Prevent macOS from automatically mounting external drives

Just recently I have added an external USB harddisk to my desktop setup. I keep my Lightroom photo library on it, since keeping the photos on my NAS and mounting that to work on the pictures is just too slow. Obviously I am not spending every day working on those pictures, just every now and then, yet still I’d like to keep the HDD connected to the OWC USB-C Dock that connects all the accessories to my MacBook Adorable (a differentiating phrase initially coined by David Smith) when I’m seated. Read more …

Creating a GDPR Subject Access Request letter that's not a nightmare

So in the past months The Nightmare Letter made headlines all over the tech industry and beyond. It’s a scary yet amazing example of what level scrutiny corporations can be put under in the name of EU General Data Protection Regulation law. Amazing because it goes to show the amount of control users from the EU now have over their data, and the general GDPR anxiety has led to tons of companies to stop operations in Europe altogether. Read more …

Smart Home enabling an old Weather Station

For years I have been using an old ELV WS 300 PC-II weather station (also known as eQ-3 WS PC-II) to measure temperature and humidity levels in parts of our flat. Mostly to quantify the effectiveness of our airing habits. Something that always annoyed me about the base station is its interface: it has a USB port at the back, and comes with a crummy Windows tool for collecting the data. Not very smart and not very connected. I’m a big fan of Home Assistant, a Python-based smart home / connected home framework, and I already run all of my smart home efforts through that. My credo is: If there’s no Home Assistant component for it, it does not exist. In this post I am going to connect the WS 300 (or parts thereof) to Home Assistant using the MQTT protocol.

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Starting the final equipment collection

Today, with only a few things left to buy, I started the final equipment collection for my cycling tour. I occupied the living room to lay it all down on the floor; first to visualize what’s there and what’s missing, and second to make assembling the rack bags easier. It’s just nice to be able to collect all items from a single point. Oh yeah, and I had a little giphy fun in the process.

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Vacation by bike 2017: Preparations

This year I wanted to do something different, and I had this idea stuck in my mind for quite a long time: In 2012 I made an attempt on a two-week vacation by bike. It flopped though, since my bike broke down.

By now it has been replaced and I want to try it again. In a few days I am going to leave for another tour; the route is called Mönchsweg! That’s more religious touch than I wished for and I would have liked to avoid that. But the route is nice, and distance and direction are perfect. There’s also an option to add a second stance to the tour. I feel like I learned a lot from the failed attempt from 2012 and I am inspired by the overly successful tour of Patrick (German site). I won’t be able to keep up with a ride across Sweden but the route I chose is of considerable distance anyway: from Bremen to the Fehmarnbelt at the Baltic Sea I will travel around 557 kilometres.

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