Track your mobile phone and notebook devices

Do you have sensible data on your devices? In my case, I have all sensible data stored encrypted in the cloud (I’ll post about this soon). However, my smartphone and laptop are signed into my Google Account which gives a thief much power over my personal data.

If my devices are stolen by a not-so-smart thief there is the chance that I can track or at least lock them down with the open-source software “prey”. Here are the installation notes for Ubuntu 16.04 as the installation is not straight forward.

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Simple instructions to use PGP on Ubuntu

Most people don’t have any reasons to encrypt their communication with other people. There is no famous tool yet with which even non-IT people can just enable/disable encryption with one click. For this reason, only some geeks know how to encrypt a message. Let’s see how it works on Ubuntu Desktop:

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Howto: Ubuntu 16.04 on MacBook 7,1 Air

At work we had an untouched MacBook Air lying around as no one dared to get nearby MacOS. It drives me crazy to see unused hardware, thus, I freed this lost soul by installing Ubuntu on it. So far it’s a surprisingly pleasant journey:

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Great tools which help thinking

Being in school, university or similar there are always some mid-term goals we’re trying to reach. When we finally finish and start our working life there is suddenly little time to think about life and goals. We might find ourself so distracted by daily life that it gets challenging to find and follow our goals. I’m collecting tools which help me to “manage thoughts”:

  • workflowy.com – relativ simple cloud notepad tool, allows structured lists, great for managing thoughts on different matters which follow you throughout your life
  • Trello.com – one of many Kanban-style task managing tools, O.K. for to-dos
    *update*: one of my current challenges is to use Trello for everything. In order do keep it clean I am using it smarter than in the beginning. It already boosted my free-time productivity a lot. I might update this post with examples some time.
  • exobrain.co – incredible minimalistic and beautiful mind-mapping tool, great for “thinking”
    *update*: I stopped using this tool after a short time but might give it a 2nd go some time

Great sources for "short" entertainment and motivating "news"

We don’t want to garbage our brain with all the information which is available out there, as much of it is not doing anything for anyone when we consume it. However, if you are regularly eating on your own for example you might feel the urge to read or watch something in order to feel “connected”.

Here is a list of (in my current opinion “good”) sources for such “entertainment”:

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Free encrypted cloud storage for Windows, Linux and Mac

In order to share and store sensitive data of my startup company I was searching for a cloud storage solution which offers at least 5 GB of storage for free, the data should be client-sided encrypted (which means that there is no chance for the cloud provider to access your data) and as we are using Windows 10, Ubuntu 16.04 and Mac OS in the company there must be a good client program for all of them. (Directly to: How to setup)

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Negative mood

No matter how much I improve my daily routines and how good my attitude is, I eventually end up at those moody days where everything seems to be crappy and stupid. I wonder if there is a personal recipe for how to get back to this positive thinking state in which I have so much more energy and, thus, get much more things done, enjoying everything?

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Effective household

When I started working full time for the first time in my life after graduating I noticed that keeping my flat clean suddenly challenged me because I wanted to use my free time after work for myself and my weekends for friends & family. When I was still a student I never had this problem as I spend quite a lot time (studying) at home and used my short breaks to get small things done. Also I didn’t have to spend so much time to go to work and home every day.
This is why I want to be as effective keeping my flat clean etc. in order to have more time for others & myself. I’ll keep this post updated whenever I optimize another routine 🙂

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Years don’t matter

One thing which did happen to me just recently: I felt old. And stressed. Statistically, my first third of my life is over and – a TED talk “told” me that everything which I did not seed before I reach thirty might very likely never happen. ARHGHH()/§$!

This was the reason why I almost quit my current “job” (building my first startup with two other guys). This job is funded, I can very well survive (which is all I need) and my co-founders are great people. The overall settings are (as often in my life, by coincidence) splendid: I am healthy, don’t have to feed a family yet so no pressure – etc. What’s wrong with me?

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Dimmed & minimalistic computer interfaces

In the evenings it’s good to prepare your body for the upcoming sleeping sessions by dimming the lights at least an hour before going to bed. Unfortunately there are often reasons to quickly check something on your phone or computer and, by that, you get blended by crazy white User Interfaces (UIs) – the screen brightness often automatically changes these days already. Only on Google Maps Navigation mode I noticed that also the UI theme changes when it gets dark but e.g. your browser or your operating system UI usually don’t change automatically.

For this reason I am switching those UIs to a dark theme which usually is okay during the day, saves battery and is much nicer to control during the night. As this is not a no-brainer for every tool I am collecting how to do this for tools I use in the following.

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