util.host/readme

Why does this site exist? Backstory, FAQs and release notes.

Readme

util.host is my kitchen sink for stuff i want to try out. Or for things i want to have, but is not available on the web for free, or in a way i don't like. So it's becoming a Sammelsurium on tools that uses assorted free APIs, libraries and Github projects. Everything i use is usually listed in the footer of the page or in the release notes.

One goal is to build everything without cookies and without external dependencies that could be tracked down to a single user. I sometimes make exceptions if there is no other possibility. For example the map-tiles on /map are coming direct from the api-vendor.

All the tools are ad-free and should stay free. There is also no user-facing tracking and no logging of data on user-basis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Q: There are a lot of sites that have the same stuff? Why is util.host different?
    A: Often this sites have a lot of ads, popups, modals, cookie-banners on it. It needs some time to click away everything until you get what you were usually looking for. And if you come back you have to do it again. In the worst case you get to a page with a paywall and not even get the information you need.

  • Q: I start every search on Google and often they have already the answer for me. Why do I need util.host?
    A: I always liked the idea of Google, to make all the information of the world accessible. But in the last years this motto got some scratches. We all remember the industries that got already destroyed by Google. And we all saw the bad things they have already done with their power. I believe now, it is not the best idea to lay the data of the worlds in the hands of a single private company. I am still using a lot of service of the big tech companies, but always looking for (good enough) alternatives.

Imprint

Michael Feichtinger, Linz
Twitter: @derfichtl

Release notes

2021-04-22 - /str Features

The /str got some descriptions of the tools you can use: MD5, Base64 and JSON for example. I also added a new JSON prettify option that using the PHP json_encode function with JSON_PRETTY_PRINT flag.

2021-04-21 - /movies Extension

/movies got a nice extension. The new main menu point "lists" shows currated lists of great movies or series on netflix and amazon prime. I can now create and include any list on TMDb and show it in the /movie page. More lists will come in the future. The lists are built by hand and formed by just my opinion, not objective data is used to create or sort this lists.

2021-04-18 - /str Base64 images

The /str tool can now show Base64 images.

2021-04-18 - /mantra rework

The design changed slightly to fit better for longer quotes. I have also created a complete new mantra/quote list. It contains now nearly 80 quotes, only from sources that are considered to be public domain by now. That means, the creator is already dead for more than 70 years or the quote is older than 70 years. The most quotes comes from TheGoldenQuotes.net. They have even more quotes and also embedable public domain motivation pictures. The second main-source is wikiquote that contains quotes considered as "fair use" if they are for educational purpose (non-comercial) and other considerations. So following this guidelines the quotes presented here should be either "public domain" or "fair use".

2021-04-17 - Infrastructure stuff

Doing some lighthouse testing. Adding cache headers, minifest.file, custom bootstrap css via PurifyCss and minor changes to fix various lighthouse errors and warnings. Nearly all tools should have now a quality score above 90.

2021-04-16 - New tool /dns

Check dns records online for any domain. Using the linux dig command i show the most important types of dns records. The types: NS, A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, TXT, PTR, SOA, SRV, CAA, SSHFP, URI, LOC are supported. Also added a reverse lookup (PTR record) ot the /ip tool.

2021-04-12 - A new base ApiClient

All APIs (movies, etf, stocks, crypto, weather) getting fetched via the new api client now. It has a built in caching and concurrent http request support via Guzzle and a simple interface.

2021-04-11 - Bugfixes

  • Added readme route and all finance stuff to sitemap.xml
  • Fixed some bugs in sitemap.xml
  • Better titles, texts and meta descriptions for the finance and map routes
  • Another CSP problem in map fixed

2021-04-10 - ETF, Stocks, Crypto

Complete rework of the finance tools. Switched to a new paid API from twelve for fetching quotes and timeseries data for all financial routes (etf, stocks, crypto). Added new year/month/day resolutions and timeframes to the chart. I integrated news feeds into /crypto and /stocks.

2021-04-06 - CSP added

I added a content security policy and removed external resources as much as possible. Some things have to stay, for example map-tiles, movie-posters or weather-icons from the different api providers. The charts.css library is a local copy now and not delivered via CDN anymore. There is also a custom 404 error page now.

2021-04-05 - News /readme route

The new readme-controller gives access to the README.md file. In this file i publish release notes, future ideas and the background story of https://util.host. For the markdown parsing, the Parsedown library is used.

2021-04-05 - The /news rework

The news route got a bigger rework. I switched to guzzle for fetching feeds, so i could do concurrent requests. Every news channel is now much faster. Sources in one channel could now be filtered and i added new sources for the comic channel. So now you have Dilbert, xkcd, explosm and more of the best web comics in one feed. The new crypto channel aggregates the best news about bitcoin and altcoins.

2021-04-04 - Minor improvements

  • I did some cleanup in the code.
  • Every header has now a link to the homepage.
  • Started with a dashboard called /one or /1 but needs more time to publish it.
  • Added new texts to /movies that explains the criteria of filtering and sorting.

2021-04-04 - New caching for /etf route

The etf-route works currently with the free comic api. This api has an limit of 5 requests per minute and if you are a fast clicker you could hit this limit. I changed the caching so that the old results are shown even if the api returns an error. I also added some infos about the ETFs that are shown like the ISIN, WKN, biggest holdings and volume.

2021-04-03 - The new /emojis search

Simple search for emojis by name and group. I looked for the data quite some time until i got a json file with the most important emojis in a usable form from unicode-emoji-json. I have here the links (1, 2) to the original data on unicode.org, but i didn't managed to use it. I really don't understand why they do this range-thing with .. (dotdot) and omit emojis in the list?