Covered topics: life in general, personal productivity, life hacks, organization, software development, technology, etc.

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  • Syntax Desktop 1.3
  • Syntax Desktop is a publishing system used to manage the contents of a Web site. It has an attractive GUI with DHTML elements. You can use it to insert news, photos, documents, and tree data structures into your site. It features easy DB backup and style switching.

  • BTS BugTrack 1.0
  • BTS BugTrack is a bug tracking system that has been designed to enable individuals or groups of developers to keep track of outstanding bugs submitted by users. Options are configurable to fit within most environments. Email notifications are sent on new reports and report updates. The number of users and projects is unlimited.

    The cost of BTS BugTrack is only $20

  • NomadSync 0.3.1
  • NomadSync is a utility that makes it possible to keep the MP3 collection on your Creative Nomad Jukebox synchronised with the MP3s on your PC.

  • Flumotion 0.1.0
  • Flumotion Streaming Server is a streaming server that supports streaming in free formats. It uses a distributed architecture, and sports an easy-to-use configuration GUI.

    It supports streaming in Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora, and Ogg Speex formats.

    Slashdot: Whopping-Big Data Theft At U.C.

    aceta writes "An intruder penetrated a research computer at
    U.C. Berkeley in August and had access to names, social security numbers
    and other data for 1.4 million Californians participating in a state
    social program. CNET calls it the worst intrusion U.C. Berkeley has
    experienced. SecurityFocus additional details: the hacker used a known
    vulnerability, and state officials have yanked the university's research
    access to the data because of the breach. The victims were all receiving
    or providing at-home care under a state program to help the elderly and
    disabled. The FBI is investigating."

    I just upgraded my Linux server's webmail system to SquirrelMail 1.4.3a.
    ( with surprising ease, all over a VNC
    session from my Windows box. Apparently, the new version, as is common
    with many release-early-release-often open source projects, fixed a
    critical memory leak and some security problems.

    It was surprising because starting a tech project late in the evening
    after work rarely ends up well for me. Fatigue usually prevents me from
    having a smooth time of it.

    The bonus was that I was able to read a couple of Techblogs from Blogs4God
    ( I'm currently working on a post for Dean.
    (He just doesn't know it yet.)

    Still to do:

  • Find out how to use SquirrelMail's LDAP address feature
  • Find out how to use SquirrelMail's MySQL integration for user preferences
  • Find out how to create and use a DSN on Linux for a MySQL database

    Maybe I should just quit mourning the stagnation of my Microsoft skills
    and embrace some alternatives while my bread and butter (read "mortgage
    payment") comes from Visual Basic 6 and SQL Server 2000. I've been
    wanting to do more .NET development, but I find little motivation to do
    development at home. I'm over a year behind on Microsoft Money, receipts,
    and filing, so there's some guilt for just geeking around. Maybe I should
    do some catching up on the paper pile.

  • Tivo is starting to get on my nerves

    I'm beginning to loathe my TiVo. Maybe loathe is a strong word. It sucks my time away. I can record an unseemly amount of shows that I have no time to watch. If I try to follow any of them, I have no time for the richer things in life, like blogging for example. Plus it's been a long while since I wrote any code whatsoever at home. Scary!

    Ahh! It feels so good to get back to the keyboard and blog again. I didn't watch television/TiVo-vision all evening. I left that to my wife. Instead, I spent the evening sorting out my medications for multiple sclerosis and depression. I did say the "richer" things in life, didn't I? Anyway, I'm not sour about it. I actually felt like I got something accomplished.

    You know what, this felt so good, I think won't wait so long to do it again next time.

    Do I have to have something positive to say in order to blog about it?

    Well, that hasn't happened much lately, so here goes anyway...

    About the upcoming election, my traditional affiliation has been
    Republican because of moral and economic issues. In general, the economy
    stinks. Gas prices don't seem like they will ever come down, no matter
    who wins in November. The cost of living is growing by leaps and bounds,
    but incomes are not.

    I respect George W. Bush for a couple of reasons: first, he took a strong
    leadership role in the wake of 9/11; second, he exercised courage in
    decision-making when our allies refused to help us. I'm not saying he
    ultimately made the right decision. Only time will tell. All decisions
    of such a huge scale have at least some ugly unintended

    I wish GWB were smoother and more eloquent. He would look a lot stronger
    than he comes across in the debates. So far, he seems angry and "bested"
    most of the time.

    Lately I feel that Christian values have been marginalized by the
    Republicans in an effort to spread a message of "diversity." Little
    progress has been made on abortion in a long time. Gay marriage looms
    closer and closer. I don't see the Democrats adopting an anywhere-near-Biblical position on these issues, so I still don't see myself changing sides in spite of Iraq and the economy.

    Then again, I have little to be proud or confident of in my own spiritual
    walk. I feel hypocritical because I often find myself watching the very
    things I claim to despise. Where's the will power to turn it off or
    change to something more wholesome?

    I can't rightly judge anyone else, regardless of the issue, because I am
    in desperate need of a Savior, just like everyone else.

    I feel like I am floating in limbo, unable to connect and ground myself.
    After a fight with depression, my faith has been sorely challenged. Now,
    I am facing the possible diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Don't think I'm
    whining, but it has been tough.

    In light of all this, something as big as an election seems small. And,
    sometimes, it's hard to find the motivation to blog when you don't feel
    like doing anything. So don't think that I've forgotten to blog.
    It's been a real effort lately, so please be patient.

    I've been experimenting with a mix of tools for personal organization:

    • MediaWiki
    • SquirrelMail
    • WebCalendar
    • Radio Userland
    • NewsGator
    • Outlook 2002
    • FranklinCovey PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook

    • TreePad
    • An iPAQ PocketPC (PocketPC 2002)
    • A FranklinCovey planner binder with paper forms.

    I'm slowly finding a rhythm. I recently found an easy way to update my
    Outlook calendar from Web Calendar. When in Web Calendar, I create a new
    appointment and include my own caledar as an "invitee," and it allows me
    to "Mail all invitees" (myself). I select the "vCal" option to attach a
    vCalendar file.

    I've set up a special email address for this calendar, which is the
    default recipient for the mail message. Then, when Outlook downloads my
    mail, a rule sorts messages from the special email address to an
    "Appointments" folder. All that's left to do is open each message and its
    accompanying attachment. Then I save the appointment, and voila! The
    appointment from my Web Calendar is saved to Outlook and synchronized to
    my PocketPC.

    Very cool.

    I've been having trouble walking for nearly two weeks. The thought
    occurred to me while walking through the mall today: escalators don't
    have a "passing lane." I guess those busy shoppers tromping up and down
    the escalators will just have to wait behind the guy doing the speed

    I'm back, and who cares?

    Sorry, folks. Long dry spell. I don't blame anyone for leaving permanently. I don't even check my referrer log regularly anymore. I mean, who cares if someone from Google accidentally stumbled across looking for something that you know they didn't find on your page. Just look at the query and you can tell.

    I get the "disadvantage of email" one a lot. I wrote a post about the disadvantage of posting via Radio's email-to-weblog feature. I don't even remember what I said about it, but that one gets a lot of hits.

    I've been consolidating my blogs, well, mentally at least. All of that has been cooking around in my brain for some months, but I've been unable or even unmotivated to bother with it. I'm letting several of my domain registrations lapse. Just too many good intentions. That's what I can say about my life in general. I need to really reflect and find a way to focus on living a richer life, not a "fuller" one. Yes, I mean "fuller" in the way you feel after Thanksgiving dinner--too full--stuffed. And I've been one stuffed turkey!

    I appreciate those who bothered to blogroll or link me so many moons ago when I was prolific (but not profound). Here are a few that I can name:

    That's all for now. Shouldn't I feel better?

    Posting again

    Yes, I've been posting, even though my home page doesn't look like it. In fact, I've been doing a number of blog-related activities. I've posted to category blogs and even set up a new category which I will announce soon.

    I'm splitting up my blog into more than one site. Is cross-posting to multiple sites considered bad net etiquette? I've heard this is a no-no in newsgroups. What about blogs? Oh, well--I do it a lot. Radio UserLand's model actually makes it very easy to do.

    There are 4 major sites:

  • with technical information in multiple categories.
  • with Christian technology information.
  • with information about creating a prayer request XML feed.
  • where I offer critiques, corrections, and confessions (not to be confused with the type of work that Dean Peters does for churches). No, mine is a bit more pedantic.
  • So, my point is this: during the adjustments to my blogging infrastructure, you may not see a lot of posts on my main feed. Then again, if I keep cross-posting, you just might anyway.

    I also have several other domain names that could be used, but I would be spreading myself thin.

    Joel on books

    Joel's foreword to a new book on Software Development.

    [Joel on Software]

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