30 Jan 2024
This post is, in a sense, a natural follow up to my Path-based Commands in Obsidian post from around this time last year. In that post I demonstrated how you could trigger command line tools from within Obsidian using the Templater plugin. In this post I’m flipping that around, and rather than going external, I am focusing on the internal. The text within an Obsidian note. However, rather than adding new content, I am going to tell you a little about how I am also using Templater to convert existing content, transforming it in a variety of ways to effectively build my own text processing functionality within Obsidian.Read More
23 Jan 2024
Do you ever find yourself needing to visit web pages that are no longer available? I seem to go through phases of this, and being able to reference back to an archived copy is very useful. There are a number of services and approaches where you can archive your own copies of web pages, but that does not help when it is a site you never visited before and so did not have a chance to archive a copy for your own use.
Enter the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine”, and I have a little Keyboard Maestro macro to make it a little easier to use of it.Read More
28 Dec 2023
A few months ago I wrote a post about my tiny Home Assistant powered desk clock, and in that I mentioned that while it would be possible to have little notifications pop up on it, I actually had a separate set up for that. In this post I am going to cover the details of my set up for this additional display, including the details of how to configure both the device and Home Assistant aspects, and also setting out some use cases.Read More
07 Dec 2023
Recently I was exporting some web pages in PDF format. It was a simple enough task, and I was making use of the PDF option in the macOS standard print dialog window. The thing was I kept generating them, dragging them off into Dropzone (a shelf app with a plugin architecture for processing files) while I sorted and gathered, and then I dragged each off where it needed to go; a variety of folders and e-mails. Really what I would have liked to do was to simplify that middle step of saving the PDF somewhere and then dragging it into Dropzone for easy access. I had a bit of time to work on something today, and so I created a little workflow to just reduce that friction a little bit.Read More
30 Nov 2023
There is a wonderfully powerful utility app on the app called TextSoap that has been around on the Mac long before I ever really started using Macs. Its premise is simple - it cleans up text; but its power is huge. The app is really approachable and allows non-programmers to build sophisticated processes for not just “cleaning” text up, but for transforming it in any number of ways. If you aren’t a Unix nerd who was
sed tattooed on their left knuckles,
awk on their right and has either
emacs emblazoned on their chest, then TextSoap might be the text processing utility for you.
For small, frequent jobs, I will be honest and say I usually just default to the built-in functions of my text editors (or Drafts), or a bit of regular expression manipulation. But for the more involved multi-step things, I turn to TextSoap, and in this post I’m going to share a tip for using lists in TextSoap.Read More
29 Nov 2023
I’ve been using an Apple Watch for several years now, and currently own a series 4. I’m not big into tracking my fitness, or hiking the back woods, but I do benefit from being able to get key notifications on my wrist and from being able to capture thoughts and notes on the go. Earlier this year, or maybe late last year, my watch succumbed to what looks to be a surprisingly common issue whereby the watch runs out of space. Not because I have hundreds of apps or thousands of songs, but because of an excessive amount of utilisation of storage space by content my iPhone Watch app classifies simply as “other”. While I fixed that previously, it happened again and the fix was a different one, so in this post I’m going to cover what I’ve done so that anyone else lost down this ‘other storage’ blind alley might find their way out a little bit quicker than I did.Read More
29 Oct 2023
Like many people, my day job involves a PC. A PC that is relatively locked down in terms of what I can and cannot do to it. One of the things I miss from having more access is the option to set the clock in the Windows Taskbar to show the time including seconds - a registry setting can enable this. This may sound odd, but given 30 seconds I can nip out of my home office and grab a cold drink for example; I find knowing where in a minute I am when I am due in a call to be really useful as I detest being late.
This situation was recently compounded by a problem I’ve been having with my system clock slipping out of time. I can correct it at the BIOS, but my NTP access for automatically setting appears to be linked to another issue my laptop has been experiencing. The solution is simple - I just needed a little physical clock for my desk I could pop next to my Taskbar. I could not find any that I liked, so I decided it would be a nice little project to create one and maybe add a few features.Read More
30 Sep 2023
I recently moved into a new house and have finally been able to begin looking more seriously at my home automation options. I have invested some time and resources into using Home Assistant as my underlying automation control platform. I had run it several years ago and had given up on it due to a lack of stability, but these days it is a much more reliable and capable product.
In my experimentation to date, I found I had a bit of friction in testing my automations, and so I set to work on finding something to help make things easier. The result was something I have subsequently found to be massively convenient.Read More
26 Aug 2023
Whether I’m at home, or travelling, I often find I want to access my home-based Mac Mini from my Macbook Pro. I have several options at my disposal for doing this, and when I want to access the graphical user interface, then I want to be able to use all my usual tools. One of these is the launcher utility, Alfred.
By default, if I were to have Alfred configured the same across my devices, then it would be very difficult to know which device Alfred should trigger on, and it would default to my local device. For a good while, I used different triggers on different devices but I found it a little frustrating to have to switch up what was effectively muscle memory depending upon the device I was using.
In the end, I came up with a little automation to help me with this.Read More
23 Jul 2023
Writing blog posts is something that I generally struggle to make time to do. I have always got several parallel activities on the go and writing everything down takes time and slow down progress. Things also come up and disrupt the flow, providing further challenges. I feel writing blog posts is useful as it allows me to share thoughts and solutions that others can then build on and utilise for their own needs, but I don’t have a way to set a structured regular time to do this, so it is an ad hoc activity. This frequently results in me starting writing up a post to be published on one day, but it getting delayed. Because my blog posts and assets utilise the publish date, this can lead to a bit of remedial work to line things up again prior to publishing.
After doing this manually a few times, I created an automation to allow me to quickly shift posts and assets to a new publish date. In this post I am going to outline how I do this to give you some ideas of how you might accomplish something similar with your own similar scenarios.Read More