Friday, May 1, 2009

The 'new' organizational pattern

Much like LiveJournal replaced my multitude of log files (and occasional scripts) back in 2006, I have been trying to refit my entire organizational pattern; which is much overdue for an overhaul anyway.

Originally I kept 3 systems of logging: general system log, specific task logs, and my personal logs. With the exception of parts of ~/Documents/Personal/Emotions; most have been migrated to my Live Journal, along with occasional post-it notes. I've generally come to like keeping a journal of things, and LJ offers a suitable access control system. The only downside, is the times when I wish to update my journal, but by the time I have enough time available to, to much other crap to get done lol. Friends have attempted to get me on things like myspace, twitter, and facebook for years; and all have largely failed, simply put if it is something I really don't want to do, you would have to hold a gun to my head and pull the trigger :-P. Live Journal was actually my decision, and as I became interested in this "blogging" stuff: as a way to replace my personal logs, and to be able to share notes/logs of my computer explorations easily. I did like anything else I leap into -- deep recon and methodical study, then committing to the desired action. For someone like me, who has largely had parts of their personally sent to the bit bucket, I find LJ often relaxing - as opposed to the repression I often feel at home. My journal is largely public, for anyone who knows me well enough to find the link (thus excluding most of my family, oddly lol). And quite frankly, I write whats in me, and don't worry to much; anything I don't want people to read, gets the access level toggled to a suitable level of privacy (I also maintain more then a suitable level of confidentiality on [SAS] matters).

I've had E-Mail since the middle of the 1990s, and it has kind of exploded since the mid 2000s. Running a local MUA became a bit of a drag once I got to using multiple computers; after Outlook Express gave way to Thunderbird, likewise Firefox and Thunderbird gave way to the Seamonkey suites navigator and mail & newsgroups programs, with a USB stick to share the data. After the USB stick broke, I setup Vectra to fetch my mail periodically, and setup to use mutt as my MUA over SSH; the only problem was a certain viking always sending me HTML and most friends prone to e-mailing images along too. So that idea went under after a month or so, and I went on the hunt for suitable webmail as an interm solution. The end result was my account with the ISP became the spambox, and Ippimail my primary. My clan address also took over 'affairs of team business' so to speak. Eventually I migrated most things to Googles 'gmail' facility, due to issues with Ippimails mail system and my [SAS] stuffs. So gmail became my lead, and my Ippimail basically replaced my bellsouth address as the sign up for stuff address; as I have refused the order of creating myself an e-mail account with our new ISP. I however am very, very, very sorry to see such a good project like Ippimail forced to shut its doors :-(. Although my mail is still backed up to beat the bands, gmail has become an integer part of my way of getting things done.

Thanks to getting the GFire plugin setup on FreeBSD, I now have total access to my commu capabilities across systems. Personally, I like PSI: a very simple and to the point XMPP client. Unfortunately something like Kopete or Pidgin is more applicable to the problem, and Pidgin does what I need with less fuss. Weechat takes care of all my IRC needs, since I would rather pull teeth then us Pidgin for that lol. Really, my favorite ways to stay in contact with people is via XMPP or AIM, but I use whatever friends prefer to work with, as long as I don't need to run an extra client ;-). To put it mildly, almost no one can call me... both because I'm more or less a recluse from phones (for my own reasons), and my mother is suitably hounded by her creditors, that its amazing whenever someone does get a valid call in lol. So needless to say, anyone who wants to talk to me, generally has to get me via IM -- hell, my life here is very 'mute' as it is, because I've all to often been limited to expressing myself though my hands, rather then being permitted to do so through my voice.

Todo lists have often been scattered about, for a long time digital sticky-notes were a major part of the system; used to keep a virtual desktop cluttered with them. I've always had a set of notes lingering around for one reason or another, most of which end up on my LJ. Attempting to organize things neatly in ~/stuff and work it through via a priority driven queue proved, ineffective in the long run... So bye bye list of open loops; hello scattered notes files *again*. Recently, I've taken to using an Calendaring webapp to manage my time. I have experienced with numerous Personal Information Manager (PIM) packages over the years, and was always let down in the wider scope of things. This app on the other hand, despite its fairly basic nature, I have actually found it quote nice: all of the ease of sticky notes, without having to sync data between computers. It is not my idea of an effective task management system, no more then I actually like working with a paper calendar; but hey, it's starting to work for me quite well.

Text editing is done via Vi IMproved almost 99.9% of the time, I invested a fair deal of time in learning to use the editor, and have grown in it immensely since day 1. If the computer doesn't run VIM or at least a decent vi, I hate editing text on it! To me, people who edit text like notepad offers, are hopelessly stupid, or don't know what it is like to have to edit LOTS of text - vim rewards my learning it, with allowing me to be more effective in my text editing, which yields more time to do *other* things. As much as I hate Mozilla, the vimperator extension provides a handy way to integrate text-areas with vim; and I have not been unknown to use gvim to compose big messages before copy/pasting into chrome either. Needless to say, vi style editing is here to stay for as long as the world wide web ;-). Much of my client side software is also fairly standardized, to the point that I can automate the installation of most things, alongside having the checklist!

Most of the news I hear, comes from friends or family; I love taking a look at RSS feeds, but hate fiddling with RSS readers. I've considered making a nail style rss reader in perl, but have never really found the time (I'm also not fond of working with XML parsers). In the past, I used to use a simple unix program called snownews. Tonight, I finally set up Google Reader; since a web based solution solves the file sync problem. Because its a google thing, it will also obviously work well with chrome/chromium, hence the choice lol.

I think at the moment, what I am missing most is a newsgroups client; most people tell me to use Google Groups, and it appears to be decent enough, but simply put - for what I desire, a more 'traditional' interface to USENET is helpful. If and hopefully when GG gains all of the abilities of an active NNTP server, I might actually make use of it, but in the mean time a usenet server fits the bill. The main problem is, lack of a news reader, and no real desire to sync data across computers; nor have to rely on my server to avoid the interoperability problems of sharing data across clients. The only news client that I have ever cared for, is knode; although I have no problem with using a console based app either. In the end, it all boils down to an issue of data storage...

Since the general death of ma.gnolia, my bookmarks have more or less become a short batch of stuff I use 'often', most of which are either in chromes MOU-like page or have keywords in Fx. I actually like it that way, but do miss the tags for things I can't remember how to locate off hand.

so far, things are going pretty good at re-taking my overloaded hit lists of things to do, etc. Nothing really helps with the depression aspects of it, anymore then anything helps with the can't be in more then one place at one time, doing two hundred things at once problem.

In a large way, my ways of doing things have been becoming internet focused; kind of odd really, in a strange way that maybe only I can understand.

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