Visual Studio Code: Open in Browser

While I started using Visual Studio Code frequently for several Web development project, I got very annoyed by copying file paths and pasting them into my browser to view the file there.

The open-in-browser extension for Visual Studio Code is a small simple solution to exactly this problem. It lets you open a file directly in your default browser.

Open an html file, Windows and Linux keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+O, for MacOS is Cmd+Alt+O. If you want to preview html in your default browser directly, please type Ctrl+K D.

Visual Studio Code open-in-browser Extension
Visual Studio Code open-in-browser Extension

Visual Studio Marketplace:

The Problem with your favorite monospaced Font

Since it was introduced in 2005, Consolas was my favourite monospaced font for development environments. More or less by an accident, I came along an article introducing Inconsolata by Raph Levien, which is a font inspired by Consolas.

Inconsolas Font Example
Inconsolata by Ralph Levien

While it is hard for me to tell the difference out of the box, you can see quite some differences when both fonts are compared to each other.

Consolas Font Example


The differenced are subtle, the letters are tighter and look at the same time more fresh to me. Some major differences you can see at the ‘A’ or more obvious at the pound sign. Especially these differences drove me to try this font out. I started to change the font in my favorite editor, Visual Studio Code as I use it day by day.

To do so, you simply open Preferences / Settings and look up for font in the User section of the settings.

Changing Fonts in Visual Studio Code

While I really like the font, it turned out that code and especially text files are much harder to read for me. You might see the differences in a side by side comparison when clicking on the image below.

Side by Side Incosolata (left) and Consolas (right)

On the left side, the text seems more squashed while Consolas on the right side appears more readable to me. In this case, both examples use a default font size of 14. The problem is, I liked the left side much more the way it looks but can work much better with the appearance on the right side.

I might stick with Consolas for quite some time, while I am looking for an alternative to use.

Animated GIFs with ScreenToGif

With platforms like Twitter, Slack or Microsoft Teams, animated GIFs have been revived. In addition to emojis, animated GIFs seem to be the way to express yourself on the web. In case you are in the need to create your own animated GIFs, check out ScreenToGIF.

This tool allows you to record a selected area of your screen, live feed from your webcam or live drawings from a sketchboard. Afterwards, you can edit and save the animation as a gif or video. 

It comes with a nice screen recorder frame and a whole list of features to create animated GIFs, Videos and so on. You can record your screen, capture the webcam or whiteboard drawing.s

ScreenToGif Capture Frame

It also comes as a single file, which easily allows you to deploy it almost everywhere, even to keep it on a USB stick.

GitHub Project:

Docker Compose UI – Almost a Thing

I currently manage all my Docker containers in my servers via Ansible. However, either for setting up new containers, testing new images or debugging in the case of emergency, I ssh into my server and fiddle a lot with the shell.

Promising Web based Docker Compose Management?

I came along Docker Compose UI which provides a nice web-based user interface to work with Docker Compose. 

Docker Compose UI is a web interface for Docker Compose.

The aim of this project is to provide a minimal HTTP API on top of Docker Compose while maintaining full interoperability with Docker Compose CLI.

The application can be deployed as a single container, there are no dependencies nor databases to install.

It comes as Docker image itself, which again makes it really easy to deploy. To test it locally, just check out the GitHub repository and run docker-compose up. 

To get the demo project running was quite easy. But…

There is a Catch

  • When I rolled out Docker Compose UI to one of my servers it still showed the demo projects even I changed the overall config
  • To do so, the documentation of the project is not the best
  • After grepping through the entire files, I did not find anything that gave me a hint where the demo projects might come from
  • To me (I might be wrong) it looks like the demo information is built into the Docker image
  • The GitHub project was updated the last time about 12 months ago


Docker Compose UI would be a very useful project. However, the project looks very abandoned to me. Although there are 12 contributors, the very last pull request is open since 2017. The readme was updated the last time in 2018. I might have a closer look into the project or fork it at one point. Until then, it has to stay on the bench.


I don’t know how I was able to survive without…

… comic style images of me. No kidding. I text a lot with my wife. At work or university, sometimes there is only a little time between appointments – sometimes not enough for a phone or Facetime call.

Personal emojis as provided by Bitmoji make the difference. We (my wife and myself) use this a lot – and it’s fun even for a grown-up adult.

iPhone iMasse Screenshot using the Bitmoji emojis

It comes as a iPhone app which provides an keyboard with the emojis, but also a an Android app and is available as Chrome extension as well.

To create your avatar you simply create one selfie, and within seconds you’ll have your personal comic style emojis to be used in almost any ab by copying and pasting the images.

It’s not a productivity tool at all and basically, it is just a little bit of fun – but hey, who told that life should be no fun at all?

tiny Reader RSS

I recently started using Tiny Tiny RSS as feed reader. I was looking for some reader I am able to host by myself. To achieve this, I’ve set up a dockerized version of tt-rss to be hosted on my server (more on this topic later).

While I am overall pleased by the overall experience with tt-rss, I was looking for a complementary iPhone app. I found (and can highly recommend) tiny Reader RSS by Pascal Pluchon.

The app comes with a clean UI, very easy to use. When opening the very first time you might run into the error API_DISABLED.

To fix this, log into tt-rss and navigate to you settings pane. Simply check Enable API to allow the app to communicate with your server.

Pascal Pluchon’s site:

Tool Tipp: – The Netflix Speedtest

From time to time you might be interested in how fast your internet connection is. In real. There are various tools out in the wild. In Germany most of the time Speedtest ist used. Many providers also offer a speed test – which in fact ist just a branded site of Speedtest.

The issue here is the fact, the speed test servers are living behind “the internet” in some other computing centers. They never give you a real idea of your connection speed. They give you an idea of how fast the data transfer to these servers is. If the test is run repeatedly, it also provides different results. Depending on the server on the other side.

Today, I learned about which is a speed test based on the Netflix servers. It seems that if some company knows how to transport large amounts of data bypassing the restrictions of the internet, Netflix is the one. Said that it seems these Netflix servers are the ones least affected by the rest of the internet. Tests I run on is mostly appropriate, providing similar download rates I see with Xbox Live downloads while other test sides show large divergences.

Therefore, ist my recent tip if it comes to testing the speed of your internet connection. speed test results

Usable Google Reader Alternative

I haven’t used feed readers a lot after Google Reader was cancelled on March 13, 2013. Before I made extensive use of it with quite a lot of resources. Personal weblogs, article feeds and so on. Once Google cancelled Reader it seemed many applications and sites stopped supporting RSS and Atom as they did before. I am not saying they did not provide feeds anymore, however, it seemed that feeds haven’t been first class citizen of the Web anymore.

Since my personal focus recently changed towards new and actual technologies (again), I started to read a lot more online articles as I did during the recent six years. So once again, I am looking for an alternative to Google Reader (again).

Feedly never seemed to work for me due to various reasons, including a monthly fee of 5$. But recently I found Inoreader to be very handy. So far, I was not aware of this service.

First of all, it is a Freemium service as well, however, with the free membership it seems you get all basic functionality needed. The very only limitation seems to be a limit of 150 sources. Once reached you can upgrade to 20$ yearly plan to set a new limit of 500 sources. This seems a absolute reasonable price I am willing to pay for this service.

Inoreader Screenshot

So I will give it a try to keep up to date with my favourite sites, looking forward to hit the mark of 150 sources soon.


High Quality Icons – The Noun Project

I always loved to enhance my presentations and lecture slides with visual content. At Microsoft, we used to have a Ressource DVD with hundreds of box-shots and icons to be used for marketing and other occasions. Meanwhile, I prepare a lot of educational lecture slides. However, universities usually do not provide such resources. Even most of the companies I’ve worked for did not provide a lot of these materials.

Eventually, I learned about the Noun Project where you can get thousands of high-quality icons for an absolutely fair price.

The project does provide various applications for Mac, iPhone as well as add-ons for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. I just started to use the PowerPoint add-on being highly pleased by its functionality. You can search for icons, select from various resolutions and choose an appropriate color. Considering the time I spend to create, search for and adapt icons the price of 40 € is quite fair.

Noun Project PowerPoint Add-On


If you are looking for a high quality and easy to use collection of icons, you should have a look at the Noun Project.


Customize Windows 10 File Type Icons

I just realized, that recent Windows version make it very hard to customize some aspects of your desktop.

As I am using Sumatra PDF as my default PDF viewer, I do not have the typical Adobe icon on my desktop. While having these icons on my Mac as well as on my work PC, this is rather confusing.

I came along File Types Manager which actually takes away the registry fiddling.

File Tymes Manager Main Window

It works with Windows XP, 7/8 and Windows 10. if you have any .ico files available it is pretty easy to change an icon for a particular file type just by assigning it.

Changed PDF file type icon

Also there are tons of other features, I haven’t used yet.


If you want to change file type icons on a Windows 10 system, you ca use File Type Manager to do so easily.