out, it’s easy to get replacement ribbons e.g. on Amazon. If everything else works, the typewriter is probably fine.

                  Also, don’t go with extremely old models (pre 1920) if you want to actually use them and not just look at them.

                  If you handle your machine with care (never clean it with WD40!), it will last decades as they have lasted already. Apart from my Olympia I have a completely functional 1930ies Continental typewriter that I occasionally type at, but it requires much more pressure on the keys, which I find uncomfortable.

                  Lobsters isn’t a typewriter community (yet), so I think that should complete it. You might want to register at a typewriter forum like this one if you have further questions, as they can be answered there much better and by more competent people than me.

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                I thought combining a tool like this with a pomodoro cli would be a cool workflow.

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                    I use adsuck with an extensive list for that. It has been working well so far.

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                      I use an ad blocker for this. For example in uBlock Origin I have the rule:


                      to completely block the BBC website.