#weeklyreview 48/23

Sheeessh, the year is almost over… time flies.

This week I looked into possible alternatives for Evernote. I pump all my documents into Evernote since decades. It’s a trusty store for all my admin stuff and some notes and has saved my bacon several times when traveling. Whenever I needed some official documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.), I was able to pull them out of Evernote and unlock the things like immigration into South Africa or getting temporary passports at the embassy.

But it’s always good to have alternatives in case the enshittification of services spreads to further tools I use. I also like (and dislike) being in complete control of my own data. So looking at services that would keep notes in a durable format, sync across devices via my own facilities and can possibly import Evernote data.

This time I took a deeper look at Obsidian. A free for personal use note editor that stores in MarkDown files. Sync can be done via file sync services like iCloud Drive, DropBox etc.

Obsidian also offers their own paid sync service.

Using iCloud Sync isn’t optimal as iCloud now has this on-demand sync. If files are not needed for a while, they’ll be deleted from the device and downloaded on demand once needed again. This however will mess with Obsidian as it expects files to be there.

I found a community plugin for Obsidian which offers a live sync capability via a CouchDB. That I can host myself and thus have all the data location and syncing under my control.

But it turned out that plugin is still under heavy development and changes features rapidly. At least the E2E encryption was replaced while I was testing. That requires a re-sync of the whole database.

I had exported all my Evernote notebooks into the ENEX format. Obsidian is able to read this and import the notes including their attachments and some metadata. So far so good. But turns out that almost 6GB of data seems a bit too chunky for my CouchDB setup. Syncing one device took several days. Given that the plugin changed and I had to re-do the syncing several times … too much hassle for the moment.

I eventually decided to not put the heavy Evernote archive into Obsidian. The app is more for note taking, not so much for storing Documents (as in PDFs and other attachments). Notes are much smaller and sync almost instantly via the CouchDB backend.

Spotify Wrapped

This week the famous Spotify year review came out. Not much surprise in there. I also believe that the stats are wrong. I do like Queens of the Stone Age. But now way I was listening to “Feed don’t fail me now” more often than songs from one of the other top artists in the list. Anyway..

And I know that people keep complaining how Spotify is not paying the artists fairly. For me Spotify is almost the exclusive way to consume music nowadays. They run the infrastructure and pay for the network bandwidth to deliver the music as well as providing clients and integration into a lot of appliances. A hear nobody complain about the major records labels anymore. What value do they provide these days in getting the music to the fans?

Winter

Winter finally arrived and brought a whole bunch of snow. In Berlin especially black ice. Monday I still managed to bike into work. But it was dangerously slippery. Of course the pedestrian and bike paths were mostly not cleared or gritted.

Keto diet

I’ve finally started to seriously try and loose some weight. My approach is a mix of special diet and more exercise.

On the diet side I’m trying a no-carb diet. Simply means avoid any carbohydrates in my diet. No other restrictions. No carbs is almost impossible as almost any food contains some of them. But I’m trying to stay well below 50g/day. Idea is that the body metabolism is adapting from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat for energy.

The effect is already visible on the scale 😉

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