aiTTS Update Version 1.0.8

I just released a new version of aiTTS. Download the apk file here.

To learn more about aiTTS in detail, go to the aiTTS article page.

What’s new?

Not much, just bug fixing. There was a small bug with the clicking noise in the beginning of each sentence. I didn’t hear the clicks on my phone until someone of you mentioned it to me. Then i heard all these clicks, it was annoying xD. If you still experience these clicking noises, please remove aiTTS completly and install it fresh. I updated it on my phone but the old version was still running.

My favorite cli tools (not only) for development

I recently reinstalled one of my dev machine at work and I needed to reinstall stuff I use for web development. So here is the list with tools / scripts I use all the time. These tools are not really intended for developers only, these can be used by anyone working with cli (command line interface)

My dev machine is Linux (currently Kubuntu, that’s Ubuntu with KDE – I like KDE a lot) – most of these tools are also available for Mac and some for Windows.


exa - a replacement for ls

exa is a replacement for the ls command.

    • colors
    • git : shows which files or dirs were modified, created etc.
    • tree view – just add –tree and you get a nice tree view of your files and sub dirs.

you can simply use it by executing “exa” in your terminal, but personally I created an alias in my .zshrc file for “ls”:
ls='exa --long --header --git'

get exa here.

Be aware of Scaleway

Scaleway is a cloud provider. They provide servers, storage starting of 3 $ per month. I was a customer there for few years. Few weeks ago I left Scaleway.

After you sign up, you login and can quickly create servers (called instances). You can select which Linux and how powerful your instance should be. After the boot up you can sign in into your machine via ssh.

They offer servers starting from 3 $ which are enough for smaller projects and more expensive like for AI machine learning for ~500 $ per month.

How I run this blog with docker

Lets talk about this blog and how it is running.

My blog is powered by:

  • docker
    • apache
    • php 7
    • wordpress
    • mysql
    • nginx reverse proxy (this maps the domain with a specific docker container)
    • https with letsencrypt (free ssl certificates)
    • http2 protocoll

I will show you how I managed to run this blog using these technologies but before that, you might ask yourself: why? why so “complicated”?

Thats not really complicated. I think it is even much simpler than installing everything from scratch. You don’t have to install apache, php, configure your apache, mysql etc.. the only thing you need is docker and a docker-compose.yml file. And you can quickly migrate to another server or work easily locally with the exact same installation as in production. Thats actually how I work most of the time. Since I discovered docker, I use it for dev and prod.

aiTTS – Google Wavenet Voices for Android TTS

aiTTS, Artificial intelligence text to speech engine for android

Google TTS Wavenet voices for Android (Text to speech engine).

I read a lot of ebooks. The problem is that I get tired easily. Listening to ebooks is better for me. I use Google Books Text to speech feature all the time. It works nice, but the voices are terrible.

I even bought some premium TTS engines like from Acapela. It is bearable but lets get stright. These voices still sound like robots. OK for navigation apps but annoying for ebooks.

How to create HTML E-Mail Templates?

Sometimes I need to create a HTML Email template. The customers sends me a Photoshop file, my task is to create a E-Mail template which can be used in Outlook to send E-Mails. The customer also tells me to create multiple versions where for example the header is same but the content slightly different, eg. multi language content.

The problem with CSS.

You can’t simply embedd a CSS file (at least not in some email clients) so you need to use inline CSS for almost every HTML tag. For example for the “p” tag (paragraph). Then the customer says he wants the p tag a little bit bigger.. so you open all your HTML files and edit the inline CSS for all your P tags. Thats tedious and unproductive.

My favorite File Manager for Windows

Working as developer requires me to work with a lot of files. The Windows Explorer is OK, you get almost everything done. When you want to be more productive, I recommend you to use something better than Windows Explorer.
My app of choice is “Total Commander” (from now on TC). In this article I will show you some of the awesome features I often use in Total Commander.

Run PHP asynchronously in own threads

When you start a php script it will wait until it is done. Lately I and my customers were facing a huge problem where pictures were uploaded to a gallery web app and the problem was in the thumbnail generation.

The thumbnails were generated as someone opened the gallery (frontend). This resulted in long loading page and sometimes strange errors. Sometimes the page didnt load at all because Apache was working heavily on the thumbnails. Even worse was that the gallery was visited by many people simultaneously. The gallery app created 4 thumbnails out of one image in different sizes.

There are better ways to handle this. I could generate the thumbnails in the backend and show the thumbs on the frontend when they were generated. The problem is that I am using Owncloud as the backend and it is a pain the ass to extend Owncloud… but thats another story.

So, how did I manage to get rid of the problem and make the thumbnail generation fast and non blocking?

How to add a Logo to Symfony Console Component

Currently I am creating a small console application for AceProject. (Github) I never worked with the Symfony CLI Component (CLI = Command Line Interface) but it works like a charm. You can create your own CLI applications in a breeze. And I already tried other php command line frameworks – most of the frameworks were complicated, complicated in the sense of understanding and creating simple CLI apps.

Hubstaff – Timetracking not only for developers

In this post I will write about a time tracker called Hubstaff.

When we work, we need to track the time. (Unless you work on your own projects). I tried many time tracking apps in the last few months and stayed with Hubstaff.

If you used to track time you know that it is not always fun to do. Some webapps are complicated or some lack features. It takes some time to track your time. Hubstaff is a little bit different, here is why: