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    • New note by bobjonkman 2 December 2019
      Don't worry about it. I know that's not really helpful advice, but I've had experiences like this too. I think of it as "the wheels falling off". I suspect everyone has these times, but most people won't admit it. An uplifting aphorism I heard in a movie: "It will all be alright in the end. […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 2 December 2019
      These all need illustrations for the box covers.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by nev 30 November 2019
      RT @nev i'm well aware canada's healthcare system is vastly inadequate, but just imagine if the housing system were anywhere near what the healthcare system was like. for-profit housing should be as obscene as for-profit healthcare. flipping houses should be seen as as unethical as hiking up insulin prices.
    • Favorite 30 November 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by nev: i'm well aware canada's healthcare system is vastly inadequate, but just imagine if the housing system were anywhere near what the healthcare system was like. for-profit housing should be as obscene as for-profit healthcare. flipping houses should be seen as as unethical as hiking up insulin prices.
    • New note by bobjonkman 8 November 2019
      Elois and Morlocks, from another work of fiction co-opted into a user manual for the 1%
    • Favorite 8 November 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by inkslinger: The fan theory that the Jetsons and the Flintstones are actually contemporaneous to one another -- the Jetsons' sky cities being the land of the wealthy (or formerly wealthy, perhaps, since capitalist wage relations still exist, even in a world with literal robot servants) and the Flintstones being the descendants […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by inkslinger 8 November 2019
      RT @inkslinger The fan theory that the Jetsons and the Flintstones are actually contemporaneous to one another -- the Jetsons' sky cities being the land of the wealthy (or formerly wealthy, perhaps, since capitalist wage relations still exist, even in a world with literal robot servants) and the Flintstones being the descendants of the poor […]
    • Favorite 1 November 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by ericxdu23: Hi. I'm still here.
    • Favorite 1 November 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by hubert: ♲ @cryptpad@social.weho.st: Exactly 5 years ago at 16:42, was the first CryptPad commit by @cjdelisle, the start of a very ambitious project to restore privacy in collaboration tools. We believed in it 5 years ago and we thank the 200 supporters and 10000 weekly users from 150 countries that have […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 24 October 2019
      Best thread in a long time! nEVILle Park's ( @nev ) #Arachtober: https://social.coop/@nev/102887815460533048

NaNoWriMo 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 1st November 2013

Blacked-out NaNoWriMo crest

NaNoWriMo — Why so black?

For the last several years I’ve been hanging out with the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge WriMos at various write-ins, trying to absorb some writing talent.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, in which people (the WriMos) try to write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. That’s not as ludicrous as it sounds — 50,000 words over 30 days is only 1667 words a day (with 10 days off for good behaviour, at least, 10 days with only 1666 words). 50,000 words is about the size of Brave New World, which someone once told me was the benchmark for NaNoWriMo (but TIL that Brave New World has 64531 words).

The first year I participated I got a terrific start on my first novel. All 675 words. Last year I got as far as the novel description. 11 words. But this year I have better idea. I’ve got some unfinished blog posts queued up, so I’ll take their word count, flesh them out, count the word difference, and submit that as my daily writing quota. Of course, it’s possible that I’ll edit more out of an incomplete blog post than I’ll be adding, so there’s a very real possibility of a negative word count. If that keeps up I might end up with a deficit at the end of the month. Let’s see how the NaNoWriMo word counter deals with a Buffer Underflow.

Come join me in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region pages. Here are some handy links for local WriMos:

  • See the KWC NaNo calendar, in plain HTML, suitable for printing and framing.
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  • And if you want to include it in your own calendar software (like Microsof Outlook, Apple iCalendar or Thunderbird Lightning) use this iCal link (.ics file, 7.5 kBytes)
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  • Or if you have an Atom/RSS feed reader and want new events to pop up in your news stream automatically there’s an Atom feed.
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  • And if you’re looking to chat in these long, lonely November nights, I’m hanging out (all alone, I might add!) in the KW Nano Chat Room.
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  • For those of you with an IRC program use the server irc.mibbit.com, select secure (SSL) port number 6697, and tune into channel #kwnano You might be able to click on (or copy’n’paste) the IRC link: irc://irc.mibbit.com:6697/#kwnano to have your IRC program connect automatically.

The NaNoWriMo crest has all rights reserved, and so couldn’t be used here. From their FAQ page: Logo: Please do not use our logo (or parts of our logo) on anything without our permission.

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Calendaring Server Software

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 12th October 2012

I’m looking for a free/libre calendar server to run on a GNU/Linux server.

It needs to have CalDAV connectivity, so that I can use Evolution, Sunbird or Thunderbird/Lightning as my only client. Ideally, it will also have a Web interface for both administration and calendar viewing, exports to iCal (.ics) files, supports iMIP, and offers Atom/RSS feeds of calendar items.

Here’s what I’ve found so far. If you know of others, please leave a comment.

There’s also a list at CalConnect’s CalDAV Servers

Name WebUI Export iCal (.ics) CalDAV
Admin View Edit iCal (.ics) iMip Atom/RSS
Kolab              
DAViCal              
phpGroupWare       No     No
Chandler Project              
Bedework              
Zimbra Yes, but.. Yes Yes Yes   No Outlook only
EGroupware Community Version              
WebCalendar             No
Darwin Calendar Server              
Tryton Calendar              
ownCloud Yes Yes, but not Public, Read-only Yes No No No Yes
Citadel ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Baikal ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Horde ? Yes Yes Yes ? Maybe Yes

WordPress Plugins

The other calendars I’ve been trying are WordPress plugins. There is much promise in their description blurbs, but so far I’ve rejected most:

Name Export iCal (.ics) CalDAV Notes
iCal (.ics) iMip Atom/RSS
Calendar JCM         Rejected: no longer supported
Event Calendar / Scheduler         Rejected: missing .php modules when running
The Events Calendar         Rejected
WP Events Calendar Yes, with iCal for Events Calendar plugin   No No Works
My Calendar Only lists current month   Partial  
CalPress Pro ? ? ? ? This is a commercial plugin;
All-in-One Event Calendar by Timely By tweaking the “Add to Google” URL ? ? WebCal Possible privacy concern
  • 11 January 2011
    Originally posted
  • 26 March 2011
    Added Linuxaria’s suggestions
  • 16 April 2011
    Added WordPress plugin info; added CalDAV column; filled in some attributes
  • 11 October 2012
    Updated feature list for Zimbra
    I’ll be writing a review of Zimbra Open Source Edition soon, detailing some of my experiences (eg. requires Flash for the administrative Web interface)
  • 12 October 2012: Put WordPress calendars in table format, added My Calendar
  • 5 November 2012: Added Dosch’s suggestions
  • 16 November 2012: @Encyclomundist dents about Citadel.org
  • 26 September 2013: I’ve started to use ownCloud 5.0 as a calendar repository accessed with Lightning using WebCal. ownCloud doesn’t publish an iCal feed or have a public read-only view, but since it’s Free Software constantly under improvement I’ll stick with it for a while.
  • 9 November 2013: I think @postblue turned me on to Baikal: Using #Baikal to sync tasks, contacts and calendars
  • 9 November 2013: I’m now using Timely All-In-One on some blogs, will be upgrading others. It’s not the perfect iCal plugin, but the best one yet.
  • 9 November 2013: @McScx and @lxw37 both introduce me to Horde.
  • 13 August 2015: Just discovered Blaise Alleyne’s post on Degooglifying (Part IV): Calendar. This is pretty much the same solution I’ve settled on; ownCloud + Thunderbird and Lightning. I’m not quite as advanced as Blaise on the mobile front, though.

This is a “living” post, so it will float back to the top of the blog as I update it.

–Bob.

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Posted in Calendars and Schedules | 11 Comments »

The Verdict on Google Plus: Mostly Harmless

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 13th October 2011

Don't Panic, They're Only Vogons

Don't Panic, They're Only Vogons by Patrick Hoesly

After dissing Google Plus I was persuaded to try it out for a while before rendering a verdict. So now it’s been over two months, and my verdict is: Mostly Harmless.

When I get home after a hard day of working with a computer, I sit down for a pleasant evening of relaxation with a computer. I read my e-mail, read the news, and read the microblogs. I subscribe to 55 people on Identi.ca, and I follow 84 people on Twitter. Those 139 people generate sufficient 140 character messages to keep me reading until bedtime and beyond.

But on my Google Plus account, I have 27 people in my circles. Those 27 people create a lot of large messages. In fact, they generate a lot more content than my 139 Identicats and Tweeple, since Google Plus puts no limit on the size of messages.

22 of the 27 people are in my Tech Circle. But instead of receiving only technical content from these people, they’re posting messages about vacations, favourite bands, philosophy, and yes, pictures of cats.  Now, this happens on the microblogs too, but on a microblog it’s limited to 140 characters, and I can ignore them.  On Google Plus the posts are much longer, have pictures attached, comments from other people, and those ubiquitous “John Q. Public originally shared this post” and “Click to +1 this post”.  Google Plus does not have the tools to filter messages by content, or even a method to collapse a conversation thread.

There’s no Atom/RSS feed, so I can’t use my preferred feed reader to analyze, sort and organize my Google Plus message stream. And I don’t know of any third-party applications to read, write and manage content on Google Plus. Google Plus does allow the export of all its content, under Account Settings, Data Liberation. Contact info is in the standard vCard format, suitable for importing into addressbooks.

Kudos to Google for giving users useful control of their data. Still, Google also has access to that data, and continues to collect ever more. In the past I’ve recommended Google Mail as a preferred no-cost e-mail host. Recently Google has taken to verifying new users by requiring them to supply a phone number. Google then sends a text message for the user to enter into the registration form. This is a level of data collection that I find creepy, and so I no longer recommend Google Mail.

Finally, to top it all off are the Google Nymwars. Much has been written about why Google’s policy of requiring real names is wrong-headed. Some people whom I might follow have stopped using Google Plus because of the nymwar controversy. I think I’ll be joining them in disdaining Google Plus.

  • Google Minus: Banality of user content (not Google’s fault)
  • Google Minus: Lack of management tools
  • Google Plus: User control over data
  • Google Minus: Google control over data
  • Google Minus: Nymwars

I think that Google Plus is not the Facebook Killer the folks in Mountain View want it to be.



The image 740 – Towel Day – Pattern by Patrick Hoesly is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

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When Headlines Go Bad

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 9th December 2009

Bad Headline: GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster
Bad Headline: GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster

Newspaper editors have it easy — whatever they write, the printers print. On the Internet it’s not that easy. On the Internet, Atom/RSS feeds of articles mean that editors can’t control the presentation on the reader’s computer. That makes it all the more important to craft headlines so that they can’t be misconstrued, or at least so that they can be truncated safely.

The headline I read was GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster, which doesn’t sound like an appealing product worth buying. GWAVA’s full headline was GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster Recovery Product. Sadly, even the headline on GWAVA’s web site is mangled, running the main headline into the secondary headline:

Even full headlines have problems of their own
Even full headlines have problems of their own

"Too Cool To Do Drugs" pencil
Sharpen this pencil, I double-dog dare ya!

Pencil manufacturers should take note also: As the Too Cool To Do Drugs pencil is sharpened, the message transforms to Cool To Do Drugs, the semi-Hamlettian To Do Drugs, eventually to just Do Drugs and finally the non-judgmental declaration Drugs. Just the kind of thing that will go over well at school.

–Bob.

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