We Used To Look Up At The Sky And Wonder At Our Place In The Stars.
Another bank holiday today. Pentecost, the 3rd most important Christian holiday in protestant Germany. I grew up in a Catholic country and had to look up what it was all about. It's not as big over there. Not that I really care, I can't stand Christianity. Still, it was very sunny and spent both days at the open air swimming pool. Thanks for the day off, holy spirit!
Like many people, I fell for the spell of Evernote back in the day. It didn't take them long to fall to shits and make me want to leave. But like many people, I was their prisoner. What was I going to do with my 30k notes? Of course they are in a proprietary format on their server. Actually even worse - I have the desktop app which taks 40Gb on my hardisk. But 40Gb of what? I can't read those notes and it still downloads them from the server anyway. It wasn't like that in the early days, all the notes were local files you can actually play with. Then it became a local SQLlite db. And now.. puff... gone
I toyed with the idea of building my own app. Yeah right. As if. I looked at open source apps. Boostnote looked good. Open source, saves files locally. Built with React, I could hack it if needed. I started migrating, but it doesn't have a Web Clipper. Well, I could contribute to the project and create one, right. But oops, before I could even start, they've gone closed source and pay only. Now I've got a few hundred notes in a Boostnote folder which I need to migrate somewhere.
Exactly the same story with another app called Notable. This one was a one person affair, also built with React. Also no Web Clipper, and no mobile app. He also switched to closed source. But nobody gave a shit, so I don't know what happened to the app. ACTUALLY... lol I just went and had a look, he's gone back to the free app model. Yeah buddy, I ain't trusting you no more. Especially since the link to the Github repo is gone.
The Obsidian people at least were open about it from day 1. It's free and you can kind of hack it but no open source. It's not that I don't want to pay for it (I am paying for Evernote), but this time I want to own my data and be able to take it out at will. Schofield's First Law of Computing and all. Also no Web Clipper. I resigned myself to use it but it's rather quirky. Anyhow I created a few hundreds notes in it as a test. Never had the enthusiasm to make me go "yeah! let's switch".
The last attempt was another app called Joplin. I had zero expectations and went to it for due diligence more than anything else. And... it's actually good. Very good. It's exactly the app I would have built if I had infinite time to build that sort of apps for myself. It has a Web Clipper, which converts all your notes to markdown instantly. So it looks like I have finally found something I can get excited about. I will be spending the next few weeks migrating and cleaning up all my notes.
Not Needing: A Budget
I think it was GZT that posted something on mastodon about alternatives to You Need A Budget. That's another app I want to migrate away from. They make a lot of weird design choices, and it doesn't look like the app is evolving at all . Barring a few minor UX changes. It looks to me they can barely cover their costs. If that. In the past I had built an "app" with Google Apps Sheets. It did the job but couldn't be bothered with adding features and fixing bugs. I just want something that works. Bucket looks interesting, but it's not multi-user, and that's a show stopper for me. I'm still on the lookout.
Blogging: Google Apps Script
I invested parts of the weekend working on a series of articles for my blog. About creating "apps" with Google Sheets - in this case, a simple CRM thing for managing job interviews. Not that anyone reads my blog, it's just a way to clarify my thoughts and have a "story" internally I can refer to. A lot of people are unaware how useful Google Sheets are for building little apps prototypes. And in data science world they actually use Google Sheets a lot, so those skills could come in handy.
Saddened by: Interstellar
The Boy and his best friend just finished watching Interstellar. I didn't as I was writing that post. They both look really sad. UPDATE: one of them is crying. Gosh, I didn't even know what it was, I assumed some sort of Marvel extravaganza. I like Nolan's movies, but I may just skip this one.
And that is all.