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DelJect - delete & eject USB card easily

March 09, 2012

Here’s another little AppleScript I recently wrote:

DelJect - an AppleScript to delete and eject any external Cards/USB Stick

A friend asked for this little script: His problem was, that his photography camera couldn’t deal with apple’s hidden files like.DS_STORE etc. To workaorund that, he had to delete those files each time before ejecting. DelJect automates this manual process. Voila!

Download the latest version here:

Just run the binary, select the device (USB stick), confirm delete and unplug the stick. Done!

As a litte gotcha, DelJect will remeber the device - so next time, just confirm & go.

Thanks to Niels for the idea and thanks Icon-Land for Icon.

Hacking the Nabaztag - Arduino injects via I2C data into RFID Reader

January 10, 2012

Wow! After more than two years I finally got my hands dirty hacking the Nabaztag rabbit. The release of the source code last summer were very encouraging here! Expect some awesome results in the next time :-)

Let’s start with NabaztagInjector , an Arduino Library to inject data:

What bothered me for long was the missing possibility to connect external devices to the rabbit. How awesome would it be to use the rabbit for sending data into the net? Imagine it as WIFI shield you Arduino.

Guess what - that’s possible: replacing the RFID reader with an Arduino (both use the I2C bus) running a simulation of the RFID reader chip, enabled me to inject any custom data to the rabbit. Hacked!

As result, I created this tiny Arduino library to encapsulates the full process behind and easy API:

[gist id=1582447]

Check out the full Readme, Source code and Examples here:

Big Sitemaps are Big - Google Sitemaps at SoundCloud

January 09, 2012

Big Sitemaps are Big - Google Sitemaps at SoundCloud Hack and Tell @Cbase Sept’11

Me speaking about Sitemaps at SoundCloud and presenting the big_sitemaps gem to handle to load easily.

Sugru rocks! Or: how I fixed my broken iPhone Display glass from falling off.

November 08, 2011

Unfortunately I kept on dropping my iPhone until its display glass broke. Typical me. But after that, even worse, the little bits of broken glass where loose, slowly felt off one after another destroying the displays protection completely. Whereas the drop (besides the broken glass) didn’t effect the phones functionaries at all (even its touch capabilities are 100% working), the vanishing glass revealed the display which could get destroyed by dust and moist easily. Luckily I found a solution: Sugru.

Sugru is this fantastic super modeling clay made by Jane from Ireland. It allows you to hack the world and fix stuff. First its soft, sticks on nearly and material allowing you to put it in any shape, later it hardens and keeps its form. Perfect for me!

Check my hack, where I used Sugru replacing the missing glass pieces and preventing the loose ones from falling of. My display is protected again, and the phone is working - yay!

Visit the Sugru Website and get some for yourself:

Long time ago: 'Die besten JavaScripts - SizeIt!'

August 12, 2011

Wuhooo, look what I found in my archives:

In my early webdeveloper days I created a small javascript which named ‘SizeIt!’. It purpose was to resize all website elements according to the size of users viewpoint. So regardless which screen resolution the user has, the website propotions would always be the same. Honestly, it worked only in very special cases and was slooooow (these days) :)

But the idea was great and it even gave me second place in a competition - ‘Die besten JavaScripts’ of Internet-World in August 2000. Read the result here (german only, sorry).

Not sure where I do have source code, will continue searching archive and post it here someday - stay tuned …

Meet me at Chaos Communication Camp 2011

August 02, 2011

Yay, I’ll be at CCC Camp 2011 - and for sure I’ll bring my arduino/rainbowduino stuff with me. So come over, say hello and join in the crazy hackingingz!


HowTo: resque-web, resque scheduler and passenger

July 29, 2011

Here’s how you get resque-web and resque scheduler playing well with passenger:

Follow these instructions from resque readme (apache, ngnix) and check out current resque repo. Now update following two files:

  1. Add gem "resque-scheduler","2.0.0.d" to Gemfile
  2. Run bundle
  3. Add require 'resque_scheduler' to

Restart you webserver and are ready to go - Happy scheduling!

Both file after editing:
[gist id=1101580]

Rails 3.1 Hackfest - get rid of Javascript Runtime dependency in production

July 25, 2011

This weekend was Rails 3.1 Hackfest. The rails community was called to test the upcoming version 3.1 to its limits, to find bugs and or flaws and get it polished for the final release. So I did:

I’m working with the rails 3.1 since it first release candidate, but never tried in production. So I made my task to finally test this, and bring my app in the wild - on my (not root) server. Rails 3.0 is running there smoothly so I didn’t expect any problems - wrong!
Show stopper was the Javascript Runtime dependency on production. Reason was quickly found: Coffee-Script - ahrg! It depends on ExecJS, which depends on a Javascript Runtime. Unfortunately, and that’s because I’m not on a root server, I got neither node.js, therubyraser, Mustang nor Johnson installed there.

I read this article, which supposed to precompile the assets - didn’t help either and runtime is needed again.

In the End, the solution was as simple as obvious: just don’t use coffee-script in production :-) I did, removed the coffee-script gem form my Gemfile - and tatatata: it works! Uhh! This took me quite a long time to get it right. Javascript Runtime dependecy no good for prodcution, and reading Mr. Katz it’s looking good to get this fixed for the final release - uff! Happy so get tin final one soon! Yeah!

[cheesey image taken from PragDave - thx]

Talk: Short introduction to Rainbowduino and mtXcontrol

July 23, 2011

I gave a short talk at Hack and Tell in Berlin. I briefly introduced the Rainbowduino device and my work on mtXcontol. Watch me here:

Here are the slides:

Thanks to David for recording!

Optical Illusion: a non straight line of code?

June 24, 2011

A bit of fun: Look at this, a Screenshot I took ages ago and just found to share. It’s taken from a piece of code I was writing within jEdit by that time.

It totally looks like the two long line go up, but if you apply a ruler, you see, it’s indeed straight:

A optical Illusion - weird, right?

Short Introduction to Rails

May 10, 2011


Overview useful components:

Must haves:

  • homebrew /macports
  • git
  • rvm

Load RVM extensions + completion

    [[ -s $HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm ]] && source $HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm
    [[ -r $rvm_path/scripts/completion ]] && . $rvm_path/scripts/completion

create proj folder:

 $ mkdir  'test'

create .rvmrc

  $ rvm use ruby-1.9.2-rc2@test --create

Init git

  $ git init

Interesting gems:

  rake (0.8.7)
  bundler (1.0.7)
  cheat (1.3.0)
  gemedit (0.9.0)
  gist (2.0.0)
  git (1.2.5)
  hirb (0.3.5)
  jeweler (1.5.1)
  what_methods (1.0.1)
  wirble (0.1.3)
  awesome_print (0.3.1)

Useful commands:

  • rails gems
    $ gem install rails
  • create rails project
    $ rails new . -d mysql -J
  • check Gemfile for needed gems
    $ bundle install
  • check DB file
cp database.yml database_example.yml
  $ cat 'db/database.yml' >> .gitignore

getting started

Scaffold: rails g scaffold Sentence text:text type:string language:string Database: rake db:migrate See all rake commands: rake -T

Rails console

  • reload!
  • ` _` show last result
  Sentence.find( :first)
  Sentence.find( :first, :conditions => {} )

## AEL

Sentence.first.where( :language => 'de' )
 Sentence.where( :language => 'de' ).order("RAND()").limit(1)

HowTo: ultra mega fast rails routes lookup

March 16, 2011

I was quite annoyed by the wasted time it took each time I grep the rails routes table.
Wait, can’t this be cached? - Sure it can!
So I came up this nice little alias to cache the output once:
` alias route=’CF=tmp/routes_cache; [[! -s $CF]] && rake routes > $CF; cat $CF | grep ‘ `

now it’s ultra fast, try e.g.:
` $ route root `

HowTo: parse invalid, irregular HTML having < or unlcosed tags

February 03, 2011

I had the ‘problem’ that user feedback included lot of love - mostly by writing ‘hearts’. Unfortunately expressing hearts is done by ‘<3’ which turns the input into invalid HTML. Bummer. So if you still want allow other basic tags, you have a problem. Here’s how I solved it:

First I checked Stackoverflow - Tian had similar problem over there: Nokogiri: Parsing Irregular “

As a quick fix I came up with this method using a reqular expression to identify unclosed tags:

def fix_irregular_html(html)
regexp = /]*)(

#we need to do this multiple time as regex are overlapping
while (fixed_html = html.gsub(regexp, “<\1\2”)) && fixed_html != html
html = fixed_html


See full code including test here:

It works out well for me, I appreciate any feedback and improvements

See full code and test here:

Mac OS X Terminal: visual indication for your ssh connection

January 14, 2011

Here’s a HowTo for a nice visual indication to see quickly if your Mac OS X Terminal is running which ssh connection.

The trick is to change your Terminal Theme before you ssh and change it back afterwards.

1. Create Theme:
got to Terminal -> Preferences -> Settings create a new theme (or copy existing one) and adjust to your needs, e.g. a light red background etc. Give it a nice name e.g. “SSH-Theme”

2. Add this function to your .bashrc

function tabc() { NAME=$1; if [-z "$NAME"]; then NAME="Default"; fi osascript -e "tell application \"Terminal\" to set current settings of front window to settings set \"$NAME\"" }

“Default” is my default Terminal theme, name this whatever u have

tabc SSH-Theme #switch to theme with name tabc #switch to default theme

3. Create alias to ssh to server:

` alias sshmyserver=”tabc SSH-Theme; ssh; tabc”`

That’s it - your are done! Now, if you type sshmyserver, your Terminal color will change, ssh will start, and when you end ssh, everything will be back again..

Btw. for Terminal on Mac OS X, I very recommend Visor - a quake like console


That’s how you do it with iTerm:

` function tabc() { COLOR=$1; if [-z “$COLOR”]; then COLOR=”{0, 7722, 9941}”; fi osascript -e “tell application "iTerm" to set background color of current session of current terminal to $COLOR” }`

alias sshmyserver=”tabc ‘{18000, 2500, 2500}’; ssh; tabc”

cubeXcontrol - a Rainbow Cube Editor

December 31, 2010

Please express your Love and vote for cubeXControl here - Thanks!

Apparently the current Version doesn’t work with Windows. I’m very sorry for that, but at the moment I don’t have any Win machine to test this. So please feel free to try yourself and fix it! Thx!

I’m proud to present a first version which was on my this years TODO list for so long, but due to all the changes therefore very less time never got startet. But thanks to the Seeedstudio Rainbowduino Carnival 2010 I got a big motivation boost and found some time to get my fingers dirty again. So check this out, my this years contribution for the carnival:

cubeXcontrol - a Rainbow Cube Editor

Well, you know the mtXcontrol, the Rainbowduino Editor and the awesome Seeedstudio Rainbow Cube I mentioned here ? Now it’s time  to bring them together:

cubeXcontrol is an editor to control and create patterns for the 4x4x4 RGB Rainbow Cube powered by a rainbowduino. It comes with an extra window showing a 3D model of the Cube, allowing to rotate in all directions and to zoom. Click on boxes to set the LED color easily.

The editor is of course heavily based on the latest mtXcontrol version, with the latest rainbowduino firmware. Both are unfortunately still in beta stage, but come with great new features like auto port detection.

Get the sources here:

And the Rainbowduino driver:

Happy cub’ing!