Tag Archives: book

rolo: Shrugging off a decade of dormancy

I like finding old programs that still work, and still do a good job … and don’t require a huge amount of effort to make functional. 😉

rolo is a rolodex tool that apparently drifted away a decade ago, but with a little prodding, will still do like it’s supposed to.

2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-00 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-01 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-02 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-03 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-04 2014-11-01-6m47421-rolo-05

rolo stores its data in vCard format, which is either good or bad, since rolo is working with version 3.0, and might be missing out on something that the newer renditions offer.

Be that as it may, it will keep your rolodex in ~/.rolo/ in an easily editable .vcf file, for all the world to see. You can add, edit, delete or otherwise manage the contents of that file with rolo’s help, and as you can see above, it’s nothing intimidating.

rolo also does a couple things that I always like: First, it descends into your $EDITOR when you actually make adjustments to a file. I see this more in older software than in recent programs, although that’s hardly a fair generalization. I may end up eating my words on that one. 🙄

rolo also has onboard help, a nice status bar and overline that cues your keyboard options, all of which make it a decent interface for navigating cards.

rolo is in AUR, but will crash when trying to build its libvc dependency. That can be fixed by commenting out the patches in the PKGBUILD that it tries to pull from a Debian source. Or I suppose you could manhandle it and try to point it toward the newer vc packages in Wheezy or elsewhere. I opted for the former, because it’s quicker to insert a few hash signs than play footsie with vagrant patches.

And once libvc was built, rolo ran perfectly. My only disappointment was that the first run left me with no cues on what fields were available in its expected format, so I had to scalp the example above from Wikipedia. Use that as a template, if you like.

As an address book rolo is at least as good as abook, and probably offers a lot more flexibility. It lacks a little visual flair (I found no color 😦 ) but does quite well, considering it’s a decade out of its prime. 😉

epub.sh: Me and Anders and Esko

Some months ago Anders left a note here about a simple script to spill a .epub file into your terminal, without needing another application to read it. Anders credited Esko for the original version, and while it might be presumptuous, I have adjusted Anders’ version slightly too.

Here’s my contribution to the effort, which still needs a little attention at times.

if [[ -z "$1" ]]
    then echo "Usage: ./epub.sh book.epub"
if [[ -z "$2" ]]
    then COLS=`tput cols`
FILELIST=`zipinfo -1 "$1" | grep -E '\.xml|\.html|\.xhtml' |sort`
    TEXT="$TEXT `unzip -caa "$1" "$FILE" | html2text -width $COLS`"
echo "$TEXT" | $PAGER

Which on my screen generates:


My additions to the script are to

  • Rely on your $PAGER in the final line,
  • Add in support for xhtml files, because the epub I downloaded to test it used xhtml 🙄 , and
  • Allow you to pick the width of your terminal, or leave it blank to use the full available width.

Of course, like Anders mentioned, this relies on both unzip and html2text, although the latter could be substituted with another tool, if you prefer it.

And it needs a lot of work. The ultimate effect is the “wall of text,” which I personally despise. As you might notice from my short paragraphs on this blog. 😐

And some better formatting would be nice, as well as some trapping for the leftover HTML that seems to have crept into the display at the top and elsewhere.

But not bad overall. I still count a neverending “Hello World” on my C64 as my greatest programming achievement, but this will do for my contribution. You have my permission to add yours. 😉

adresownik: A crash course in Polish

I have no experience with Polish; I’ve never been to Poland, and never met anyone from there either, now that I think about it.

But as niski pointed out a month ago, adresownik works, even if there is no English translation available.


That’s okay. I have Google Translate. 😐

It’s simple, and maybe a little confusing if you’re like me and aren’t sure what it’s asking for.

And as niski said, other than name, family name and e-mail address, it doesn’t seem to hold much.

But it’s there and it works. 😉

abook: A simple and lovely address book

I like simple, well designed, clean and pretty software. That’s all I ask.

abook is all of those things: Simply designed, with a clear focus and a visual style that follows its physical analogue — an index card or rolodex.

2013-03-10-solo-2150-abook-01 2013-03-10-solo-2150-abook-02

Plenty of options and information to enter. Converting your traditional office address book to this digital format will keep the intern busy for weeks! 😉

Just kidding. Judging by the help page, abook was intended to interface directly with mutt.

It may be possible to incorporate it into other e-mail clients though. You try and tell me how it works.

I don’t have enough addresses to warrant keeping abook on my machine very long. And alpine has its own built-in address book application.

Which is doubly a shame, because this is clean and crisp software that deserves more use. 😐

P.S.: Take a look at the .abookrc file too, as there are a few customizations you can add, if, for example, you prefer a specialized data field, or autosave behavior.