Professional-Lurker blog was listed as the Feedster Feed of the Day on November 13, 2005.
Professional-Lurker blog was the recipient of Best Research Based Blog High Esteem ranking in the 2004 EduBlog Awards.
The blogger is co-author of the 2004 EduBlog Awards winning paper Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs.
Joseph Fire Crow
Folk Alley: Folk Music, Traditional Music, Celtic Music, and World Music an online radio station
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Dover Electronic Clip Art Series (CD-ROM)
HTTrack Website Copier
Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count
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Mahatma Gandhi, (attributed)
Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 - 1948)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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June 03, 2008
Research in GoogleBooks
So many of the books I want to read are not available through the Indiana University Libraries or are in long-term storage, I place that must be on Pluto given how long it takes to get a book out of long-term storage. I long ago found that many of the books I want are available on GoogleBooks but given first the problems of reading lengthy works on a computer screen and the lack of annotation tools or page prints, I had pretty much only gone to their site to double check front matter before I put through an inter-library loan fo the real paper book.
Well I think that practice might have changed today. Today I found FireShot, an add-on for Firefox that allows you to both take page shots and annotate them. I still love SnagIT for clips but the annotation feature here might make FireShot the preferred alternative for this researchers work with full pages. Hummm Wonder how I can use it for research?
p.s. This is a first release so undoubtedly there are a few bugs to workout.
February 01, 2008
A new software toy to archive research text and materials
Scribe is a free cross-platform note-taking program designed especially with historians in mind. Think of it as the next step in the evolution of traditional 3x5 note cards. Scribe allows you to manage your research notes, quotes, thoughts, contacts, published and archival sources, digital images, outlines, timelines, and glossary entries. You can create, organize, index, search, link, and cross-reference your note and source cards. You can assemble, print, and export bibliographies, copy formatted references to clipboard, and import sources from online catalogs. You can store entire articles, add extended comments on each card in a separate field, and find and highlight a particular word within a note or article. Scribe's uses range from an undergraduate history research seminar to a major archival research project.
* Create very long notes (up to 64,000 characters)
* Store published and archival sources (up to 22 types of sources)
* Create, print, and export bibliographies
* Copy footnote and parenthetical references to clipboard in Chicago or MLA format
* Import sources from online catalogs (one at a time only)
* Index note and source cards using a large number of keywords
* Store contact information and notes on authors
* Add extended comments on each card in a separate field
* Search notes and sources by author, title, keyword, note, comments, and other fields
* Perform word search: find and highlight a specific word in the note
* Link sources to notes
* Link sources and notes to images
* Create cross-reference links between cards
* Create an outline and link it to cards
* Create a timeline and link it to cards
* Create a glossary for your project
* Import from bibliographic managers and online databases
* Export to RIS and Zotero RDF
While Scribe was originally designed for historians, I don't see a disciplinary limit to it's use. So far I like it for linking to my archived email discussions and the like. We shall see how it holds up as I test it over time.
They have other freeware as well, check out their Tools page.
November 02, 2007
The OpenSocial Family is Growing
One day out of the gates and OpenSocial is growing...maybe this is the tool we all dreamed of for cross-platform social interaction - the social utility's utility. The following is from The web is better when it's social at OpenSocial
There are many websites implementing OpenSocial, including Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.Related post:
Google Announces the OpenSocial API
Powered by ScribeFire.
October 31, 2007
For those of us who have to deal with Sakai products
Well they are making it better, though I'm totally unsure how much of that is Sakai and how much is Indiana University. Either way there is a new addition to the platform on the way, from CampusTechnology
Live! Integration Coming to Sakai Open-Source LMS
By David Nagel
Education technology developer Elluminate is bringing its Live! collaboration suite to the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment, an open-source learning management system. The move is part of a new alliance with Unicon, a company that specializes in providing support and services for open-source software to education.
Elluminate Live! is an e-learning, conferencing, and online collaboration tool designed for use in education, providing support for a variety of learning management systems, including Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, WebCT, and eCollege. It includes features like note taking, two-way interactive video (up to 640 x 480), archiving and automatic indexing of e-learning sessions, various tools for teachers (timers, pop-up announcements, sorting of participants by hand raising, etc.), whiteboarding, and various other collaboration tools.
The plans for the new Sakai integration include adding synchronous content for distance learning; creating Live! sessions for delivery to live classroom environments; adding recordings of live sessions for review; recorded tutorials for assignments; the creation of virtual rooms in which students can collaborate; the ability to invite guest speakers to attend and moderate sessions; and the ability for instructors to create virtual offices.
The integration is expected to be completed and available for the public in spring 2008. Sakai supports Mac OS X, Windows, and various flavors of Unix.
Google Announces the OpenSocial API
At AoIR this year, there was a lot of talk about the desire (should I say "need"?, for a tool that crosses social utility boundaries. Well it looks like some progress has been made to that end with the release of the OpenSocial API on November 1, 2007.
We can all play with it tomorrow and see if it really does work that well, or if it's just another new tool for spam - as I fear. Come on, how many Brazilian propositions should one girl have to refuse? LOL
No doubt this creates some interesting possibilities for research projects. Autoethnography of your social network anyone?
Google has announced OpenSocial, a new open API for social networks. The new standard will allow developers to create Facebook-like apps on any social network site that implements it with the same calls.
The open API will have three parts
* Activity stream
On Thursday the following links should go live:
Google's launch partners are hi5, iLike, Slide, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Ning and SixApart (the largest). Check out Techmeme, Techcrunch, and the New York Times for more coverage.
Google will be holding the first of their developer CampFires at the GooglePlex this Friday to explain OpenSocial. A CampFire is Google's new method of disseminating information to developers. These events will be invite-only and will include about thirty developers. Video of the event will be available in the days following.
Google's OpenSocial API will gain traction with a lot of social networks, but I doubt that we will see Facebook or MySpace supporting it. Both are large enough to require their own API. I'll be curious to see how each site extends the OpenSocial API and how that affects adoption and app creation.
September 13, 2007
Publish or Perish...the software
Thanks to Elijah for helping me kill one of those useless hours I have laying around. LOL I want to spread the joy and let all of you kill time - passing out knives - and maybe give you a useful tool for your research as well.
If you haven't checked out Harzing's Publish or Perish I strongly recommend you do so now...if not sooner. This is one of the coolest search tools I've seen, ever. In essence take Web of Science and make it publicly accessible and let it bump up against Google Scholar and you have Publish or Perish.
Like most folks I started out my play time with a vanity search and then a variety of keyword searches, and was rewarded for my efforts. I will sleep better tonight knowing that Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs (pdf) is the most cited "blog" paper listed.
Even my solo and first author works are getting pretty good citation. What can I say it's cool to see numbers to actually know someone is using the work. Qualitative has it's place because it's always nice to hear that someone likes the work, but it's very cool to see those citation numbers...hard and cold and quantitative. LOL One of the few places I really really like numbers.
March 09, 2007
ThinkingRock and GTD
If you have read this blog for long you have probably guessed that I am a proponent of "working smarter not harder." To that end I keep testing to-do software trying to find the interface that is pleasing to the eye, intuitive, and flexible...and while I have used a variety of programs over the years I keep testing hoping that someday one of them will more closely match my work style.
Well my new favorite is ThinkingRock a great donationware program from our friends downunder. What I like about this little program...aside from the fact that it is a little program that will even run from a USB drive, is the overall design. To use ThinkingRock you do a brain dump by collecting your thoughts with a description and assigning a topic, if you want. Then you can process your thoughts by creating and/or assigning them to a project, giving them due dates or marking for inactivity (I used this code for research ideas), and even deciding what would be a successful outcome of the action. And if you are like me, and you reorganize things periodically, you will like that every field is editable. So you can move an activity to a different project or change any of the fields to match changes in your environment.
This is a very cool program, I've been really impressed...so I suggest you check it out and see if it works for you too.
powered by performancing firefox
May 24, 2006
Reference Management Sofware...a new tool
I found a reference to a new online-, or offline-, based reference management tool. I'm going to check it out and invite you to do the same. It's called WIKINDX.
WIKINDX is a free bibliographic and quotations/notes management and article authoring system designed either for single use (on a variety of operating systems) or multi-user collaborative use across the internet.
Current version is 3.3.1
Developed under the GNU GPL license, the project homepage can be found at sourceforge and the required files/updates are available for download there. A FreeBSD port by Babak Farrokhi may be downloaded from http://www.freshports.org/www/wikindx.
The sourceforge site has all the appropriate contact details, forums for you to report bugs, request features etc.
It sounds very interesting. I think I may, with a bit of help I'm sure, be setting up a database to test it out on my own data. The site says it has:
- 34 resource types.
- Multi-user mode - create and manage your own bibliographies drawn from the WIKINDX master bibliography and browse other users' bibliographies. (Must be enabled by the administrator.)
- Save your own preferences.
- Enter/edit bibliographic resources.
- Add unlimited file attachments to each resource. (Must be enabled by the administrator.)
- Catalogue resources by categories and keyword(s).
- Enter/edit a general note about the whole resource.
- Enter/edit quotes and paraphrases from those resources.
- Enter/edit thoughts or musings on various aspects of a resource (can be private or public).
- Add keywords to resource metadata such as quotes, paraphrases and musings.
- Use BBCode in all textarea input.
- Cross-reference other WIKINDX resources from within quotes, paraphrases, musings, notes and abstracts.
- Edit keywords, creators, publishers and journals.
- Comprehensive search across all the above with highlighting of search terms using either Quick Search or Power Search.
- Reorder bibliographic lists by first creator, title, resource type, publisher, year of publication or timestamp.
- Select resources by category, keywords, creator, publisher etc.
- Browse all creators, publishers, collections, categories and keywords with font colour and size indicating frequency of occurrence.
- Unlimited primary creators, editors, translators and revisers, composers, agents, performers etc.
- Export bibliographic lists (optionally annotated) with a range of formatting options to Rich Text Format [RTF] files for easy insert into word processors.
- Export bibliographic lists to RIS for import to Endnote, Reference Manager, ProCite etc.
- Export an Endnote tabbed textfile.
- Export an Endnote XML file.
- Export bibliographic lists to BibTeX format.
- Cut 'n' Paste BibTeX entries to the database (amount limited by the administrator).
- View and export in seven bibliographic styles: Chicago, MLA, APA and Harvard, Turabian, British Medical Journal and IEEE.
- Write an article entirely within WIKINDX's WYSIWYG word processor, import metadata and chose the citation formatting prior to exporting the article to Rich Text Format [RTF].
- Run WIKINDX in core English or other languages (depending on administrator-installed language plug-ins).
- User-defined paging of long bibliographic lists.
- View all quotes, paraphrases and musings or a single random one.
- One-click return to last bibliographic list or single view.
- Store up to 10 bookmarks for quick return to single views.
- Select a visual style.
April 24, 2006
I've been using Anconia RocketPost for my blog entries, I love the program but the technical support leaves something to be desired. I've had a problem running the software that I need their advice in correcting. To date I have emailed one of the programmers directly, he has commented here in the past, then after receiving no response I submitted a tech support form through the website...still no response. I'm not sure what the problem is, and I hope they figure out what holds up their customer service so that those of us who have bought the program can use it.
Posted by prolurkr at 11:08 AM
March 19, 2006
Tips to improve your laptop or tablet use
The Student Tablet PC blog has been collecting user tips. The post Master list of 220 submitted tips, plus some of Tracy's favorites is a useful list not just for tablet users but also for anyone who uses a laptop. Here are a few of the ones I plan on using on my laptop.
- Most tableteers want one-touch access to their favourite programs, but don't like to navigate through the Start menu or put the Quick Launch in taskbar to waste space. To solve this, enable a toolbar (Quick Launch, or create a new toolbar from a folder full of shortcuts) by right clicking on the taskbar when it is unlocked. Now, drag the toolbar onto the desktop, and then onto one of the sides of the screen. You can now right click on this new bar, click Always on Top, and customise it to your liking (e.g. auto-hide, small icons, etc.).
- Earphones/Headphones are good when you are in class and you've forgotten to mute the speakers before shutting down last. Just plug in the headphones when starting up, and the disruptive Windows Sounds won't be heard. Another approach is to go into Sound Properties in the Control Panel, click the sounds tabs, and select the "No Sounds" scheme.
- For those who have tendency to multitask and get distracted often, you can create a set of windows users. Each user will be associated to a context you use your PC, as example, Study, Class, Entertainment, Work, Research. And set those users only the software and the files you use in that context without share information that are not related or deny Internet connection to those contexts were you need concentration.
- BACKUP! Many people use their tablet PCs to store their entire life, and find backup methods such as external hard drives and DVDs cumbersome and expensive. Here is a good way to back things up:
- Use the SyncToy to transfer and keep your Desktop and My Documents folder in sync with your PC over the network
- Be sure to transfer your Outlook PST file (usually located in C:\Documents and Settings\(USERNAME)\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook) to the PC as well, regularly
- Use the Microsoft Office Settings Wizard (in All Programs>Microsoft Office>Office Tools>Save my Settings Wizard) to keep your toolbar configurations backed up, and save the resulting file on the PC as well
- Take a day to create a CD full of installation files for all of your programs (name the files accordingly). [I need a file I title "Downloads" that includes all my downloaded programs by year, so I always have the install files.]
- Now, you won't have to spend as much money or time backing up.
- Always "optimize" your PDFs. Advanced --> PDF Optimizer. My settings (to minimize HDD space) include Deskew: Automatic, Background removal: Off, Edge shadow removal: Off, Despeckle: Low, Descreen: Automatic, Halo Removal: On.
March 05, 2006
Poductivity and/or creativity enhancement tools
Early last week DIYPlanner had a post on "What five items for enhancing your productivity and/or creativity can you not be without?" I hit me that this meme might be really helpful for prolurker readers, and for me when I read what y'all do to keep your productivity up. SO here are my top tools and a bit of explanation on why they make the list. p.s. I use a paper planner so there is no calendar program on this list.
- ActiveWords - ActiveWords has become such an integral part of what I do that I forgot to add it to the original draft of this list, I simply forget that it is there. ActiveWords acts as a cross-software spell checker, and a quick key program. I have key combinations set-up to then expand into full phrases or coding across programs. This is particularly useful when I'm writing up research. Repeated word phrases can be quick-keyed to cutdown on typing. There is a free trial version and I'm sure that if you try it you will buy it.
- Concetta Mindmap - one of several good mindmapping tools available. I find myself using this more and more to pull together what I need to do and what I'm thinking about. I'm not sure there is an end to what can be worked through with a mindmap. Check for academic pricing.
- CountDown Clock - keeping me on task...sometimes it's a problem in that I get sucked into what I'm doing and lose all track of time. CountDown lets me set a time limit on what you are doing and then tells you the time has expired with a message you set.
- eWallet - Remembers all of those things I don't have space for in my head - passwords, connection info for the blogs and email accounts, software license numbers, etc. Oh and it runs on palm and many cell phones too.
- GoBinder - I'm still learning this one but I see lots of value in using it for my students. I plan to have my semester plan for I101 programmed in beginning in the fall, so students can download the file directly into their GoBinder.
- Mobimate WorldMate - I first found this program when I was using a palm, now it is desktop too. WorldMate helps me schedule conference trips and keeps me on-time when I travel. It is an annual subscription but it's not very expensive if you just have the desktop version.
- UltraRecall - My digital electronic brain. I use the program as both a planning tool and an archive. I set-up my academic goals for submissions, conference, etc. a year or more in advance (depending on when conferences are announced and CFPs are issued). I archive each completed year for posterity, I have individual activities archived elsewhere so this file isn't my primary dossier. The file structure from my UR installation is shown on the right, just to give you an idea what can be done with the program. If you aren't already using a PIM or if you aren't happy with the one you have, I recommned you give UltraRecall a testdrive.
- VIP Simple To Do List - VIP is my GTD trusted location. I enter everything I have to do into VIP and set-up goals for completion. Things that don't have a current due date are entered as due on my 100th b'day. Mostly this is a sort order thing in that activities without dates are sorted before the current date rather then after, so my 100th b'day is way after today. Oh and the "Simple" version of the program is very inexpensive.
Academic recordkeeping tools
- FileMaker Pro - A recordkeeping and research tool. I'm still learning my way around it but have found it very useful in keeping my professional activities stored for monthly and annual reports.
- Movable Type - Allows me to keep my online CV up-to-date. I hacked together a pretty cool page to create a dynamic CV that I'm very proud of and will be improving as time allows.
- Scanner and tools - Indispensable, I use it to scan in dossier type stuff, conference programs, letters, etc. Also use it to manage my IRB forms so I can keep on top of my active work.
- ATLAS.ti - I have a older version of the program. After quals I have resolved that I will upgrade the program and attend a training workshop to really learn to use it.
- Concordance - Concordance is a nice simple program for doing word frequencies. I use it quite a bit when I'm doing research, helps me build the story of the data even if the results don't appear in the final paper. The company offers a 30-day free trial for personal evaluation.
- Detagger - Was a great find. It allows me to strip as much or as little HTML from pages as I need removed. Often I want to retain some of the coding as part of the study of performance, though rarely do I need all of it for analysis. Detagger gives me a lot of flexibility when doing research. I can convert picture and font tags to text then remove all remaining html to get down to the data I want. The company offers a 30-day free trial for personal evaluation.
- InfoRapid Search and Replace - I use the search most, have used the replace to cleanup old html documents in my archives. InfoRapid Search is not as powerful as Google Desktop but it doesn't have all the privacy issues either, that I like.
- Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count - LIWC is a great analysis tool. Like Concordance I use LIWC to find the story in my research. Usually I work with the default dictionaries but I am slowly building a "teen" dictonary to use as needed. Play with this tool and I'm sure you will be hooked.
- Microsoft Excel - My analysis tool of choice. What can I say I'm pretty good at programming, so I save lots of time doing data analysis in Excel.
- Microsoft Word - Where would any of us be without Word?
- Reference Manager - I keep so much in RefMgr, citations, full text of blog posts and articles, to-read-lists, it's an amazing tool. Plus it has cite-while-you-write which is wonderfully powerful.
- RocketPost - Is a powerful tool for updating and managing blogs. I have RocketPost set-up to be used with both of my blogs. It's one of those tools I use throughout the day on every computer with which I interact.
- SnagIT - SnagIT lets me grab clean screenshots for papers, and avatars for research. I seem to use it a lot to post pictures to the blogs as well as adding new desktops to the computers. It's a very handy tool I recommend it. I used it to grab the section of a screen shot from UtlraRecall you see with this post. All nice and neat.
- WinHTTrack - HTTrack is a free website archiver and offline browser. I use it to grab research materials and archive them for processing. HTTrack is the best program I have used, others for which I have paid cash didn't do as good a job in archiving and took up incredible amounts of resources while doing their work.
- WinZIP - Great for packing files for archive or for distribution among collaborators. I've tried other programs and keep coming back to WinZIP.
Ok I'm tagging three of you to get this ball rolling - David Brake, Angela Thomas, and A Learner's Space.
p.s. One of the nice things about doing a list like this periodically is you find out which of your programs have updates available. LOL Several of these were updated or plans were made to update for those that I must buy a-new.
February 23, 2006
Confessions of a software junkie
Steve Richards - Adventures in home working pointed me to what looks like a great deal on a potentially useful project software program with web integration. Check out his post with hacks below, Are you a GTD convert, looking for a great tool? Oh and the program is $5.00 right now. I'm gonna play with this one for a bit. Per the Axosoft site, this social marketing experiment ends Friday February 24, 2006. Requires access to a Microsoft SQL server database.
I recently came across a quite amazing offer from AxoSoft, that allowed me to get a 5 user version of their project management software OnTime for just $5 rather than $495, even better the $5 was donated to the Red Cross! I have been struggling to find a project/task management solution thats flexible enough for my needs so I thought I would give it a try.
You can get access to the offer from here, there is no link on the web site, so the only way is through the blogsphere. At the time of posting they had taken 645 orders and raised $3225 for the Red Cross.
5 minutes later my activation key arrived and I was up and running. You need to install MSDE, but once thats done you have a 5 user system that is really powerful. Here are a few of the highlights:
* It's designed to support defect, feature and task tracking/management, but its very easy to re-configure it. In my case I changed Defects to Activities, changed a few field names and removed a few others and I now have a project management and task management solution, instead of a bug tracker!
* It's client server, it has a great web client that connects to an SQL server or MSDE database
* They say that MSDE can easily support 50+ users
* It has a web client as well that's broadly equivalent in functionality
* It allows you to build a hierarchy of projects, and browse your tasks at any level in the hierarchy
* It allows you to sort, group, filter and search items
* It allows you to store a description, notes, attachments (linked or embedded), work logs, emails and more against every item
* It's wildly configurable, the descriptions of pretty much every field and view can be changed to suit your needs and pick lists like status, priority etc can be customised
* It allows you to create emails, from items
* It allows you to automatically monitor any number of pop email accounts, and auto-process the emails that arrive in them. In my case I created a number of email accounts and associated them with the activity and task lists. Found that I could then automatically create an archive of emails associated with each task, just by forwarding or cc-ing the email accounts I created and placing the task number in the subject field, (for example adding [#44] anywhere in the subject would attach that email to activity 44.
* You can create custom fields, add them to forms and and then group by them, which is great for GTD users, although you already have severity, status, priority fields as standard, but you can add fields for different places and different categories.
This is a truly amazing tool for the small project team, but really excellent for a single user as well. Unfortunately the 5 user for $5 trial may soon be over, but don't despair because the 1 user version - which is functionally the same - is FREE of charge. Here is a sample screen shot:
A few other notes:
* You will want to backup your database, to do that I created an ODBC connection (in control panel) to my database and then added the following command to the batch file that does my regular nightly backup. (onetime is the name of the ODBC connection)
OSQL -E -n -D onetime -Q "BACKUP DATABASE onetime TO DISK = 'D:\Steve\SQL server\master.bak' WITH INIT"
* There are some really great screen cams that show you how to use it, start with the overview to get an idea of the power
* I found a bug in the pop email account monitoring service, it doesn't seem to download attachments, which is a real shame. They are working on a fix.
* This is not a great solution if you need to keep your tasks in sync with your laptop, desktop, PDA etc. However you can use the automatic email processing to allow you to create tasks by sending the appropriate account an email, which is pretty easy. In fact as many of my tasks are initiated by email in the first place it's often pretty natural to do it that way. There is a feature request in to create Outlook sync.
* Check out the support forums for more bugs and issues
February 05, 2006
coComment, Clear conversation in the Blogosphere
ProBlogger has a pointer to a new free service for bloggers and blog readers.
What is coComment?
coComment is the only service that allows you to enjoy the full potential of blog comments on the web. Before coComment, the blogosphere was not a global conversation, but tons of fragmented, hard to follow, and untrackable discussions.
Using coComment, you can now keep track of what you have been commenting on, display your comments on your blog, and see what is new in the discussions you are participating in (if other users are also on coComment).
Since I'm a lurker and not a big commenter this service is probably not very useful to me. Now if they let you watch others spread the joy of commenting, I might be up for it. Would make for interesting research wouldn't it.
coComment is currently in beta phase, registration is only possible with a personal invitation code
Maybe if we ask really really nicely? It sure would be great to have some invitations to hand out to the academic and biblio-blogosphere.
January 31, 2006
Might have to do a trial run on RoboForm
Oh dear a new software program that look very interesting. Check out RoboForm, I might have to download the trial and check it out.
Roboform is the top-rated Password Manager and Web Form Filler that completely automates password entering and form filling.
RoboForm was named PC Magazine Editor's Choice, and CNET Download.com's Software of the Year. RoboForm:
- Memorizes your passwords and Logs You In automatically.
- Fills long registration and checkout forms with one click.
- Encrypts your passwords to achieve complete security.
- Generates random passwords that hackers cannot guess.
- Fights Phishing by filling passwords only on matching web sites.
- Defeats Keyloggers by not using keyboard to type passwords.
- Backs up your passwords, Copies them between computers.
- Synchronizes passwords between computers using GoodSync.
- Searches for keywords in your passwords, notes and Internet.
- Portable: Pass2Go RF runs from USB key, no install needed.
- PDA-friendly: sync your passwords to Pocket PC and Palm.
- Neutral: works with Internet Explorer, AOL/MSN, Firefox.
November 24, 2005
For the last month I have been testing a PIM called VIP Organizer. Yes I like my hipster PDA but I need something with the ability to set times as well as due dates. Basically I need something finer grained. While I simply love UltraRecall I do like keeping some information separate...it makes it visually easier for me to sort out what I have to do today from what is due down the road. Basically I need a simple project planner.
So I ran across VIP Organizer and I have liked using it. The interface is fairly intuitive and attractive and I have lots of options for organizing data. I decided I was going to buy it, up until I went to buy the program and found out a thing or two about it. First the software is $49.95, not the most expensive out there but neither is it the cheapest. However that $49.95 buys you one download, and if you pay an extra $6.95 you can have additional downloads for up to one year. So if your hard drive crashes, or like me you reformat periodically, or you buy a new computer you better plan on doing it in that first year because afterward you will be forced to pay for a new program.
This I do not like, at all. It's a good business model for the company...steady stream of revenue and that $6.95 is insurance rather than a product to be made. But for the consumer this is a bad idea. So I won't be buying their program any time soon....not at those prices.
Oh well back to the hunt for an easy to use to-do list/project planner.
November 13, 2005
I'm now an Anconia RocketPost user
Yesterday I paid my money to buy a professional copy of Anconia RocketPost. I've played with the trial version for a couple of weeks now and really like it. Plus I've traded emails with the programmer on a issues and have been impressed with the response.
The professional version allows me to run any number of blogs on any number of CMS. Which is important since shortly I will have three blogs on two different platforms. I run a small blog for my religious community, small and not very well kept of late. Plus shortly, as in within the next two weeks, loisscheidt.com will be moving to a new host and will be transformed from a static site to an MT weblog. I'm mostly looking forward to that being done as I will have to do a lot of data entry to finish the move.
October 21, 2005
Why I'm sticking with WB Editor as a blog client
Over the last 22 months, the life of this blog, I have used or tested a fairly broad group of desktop publishing clients. But with things about to change as I will shortly have two blogs to maintain since loisscheidt.com is moving to blogging software next month. Because of the change I've been keeping my eyes open for reviews on clients that would allow posting to two blogs so I can update here and there with information like new publications. So it was with significant interest that I read jkOnTheRun review- RocketPost blog editor software review.
RocketPost says it is a one-stop-shop for blog maintenance with FTP, text formatting, and multiple blog maintenance features. But it's massively expensive software at $149.00 and even with the current $50.00 discount $99.00 for a blog client is pretty hefty. But I decided to go ahead and give the program a 30-day test maybe if I really liked it it would be worth the price.
Well two days into the test I have uninstalled the program and here is why. 1) Installation is supposed to be intuitive but isn't. The program doesn't specify which file it needs to be linked to on the blog so those of us with non-standard installations better know what file it needs if the default subdirectory isn't in place. 2) support questions go unanswered. The company has a category for questions from non-purchasers and those must be pretty low priority as my simple question asked two days ago has gone unanswered as of this writing. Guess they don't realize that current non-purchasers can be come tomorrow's loyal customers. 3) the program continually crashes. After completing the installation I have not been able to consistently make the program run or have it upload a single entry. And because of item 2 above I needn't bother asking a question of the support folk. Oh and I have uninstalled and reinstalled the software twice before doing the final uninstall. So I would still like to see this program in action but it probably won't happen until after my next reformat, which is long in the future assuming that it will run on my set-up which is currently in doubt.
Well while I was testing I decided to go ahead and download Qumana, a free blogging client I have seen used on some sites. All in all the program is good. It has a pleasant interface which allowed me to do most of my usual HTML coding via clicks on icons. Plus it allows for technorati tag insertion, which I wanted to play with as well. Though I have uninstalled Qumana as well because of two points: 1) the program adds a "produced with Qumana" statement at the end of every post. You can delete it on the screen but who what's to mess with that every time you post. 2) I couldn't figure out how to get to the HTML codes to add stuff not available in their icon set. You probably can't get there from here but I want that power when I need it.
So I'm sticking with WB Editor for the time being. I hope that they will add some new features, especially allowing posting to more than one blog. But until I find something better this is my bird of choice.
October 03, 2005
Writeboard collaboration tool
Looks interesting for collaboration or maybe whitepaper dissemination. I will have to play with this more but it also looks like it might have pedagogical uses as well.
Writeboard makes it easy to...
Write without fear of losing or overwriting a good idea
Compare different versions of a document
Collaborate with colleagues on copy, proposals, memos, etc.
Subscribe to documents via RSS and be notified of changes
Keep your writings organized with Backpack integration
Writeboard is perfect for...
Authors, journalists, PR folks, editors, and publishers
Bloggers or freelance/independent writers
Letter writers, songwriters, poets, comedians, creatives
Students, professors, and groups collaborating on a paper
September 30, 2005
Dealing with the university's course software beta release
Just got off the phone with a very nice and polite tech guy who explained to me that what I needed the courseware software to do is unavailable. Now what I want the software to do is pretty simple and straightforward, and should be available in a "Beta" release but isn't in this pre-Beta Beta release.
The tech gay said "It's a special feature that the software doesn't perform that action at this time." SOOOO in other words it's now a special feature that the software sucks. I complemented the tech on both his professionalism and his ability to keep his sense of humor, he was working hard not to laugh along with me at what was said. Sorry this one was just to funny not to share.
Remember this line the next time you need to get out of a sticky situation, "It's a special feature..."
September 09, 2005
Two software programs I am taking for a free ride
Following is information about the two new software I am demo-ing, both were free to try. I love new software it's like an addiction...I want to try them out and play with them, then if I like them I buy, and when I find something better I throw them away. *maniacal laugh*
I am looking at AJS as a possible research diary program. I have tried a couple of others but have not found one that lets me do what I have visualized in my head. Maybe this one will work.
Keep a protected and secure journal offline with the ability to send it online or e-mail it as a blog. XJS's input engine delivers scan-to-journal, voice, video, word processing, and handwritten (Tablet/Pocket PCs Only) input portals. XJS delivers the solution you need to fulfill your personal diary/journal needs. It provides importing/exporting features needed now and the accessibility required for the future. Easily add news to your journal with the included XML feed reader with a click of a button to have it forever. XJS stands as one of the few providers of a multi-operating system offline journal solution. Developers can extend XJS, giving new methods of input, new journal processing features or new entry fields.
Recall Plus is a study program that has some cool features including mindmapping and animation. Not sure if it will be useful to me at this point, but it looks cool. I bought GoBinder last summer and used it, minimally, to help me design classes for the fall. Recall Plus may not be enough of the right thing to make me change, though it too looks very cool.
To get a real feel for where it is coming from - Read why RecallPlus HAD to be produced!
RecallPlus is a program written specifically to get students learning faster by automatically getting them to use optimal learning and study methods in their actual day to day study time.
The specific problem it fixes is that if you are someone who wants to apply the latest in learning theories to your day to day learning there was literally no way you could do it efficiently or easily before the advent of RecallPlus.
RecallPlus was initially written by a doctor studying for a specialty exam. He decided to 'learn how to learn' and checkout some 'study skills' websites, and found that if he wished to learn optimally, he really needed something more...
There was simply no way he was going to be able to apply all the better learning techniques so that he could learn faster, without ongoing help!! There was no software to help - concept map programs were not able to help with revision and not designed for whole sets of notes. Revision optimizing programs (e.g. flashcard programs), did allow sets of notes BUT were visually boring and limited.
He did need a system of some sort otherwise he was not going to be able to apply the study skill improvements that were going to get him through that exam fast - so RecallPlus was written!
August 25, 2005
Oh my god not another prolurker post?meta-post - I live and die as a blogger because of desktop blogging clients. Love these things. I see something interesting I want to post for other...open the client and click, click, click it's on its way to the blog. If I had to actually open my blog's posting page I would have far fewer posts then I do now. LOL
Funny thing is I commented to a friend late last night, roughly 10ish, that I couldn't believe I had seven posts up for yesterday AND I did first-day of classes prep AND taught from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. No wonder I went to bed last night very very tired.
July 28, 2005
New posting categories
I've created three new categories for posts now that I have more capacity for such things. They are called: Memes...rolling along, Native American Flutes (NAF)...and the people who love them, and Software & Hardware...Oh my. I'll be adding more categories shortly to better describe the content of the site. Of course I'm still debating on the use of tags...we shall see on that one. Links are also available on the left sidebar under "Categories".