abhi's logbook

Adventures in coding and coding for adventures.

Apply 80/20 thinking.

Do 20% Well.

Create OODAs for the following.

How can we simplify our messaging? Presentations? Proposals? Conversations?

Where is the complexity?

How can we make it easier for customers to understand the value they get from us?

How can we help customers navigate through the decision making process, avoiding the bumps along the way?

What 80% can be automated / delegated? What can be done that I don't need to do? What do I not want to do? What do I want to avoid doing?

What are the bottlenecks that you are noticing? Where are we slowing down? (Write this down)

What is the throughput of the tasks? What are the bottlenecks?

What can be outsourced?

Checklists are up to date

Hyderabad To See

Day 1 Birla Mandir Salar Jung Museum Mecca Masjid, Near Charminar, Ghansi Bazaar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500002 The Nizam’s Museum, Purani Haveli, Pathar Gatti, Hyderabad, Telangana 500002 Charminar Chowmahalla Palace Day 2

Qutb Shahi Tombs Golkonda (4–5 hours) Shilparamam Day 3

Telangana State Archaeology Museum, Public Gardens, Red Hills, Lakdikapul, Hyderabad, Telangana

Trying to remove a bunch of stuff from my life to make the things I do have better. Make things more 80/20.

I misunderstood that and didn’t realize that it also means stuff that you have. That is also part of the equation.

Trying to remove a bunch of stuff from my life to make the things I do have better. Make things more 80/20.

I misunderstood that and didn’t realize that it also means stuff that you have. That is also part of the equation.

Kaizen cleaning

I’m starting a new thing in my life kaizen cleaning. I felt like I’d do all thisnkaizen stuff in my digital life but never make time for it in my personal real life. Where my dishes would pile up, bathroom would get dirty, everything will be all over the place and I’d just be unhappy and not know why.

So I’m starting a task for two things:

1. Remove all things that I don’t need from my life. Getting rid of old books, clothes, papers and etc.

2. Spend 15 mins a day on just cleaning and tidying up.

(3.) taking notes on what needs to be cleaned so that I can take better action. Trying to make this a habit.

Things I’d like to do:

- make the ritual of tidying an evening thing with my wife. What needs to be done and taking notes together

- I shouldn’t have to think about what needs tidying it should automatically be done.

- create underlying tasks for cleaning that should support cleanliness

- have a general tide towards cleanliness.

Using Airtable as an administrative interface is the best.

Life is but a walking shadow.

She wasn’t ready : BetterEveryLoop

Burnt out oh so burnt out

Sometime you need trial runs like running a company to see what mistakes you make and how you’d improve them. There is definitely a lot of important built in knowledge in that. We need to just be able to build out to the full extent such that we need to grow much bigger than that. I realize the best thing you can do is hire the best people you know and hire them to fulfill roles. If they don’t fit those roles them let them go quick otherwise they will waste your resources.

Building a b2b business

Figuring out the mvp

Figuring out who to target first

What is the minimal Things I can build

Work and sleep.

Notes from taleb

  • do the things your grandparents did
  • Don’t think complexity is sophistication
  • Simplify
  • Better to enjoy simple things than complicated things
  • Don’t fall for intelligent yet idiot.
  • Some things are plain pointless and the matter that they are divided even further doesn’t mean they are important.

Rest and rest

Mentally reached a breaking point. Need to just not do anything and recharge.

Working maybe.


We need to be direct with communication. We can either be nice and wonder what the other person means or we can be direct and get to the point.

  • Direct communication removes the baggage of what you intend to say with what you mean.
  • Less flurry about what is happening. Just mean what you say.
  • Quicker to get to the point.

Taking care of yourself is hard

When running a business it is easy for it to take over your life. One of the things I want to get better at is the following three things:

  • Spend time with my partner
  • Exercise
  • Read

Those three things consistently make me happy and I want to do more of those as my regular todos.

Management lessons to learn

Management lessons to learn:

  • How to motivate people
  • What checklist can I make to to go through with people each week to be more effective
  • How can I give constraints and still allow people to furnish what needs to be done?

Seems like something I need to get to but also I realize that certain people are more senior and expensive but can get the work done in half the time.

Need to get back into the groove of reading and process even if I don’t want to. Trying to get into a routine of traveling to the city.

  • Process St in the Morning
  • Afternoon free form work.

Moved to new house.


- Grill

- Punching bag

71 closed / 46 new

Seems we are closing down stuff.

Splitting things into Pomodoros is so useful for time management. You can get so much done. Just focus on one thing at a time.

Wondering if hiring a Personal Assistant for personal stuff would be useful. Specifically for these things.

  • find and organize trips. Camping (Research Campsites availability), Longer distance trips work out time.
  • find weekend getaways I can go in my truck both camping, and otherwise based on calendar availability
  • research fun things to do during the week
  • research and fill out emails
  • Find local music venues and shows and keep up on those. Send us info.
  • Research Books for Projects
  • Call places / make reservations / get info
  • Handle calls for me

Bicentennial Vista in Santa Rosa

Bought a truck. Things I want to do:

  • Make a mobile desk so that I can drive somewhere and work out of the back.
  • A little picnic table in the back for different things to do.

My campaign, draft. Probably not

- Taxes on individuals of up to 45%

- lower corporate taxes

- basic income

- universal healthcare

- cut all other things. Stronger state laws.

Working on more stuff for SSC. It is going great. A wonder how having processes can simplify and amplify the changes that are needed to move quickly.

90 issues closed

60 opened.

Still getting things to the closing line. Amazing.

Marketing and sales and hypothesis

Create a sales and marketing pipeline and use hypothesis driven ways to accelerate the growth quickly.

- create a list of tasks for each thing.

- figure out a hypothesis for trying those 5 things each.

- start working on them.

- measure success of each of those.

- figure out how to modify the hypothesis to be better. Lessons learned.

- iterate

Need to be better at scheduling things and following through. I need to follow Pomodoro some more to be effective in what I am trying to do. This is so that we can get through things much quicker than what otherwise I can do.

Simply simplify simplify

Complex things are hard but if you make things standard you can get through them

- checklists

- standard list of items

- Common structure

- do not make the other person think. People hate to think. What happens when someone makes you think while doing other stuff. You hate it so simplify.

- get rid of stuff that doesn’t work.

- optimize over time.

- if you don’t find yourself doing something then remove it.

- only have process that you follow. Aspirational process just leads to time waste.



- things that are long away are not gonna get done so just make them weekly tasks.

- shorter term tasks give a better throughput. Since they will be actually addressed and systematized.

- shorter cycles also allow you to change the process that you are doing so it doesn’t take quite as long to do something.

- 80/20 make the 20 percent of tasks that appear 80 percent of times the norm. Everything else can be made to order.

Hiring a PM, and couple assistants to help start building up the company.

What is it that I want to grow the company into?

Something big? Something medium? Something cool?

Hiring bad

Hiring couple VAs for on Upwork:

Define the job in videos it is easier to explain than via text and they see what they need to do.

Follow up immediately to make sure progress is correct

Don’t be shy about delegating as much as possible.

Seems like a quick way to setup an VPN


I would say the week was pissy but productive.

I fucking hate Jenkins and it is a piece of shit. Fuck it.

Docker inception is getting me down.

I am become death destroyer of worlds.

Wondering how I could create a .plan for the modern web. A way to display information with minimal intervention

Sleeping too late but maybe that is the point of running a company.

What is it that keeps people motivated. Maybe it is similar focus on one thing and then pushing that one thing as long as possible while doing a good job at it.

My hands for war, my fingers for battle

Plasm 144:1

I used to use Emacs for everything. Not so much anymore. I started using this program Byword for blogging, Emacs on the servers and more and more in VSCode.

Still magit is great, can’t live without org-mode but certain things about emacs are starting to creak a bit. Hope that it can be modernized. Also hoping that remacs takes over the C bits.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

I am trying to remove as much things as I can so I can focus singularly and setup the sales pipeline of my business. I am not good at multitasking multiple businesses and I don’t think anyone is unless you find good lieutenants to take over the running of the hard stuff.

I am just trying to focus then on one site and make a complete process around it so that I can scale it since it is what is making me the most amount of money at the moment.

Hmm writing on the phone seems like it should be a thing

GCP’s Permissions sort of suck. Why is it that it is such a pain in the ass to use? Get it together Google Cloud

Excited to work on Startup Sonoma.

  • Bringing new startup culture
  • Affect the local culture on how to build things
  • Learn how to work with others in building a company
  • Etc


  • Learn to love the gym even if you hate it at days.
  • Be good to yourself. Can’t always want to go to the gym
  • Practice and don’t get annoyed at other people working out at the gym.

Code to Update Reminders app from Emacs

(defun ay/org-update-reminder-lists ()

(defun ay/org-update-morning-list ()
    "tell application \"Reminders\"\n"
    "tell list \"Morning\" to delete reminders\n"
    "tell list \"Morning\"\n"
    (mapconcat (lambda (title) (format "make new reminder with properties {name:\"%s\"}" title))
               (org-map-entries (lambda () (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
                                "morning+TODO=\"NEXT-ACTION\"" 'agenda) "\n")
    "\nend tell\n"
    "end tell\n")))

(defun ay/org-update-reading-list ()
    "tell application \"Reminders\"\n"
    "tell list \"Reading\" to delete reminders\n"
    "tell list \"Reading\"\n"
    (mapconcat (lambda (title) (format "make new reminder with properties {name:\"%s\"}" title))
               (org-map-entries (lambda () (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
                                "reading" 'agenda) "\n")
    "\nend tell\n"
    "end tell\n")))

(defun ay/org-update-buy-list ()
    "tell application \"Reminders\"\n"
    "tell list \"Buy\" to delete reminders\n"
    "tell list \"Buy\"\n"
    (mapconcat (lambda (title) (format "make new reminder with properties {name:\"%s\"}" title))
               (org-map-entries (lambda () (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
                                "buy+TODO=\"NEXT-ACTION\"" 'agenda) "\n")
    "\nend tell\n"
    "end tell\n")))

(defun ay/org-update-corrie-list ()
    "tell application \"Reminders\"\n"
    "tell list \"Corrie\" to delete reminders\n"
    "tell list \"Corrie\"\n"
    (mapconcat (lambda (title) (format "make new reminder with properties {name:\"%s\"}" title))
               (org-map-entries (lambda () (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
                                "corrie+TODO=\"NEXT-ACTION\"" 'agenda) "\n")
    "\nend tell\n"
    "end tell\n")))

(defun ay/org-update-home-list ()
    "tell application \"Reminders\"\n"
    "tell list \"Home\" to delete reminders\n"
    "tell list \"Home\"\n"
    (mapconcat (lambda (title)
                 (format "make new reminder with properties {name:\"%s\"}" title))
               (org-map-entries (lambda () (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
                                "home" 'agenda) "\n")
    "\nend tell\n"
    "end tell\n")))

Using watchman to allow the generation of this site. Hi

DayOne Todo

I need to write a better org-mode to DayOne exporter. Right now the way org-mode exports data is pretty gross and I think there needs to be a better mechanism by which this happens. I don’t really care much for a command line tool as much as a tool which will allow me to write correct output.

  • OrgMode output to DayOne.
  • Output to DayOne should be in a good form which doesn’t throw a bunch of random HTML.
  • Should be clean and easy to read.

Beautiful shot at Corrie’s house.

Jekyll Branch Deployment

A tool which deploys a branch to a separate staging environments which is tied to Github.

The flow should be the following:

  • Git commit is pushed.
  • Post receive hook is received and we take those to build alternate the site and deploy it. Should do so for pull requests as well.
  • Take all the branches and push it to different stage environments

This can be achieved in the following way:

  • Docker image which contains:
    • Jekyll
    • Post-Hook Receiving App
    • Nginx
  • A post hook is received.
  • App essentially keeps track of all the branches and their commits.
    • If a branch is created or updated then it causes a regeneration.
    • There should be a folder generated in static.
      • These folders should be the subdomains that are generated.

Working on a book. I started using a software called Ulysses. It seems like a good balance between plain text and having the ability to organize things via WYSWYG. The combination is great.

I love Emacs org-mode but sometimes I am more of a visual organizer. I like to see things and manipulate them and jump to different portions. I feel like this is a good balance.

I will still continue using org-mode but it will not be for large writing projects because I struggle to do so in Emacs. Or maybe this will be a trail in using an existing tool to do the writing and not Emacs for once. Maybe I’ll run back to it.

Notes on developing my DayOne to blog post generator for Jekyll. This is the following and what I want to still accomplish:

  • Have a simple thing generator which creates the posts and does some form of syntax highlighting.
  • Have a blog page which shows all the content for that post.
  • Have a well designed blog page.
  • Be able to filter down to the tags level.
  • Have an automated way of watching for changes to the DayOne folder and triggering a rebuild of the website based on that.
  • Effective SEO of the content.

Overall I am happy that I can finally write posts here and have them generate appropriately in my blog.


Unix is like a war chest full of different tools to accomplish different things. They can work together to get your job done. They can be faster than the equivalent GUI tools.

The goal of this document is to show some of the power that Unix posesses and hopefully to transfer some of that knowledge so others can be just as productive with this wonderful system which has largely stood the legacy of time.


Command Description
comm Compares two files. It allows you to see what is available in one file, the second file or both files. It is useful to see information on unions of files.

Setting up a new machine

I’m sure I can do this a better way using chef-solo or something but I like to keep things simple.

adduser abhi
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install zsh tmux emacs vim sudo git

git clone https://github.com/abhiyerra/dotfiles
cd dotfiles
sh dotfiler.sh

I really like Dropbox. It’s a convienient way to sync all your computers and makes it quite easy to get started. However, the thing that bugs me the most is keeping my dotfiles in sync as I usualyl forget to sync between computers when I change them. Thanksfully, Dropbox makes this easier.

  1. Create a directory in your Dropbox folder.
  2. Move your dotfiles from $HOME to that folder. Change the prefix . with _.
  3. Add this file (I named it dotfiler.sh, but you can name it whatever you want)


    for file in * do ln -s -n -f pwd/$file $HOME/${file/#/.} done

Now whenever you have a new machine just run the script in your dotfiles directory. This should keep all your dotfiles in sync whatever computer you are using and make setting up a new environment less painful.

If you also added a .profile and .bashrc or .zshrc file make sure to take your platform into account i.e., Linux, Mac OS X. You can also run the script whenever you add a new file.


cd -

Move back to the previous directory you were in.

[email protected]:~/Dropbox $ cd ~/.emacs.d/plugins/org-mode
[email protected]:~/.emacs.d/plugins/org-mode $ cd -
[email protected]:~/Dropbox $


Gives the last argument from previously run command.

[email protected]:~/Dropbox $ mv junk ~/.emacs.d/plugins/org-mode
[email protected]: $ cd !$
[email protected]:~/.emacs.d/plugins/org-mode $

Network Utilities


Process running on a port

$ lsof -i :3000
ruby    7634 ayerra   12u  IPv4 0x3a21119dc10aed27      0t0  TCP *:hbci (LISTEN)


A super useful tool to sniff network traffic. Allows you to see what is going in and out of your network device.

[email protected]:~ $ sudo ngrep
interface: en0 (
T -> [AP]
  :[email protected] PRIVMSG #emacs :+takes me back to list..
T -> [AP]
  :[email protected] PRIVMSG #emacs :+looks like it's in some monitored list but I can't figure where to look..
U ->
  {"host_int": 89902014, "version": [1, 8], "displayname": "89902014", "port": 17500, "namespaces": [53605312, 4575490, 8623931, 69308427, 7943213, 98397390]}
U ->
  {"host_int": 89902014, "version": [1, 8], "displayname": "89902014", "port": 17500, "namespaces": [53605312, 4575490, 8623931, 69308427, 7943213, 98397390]}
T -> [AP]
  :[email protected]/rking PRIVMSG #ruby :+Hehe, noobs unite!..

Here you see the packets from my connection to IRC being listed.


Connect without a Password

cd ~/.ssh
# Will ask for a ssh key name
ssh-keygen -t dsa
# Copy to remote host
scp ~/.ssh/<nameoffile>.pub remote:~/.ssh/authorized_keys2
ssh-add <nameoffile>


Block a port

iptables -A INPUT -j DROP -p tcp --destination-port 80 -i eth0


I converted to Emacs at the end of 2010 when I joined my first real engineering job after completing college.

Emacs is not really an “editor” per se. It is a Lisp Machine posing as an editor. Considering its origins at the MIT AI Labs and Richard Stallman’s involvement the legacy can be seen in the way it functions.

Most text editors bring you down to the way they want to function based on what the original authors had in mind. There might be flexiblity but it is more than likely that it is difficult to modify the builtin structures to behave the way you want.

Emacs makes the distinction in that anything is customizable. There is a thin layer of C code which basically just runs the Emacs Lisp.

I won’t recommend fully jumping into Emacs (i.e using ERC, Gnus and all) start off small. Some of tools do show their age and certain things are just plain painful to use because Emacs is single threaded. I say start using org-mode and go from there.

Also, learn something new everyday, learn Emacs Lisp and add small custom functionality. As an engineer you spend most of your time in your editor so might as well make it behave to your command.


Keystroke Description
M-x align-regexp Select a region and pick a regex and it'll align based on that.
M-SPC Removes space around block of text and replace it with one space.
M-^ Join two lines removes spaces around it.
M-q fill-paragraph. Splits the columns into correct fill-column size.
M-t transpose two words
C-x ENT f Pick the correct encoding. I.e. unix removes ^M ^J ^L
C-x 4 a If you are in a ChangeLog file. This creates a new changelog item.
C-S-[Backspace] Kills the current line.
C-s C-w Search for the word at mark. Can keep adding C-w to add more words.
M-x flush-lines RET ^$ RET Remove blank lines

Paste and Indent

This allows you to paste and automatically indent the region correctly.

(defun yank-and-indent ()
  "Yank and then indent the newly formed region according to mode."
  (call-interactively 'indent-region))
(global-set-key "\C-y" 'yank-and-indent)

Export org-mode file as a Batch Job

emacs --batch --eval "(setq org-export-headline-levels 6)" --visit=schedule.org --execute "(org-export-as-html nil nil nil nil t)"

Emacs Email


(add-to-list 'load-path "~/Dropbox/Mew")
(autoload 'mew "mew" nil t)
(autoload 'mew-send "mew" nil t)

;; Optional setup (Read Mail menu for Emacs 21):
(if (boundp 'read-mail-command)
    (setq read-mail-command 'mew))
;; Optional setup (e.g. C-xm for sending a message):
(autoload 'mew-user-agent-compose "mew" nil t)
(if (boundp 'mail-user-agent)
    (setq mail-user-agent 'mew-user-agent))
(if (fboundp 'define-mail-user-agent)

(setq mew-config-alist
         ("mailbox-type" . imap)
         ("proto" . "%")
         ("imap-server" . "imap.gmail.com")
         ("imap-ssl" . t)
         ("imap-user" . "[email protected]") ;; to be completed
         ("prog-ssl" . "/use/local/bin/stunnel")
         ("user" . "ykabhinav")
         ("mail-domain" . "gmail.com")
         ("name" . "Abhi Yerra")
         ("imap-delete" . nil)
         ("imap-size" . 0)
         ("smtp-ssl"    . t)
         ("smtp-ssl-port". "465")
         ("smtp-auth-list" . ("PLAIN" "LOGIN" "CRAM-MD5"))
         ("smtp-user"   . "[email protected]")
         ("smtp-server" . "smtp.gmail.com")
         ("inbox-folder" . "%INBOX")
         ("imap-friend-folder" . "%from")
         ("imap-trash-folder" . "%[Gmail]/All Mail"))))

(setq mew-use-unread-mark t)
(setq mew-delete-unread-mark-by-mark nil)


Make sure that you have stunnel 4.33 or lower for the trunk version of VM.

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/Dropbox/vm/lisp")
(require 'vm-autoloads)

(setq mail-user-agent 'vm-user-agent)

(setq vm-folder-directory "~/Mail")
(setq vm-primary-inbox "~/Mail/vminbox")
(setq vm-crash-box "~/Mail/inbox.crash.mbox")

(setq vm-imap-expunge-after-retrieving nil)

(setq vm-mutable-frames nil)
(setq vm-imap-account-alist
      '(("imap-ssl:imap.gmail.com:993:login:[email protected]:*" "gmail")))

(setq vm-primary-inbox "imap-ssl:imap.gmail.com:993:inbox:login:[email protected]:*")

(setq vm-debug t)
(setq vm-keep-imap-buffers t)
(setq vm-imap-log-sessions t)

(setq vm-use-menus 1)
(setq vm-stunnel-program "stunnel")

(setq send-mail-function 'smtpmail-send-it
      message-send-mail-function 'smtpmail-send-it
      '(("smtp.gmail.com" 587 nil nil))
      (expand-file-name "~/.authinfo")
      smtpmail-default-smtp-server "smtp.gmail.com"
      smtpmail-smtp-server "smtp.gmail.com"
      smtpmail-smtp-service 587
      smtpmail-debug-info t)
(require 'smtpmail)

(setq mail-default-headers "From: Abhi Yerra <[email protected]>\n")

(setq  vm-mime-type-converter-alist
      '(("text/html" "text/plain" "elinks -dump /dev/stdin")
        ("message/delivery-status"  "text/plain")
        ("application/zip"  "text/plain" "listzip")
        ("application/x-zip-compressed"  "text/plain" "zipinfo /dev/stdin")
        ("application/x-www-form-urlencoded"  "text/plain")
        ("message/disposition-notification"  "text/plain")
        ("application/mac-binhex40" "application/octet-stream" "hexbin -s")))

(define-key vm-mode-map "#" 'vm-imap-synchronize)


;; bbdb
(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/plugins/bbdb/lisp")
(require 'bbdb)
(require 'bbdb-gnus)
(bbdb-initialize 'gnus 'message)
(add-hook 'gnus-startup-hook 'bbdb-insinuate-gnus)
(setq bbdb-send-mail-style 'gnus)
(setq bbdb-complete-name-full-completion t)
(setq bbdb-completion-type 'primary-or-name)
(setq bbdb-complete-name-allow-cycling t)

Syncing with Google Contacts

At this point I’d recommend just using google-contacts.el. When I first wrote this script the elisp script didn’t exist so I didn’t use it. I think at this point this is obsolete code.

I store my contacts in Google because I love their sync service and I use it with my iPhone all the time. Makes managing contacts quite easy. I wanted my BBDB contacts to be synced. I discovered googlecl which is a nifty command line way to access many Google services.

This allowed me to update my records.

 '(lambda (x)
    (bbdb-create-internal (first x) nil nil nil (second x)))
     '(lambda (x) (split-string x ","))
     (process-lines "/usr/local/bin/google" "contacts" "list" "name,email")))

Placing a Call via Skype (on Mac)

BBDB 3.0 has an updated function called bbdb-dial-number. You can use this to make calls using Skype on the Mac by interfacing with AppleScript.

(setq bbdb-dial-function
      '(lambda (phone-number)
           "tell application \"Skype\"\n"
           "send command \"CALL +" phone-number "\" script name \"Call from BBDB\"\n"
           "end tell"))))

Post to Jekyll

; Jekyll move to org-capture binding.
(defun new-blog-post (title)
  "Create a new Jekyll blog post."
  (interactive "sPost Title: ")
  (let ((draft-file (concat "~/Dropbox/docs/blogfiles/"
                            (format-time-string "%Y-%m-%d-")
                             " " "-" (downcase
                                       "[^A-Za-z0-9 ]" "" title)))
    (find-file draft-file)
    (insert (format
             (concat "#+BEGIN_HTML\n"
                     "layout: post\n"
                     "title: %s\n"
                     "\n") title))))


The three choices for NewsTicker w3, w3m, htmlr are mostly crappy in the way they output html or don’t work with Emacs 23. A better alternative is to output it using Lynx. Here is how to set up NewsTicker to use Lynx to render the item buffer.

(defun lynx-renderer (start end &optional url charset)
  (shell-command-on-region start end
   (format "lynx -force_html -dump -stdin %s" url)

(setq newsticker-html-renderer 'lynx-renderer)

Send Messages to Boxcar

I was bored and wanted to send something to my phone from emacs so I wrote this. This sends a message to Boxcar. This can also likely modifed to work with the Twilio API.

(defun send-region-to-boxcar (start end)
  (interactive "r")
  (let ((url-request-method "POST")
        (url-request-extra-headers `(("Content-Type" . "application/x-www-form-urlencoded")))

        (url-request-data (concat "email=INSERT_MD5_OF_EMAIL&Body=123" "&"
                                  "notification[from_screen_name]=c0rnbot" "&"
                                  "notification[message]=" (url-hexify-string (buffer-substring start end)))))

(global-set-key "\C-ct" 'send-region-to-boxcar)


If you want to include a cron task in your Emas this is the format to do it.

Here we check if a folder exists. Then we run a task at 10 am conintuing at 30 minute intervals.

(if (file-exists-p "~/Dropbox/Public/Space")
     '(lambda ()
         "*Space Photo Download*"
         "sh" (concat
               (getenv "HOME")

Commit Messages


The following is my ~/.gitconfig file which makes using git a bit more enjoyable. It provides color on diffs, shortcuts for commonly used commands and other goodies.

    email = [email protected]
    name = Abhi Yerra
    ap = add -p
    cl = clone --recursive
    st = status
    stat = status -sb
    sb = show-branch
    ci = commit
    co = checkout
    ch = checkout
    chekcout = checkout
    br = branch
    df = diff
    dt = difftool -y
    lg = log -p --stat
    rev = rev-parse HEAD
    wc = whatchanged --stat
    wd = diff --word-diff
    up = remote -v update -p
    prb = pull --rebase
    sub = submodule
    subup = submodule update --init
    remotes = remote -v show
    remup = remote update --prune
    # remtrack = !git branch -vv | ruby -ne '$_ =~ /\s+([^\s]+)\s.*\[([^\]]+)/; branch, remote = $1, $2; `git show #{remote} 2>&1 >/dev/null`; puts "#{branch} -> #{remote}, remote_exists? = #{$?==0}";'
    m  = !B=$(git branch | grep '*' | awk '{print $2}') && R=$(git config branch.$B.remote) && RB=$(git config branch.$B.merge | cut -d/ -f3-) && git merge $R/$RB
    d  = !B=$(git branch | grep '*' | awk '{print $2}') && R=$(git config branch.$B.remote) && RB=$(git config branch.$B.merge | cut -d/ -f3-) && git wc $B..$R/$RB
    rd = !B=$(git branch | grep '*' | awk '{print $2}') && R=$(git config branch.$B.remote) && RB=$(git ) && git wc $R/$RB..$B
    human = name-rev --name-only --refs=refs/heads/*
    humin = name-rev --name-only --refs=refs/heads/* --stdi
    change-commits = "!f() { VAR=$1; OLD=$2; NEW=$3; shift 3; git filter-branch --env-filter \"if [[ $`echo $VAR` = \\\"$OLD\\\" ]]; then export $VAR=\\\"$NEW\\\"; fi\" [email protected]; }; f "
    ui = auto
    diff = auto
    status = auto
    branch = auto
    interactive = auto
    current = yellow reverse
    local = yellow
    remote = green
[color "diff"]
    whitespace = red reverse
    frag = cyan
    old = red bold
    new = green bold
[color "status"]
    added = green
    changed = yellow
    untracked = red
    excludesfile = ~/.gitignore-global
    whitespace = nowarn
    default = tracking
    autosetupmerge = true
    stat = true
    submodulesummary = true
        keepBackup = true
        user = abhiyerra
[filter "media"]
        clean = git-media-clean %f
        smudge = git-media-smudge %f


This will show the remote branches.

$ git branch -r

Adds a remote repo other then origin. Do a git-fetch to pull the updated changes. This will allow you to track multiple repos at the same time and merge from each which is pretty sweet.

$ git remote add linux-nfs git://linux-nfs.org/pub/nfs-2.6.git
$ git fetch linux-nfs

Say you are on a local branchname and you want to push it to a remote server you can do it via the following.

$ git push -u origin branch_name

To delete that remote branch do:

$ git push origin :branch_name

This removes the remote branch without warning so use with care.

If you want to branch off a different remote branch do the following:

$ git checkout -b a-branch-that-tracks-a-remote --track origin/remote_branch

Set a remote branch for the current branch.

$ git branch --set-upstream-to upstream/master

Check how far behind or forward a branch is from remote

$ git branch -vv


If there is a regression the best way to check at what commit the error occured is through git-bisect

To start the process

$ git bisect start # starts the bisecting process
$ git bisect good <tag/commit>
# Picks a version where the error didn't occur
$ git bisect bad master # Start bisecting from current branch.

For each version see if it is bad do:

$ git bisect bad

At the end it will show where the error occured when doing this process. will end the bisecting process.

$ git bisect reset

Logs and Blames

Shows the log with the diffs as well as what files have changed.

$ git log -p --stat

Adding Patches to Staging.

If you want to add individual patches from a file without adding the whole file.

$ git add -p

Generate TAGS file using ctags

If I put this in my .git/hooks/post-commit it generates a TAGS file after each commit.

$ git ls-files | xargs /usr/local/bin/ctags -e -a &> /dev/null &

Squashing commits

$ git remote update
$ git pull --rebase upstream master
$ git rebase -i upstream/master

Grepping commits

$ git log --grep=word

Have a branch with unrelated changes

I want to pull changes from say an old version of the project to my current project but under a branch that is unrelated.

git remote add old <path>
git checkout -b old --track old/master
git remote rm old
git branch --set-upstream origin old
git push



This is the perfect regex to detect email addresses. (Should be all on one line. Split so it doesn’t break screen bounds.)


Some helpful links to understanding Cucumber.


Referencing defined models

developer = model!(%|developer: "#{developer_name}"|)

Testing Subdomain

Given /^I visit subdomain (.+)$/ do |sub|
  host! "#{sub}.#{TEST_DOMAIN}" #TEST_DOMAIN is defined in test.rb. In my case TEST_DOMAIN = 'example.com'


Feature: Addition
In order to avoid silly mistakes
As a math idiot
I want to be told the sum of two numbers

Scenario Outline: Add two numbers
Given I have entered <input_1> into the calculator
And I have entered <input_2> into the calculator
When I press <button>
Then the result should be <output> on the screen

| input_1 | input_2 | button | output |
|      20 |      30 | add    |     50 |
|       2 |       5 | add    |      7 |
|       0 |      40 | add    |     40 |


Row Tables

| id | error |
|  1 | yes   |
|  2 | yes   |
|  3 | no    |

Given /^I have a spirit with the following attributes:$/ do |table|
  table.hashes.each do |attributes|

Hash Table

| id    |   1 |
| error | yes |

Given /^I have a spirit with the following attributes:$/ do |table|
  table.rows_hash['id'].should == 1


Cassandra Thrift Example

Here is how to connect to Cassandra using JRuby using the Java Thrift API. I was a bit annoyed that the Ruby libraries were using native libraries so I wrote it using JRuby.

    require 'java'
    # All the files from cassandra/lib
    require 'lib/antlr-3.1.3.jar'
    require 'lib/apache-cassandra-0.6.1.jar'
    require 'lib/avro-1.2.0-dev.jar'
    require 'lib/clhm-production.jar'
    require 'lib/commons-cli-1.1.jar'
    require 'lib/commons-codec-1.2.jar'
    require 'lib/commons-collections-3.2.1.jar'
    require 'lib/commons-lang-2.4.jar'
    require 'lib/google-collections-1.0.jar'
    require 'lib/hadoop-core-0.20.1.jar'
    require 'lib/high-scale-lib.jar'
    require 'lib/ivy-2.1.0.jar'
    require 'lib/jackson-core-asl-1.4.0.jar'
    require 'lib/jackson-mapper-asl-1.4.0.jar'
    require 'lib/jline-0.9.94.jar'
    require 'lib/json-simple-1.1.jar'
    require 'lib/libthrift-r917130.jar'
    require 'lib/log4j-1.2.14.jar'
    require 'lib/slf4j-api-1.5.8.jar'
    require 'lib/slf4j-log4j12-1.5.8.jar'
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.Cassandra
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.ColumnOrSuperColumn
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.ColumnPath
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.Column
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.ColumnParent
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.ConsistencyLevel
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.InvalidRequestException
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.NotFoundException
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.TimedOutException
    java_import org.apache.cassandra.thrift.UnavailableException
    java_import org.apache.thrift.TException
    java_import org.apache.thrift.protocol.TBinaryProtocol
    java_import org.apache.thrift.protocol.TProtocol
    java_import org.apache.thrift.transport.TSocket
    java_import org.apache.thrift.transport.TTransport
    java_import org.apache.thrift.transport.TTransportException
    tr = TSocket.new("", 9160)
    proto = TBinaryProtocol.new(tr)
    client = Cassandra::Client.new(proto)
    puts client.describe_cluster_name
    puts client.describe_keyspaces
    timestamp = java.lang.System.currentTimeMillis()
    path = ColumnPath.new("CrawlData")
    client.insert("Crawl", "abc", path, java.lang.String.new("http://google.com").getBytes("utf8"), timestamp, ConsistencyLevel::ONE)
    #cassandra> get Crawl.CrawlData['abc']
    #=> (column=url, value=http://google.com, timestamp=1275509007789)
    #Returned 1 results.
    #cassandra> get Crawl.CrawlData['abc']['url']
    #=> (column=url, value=http://google.com, timestamp=1275509007789)
    #cassandra> get Crawl.CrawlData['abc']
    #=> (column=url, value=http://google.com, timestamp=1275509007789)
    #Returned 1 results.

Loading JARs into the Classpath

Dir.glob(Rails.root.join("java/*.jar")).each { |dir| $CLASSPATH << dir }


Exception Tree

  • Exception
    • NoMemoryError
    • ScriptError
      • LoadError
      • NotImplementedError
      • SyntaxError
    • SignalException
      • Interrupt
    • StandardError
      • ArgumentError
      • IOError
        • EOFError
      • IndexError
      • LocalJumpError
      • NameError
        • NoMethodError
      • RangeError
        • FloatDomainError
      • RegexpError
      • RuntimeError
      • SecurityError
      • SystemCallError
      • SystemStackError
      • ThreadError
      • TypeError
      • ZeroDivisionError
    • SystemExit
    • fatal

Add Dir to Load Path

$:.unshift File.dirname(__FILE__)

Class Methods

Calling a class method is a bit tricky especially when you have inheritance involved. This is how to call said class method.

def inst_method

def self.class_method
  # Code



According to The Elements of Typographic Style the use of types should be done using a scale. A scale makes the form of the type more visually pleasing. There are also different proportions to use when making the a scale.

2 / 3
3 / 4
1 / Ψ
(defun typography-scale (scale current-num upto-num)
  (if (> current-num upto-num)
    (cons current-num (typography-scale scale (* scale current-num) upto-num))))

(mapcar 'fround (typography-scale (/ 1 3.14) 1 100))
  • Bootstrap CSS - At this point Bootstrap is the CSS scaffold of the web. It makes webpages look good enough and it makes it easy to built off it.
  • Subtle Patterns - Various background gradient overlays. Great for getting stuff off the ground.

DayOne / Jekyll Blog generator

So I wrote a DayOne blog generator for Jekyll. So I can write and publish things quickly. It will be fun to see how this will transpire in my writing. Or even if it will. But it was a cool little hack.


Last day at lookout. Been a fun ride.

X11 - XTerm Colors

I found this xterm schema to be quite nice. Put it in ~/.Xdefaults file.

XTerm*background: #000000
XTerm*foreground: #9f9f9f
XTerm*color0: #000000
XTerm*color1: #9e1828
XTerm*color2: #aece92
XTerm*color3: #968a38
XTerm*color4: #414171
XTerm*color5: #963c59
XTerm*color6: #418179
XTerm*color7: #bebebe
XTerm*color8: #666666
XTerm*color9: #cf6171
XTerm*color10: #c5f779
XTerm*color11: #fff796
XTerm*color12: #4186be
XTerm*color13: #cf9ebe
XTerm*color14: #71bebe
XTerm*color15: #ffffff


I am slowly moving to text based tools as opposed to using the web. I will be making the configurations available for all the different tools I decide to move to.

I decided that mutt was worth a try. So I put together a configuration that works with Gmail by scouring the internet. First follow the directions listed on Lifehacker’s article but use this for the configuration. Change my email address to your’s at the appropriate place.

Also, I want mutt to ask me for my password everytime I use it. This is because… ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY FOR STORING YOUR PASSWORD IN CLEARTEXT?

When ever you delete from mutt what it does is removes the “label” so stuff is never deleted but moved to “All mail”. So in this configration there is no way to delete mail. If you want that please look at the Lifehacker configuration.

# Change the following six lines to match your Gmail account details
set imap_user = "[email protected]"
# set imap_pass = "PASSWORD"

set smtp_url = "smtp://[email protected]@smtp.gmail.com:587/"
# set smtp_pass = "PASSWORD"

set realname = "Abhi Yerra"
set from = "[email protected]"

# Change the following line to a different editor you prefer.
set editor = "emacsclient"

# Basic config, you can leave this as is
set folder = "imaps://imap.gmail.com:993"
set spoolfile = "+INBOX"
set imap_check_subscribed
set hostname = gmail.com
set mail_check = 120
set timeout = 300
set imap_keepalive = 300
set postponed = "+[Gmail]/Drafts"
set record = "Sent"
set header_cache=~/.mutt/cache/headers
set message_cachedir=~/.mutt/cache/bodies
set certificate_file=~/.mutt/certificates
set move = no
set include
set sort = 'threads'
set sort_aux = 'reverse-last-date-received'
set auto_tag = yes
ignore "Authentication-Results:"
ignore "DomainKey-Signature:"
ignore "DKIM-Signature:"
hdr_order Date From To Cc
alternative_order text/plain text/html *
auto_view text/html
bind editor <Tab> complete-query
bind editor ^T complete

# Gmail-style keyboard shortcuts
macro index,pager gi "<change-folder>=INBOX<enter>" "Go to inbox"
macro index,pager ga "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/All Mail<enter>" "Go to all mail"
macro index,pager gs "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/Starred<enter>" "Go to starred messages"
macro index,pager tp "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/Important<enter>" "Go to priority inbox"
macro index,pager gd "<change-folder>=[Gmail]/Drafts<enter>" "Go to drafts"

# Spam stuff.
macro index,pager S "<save-message>=[Gmail]/Spam<enter>" "mark message as spam"
macro index,pager H "<save-message>=INBOX<enter>" "mark message as ham (not spam)"


Stop all containers

sudo docker ps -q | xargs sudo docker stop

Removing containers

sudo docker ps -a -q -notrunc | xargs sudo docker rm

Removing images

sudo docker images | grep ay-app | awk '{ print $3 }' | xargs sudo docker rmi


ffmpeg -vcodec xvid -b 300 -qmin 3 -qmax 5 -bufsize 4096 -g 300 -acodec aac -ab 96 -i input_file.avi -s 320x240 -aspect 4:3 ipod_output.mpg

This creates videos that work fine with the iPod. I had some problems, though. Following command also works (thanks go here):

ffmpeg -i in.avi -f mp4 -vcodec mpeg4 -maxrate 1000 -b 700 -qmin 3 -qmax 5 -bufsize 4096 -g 300 -acodec aac -ab 192 -s 320x240 -aspect 4:3 out.mp4

For 16:9:

ffmpeg -i in.avi -f mp4 -vcodec mpeg4 -maxrate 1000 -b 700 -qmin 3 -qmax 5 -bufsize 4096 -g 300 -acodec aac -ab 192 -s 320x180 -aspect 16:9 out.mp4

sed - Remove a line with a pattern

This is using the GNU version of sed. It replaces inplace anything with payment_statement and the line after it.

gsed -i -e "/payment_statement/,+1 d" *

Adding Space to /tmp

sudo mount -o remount,size=40M tmpfs /tmp/

Adding Swap Space

The following creates a 4GB swap file. The count in dd is where you specify this. So if you wanted to create 1GB it would be 1024 *

dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile1 bs=1024 count=4194304
mkswap /swapfile1
chown root:root /swapfile1
chmod 0600 /swapfile1
swapon /swapfile1

After you added the swap file you need to add it to /etc/fstab

vi /etc/fstab
/swapfile1 swap swap defaults 0 0

Restart the sound server

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext
sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext

sudo killall coreaudiod

Check the settings

select name, setting, boot_val, reset_val, unit
from pg_settings
order by name;

Vacuum Db

vacuumdb treely_production -e -v -f

Kill Hung Query

SELECT pid FROM pg_stat_activity;
SELECT pg_terminate_backend(<pid>);

Current Running Queries

SELECT * FROM pg_stat_activity;

User Notifications on Mac OS X

If you want to post a notification on Mac OS X’s Notification Center this is the code that allows you to do it.

NSUserNotification *notification = [[NSUserNotification alloc] init];
[notification setTitle:@"Hello World"];
[notification setInformativeText:@"Hello world message"];
[[NSUserNotificationCenter defaultUserNotificationCenter] deliverNotification:notification];

Useful links to Android programming: CodePath Android Cliffnotes

Take Screenshots

Take a screenshot to a phone connected to the computer.

adb shell screencap -p | perl -pe 's/\x0D\x0A/\x0A/g' > screen2.png

Login to MySQL without root reds

If you want to login using without root credentials on MySQL:

sudo mysql --default-file=/etcd/debian.d/defaults

Javascript Libraries



Resource Owner -> Client -> Server

A resource owner wants to give access to middle man to information he owns on a remote server. The whole model is predicated on not giving the Client any information on the user’s username/password. This also means taht the Resource Owner can reoke Client’s access to Server’s resources by just going to the Server and revoking it.

Credentials and Tokens

Consumer key and secret (client credentials). Used to authenticate the client with the server. This means that there is a unique key and secret that the server also keeps. This allows the server to validate what access to give the client and revoke access if need be.

This is how it is laid out for Servio as it relates to talking with Salesforce.:

kwai.oauths ez.ez_applications
consumer_key shared_key
consumer_secret secret_key (encrypted_secret_key)
  • access token and secret (token credentials) Used to validate user (resource owner) with server without giving up the user credentials (username/password) to the client.

    This means that the resource owner specifies on the server what permissions it is willing to give client. The server holds on to these permissions and allows the client to only act within the permissions that the user gives it.

    kwai.oauths ez_apps_user_accesses
    access_token request_shared_key
    access_secret secret_key (encrypted_secret_key)
  • request token and secret (temporary credentials) These are used to verify the user requests.

    This associates the user to a access. So instead of passing around an access token we pass a request which is more temporary and can be changed based on when access is dealt.

    kwai.oauths ez_apps_user_requests OAuth Teminology
    request_token request_shared_key oauth_token
    request_secret secret_key (encrypted_secret_key) oauth_verifier

Request Urls

  • Temporary Credential Request https://photos.example.net/initiate

  • Resource Owner Authorization URI: https://photos.example.net/authorize

  • Token Request URI: https://photos.example.net/token