The problem with smartwatches

Smartwatches are a thing now, at least that what most of the tech news sites or the Apple Watch marketing department says. THEY must be right.

I own a smartwatch for nearly a year now. I bought a Pebble, because I think their concept is one of the best, even if it is one of the first and oldest ones. I love the display, because I am able to read it in every situation or condition, even in direct sunlight. The battery time is just awesome. Mine lasts for ten days.

I’m used to have a smartwatch and to get messages, calls or notifications directly to my watch. The vibration of the watch is key and it makes sure I don’t miss anything. My phone is in silent mode nowadays, because I don’t need the tones or the vibration anymore. Every notification is silent and only noticeable to me.

There is just one bad thing, that heads other people to the perception that I’m being impolite.

When I get a message I immediatly look at my watch, even if I talk to other people. People now tend to think that I need to go or that I don’t have enough time, sometimes they think that their topic isn’t that interesting to me or that I don’t care. People these days know that there are smart watches, but they barely have seen one. No one expects that I’m having one. No one knows that I’ve just looked what happened. If I would use my phone instead, people wouldn’t have a problem, because I guess that this is socially widely accepted, even that it is still kind of impolite, too.

So, I need to keep in mind not to look at my watch during a conversation or – more important – a meeting.

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Install node.js via npm

I recently wrote about the manual installation of Node.js. There is also the way via the npm Package manager:

First, install all dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties python g++ make

Add a new ppa repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js 

Update all repositories

sudo apt-get update 

And finally install Node.js

sudo apt-get install nodejs
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Install additional spell checker dictionaries in Sylpheed / Claws mail

At the moment I use Sylpheed for emailing and newsgroups (As you might now, Sylpheed is based on Sylpheed-Claws, now called Claws Mail. All following steps are also good for claws).

Sylpheed has a preinstalled en-US dictionary, so every time when I write German mails all words were underlined in red, which is annoying. Claws and Sylpheed use Aspell as spell checker. Additional dictionaries can be found on the website


After the download, extract the tar.bz2 file to a folder of your choice. I my case, it was the download folder of the browser. Now open a terminal window, navigate to your folder and type in the following commands:


Which should output something like:

Finding Dictionary file location ... /usr/local/lib/aspell
Finding Data file location ... /usr/local/share/aspell

After that build the package with:


and then install it with

make install

Afterwards the new dictionary should be available.

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I’m now on #!

Surprisingly, I don’t use Linux Mint any longer.  I’m now on #! (pronounced Crunchbang). Mint did a great job and nearly everything worked right out of the box, but that was not the plan. The plan was to get into Linux, to find problems to solve, to get the system running and to learn new things. Linux Mint is like works.


I’m now using Crunchbang for three weeks and I am very happy with it. Crunchbang needs time and you have to read a lot about the system. Of course Crunchbang is not as basic as Arch-Linux, which I tried before, but it looks like it has the right amount of details for me at the moment.

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Install Node.js on Linux Mint 15

The node.js website offers an installation with the well known package manager apt. Unfortunately that didn’t work for me. Every time I tried it, it stopped working with an error message.


So I tried it to install it the manually way.
First of all, make sure you have all dependencies installed:

sudo apt-get install g++ curl libssl-dev apache2-utils

sudo apt-get install git-core

Now run the following commands, which firstly clone the git repository, configures node, makes node and install it.

git clone git://

cd node



sudo make install

If all went successfully, node should run smoothly.


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Hello Linux!

Surprise, Surprise! For 25 fives I am into the whole computer thing now. Programming for nearly 20 years and for the same time I’m also a Microsoft Windows user – Except for a two year break with MacOS.

An now, I recently bought a ThinkPad 430s and installed, right after I got it, Linux. My plan is to use the ThinkPad as my main machine and work pc. For now, it looks like it works.

I chose the Linux Mint distribution, which is – as the folks say – a good start for beginners. After installation nearly everything worked right out of the box. Some minor parts and functions needed a little more attention and still need it, but I’m completely happy with it. It’s great to have the opportunities to set up every little detail and learn something new every day.

So, as you might read, I’m now into Linux and I plan to stick with it.

Side note: I also own a Windows 8 Ultrabook for the Windows programming and all the great new possibilities, because I’m still a .NET fan by heart and always will be.

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Date / Time formatting in JavaScript for C# developers

I needed to format a date in JavaScript the other day. Date and time formatting in C# is very neat and simple. For instance, if you need to get the current date, you only have to execute the following code:


If you need a specific format, e.g. 14.12.2013, you can get this with a simple string:


Date and time formatting in JavaScript is a little less comfortable, because it is necessary to concat each part:

var d = new Date();
var curr_date = d.getDate();
var curr_month = d.getMonth() + 1; //Months are zero based
var curr_year = d.getFullYear();
alert(curr_date + "-" + curr_month + "-" + curr_year);

Fortunately there are some libraries out there, which cover that gap.

One Library is Sugar, which adds some handy functionality:

Sugar is a Javascript library that extends native objects with helpful methods. It is designed to be intuitive, unobtrusive, and let you do more with less code.

With sugar, date and time formatting is as simple as in C#:


It is also possible to localize the output. To achieve this, you have to include the localization file and set up the language, as shown below.


This alerts the date in the German format: 28. Oktober 2013.

If you need to format and parse date and time only, I recommend moment.js, which has a focus only on that. Is also comes with many different supported languages.

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