Running two copies of Freelook

I’ve been playing with Freelook recently, and it is quite a nice (Electron-based) solution for Outlook on Linux.

I found that I wanted to run multiple copies of Freelook for multiple email addresses, and one hack to achieve this is:

Edit /src/main.js:

const { app } = require('electron')
app.setPath ('userData', '/home/[USERNAME]/.config/freelook2');
const MailWindowController = require('./controller/mail-window-controller')
const TrayController = require('./controller/tray-controller')
const MenuController = require('./controller/menu-controller')
const Store = require('electron-store')

Running npm run start in this directory will now launch a new copy of Freelook with its own cookies and settings so that you can login to a different email account. It’s on the todo list to convert this hack into a configurable setting upstream, but for my current use case it works.

Saving Adobe Lightroom catalogs to network drives on Windows

Adobe Lightroom will not allow you to save catalogs to network drives by design. The following commands allow you to circumvent this limitation on Windows:

C:\> mklink /D H_mapping \\your_server\hugo
symbolic link created for H_mapping <<===>> \\your_server\hugo

C:\>mklink /J H_mapping_junction  H_mapping
Junction created for H_mapping_junction <<===>> H_mapping

Then you can save your Lightroom catalog in C:\H_mapping_junction. You need to run these commands with Administrator rights.

Tune Emacs binding for beancount

For editing beancount files there is an Emacs minor mode available. I find it useful and a quicker interface to use than Fava (which is already great).

I did feel that the most important command is not fast enough to reach (beancount-insert-account; bound to C-c '). The following command can be used in your init or .spacemacs to bind the insertion of accounts to C-c C-c as well:

(eval-after-load 'beancount '(define-key beancount-mode-map (kbd "C-c C-c") 'beancount-insert-account))

Opening OneNote links in Org-Mode

When adding OneNote URLs in an Org file on Windows, Org-Mode doesn’t know how to open these links. Add the below to your Emacs config and you can click the links. (Based on an earlier online example on opening Outlook URLs.)

(org-add-link-type "onenote" 'org-onenote-open) (
  defun org-onenote-open (link) "Open the OneNote item identified by the unique OneNote URL." 
    (w32-shell-execute "open" "C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\root\\Office16\\ONENOTE.exe" (concat "/hyperlink " "onenote:" (shell-quote-argument link))

Notes on bacula and vchanger

I’ve recently been experimenting with using bacula and vchanger to push data from a NAS to spare hard disks as a form of “tape backup”.

The tutorial at is a nice tutorial to follow. It proposes to use autofs to automatically mount encrypted disks when they are connected to the system. While this worked fine, I found that I wasn’t achieving expected write speeds.

I was seeing performance like:

Which is far below what USB 3.0 can carry.

It turned out after some debugging that autofs was the culprit. With autofs disabled, the results were more in line with expectations:

Set-up: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, USB3.0 HD dock, old WD Blue 5400rpm disk.

Steps to use systemd automount

The way that systemd shows the mount directory even if the disk is not mounted is different from autofs. Therefore, in your vchanger magazine line in vchanger.conf, it is recommended to make use of a subdirectory, e.g.:

magazine = "/mnt/vchanger/9140c104-9ddd-451d-b933-fe1df02e1234/data"

In your /etc/fstab you will need something like:

/dev/disk/by-uuid/9140c104-9ddd-451d-b933-fe1df02e1234 /mnt/vchanger/0707a287-c2d5-4512-8fd2-b0dad2094b61 btrfs defaults,compress=lzo,noauto,x-systemd.automount,x-systemd.idle-timeout=10,x-systemd.device-timeout=0.1s,x-systemd.mount-timeout=10

Important flags used:

  • x-systemd.automount,x-systemd.idle-timeout=10: when the disk has been unused for 10 seconds, unmount the disk (same as in autofs);
  • x-systemd.device-timeout=0.1s: systemd will block any operations on the target mount directory until this timeout expires. Therefore, it is recommended to set this to a low value, especially if you have many magazines.

I’ve used btrfs for its data corruption detection capabilities, but the filesystem chosen is of course irrelevant for the automounting.

Whenever making changes to the /etc/fstab in this manner, run these commands to have the settings take effect:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart