Visual Studio Code – Auto Time Stamp

While organizing most of my information in Markdown files meanwhile, I like to have some metadata in each file to see e.g. when files have been created and/or updated.

The Auto Time Stamp extension is a small extension that doe exactly this for you. By adding Created: and/or Last modified: the extension will update these fields automatically when the file is saved.

// Created: 2018/02/04 12:24:41
// Last modified: 2018/02/09 11:41:41

This extension is going into my must-have toolbox for VS Code.

Link: (GitHub):
Link (VS Marketplace):

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:

Organizing My Availability

Meanwhile, I spent quite some time answering emails and requested my availability. There is a family calendar, a work calendar, a lecture calendar and maybe I miss one or two.

I usually have to look through all of them. And of course, I usually miss one or two of them. Therefore, I started to use the Doodle MeetMe feature to consolidate the availabilities of various calendars at one place.

Doodle MeetMe

Especially the feature to share the availability times was quite appealing to me. Most users just know Doodle for creating polls about events and meetings. Therefore, I decided to give it a try for some time. To see how this works out.


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.

Pixel Art Palettes

When looking for a nice design the colour palette is one of things I usually fail epic.

Lospec is a website providing a pixel editor, pixel art tutorials and more important to me some hundreds of colour palettes based on a wide range of 8- and 16-bit games.

The Lospec Palette List is a database of palettes for pixel art. We include both palettes that originate from old hardware that could only display a few colors, as well as palettes created by pixel artists specifically for making art. All palettes can be downloaded and imported into your pixelling software of choice 

I like using these palettes when creating a logo (also I am not good in this discipline) and presentations when not bound to any corporate identity.

The palettes can be downloaded as png image or even as Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET or GIMP file to be used in your favorite application.


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.


Automatically close GitHub Issues

As you might now, I am currently working on a small Docker project to containerize ttrss.

I am using GitHub and Docker just for the sake of keeping up to date with the the features of both plattforms.

Although this might be an old feature, well known in the Git and/or GitHub community, I “accidentally” wrote a commit message fixed #2: …

Well, GitHub automatically closed this issue during the process of creating the pull request and merging it into the master. What an awesome feature, especially when found this was!

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: