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Dumb idea: DIY camera accessory box

An idle mind is an incubator for dumb ideas. My latest hack proves just that. If you happen to wield a seriously heavy piece of machinery like a Nikon D800, it's tempting to leave the photo bag with everything in it behind and head out with just a camera on a strap and a few essentials like a spare battery, an extra storage card, and other bits.

You can tuck loose items into pockets, or pack them in a pouch. That's what I did anyway, until one day I thought that it would actually be pretty nifty to have a box with all the essentials in it that I can somehow attach to the camera itself. It sounded like a dumb enough DIY project for a lazy weekend, so I went to work.

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Super quick guide to Espanso

Espanso is a text expanding utility, and it's really good at what it does. If you find yourself typing the same text (your name, address, greetings, etc.) over and over again, Espanso is what you need. Deploying the tool is a matter of grabbing the right package, installing it, and running it as a service:

sudo apt install ./espanso-debian-x11-amd64.deb
espanso service register
espanso start

The example above uses Espanso 2.2.1 for Debian with X11. So if you use a different setup, adjust the first two commands accordingly.

To add text expansion rules, switch to $HOME/.config/espanso/match and open the base.yml file for editing.

An expansion rule consists of a trigger (that is, an abbreviation) and a text that replaces it:

- trigger: ":hello"
    replace: "Oh, hello there!"

Add the rules you need, and you're done. When you save the changes, Espanso automatically reloads, and you can use triggers everywhere — including command-line applications.