I have been using Google Calendar and Emacs to handle calendaring but with increasing concern about owning my own data and some introspection about my Emacs-all-the-things bias I have decided to use an iCalendar (aka iCal) file instead. kontact

Not only are iCal files good for calendar events but basic task management and journaling as well.

This file format can be imported or exported from most any calendar app and it’s nice to have a local copy. Besides being offline a local copy can be helpful for system notifications.

I am still looking into the Android situation which is important for me for notifications and scheduling on the go. But before I do that I would like to migrate from Dropbox to ownCloud on which also has an iCalendar feature set. I think I’ve got my Raspberry Pi problem worked around but when to find the time?

I am still using Emacs Org mode for outlining, editing and tables but I’ve gone to the GUI-side with Kontact, a suite of open source personal information managment (PIM) software.

It’s like a dashboard for email, RSS feeds, events, note taking, and task management. On a KDE Linux distribution like Kubuntu it with minimal resources and a consistent look and feel to an entire ecosystem of open source apps.

The two modules that work with the iCal file are KOrganizer, and KTimetracker.

KOrganizer is useful alone when you want to do some scheduling and don’t need to see the full PIM dashboard. korganizer

KTimetracker can help ktimetrackeryou measure the actual time tasks take and export to text file for spreadsheet use.

KDE software is famous for having lots of features to customize your workflow and Kontact is no exception.

Being exposed to a LCD screen at night is like starting into a flashlight and is not good for sleep quality. Your brain thinks the blueish light before bed is something to stay awake for. Redshit helps with that.


[Redshift adjusts the color temperature of your screen according to your surroundings. This may help your eyes hurt less if you are working in front of the screen at night. This program is inspired by f.lux]

With the GUI I have installed on Kubuntu 14.04 the app quits before shortly after starting.
So my work around is to open up a terminal. In may case it’s a F12 key for the Yakuake app and typing
redshift -l 43.5:-80.2 That starts redshift with adjustments for my latitude and longitude.

Twilight is an Android app the does the same job.

I am experimenting with an open source app called Wallabag to replace using Pocket as a read-it-later type of app. I am not sure what Pocket’s business model is but It’s one of those shiny start-ups that is offering a “free” SaaS to get a large user base and then….who knows?

Pocket works well

It is a tough act to follow as it does the job of quickly saving web pages and syncing to Android with ease and even has an offline plain text option. Pocket also integrates with IFTT which is practical for web service automation.  If I end up sticking with Wallabag maybe Ican roll my own with my limited skills with the RSS feed….

Yet freedom calls…or nags, take your pick

The responsive UI of  slick but not distractingly so. I have not tried the export as epub feature but it sounds good.

Problems so far

  • wallabag pocket import failThe import of my Pocket export .html file did work 100%. I couldn’t figure out how to get the titles of the articles to show and didn’t want to spent a lot of time figuring out how so I just nuked the instance and started a new one.
  • Not sure why but the Chomium extension did not take my password phrase from my top secret offline database but it did take it from my LastPass. Looked the same to me. After logging into the self-hosted app the extension is also logged in….I will report back on that.


Well, Wallabag 1.8.0 is not working out for me. That’s one more app for the Incubator file. If anyone has any open source Pocket suggestions please let me know.

wallabag no title of articlewallabag pocket import fail1

To Be Continued…



[This operating system is stored in firmware, and runs on the baseband processor. As far as I know, this baseband RTOS is always entirely proprietary. For instance, the RTOS inside Qualcomm baseband processors (in this specific case, the MSM6280) is called AMSS, built upon their own proprietary REX kernel, and is made up of 69 concurrent tasks, handling everything from USB to GPS. It runs on an ARMv5 processor.

The problem here is clear: these baseband processors and the proprietary, closed software they run are poorly understood, as there's no proper peer review. This is actually kind of weird, considering just how important these little bits of software are to the functioning of a modern communication device. You may think these baseband RTOS' are safe and secure, but that's not exactly the case. You may have the most secure mobile operating system in the world, but you're still running a second operating system that is poorly understood, poorly documented, proprietary, and all you have to go on are Qualcomm's Infineon's, and others' blue eyes.]

Who’s it for?

  • Non-graphic artists who want a free, open source tool to add images to work documents, apps, or sites
  • Photographers
  • Anyone who doesn’t have to use Photoshop or is happy with it for image manipulation.
  • web designers
  • graphics artists


  • mature, popular open source project
    • community tutorials
    • long life expectancy
  • cross-platform
  • $0.00 cost
  • Feature rich while still being easier that all out Photoshop


  • image maps
  • effects
  •  filter
  • supports all commonly-used image formats
    • Can save images in Adobe Photoshop’s PSD format



  • Photoshop does have some more complex tools



Gime Plugin Registry

 BIMP (Batch Image Manipulation Plugin) for GIMP

  • GitHub project

I was asking my wife to downsize the images before posting to her blog and she asked about the old Automator script I had setup on her OS X box to automatically resize images when you drag and drop onto a folder. As I would like to chip away at any Apple vendor lock-in I thought I would look around and if maybe GIMP had a plugin for that. Little did I know that BIMP was already bundled with GIMP 2.8 on OS X. Sweet! – Jason


User Interface

Gimp Cheat Sheet

Quick Reference


Gimp Quick Reference Card