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Jonas Brømsø
Jonas Brømsø

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Blog post: Computer time consumption - a tour down a rabbit hole

Computers as a hobby/job is incredibly time consuming.

There is always something to tweak, try-out, evaluate and do. Most computer programmers are therefor productivity addicts - we need to get stuff done or out of the way, because there is so much else we need/want/have to do and we are always struggling with distraction and procrastination.

This struck me the other day when I had a problem on my computer, I addressed it and then reflected on what had happened.

Problem: How to I change the default browser from the command line?

I googled i bit and fell of a StackOverflow post. This post referred to an application named default browser, which was available on GitHub.


I got the tool installed and just for my own reflection and sanity I wrote up a TIL (Today I Learned).

I started using the tool and after a very short amount of time, I found out that I got tired of writing out the browser names, like: firefoxdeveloperedition

Problem: How do I get tab completion for Bash?

Luckily I have implemented several completions for bash for the tools I use all the time and where this do not exist.

Once more unto the breach...

Since defaultbrowser has nice behavior of listing all available browsers when not provided with any arguments, the solution pretty much gave itself.


Now the defaultbrowser tool has one minor annoyance and that is the prompting for the change in the GUI and I am not the only one who found this issue a tad annoying.

Problem: How do you change browser silently?

  • I started by reading the the raised issue, to understand all the aspect and the discussion
  • I then read the documentation of defaultbrowser again
  • I then read the source code of defaultbrowser
  • I then read the Official Apple documentation for the API used


This is not supported in the API, some workarounds have been described in the issue as comments, but nothing that looks perfect.

But to get back to this post, since I am rambling and you have better things to do with your time.

Every time we want to tweak, try-out, evaluate or do something, we are standing on the edge of a rabbit hole, with no idea of how deep it goes. The problem is that we enjoy the thrill of the ride, the fixing of the problem and the feeling of success.

I am satisfied with the point I got to, but as I demonstrated in the above example there are always new discoveries, problems, solutions and things to learn just around the corner and so little time.

The best way to manage your time is to acknowledge that

  • None of us are one-man armies
  • open source rocks
  • collaboration benefits us all
  • sharing is caring

Thanks for taking your time to reading this post, now get back in your rabbit hole and let me know where it took you, what you learned or what you built and let me know if you can help me or I can help you, but do not waste my time or your own time - since it is a limited

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