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Messages - Nod5 [ switch to compact view ]

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Haven't tried but there is also I've seen some file for use with it on BoardGameGeek.

General Software Discussion / Re: desktop backup and restore
« on: July 26, 2020, 06:54 AM »
Only a building block for making a script, but worth mentioning: The AutoHotkey function DeskIcons works for me in Win10 and some in its forum thread report that it works for them in Win7 too https://www.autohotk...c.php?f=6&t=3529

Edit: sorry, I read too quickly. The above function only saves/restores the position for already existing icons on the desktop. It does not restore icons/shortcuts that have been deleted.

AutoHotkey can do this. You can either program a script yourself, which is relatively easy to learn, or make user of some existing helper script to record a set of mouse movements and clicks that can later be rerun. Or do a combination of both. For example Mouse And Keyboard Macro Recorder from AutoHotkey forums.

If a static page is enough then perhaps

If you work plainly with text, which is fine for capturing your thoughts- this looks pretty amazing.  However I find myself thinking how do I get other things in it?
Underlying question: what different ways can something be "in" the system? What way is most useful for what content?

Most of what you listed can already be "in" a plaintext note in the minimal sense of adding a reference/link to it.

But I assume you want more than that. For example, the full plaintext content of a PDF file added as a note on par with the other markdown notes? So that that content becomes searchable and linkable at some more fine grained resolution (chapters/paragraphs/sentences/words). Or a way to embed an audio file, shown as a playback control with pause play and a slider at a specific position in the notes? Or some other way?

We can think of internal and external links. Internal links are resolved inside the software. For example a link in a MD file that links to a section in another MD file. External links point to everything else, items in the local filesystem, or LAN or Internet.

brainstorm: plaintext note content hierarchy via indentation

I more and more like the idea of hierarchical notes via pythonic indentation
  with 2 spaces instead of 4, for compactness
  minimal yet very readable in code editor set to show whitespace and fixed width font
  problem: markdown and asciidoc use space/tab indentation for other things
    markdown treats 4 indentation spaces as a code block
    markdown collapses e.g. 3 or 14 spaces to no indentation

Any ideas/workarounds on using such compact pythonic indentation effectively in markdown based notes apps/systems?

Comparison examples

1. pythonic indentation (2 spaces)
Note: markdown collapses these indents and shows all on one line if not two suffix spaces.


2. Markdown nested list

- Sun
    - big
    - hot
    - bright
        - https://en.wikipedia...rg/wiki/Sun#Sunlight

3. Markdown nested list alternating bullet characters (more compact, but still extra characters)

- Sun
  + big
  + hot
  + bright
    - https://en.wikipedia...rg/wiki/Sun#Sunlight

Examples screenshot from VS Code with raw and preview tabs
vscode markdown example.png

Wishes unlikely to come true
I wish markdown by default rendered indentation as indentation! For code blocks there is already the three fence ``` prefix/suffix.

I even wish that minus - and plus + at line start (with/without indentation) defaulted to not be interpreted as bullet point list formatting. They should function as list formatting characters only when preceded by a line prefixed with some other character that would start a list. For example a dot . character.

This new email service Hey overview got me thinking about workflows.

Hey's new features include a reply later stack, paper trail filter, editable email subjects, custom threading, custom notifications, attachments browsing/filtering, clips views, annotation/sticky notes on emails, anti spy pixel and more. I want much of that. My overall reaction: Traditional (gmail ...) email workflows sure are restricted and there is lots to improve!

Now, good workflows are crucial also for single person note taking systems (Obsidian, Roam, ...). So we should really compare them in three ways:

1. single note editing/viewing (markdown features, linking syntax, highlighting, autosuggest, shortcuts, plaintext/preview ... )

2. notes as interacting set (auto backlinking, global search/replace, transclusion, "whole book view", code project style side panes, ...)

3. workflows for daily use (timestamps, global history, global todo, work planning, todos, calendar, kanban style planning, github style issues, separate changelog/history files, spaced repetition helpers, quickly picking up work from the day before, scheduled cleanup sessions, ...)

One big question: what workflow tools and structures do we want inside the note system app and what do we want in separate apps or merely in the user's head?

[re: zettelkasten data structure graphic]
Step 1 is going to the inbox
Step 2 is thinking about where it should be once it's in the inbox
I can't get from step 1 to step 2 in most cases.  If I just do it without thinking about it, I get little idiosyncracies in how they're categorized.  So my notes never get from the inbox to the archive referenced.  It's a failing on my part, but I haven't found anything that really helps with that without it seeming like 'too much'.

A workflow issue! Inbox overflow is a super big risk here, just like with email. What note system features do we need to best handle that?

Both these command line tools can do it I think but require some work figuring out the syntax and preparing file lists and search replace lists
- The GNU tool SED has a windows version with binaries on chocolatey.
- the command replace in Swiss File Knife

Having a GUI tool for this would be very useful though. With some easy way to manage (1) lists of search/replace string pairs, (2) file lists, (3) jobs that apply some 1 on some 2.

Best to go easy and test run some first before doing real batch edits to files. Or as Spiderman might say "with grep power comes great regexponsibility".  :P

Happy to help  :)

Additional note to myself: it seems also possible to disable/reenable devices from Powershell

NirSoft's SoundVolumeView seems to do what you want.

You can switch between disabled and enabled state by using the /DisableEnable command, for example:
SoundVolumeView.exe /DisableEnable "Realtek High Definition Audio\Device\Speakers\Render"

If working then you can simply make a shortcut with such parameters and run it twice to disable and re-enable the DAC.

Re: markdown standardization. StackOverflow is switching to CommonMark. I do not envy the person(s) who will sort out all the regex issues during the conversions of the old data. ;D

Brainstorm: Any chance you can reinforce the print? Maybe a flat round metal washer with a centre hole a bit smaller than the D shaped hole. Use a metal file to enlarge the hole to exactly match the D hole. Then edit the CAD to embed the washer in the middle of the gear print.

With Kindle as the only big exception e-ink displays for reading and note taking is a technology that always seems to be on the verge of mass market breakthrough yet never seems to get there.

These are exactly the kind of reasons that made me first write sumatra_earmarks (earmarks!) and later the much better sumatra_highlight_helper (3 color text highlighting! Color dots! Hotkeys to jump to prev/next/first/last highlight in pdf! Color filtered jumps! And with the jump feature the highlights can also function as earmarks!).

Since this thread has arisen from a 5 year slumber I'll give an update to my old comment: I have since then remade and renamed my helper tool for SumatraPDF to HighlightJump

Unfortunately recent SumatraPDF updates has introduced a bug to the highlights system that also breaks HighlightJump. But once that is sorted by the SumatraPDF dev I will release a working, updated version.

FYI- Roam has released its pricing.  It's $15/month.  You can continue for free right now, but as at some point they will do away with the free plan (and their language is shaming people that don't want to pay that price), I'm done with Roam.  That's just way too much a month for me.  Emphasized the part below about the not free forever part...
Only shows how much is in flux right now with these different tools.

One thing I hope for is standardization of some of the newer features. Like double bracket style links, timestamps as references and automatic backlinking, autocompletion and highlighting tailored for note taking, and more. A superset of CommonMark with features for working with information in large sets of interrelated plaintext files.

I've previously mentioned using Everything and AutoHotkey for a DIY quick linking feature. Basically, datestamps or unique filenames as links and a script that on hotkey press copy selection, silently search Everything for that string and take appropriate action. For example, if the selected string has a unique match and it is an image or pdf or txt file, then open it in a preset application. If it is another filetype then open Explorer and select it. If there are multiple matches then open the Everything window with the search results. Etcetera. This can be used regardless of what program I'm reading the plaintext note file in.

Maybe one could also make a decent DIY auto backlinking feature that does not depend on a specific all-features-included note taking app (Roam, Obsidian, ...) by using ripgrep, Everything and AutoHotkey together. Detect plaintext file changes and extract and update backlinks to the currently active plaintext document. Backlinks could show in a child window anchorded to the side of whatever app (Notepad++, ...) used to edit/read a plaintext file.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Can I create a list of my aliases?
« on: June 04, 2020, 09:49 AM »
Open the FARR options window, click "aliases" in the left pane list and select myaliases.alias in the dropdown. There you get list of aliases with one column each for alias name, regular expression and score.

Right click in that list and click "export" to get another window with a plaintext list in another format. Click that list and do ctrl+A to select all and then Ctrl+C to copy to clipboard. Paste into Notepad.

Though the formatting of that plaintext list is very compact so it is pretty difficult to get an overview of your aliases from reading it I think. Here is an example of what one line in the list can look like
1000>>>virtualbox>->C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VirtualBox.exe>n>C:\virtualbox_shared>+>^(?:virt|virtu|virtua|virtualvbox)$

Living Room / Re: 3D Printing - General Discussion
« on: May 29, 2020, 03:20 AM »
My boss bought a 3D printer in kit form, which was designed by some Tsechian person or Romanian person, who is known to design quality printers for low prices. I forgot, it has been quite a while since.

Prusa ? Very user friendly printers. They also make the software PrusaSlicer and the Thingiverse alternative Prusaprinters 

A fun thing is that they have a farm of 3D printers to manufacture parts for their 3D printers.

I didn't see offhand where codimd supports book mode, which is my major use of hackmd.  And some other features, like workspaces.  And that's just from a cursory look.
Longer explanation at
The history link helped. Seems CodiMD is not for me either, right now at least, since I don't want to manage a server for notes.

I like the look of HackMD book mode, though might not fit my personal use. But seems very well thought out for many use cases, especially collaborative writing. Is there a way to do global search in a HackMD book? The top left search bar on the demo page only seems to let us search the outline.

Never heard of transclusion before

I guess the terms include, transclude, import and embed are used for roughly the same thing a lot of times. I've mostly seen 'transclude' used for combining non-software plaintext files into a larger whole for e.g. documentation. So maybe the idea with the term there is to contrast that use to including/importing source code in a software project, but I'm not sure.

The HackMD embed feature GIF nicely illustrates what I called raw view and preview modes


Unfortunately no third transclude view.

Not surprising though since no other markdown app I've looked at had that either. I searched some more on transcluding markdown today but still no luck. These two links were interesting nonetheless

I bet new transclude features will emerge sooner or later, given all these markdown apps and systems competing for users. Big question: Will the giants Google and Microsoft make room for easy markdown use on their platforms too? Imagine the google docs platform but with interlinking, transcluding markdown files.

I have no problem with markdown for notes because it's not a distraction. But I do when I'm working on prose and I need to focus on the relationship between the content and language and how it flows and progresses.
Yeah, different formats fit for different use cases I suppose. Though for fiction prose writing maybe special formatting, beyond perhaps italics, would be infrequent enough to not distract much even in raw Markdown mode? Could also help: Many code editors let you tweak and toogle between different themes and highlight schemes. So one could use one where the format pops at times and one more discreet at other times. VS Code and other editors also have a quick toggle for zen mode (minimal mode, distraction free mode, ...) that hides most toolbars and buttons. Example:

zen mode.png

General reflection (if I may, Dormouse let me know if you think I'm taking things too off-topic).

I'd love to see a comparison review of these markdown/plaintext "information management apps or systems" (not sure what the best term is) e.g. HackMD, CodiMD, Obsidian and others. First in regard to editing single files (syntax highlighting, shortcuts, autocompletion, ...) but second and more importantly comparison of features for global search, tagging, replacing and organizing the information.

One particular feature I've been thinking about is inclusion/transclusion.

Some apps offer that feature in (extended) Markdown or Asciidoc or with extra tools like Pandoc. My experience or impression is that transcluded content only shows up in these kinds of apps in preview mode and/or generated output, like .html or .pdf.

But I'm curious if some app also offers a third, mid-level mode or view.

1 raw view: the editor shows all syntax unresolved. So transclusion syntax is shown as for example "{{}}". The user has to in a separate step open to see its content, for example "hello world".

2 preview: the editor resolves all syntax, including seamlessly showing transcluded content.

3 transclude view: (this is the feature I'm looking for) the editor resolves only transclusions but no other markdown syntax. For example the editor shows "**weather**" (unresolved) but shows "hello world" (resolved transcluded contents of instead of "{{}}".

In transclude view edits to the transcluded content would directly edit the source (

In transclude view the editor/app syntax highlighter would mark transcluded lines with a vertical colored bar. This is necessary so the users knows that edits there will edit the transcluded source. The highlight bar could show parent/child structure: bar on right side = content transcluded into this document; bar on left side = content transcluded from this document into other document). We could also imagine ways to interact with the transcluded content via such highlighting (click bar to open/jump to source; shortcuts to fold/unfold transcluded content; ...)

That could be useful for non-programming, personal use.

To expand, when coding it is often good to not all the time see the content of includes, as it would clutter the code we want to work on. We mostly just use the functions/methods and look up the source of the include only when needed. The imported modules are relatively fixed with a specific purpose. In contrast, for non-coding personal usage we might want to see the transcluded content most of the time while editing. For example when editing we might want to see the resolved contents of most of the time. As a reminder to ourselves and also as context to surrounding text.

A halfway measure along these lines would be something like what the Peek feature in VS Code does for functions/methods/variables, but for non-resolved transclude syntax in Markdown.

Or a more complex version: some extra syntax for the transclude syntax gives case by case control over if and how to resolve it in transclude view (full resolve; resolve as embedded X lines high editbox with scroolbar; resolve only as mouseover tooltip peek; no resolve).

Yes, quite a bit.  So much so that I pay for it.  I'm writing my book in it (it has a book type layout), and I thought reading this thread the autolinking feature would be nice for this system.

Cool! Do you have a view on the difference between HackMD and CodiMD? AFAICT they started out as the same project, but CodiMD is a FOSS fork. Confusingly HackMD github seem to still have a (competing) CodiMD repo.

@wraith808, thanks. Are you using hackmd? Looks nice.

@panzer, same question, are you using obsidian?

My biggest takeaway from this thread is that there is an abundance of cool markdown/plaintext tools out there. The big challenge is finding one that fits best with your own workflow and use cases and will not be deprecated soon.

If you want to be able to edit in the preview, Texts does just that
Alternatively Typora, which at least someone uses for zettelkasten.

I haven't kept up with this thread, but here is just a quick comment on reading Markdown text directly: I find it very easy after only a little practice. At least when the text uses only light formatting (headings, lists, italics, bold, links, ...).  Note also that syntax styling/highlighting in VS Code now also show bold/italics directly in the Markdown text. I used to keep the live preview pane open all the time, but now open it mostly at the end to overview and make small fixes.


Microsoft keeps adding nice stuff to the revived PowerToys apps

Most recently PowerToys Run, a launcher app that has some similarity with FindAndRunRobot

Here are my subjective impressions after some quick tests.

1. PowerToys Run has a nice, clean interface with big fonts and no clutter. It takes inspiration from the launcher Wox.


FARR can be similarly minimally styled using the slenderFARR skin, display option "Large Icon Slides", dragging to hide the toolbar buttons, and using a script to hide the statusbar text.


2. Run has built in support for CMD/terminal commands through the > prefix.


FARR can do that too by creating an alias like this:

alias name: run terminal command
RegEx: ^>(.*)
cmd | C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c $$1



3. PowerToys Run can search and switch to open windows. That's a nice to have feature!

4. PowerToys does not have aliases. FARR has very powerful aliases. That is a huge difference. Aliases make FARR searches and actions very easy to customize - it becomes a much more powerful and versatile tool. Even more so when combined with some small AutoHotkey scripts.

All in all I still prefer FARR. Not a big surprise I suppose!  ;D But its age is showing a bit.
- I wish the FARR default UI had a more flat and minimal design.
- To create/test/edit/share/backup FARR aliases is a bit clunky, which might prevent new users from making and using the more powerful aliases features.
- The FARR options give intricate control of search result scoring, which was perhaps more relevant for the era of slow hardrives than for new faster SSD storage.

Nice! Here is a helper hotkey script to more quickly go from a regular FARR search to activating the "choose program" alias for the first search match by using an exclamation character as keyboard shortcut.

Code: Autohotkey [Select]
  1. SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%
  3. ; choose program FARR alias helper hotkey script.ahk
  4. ; 2020-05-23
  5. ; by Nod5
  7. #IfWinActive, ahk_exe FindAndRunRobot.exe
  8. ; press ! to expand first FARR match file path and append --
  9. !::
  10.   ControlGetFocus, vFocusControl, A
  11.   ; if FARR search box focus and options not open
  12.   if (vFocusControl = "TEdit1")
  13.     if !WinExist("ahk_class TOptionsForm")
  14.     {
  15.       ; show first result file full path in FARR search box
  16.       Send {down}{right}
  17.       ; append -- to trigger "choose program" alias
  18.       Send --
  19.     }
  20. Return

Screenshot of the alias

Gif of how it all works

(Edit: cannot embed .mp4 video in forum posts it seems so I added link to Imgur instead)

Edit2: mouser could uppdate FARR with special variables that represent the full path of a file result, maybe %resultfile1% or similar. Then we could skip the AutoHotkey script and instead make an alias that triggers on "!" anywhere in the searchbox and reacts by doing "restartsearch %resultfile1% --".

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