Impediment To Productivity: TracksLife

Do you have a hard time remembering to keep track of the progress in your diet, your budget, your exercise program (hmm does walking to the fridge for a cold caffeinated beverage count as exercise?) — whatever? Well so does B. Adam Howell of Webjillion (yep the people who wrote Temptation Blocker
that we mentioned a week or so back). That’s why there’s TracksLife. Trackslife is an online tool that will help you keep track, and stay on track, with just about anything.

With TracksLife you can:

  • Keep track of almost anything with Tracks — spreadsheets/databases that combine columns of money, numbers, words, paragraphs and yes/no’s.
  • If you ever forget to update, ( and you will) the Friendly Trackslife Remindbot will send a link through email or RSS politely reminding you.

And ( if you want) you can share your progress with friends, family, co-workers, bloggers, whoever! (and the question is asked “who would really care?). You really need to have a look at some the things people have put out in the Trackslife public space.

It only takes a second to figure it out, but what it does is create a place to monitor your progress on things in your life. It could be your budget, training for a marathon, your quest to get a high score on a video game…anything.

For me though, it’s “killer feature” is the reminders. Get a little lax with your workout regimen (I have been informed that trips to the fridge DO NOT count as a workout… bummer)? You can set Trackslife to give you a digital kick in the pants as often as you need it (frequently).

Worth a look.

Google Maps Mania

Now we all know I am a huge fan of Google Maps, I have blown a lot of hours just playing with them . But these people put me to shame. Have a look at Google Maps Mania, and to they even have an RSS feed to keep us up to speed with the changes.

A personal favourite is Dublin Commuter Trains. As you watch the trains move up and down the line, (dont forget, as a rule of thumb if it’ds morning here – it’s night there). And Weather Chaser for Victoria is pretty cool too.

Pursuing the Google Maps theme, there is a mashup at http://www.mologogo.com/ called Mologo.

Mologogo is a free service that will track a “friends” GPS enabled cell phone from another phone(gps not required) or on the web. Mologogo also serves as a dirt-cheap tracking system, so go ahead and fauxjack something.

So how weird is this, half the world doesn’t want any one to know where they are and what they are doing, the other half are plugging into “social networks” like Mologo and saying “hit me”, another half WANT to know everything about you “just in case” and probably another half of the world haven’t seen a mobile phone.

Yes I know that’s way too many halves but it’s a complicated world.

Firefox Extension – CustomizeGoogle

CustomizeGoogle is a Firefox extension that enhance Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam).

Firefox Extension – CustomizeGoogle

So what can it do for you?

    * Use Google Suggest (suggest words while you’re typing)
    * Add links to competitors
    * Rewrite links to point straight to the images in Google Images (?)
    * Secure Gmail, switch to https
    * Remove ads
    * Anonymize your Google userid
    * Add a result counter in search result
    * Filter spammy websites from search results
    * Add links to WayBack Machine (worth it’s weight in osmiridium alone for this one)
    * Remove click tracking

What? No caffienated beverage assembly? Oh well there is always version 2.

HTML Character Entities Cheat Sheet II

Ah Yes I really must create that Cheat Sheet Category.

This is from the “I Love Jack Daniels” site. HTML Character Entities Cheat Sheet.

So whats a “HTML Character Entity” when it’s at home? We discussed them a a while back in the Xhtml Character Entity Reference Post, you remember, the most common character entities such as & (the ampersand), < and > (The < and > symbols) and so forth get turned into &# and a number. Thet are really useful for tm and copyright symbols as well.

In keeping with the other Jack Daniels Cheat sheets , there’s a thumbnail of the cheat sheet and brief description. It’s really pretty simple, this time . There are four columns. Each of those columns is further divided into three. On the left is the actual code for the character. In the middle, the character itself, and on the right, the description of the character. The PDF prints out a lovely dead tree version.

And that’s it!

Another fine product.

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines

I was down at the pub last weekend listening to The Large No.12s and talking crap as usual and the conversation went down the nostalgia path as it is wont to do when you put old friends and alcohol together in close proximity. Anyway someone commented how we were still doing alright after having not so much burnt the candle at both ends but blow torched it in the middle in our childhood (mine would appear to still be going, childhood that is, I think I replaced the candle with an LCD screen)…

This brought to mind Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Who?

Edna Millay wrote “First Fig” in 1920:

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!

Does that sort of sound familiar, if not as a poem then as a mantra? It was a lot of peoples creed back then ( then being as recent as just last week).

The other Millay piece which stayed with me (which I discovered much later after chasing down some stuff by Lew Welch) was
I will put Chaos into fourteen lines – Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
And keep him there; and let him thence escape
If he be lucky; let him twist, and ape
Flood, fire, and demon — his adroit designs
Will strain to nothing in the strict confines
Of this sweet order, where, in pious rape,
I hold his essence and amorphous shape,
Till he with Order mingles and combines.
Past are the hours, the years of our duress,
His arrogance, our awful servitude:
I have him. He is nothing more nor less
Than something simple not yet understood;
I shall not even force him to confess;
Or answer. I will only make him good.

This is so cool because mandelbrots, chaos, that bloody bad weather butterfly and James Gleick were all still to come when she wrote this. I think this is what makes poetry so interesting. I dont really know what she meant or was writing about but when I saw this after reading James Gleick’s book “Chaos: The Making of a New Science” (which is a really great read) it was one of those really synchronous moments.

Any way back to the Who? question.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was one of those American activists who fought for womens rights and for justice in general. I wonder what she would make of the struggle these days? She was hailed as the voice of her generation; ( her, Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen) and for two years in Europe she did a gig for Vanity Fair, she became the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, for Ballad of the Harp Weaver.

At the height of her popularity she joined a writer’s crusade to stay the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927; she commemorated their end in five poems, “Justice Denied in Massachusetts”, “Hangman’s Oak”, “The Anguish”, “To Those Without Pity”, and “Wine from These Grapes” (collected in “The Buck in the Snow” in 1928). She was also one of the myriad people who tried to raise America’s awareness of the rise and dangers of Fascism in Europe.

There are some more of her works at http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/Poetry/Millay/ and if you interested in more about Edna St. Vincent Millay click on the link.

Strange where a trip to the pub will take you.

PreSonus Inspire 1394

More from the AES (watch all your wallets scurry of to a safe hiding place).

Now you will remember a few posts back about the Snowball mic and the Sony Digital Recorder (well I still want the Sony), today’s item is about the PreSonus INSPIRE 1394.

We wont worry about a picture it’s basically a little grey box, loaded with lots of audio goodness.

Seriously we are talking a FireWire Recording System featuring professional quality 24-bit/96k analog to digital conversion rate, four simultaneous inputs (kind of), a software control panel as well as audio recording and production software giving you possibly the smallest, most flexible, most affordable and all-inspiring computer recording studio ever! (the advertising dudes were obviously being paid per superlative).
Continue reading “PreSonus Inspire 1394”