• Helpdesk -- suffering from idiots for centuries

    It's hilarious to read what helpdesk staff has to cope with on a day to day basis; the web is full of those stories.

    But it's even more hilarious to imagine how this may have looked like in the dark ages. No, not when DOS 5.0 came out -- I mean in the original dark ages:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRjVeRbhtRU]

    (via Basic Thinking)

  • I'm on the Charlie!

    When Adam Curry discovered the concept of sitzend pinkeln" (peeing seated, even when you're male; a habit gaining ground at least in Germany) in one of his recent Daily Sourcecode episodes, I knew I had 2 cents to give away. And, lo and behold, he started his newly created "Are posh people pigs?" segment in "episode 452&episode_id=49221 by reading my email! :-)

    I guess the woman sitting in front of me on the tram must have become really frightened by my loony grin when I reached 19:15 into the podcast and was hearing my own words:

    Adam, mein Freund!
    DSC 540 had me in tears, listening to you speaking German about good bathroom manners!
    You're right, the concept of sitting down to pee is a pretty strange concept to some men, as you can see on this illustration:

    But if it's explained well, a man can get used to it after a while. I got too, especially because it's my turn to clean the bathroom including the toilet every second week.
    As you will have guessed until now, I'm a folder, as is every good German.
    Cheers, Jochen

    And Adam, no, although german women indeed are something special, my girl isn't forcing me to clean the bathroom. It's a matter of fairness to do it in turn -- she has to clean my shit[1] every second week, too.

    fn1. Not meant literally, we actually use the toilet brush, other than the (posh?) people your callers use to tell of.

  • Unix baby

    You know your baby child is a born Unix hacker when it starts writing termcap entries manually

  • Angerwhale: blog software with digital signatures

    Angerwhale" is the name of a new blog software written in Perl, and its first official version "Angerwhale 0.02 was released%20Released.pod to CPAN~jrockway/Angerwhale-0.02/lib/Angerwhale.pm today.

    Features include guaranteed valid XHTML 1.1 output, social tagging, categories, syntax highlighting, RSS and YAML feeds for every article, comment, tag, and category, nested comments, intelligent caching of everything, space-conserving mini-posts, search-engine (and human!) friendly archiving, a flashy default theme, and lots of other cool stuff.

    The software is based on the Catalyst Web Framework and uses the file system as storage backend instead of a database like MySQL. Another interesting feature is that Angerwhale uses cryptography to map articles and comments to users:

    [Angerwhale] determines authorship based on the post's PGP digital signature. These posts can be in a variety of formats (text, wiki, HTML, POD), and new formats can be added dynamically at runtime. Posting comments is also supported, and again, authorship is determined by checking the digital signature.

    Finally, there's a contender for all the (great nonetheless) blog software written in PHP!

  • GTD done Web 2.0: Nozbe

    Through entries on the blogs of Marc Orchant and Web Worker Daily I found a new web application that's geared to support the Getting Things Done organization approach: Nozbe

    From what I read, Nozbe seems to be inspired by Backpack, but made strictly to implement the GTD concept of next actions, contexts and projects. I currently use Backpack to organize my tasks, but I have to implement contexts and projects by putting them on different pages which sometimes makes shifting things around a bit complicated. I've tried other online GTD solutions, but Nozbe seems to be the most appealing to me at the moment, because it combines the simplicity of Backpack with the complete GTD concept and nomenclature.

    Marc is excited, too:

    So when I saw Nozbe, I smiled. Here's an application that gets the essence of David Allen's approach exactly right in the browser where I can conceivably touch my projects and next actions from any of the devices I use in any of the locations in which I work. It's a matter of a few clicks to define a new Project, add a few actions, assign a context and estimate to the action, and capture some related notes.

    Judi Sohn from WWD points out that there's still a bit of work to do, but finds it an interesting solution, too:

    Nozbe still needs work. In addition to the uneditable contexts and the limit on projects, it doesnt work with any other on or offline system. No importing/exporting tasks or projects to work with a favorite calendar or email application. No RSS feeds. No reporting. No date-specific tasks. Sometimes you have to do something because its due, regardless of the accessibility of the context. I think all of these things can be added without losing the simplicity that makes this application stand out.
    Its a good start. If youre a GTD fan, this is a web application to watch.

    I'll give Nozbe a try over the next days.

    Update (2006-02-12): Today, Judi reviewed Vitalist and gives it a thumbs-up in comparison to Nozbe:

    If stuck on a desert island and forced to use one online GTD application, Id be bookmarking Vitalist. Nozbe is more straight-forward, but I appreciate Vitalists reminder, date and XML/feed features.