In the middle of the desert you can say anything you want

28 Sep 2021

What is this?

TL;DR This is a robbdigital garden. Diensttagebuch is for IT stuff, Journal is for everything else.

Intro / About / ToS’s main role is hosting the Diensttagebuch and Journal.

I always believed in learning in public and loved the concept of digital gardens, even before I knew they are were thing. I don’t trust my memory and keep a lot of notes, this is an experiment about making some of them public. Public notes make life easier for me and I hope they might help others.

The spirit of Digital Garden Terms of Service applies - “learning in public” implies I’m likely wrong about a lot of stuff written here. I try to provide sources for most of the things I link, make your own judgements. I’d be glad to hear from you if you agree or disagree with anything.

Internal links look like this, external links look like this.

Diensttagebuch / Work journal

Initially I stole the idea from an /r/AskHistory thread, where a Dienttagebuch was mentioned as source and I thought that was really cool. In English, I’d translate this as “Work journal”, “Work notebook”, “Lab notebook”.

I note here bits I think I’ll need later. What I learned, what problems I had, how I solved them. Titles and partly content are optimized for easy grepping/“Ctrl+F”-ing. The Master file has all the Days concatenated in chronological order for even easier search.

This is the single best productivity/memory/PKM tool that helps me the most. I think it stuck because I tried to make its use as low-effort as possible:

  • Opening today’s Day is literally a <Ctrl-minus> away
  • ./ commits the state, builds it and uploads it here; it also creates a master textfile with all days I can open locally
  • Writing is easy - it’s text and vim, which I love. I also have a lot of shortcuts etc for copying links in markdown format, creating references etc.
  • Searching is easy because it’s either text, or a long webpage.
  • After adding Obsidian to the mix, nothing of the above changed - same shortcuts, same markdown files, I just added some new lines to that run obyde1. Except that I’m now able to access/edit my notes from my mobile phone.

As of 28th September 2021, I’ve been keeping it for 1001 (one-thousand-and-one!) days!


Similar to the above, but about non-IT stuff - language notes, cooking recipes, anything I don’t want to lose. Previously was part of the Diensttagebuch.


I have had a blog since high school, it has “longer” IT posts but also writing, poetry translations, etc.


  • 09 January 2019: Created
  • 28 September 2021:
    • switched from Jekyll to Hugo, now building takes 0.5 seconds instead of 30.
      • Which broke a lot of formatting, especially things like code inside <li>s etc
    • Added “Notes” to keep the non-work non-IT things separate from the “Dienst” things.
  • Sometime in October:
    • Started getting deeper into Obsidian, set up laptop/phone sync, added templates etc
    • Started adding the Obsidian Zettelkasten-like notes directly into the Diensttagebuch, breaking with the longtime tradition of having titles like “Day 1234” but getting a much more flexible tagging system.
  • Sometime in November:
    • Added back my old blog here.

  1. khalednassar/obyde: A minimal tool to convert a standardly configured Obsidian vault to a Jekyll or Hugo blog. ↩︎

Nel mezzo del deserto posso dire tutto quello che voglio.