Over on DeviantArt, designer ~Izobalax has been musing on a minor flaw in Zeitgeists armour: the ability to easily ‘take’ your logs with you on an upgrade or fresh install.

You now how sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees? I think that applies here. I have been using Zetigeist for a long time now but, with some regularity thanks to my knack for breaking my system, routinely lose my accumulated Zetigest data. It’s not massive hindrance to my usability but it almost defeats the point of logging stuff in the first place if you can’t ‘take’ it with you to continue building upon.

The Solution?

To lock, stock and shamelessly copy & paste from Izo, here is his reasoning – and simple solution – in full: –

Case Use: Let’s say that you’re a long-time Ubuntu user and you regularly upgrade your machine with every new Ubuntu version every 6 months (via a fresh install).

What happens? Well, it means that 6 months of Zeitgeist event logging gets wiped out every time you perform a fresh Ubuntu install.

In an ideal sort of world, there would be a simple little app like above, which I’ve given the quick name of “Time Freeze”. The apps purpose is simple: when you’re in the midst of backing up your personal information and data in preparation for a fresh Ubuntu install, you should also be able to export your Zeitgeist “log”, so that once you’ve a new Ubuntu install back on your system, you can import the Zeitgeist log and let Zeitgeist continue logging events from where you left off.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Now… I imagine I will be told that there is already a way to save the current state of your Zeitgeist log. Which is groovy, but surely we can have a neat little app to make this process hella simple and easy?

Sounds good to me.


Wow – you guys are fast! Inspired by Izo’s design reader Shnatsel set to work on an initial implimentation. That work is now available for download.

Talking about the script Shnatsel told us:

“It doesn’t look as fancy as the mockup but does its job rather well, and creates a backup of the old log before replacing it with the new one. It’s also translation-ready and I’m going to add KDE integration soon.”

It can be downloaded @ launchpad.net/zeitgeist-time-freeze

Download Idea scripts shnatsel zeitgeist