Stackoverflow API key

To access stackoverflow in a meaningful automated way one needs an API key, it can be requested at:

OAuth Domain: if there is no domain/webserver available

Application Website: for example this very post, or something like github

Application Icon: not mandatory

Smarter Firefox autocomplete

When starting to type in the address bar the shown list often holds too many unrelated items. With a few shortcuts it can be a much better experience.

They’re to be typed directly in the address bar (press F6) in front of the search terms:

These I find the most useful:

  • % search only open tabs
  • ^ search only history
  • * search only bookmarks

These are probably useful for other people:

  • + search only tagged bookmarks
  • # search only in titles and tags
  • $ search only in URL
  • ? show only (search engine) suggestions

It’s also possible to remove unwanted items in the list by selecting them and then press SHIFT+DELETE although it sometimes doesn’t work for me on FF82.

More details here.

Eclipse commandline option for workspace and settings

I have separate Eclipse packages installed and don’t want them to use the default .eclipse setting folder in Home.

Suppose following layout

#unpacked Eclipse archive

#chosen configuration folder

#chosen workspace folder

Then a call/script/menuitem of the following type (single line) will use those:

-vmargs -Dosgi.instance.area.default=~/workspaceCdt -Dosgi.configuration.area=~/config/eclipseCdt


  • use of any folders
  • clean updates by deleting old eclipse-folder and unpacking new version
  • no more fiddling and remembering to put entries in eclipse.ini play favorite tag from every page

I like from since back when Pandora became geofenced. One thing, which is kind of annoying, is that you have to jump through hoops to get your favorite tag started. I exclusively want that one tag as station and instead of just setting a bookmark, I wanted to have a go with GreaseMonkey to have a seamless ‘built-in’ experience. And not just changing the window.location but having a button left of the ‘<<‘ (previous) at the always visible player.

With very little exposure to javascript before, I was pleasantly surprised about the ease of finding information. Sadly from multiple decades, different styles, versions, …

Right-click and “Inspect Element” on the player yielded:

developer console view of inspected player element

Aha, the player is an <ul> (unordered list) in HTML, and is of class ‘media-controls’. The button to play the tag is more interesting:

developer console view of inspected 'play alternative rock tag' button

Three classes, custom attributes.

It took about 30 min. to patchwork something together by searching the web for things like “greasemonkey button insertion” “javascript select by class” and the like. Debugging seems a lot easier today with the browser console, if it were available at the start of this millenium maybe I could’ve had a more thorough dip into JS.

New button visible in player

Now, on all pages at I have an extra button for my alternative-rock-tag. Nice.

// ==UserScript==
// @namespace aoe
// @name lastfm play Alternative tag
// @version 1.0
// @description Add button to play Alternative-tag
// @include*
// @include*
// @run-at document-start
// @grant none
// ==/UserScript==

//the above comments are interpreted by Greasemonkey, the 
//@include* enables the script on all pages 

  'use strict'
   window.addEventListener('load', () => {

   function addButton() {
//create new button as list element
     let liel = document.createElement('li');
     let btn = document.createElement('button');
//add the details learned from inspecting, classes and attributes
//exchange button class with 'player-bar-btn' otherwise it looks
//weird, try yourself to see
//insert link of real button
     btn.setAttribute("data-station-url", "/player/station/tag/alternative+rock");
     btn.setAttribute("data-analytics-action", "StartStation");
     btn.setAttribute("data-analytics-label", "tag");
//grab the player element and put the created button first
     let controls = document.getElementsByClassName("media-controls")
     controls[0].insertBefore(liel, controls[0].childNodes[0]);

Who has time for podcasts w/o transcriptions?

You’re in a field where it’s mandatory to keep up-to-date? Just subscribe to podcasts of some experts in the field. Most of those will churn out a 1 hour long audio once a week.

For those of us who have no long commutes it might be impossible to listen to all of them. It would really help if they had (even bad automatic) transcripts of the talks. Skimming over it is so much better.

Let’s be honest:

  • most topics are covered by multiple sources
  • most talks sacrifice considerable time for chitchat
  • most podcasters seemingly expect you to have a lot of time and a recurring interest in their favorite drink/keyboard(-mapping)/anecdotes of childhood

To the occasional listener that all might be not only ok, but even pleasant. Not for me.

Now to the “can’t believe that in this time and age …”: There are free services for al lot of (not) useful things. But apparently the big exception is transcriptions. There are quite a few services for the creators, which can be expensive, billed by words or time. The free options tend to enforce specific platforms. But literally no usable ones for listeners.

Of course you can always play back the podcast in realtime and “record” it with google docs, but how cumbersome is that?

Fun fact: Google transcribes all entries in, so that they’re discoverable by content in the search. But not to be viewed. Argh!

Windows Batch Sudoku Downloader

It’s surprising how often I need this…

IF [%1] == [/?] GOTO USAGE
IF [%1] == [/h] GOTO USAGE

ECHO Sudoku (killer difficulty) downloader, loads from
ECHO and assembles to single file, ready to be printed.
ECHO Dependencies are wget and pdftk, those need to be available on the PATH.
ECHO usage: sudoku [N] 
ECHO N - Number of Sudoku pages, default 20 if omitted


IF NOT %1==[] SET PAGES=%1

FOR /L %%N IN (1, 1, %PAGES%) DO (
	wget -q -O %%N.pdf ""
	ECHO Downloaded page %%N
ECHO Combining %PAGES% to a single PDF
pdftk *.pdf cat output sudoku.pdf
CALL sudoku.pdf
CD \


Linux system online only on working hours

E.g. you have a linux machine and want it online only MO-FR 07:00-19:00?

As root do the following:

1. create a new script (I used /opt/

TOMORROW=$(date --date="tomorrow" +%A)
if [ $TOMORROW = "Saturday" ]
rtcwake -m off -t $(date --date="$TOMORROW 7" +%s)

2. make that script executable

chmod +x /opt/

3. in /etc/crontab add

00 19   * * *   root    /opt/



The script checks whether the next day is Saturday, if yes it configures the rtcwake command to wake on Monday instead (skipping Sunday). On my systems computer time equals local time. If you have a different setup (rtc set to UTC) there are paramteters for both date and rtcwake to use either the one or the other so that your dates align.

rtcwake is used with powerstate off which equals ACPI S5, apparently some very old systems don’t support that. If you happen to be in that situation use something else like standby (S1), mem (S3) or disk (S4) and comment below I’d be interested to know.

@PostConstruct not working?

If using Java11+ the javax.annotation package is no longer part of the distribution, as per JSR-175 missing annotations do not trigger “missing class” or similar exceptions.
So look out when updating from sub-Java11 to there. Solution? Add


Another gotcha is when using vaadin, it has it’s own CDI dependency:


Netbeans 10 (incubating) – 30 available Plugins?

Since the move to apache the included Netbeans plugin sources (“Update Centers) seriously lost it’s appeal.

To have access to the most basic needs, head to Tools->Plugins->Settings and Add:

  • enabling “Netbeans 8.2 Plugin Portal” yields 20 additional plugins
  • adding

    gets you 171 (26 shared with “Plugin Portal)

  • adding

    will add 170 (12 shared with “Plugin Portal”, 69 shared with the 8.2 above)

In total 271, much better. Whether all of them are useful or even work is another question entirely. “Quick Opener” did, so I’m happy for now.

Btw, did anyone else notice that the windows executable properties have still version 9 listed?


Netbeans 10 – Cannot find Java 1.8 or higher

Freshly unpacked Netbeans 10 won’t run with either JDK 8 or 11 in PATH and JAVA_HOME.

Solution, either:

  • run netbeans with jdkhome parameter, pointing to your jdk-base folder, e.g.
    netbeans64 --jdkhome c:\jdks\jdk11
  • for a more permanent solution go to subfolder “etc” and open netbeans.conf search the line with netbeans_jdkhome and set the folder there (also uncomment/ remove hashsign) like so