On music and underwear

Taste in music is like underwear: everybody has their personal preferences, nobody really wants to know what they are.

Learning to appreciate ThinkPad X380 Yoga

A while ago, I bought a ThinkPad X380 Yoga. I saw it on eBay, it was cheap, and I've never really tried a convertible laptop before. So I thought, Why the heck not? When the machine arrived, I promptly installed Linux Mint on it.

ThinkPad X380

Everything worked out of the box, including display rotation and touch screen. I tried the pen, and it worked too. And while I thought it was rather neat, I wasn't immediately sold on the whole poke-your-screen-with-a-pointy-plastic-thing idea. But the more I use the machine, the more I appreciate the concept.

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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:

wget https://github.com/federico-terzi/espanso/releases/download/v2.2.1/espanso-debian-x11-amd64.deb
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.

Small improvements in Otto

Up until now, Otto could either geotag photos by city or geocorrelate them using GPX files. The latest version introduces a new -l option that allows you to geotag photos using the provided geographical coordinates and altitude. It looks something like this:

otto -d "/path/to/source/dir" -l "48.355,11.773,494"

Another new -r option can be used to transfer only RAW files as follows:

otto -d "/path/to/source/dir" -r NEF

Speaking of RAW files, Otto now uses the exiv2 tool to write EXIF metadata (copyright, author, description, etc.) to RAW files — something that wasn't possible before.

Instead of rsync, Otto now uses wget to fetch notes. This means that you no longer need to have rsync installed on the machine hosting notes, and you don't have to deal with login credentials.

And that's about it. As always, you'll find the latest version of Otto on GitHub.