1. 10

    Taking control of your personal knowledge is one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. I switched to emacs purely for Org-mode, stayed for the elisp in ~2006 or so.

    Plain text also has a wonderful property of being a super sturdy format you know you’ll be able to read. I’ve made all kinds of quick reports out of my org files because I can just run grep | sed | awk quickly, and then write up elisp if I want to keep it around longer.

    Unfortunately, it also has the property of being a filesystem/local interface, and thus most mobile/ipad/etc users would balk at the steps you need to go through to get your notes where you’d like them. Dropbox is probably the only solution that works well for users, but then it’s dropbox. Note the auto-committing logic here makes it very difficult to actually use your backups as you’re fighting against ongoing commits running in the same workspace. I really need to write the emacs extension that allows me to use tramp w/arbitrary binary that handles data reading/writing.

    1. 3

      Taking control of your personal knowledge is one of the greatest experiences I’ve had

      I’m in the same boat. I strongly believe that personal knowledge, such as one’s personal notes, should be based on a future-proof system.

      Unfortunately, [plain-text note taking] also has the property of being a filesystem/local interface, and thus most mobile/ipad/etc users would balk at the steps you need to go through to get your notes where you’d like them

      We may not be able to create as smooth an UX as all those mobile note taking apps, but I believe we should be able to come close enough. I currently dogfood my own app (called Cerveau based on the open-source neuron project) which allows me to edit git-backed plain text notes from web browser and mobile. It basically allows you to use Git(hub) as storage, while providing a nice editing and browsing interface.

      1. 2

        I’m in the same boat. I strongly believe that personal knowledge, such as one’s personal notes, should be based on a future-proof system.

        Strongly agree here.

        I manage my knowledge via a web-based system which uses text files as its base data storage format, which I can always zip, move, and adapt to a new system.

        1. 1

          That sounds interesting, what tool do you use?

          1. 1

            Thank you for your interest.

            I use a system called “hike” at this time, which you can see a demo of here: http://hike.qdb.us/

            The username and password are both admin, I use that to keep out crawl bots, because at this time they fill the system with lots of junk.

            It’s still a work in progress, and I think only useful to myself, but here are some general ideas:

            Textfiles are identified by their hashes.

            You can attach something an existing file using the >>hash format

            Hashtags are used for grouping and categorizing.

            A hash-tag in a parentless item is assigned to that item. However, if an item has a parent (using >>), the hashtag is assigned to the parent item.

            Let me know if you have any questions.

      2. 2

        Unfortunately, it also has the property of being a filesystem/local interface, and thus most mobile/ipad/etc

        This is something that has held me back many times from using such system. In the past I did only use markdown notes in a single directory more like a journal (so no wiki and pretty messed) and syncing with Syncthing or Dropbox, which I believe is one of the best big providers for just plain text. And still editing on mobile was a pain back then, not sure if currently there’s any better interface to work on plain text.

        When that started not filling my needs I tried Evernote and moved to Notion.so which I have been using since then. I’m open to explore alternative, which made me end up here looking at VimWiki which I could couple up with WebDAV to sync with my vps.

        On a note: Notion has a nice export to Markdown and CSV, that almost nails it for me. Basically following up directory structures for the content you have in the platform.

        1. 5

          This is why Joplin fits my need perfectly.

          • Syncs via WebDAV
          • Great mobile apps
          • Markdown everything.
          • On desktop it has an option to spawn your favorite external editor of choice so Vim away!
          • 100% open source

          I’m in love. I haven’t ever felt this ‘together’ in terms of my personal and professional knowledge bases ever (no hyperbole).

        2. 2

          I’m not sure how great plain text is compared to say sqlite. Faster tagging, full text search, one file, are all things that would make a note-system better in my eyes, than having free-format files lying around in a file system. And it’s not like data has to be plain-text for it to survive, sqlite and a lot of other formats with public domain/free software parsers are just as accessible, perhaps even more when considering how file-system unfriendly mobile devices are (often there’s not even a proper file manager).

          1. 1

            SQLite is one of the more compatible formats, but I still can’t edit it by hand.

            My solution is to have a tree of plaintext files, which are then indexed into SQLite for indexing and searching.

            1. 1

              This feels like putting the cart before the horse to me. If you want optimized search why not retain the power and recoverability of plain text and use sqlite for indexing and metadata storage?

              1. 2

                I don’t recognize any special power in plain text. You just need a tool to access the database, and it’s as good as plain text, when it comes to unix utilities. Plus you don’t have to bother with duplicate states and updating the indexing or metadata storage, since it’s all in one file.

                1. 1

                  Your sqlite file gets corrupted - Game Over.

                  One text file gets corrupted? You lose whatever bytes from that one text file.

                  Every decision is a trade off between utility and convenience.

                  1. 2

                    Your sqlite file gets corrupted - Game Over.

                    Not necessarily, I mean first of all it’s easy to create a backup, and then there are tools to recover as much as possible. Sure you could engineer an attack to corrupt just the right bytes, but then I could just as well say “what if you run rm -f *.md.

              2. 1

                Doing this now and it’s great. Title and content of notes are text fields, tags and links are structured many-to-many relations. Keeping metadata out of the note contents means I don’t have to parse anything and querying notes is super easy.

                1. 1

                  What tool do you use for that?

                  1. 1

                    I wrote my own.

            1. 1

              I see ‘how’ it works by setting: type ComicNumber int

              But I don’t understand the ‘why’. My default way would be to make an variable of type int instead of making a dedicated type. I think I’m missing something.

              1. 6

                It lets the compiler help you a little bit to remind you that your type really describes something in particular.

                For my project, we need to refer to a k8s cluster context and namespace throughout various functions. By having type clusterContext string, the compiler forces you to do an explicit cast when calling a function. This is to remind you what you are doing from the call site without relying on remembering the function signature.

                I was initially very skeptical about this language feature too and shot down a bunch of code reviews with it in, but I have since come to realize when this tool provides value. Not often, but useful when you need it.

                1. 1

                  To be forced to explicitly cast the type is a bit hard to wrap my head around and see the benefit, but in conjunction with the other answers I think I get your point. Thank you for explaining.

                2. 4

                  It means you can’t compare a CustomerID to a ProductID.

                  Treating every numeric value like an int is of course doable, but so is replacing structs with dictionaries.

                  1. 1

                    Ofc! That is very clever, less risk to accidentally mix the types. Will try to remember this.

                  2. 1

                    I often see it used in conjunction with iota to mimic enums, which are not present in Go.

                    Here is an example in the Go runtime. They define a type that is an int, and then define specific values to represent the different types. Now when the type is used only one of the specific values would be valid.

                    https://github.com/golang/go/blob/8e0be05ec7c369387c0ed3c9cf37968c6d3afbbd/src/runtime/internal/sys/arch.go

                    1. 1

                      Another good exemple, I see why this is a good use case. Just have to remember this in my own code. Thank you all for explaining.

                  1. 2

                    Names of cities, in alphabetical order.

                    1. 7

                      Total agree. All of my nontrivial programs now look like this:

                      func main() {
                          if err := exec(os.Args[1:], os.Stdin, os.Stdout, os.Stderr); err != nil {
                              fmt.Fprintln(os.Stderr, err)
                              os.Exit(1)
                          }
                      }
                      
                      func exec(args []string, stdin io.Reader, stdout, stderr io.Writer) error {
                          // ...
                      }
                      
                      1. 1

                        What do you do about flags?

                        1. 1
                          1. 1
                            import (
                                "github.com/peterbourgon/ff/v3"
                            )
                            
                            func exec(args []string, ...) error {
                                fs := flag.NewFlagSet("myprogram", flag.ContinueOnError)
                                var (
                                    addr = fs.String("addr", "localhost:1234", "listen address")
                                    // ....
                                )
                                if err := ff.Parse(fs, args); err != nil {
                                    return fmt.Errorf("error parsing flags: %w", err)
                                }
                                
                                // ...
                            
                        1. 8

                          When I became a tech lead and started managing people, I spent a lot of time managing relationship between team members, helping others, and reviewing pull request. I was lucky if I spent an hour writing some code. So during the daily standup I couldn’t say what I was doing the other day: it just passed and I sort of did something, but where exactly did my time go? So I started journaling. And it helped a lot with recalling the previous day. Also retrospectives became so much easier.

                          But then I quit that job and forgot the habit. Now trying to get back into it via blogging and writing a monthly post recalling what happened.

                          1. 4

                            By the end of the day I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve done. I started keeping a daily record, a list of the nuggets of activity that I did during the day. It’s really helpful to be able to look back on the past week and see a list of items and remember all that I had done. It always turns out to be more work than I thought.

                            1. 1

                              I love slack standups for just this reason. It’s not as detailed, but still helps me see the arc of my work in a way that a verbal standup can’t.

                            2. 2

                              Yes, I can’t journal to save my life, but blogging is something I have found works for me. The public nature of it makes it easier to see the return, perhaps?

                              1. 2

                                Did you journal specifically about work interactions, project progress, and the like? Curious to know if there was any system you employed. Did you also journal about outside life stuff?

                                1. 2

                                  It was work related only. When your work becomes helping people (solving problems with code, reviewing pull requests, doing 1-on-1’s, and helping to avoid friction in the team), you’re constantly busy throughout the day, but it doesn’t feel like quantifiable job I’ve been doing before while writing code. There are quite a lot of blog posts on the topic of transition from developer to a management position. So in order to “quantify” it somehow and bring structure, I started writing down everything I’ve been doing throughout the day: 10 minutes of writing code, 15 minutes helping one dev with their problem, 5 minute break, 23 minutes talking to the management, 40 minutes preparing presentation. All with a timestamp.

                                  By the end of the day I had a very good list of things I’ve been doing. Having timestamps helped me understand when I was interrupted by others. After few months I started to develop routines and structure my day into chunks where I could spend more time on different tasks without being interrupted.

                                  At the moment I am a co-founder of a tiny startup with just a handful of people (2 developers including me), so I don’t get interrupted a lot and this kind of journalling is not needed anymore. I do however write blog posts for personal things.

                                  A friend of mine gathers every year with their family where each member talks about their 3-5 biggest achievements throughout the year. They also nominate people of the year, events of the year, etc. I couldn’t recall any of that. So I started writing monthly posts highlighting different events, things I’ve learned and did. I love the way Tom does his “recently” posts.

                              1. 6

                                The animated cursor looks like a gimmick, but I have a feeling that it would be really useful.

                                1. 6

                                  It felt like a silly addition to me, and then I realized how often I do jkjkjkjkjk to see where my cursor currently is after searches and jumps. I’m looking forward to trying this.

                                  1. 5

                                    It definitely pleases me. Whether it reduces the number of times I lose track of the cursor is hard to tell ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ my impression is yes, but your mileage may vary

                                    1. 3

                                      I’ve been using this to help keep track of the cursor:

                                      set relativenumber
                                      set number
                                      highlight LineNr ctermfg=brown
                                      highlight CursorLineNr ctermfg=yellow
                                      
                                      1. 2

                                        Neat! My vimrc has something in a similar-ish vein with the following line:

                                        :nnoremap <Leader>s :set cursorline! cursorcolumn!<CR>
                                        

                                        Leader s will highlight the current row and current column, creating a “crosshair” over your cursor. I use it all the time when pairing to show someone where my cursor is and as way to “point” at code.

                                        Plus it’s a toggle. So when I lose my cursor I can just quickly toggle it on and then off with the same binding. Easy for it to become muscle memory.

                                    1. 3

                                      I am relatively new to using a simple text file for productivity. For now it’s a list of what I’ve worked on in a day and how long it took. It really helps put into perspective how productive, or not, I’ve been in a day.

                                      I’m interested in how to have structured data, but without a log of syntax noise. It would be nice to be able to pull reports, and enable future tooling to do neat things. But I wonder how far I would go before it becomes something similar to existing syntax, such as org-mode. For now I use simple markdown.

                                      @jeffhuang Do you use tooling with the structured data; to do something with the tags, or items in a day?

                                      Have you encountered any challenges with the .txt file being on a remote server? I’ve had mine local before because I don’t want to rely on a network connection, but I find it more flexible to have it on a remote server.

                                      1. 3

                                        Hmm great question. The only structure I have is really just the tags. So if I’m looking for ideas, I just search for #idea and if I need to fill in my annual report, I just search for #annual and it has reduced that time from 4 hours to 15 minutes now. I’ve thought about doing something to automatically see my past meeting notes with the same person(s) like on a side screen in my office, but haven’t been motivated enough to do so. I could do something to count the number of items I worked on or thought about each time, in a sort of time-series way, but since I also do time tracking separately, I haven’t found the need to really process the daily lists very much.

                                        For the .txt being on a remote server, I use a static network IP instead of DHCP so it’s very reliable. Microsoft has done a nice job with remote desktop that it works well enough even on my phone. If it’s a really important, I just copy the day’s list to Google Keep which is accessible everywhere, but I find myself using Remote Desktop anyways.

                                      1. 4

                                        Meta: this is an interesting case when considering story downvotes. There are >3x the votes for a disagreeing comment for than the story, most comments disagree with the conclusion, and it seems to have a few more users hiding it than usual, but it was the top post when I came here. I had a somewhat similar case here (negative comment score > story score, there because of an outright incorrect headline rather than an argument folks didn’t agree with).

                                        I realize we don’t just want the rankings to be a poll where 51% disagreement makes a story drop off the earth, so maybe there could be some asymmetry where downvotes cost the downvoter rep or it takes two or three to reduce the score a point or whatever. (Or maybe their effects only kick in once there are X downvotes making up Y% of the total.) Downvotes probably shouldn’t affect submitter rep; outside of breaking rules or obvious bad faith you don’t really want anyone to be worse off for having made a submission. It just seems like in situations like this the ranking is off from what users want to read in an avoidable way.

                                        Beyond “what users want to read,” this is advice about handling real people’s security in production (or, in the other story’s case, an inaccurate headline folks could remember/spread/repeat). Driving traffic to something that a solid supermajority of readers think is false or just a bad idea can have effects in the real world. It also rewards clickbait-y patterns; with the other story’s false headline, “huge if true” got votes that “turns out false” did not cancel out.

                                        To be clear, I fully expect to see plenty I disagree with even with a change like this, and I’m fine with that! Also pretty sure I have some takes that would be disadvantaged by story downvotes. But the site is trying to rank stories, and maybe broad-enough disagreement ought to factor in.

                                        1. 3

                                          If a bad article sparks good discussion, it should cease being downvoted/maybe should be upvoted. By downvoting a story, you downvote the entire discourse.

                                          Upvoting the negative comment is productive. Downvoting a story should only be used when the story is off-topic/reposted/broken/spam. If good discussion follows, it’s likely not off-topic or spam.

                                          In my mind, the purpose of downvoting a story is to save other lobsters time by preventing them from engaging with spam or irrelevant content. If you choose to read a story and it’s comments, you shouldn’t exclusively evaluate it on the number of votes. I don’t mind this system not being optimized for people who don’t stop to actually read and form an opinion.

                                          1. 2

                                            By downvoting a story, you downvote the entire discourse.

                                            I honestly don’t find “most replies dunk on the link” discussions to, on average, be the most useful ones; I think moving on from posts likely to spawn them is the kind of thing a link-ranking site’s algos could usefully do.

                                            (It would also tend to avoid rewarding clickbaity or controversial-for-the-sake-of-it writing with attention, and if you give some consideration to those who just skim the site or click links, it can avoid feeding them the stuff that the community seems to have settled on as bad security advice, false headlines (for the other story), etc.)

                                            Props to myfreeweb for mentioning OPAQUE. Creative users can certainly push things in a constructive direction in spite of not getting great prompts from the actual links. I just wish the links were more tilted towards the cool things like OPAQUE and a bit less the takes that almost everybody disagrees with! (Edit: actually made a submission about OPAQUE, haha.)

                                          2. 1

                                            I realize we don’t just want the rankings to be a poll where 51% disagreement makes a story drop off the earth,

                                            If not with downvotes then communities will find other ways to enforce norms, perceived or real[1]. Communities of people will find a way to enforce the community identity. Take away the mechanics of voting, and hiding, and people will become vocal in their opposition to a submitted article. I’ve actually seen a few “this post should not be on this community” type of posts in reply to links.

                                            Driving traffic to something that a solid supermajority of readers think is false or just a bad idea can have effects in the real world.

                                            I can see how that would be harmful, but only if people following the link don’t read the comments.

                                            I found it interesting, if not a good strategy, so I wanted to see what other people thought. That’s why I post things to Lobste.rs, to see the conversation around something, to see what people see that I may not.

                                            [1]: though, after time perceived norms become the real norms.

                                            1. 1

                                              FWIW, not at all down on you for submitting whatever you want. I also think any approach to downvotes shouldn’t make anybody afraid to submit anything. I just (for the reasons in other comments) kinda wish there were a built-in alternative to the “everyone dunks on the original post” dynamic that happens every so often.

                                              1. 1

                                                Cool, thank you.

                                                I agree, mob on down voting isn’t great.

                                          1. 2

                                            For special projects, I use a Fabriano notebook.

                                            However, I have recently (re-)discovered that having a super cheap spiral notebook increases my note-taking by a factor of 100x and that note-taking is a fantastic way to organize thoughts. I have since filled many of those. Something like 140-page Hilroy 1-subject notebooks.

                                            I’ve been using the Pilot G2 exclusively for over 10 years now. I buy them in bulk and always have 3 to 5 of them on me. I enjoy seeing them spread in other peoples hands wherever I go, so when someone asks for a pen I’m always the first to offer them one of mine and never ask for it back.

                                            1. 2

                                              The G2 is a fantastic pen. I prefer the 0.38 tip size becethe flows so well and takes just a moment to dry.

                                              1. 2

                                                Not an artist nor anything alike, but I simply love products by Fabriano. I always carry with me an A4 Notebook (Glued Long Side) with dots instead of lines. The 85g/m2 paper is perfect for the 0.1mm Uniball Pin. I’ve been using those for a long time now.

                                                Feel like everything looks better with this combination, specially mathematical stuff.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Pilot G2

                                                  So you may like this post

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Thanks for the tip! Pilot also makes a G2 Limited which is a fancier exterior but takes the same fills which should also work.

                                                1. 1

                                                  I use a Word Notebook, because of the heavy paper, with the a nice leather cover.

                                                  I don’t care for the Moleskins, the paper is too thin, most pens bleed through. Field Notes is hit or miss, sometimes they have heavy paper, sometimes not.

                                                  1. 7

                                                    Read Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno.

                                                    1. 4

                                                      +1

                                                      The reality was that just reading the recorded deliberations of senior figures at the time would give me a view at the truth, and a way to evaluate all the other opinions I felt bombarded by.

                                                      What I should have learned, in other words, was: ignore the noise, and go to the signal.

                                                      @zwischenzugs did you read The Toyota Way or the Toyota Production System? I ask because the former is noise, by your definition.

                                                      That said, IMHO, the former is a better read.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I use Hugo for my website and overall it is pretty nice. Though, it does seem there are a lot of bugs in major releases that are quickly fixed in point releases. I’ve had to change a few things too as the overall aspect of the software changed from just blogs to generic websites, but they were not huge changes.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        What I’ve learned about learning piano from six months learning piano or What I’ve learned about life over the six months I’ve been learning piano would’ve been far more suitable

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Programming at a high level requires the same focus, discipline, and intrinsic motivation that piano does.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            This is such a general template to doing anything new. First you’re bad, you persist over months and years of plateaus and failure, and just repeat that forever until you give up or you start approaching an actual real ceiling.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              This article really resonated with me. I saw in it similar experiences to programming. Any deep learning really.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            I was told that passwords should only be changed if they are known to be compromised.

                                                            But that ignores silent unknown hacks.

                                                            What is a good password rotation strategy?

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Every day I make a todo list on paper, in my notebook. I copy over any items from yesterday’s that I failed to do, trying to be realistic about what I’m going to accomplish. I have sets of other longer-term todo lists I pull from while constructing the daily ones.

                                                              I enjoy the freedom that a physical books allows, being able to scratch my lists down next to drawings & diagrams.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                Plus it looks really cool to use a physical book for lists.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                TODOs written on yellow legal pads with mechanical pencils.

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Why specifically a mechanical pencil?

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    I always liked the slender “lead” and there’s no need for a sharpener.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Have you used the Uni rotating lead pencil. It is pretty nice.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Nope, but I will check it out. Thanks!

                                                                1. 6

                                                                  I just use Things. I have no plan to move away from Apple jail ecosystem in the foreseeable future so…

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I also use Things, just on my laptop though (I keep my phone off of email, calendar, etc.).

                                                                    Past monday the macOS Catalina update rendered my Macbook unbootable (sent to apple repair yesterday). In the meantime I’m running a live Ubuntu bootable thumb drive.

                                                                    While Things is not available off-Apple, it’s nice they store everything you do in a single SQLite database file. Until I have my Macbook back I’ll be running Things with a SQL editor.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Past monday the macOS Catalina update rendered my Macbook unbootable (sent to apple repair yesterday).

                                                                      Same. Booted in safe mode, turned out it was a bad kext. Updated it and chugging along happily-er now.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Mine doesn’t even respond to the boot time keystrokes in order to boot in safe mode, or verbose, or boot from a thumb drive…

                                                                        I tried everything, but there’s nothing I could do without tearing it down.

                                                                        May I know your model? Because a friend of mine also had his install broken. Also, is the bad kext related to Little Snitch? Thx.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) – the bad kext was a corporate MDM thing (“Carbon Black”). But yikes, yours sounds muuuuch worse. I could access safe mode. Recovery was working but even once booted into recovery the dialogs were lagging for 5+ minutes.

                                                                    2. 2

                                                                      Things

                                                                      This comment made me check it out, and damn. I’ve been using Todoist for a couple years and this blows it out of the water. Thanks!

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        +1 for Things. I have a soft spot for the idea of a bullet journal but Things is just so good.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          Things is the only software I’ve ever missed after leaving apple.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            I have a mac laptop, but an android phone, so I would be hesitant to use Things.

                                                                      1. 11

                                                                        I swear by my Bullet Journal. It replaced a text file-based system (a sort of pseudo org-mode) that depended too much on having a laptop or other computer.

                                                                        • The friction of having to rewrite todo items by hand helps me keep my lists short. That significantly reduces the stress of giant, “eternal” digital lists.
                                                                        • Keeping it physical means that my phone and all its countless distractions can stay in my pocket.
                                                                        • Marking things as done with a pen feels like more of an accomplishment than tapping a digital checkbox. All the more dopamine.

                                                                        Their app is a big help, too.

                                                                        1. 7

                                                                          I personally found pen and paper to still beat digital note taking software. For some reason I always spend more time tweaking the software than actually using it. Either that or I get distracted by something else. With pen and paper you don’t have much to do but write, so I find it easier to stay focused.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            Exactly this, too. I had a small suite of scripts supporting my text file system. I fell off the wagon with it, in part, because of the effort that would have been involved in setting everything back up after a system reinstall. With a Bullet Journal, I just buy a new notebook and a new pen.

                                                                          2. 2

                                                                            I do something similar, though it’s far more basic than bullet journaling. I use a fairly thick journal, but it fits into a back pocket pretty easily.

                                                                            I’ve been eyeing the reMarkable since it was first announced, but their only product is still much too big for my uses. And, honestly, I don’t know whether I’d be okay with something I have to keep charged. But I also don’t like the paper waste I generate, so I guess I’m still eyeing it.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              An ex-coworker of mine had a reMarkable. She really loved it. I think the key feature for her was the ability to import pdf documents and mark them them up. She also liked how easy it was to organize notebooks for different contexts (as a manager, she was constantly referring to 1 over 1 notes by person, or project notes, or policy deployment notes). She didn’t seem to have issues witht he battery very often–It was a recharge it every other day sort of thing, if I recall.

                                                                              I personally prefer fancy fountain pens, otherwise I would have considered one myself.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                I’m a fountain pen person, myself, though I lean towards the non-fancy. Platinum Preppies are an amazing value, for example.

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              I’m back on BUJO as well. I’ve had great success at using org-mode on more complicated projects, but my current project has few tasks, so it is easier to record my few todos in there. I don’t really bother with the calendar very much, I like the push notifications from my work calendar.

                                                                              Bonuses include being able to doodle in boring meetings.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I was using a text file based checklist system that I concocted myself, but moved the todos to Todoist. Which is decent, but I find it difficult to use it for larger projects, or for recording daily activities.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  Do you use it the way they describe it in their intro video? Or have you made any modifications of your own?

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    Essentially the same, though I don’t really use the monthly calendar feature. (That says more about inattention to time than about that particular feature.)

                                                                                    I do use an ! notation to highlight the 1-3 things that most need to get done in a given day.

                                                                                    The most important thing, I’d say, is to give the base system a try for at least six weeks (so that I you see an entire month through and more) so that you can develop an informed instinct for what you personally want to change.

                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                  My old dual disk NAS with two new mirrored drives in my brother’s basement in his 19” rack a wee bit unter the ceiling. My rack in the ground floor houses his NAS. Gentlemen’s agreement to not push backups before 2 am.

                                                                                  I once had an old thinkpad with two drives in my old company in the server room (I was the admin) but this seemed no good idea after this company was sued and got raided (fortunately the NAS was not of interest).

                                                                                  Family pictures and such are written on older 3.5” server HDs in silicone hard disk protector frames with USB adapters. Storage of the disks in a safe. The key is in the lock I use it as a fire safe locker, but want to avoid a brute force attack.

                                                                                  Before that I used a dedicated Plextor DVD recorder, gloves and virgin DVD medias, ammo canister as storage for the DVDs. Good method, but ALWAYS finish the session and write the TOC.

                                                                                  Before that I used DAT tape.

                                                                                  I had data loss due to

                                                                                  • gravity (slip, bonk, f<beep/>k… DTLA drives had glass platters and are incompatible with free falling in stair cases)
                                                                                  • humidity (flood in the basement. not tap water, but waste water with heating oil)
                                                                                  • magnetism (forgot to occasionaly reread tapes… for 15 years, plus my Mom put them under the roof)
                                                                                  • compression. I will never ever again compress backups.
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                                                                                    What was the compression format that you used that failed? How did it fail?

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                                                                                      (sorry for late answer, I’m sick @home)

                                                                                      bzip2, compressing a tar archive to preserve owner/permissions I could not extract the data any more after block reading errors.

                                                                                      It was “optimized” without the need for it: the backup media (DVD blanks were awfully expensive back then) was almost empty.

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                                                                                    It includes primarily proprietary as well as open - source components.

                                                                                    What is the reason behind the proprietary components? Why not all opensource?

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                                                                                      Near as I can tell because the developers see it as a proprietary OS with a few GPL components, notably the desktop, and that’s only GPL because of a bitter disagreement between one of the developers and the company that owned it at the time.

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                                                                                        The Amiga community was always seemingly hostle to having source available. It’s changed a lot over the years but even today there’s a huge amount of Amiga software that is going to perish when the developers give up on it.

                                                                                        I think part of it is that the Amiga kept a very active cottage industry of small one- and two-person development teams since it never had really strong major software house support*.

                                                                                        This lack of major software house support meant tat (a) a large proportion of Amiga developers made (or wanted to make) a living of Amiga software and had relatively easy entry to the market and an enthusiastic captive market and (b) software piracy was rampant.

                                                                                        * The Amiga had some support from major game developers like EA and LucasArts but only for a few golden years. It never had huge support from the really big companies, with only a few releases if any.

                                                                                        (This is all just speculation from someone who’s watched the Amiga for 30+ years.)

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                                                                                          What is the reason behind the proprietary components? Why not all opensource?

                                                                                          While you can use and test the OS for up to 30 minutes for free before you need to reboot, there is a license cost.

                                                                                          Even if you do not put a value on your own time, developing a niche operating system is a costly endeavour since you need to buy stock piles of hardware to be able to test drivers. I am afraid Apple and AMD are not sending out free hardware samples so MorphOS can be made to support them.

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                                                                                            There’s an argument to be made that making it free software makes both the appeal and the ability to support a wide variety of platforms expand far beyond what a small team on a niche hardware platform is able (like Haiku, for example)

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                                                                                              There’s an argument to be made that making it free software makes both the appeal and the ability to support a wide variety of platforms expand far beyond what a small team on a niche hardware platform is able (like Haiku, for example)

                                                                                              Well, AROS is an example for an open source operating system that was inspired by the Commodore Amiga platform. I do not think I am being unfair in saying that it is not in a better position than MorphOS despite using an open source license.

                                                                                              Technically, AROS does support more processor architectures but the alternative ports to ARM and PowerPC are generally less complete, less stable, and have access to a smaller pool of third-party software compared to the Intel-compatible versions.

                                                                                              Being focused on a limited amount of hardware devices and processor architectures is not necessarily a downside but can help to more effectively use your resources in order to provide a more polished end user experience. (Think Apple MacOS vs. Microsoft Windows.)

                                                                                              In short, just making something open source does not magically make everything better. Even if you are generally an open source proponent, I think it is healthy to be able to acknowledge that.

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                                                                                                Being focused on a limited number of devices does make it easier to polish how it runs on that device for sure, but it also ties the software to the intrinsic appeal of the underlying hardware.

                                                                                                I don’t think that it’s really possible to gauge what making the source of MorphOS freely available would do to it’s development or focus and whether that’s productive for it’s continued development, but interest and historical documentation would almost certainly benefit. But which of those is “success” is very subjective.

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                                                                                                  making something open source does not magically make everything better

                                                                                                  “better” on its own does not mean much. Yeah, it does not inherently make it better in terms of quality, but it does in terms of other things. The freedom to modify the software, the long term preservation aspect, these things are extremely valuable.

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                                                                                                    The freedom to modify the software, the long term preservation aspect, these things are extremely valuable.

                                                                                                    Being able to enter and use your neighbour’s car is also technically “valuable” if you get my point. Having potential value does not equal indisputable entitlements.

                                                                                                    More to the point, MorphOS already runs in qemu so the “preservation aspect” is pretty much covered.