Docker & Tiny Tiny RSS sorted finally

TTRSS Php error

I have had on my task list for a long time to fix two problems with my Tiny Tiny RSS setup.

  1. Fix the problem I’m having connecting to TTRSS in a browser since a upgrade
  2. Sort out a decent RSS reader for Ubuntu

Originally it was working fine then a upgrade broke the web interface for me and many others. The confusing and joyful thing for me, was any application which talked to the API was unaffected. Meaning my Android clients were fine including the one on my eink tablet. However all the RSS clients on Ubuntu would either not connect to ttrss, were generally rubbish or wouldn’t work in later versions of Ubuntu (like RSS Owl). The advice seemed to point to using a browser extention.

The first problem was something to do with the PHP which seemed pretty easy to fix but all the solutions assumed you were running it all on a standard webserver and had control over everything. Of course I was running it within Docker and had no idea where config.php was or even where docker had installed anything.

After actually sitting down and looking around my server as a sudo not myself (its the first time I actually dedicated time to do), I found the Docker install and learned what docker was actually doing. My ttrss docker image is actually located under /var/lib/docker/aufs/mnt/{random hash}/var/www/ttrss/.

Under that I could find the config.php file and make changes so it was only accessible over my Vpn connection – yeah, I thought this was very clever but maybe obvious to everyone else. So the only way to hit the web front end of my ttrss install is via my Vpn but API calls are done without the Vpn.

As I found the root of ttrss, I was also able to finally install feedreader which is hightly rated by many. The problem I’ve always had is feedreader complained that it needed a certain plugin installed under ttrss’s plugin directory, which previously I couldn’t find to install. Of course now I know where it is and could copy it there, I was very pleased with myself. Next stop brunch at Ezra & Gil and wait for Feedreader to pull down full text for 8500+ items.

The end of Schemer?

I really liked Schemer when I first heard about it. I remember calling it inspirational networking.

Well my friend Matt today pointed out it might be closing sooner than I imagined. Adam Coder points out what to be fair I’m also thinking after reading this Engadget leak.

We can’t blame you if you haven’t heard of Google’s Schemer; the goal sharing service launched at the end of 2011, but it hasn’t received much publicity (or traffic) since. Accordingly, the crew in Mountain View may be close to shutting Schemer down. Google Operating System has leaked an internal version of Schemer’s website that includes an unfinished closure page inviting users to export their data. It’s not clear how serious Google is about closing Schemer, however. The internal site may reflect real plans, or it could be a just-in-case placeholder; we’ve reached out to the company for a definitive answer. We won’t be surprised if Schemer gets the axe, though, when Google has shut down more beloved services in the past.

Looks like its the end of the line for Schemer and its a real shame because I’ve introduced it to quite a few people who quite like it. Even I have been using on and off quite a bit.

So seeing how Google are hell bent on getting rid of anything which doesn’t seem to fit Google+, has no moonshot inspiration or make them money right now.. What would I suggest happens to Schemer?

I’d love to see the BBC takeover from Google. Hear me out, its not as nutty as it first seems.

The improvement and inspiration in peoples lives is something at the heart of the BBC, ok we’re mainly talking about Great Britain but maybe its time we looked further a field. Lots of the goals on Schemer match or fit in with a BBC programme (TV/Radio/Web). For example my goal to head to TokyoThere’s 36 BBC Learning resources about Tokyo. 3 about the religion. 188 verified and checked websites. With some crowdsourcing (hate that word too) a combination of what the BBC recommends and what the people actually use, you can easily see fantastic guides for everything from reading more on the tram to going to Tokyo.

Maybe I need to write this up in more detail but thats for another day.

Interestingly with all this talk about closing down Schemer, I’m thinking what happened to the whole decentralised networking thing? Is there a way to take the best parts of Schemer but bake it into the web? Heck it could be a WordPress plugin or a RDF/a or Microformats/Data?

I have been writing my new years resolutions in the public on my blog for quite some time. I was surprised to found out its been since 2008 I have been doing so. If I remember rightly it was something to do with Critsiano Betta, Miss Geeky and a series of posts about new year resolutions.

Anyhow I’ve inspired someone others to do the same. Andy and Tim.

inspired by @cubicgarden I blogged my new years resolutions http://www.andy-powell.net/new-years-resolutions-2014/

And thats one of the wonderful things about Schemer. Seeing how your goal inspires others. You can also aid/help people get their goals. This naturally happens when you state your goals in public. For example… here’s a comment from Rachel offering her help with my genealogy.  On Facebook theres also more.

The importance of having your own blog/space, yes but its the collective nature which could make it a replacement for the almost dead schemer?

Notification and email management

Fedora 16 & Gnome3

Been thinking about replacing my work mobile phone for a while. Its a XDA Windows Mobile 6.1 phone and to be honest the battery life and general use it shocking. Unfortunately the BBC don’t support Android for work mobiles but they do support iPhones and Blackberry. Interestingly they also don’t support Windows Phone 7 either which is strange because they did support Mobile 6.1/6.5.

I almost went with the iPhone option as it has the advantage of remote BBC email and a familiar modern operating system.

However I’ve been thinking about my email management…

There was a period while I was running BBC backstage when I was getting roughly 150+ emails a day not including any mailing lists emails. I was dealing with it, only just… I felt crap because I was missing stuff and not really catching up with people I promised email back. Not only that, I knew I was much less productive because I was always firefighting emails coming into my inbox. This was confirmed by using Rescuetime for about a year or two. Once I get it working with Ubuntu, I’ll be quantifying my work more often. Rescuetime say they are working on a Linux version which is easier that.

I recently also adopted the 4 sentenc.es thing after seeing Oli Woods email signature one day…

The Problem
E-mail takes too long to respond to, resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those who receive a lot of it.
The Solution
Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead.
four.sentenc.es is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be four sentences or less. It’s that simple.

Everytime I send out a email to someone new in the BBC, they reply and also said they like the idea of 4 sentenc.es but can’t imagine adopting it. I use to think the same, but with a little thought, I manage to condense at least 90% of my emails exchanges down to the 4 sentences. The footer message helps to explain to the recipients that you will be very brief. Not only that, it helps to separate out email responses too.

Seems theres nothing worst than getting a chain of emails with multiple ideas and thought in them. Although I can be as much to blame for this as most others.

What I’ve recently been doing is only checking my email once every few hours. This is partly because I have to switch networks to get my work email. Yes I could mess with proxy settings and setup routes but actually I quite like disconnecting from the corporate network to catchup with Twitter, Gmail, etc. Don’t get me wrong its not just personal type stuff, its google docs, evernote, dropbox syncing, etc. All part of working life… But if they are, what isn’t?

Recently my manager gave up his blackberry, I’m sure his life will be better without it. I don’t blame him really.

The notifications can be worst than the email itself, I’d contest..

I’ve been showing people Gnome Shell or Gnome3 recently specially since I got my new replacement Lenovo X220 Thinkpad (which I’m now starting to love, now the hardware works correctly). I’m finding the management of notifications really useful and the idea of hiding that stuff away really good for getting stuff/things done. Once it really gets going, its going to be awesome for notification management.

In the meanwhile, I decided not to upgrade my phone and I’ve put the Sim into my thinkpad to use for work when I can’t get use Wifi or a network connection. Now if I could just find a Linux application which allows me to manage texts and phone calls… then I’d be very happy.

Getting things done with Gnome!

Example of GTG

Why on earth have I never heard about Getting things Gnome?

I’ve been using Wunderlist because it ran on most platforms (more on this soon) and at the time Google Tasks client support was a mess (specially on Linux). Although I always knew it was always the wrong way to go about things, I went with it because I needed to Get things done (pun meant).

Anyway I’ve almost dropped Wunderlist because frankly it was exactly the same application across all platforms which meant it was heavy as hell on certain things (65meg! for a bloody task list?) and what drove me nuts was the fact it couldn’t be installed on 64bit Ubuntu without some serious messing. The only reason I started using it was because it was in the Ubuntu software centre, but after Ubuntu 11.04 it was removed.

Now I’m using Getting Things Gnome on my laptops and syncing to Remember the Milk. I’m also forced to use RTM type applications on my Android in the meanwhile. RTM is the weak link in the chain (it also does some weird things to nested tasks)  and I’m now investigating syncing with Google Tasks and the good old TomboyNotes sync with Ubuntu one again. Ideally I would use GTG on my laptops Tomboynotes to sync and something like Tasko on my Android devices.

Interesting to also see the integration with project hamster, actually thats how I first heard about it… Although its good to hear from Rescuetime they are working on there own linux uploader.