Mac

Buh-bye Google Keep, OneNote, Evernote!

Open source Notesnook (https://github.com/streetwriters/notesnook) aims to be THE replacement for all your note taking needs. Fully encrypted on your device before storing on their cloud service (self-hosted option coming), it’s a zero knowledge service meaning they can’t decrypt your notes. With a web app (https://app.notesnook.com) and apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to use it wherever you need or want with full synchronization across all platforms. It’s still in its relative infancy and updates generally make it to the web app before other platforms. Roadmap at https://notesnook.com/roadmap/

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Tailscale for your Docker containers!

At DockerCon, Tailscale announced and launched their Docker extension. What does this mean? You can put your containers on your Tailscale VPN! Yeah, that’s a BIG deal! The announcement is at https://tailscale.com/blog/docker/ and the instructions to install and use it are at https://tailscale.com/kb/1184/docker-desktop/. While the documentation only addresses Docker Desktop, https://docs.docker.com/desktop/extensions-sdk/dev/cli/build-test-install-extension/ gives instructions for installing extensions through the CLI, and downloads are at https://github.com/docker/extensions-sdk/releases/tag/v0.2.4, which is currently in beta.

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Finally, a point-to-point VPN!

I’ve set up a VPN at home and, honestly, in my config, it’s a PAIN! I have 3 routers that need to have ports opened and then I need to make sure that certificates and passwords are all secure.

Then I found Tailscale.com! What a breath of fresh air. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Create an account on tailscale.com then install the tailscale service on the machine you want to be a part of the VPN and run it. The service connects to the tailscale server and it becomes an immediately available VPN target, complete with its own hostname (which you can change) and its VPN IP address. If you enable their “MagicDNS” in your settings then the hostnames all resolve to their VPN IP addresses (i.e. the hostname is first checked against the hostnames on the VPN before being checked against other DNS resolvers). Voila! No config, no ports to open, no firewall rules to manage! Now, when you’re away from home, you can get to your home server with confidence.

It’s free for a single hobby/personal user. There are a few restrictions as to how many subnets you have available but, honestly, if you’re a home user, the restrictions probably won’t bother you. It’s multi-platform with binaries for Android, MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Linux so you can connect just about anything you want. They’re on github at https://github.com/tailscale and a place to discuss it at https://forum.tailscale.com/. And, yes, you can use tailscale to act as a subnet router – https://tailscale.com/kb/1019/subnets/ – to get to those devices (e.g. printers) on which you can’t install tailscale.

Apologies for the delay between postings but I prefer to try the things before I post about them and tailscale took a while.

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Replace Spotlight search with an extensible app

I don’t have any arguments against the Mac’s Spotlight search – it’s a very capable product. But when I came across Raycast (https://www.raycast.com/) with its plugin capabilities, coupled with the fact that its extensions are Open Source, I was sold. The free plan is more than sufficient for me and the clipboard history extension has allowed me to get rid of a single purpose app I was using. Manual at https://raycastapp.notion.site/Raycast-Manual-d5c85a7694dc4e4088b8b93557ea6d2d

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3 new (to me) linux (mac, android,windows) tools

I’ll cut right to the chase, Copyq, syncthing, and tldr.

Copyq, at https://hluk.github.io/CopyQ/, is a clipboard manager for Linux, Windows, MacOS, AND ChromeOS in the Linux environment! It has a GUI as well as a command-line interface and in the ChromeOS environment, captures clips from BOTH Linux and ChomeOS! CHeck out the docs.

Tldr, at https://github.com/tldr-pages/tldr, provides a cheat-sheet-like summary of command options. It’s not as full function as a man page but can often provide just that one bit of info you need. It provides info on Android, Linux, MacOS, Windows, Sun OS(!), and a set of common commands like 2to3 (convert python 2 code to python 3), adb (Android Debug Bridge which can be installed on many different platforms), and atom (a cross-platform editor).

Syncthing, at https://syncthing.net/, is an open source, multi-platform, authenticated, continuous file synchronization program with communications secured by TLS. It works on MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android among many others.

3 new (to me) linux (mac, android,windows) tools Read More »

For all you CLI/shell aficionados

Next Generation Shell (https://ngs-lang.org/) looks interesting. I’ve been doing a lot with REST APIs which generally return JSON or XML; i.e. something I need to parse to know the results. I could do a lot of my coding in Python or some other language that can easily parse those returns, there are a number of reasons I use bash (notably, the ability to put stuff into the current environment for later use and not have to worry about config files cluttering up my filesystem). NGS doesn’t address THAT particular issue but it does have native parsing capability as well as quite a few other really useful features. It’s something to look in to, for sure! For Mac and Linux and a docker container, too.

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