Today I release a new version of my Checkouts Overview tool.

Version 1.1 is a feature release, improving the scanning of your hard disks searching for repository checkouts, and adding the ability to perform a git fetch while updating the entry status.

Some minor improvements to the UI also provide a more consistent look and feel.

Grab the release from Github: Release Feature Release v1.1 – Better Disk Scanning and Git Fetch · sgrottel/checkouts-overview (

I got a new tool in my tool box: KeePass HotKey is a wrapper utility to open a KeePass DB or trigger the Auto-Type Feature.

This utility is very specific to my use case:

  • I want to trigger one action from a dedicated hardware key on my keyboard
  • This action should either open a specific KeePass data base file, configured by the user, or
  • Trigger the “auto-type selected” feature of KeePass, if a KeePass instance is open, running, and has a selected entry.

You can find sourc code and released binaries at Github.

Today I present you the Checkouts Overview tool.

What? Why? Because this little tool helps me.

In my private setup, I have a lot of smaller repos checked out, and work on them only occasionally. In addition, I got several repos to collect the history of some text documents. Some of those repos are synced against servers which are only occasionally online, partially for power saving or partially due to VPN and network connectivity stuff. As a result, I often keep losing track of the sync states of all the different repos.

Is everything checked in? — most times, yes. If the change was complete.

Is everything pushed? — maybe.

Am I on branches? — no idea.

You might not need this app, if you have a better structured work process with your stuff than I do. I don’t, so I need help by a tool, by this tool.

If you are interested, you find more info in the app’s github repository.

Note: and as for the app’s icon, it’s about (repository) clones, right.

Redate is another tool in my growing toolbox. The idea is simple: many applications generate files, write files, update files, with exactly the same content as before. The file write date, of course, is updated. The content stays the same. Other tools, then again, us the file write date as indicate if the files have been changed. Which makes sense, right.

So, this little tool, “Redate,” stores the MD5 hashes of the files, and their original write dates. When the tool is then re-run on that list of files, it restores the original write dates for all files with unchanged MD5s. And, that’s it.

I use it for Vue.js projects, to keep the write dates of files in the dist folders. Then, a simple FTP-sync only needs to update changed files for the final deployment. This helps for projects with many unchanged assets.

You can grab source and binary releases from github.

Simple computer graphics demos are often developed as console applications. Having the console window is simply convenient for debug output. However, if we then show these demos on our stereo powerwall, the console window flashing on program start is massively disturbing. That is why I take some time and wrote a little tool. It starts the console application, hides the console window, but captures the output. This way, we can still check what happened if something does not work.

I present the HiddenConsole: Application starter hiding the console window
[55.3 KB; MD5: 848cbd8aa901fe38be8179d65b6d2162; More Info]

And, because I can, the source is freely available:

Windows has a lot of nice features nobody knows about. And with some of them I am really wondering why. A good example are links: hard links, junctions, etc., not those silly shortcuts. NTFS has these things, it always had. And most *nix users know their way with these fellows to do cool stuff. Well, Windows has these too. They just never found their official way into the GUI. Most likely it was for political reasons, because the guys at Microsoft were afraid that the standard windows user would trap himself with these links and die. And most likely the guys are right on this. However, for us windows power users such links form great opportunities to optimize our systems. What is missing is usability. And this is where the Link Shell Extensions by Schinagl comes into the play. With this everything work great and nicely. What else could you want?

I may be in some aspects old fashioned. For example, I like to have my music locally on the devices I am going to play them at. So, I am grabbing my CDs and collecting everything as MP3s and Flacs on my hard disk. Then, of course, I have to deal with the MP3-tags, especially unifying them across the files. This is something, I wouldn’t need to bother if I would use an online service. Whatever.

After some try and error, I finally came across Mp3tag. It works and is nice to use when you are editing multiple files at once.

Today I am presenting another small tool of mine: the ShutdownPlannerGUI Simple GUI for planned Shutdowns of MS Windows
[188 KB; MD5: 45cb64eef13ea47e98a7dcde0773e6f1; More Info]

The basic idea is simple: it is a small GUI, slapped together in C#, around the Shutdown command-line utility. It is about the timer, specifying when the system is going to shut down. The GUI provides several text boxes to conveniently enter the time in hours, minutes and seconds. And that is it.

Today I am only writing a short comment: with WinDirStat there is a further alternative/successor of SequoiaView. The tool itself is a clone of KDirStat, but who cares. The only important thing is, that the great visualization of space consumption on your hard dist is available in one further tool for all of us to use.

Up until now I was using WinAmp, but since this project has reached its end, I started looking for an alternative.

One problem I was avoiding for quite some time now is the use of a media library. I buy my music very old-stylisch on CDs. And because these disks are so bulky to use I grab them. Thus my hard disk stores lots of MP3s and FLAC files. The grabbing, however, bores the problem of tagging. Thus, the tags of my files are only as good as I was motivated at that time, that is, the tags are horrible. Therefore, I did never use a media library but instead organized my files in directories and subdirectories as good as possible, which is not very good at all.

On my search for a new player software my friends told me about FooBar2000, most likely the software with the strangest name ever. … However, since I got curious I gave it a try. And now I am enthusiastic about it.

The minimalistic GUI is for sure not for everybody’s taste, but I like it. I never understood why the windows of some applications, including WinAmp, need to look “different”. Whatever.

What really sold FooBar2000 to my, were the integrated tag editor and the flexibility of the media library. I mostly listen to soundtracks and thus a sorting by artists or genre does not make much sense for my collection. With some custom tags and one simple expression for the tree structure the media library of FooBar2000 now meets my needs. In very short time I slapped this expression together which does what I want:

%<genre>%[|%<group>%]|[%album artist% - ]%album%[|%<extra>%]|[[%discnumber%.]%tracknumber%. ][%track artist% - ]%title%

I use the tags “group” and “extra” to get my special sorting I am used to.

I love it.