October 30, 2006

links for 2006-10-30

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October 24, 2006

Finding Out About Geek-ish and/or Business Events

Although I do make it to a lot of computer- or business-related events, there are a surprising number that I only find out about when someone posts a review of the event on their blog.

TechCrunch UK has set-up an Upcoming.org calendar to hold any relevant events from anywhere in the UK which, combined with the London Geeks Upcoming.org group also mentioned in that TechCrunch link, should mean I get to find out about such things beforehand.

One of the first events posted to the TechCrunch calendar is the North-West Start Up 2.0 event. Admittedly I'd heard about that anyway, as I read Manoj Ranaweera's blog, but here's as good a place as any to mention it. It's a bit far from Cambridge, so I won't be attending, but I like to keep an eye out (and help promote) things going on up in my native North-West.

An event that I will be attending, and probably speaking at, is the November Refresh Cambridge meeting. There isn't a set date yet, but it's looking like the 14th or 15th November. There's a discussion about it over on the Refresh Cambridge Forum.

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October 21, 2006

links for 2006-10-21

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October 17, 2006

Divide and Conquer

Collective Genius is a collaborative blog where each month there's a chosen topic for everyone to write about. This month's topic is "Getting Unstuck", and I've written some thoughts about how breaking a task down into smaller chunks can help you start (and finish!) big, nasty tasks in the article Collective Genius!: Cutting Things Down To Size. Of course, keeping track of your newly multiplied tasks is something that tedium is adept at doing...

This has been an announcement from the Where Else Is Adrian's Content Available department.

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October 11, 2006

Refresh Cambridge Pubmeet

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October 10, 2006

And Now Some Thoughts About Comments

Jon Udell has just blogged about his decision to turn on comments on his blog. He had resisted it because he wanted to see how easy it was to follow discussions where everyone wrote their piece on their own blog, and the discussion crystallized through mechanisms such as trackback or brute-force search engines. However, he concludes that the blog community doesn't seem to be moving in that direction.

There have been many occasions when I have thought about blogging a response to another blog post I read. Some times, such as this, I do write something, but on many others I don't. The problem is that such an entry has to live two lives as it were: one is its position in the discussion about whatever it is that has interested me; and the other is how it fits into the stream of posts on my blog.

I feel I have a duty to explain the conversation to any readers of my blog, as they usually won't have read what I'm responding to, and if I can't introduce the matter in a sentence or two then I won't blog about it. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it so much? Or maybe there's a way to integrate such comments into the flow of McFilter whilst showing that they're not standalone entities? Maybe I should just prefix such an entry with "In response to So-and-so's piece Interesting article title"?

That could be something to think about whenever I get round to redesigning McFilter. Either a separate blog in a sidebar, or entries in the main content differentiated visually somehow to show conversations I'm having with others.

This topic does neatly lead me to mentioning another service I've been using more often of late - co.mments.com. It's a way to keep track of the conversations you've participated in on other blogs (or any conversations you're interested in from other blogs). Once you've signed up, you get a bookmarklet you can click on to start tracking the comments on any blog posting.

Then new comments will pop-up in your co.mments.com RSS feed. So, for example, you can see all the conversations I'm tracking (which is pretty much all the places I've commented recently).

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October 09, 2006

Web-related Events This Week

Both tomorrow and Wednesday evenings I'll be out at web-related events in Cambridge, and rather than just blog about them after the fact, I thought I'd post about them beforehand too. Just in case anyone else is interested in coming along.

Tuesday: Refresh Cambridge Pubmeet

There's an informal get-together for anyone interested in web development/design/whatever in the Tram Depot at 6:30pm. Head over to www.refreshcambridge.org to join the mailing list, but anyone can turn up for the pubmeet. "Just play spot the geek t-shirts" to find us, although I'll look like this:

Picture of me in my light blue Bang Bang records t-shirt

Wednesday: The Second Coming of the Internet Presentation

Then on Wednesday evening I'll be over at the Microsoft Research building on Madingley Road for a presentation entitled The Second Coming of the Internet. It starts at 7:30pm, and covers things like AJAX, JSON, REST... all the usual Web2.0 buzzword technologies. It's free for anyone to attend, but you need to pre-register on the website.

If you spot me at either event, then please come over and say hi.

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CHASE: Mobile Content and More

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October 05, 2006

tedium Hits Version 1.0!

Screenshot of my tedium session for tag 'rc1'

On the left is a screenshot of all the tasks in my tedium account which are tagged with the "rc1" tag.

What's interesting about that is that they're all crossed out, which means that I've finished them all.

And the interesting thing about that is that "rc1" stands for Release Candidate 1, which basically means version 1.0 of tedium. And I've completed everything that needed to be done for it. Which must mean that tedium is now at version 1.0 and is no longer in beta testing! Woohoo!!!

I don't think I've written too much here about the ongoing improvements that have been made to my web-based to-do list application during the beta testing; I've tended to do that more on the MCQN Ltd. blog.

So, a brief roundup of all things tedium...

What is it? It's a website where you can keep track of all the things you need to do, and which helps you get more of them done. It does that in a couple of ways: firstly by getting out of your way - at its simplest you only need to fill in one box to add a new task to the system, and at its most complicated there are still only three things to fill in (what the task is, some keywords or tags, and a due date). Secondly, being able to tag your tasks lets you view your tasks in a number of ways - by project; by who you need present to do it; by location... whatever suits you best. So you can tailor what tasks you see to all the different situations when you're trying to get things done. Less distractions mean you can focus on what needs to be done now.

What's been added since it was launched? There have been all sorts of little things done here and there, but the big, most noticeable changes are:

  • Timezone support. So it works properly regardless of where you are in the world.
  • Filtering on multiple tags. Lets you narrow in on a set of tasks even more by showing just the ones which are tagged with one tag AND another tag (AND another AND another AND....)
  • Multiple lists displayed at once. Choose up to four different lists (either by tag, or due date, or a mixture) to show on screen at the same time. Then you can drag and drop tasks between the lists to manipulate their tags and/or due dates.
  • Tailor the tedium interface to suit you. You can choose which lists are available from the linkbar across the top of each page, so you can quickly switch between those views that you use the most.
  • The help system. From each page you can get help about how to use what's on that page; and there's a beginner's guide to get you started and the first of a number of tutorials.

How much does it cost? Everyone gets the first thirty days absolutely FREE, and then being able to stay on top of everything should easily be worth the less-than-$2-per-month cost. To save us billing you lots of tiny amounts each month, we've just made it $19.95/year.

How do I try it out? The easiest way to have a play with it is to jump straight in with a temporary account. You can always convert the temporary account into a proper one later, which will keep any tasks and tags you've entered.

Feel free to let me know what you think of it, or things we could add, etc. either by email or in the comments.

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October 02, 2006

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. @ The Soul Tree

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links for 2006-10-02

  • Plugin for websites that require users to sign-in so that your website can offer single sign-on from services like OpenID. Is this an indication that some of the federated identity services are starting to mature?
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