Note Taking Applications

After going through Tiago Forte’s Building a Second Brain earlier this year, I have been on a quest to get my notes in order, and to start using them more. While Tiago uses Evernote in the course, I was already using Joplin to start taking some notes on SEO related topics (and I like my software free (as in freedom)).

Joplin

I decided I did not like Joplin completely due to the way it names files, all the extra cruft it needs to append to the documents for organization, and the refusal of developers to allow the mobile application to ignore certificate warnings, while the desktop version could (yes, I know, I should have a valid cert for my internal servers anyway).

NextCloud

Right now I am using the default notes app from Nextcloud. It is certainly not great for progressive summarization or for refinding information. It is very basic, but is available cross platform and gets the job done.

Edit: I found that this Firefox plugin is a really good “web clipper”.

MindForger

I am loving the way MindForger works, specifically the Associations box in the bottom left of the layout which constantly refreshes bringing you documents that are related to what you are currently writing about.

However, it is a bit buggy and as of right now I cannot view the entire document at once, only sections divided by headings. It only has one part time developer from what I can tell, so who knows how long it will be maintained. Probably not ideal in the long run.

Emacs

I am looking toward Emacs as the “super haxor” solution. It has been around since 1985 and had releases this year, so I am confident it will stand the test of time. It is amazingly configurable, to a fault really. You can do so much with it that it can be hard to get started and find a solution to stick with. Something DIY guys like me can spend hours on.

In fact, I have already spent hours researching how to make it function just like MindForger. The DOOM flavor of Emacs seems like a great path forward for looks, ease of use, and a modern community of users. The only missing piece is the Associations box, which is very useful for writing as thinking.

Associates Box Example: Say for instance I start taking notes on a WordPress plugin, The Associations box might bring up my notes on core WordPress development, automatically. For me this is helpful because I don’t remember half the stuff I take notes on! This is also helpful for when you have a topic you didn’t know was relevant, say in the same instance it brings up my notes on SEO plugins for WordPress, which may be a direction I had not considered going in my notes.

The Rememberance Agent

So far my research has landed me with a plugin/addon/extension/module called: The Rememberance Agent. It was first written back in 1996 and last updated in 2004. It does compile with a few tweaks (see the 2 reddit links below).

I believe now that I have compiled it and have it working that I can tweak the styles and start using my new ultimate haxor note taking solution… with another large investment of time to learn to use Emacs.

Resources:
https://web.archive.org/web/20140710072047/http://www.remem.org/
https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/RemembranceAgents
https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/aq3cia/modern_implementation_of_remembrance_agents/
https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/8tq452/is_there_something_like_rememberancemode_for/
https://github.com/hlissner/doom-emacs/issues/2237

Similar plugin:
https://github.com/alphapapa/org-rifle

How to install NextCloudPi on an ODROID-XU4 eMMC module

I am writing this down here because every time I have to do this it is a giant pain to get all the right details together. Hopefully this helps someone else as well.

The original way I was able to do this was via a random forum post that has since disappeared. Thanks goodness the Internet Archive was able to grab a copy of it. That will tell you most of what you need to know, but I am going to write my own version here anyway.

How it works – the short of it is that flashing this Android image puts the necessary hidden partitions in place to allow the ODROID-XU4 to boot from the eMMC module. Then you must copy over the OS you want without writing over those hidden partitions.

This post assumes you can write to the eMMC module and SD card. Etcher, though bloated, does make it easy.

  1. Write the eMMC Android Installer to a SDCARD. You will want to grab their latest Android image from the ODROID wiki: https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/os_images/android/android (be sure to grab the one that says from microSD to eMMC Module it will have sd2emmc in the file name).
  2. Setup the ODROID board to boot of SD (move the jumper).
  3. Make sure that the SD card with the Android image and eMMC itself are connected.
  4. Turn on the board and wait for the flash. It should turn from a solid blue light to one that is flashing, or off completely. If in doubt wait 15min.
  5. After the flash is complete, power off the board, remove the SD card set the jumper to eMMC boot.
  6. Check if it booted onto Android. If yes, continue, otherwise double check the first five steps. I was not able to get a screen output on one monitor, but I was another for some reason. If you cannot get anything to display, you can continue and check ssh ports later.
  7. Write the Ubuntu image to the SD card. You can find their latest Ubuntu image from the ODROID wiki: https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/os_images/linux/start (I choose the Minimal, Bare OS versions since that is all we need).
  8. Change the jumper to SD boot and boot up with your new SD card with Ubuntu on it.
  9. Check if Ubuntu booted. If so, continue, otherwise double check steps above. You can check by finding the IP on your router, and trying to SSH into it (alternatively you could probably install the full Ubuntu image and use it like a normal operating system).
  10. Power off the board, reconnect the SD card to your PC and copy the NextCloudPi image over. Download here: https://ownyourbits.com/nextcloudpi/ Copy it uncompressed with .img extension, to your SD card rootfs partition.
  11. Connect the eMMC module (with Android installed) as well the SD card with Ubuntu installed, and set the jumper to SD card boot.
  12. Boot Ubuntu, and SSH into it (or open a terminal) and navigate to where you saved your NextCloudPi image.
  13. Now figure out where your eMMC is. Type: ls /dev/mmcblk* Your eMMC will be the device with with boot0/boot1 on it as well p1/p2/p3/p4 as well. We’ll assume that is mmcblk0! You must check for yourself!
  14. On the folder that your NextCloudPi image is type: cat NextCloudPi_OdroidHC2_08-01-19.img | dd of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=4M
  15. When that command has finished, type: sync
  16. Power off the board, remove the SD card, and set the jumper to eMMC boot.
  17. After powering on again you should be able to visit https://nextcloudpi.local and continue the setup. By default SSH ports will not be turned on.
  18. Enjoy!

SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a fantastic way to organically market your business. It is so fantastic in fact that it is a large part of what I do for a living!

Dustin Montgomery SEO is the name I gave myself when I was working for myself full time. I am not actively seeking clients now, but will still evaluate opportunities on a case by case basis.

If you would like to contact me regarding this, please replace the [AT] with @ and email me at montgomery.dustin+seo[AT]gmail.com

Welcome to the New Blog

Previously this website has served as a portfolio and a business website. Now it will be a simple blog devoted mostly to Internet things.

I had debated and even started rebuilding things in other Content Management Systems, but WordPress remains easy to use, especially since it was already installed…

Maybe later I will detail the setup behind it all after some further tweaking.