A real mind bomb: Free RCS

The Radio Community Server, which hosts communities of Radio UserLand users behind the firewall, is now available at no charge. What does this mean? Radio is great knowledge management software–you blog about stuff going on (in your life or your industry or your project) and it automatically flows out to other people who have subscribed to your newsfeed. They get it downloaded to their desktops when they’re not looking.

Free? I wasn’t expecting this business move, Dave, but it’s smart. It’s easier for people to understand the benefits of Radio than of the RCS, but once they start playing with the RCS and realize the implications they’ll expand use of Radio inside their organization. Razor and blades, razor and blades… 🙂

Love is in the air…

Congratulations to my (distant) cousin Scott who, rumors have it, got engaged over the weekend. Scott was a little bit like a big brother that we only saw once a year when I was growing up. Best wishes to Scott and Karen–you’re about to start a really good journey.

Escape Velocity: Nova…

…is out. The latest installment of Ambrosia’s space opera game clocks in at 75 MB, explaining why Ambrosia’s site is essentially unreachable. Looks like I now have something to do with that short break between my last class this week and our flight to New Jersey on Friday. 🙂

I was seriously addicted to the previous installment in the series, Escape Velocity Overdrive, a few years back. This should be really good.

Good morning

Snow falling on Boston streets this morning. Quite a kiss-off from winter.

I’ll be working on two last assignments due tomorrow (the last day before our spring break starts Wednesday). Between that and a raspy throat I need to get checked by the doctor I’ll be away from blogging today. Talk amongst yourselves.

One last thought–as I was trying to think last night about ways to improve OmniOutliner2OPML, I realized that what’s really needed is a translation the other way, from OPML into OmniOutliner. I may start looking at that, though I doubt I’ll have it out before we leave for Italy.

BTW, is anyone else doing anything with OPML? One reader wrote in to say he was curious about my script but since he only had one app (Radio UserLand) that supported OPML, he really couldn’t do much with it…

Next, the Emmys!

Popping on quickly to share some family news: Tim’s and my father, Gus, auditioned for a walk-on spot on a TV pilot yesterday. Andie MacDowell is starting something up in the Asheville area. At this point I think I can legitimately say: our Dad is cooler than your Dad.

Getting ready for Italy

One reason for the urgency in getting the DV camera: we’re finally taking Lisa’s parents to Italy. Lisa was to take them back in the fall. In fact they were supposed to fly out September 13. Needless to say, the flight was cancelled and they had travel credits to spend. The credits were enough to add me to the flight plans, so the decision was made to postpone the trip until my spring break. Which, thank heaven, starts Wednesday. We fly out next Sunday. I’m looking forward to getting over there again. It’s been too long.

Our itinerary: a day in Rome, then south to Campania. We’ll spend two days in the family’s ancestral home town of Calitri, then a few days in Positano and Amalfi, with a day trip to Capri, wrapping up with Easter weekend in Rome. Should be a lot of fun. Hopefully I won’t gain too much weight from all the incredible food.

Completing our personal “digital hub”

Lisa decided we needed a DV camcorder a while back–we’ll be moving to the other side of the country from our families, and we could send back video greetings with it. Then her bonus came in…

Yesterday we brought home a new Sony DCR-PC9 DV camcorder. It’s compact, lightweight, and takes both still photos and video. We tested the integration with the Mac this morning–it just works. Using iMovie, you can control the playback of the camera from the computer over its FireWire (aka IEEE 1394, aka iLink) interface. I didn’t have much hard disk space free, so I was alarmed to notice that importing 5 minutes of video took up about 1.5 GB, but I was able to trim it down after importing it and free up some of the space again.

And when I connected the camera via USB, it started up iPhoto and downloaded the photos on the camera’s Memory Stick automatically. I may get some photos on this site yet…

OmniOutliner2OPML 1.0.1

Version 1.0.1 of my OmniOutliner2OPML script is now available for download. I couldn’t get through to my iDisk, so I posted it here instead. This version fixes a stupid bug that was introduced at the last minute.

The 1.0.1 release does not address some more fundamental issues with the script:

  • At present, there seems to be no way to get the type of a column in an OmniOutliner file via AppleScript–at least it’s not published in OO’s dictionary.
  • I can’t find documentation for the “type” element in the outline element of OPML. I know that “link,” “file,” and RSS are valid types, but what do those mean in the context of data in an OmniOutliner file? And what are the other valid types?


Two columns it is!

I’m reverting the page to a two column CSS layout. I hope this helps some of the issues that people had with the three column layout. While I think one day it would be nice to have the three column version, as long as I don’t have fine control over the formatting of every element of the page (fixed width form elements, the calendar, etc.) it will have to be set up this way.

On the plus side, this makes the calendar much more prominent, which I think is a good thing. On the minus side, I think it’s broken again on NS 4.x. Sorry folks. But if you want to read the page, you can either click the print friendly link at the bottom of the page or subscribe to my RSS feed (XML icon in the navigation bar).

La Naomh Padraig, courtesy Niall

Our friend Niall had us all over to his place last night to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (aka La Naomh Padraig). This was the first time he’s had a party since Dubhfeasa went back to run her big hospital division in the old country, and he was in rare form. He served everyone home-colored green beer (making some concessions to American observances!) and Black Velvets (half Guinness, half champagne), among other fine beverages. It was a really great time.

OmniOutliner2OPML bug fix coming

Thanks to those who downloaded the script yesterday. Bruce D’Arcus pointed out that I made a stupid error before I published it yesterday that made it, um, inoperable. I will find a way to post the fix shortly–I seem to be having trouble getting to my iDisk over our dial-up line.

HP, Gelato, OSDL, Linux: coincidence or conspiracy?

Infoworld: HP scoops Gelato into Linux:

“HEWLETT-PACKARD ON Monday announced the formation of the Gelato Federation, advancing its agenda to develop Intel’s 64-bit Itanium processor family as a commodity chip platform for the Linux operating system….HP’s hope for the Gelato Federation is that it will blend ingredients from the research community, the Linux open-source community, and Intel’s 64-bit Itanium chip family to solve problem of scalability, grid computing, and other architectures based on those three ingredients.

Dig deeper: www.gelato.org: focus on “real world problems in academic, government and industrial research.” Dig still deeper: Open Source Development Labs, of whom HP is also a sponsor. Mission: carrier class and data center Linux.

What’s going on? HP invests in two Linux based consortiums aimed at different market segments, unified around the idea of improving the performance of Linux especially on very high end hardware. Thought: they’re fighting other competitors at both ends of the server market by developing a high quality scalable operating system that is open and essentially commoditized.

Can they capture value? Right now, I think their issue is mostly getting back in the game.

Growing pains with CSS and Manila…

David Donald raises some interesting issues with the new design. Namely, a lot of the edit forms that Manila puts up if you want to post a comment are wider than my center column on most resolutions. As I don’t have much control over how wide those forms are, I may have to rethink how I’m doing the page layout. I think another issue was my design environment—I designed on a 1024×768 monitor, but readers like David are likely reading at 800×600. Maybe the best thing to do is to take everything back to two columns? What are people’s thoughts?