Useful Tools (1)

Every day I come across a multitude of tools that do this or that, and while a lot of them are overrated, there are many useful tools that can positively contribute to the productivity and life quality of any person who uses computers on a daily basis. I decided to share some of the useful tools I come upon every now and then, and hence this series of posts was born.

ffsend

Firefox Send is one of the best file-sharing services available online. It offers end to end encryption, automatic expiration for URLs, good size limits, and the force of Mozilla behind it. If you want to share a file with a friend, a client, or a family member, Send should be your go-to service.

Now, if you live within your terminal, then you might find the entire process of opening a browser and clicking through some buttons to share a file a bit annoying, and that’s where ffsend comes to the rescue.

ffsend is a fully-featured Firefox Send client that allows you to easily and securely share files from the comfort of your command line. Some of its features are:

  • Upload and download files and directories securely
  • Always encrypted on the client
  • Additional password protection, generation, and configurable download limits
  • Built-in share URL shortener and QR code generator
  • Ability to use custom Send hosts
  • Ability to inspect or delete shared files

ffsend is a tool everyone needs in their life and on their OS. Check it out and give it a try, you are going to love it.

Link: https://gitlab.com/timvisee/ffsend

Age

Age is a “simple, modern and secure encryption tool with small explicit keys, no config options, and UNIX-style composability.”1 That’s it, no fuss, no muss, a simple tool that fulfills an important task without any unneeded complications.

Link: https://github.com/FiloSottile/age

localdots

localdots is a handy tool for those of us who develop websites or run local web servers on their machines and want to enable HTTPS on the local addresses as well. It’s not a production-tier tool, rather a more of debugging/testing tool. localdots combines two awesome projects to achieve its goal, Caddy (web server) and smallstep/certificates (CA).
Link: https://github.com/luisfarzati/localdots

So, these were the tools I came upon in the past few days and found useful. I hope you agree. Make sure to check now and then for more posts like this.

Paul Graham on Schedules

While browsing Hacker News one morning, I stumbled upon an article written by Paul Graham on his website (Link). The article itself is a bit old (July 2009) but the information in it is valid and accurate until this day. The essay talks about the different schedules used by managers and makers (programmers, engineers, ..) and how the crossover between the two different types can harm productivity and efficiency.

” … there’s another way of using time that’s common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can’t write or program well in units of an hour. That’s barely enough time to get started.


When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That’s no problem for someone on the manager’s schedule. There’s always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker’s schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.

For someone on the maker’s schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. It doesn’t merely cause you to switch from one task to another; it changes the mode in which you work.”

Paul Graham

I observe the effect described in the essay in my daily life. A meeting in the morning can ruin any chance of doing something productive before lunch, and the same thing goes for meetings after lunch, they reduce the possibility of completing bigger tasks in the afternoon. Before reading this essay, I never thought of the possibility it might be meetings that’s causing this disruption, but now I know.

I recommend you read the full essay and reflect upon it. You can also share it with your managers and colleagues to start a discussion on how meetings affect your team productivity. Here is the link to the essay (Link).