.Mac now a quarter Gig!

Woah. I must have been sleeping in a cave somewhere. Thanks to Ars Technica, I was pointed to an Apple page describing 250MB combined iDisk and .Mac Mail storage. It’s not a flat-out gig, like GMail, but it’s a heckuvalot better than the 15MB for mail, and 100MB for iDisk…

I just poked around on .Mac, and it’s official. Cool! You have to dig into your account settings to tweak how you want the 250MB used (by default it uses 125MB for mail, 125MB for iDisk). I have my .Mac account forwarded to my GMail account, so I set my iDisk to take the lion’s share of my space.

.Mac iDisk and Mail Storage Settings

UPDATE: OK. So, I wasn’t sleeping in a cave or anything – this was just announced. It’s not a gig, but it’s sure better than having what amounted to an online Zip disk…

Notational Velocity

I’ve got a couple of outboard brains. This weblog is one of them, but I also use an app on my PowerBook to store stuff that I don’t necessary want Google to find (passwords, source code snippets that don’t make sense out of context, list of the members of the Illuminati, etc…)

I’d been using DevonThink PE as that “private outboard brain”. It works really well, and handles all kinds of file formats (as well as web pages). I just switched to Notational Velocity, though. At first I didn’t get it. I thought NV was a gimmicky app that I wouldn’t find useful. However, after a bit of use, it’s turned into a LaunchBar/Quiicksilver for data. One part wiki, one part fulltext index, one part note taker. Very cool.

NV doesn’t do other file formats – it’s just the text, ma’am. But you know what, that’s ok… I thought I’d be using the multiple file formats of DevonThink a lot, but 99% of my notes were text anyway (with a few web pages in there, which could just as well have been converted to text)…

Just beware the somewhat disturbing photo on the NV website. Damien is apparently back, and he’s writing really cool software…

Gourmet Cookies to support Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

OK – this is a blatant plug, but we’ll be losing money on the deal, so no worries about conflict of interest ;-)

My wife has been running a cookie dough home business – she prepares 2 types of cookie dough each month, and delivers them in frozen, vacuum-sealed packages.

For the month of October, she is teaming up with a friend to donate $4.00 per dozen cookies sold to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation via the Kitchen-Aid Cook For the Cure program. The cookies are sold for $4.50/dozen. You do the math.

These are some of the best cookies ever made, and the best part is, you bake them yourself so they are oven fresh when you want them.

Pink LadyWitch's BrewWhite Chocolate Pumpkin

If you work at the University of Calgary (or can pick up cookies from the U of C, or live in Tuscany), please head over to the Take & Bake: Gourmet Cookies To Go website and order your cookies today!

(the location restrictions are to minimize delivery logistics – I work at the U of C, and we live in Tuscany…)

Flickr as a Learning Object Authoring Tool

Albert Ip just posted a description of a potential use of Flickr.com: Learning Object Authoring… Looks pretty cool, and perhaps one of the simplest way of doing this (until APOLLO and Pachyderm go live… ;-) )

Update: I had incorrectly typed Albert’s last name as “Yip” – Sorry, Albert! All I can think of is some kind of latent Vern Yip flashback from too many episodes of Trading Spaces or something… (Janice was a Trading Spaces junkie, so I was exposed to entirely too much of that – there is an upside to downsizing to just basic cable ;-) )

Update 2: OOPS! I likely saw this first over at Brian’s place, considering Albert’s post is just a link to Brian’s post (which is itself a link to the original post by randomwalks, which is itself a link to Bertrand‘s Flickr Learning Object. All of this stuff just kinda merges together, so it’s hard to remember where stuff came from. I’m adding the trail here so I can access each link later…


Sometime over the weekend, this site received its 30,000th visitor since mid-2003, as recorded by SiteMeter. As I write this, it’s sitting at 30,135 visitors (about 100 per day).

That’s actual human visitors, with image-enabled browsers (bots and spiders aren’t included in this, because they don’t download the image used by SiteMeter). I’m constantly amazed that anyone comes to read what I dump here. This site began as (and continues primarily to serve as) my outboard/online brain. Persistent searchable memory. But if others find it useful, you’re welcome to help yourself. That’s harder to do with the stuff inside my skull (but perhaps this site is more useful to others… ;-)

Extra Spam Killing Tools for WordPress

WordPress, out of the box, is pretty decent at avoiding spam. It could be better, and there are a few plugins that will help:

3 Strikes Spam Prevention Plugin – Kinda like an email spam filter, calculating “spam scores” for new comments, and killing ones that pass a threshold.

Kitten’s Spam Words 2.0 – kinda like MT-Blacklist, but better integrated into WordPress.

I’ve added both, and it will be interesting to see how successful they are…

UPDATE: I just tried adding some comments to make sure good stuff got through, and bad stuff didn’t. When attempting to add some spam, I was redirected to the FBI website. That’s perfect, AND funny! Thanks, Three Strikes for Spam!!!

Subversion Restoration

Looks like our Subversion repository got a bit corrupted today. Here’s the instructions to restore, for future quick reference:

Subversion’s repository database schema has changed occasionally during development. Old repositories, created with a pre-1.0 development version of Subversion, may require the following operation when upgrading. If a schema change happens between Subversion releases X and Y, then repository administrators upgrading to Y must do the following: Shut down svnserve, Apache, and anything else that might be accessing the repository. All commands should be run as www user (sudo -u www) % /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl stop % svnadmin dump /Library/Subversion > svndump.txt % mv /Library/Subversion /Library/Subversion.borked % svnadmin create /Library/Subversion % svnadmin load /Library/Subversion < svndump.txt % /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start

MarsEdit with WordPress

Last time I tried a standalone posting app, it was Ecto, which didn’t like WordPress too much.

This time, I’m trying MarsEdit, and have applied a patch to the WordPress XMLRPC connection by Johann Richard at ‘Take the Red Pill‘. This patch may behave better with Ecto, as well…

I’m pretty impressed with MarsEdit. Looks like Ranchero is doing an awesome job at avoiding bloat, producing excellent task-oriented applications.

New Ways & New Technologies Conference @ U of C

Yet another conference in Calgary (this one on campus!) that I heard about first via the magic of RSS…

New Ways & New Technologies in Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts. The items listed in the Conference Program sound pretty interesting.

I wonder if this bit may prove to be the most valuable part of the conference:

A Policy Day, held at the end of the conference, will see 40 invited guests collaborate to determine the directions that the convergence of new media and scholarship will take interdisciplinary research.

Curiously, the Learning Commons isn’t listed. Must just a simple oversight by whoever organized this conference…

Tip of the hat to Alec Couros.

UPDATE: The Learning Commons is listed after all, under “participating institutions”, and Randy is listed as a speaker. Excellent!

SciQ is giving away an iPod

This is pretty cool. The SciQ project – which was one of the early adopters of CAREO (and now APOLLO), is sponsoring a contest to get students to talk about science.

The SciQ: Science Revealed – Talk About Science Contest is open to all Alberta students in grades 7, 8 and 9. If you know of any, spread the word… Free stuff!

It’s cool to see the organizations spending time and resources in an effort to foster the community aspect of these projects, instead of stopping at the public database stage. SciQ has been consistently great at this stuff (with live video broadcasts, interactive sessions with scientists, astronauts, etc…)

Deadline is October 15, 2004.

SciQ: Talk about science contest