Technomancer tools: Managing and sharing bookmarks across multiple systems.

If you have multiple systems (like I do), a problem you've undoubtedly run into is keeping your bookmarks in sync across every browser you use.  Of course, there are services that'll happily do this job on you behalf, but they're free, and we all know what free means.  If you're interested in being social with your link collection there are some social bookmarking services out there for consideration, including what's left of Delicious.  For many years I was a Delicious user (because I liked the idea of maintaining a public bookmark collection that could be useful to people), but Delicious …

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Neologism: GSCA

GSCA - acronym, verb - Using grep, sed, cut, and awk on a Linux or UNIX box to chop up, mangle, or otherwise process data on the command line prior to doing anything serious with it.  This is not to preclude the use of additional tools (such as sort).

Technomancer Tools: YaCy

UPDATED: Added an Nginx configuration block to proxy YaCy.

If you've been squirreling away information for any length of time, chances are you tried to keep it all organized for a certain period of time and then gave up the effort when the volume reached a certain point.  Everybody has therir limit to how hard they'll struggle to keep things organized, and past that point there are really only two options: Give up, or bring in help.  And by 'help' I mean a search engine of some kind that indexes all of your stuff and makes it searchable so you …

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Technomancer Tools: Creating a local web archive with Chrome and PageArchiver.

Some time ago I wrote an article of suggestions for archiving web content offline, at the very least to have local copies in the event that connectivity was unavailable.  I also expressed some frustration that there didn't seem to be any workable options for the Chromium web browser because I'd been having trouble getting the viable options working.  After my attempt at fixing up Firefox fell far short of my goal (it worked for all of a day, if that) I realized that I needed to come up with something that would let me do what I needed to do …

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Technomancer tools: Tiddlywiki

I've been promising myself that I'd do a series of articles about tools that I've incorporated into my exocortex over the years, and now's as good a time as any to start.  Rather than jump right into the crunchy stuff I thought I'd start with something that's fairly simple to use, straightforward, and endlessly useful for many purposes - a wiki.

Usually, when somebody brings up the topic of wikis one either immediately thinks of Wikipedia or one of the godsawful corporate wikis that one might be forced to use on a daily basis.  And you're not that off the mark …

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Fabbing tools in orbit and with memory materials, and new structural configurations of DNA.

A couple of weeks ago before Windbringer's untimely hardware failure I did an article about NASA installing a 3D printer on board the International Space Station and running some test prints on it to see how well additive manufacturing, or stacking successive layers of feedstock atop one another to build up a more complex structure would work in a microgravity environment. The answer is "quite well," incidentally. Well enough, in fact, to solve the problem of not having the right tools on hand. Let me explain.

In low earth orbit if you don't have the right equipment - a hard drive …

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On assembling Ikea Furniture.

If you must assemble any significant quantity of Ikea furniture, do yourself a favor and ignore the tiny and disposable circular wrench and allen key they include in the packaging. Spend a few more dollars to get yourself one or more of the Fixya 17 piece toolkits. It doesn't look like much but the tools are more than sufficient to assemble any furniture that Ikea sells. At the very least you won't tear your hands and wrists to pieces trying to use those tiny wrenches to assemble anything you plan on using every day. You'll also get the job done …

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Problems cloning VirtualBox disk images.

VirtualBox is a (mostly) open source virtualization stack designed to run on desktop machines. While you can run it in a "serious" fashion (such as using VMs to implement your network infrastructure) it really shines if you use it as part of your development effort.

If you want to get under the hood the VBoxManage utility is the first place to start. It lets you do things like convert and manipulate disk images, something that I do from time to time at work these days. Until I ran into the following problem when trying to convert a VMDK virtual disk …

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Spectrum analysis on the cheap.

If you’ve ever hacked around with wireless communications, in particular data networking chances are you’ve come across the oh-so-nifty USB spectrum analyzers that operate in the gigahertz range (which 802.11a, b, and g networks, among other wireless applications, operate within). The idea is simple: you plug the analyzer into a USB port on your laptop, fire up the software, and you can see the whole spectrum broken down into channels with relative signal strengths representing activity on the screen just like in the movies. While granted this can be a useful tool for anyone doing serious RF …

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