Every garden needs a good shed, full of the right tools to make it flourish.

25 views in this landscape.


  • Calibre

    Calibre is a cross-platform eBook management tool. It allows you to manage the metadata present in your eBooks. I use Calibre because Digital Rights Management is Unhealthy and share the database with calibre-web because I like its interface better.


  • Organising Digital Knowledge Across Multiple Systems

    Digital knowledge comes at us in all forms and it can be a challenge to manage. This note describes how I manage information in my Personal Knowledge Management system. My system works when.. I am easily able to find something I’ve saved I am confident nothing important is missing Knowledge and Records It has taken many iterations of many systems to realise there is a difference between knowledge and records.


    • calibre-web

      calibre-web provides a web interface into Calibre. I prefer it for quickly reviewing my library and marking books as read. This software is installed on my Synology DiskStation DS920+.


    • Obsidian Sync

      Obsidian Sync is a paid sync service from the developers of Obsidian. It is the most reliable sync solution I've found. Fix Uninitialized Sync Error This caused me all sorts of hell syncing across 3 systems. Each time I restarted Obsidian the sync was lost. The fix worked for me on Windows 10. This seems to be a rare error that we haven’t yet nailed down a pattern for.


      • My Backup Strategy

        I value backups of my data and systems. Having them means a level of security if something is lost, damaged, hacked, breaks. I may be over-compensating in some areas with multiple on-site and off-site backups. Where I do that, I’m also considering the other aspect of backups which is speed of restoration.


      • A Font of Google Fonts

        Instructions on how I added Google Fonts to Obsidian Publish.


      • Digital Rights Management is Unhealthy

        I read an article many years ago, that I can no longer find, which discussed the fear of blank videotape and how it would destroy the home-video market. Instead it created a market that was of a size unforeseen. Bottom line, digital rights management (DRM) is more of a hindrance than a protector. Amazon and Kindle Books DRM Books purchased through Amazon are protected against copying and distribution by a level of digital rights management that can no longer be bypassed.


      • The Nightclub Model of Privacy

        Too many businesses collect personal information from individuals for their benefit. Under the guise of “providing better service” private data is held, often insecurely, well beyond it’s need. If it was ever really needed at all. I’d like to see business subscribe to the “Nightclub Model of Privacy”. Check credentials at the door and allow or deny entry.


      • Designing The Quantum Garden

        Background I have referred to my personal knowledge management system as a Digital Garden for several years now and it makes sense this online presence reflects that. Originally I used the term to mean tending the noise of digital records, but have now moved towards a place for the growing of ideas. My evolution is not uncommon as explained in this Maggie Appleton article, A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden.


        • Obsidian

          Obsidian is primarily a note-taking tool that uses Markdown files for speed and flexibility. The official site is obsidian.md/. Within Obsidian I document and link: Personal journal entries Digital Garden notes My consumption of books, movies and TV shows This website is published directly from Obsidian using Quartz 4.


        • Quartz 4

          Overview of how I use Quartz to display this digital garden. Includes a list of customisations I've made.


        • Wordpress to Quartz

          For the last year or so I’ve been publishing my blog on Wordpress. I began using Ulysses.app to write in Markdown and publish to Wordpress, then about March this year I started publishing directly from Obsidian. Either way, there was practical and cognitive friction in the process. Multiple steps to go though, and writing was sitting somewhat external to Obsidian.


        • Tap Water or Rust

          Tomorrow I take delivery of my CPAP machine and have been researching what water I should use in the humidifier. The prevailing wisdom for CPAP machines is that one must use distilled water. From my research tonight I put this in the same category as “You must drink 2 litres of water a day”. Sounds good, but is incorrect.


        • Looking into Logseq

          Logseq has been appearing a lot in my Mastodon feed lately as a Personal Knowledge Management solution. Many sing its praises over Obsidian so with a slow afternoon at work yesterday I thought to take a look. My first impression is that Logseq is the offline version of Roam Research; the tool I used before migrating to Obsidian.


        • Replacing Goodreads With Obsidian

          I have been a Goodreads user for many, many years. It has provided me the means to track my reading activity alongside a list of books I want to read. The past few years I’ve been an avid Kindle reader, topping 20,000 pages read each year. Goodreads integration with the Kindle has made it very easy to mark a book started and finished.


        • I’m Replacing Instapaper With Omnivore

          I have been an Instapaper user for many years. From the time it was free, to paid, and then free and paid. For a while I was feeding Instapaper articles through Readwise to Obsidian. I couldn’t get Readwise to pull in comments from Instapaper articles that I’d archived. From memory I’m not even sure it could see them.


        • Mastodon is dead. Long live Mastodon.

          The first I knew was an email saying my $5 donation to running the mastodon.au server was refunded. I inquired to be told the server was scheduled for shutdown in 3 months. I’d have been happy for the moderators to keep the money, but that’s the nature of Mastodon over Twitter. One refunds the money, the other wouldn’t even tell you it was turned off.


        • Why Have All the Backups Failed?

          I woke this morning to a slew of emails informing me of backups that had failed due to insufficient space on the target drive. Why had they all failed? Well, it was because one had succeeded. I use Macrium Reflect to image the main home PC each night. One the first day of the month a full backup is taken and throughout the month there is a rolling series of differential and incremental backups.


        • The True Scale of a Billion

          I watched Avatar today, in preparation for a likely weekend trip to see Avatar 2: The Way of Water at the weekend. Both films have now taken over US$2 billion dollars. As making over a billion at the box office is now commonplace, it’s worth considering the difference in scale between 1 million and 1 billion and from there to 1 trillion.


        • 3-2-1 Backup!

          I want to talk about backups. They are important, and always have been. Unlike grabbing photo albums on the way of of the house during a fire, the right backup system means we can focus on saving the most important thing in the house - ourselves. Today everyone will tell you to follow a 3-2-1 backup strategy.


        • SSD Longevity

          SSDs have a limited amount of times they can be written to. Use CrystalDiskInfo to check. DriveTotal Terabyte Writes (TBW)Kingston 480G Dumbledor C:\160TBWSamsung 970 Evo Dumbledor S:\600TBWLast checked 2024-04-13, both drives with ample life left.


        • From Audible to my Ears

          This is the process each audiobook transitions through on the way from Audible to my listening ears. Purchase more books on Audible than I possibly have time to listen to. Download and convert to .mdb format using OpenAudible. Automatically import into my “Audiobook” library (as Music) using Plex. Add to a series playlist if relevant.


        • Transplanting my Brain to Roam to Obsidian

          In mid-2020 I was introduced to the exciting new note-taking application Roam Research and I transferred my notes and tasks into the database, making use of the powerful backlinking and cross-referencing features of the database. Prior to that I had been using a mix of TheBrain (notes and links), Omnifocus (tasks and projects) and OneNote (mobile and synced notes).


          • Why We Like Things

            I’m a couple of chapters into “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek and he’s already solved a problem I’ve been pondering. Well, not so much pondering as noting with curiosity. That is, why I love my new Macbook Pro. For years I’ve been a user of PC’s. Until July last year I’d never used a Macintosh ‘in anger’ and the last time I sat at one was in the mid-80’s.


          • How to Trial Software Before you Buy

            These days it is possible to trial most computer software before you buy it. But what does ‘trial’ actually mean. For me, trial once meant install, play around a bit and then forget. Now trial means use in anger. I’ve found in order to really try software I must put myself in a position of reliance. That is, rely on the software as if I had bought it and used it every day.