Thoughtpile I write things here.

How I convert PDFs to EPUB semi-automatically

Sometimes e-books come only in PDF format. Almost always PDFs are a pain to read on e-book readers. You can use Calibre to automatically convert it, but the results are okay-ish at best. If the PDF has footnotes, forget it. Unfortunately, the type of books that most often come only as PDFs are science books and these usually have a lot of footnotes. One option is to use Calibre to convert and then fix the result, but I have found that I get better results in less time when I create a new EPUB, copy the PDF’s content into Emacs, clean it up there and then copy it over to Calibre.

Ideas on a better content warning system for the Fediverse

Content warnings are a more general form of trigger warnings. They are notices that precede potentially sensitive content, so readers can prepare themselves to adequately engage or, if necessary, disengage for their own well-being. How content warnings are handled by current implementations Mastodon and Pleroma abuse the “summary” field in ActivityPub for content warnings.[1][2] The field returned by the Mastodon API is called “spoiler_text”. It’s a simple text field. There are no mechanisms to ensure that content warnings are predictable and they clash with real summaries.

Install Syncthing on PocketBook

Installing Syncthing on a PocketBook is fairly easy, but it requires a bit more setup than on PCs. I’ve tested this with a PB632 (PocketBook Touch HD 3), but it should work on any PocketBook device. Connect your e-reader via USB in “PC link” mode. Create the directory applications/syncthing in the storage device that shows up. Get the latest ARM 32 bit version of Syncthing from and extract the binary “syncthing” to the directory you just created.

Keep track of what you've read online with remwharead

Today I’d like to talk to you about how I archive articles I read online and how I find them again. I’ve found myself repeatedly in situations where I wanted to reference an article I knew I read, but couldn’t find it anymore. Be it that I didn’t remember the right search terms or that the article had gone offline. I searched for solutions to my problem, but could only find webservices, nothing that would allow me to keep an archive on my local computer.

Editing remote files with Emacs, comfortably

It took me a long time to collect all the bits and pieces I needed to make editing remote files with Emacs work the way I want, with a simple command that works via SSH. I hope I can save you some time by stitching it here together into a tutorial. I assume you use use-package in my examples. Emacs server & TRAMP We start with Emacs’s good old inbuilt server.