10 Years ago today…

31 08 2007



dave2.jpg

Originally uploaded by eidolon

There was this wonderful party in Bedford where tons of family and friends came to celebrate Cat and I getting married.

Happy Anniversary hun! Love you!

Lots more pictures on Flickr.

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Calendar sharing. Nirvana found?

30 08 2007

What is seemingly the bane of existence for most non-Microsoft users is the constant problem of “How can we share calendars?” Exchange does this extremely well, and there are many a Linux zealot, when confronted with the “Okay, we’ll try Linux. How do we share calendars?” has had to hide in shame.

For me, the problem has been “how do I sync my Treo 650 so I can see my family and friends’ calendars, without having to manually do some rigamarole involving synchronizing through some Windows based custom tool?

My savior may have arrived in the form of a tool called GooSync.

The concept is simple. The world in general has failed to come up with a standard calendaring system that actually makes sense, and allows multiple people to share, view, and update each others’ calendars. iCalendar, while very good for publishing calendars and allowing people to subscribe to them for viewing, does a poor job of allowing others to update someone else’s calendar.

Along comes Google Calendar. Ahh, a good, interactive, free calendaring service that allows multiple users to share, update, and publish calendars interactively. Not only that, Google Calendar has a published API specification that allows users to write programs that interact with it.

I had been using CompanionLink to hotsync my Google Calendar down to my Treo, but after months of complaints to their tech support and sales department, explaining that without multiple calendar support, their tool had only limited functionality, and after they even said to me “If you can figure out a way to keep the calendars synchronized without duplicating entries, feel free to tell us how” (and I did), and still not getting an update, it was time to look elsewhere.

GooSync has a number of very strong advantages over CompanionLink and, frankly, any other tool I’ve seen so far.

  • The base version is free. It allows you to sync one personal calendar to and from the Treo to a single Google Calendar
  • For a small fee (about $20 a year), it supports multiple calendars, with read and write access.
  • It keeps all the calendar entries separate on the Treo, either via a text tag in the entry, or using categories.
  • It syncs wirelessly. That means it’ll use the Treo data network (whichever one you have) to talk to their servers to get updates and to post changes. This means you do NOT have to cradle-hotsync your Treo and run some Windows app to synchronize your calendars

That last item bears closer scrutiny. Once the GooSync client is installed on your phone, all subscriptions and maintenance to your calendar list is done via Goosync’s website. Want to add a new calendar to your phone? Go to the website, say “show me all my Google calendars” (and it does), and click the checkbox next to the one you want to show up on your Treo. On the phone, run the Synchronize function in the GooSync client, and 30 seconds later, your Treo is updated with all the new entries.

I’ve tried this with my own calendar, and shared calendars I have write access to, and it works perfectly. No duplicate records, nothing showing up in calendars that I didn’t have there before, it just plain works. I now have full control and view into all my Google Calendars from my phone.

With all the gloom and doom about the PalmOS platform (both from me, and also from very well known tech blogs like Engadget), this is a small ray of sunshine. Note that GooSync supports a ton of different devices, so even if you don’t have a ‘smartphone’ per se, you can probably sync your Google Calendar to your device.

Yay technology, and thank you Google for making it possible, and thank you GooSync!





Another Linux user. Our ranks grow.

28 08 2007

About 6 months ago I was having a conversation with my roommate Beth, talking about her aging Dell laptop. She was considering getting a desktop machine to use as her primary workhorse for her up and coming graduate student immersion.

I thought a bit, and said “Hey, I could probably get you something decent. We could even make this an interesting experiment. Tell you what, I’ll get you a machine, but it’ll run Linux. Up for it?”

“Sure!”

And we were off…

Read the rest of this entry »





Eve Crankiness

24 08 2007

It’s mighty frustrating when your chief distraction / addiction starts being totally unuseable.
Grrr.
And, in the rant department, I really detest ‘debugging’ Windows problems, as I’ve had to do twice today. Windows gives you NO feedback on what’s going on. It either works, or it doesn’t, and the process for ‘fixing’ the problem involves playing whack-a-mole with driver versions, tools, and clicky-clicky interfaces. Except the mole is invisible, and the big bell is broken. You may fix the problem, but you won’t know it until you try again. And then it might work, it might not, or it might work on the next reboot, or, you may be blessed with your fix working, but may stop next time you reboot, or run an update, or move your mouse, or whatever.
I’m boggled by how people can call this platform ‘maintainable’, when the chief answer seems to consistently be “Doesn’t work? Reboot! If that doesn’t work, reinstall from scratch!”
*takes grumpy self off to bed*





Snarking the Cape Wind detractors.

22 08 2007

As usual, The Daily Show nails the tragic issues of the Cape Wind project dead on. Truly, the threat to Nantucket and the Sound is astounding and profound. Good thing that The Daily Show brought this potential debacle to our attention.
See the video to understand… what’s at stake.

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Vague amusement at technology.

20 08 2007

I find it terribly amusing, coming from a long history of data communications involvement, that my tactic, when deciding to walk away from my computer, is to turn the volume down so I don’t disturb others.

Why is this amusing?  Because I don’t even bat an eye at the fact that I’m streaming 128kbps worth of music from a server in California through 4 companies’ networks and 2 dozen routers, moving something like 20k worth of data a second (that’s 10 full pages of text, to give it context) into my machine where… it is not heard, and discarded.

We’ve become so bandwidth-jaded.

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Looking for a poster? Or maybe an album cover?

19 08 2007

Back in high school I remember an image of a full size sailing vessel – a galleon or the like (we’re talking old school wooden round hull), but it was up on ice runners, and was zipping along on the ice, rather than in water.

It might have been part of the black light poster set, as so well catered to by Spencers or the like, or maybe it was an album cover?  Does anyone remember this image, or better yet, have a pointer to it? <a href=”http://images.google.com/”>images.google.com</a&gt; is not helping me.

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