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The Best Software For Every Need

I think it starts with (or contains) an F, so I don't think it's that. Maybe Foam?


I'm wearing a KN95 with a cloth mask on top.

The Best Software For Every Need

Software: Tasker, to automate everything Android. Alternatives: Automate, IFTTT, Llama

More details on this post, including a comment of mine detailing things that my setup does. I'll have some posts coming up as well, regarding Tasker and checklisting to drive.

But the point is, it's extremely powerful and flexible. There are also a bunch of plugins (some free, some paid), that expand it even more. With Termux, for example, you can even write regular Python programs to do complicated stuff as well. Pretty much anything I needed to do, I was able to do, and I keep discovering new things. You can even make pretty GUIs to go along with that!

This is the first Android app that I ever bought (and remained the only one for half a decade).

One disadvantage is that the intents system is hard to figure out in case you want to use it (I don't use it), and another is that some of the external plugins don't really scale well in terms of having variables set in Tasker. But it's still a very strong rec from me.

Tasker actions which save me time and sanity

I don't use focus mode for anything, though some apps are fullscreen by default.

The Best Software For Every Need

I'm using Obsidian as well. IIRC there is an open source alternative that aims to work with Obsidian markdown files (with features still being added the last time I looked). I forgot what it's called, though, and it doesn't have the same plugin ecosystem either.

Tasker actions which save me time and sanity

I love Tasker, and it's probably the major thing keeping me from switching to iOS. I've never used the scenes, but here are my two major profile groups:

  1. Tap an NFC tag in the car to toggle driving mode. Brightness and volume are set to an appropriate value, earphones are disconnected (with a reminder to remove them from my ears), forced connection to car Bluetooth (it doesn't always connect if I don't use Tasker), starts a 2-hour rest timer, automatically quiets alarms when they happen (once had 15 minutes on the highway before I could stop and turn it off), log the drive, start my driving checklist app (this can be a post of its own if anyone is interested), and opens up Maps. Turning off driving mode undoes everything, reminds me to take the earphones if I had them on when I started driving, stops logging the drive, and opens up the car shutdown checklist. Feature to add: Automatically save my parking. (I don't do that yet because I add notes, especially underground.)

  2. A speaking calendar. Goes through all my calendars to figure out when the next event is, figures out which language the entry is written in, and reads it out loud when the event starts. (Most of my events are from home so there's no commute/prep time involved.) Can handle overlapping events. Feature to add: Speak when there's a reminder as well rather than just when the event starts, for when COVID is over. Bonus stuff include

  • Knowing my SO's part-time job schedule, and reminding me to send her a do your best 30 minutes before she starts, as well as a welcome back when she finishes.
  • For events between the two of us, it automatically opens up the chat app we use.
  • Adds a walk every day starting 1.5 hours before sunset. Reminds me to prepare 30 minutes before the walk starts, and announces the weather 5 minutes before, and opens the weather app.
  • Nothing opens if I'm in driving mode.

Some standalone tasks:

  • Tells me good night and opens up the chat app to tell my SO good night as well. If she has a job while I'm asleep (7-8 hours time zone difference), it lets me know, so I can send her the do your best message before I go to sleep.
  • Flipping the phone upside down mutes the ringer.
  • Controlling lights
  • Interfacing with Google Assistant
  • A bunch of other small annoyances.
Who was the person who escaped the Nazis a day before they cracked down?

Thanks! That's actually where I found it in the first place. I thought it might have been Szilárd, but wasn't able to find the quote.


I started preparing in January. Bought my first ever car to avoid public transit, and bought emergency food and masks etc too. By the time China closed down Wuhan, I thought it was high double digits that a pandemic was inevitable. By the time the Diamond Princess happened and so many people on the ship got infected, it seemed likely that it was airborne (and the fact that SARS spread that way was an extra data point). I encouraged my SO to fly over because I didn't think we'd be able to meet that year otherwise. (She ended up coming, but we were about a week too late for cohabitation, and she had to return.)

That being said, it's still too early to stop wearing masks in most of the world. In most of the US, too, if that's your metric. Even if prevalence is low where you are right now, depending on how many people are no longer (as) susceptible, you can still get huge numbers again. More than half of your states have less than 50% of the population vaccinated. Not to mention the variants that are much better at spreading compared to the baseline (which was relatively high to start with), which have an even higher herd immunity threshold.

As for me, I'm in Belgium, and I am still double masking. We're starting to see another increase. Both the first and second derivatives are positive. But the government says it's okay to do basically everything again so people are essentially acting as if COVID doesn't exist. I haven't even eaten in a restaurant since March last year.

How refined is your art of note-taking?
  1. Almost never when learning a new skill etc. Commands, sometimes, but the setup cost is way too high.
  2. Often. Especially for things like plans etc.
  3. I keep a journal whenever I remember to do so. Planning or things I need to do when working towards certain goals are worked out on a whiteboard for the outline, and then filled in with more and more details.
  4. I used a bullet journal for a year or so, and a physical journal for a year. Keep for a while in the past, then OrgMode, and now I'm using Obsidian.
  5. To not forget my ideas. I have too many. Most still end up forgotten because I didn't bother to write them down, but still.
If my previous research is wrong, what are my options ?

Why not both? Refer to the new paper in the errata.

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