Fri, 03 Oct 2003

Killing a Mosquito With a 12-Gauge

After playing around with VoodooPad, which I quite like, I decided I'd register it and start using it as my personal organizer, so to speak. Then I thought a bit more and realized that, no matter how much I liked the app, that wasn't going to work out very well. I don't have a PowerBook (sob), and I'm primarily limited to Windows machines at work, and if I end up going mobile with a Hiptop or some other PDA then it's inaccessible there, too. Then I realized -- I have a webserver!

I looked at Alex King's Tasks, which looks really good. But really, it's not really the sort of thing I'd really use. I need something more freeform -- I don't really need all the alarms and "project 50% done" indicators and all that. What I really need is a virtual scratchpad where I can record semi-random stuff:

  • things to pick up at the grocery store
  • which libraries I need to download and install so app-xyz will compile
  • what website had the walkthrough for level 16 of Aliens Eating Cheeseburgers III
  • what the secretary on the fourth floor said her printer did when she plugged it into the Ethernet jack
  • the notes for my review of the new Shaggs record

and a million other of the trivial details that fill my life. I'd been using VoodooPad for these sort of things, but, as mentioned above, it doesn't travel with me so I needed something web based. I've grown fairly comfortable with Wiki -style editing, and I definitely love being able to create new pages basically "at the flick of the wrist" (by joining wiki-words), so I started to think: Why not just configure some proper WikiWikiWeb software? I already have AwkiAwki installed to serve my FAQ pages, but it's not exactly feature-ful. I tried PurpleWiki as well, but had some problems setting it up (adding Perl modules on OS X usually involves invoking dark forces.) MoinMoin is powerful enough to have served the Atom project, and it was dead simple to set up at work (praise Jebus for the FreeBSD ports system), where I'm evaluating it as a possible internal tech-support mechanism, so I decided to try it here. Frankly, the installation was a pain in the ass (mostly my fault), but I got it working.

My grocery list, of course!Anyway, I get full text searching and an index and stuff "for free." I can see myself using it as an idea scratchpad for long blog entries, for the book about absolutely nothing I may write someday, and whatever else.

I've restricted it by IP address for now (Google, world, and dog don't need my grocery list), so I can reach it from home, the office, and I figure any other place I might need to have access from in the future is just a SSH session away.

You don't have to tell me that normal people don't do this. Well, duh... Proudly without a life since at least 1985...

:: 21:58
:: /tech/computers/os/all/applications | [+]
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A manager was about to be fired, but a programmer who worked for him
invented a new program that became popular and sold well. As a result, the
manager retained his job.
The manager tried to give the programmer a bonus, but the programmer
refused it, saying, “I wrote the program because I though it was an interesting
concept, and thus I expect no reward.”
The manager, upon hearing this, remarked, “This programmer, though he
holds a position of small esteem, understands well the proper duty of an
employee. Lets promote him to the exalted position of management consultant!”
But when told this, the programmer once more refused, saying, “I exist
so that I can program. If I were promoted, I would do nothing but waste
everyone’s time. Can I go now? I have a program that I’m working on.”
— Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”