Deck of cards in a cigar-smoke filled room

What a ride this year has been so far. I guess that might be why I really haven’t posted at all since last year December 2012, and since that time a lot has changed. Both for the site as well as me personally. You see, we all have a passion in our life – a fire that burns within us. It can be your hobby, your job, your loved ones – or something else. We all have that one thing that we do everything for, and will endure almost unbearable things for. Mine has been, for 2 decades, IT/Computer technology. It was and is what I love to do and work on, as much as the infrequent updates of my site might seem to indicate. Ever since I laid my hands for the first time on a keyboard and started enduring the first grueling, scary steps into the foray of what was to be come a passion that would drive my life forward for the years to come. And that it has. I’ve always known that I belong here behind a keyboard, staring at a computer-screen typing away.

Unfortunately, things will come up in life that will some times force you to decide between your passion and certain other things – whatever they might be. And some times you really don’t have a choice to make; even if it’s made out to be a possibility of choices. You get the cards you are dealt in a cigar-smoke filled backroom of some shady place down town. We play the game, work the numbers and hope for the prize on the table. Some games you win, some you lose. At first you think that as long as you break even, maybe even get a bit of profit you’re doing fine. But it’s not; you never should let your passion become what’s at stake. Because if you lose that, you lose that drive you have had for so many years that kept you moving forward with such abandon.

That in a way is what just happened this year to me; I got dealt a bad hand and still tried to play the game putting all the wrong things I’ve never should have put at risk. And I lost. Just like you see in the movies, at the end of the game when the cards are on the table you realize that what you put out there was more than you can, should and want to afford. And that’s just what happened; what I did. But life isn’t a movie – there isn’t a happy ending that will make everything better. Some times, the bad people win. It’s how you move on after such an event that makes the difference later on. Dust yourself off, take a swig of your drink – and get back in there. As long as you keep your eye on the prize and don’t risk too much you might come out on top. You see, you’ll never love that what you obtain easily as much as that which you obtain after hard work and perseverance. You’ll never really lose that passion either – your drive forward. Maybe not in the same way as before – but it will remain. You’ll be a bit dinged up with some dents – but you’ll live.

Having said all of the above and perhaps only semi-related, I won’t make any void promises any more about how I’ll try to post here more often; nor about how I’ve changed this or that. I’ll try to refrain from those kind of whimsical messages for now. If anything I want to try and make sure that when I do post something again it will be something that will be longer than your average Twitter-message (which I know is called a tweet, thank you very much). Substance and quality over quantity is always a better way forward. What I can say though is that there is a chance that any further updates will be more of a rambling muse type of style compared to the previous more technically aimed ones. But I guess that’s my privilege as the owner and admin of the site; as they might be either type or even none at all.

I do have noticed that recently I’ve found a new sense of peace in expressing myself perhaps literary again, compared to the current trend we all see around us and partake in of pushing out hollowed messages that really carry no weight behind them. That might be a part of me that has been rekindled that enjoys dancing with the flow of words; be they spoken or written. Irregardless of which, it’s time to practice what I’ve been preaching for a long time – quality over quantity. Whether it be the posts I make here, or the choices in life. Truth is found in actions that speak louder then words; how ironically that might read when put in the context here. That still doesn’t diminish or alter anything of what I wrote; things can both contradict and amplify each other at the same time; they aren’t always as black and white as you might initially think that they might be.

What a ride this year has been, but I’m still here playing my cards in this thing called life. It’s all we have and all we’ll ever do. Let’s have some fun along the way, and make it worth it. Take it easy, and be safe. And try to use a few more words when you are expressing yourself; it won’t kill you – nor will those few seconds spent extra make you miss out anything substantially important. Perhaps it just might help clarify yourself that much more, be it to friends, family, colleagues – or just anyone at all. No one likes a wise guy, I know. So just take this as an advice; not a requirement. Consider it a tip.

Cookies and tracking on this site.

As required by EU law there now should be a cookie notification that shows up on this site, asking for your consent. The only cookies that are used are Google Analytics (opt-out provided) and my own site. It will now allow you to opt-out if you want.

All data is collected anonymously, and is only used and viewed by me to better understand my visitors, what they look at (and don’t) and so on. I’ve also updated several other things again, so everything should be working as per normal.

Quick update

Apologies if you recently visited and noticed a few broken things (in particular the theming of the blog) This had to do with my CDN and host running out of sync, which now – fortunately – has been resolved.

Apologies once more! And I’ll try to post shortly :-)

F-Secure Safe Links

As you might notice, the site now shows a green check-mark next to every external link. This is a feature of a plugin from F-Secure.

What it basically does is, it validates every external URL to ensure that the link is safe – as shown by the green check-mark next to it. It will also show the green check-mark next to an image that has a link, so no funky business going there ;)

That is all – and yes I am aware I haven’t posted again in months (woops)

Setting up Todo.txt on Windows in Dropbox

One of the things that I really enjoy every once in a while, is using the prompt – DOS, Bash, Terminal – whichever name it carries. A while ago I came across an application (well actually a script) that is free, helps you create to-do lists, runs in a prompt (command-line goodness!) and saves everything in TXT.

You may have heard of it, you may not – it’s called todo.txt – and is available on http://todotxt.com/ or http://lifehacker.com/5155450/todotxt-cli-manages-your-tasks-from-the-command-line

Recently, an Android client got released which made it the perfect tool for me. Especially since it’s working with Dropbox on Android. What I wanted to achieve was it to run on my machine as well – and it using the same todo.txt from my Dropbox. Effectively my to-do list would then be in the cloud, and updated where-ever I work with it :)

To set this up on your machine as well, download the release from http://todotxt.com.

Now, here comes the tricky part – how do you open/run the .SH file which is what todo.txt really is? This is where it gets tricky – you need CygWin. A bash command-line on Windows (I know, it’s more – but for the ease of reference I opted for this explanation) Yet another free tool available on http://cygwin.com/

Click on Install Cygwin and then on Setup.exe. Please save the file on your computer and then run it. During the installation, simply do not change any options at all. Just keep hitting that Next button ;-) When it asks to select a Download site try to find one that looks as if it could be close by (so if you are in Germany, look for servers with the .DE domain, if you are in France – for .FR etc.)

Then it will ask you to select the packages to install – simply hit Next again. The installer will now download and install the necessary packages on your computer – so have a cup of tea/coffee.

Once it’s done, click on Finish to close the setup.

Start Cygwin (from either your desktop or from the Start-menu) and once it’s ready – type in “exit” so it closes.

Now, back to the ZIP-file you downloaded from http://todotxt.com – extract the 2 files. Place todo.cfg and todo.sh in the the following folder:

C:\Cygwin\Home\JohnDoe

Replace JohnDoe with the username you use to login into Windows.

Open todo.cfg with Notepad (in case Windows asks what program to use to edit/open it with, select Notepad) and replace the Todo_dir line so that it reads:

export TODO_DIR=”/cygdrive/c/users/JohnDoe/dropbox/todo

Replace /users/JohnDoe/Dropbox/todo with the location of your Dropbox folder with the Todo.txt – in the example shown this is on a Windows 7 machine, with a default installation of Dropbox. Be sure to append/change where needed.

Save the file and open Cygwin and type:

./todo.sh

From that point on – please refer to the http://todotxt.com documentation on how to run or operate it.

Enjoy!