Showing posts from June, 2010

tkoutline, JOE, and Notecase Pro

tkoutline "is a single pane, cross-platform outline editor written in Tcl/Tk." This free program was written by Brian Theado.

I used to use it a lot. It was very close to what I wanted - but lacked movement by word, and word count. Finally, I emailed Theado, and he promptly sent me back a few lines to add to the preferences and startup files. I could now move the cursor by word and get a word count.

I eventually drifted away from it, mainly because the combination of the tclkit and the program file I was using gave me a dotty-font look, sort of like Windows. It was ugly, and the rest of my Linux desktop was so pretty. Call it an aesthetic issue.

Well, it turns out that I should have broken down and asked Theado how to fix that, too. I did, today, and it's not hard.

For Linux machines, follow these instructions to get a surprisingly handy, quick, stable (and now good looking!) program that works for a lot of things.

1. Grab these files:

* wget…

Uncle Bobby's Wedding story for the Gay and Lesbian fund

Click here to get to a page from the latest Gay and Lesbian fund annual report. Then click on the embedded video there. The Gay and Lesbian Fund Fund has underwritten many library programs over the years, and recently interviewed both me and one of our most prominent local library philanthropists about the principles of free speech, using our response to a challenge to "Uncle Bobby's Wedding" as a case in point.

Cell phones

Recently, my library's IT staff tried to link my cell phone, the Palm Centro smartphone, running the now abandoned Palm OS, to our Exchange Server. It was an experiment fraught with danger.

One problem: my current data plan (paid by me, not the library) really doesn't cover that. (I didn't find that out till later.)

Another problem: The wireless sync program represented a different kind of work flow.

Another problem: my own incompetence. I didn't read the instructions for synching very carefully. When it did sync, it wiped out my entire calendar, then wouldn't sync the old way with my Palm. At this point, I'm not sure if I ever tried to sync wirelessly again to restore the settings from the Exchange Server, or if it would have worked.

Instead, I went through a round of reformatting, restoring key files, hopping across a Windows NT machine, my home PC running Ubuntu, and my netbook. Then, trying to figure out how to restore the simple email to my own domain. In the …

Rethinking Ubuntu One and the cloud

In the rain of Sunday and Monday, I fiddled with various Ubuntu downloads, and am now downloading the latest Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE). I've also been playing with Dropbox at work (on Windows XP) and on my home PC (using Ubuntu 10.04). To complicate things, I've also been trying out some things on my Aspire Aspire One netbook (Linpus Lite, a sort of tweaked Fedora 8).

After poking into Ubuntu, I suddenly "got" something that has no doubt been obvious to many others for some time: with Ubuntu One, and its integration both into the OS and the Rhythmbox music player's access to the Ubuntu One music store, Ubuntu is now not just a Linux distribution, it's an ecosystem.

There are some files I work on - mostly newspaper columns and project notes - that do spread across all three computers (home, work, and netbook). And sure enough, putting them on Dropbox suddenly made it easier to keep the same file accessible everywhere.

I don't listen to a lot of music on my…

Crabapple blossoms

Taken with my Centro cellphone a couple weeks ago, outside the Nordstrom's at Park Meadows Mall.

Don't sit under the apple tree

Here are the delightful Vernon sisters. Something about these family groups - the Andrew sisters, the Mills Brothers, the Vernon sisters - is particularly engaging. Their voices, their movements, are uncannily close and synched.

I'm watching this because I'm working on ukulele versions of both this and "Buttons and Bows," for reasons that just might bring the Tuna Boys the fame we so richly deserve. Or not.

The Yike Bike

Click here to see a wonderful video about a device that is just wonderfully designed and elegant: a fold up electric bike.