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What is Übersicht?

“Übersicht” is a German word that means “overview” or “summary” in English. The name of the software was chosen because it allows users to have a quick overview of various information on their desktop. It’s also a play on words, because in German the name of the software can be translated as “super sight” which refers to the ability to have a lot of information at a glance.

Übersicht is a lightweight and powerful application that allows users to create and customize desktop widgets using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. With Übersicht, you can create widgets that display information such as the weather, calendar events, system resource usage, and more. The widgets can be customized to display the information in any format and can be positioned anywhere on the desktop, allowing you to create a personalized and efficient workspace.

Übersicht widgets are created using a simple and user-friendly interface that allows you to preview and edit the widget’s code. The widgets are also highly customizable, allowing you to change the appearance and behavior of the widgets to suit your needs. Additionally, Übersicht widgets can be shared with other users, and there are a variety of widgets available for download from the developer’s website.

The application is open-source and free to use, and it’s also lightweight, it won’t affect your computer performance. Overall, Übersicht is a powerful and versatile tool for creating custom desktop widgets on macOS.

Custom Desktop Widgets / MenuBar Enhancements

There are several other tools similar to Übersicht that allow you to create custom desktop widgets. Some of the most popular alternatives include:

  1. Geektool (Mac): is a powerful and flexible tool for creating custom desktop widgets on macOS. It allows you to display information such as the weather, calendar events, system resource usage, and more.
    I used it for a while, but never really got into it any deeper. It has been a resource hog for some as well.
  2. xbar (Mac): is an open-source tool that  lets you put the output from any script/program in your macOS menu bar. This is a complete rewrite of BitBar in Go.
    This will also make into my workflow :)
  3. SwiftBar :Add custom menu bar programs on macOS in three easy steps: Write a shell script.Add it to SwiftBar … there is no 3rd step!
  4. Conky (Mac / Limnux) is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any kind of information on your desktop. It can also run on macOS, output to your console, a file, or even HTTP.
  5. Hologram Desktop (Mac / Free / InAppPurchases)
  6. WidgetWall (Mac / Paid) : Looks nice, but too limited for me.
  7. Beaconly (Mac / Free / InAppPurchases ): Beaconly is a flexible, easy to use data aggregating menu app that ties relevant information to you, beautifully one click-away in your macOs menu bar.
  8. Rainmeter: is a Windows-only tool similar to Übersicht. It allows users to create custom desktop widgets using a variety of pre-built skins or by creating your own skins using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
    This is the goto solution for any Windows user!

What are you using these for?

With many external systems in play, its always crucial to keep an eye on things. I have build nice dashboards, using Grafana, InfluxDB, NetData and Prometheus. But they are either displayed in a browser window or on a separate screen.

If you have 2 / 3 monitors or an ultra-wide screen, you have a lot of Desktop real-estate you can use.

That is something that I have been looking at for years, but only tried for a short period of time. This year I want to really build out desktop and menu widgets , that help me to get an even better overview of things and help reduce repetitive tasks.

I will share links to things I like and share access to the widgets I build myself or tweaked.

Übersicht – desktop widgets / working & planned

These are the current things that are in progress or planned.

  1. RSS Widget: This allows me to easily fetch the latest news from the websites I visit multiple times each day.
    You can already find a first version of the widget on Github, forked from Eric Dasque.

    I have two widgets currently setup on the left and right of my ultra-wide screen. Gathering information from all my Youtube subscriptions, tech websites and news outlets.

    Its using Go for the command line and i rewrote parts to make it completely template-based to allow flexible output variations.
    I have some other ideas, but those will make it into future versions. This is still based of the Classic widget architecture, but I also plan to move it to the JSX architecture.
  2. Weather widget for Openweather: Straight forward Openweather widget forked from Li Xueli. Displays the current weather and allows to expand to show the next 7 days.
    This is build on the new JSX architecture of Übersicht. I did a couple of tweaks and removed the geo-location. Changes will be shared soon.
  3. Fancy Clock / Date / Week
    I have a basic version working.
  4. Email: Building a widget that combines IMAP, Gmail and local Mail.
    I have a basic version working.
  5. Asana: Pull latest tasks.
    A basic version is already working.
  6. Grafana: Dashboard integration
  7. Netdata
  8. Glances
  9. Uptime Monitoring: Uptime Kuma / UptimeRobot / Statping
  10. Cloudflare: Stats
  11. MQTT / Node-Red / N8N

xbar – Extend Menu Bar / working & planned

Nothing to share yet ….

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I will use this article to collect interesting tips and tricks about using the Linux cron. This is not so much about setting up a cron, but about little things I use or discovered!

What is a cron ?

The cron daemon is a long-running process that executes commands at specific dates and times. You can use this to schedule activities, either as one-time events or as recurring tasks.

What is the crontab?

For commands that need to be executed repeatedly (e.g., hourly, daily, or weekly), you can use the crontab command. The crontab command creates a crontab file containing commands and instructions for the cron daemon to execute.

Format is: MIN HOUR DOM MON DOW CMD
Minute field
Hour field
Day of month
Day of week
Command

Run every 5 minutes

Run yearly, monthly, weekly, daily or on reboot.
@yearly will run at 00:00 on Jan 1st for every year.
@monthly will run at 00:00 on 1st of every month.
@weekly will run at 00:00 on starting of every week.
@daily will run at 00:00 on every day.
@reboot  will run after the server has been rebooted


TIPS

1. Send cron output via email

2. Use a real cron for WordPress

A real cron does not rely on website activity and executes independently.

Do not forget to disable the virtual WordPress Cron in the wp-config.php!

3. Prevent Emails being sent, when cron executes > /dev/null 2>&1

4. Set Standard Variables

5. Output Redirection

TOOLS

  1. Crontab UI (NodeJS) – Easy way to edit your crontab visually. @Github
  2. Chronis ( >= PHP 7) – Chronis will help you define cron jobs using natural language / YAML and will generate the crontab files for you. @Github
  3. PHP Cron Expression Parser – Standard (V7) compliant crontab expression parser/validator with support for time zones. @Github
  4. PhpGt/Cron (PHP) – Define background jobs in standard crontab format and the Cron Runner will execute them when they are due. Jobs can be either normal scripts, or calls to static functions with automatic autoloading taken care of. @Github
  5. Cronicle (NodeJS) – A simple, distributed task scheduler and runner with a web based UI. @GitHub / Website

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Structure opened its doors a couple of days ago.

Structure offers a simple and powerful IoT cloud platform for developing the next generation of connected experiences. They offer device management with robust data visualization that reacts in real-time.

They have a nice drag & drop workflow interface that allows you to forward data coming in, combine data or just store it.

I will be testing a builder kit with the platform, that includes the Adafruit Feather Huzzah, which offers native Wifi connectivity. My Raspberry Pi’s will also find their way into the system. The platform allows to consume REST Apis as well,  that will make it even more fun to build something unique.

If you are interested in IoT, you should really check it out. Its free :)

Structure / Adafruit Feather Huzzah

Enjoy coding …

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“Home automation with Raspberry PI and Arduino using Node.js, MongoDB, HTML5 and Websockets”

  • Full access to the GPIO of the Raspberry Pi
  • Communication with an attached Arduino
  • Wake-on-LAN (not really hardware, but at least it wakes up hardware)
  • Stream your webcam via socket.io
  • Node.js, Socket.io, Expressjs, Requirejs
  • HTML5, CSS3 and Websockets
  • Jade templating
  • Responsive design

GitHub

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