... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Logging with the Treo 650

(Posted to rec.arts.sf.written on 07-19-06)

> Anyone have good recommendations for decent book logging programs?

Not just a program for book logging, but a critical tool for lots of things!

I bought a Palm Pilot three days after they came out in 1996. I've used it in one form or another constantly since then.

Palm's secret advantage is it's record-level cross synchronization. This provides inherent backup at all times. If you lose a phone, you have the data on the computer. If your computer crashes, you have the data on the Palm. I still have stuff from ten years ago which I pulled off a Casio watch I used before that. And there have been LOTS of crashed computers, broken phones and lost PDAs since then.

The Treo's other strength is that if you make it a habit, it's with you when you need it. I can only guess how many ideas have spun off into space before I started using a Palm. The Casio was too clumsy to do real note taking. I even used a Palm before I bothered carrying a cell phone. So for me, the Treo is a Palm first, telephone second for me.

My current version is the Treo 650 but I also used the Samsung I300 for years before that as well as all the older Palm PDA versions. They have steadily improved but I won't go into all the other uses.

As far as how I use it for notes, most data entry happens at my desktop keyboard, but enough text is collected in the field to make the device critical to keep with me. I've collected nearly two megabytes of "notes" over the years NOT counting the stuff copied, pasted and expanded on the desktop for one reason or another.

When a memo is ready to be "developed", I simply cut and past it to Sudden View and hack away! From there it may end up on the blog or some other web post. If I'm getting fancy in physical form, I use Open Office. I'm not a fan of Billware.

"Books Read" is a meno that stays on the Treo. At least it has so far. I've been collecting book data since 1998 with title, author, date and rating. It's fun to read back through now and then as a title often places me in real time like when you hear a song you liked.

I also take notes on plots, ideas, quotes, what's new, technology, hiking and Burning Man as well as many other topics. And the powerful part is, I always have this data with me when a topic come up. It actually makes me smarter than I really am.

The Treo is a fantastic tool. It's my second brain, as my wet one fails me on a regular basis.

Hope you find a method that works for you.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Right Text Editing Tool for the Job

(Posted to some board re: Sudden View but it's a nice summary and I should have a copy here)

Believe it or not, most text in cyberspace is manipulated by this little web box I'm typing in right now, or a similar one from AOL, MS or Yahoo mail. Think about it. Most writers don't even bother with WordPad. So much for picking the proper tool.

But for the one tenth of one percent (about a million users) out there who spend more than an hour a day editing text the choice becomes important. That's where matching the tool to the job is not only important, it can be critical.

I see the choices as multiple lines reaching out from a common point which is notepad (or Yahoo mail). Each line had a primary purpose with the most complete tool for each purpose at the far end.

Programmers tend to Zeus, vim etc.

Writer tend to Open office, MS Word etc.

Web monkeys tend to Front Page or one of the HTML tools

Bloggers blog with blog things.

Each application (and line) has it's choices.

It's best to keep an open mind.

Cyberspace is a moving target.

Sudden Disruption