Simple Tumblr Backup script for Mac OS X and Linux

This shell script utilizes the excellent and makes it do exactly what I want it to do – and most likely, that’s what you want it to do as well.

The script downloads the current versions of the required Python scripts, backups one or multiple Tumblr blogs to date-prefixed folders (e.g., and subsequently removes the downloaded software automatically.

It runs out-of-the-box on any recent version of Mac OS X and most Linux distributions, you can configure it using the variables at the top of the file, and there’s a quick tutorial at the bottom of this post. If there are any errors, make sure you have Python 2.6 or newer installed.

(The code below won’t show up on your dashboard or in your RSS reader. View this post on my blog to see it.)

In case you have no prior experience with the command line, here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

  1. Click the “view raw” link above and save that file as on your Desktop.
  2. Open in a text editor and edit the BLOGS variable according to the instructions in the file.
  3. Open your terminal emulator ( on Mac OS X).
  4. Run the script: Type sh Desktop/ and press Enter. You can abort the backup at any time by pressing ctrl+C (don’t worry about the Python error messages that might appear).
  5. Depending on how many blogs you’re backing up and how many posts they contain, it might take half an hour or so to download everything. If you haven’t changed the OUT variable, everything should show up on your Desktop.

»→  Computer Science alumni of Reddit, what courses benefited you most for your major?

For more than a year now, this TL;DR of the linked Reddit thread had been in my file. Recently, while cleaning up and reorganizing, I figured that I might as well publish it on here:

  • "Classes for my major? Data Structures, hands down. Classes for my career? I wish I had taken classes on Technical Writing, Public Speaking, and basic Business and Management practices."
  • "Databases. Databases are so important I don’t think it is stressed enough of how important it is just venturing into the computer science world. Databases are the back bone of everything."
  • "I got a masters in English instead. Learned critical thinking, logic, research skills, took a multi-disciplinary approach — but I took electives in programming."
  • "advanced operating system, data structures and algorithms, calculus and analysis, numerical analysis & linear algebra"
  • "We did very little actual coding, but learned about UML, Design Processes like waterfall and agile, requirements gathering, use case design, etc."
  • "Usability engineering. Understanding how to make software that is actually what the end user needs is a huge asset when making software."
  • (This one is from 4chan:) “I know C, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, Scala, and web shit. It only makes it easier to learn other programming languages. And due to the fact that they’re all turing complete, they can all solve identical problems. So focus on learning algorithms and data structures.”

I had completely forgotten that this had been buried at the bottom of my drafts.

I’ve (by now barely) recently bought a Pentax K-7 to replace my K-100D. Alongside more megapixels and better low-light performance, the K-7’s main advantage over older Pentax DSLRs is that it’s the first to support 720p video recording.

So in late spring, I’ve recorded a few videos of ants harvesting honeydew from aphids. The one above is essentially the money shot, but longer videos are available here and here.

I’ve pretty much finished a big update to Minimax, but I’m a little afraid to submit it because that might push the theme back to the bottom of the apparently really long theme approval queue. The source is already up on GitHub, though, so feel free to go nuts with that (that is, as nuts as one can go with a Tumblr theme).

Here’s the relevant section of the changelog:

  • Improved <title> on Day pages, Tag pages, and Search result pages
  • Added optional “Liked” link to the sidebar (requires you to enable “Share posts you like” in the Dashboard settings)
  • Added optional list of group members to the sidebar (only available on secondary blogs)
  • Added optional list of blogs you follow to the sidebar (only available on primary blogs)
  • Changed sidebar to be scrollable when its content overflows (which happens easily enough if you follow a lot of blogs)
  • Added an option to stick the sidebar to the top to the page (as opposed to the top of the viewport) as another way of dealing with lots of links, group members, or followed blogs
  • Some minor changes

New features that might expose personal data (liked, blogs you follow, group members) are deactivated by default.

»→  Minimax Theme Demo Blog


Hey there! This blog demoes Minimax, a minimalist Tumblr theme with a maximalist number of features and options. Features include:

  • All post types
  • Custom colors for all elements
  • Custom background image
  • High-res photos
  • Localization (100% English and German, 80% other languages)
  • Tags, notes, exif data, play count, post author, reblog source, and content source on permalink pages
  • Search
  • Day pages, Tag pages, and Search result pages
  • Newer/Older links on permalink and day pages
  • Simple, minimal, and responsive design (resize your browser window to try it)
  • optional Infinite Scrolling
  • optional Google Analytics integration
  • optional Disqus comments
  • Successfully tested in Google Chrome 35+, Safari 7+, Internet Explorer 9+, and Mozilla Firefox 19+
  • Valid semantic HTML5 markup (that is, if you exclude the stuff Tumblr inserts into the page after processing the theme)
  • Source code licensed under the MIT license and available on GitHub

So I spent this weekend building a Tumblr theme. That’s what the cool kids do these days, right?

Minimax is quite minimalist in terms of design, being based on the theme I’m currently using on Aufgelöst, which only supports full-width photo posts. My goal was to add support for the other post types and release the result to the Theme Garden - but I kinda shot past that with Minimax: it provides pretty much every feature a Tumblr theme can provide, while being largely customizable (and, along with my other themes, free software).

I’m rather proud of this one and hope that the “APPROVAL PENDING" badge disappears quickly.