The Monthly [Weekly Head Voices #50]

HEY!

I’m still here, and it seems I really have to catch up on my backlog of WHVs, all the more as I was starting to notice the beginnings of BPP (Backlogged Posting Paralysis, of course). So I’ve spent a few minutes gathering a selection of life snippets of the past six weeks (week 21 through week 26) and will now proceed blasting them out this old Web 1.0 exhaust. I wasn’t completely idle blog-wise, however. I did write a post about my EuroVis 2011 and my Schloss Dagstuhl SciVis seminar adventures.

Before the blasting commences, I would like to present some relaxing visual input brought to you via my cell phone camera, which at the time of capturing found itself in my hand, itself being inside the chapel in Herberg op Hodenpijl, a short westward cycle from my house:

Herberg op Hodenpijl chapel roof detail.

The picturesque surroundings are home to the chapel, which hosted an art exhibition at that point, and an organic restaurant and grocer. Most (all?) of the produce comes from a small farm across the road that you can also visit. The goats are really friendly. You could do worse than popping by on a sunny day.

Herberg op Hodenbijl chapel roof detail.

The rest of this post has been categorised, with nice headings, so that you can skim through it even faster.

Health and well-being

  • In a recent cooking insert on the television, two chefs prepared Loup farci en croûte, or sea bass filled with julienne vegetables in a pastry of a thousand layers. Take a look at the video clip: The chefs put an amazing amount of effort into preparing this visually beautiful and apparently delectable dish.
  • My TNR and since recently also business partner, who can often be found hurtling down mountains on various and high-speed forms of personal transportation, and when he’s not is involved in a number of other extreme sports activities, managed to break two fingers on his right hand cycling over the flat and otherwise uneventful piece of earth between the computer science and physics buildings on our campus. Go figure.
  • In a recent study with 48000 (yes, that’s fourty eight thousand) men followed over a period of 22 years, a strong correlation was found between drinking six cups of coffee per day and a lowered risk of prostate cancer. Also men (but can you still call them men?) drinking fewer than 6 cups of coffee per day had a lower risk. The study did correct for other lifestyle factors. The linked summary also mentions other studies in which coffee drinking has been associated with lower risk of Parkinson disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. I guess I can worry less about this addiction than, euhm, the other ones.

Nerd News

  • Dropbox has recently activated functionality they call shareable links, meaning that you can request a unique http://db.tt/some_code link for any file or directory anywhere in your dropbox and share it with anyone else (also non-dropbox users), who is then able to download said file or directory given the link. There’s a page on the website where you can manage all of your shared links, for example deactivating ones you don’t want people to access anymore. Read the help on shareable links for more information.
  • As you might know, I keep a lab journal documenting in some detail my daily work activities. I also maintain a personal journal, mostly for dumping stuff that might be interesting for this blog. I used to do all of this in Google Docs, but for the past few weeks I’ve experimenting using TiddlyWiki (this is a single file JavaScript-heavy wiki implementation) on my Dropbox for all my journaling and personal knowledge base needs. It’s been going swimmingly for at least two reasons: 1) It’s available also when I’m offline. 2) The idea of being able to break out into a new wiki page (called a tiddler) at the drop of a hat takes some getting used to, but fits the non-linear nature of my journal and personal knowledge base entries much better than the mostly linear google docs.
  • I’ve settled on using the free tonido personal cloud software to make all the files on my home server available via the internets. This means I can get to all of my music, photos are whatever no matter where I am. Pretty neat! (I have too much to fit on my 50G dropbox account. There’s also the PogoPlug software, but the free version has its limitations.)
  • Just a few days before Google+ (Google’s new social networking religion, in case you’ve been sleeping for the past week) hit the internets, I installed the Google +1 button on this blog, see right at the bottom of every post. So now you know what to do with every post: Click my +1 button, then click my facebook like button, then leave me some snarky comment right here. Easy as 123, and I’m a happy camper.

Comedy

Whilst flipping through channels one Saturday night,  I flipped right into the stand-up comedian Demetri Martin. I made a note of it in my journal, and now here we are. Watch him present his research findings on his large pad, with his pointer:

That’s it for now dear readers. I really do hope to be back soon, and I hope to do so with a slightly more focused contribution. See you on Google+!

UPDATE 2011-07-23 note-taking strategy

To you I might appear fickle, but I guarantee that it’s just hyperactivity. I’ve since adjusted my note-taking strategy again. As you will have seen in the comments, Pieter Kitslaar subtly influenced me to go searching for a note-taking solution that syncs between phone and everywhere else. Fortunately, I ran into the SimpleNote universe and I’m now officially in note-taking heaven. I have Flick Note on my Android, the SyncPad extension on Chrome (for sometimes) and ResophNotes on Windows and on Linux with Wine. All apps work exactly as I would expect a super-fast and efficient note-taking app to work, with real-time incremental searching, hotkeys everywhere, and best of all, offline use and transparent syncing. ResophNotes is especially cool, definitely give it a shot.

So I’m using this SimpleNote setup for all my personal knowledge base and general note-taking needs. For detailed work and lab journaling, I’m now using linear OpenDocument files on my Dropbox, which solves the offline problem I had with Google Docs, which I do still adore for collaborative work.

Lemme know in the comments what you think!

7 Comments

  • How does the TiddlyWiki solution work with your mobile phone? Is reading/editing possible?

    • That would have been ideal…

      Android Chrome can apparently read TiddlyWiki, but not write. I tried opening one of mine via dropbox, but that’s only possible with the Dropbox HTML viewer, which does do JavaScript, but does a bad job of displaying.

      I’ve given up on finding a note-taking app I can use on all my desktops and my phone, and am currently using Note Everything Pro on my telephone (no real syncing, can upload to google docs). I might give Epistle a try, but it looks a bit too simplistic for my needs. Also its search is primitive compared to NE Pro.

    • Oh damnit, you’ve made me go search for a synced note-taking app again…

      The search has not been in vain however. I’m now test-driving Flick Note on Android (see http://lifehacker.com/5816910/the-best-syncing-note+taker-for-android ), along with the SyncPad for Simplenote extension for Chrome, and of course a free simplenote account.

      This works really well, and might just replace my TiddlyWiki personal knowledge base (aka random notes about everything). I’ll still keep the journal, as the TiddlyWiki linking functionality is very useful for that.

  • I was wondering about that coffee study…

    Maybe it can be incorporated with some earlier research on the subject:
    http://www.ineedcoffee.com/07/sex-and-coffee/

  • I found this app maybe that could help with your phone usage: http://mgsimon.de/android/andtidwiki/

  • Have you tried http://www.tiddlyspace.com? The site hosts TiddlyWikis and distinguishes between public and private tiddlers. Some people use it as a blog, while its creators have built their site with it (http://osmosoft.com/). You can also create “spaces” and collaborate with others. Rather powerful, I would say. The template they use renders okay on my Android stock browser and Firefox for Android.

    Only drawback is that it’s not really clear who supports and builds tiddlyspace and how dedicated they are to the task.

    (Also, you can open .html files from Dropbox using Firefox for Android.)

    • I haven’t tried tiddlyspace yet. The reason why I’ve switched from Google Docs to a TW on my Dropbox is so that I can always access the thing, even when offline. Good to know about it just in case.

      Thanks for the tip on opening the HTML files with Firefox for Android!

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