Things I'm Likely to Forget

An Embarrassment of Riches for Note-Taking

Ever since dumping Evernote, I’ve been looking at alternative note-taking apps. I’ve been usingtiddlywiki, but, surprisingly, it has grown a bit slow. Probably from the sheer volume of notes that I’ve imported from Evernote. Maybe time to look some more? I’ve also been writing a lot of program documentation in Markdown. I like the wiki format just fine, but it seems like Markdown can do more. Both markup languages have a plethora of dialects, usually incompatible.

Vendor Games with Subscriptions

I have subscriptions to a number of services, not just magazines. These include things like computer programs, hosting services, home supplies, groceries and so on. I’m sure vendors love this. Within the past two weeks though, I have canceled three subscriptions when the vendor started playing games at renewal time. It usually went down like this: I get notification of a renewal at an (often substantially) increased price. Increases of 30%+ are not uncommon.

More Whinging about CloudAtCost

I’ve written about my love/hate relationship with CloudAtCost before here and here. In essence, I like the low cost but hate the poor reliability. At one time I had seven web sites up and running on servers bought from CloudAtCost, including this one. But over a period of weeks and months they all failed for one reason or another. Some of the failures could be fixed with a ticket to tech support.

Keeping the JavaFX UI Responsive

It’s common knowledge that the JavaFX user interface toolkit is single-threaded. When your JavaFX-based program is doing things that can take some time, you need to run those tasks on a separate thread(s) to keep the interface responsive. Recently, I’ve been working on a program that can spend a lot of time reading and writing to the disk, but at the same time I want to retain the ability for the user to change views of the UI as the work proceeds.

Windows, rsync and permissions

Just a short note on mixing Linux utilities with Windows. I wanted to set up a single button deployment of updates to a static web site. I had been using an rsync script, but it required me to manually enter authentication credentials every time it was used to send updates to a remote Ubuntu server. I set up public key authentication, but it would not work with the permissions of the key files on the Windows machine where the updates were coming from.

De-Activating My Evernote Account

It was very unpleasant for me. I’ve been a user of Evernote almost from the beginning, and a Premium user for almost as long. But today I erased all of my notes and deactivated my account. “Why?” you might ask. Let me tell you. The price increase. Earlier in the Autumn, Evernote announced a price increase. It was pretty substantial, at least for me. At about the same time, they announced that they were moving our data to Google’s infrastructure in order to take advantage of improved economies of scale among other reasons.

De-Activating My Evernote Account

I’m kind of sad today. I erased all of my notes from Evernote and then de-activated my account. I had been a Premium user for years and had thousands of notes. I used it on the web (when using Linux), on the desktop under Windows, and on my iPhone and iPads. I liked that the data was available on all of those devices. I really liked the web clipper. But the killer feature that got me started on it in the first place was the ability to search in images.

Removing CDNs

(Update: 27 Mar 2018, Despite what the rest of this blog post says, I have reinstated CDNs. This site now uses the Cloudflare CDN due to the inability of raw GitHub Pages to serve sites with custom domain names over HTTPS. See this) Everyone wants their web site to load quickly using as few resources as possible. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are a very attractive way to achieve this. You can put parts of your web site on someone else’s servers.

Advertising at the Movies

A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to the movies, something we don’t do very often. (Arrival, which I highly recommend, just like the short story it is derived from.) We arrived at the theatre, one of those multi-screen megaplexes, about 15 to 20 minutes before the advertised start time for the feature. Of course, while waiting, we were exposed to the various advertisements shown before the start of the film.

Why This Blog Disappeared for a Few Days

Those of you who visit this site regularly may have noticed that is has been down for a few days. Here’s why. About a week ago, I attempted to reboot the server after applying a few updates. It wouldn’t come back up. As I’ve written before, this site is hosted on CloudAtCost. Sorry to say that it is a regular occurrence for servers not to reboot. Usually, I can just file a ticket and get help in a day or so.