It amazes me every time I think about how enabling computers are. When used correctly even a very underpowered one can be a powerful tool to do incredible things. Coupled with the Internet, everyone with a PC has unlimited information at disposal, and can also contribute with information of one’s own. Each time I think about the possibilities the more excited I become.
What a time to be alive!
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… þetta er ágætis byrjun.
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Today I Learned Google provides users a simple way to archive and download all of their data on Google. Including Gmail and Drive.
Few days ago someone approached me with a problem, “My Gmail ran out of space and I need all my emails, they contain important data.”
Instead of doing what I usually do and telling him he should have thought about a solution before the matter getting out of hand, I looked around for solutions. This resulted in finding a thorough how-to on backing up Gmail using a command line tool named gmvault on lifehacker.
It turned out to be a very good tool and did the work alright. But I looked for other ways too and that was when I stumble upon Google takeout which lets you create an archive of all your data on Google services.
So my archive got ready in an hour, and my attempts to download it on a VPS failed miserably. And by miserably I mean after a few tries I encountered an error saying: “Sorry, you have already downloaded that archive the maximum number of times.”
Looks like the only way to download them is to do it on a modern customer browser. Which is reasonable since the archive contains A LOT of sensitive data and is unencrypted. But with my Internet connection and prices, downloading with a web browser is practically impossible. Oh and to worsen the situation, once I tried to download it on Chrome I faced a 403 error presenting itself in XML format to me. The joys of using the Internet in Iran!
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Way past midnight I contacted a friend and I’m glad that I did.
We share a lot of feelings and thoughts. I consider myself privileged and lucky to have been found by such friend. There were a lot of —renowned— people who were deprived of this gift. Sad for them but lucky for us, those people found solace in papers and pens and now a lot of us can read what left behind and feel connected.
I’m also grateful about the technology that enables us to talk to each other this late at night and over such considerable distance.
I long to see him again in person.
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It’s been a while since I practiced free writing. And not-so-coincidentally It’s been the same while since my last exam. The struggle is real people!
Anyway, I wasn’t exactly a worthless piece of some usually-brown matter in the past few days. I finally settled on middleman1 as my static site builder of choice to host these writings and actually did go all the way of implenting it. Which wasn’t a cake walk by any means. The commands from the official documentation didn’t work for me!2 Someone should write a good getting started on this thing for people who are not familiar with ruby. To be real someone probably have done already, But I didn’t happen to stumble upon such thing. By the way I just —in the middle of typing— decided to link to the project3 that actually finally made it work the way I wanted it to after a day of dealing with errors. Be this a thank you to those people.
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The pen is mightier than the sword.
Sure. But on top of that I believe:
The pencil is mightier than the pen.
What I mean by that has nothing to do with the original and famous qoute. I just find writing with a pencil more inspiring. Maybe just because I know there is an eraser I’m allowed to make mistakes thus think more freely.
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I’m starting to realize that good things don’t get made in one sitting. They take time over several sessions. Leaving for a day and revising your work makes all the difference between mediocre and extraordinary.
Also having someone around, even if they don’t directly involve with your work can make a huge difference.
Good things take time; sleep on it.
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