09 02 | 2019

Safely untying a shoelace knot

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Miscellaneous, To remember

Untying a shoelace knot is easy, but sometimes, one end got through a loop, and you end up blocking the knot. I invented a way to safely untie such a knot, regardless of whether or not it has been messed up, all with a single hand!

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04 12 | 2018

Homemade U-lock holder

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Miscellaneous, To remember, Bike

A U-lock is, arguably, one of the best ways to secure a bicycle against theft. When you buy one, it comes with a holder to carry it on the bike frame. Now, while the lock, basically made of hardened steel, is very tough and will probably last more than ten years, the holder is made of plastic, and will fail after a couple of years. Then, like most cyclist, you will have to carry your lock on the rack, which is far less practical.

There are several ways to make a U-lock holder; here is mine, which I have never found documented, so I may have actually invented it. It requires very simple material, it is very easy to implement, and it is quite durable and practical to use.

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21 03 | 2017

Bad support of ZIP archives with extra fields

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Command line, To remember

For sharing multiple files, it is often convenient to pack them into an archive, and the most widely supported format to do so is probably ZIP. Under *nix, you can archive a directory with Info-ZIP:

% zip -r something.zip something/

(When you have several files, it is recommended to archive them in a directory, to avoid cluttering the directory where people will extract them.)

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23 11 | 2016

Generate man pages for awscli

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Command line, To remember

No man pages, but almost

The AWS Command Line Interface, which is available in Debian, provides no man page. Instead, that tool has an integrated help system, which allows you to run commands such as aws rds help, that, for what I have seen, generates some reStructuredText, then converts it to a man page in troff format, then calls troff to convert it to text with basic formatting, and eventually passes it to a pager. Since this is close to what man does, the result looks like a degraded man page, with some features missing such as the adaptation to the terminal width.

Well, this is better than nothing, and better than what many under-documented tools can offer, but for several reasons, it still sucks: most importantly, it does not respect administrators' habits and it does not integrate with the system man database. You it does not allow you to use commands such as apropos, and you will get no man page name auto-completion from your shell since there is no man page.

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08 06 | 2016

Process command line arguments in shell

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Command line, To remember

When writing a wrapper script, one often has to process the command line arguments to transform them according to his needs, to change some arguments, to remove or insert some, or perhaps to reorder them.

Read more Process command line arguments in shell

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