Friday, August 05, 2005

First Step to a Ruby on Rails App in Place.

I’ve got in mind what I want to do, and put together the database and some documentation in my tiddlywiki, but although the initial install of ruby worked okay, it’s having trouble talking to my remote database. Which is typical, I suspect there is something not right on my desktop (Which is usually the case) so since I’m going away in the morning for a weekend away, and have a new computer comming some time in the next week or so, I’m going to call it a night.

I’ll no doubt pencil some more flow chart stuff in my notes over the weekend, and hopefully will be able to get it all up and running early next week when I have another chance to sit down and play with it all.

But with database issues asside, I’m pretty optermistic about getting something finished in the next week or so.

Using Technorati Tags With

I’ve been tagging my posts with Technorati tags consistantly now, and so far I’m pretty happy with the results, my main issue is now I need to tag better, so I don’t end up tag spamming by mistake, or cropping up in lists that might seem relivent to me in my slightly fuzzy view of the world, but actually could be better placed so as not to dilute the value of my posts (not that I condone the use of marketting speak).

For people wondering how to get started, I’m using a greasmonkey user script from A Consuming Experience Blog, which also mentions a couple of other methods to get tags into posts.

What I really need to do is edit the script so I’m not manually putting in the same edit by hand in each post. But when I tried it earlier, all it did was crash horribly. So I think I’ll wait untill the new computer arrives next week, and live with it for now.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New Zend Studio Supports SVN.

I’ve only had a brief moment or two to play with the new Zend Studio Preview, but the fact if now includes subversion support basically puts the last seal of approval on me using SVN full time. And after my last project at work using it launched supprisingly well, considering there was no formal testing it’s clear that as a source control solution, it does the job nicely.

I just need to find somewhere I can host an external SVN repository where I can access it from home and work, something I could maybe do just by allowing access to my home PC from work as soon as I get broadband in place. But I’d rather something a little more resiliant.

But as a system to use day to day, particularly within a team enviroment it’s just so much easier to use to CVS, I don’t quiet know why it’s better, it just feels like it is when using it, when you try to do something, it usually happens as you expect it to, where as with CVS it always seemed to be a battle to get anything to happen correctly.

So I’m in, using it, and sticking with it.

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Using A Full Day.

"Becoming a Morning Person" makes an interesting new 43things goal that ties in with all my other productivity ambitions, I doubt I’ll ever be someone who jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn and does a mountain of stuff before breakfast, but on the other hand, it would be much more benificial to me to get up and get things done before lunch on days I’m not working.

I also want to get back to starting work at 9, rather then taking advantage of my flexi time and getting in at 10 every day. The only down side of that is having to put up with rushhour commuting.

While I’m on holiday I’m going to try and get up before 10am each day, which should be easy to do, and means I can moap around the house, be lazy for a couple of hours, and be up to been active at midday, rather then getting up then, and not really getting anything started until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, by which time it always seems to late and hardly worth the effort then.

An Almost Productive Day So Far.

Since today was the first day of my holiday I wanted to try and start as I ment to go on, and set to getting some aspects of the house tidy and organized as well as sort out everything I need for the weekend away.

I didn’t get off to a great start, but I got into town at about 2, got my hair cut, and looked about a few shops looking for folders and index cards. Unfortunatly, I couldn’t find dividers numbered 1 to 31 anywhere – which I was a bit miffed about, more so when I went to Staples, to find it’s moved to a new location a bit further out of town, so I’m leaving that just for now. I did get a bargin household organizer box at ASDA though, which cheered me up a bit, and prompted me to sort out some of the folders that are full to bursting into more organized sections.

Still, I should have got some shoes, my steel toe capped boots been the only pair left that haven’t fallen apart. But that can wait untill tomorrow, since I’m heading back anyway to pick out something to wear at the weekend and I’m not picky about shoes at all, it’s a case of find the first pair that fits, and buy them.

I think if I can keep going at this rate, even with my weekends away I can have the house in some sort of order, and have much less clutter, without having to work to hard.

Just as long as I do something each day, and don’t waste all of my time, then it’s not a problem, and the more I do, the easier doing more on top of that becomes, once I’m up and going.

New Title For Site.

I've done a bit of a tweak to my blog, with a new title "Getting Things Done in Life and Ruby" now that I'm actually starting to use it, it seems to make sense to put a more suitable title, and right now I have two main themes I'm likely to blog about:

Getting Things Done - the organization methodology from David Allen which is really starting to work for me.


Ruby on Rails - A very nifty framework written with Ruby, which I've been meaning to try for some time, and so I've taken the plunge since their is a buzz around it right now and got my self a server set up on Dreamhost, which now I have a bit of holiday time I'm going to be playing with more seriously, and hope in the next two weeks to have something pretty neat, or at least pratical rolled out. Maybe even to the point of pushing my whole blog in that direction, so I have a bit more control over it all.

Hopefully it'll be a sensible change and work for the best.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

43things I Want to Get Done.

I’ve been using 43Things fairly consistantly for a little while now, and as I had hopped it’s really helped me organize some of my blogging activities as well as shine some light on some goals and objectives that might otherwise just get dissmissed as passing thoughts, where as now I have a place to manage far reaching ambitions, as well as day to day mini-goals to enrich my life.

I’m not quiet upto filling al 43things yet, and some of my goals are long term – others on the other hand, are things I could clearly do tomorrow if I just pulled my finger out, and the ever nagging feeling of it sitting undone on my list might help encourage me to actually get out and do it.

Upcomming Gig: Sigur Rós - Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall

After seeing Sigur Rós in Manchester not so long ago at the Lowry, I hadn't hoped to have another chance of seeing them for a long time to come - the Gig then was as amazing as I had hoped. So when I discovered they had anounced more dates, but I had missed the chance for tickets because while normally I check the news on daily, a busy week at work had left me no chance to do so.

Yet some how, even with the fact that tickets had been and gone, or so I though my brother phoned me up last night to ask if I wanted tickets for the second leg of the tour, this time in Liverpool, to which I of course said yes. I still wasn't actually expecting him to be able to get any, and I'm still almost waiting for him to come back and say it was a mistake, he couldn't get them after all - but for now at least, it seems we could get some more tickets, so come november I'll get a chance to see them once again. Something I count my self as really lucky to get to see.

As an aside, I've also pre-ordered the new album "Takk", getting the special packaged version for £14.99 on Play.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

So Far, So Good on the Blog Front.

The past week has been pretty insane, so I’m actually pretty happy with my blogging progress all in all, I’ve not quiet managed at least one post a day, but it’s getting there. Since I have a bit of holiday time comming up from Thursday onwards, I need to sit down and allocate a bit of time to fill out a decent profile in a few of the new places I’ve signed up to – something with a bit more meaning then my usual affair of bland “I don’t know what to write here” jive.

I’m also pondering digging out the old digital camera, and seeing if I can push to one interesting picture post a week. And flesh out a few of my posts (Particularly in my 43things thread on happiness) with some images.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Maybe it's Time For a Hipster PDA.

I dismissed the whole Hipster PDA thing fairly early in my GTD research, the whole idea of walking around with a whole bunch on index cards seemed a bit of an anti-progress method. So right now I walk around with a tiny 6 cm by 9 cm mini note book. Which is great for jotting down quick reminders about things but I fail to process it regularly, and so end up just wading though a stream of notes each time I want to add to it.

This last few days I’ve tried using index cards in place, and when I’m wearing a shirt with a pocket to put them in, I’ve found it really handy. – Though the same can’t be said when putting them in my back trouser pocket, they get a bit bent and dog eared like that.

I’m growing to like the whole solution though and my affinity to index cards on the whole is developing as a play around with ideas and plans to get my in box and tickler file sort out later in the week when I have some time off work.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Happyism Number 4.

On my list of 100 things that make me happy, earning a nice high spot up as Happyism Number 4 has to be: Spending Time With My Family.

We have our ups and downs sure, but actually considering what issues some families have, our spats are always pretty minor, and get resolved easy enough. Particularly now that my three younger siblings are all over “Going Out Age” we hangout as adults and friends rather then just as family around the house or what have you.

I should really put a bit more effort into keeping in touch with my more extended family, I usually make up some excuse for not activling keeping in contact, but I do always make time for any family gathering, be it some big thing your expected to attend such as the annual christmas party, or the smaller, ad-hoc gatherings that happen on whim, and every time I always end up feeling much better about my life as a whole when I’ve had a chance to catch up.

Film: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about Roald Dahl as I was growing up was the magic of the stories, and even if over time the details of each of the ones I have read has passed out of memory, I know I enjoyed reading each and everyone. Looking back at them now, while today you see many things that have a more "adult" layer to the humor or imagery, which gives them a much wider appeal, his books strike me looking back at them as purely for children, yet with an edge to the themes and tone at times that allows the reader to rise up to a more intense story, within the safety of the zaney and stupid surroundings that make everything seem okay after all. And as an adult looking back, the enjoyment comes not from some new hidden jokes, but from recapturing the magic of the story I found as I grew up.

The same can't be said about the films however, of all the adaptations the earlier "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factor" been perhaps the only one I do not dislike, but I don't really remember liking it either. So going into see Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was never going to be a comparison for me, since I didn't really care on that level if it was "better" or "worse".

There was a certain amount of distractions with the cinema been full of younglings and only the odd group of friends or couples around my age in the spare spaces we could find in and around them, seconding guessing if the kids we choose to sit near were going to behave or not. But once the film started, it seemed to settle down rather well considering what it could be.

Right from the start, I was drawn in, the narritive as far as I could tell was lifted right from the book near enough, and so even if I could not recite them back there was a familier ring to them that settled me in and for most of the film, I was consumed by the way the characters and the world they had been put into was displayed almost perfectly. There was the odd little slip where you could see something was clearly CGI, but much less then I would have expected to be honest. Though towards the end of the film, while there was nothing bad about it, I felt my engament slipping a little in a few parts, but when it did, I was soon drawn back in.

So all in all the film recaptured some images from my youth in a new and facinating form, Johnny Depp in particular showed off just how much of a flexible character he can be as an actor, and the Oompa Loompas were suprisingly well pulled off. It's certainly worth a trip out to see on the big screen.