Author Archives: Alex

How to set up free Obsidian notes synchronization on macOS

TLDR: get SparkleShare and configure it to synchronize your Obsidian vault(s) with Bitbucket.

Add your notes to the cloud

1. Start by downloading SparkleShare from

2. Register a free account at if you don’t have one. Create a new private repository for your vault. The name can be “obsidian-notes”.

3. Open SparkleShare and click its icon in menu bar, select “SparkleShare -> Computer ID -> Copy to Clipboard”. Now go back to Bitbucket at and add new SSH key, and paste key’s value from the clipboard.

4. Back to SparkleShare in menu bar, click “SparkleShare -> Sync remote project” and follow the wizard to add Bitbucket repository.

5. Copy your existing notes from your vault into a newly created sync folder. In Finder, click on your home folder, then “SparkleShare”, then “” and finally your repository’s name e.g. “obsidian-notes” (see step 2) – this is a folder that SparkleShare watches for changes and keeps in sync.

6. Now use Obsidian to open your notes from this new folder, not the old one, otherwise SparkleShare will not be able to synchronize the files.

Add your notes from the cloud to a new computer

When you already have Obsidian vault on one computer (A) with SparkleShare set up to store notes in Bitbucket and you want to add those notes to another computer (B). Here’s what you need to do (all on computer B):

1. Install SparkleShare, start it.

2. Log in to your Bitbucket account and go to

3. In menu bar, click SparkleShare icon, then in menu “SparkleShare -> Computer ID -> Copy to Clipboard”.

4. Go back to Bitbucket page, add new SSH key to your account and paste it’s value from clipboard.

5. In menu bar, click SparkleShare icon, then “SparkleShare -> Sync remote project”, follow the wizard to add your repository, and don’t forget to check “Fetch prior revisions” to download existing notes.


You might want to create a totally separate account just to synchronize your notes. So you’ll create a notes repository on your main account, but add SSH keys to your notes account. Afterwards give access to your notes repository for the notes account.

This way SparkleShare’s SSH keys will not allow access to your main account’s repositories except when you specifically allow them to. Bitbucket’s free tier has up to 5 users per repository, so synchronization still should be free.

mac OS tip – add shortcuts to (almost) any application

Just a note for myself. It is possible to add a global shortcut for any UI app in mac OS using System Preferences.

I am using Notes app extensively to manage my notes and TODO lists. Sometimes instead of checking the TODO item I need to mark it as unneeded, then I like to use a Strikethrough text. Notes does not have a shortcut defined for this text style and I kept jumping through the menus.

Finally figured out the way to assign a key binding. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open System Preferences and go to Keyboard → Shortcuts;
  2. Go to App Shortcuts in the left list and click “+” below;
  3. In the Application dropdown select (or other app you need);
  4. Type in or paste exact menu item name in Menu Title – this is just the item name, not the full path to it. In my example it’s “Strikethrough” (no quotes);
  5. Click in Keyboard Shortcut input and then press which shortcut you’d like to assign, I picket Cmd+Shift+S (⌘+⇧+S).
  6. Press Add and you are all set, the shortcut is immediately active and ready to use.

If something goes wrong, make sure the app and the menu title are correct.

Book review: SQL Performance Explained

Overall: 9/10

Good parts

In-depth explanation of database performance concepts and pitfalls for all current major relative database engines. Goes over indexes, how to use them properly and why they might not be used during query execution. This can be used as an introduction but also as a handbook for everyday work.


Wish the author would include answers for “Think about it” questions in the appendix, so readers could check themselves.

52 weeks challenge – February

February is over. Time to put down some notes.

What is nice in Europe, is that everything is pretty close. It’s just two hours drive from my place to Amsterdam, three – to Paris and three hours flight to Rome! No wonder we go places often. Expect more photos from abroad.

Cliché shot №1 (6/52)

Crack (7/52)

Moon in Rome (8/52)

Kiter (9/52)
First proper test for my Sigma-Z 200mm f/3.5. Manual focus is a breeze with Sony.

Follow me on flickr!

52 weeks challenge – January

I have embarked myself upon a photography challenge for 2016. It’s pretty simple: post a picture every week, taken during that week, hence the name “52 weeks”. That’s somewhat simpler that the “365”, but still pretty interesting.

So here is a quick summary of the first month:

Paraglider (1/52)

Dragon skin (2/52)
Dragon Skin

Conformity (3/52)

Yellow (4/52)

Yawn (5/52)

I must say, I am already having second thoughts on not buying rugged camera, because with the weather like we have here, it is really hard to go out and shoot sometimes.