iOutliner – free online outliner that works!

Today I discovered iOutliner — and I’m happy to report that it is EXCELLENT! Like iJot, it’s a simple outliner also sporting drag ‘n drop functionality (and for me, being able to move things around easily simply by dragging is a feature I must have in an outliner — a feature which unfortunately is missing from LooseStitch as well as the Wiki software I’ve tried using — without drag ‘n drop, an outliner is more work than it’s worth, sorry).

Unlike iJot, iOutliner offers privacy for free and also can make columns – very cool! I do wish it had checkboxes like IN CONTROL had (perhaps someday there will be that and other features too!), but as far as free online outliners go, iOutliner looks to be the best so far. Check it out!
http://www.ioutliner.com

UPDATE 12/19/08 I revisited iOutliner today and I’m sorry to say, things just don’t work. 🙁
Among other things, I can’t get the delete link to work at all. It appears the project has been abandoned. Too bad, iOutliner had great potential.

Blogger: Comment Count hack

About a year ago, I posted my hack on Blogger User Support for getting a comment count in the sidebar like I’d seen on some WordPress blogs (again, this hack is for pre-Beta Blogger templates like this site). Shortly thereafter, the post was picked up by Freshblog and a little while after that, I ended up modifying the hack further to better match the color scheme and logic of this site:

Here’s the hack (goes in the the sidebar of the template):

<h2 class=”sidebar-title”>Recent Posts</h2>
<ul id=”recently”>
<BloggerPreviousItems>
<li><a href=”<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>”><$BlogPreviousItemTitle$></a><span class=”class1″><a class=”comment-link” href=”<$BlogItemCommentCreate$>”<$BlogItemCommentFormOnclick$>” title=”comments”>(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>)</a></span></li>
</BloggerPreviousItems>

And here’s the CSS (goes in the body):

.class1 A:link {color: #999; text-decoration: none;}
.class1 A:visited {color: #999; text-decoration: none;}
.class1 A:active {color: #c60; text-decoration: none;}
.class1 A:hover {text-decoration: none; text-decoration: underline; color: #c60;}

Adding a Digg button to Blogger

After looking around for quite awhile and trying numerous ‘solutions’ that didn’t work for adding a Digg button to Blogger posts (I’m referring to the pre-Beta or original Blogger, like I use here), I finally got it to work by using:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
digg_url = ‘<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>’;
</script>
<script src=”http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js”
type=”text/javascript”></script>

Just add the code to your template where you’d like the Digg button to appear (on the Minima template I use, I put it before the End .post tag).

Like so:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
digg_url = ‘<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>’;
</script>
<script src=”http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js”
type=”text/javascript”></script>

</div>
<!– End .post –>

Google Embeddable Calendar Helper

To help speed up the process to find out where to go to get the code to embed Google Calendar into your site, I’m posting the link to the page here:

http://www.google.com/calendar/embed/EmbedHelper_en.html

I do hope at some point that Google adds an expanded view option for the Agenda view for the embed code – having the titles is great, but you have to click on them to see the rest of the listing. For users that want to show both the title AND description of their events, enabling an expanded view as an option for the embed would solve that problem.

iJot – it rocks! (cont.)

After using iJot for a few days, here’s the news:

The auto-save feature wasn’t working so I emailed iJot support about it. I received a prompt reply from Marc Barrot who told me that they’d look into it. Encouraged by the interest in dealing with their customers, I sent a few more follow up emails to Marc about some of the other things that I’d like to see in iJot. I received quick replies to all of them as well. Cool! Here’s what I told Marc I’d like to see and his replies:

1.) auto-save an outline every 60 seconds (like Blogger does)

I like the little confirmation note that Blogger displays when autosaving…
It should find its way in iJot. I’ll keep you posted.

2.) add checkboxes (like IN CONTROL had) so that items can be sorted

iJot is primarily a publishing tool, for which checkboxes are not essential.

But there’s hope, there are actually somewhere in our own todo list, though
not at the very top.

3.) have your outlines be private

Not yet. That will be part of the premium service if all goes according to plans.

I followed up with a question about when and how much:

Not till Q1 next year.

Around $100 a year.

$100 a year seems like it might be a bit steep for a lot of people just to have a simple outliner like iJot. Especially so if/when Google does anything with integrating JotSpot (and it’s component Jotliner) into Google Docs – because that is free AND private.

However if privacy is not an issue, than the free version of iJot is certainly adequate for basic outlining. I’m hopeful that iJot will continue to improve it’s product so that users (like me!) can one day have access to an online outliner that’s as good as any of the legacy outliners still floating about on countless computers. iJot looks very promising to meet that goal. Hope they pull it off.

iJot – it rocks!

Apparently I signed up with iJot back in February! Anyhow… for whatever the reasons, I failed to play around with it long enough to see that it may very well be the answer to my IN CONTROL outliner replacement quest! 🙂

It took me awhile to get going with the iJot interface, and figuring out where to click to save my outline wasn’t particularly obvious, (hint, it’s not any of the tabs!) however, once I overcame those hurdles, voila! – a basic online outliner that has drag-n-drop functionality – yay!

You can sign up for your own iJot account here:
http://ijot.net/

Outliner widget for Yahoo! Notepad?

I use Yahoo! Mail Plus – a lot. It’s my #1 destination on the Web because that’s where my email shows up. I also use Yahoo! for my address book and Yahoo! for my calendar – all excellent. However, one Yahoo! application I rarely use is Notepad http://notepad.mail.yahoo.com/. For my purposes, it’d be great if Notepad had a drag-n-drop outliner (like the old Mac app IN CONTROL). Could a Yahoo! widget provide such a functionality? Any other ways to make Notepad better? It seems to me that Yahoo! could add many more features to Notepad, such as an outliner or word processor (i.e, Google docs) without losing whatever it is those that use Notepad like. Anybody else?

Ubuntu – steps to wifi

Thought I’d recap some of my steps to getting a wifi PC running Ubuntu a reality. Having suffered a bit of a set back a few days ago when I got a new monitor and a screen resolution that would not show, I was able to get back up to speed following these steps:

1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu 7.10 (7.04 has a bug relating to the D-Link DWL-520+ PCI wireless card that is a mystery not worth trying to solve – trust me on this, please!). BTW, the download – on a high speed connection – took me nearly four hours.
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/gutsy/beta/

2. Since the computer I planned to put Ubuntu on was not connected to the internet, I needed to burn a DVD of Ubuntu and then use that to load the system. How you burn the DVD is important as I wasted several discs learning that not all methods work. On a PC, I was successful using Infra Recorder and on a Mac, Disk Utility. The Ubuntu site has a more detailed ‘How To’ page which I highly recommend:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

3. Insert the DVD in the computer, then restart (I just killed the power to the PC by turning off the power strip so that the DVD would be in the machine for the restart, then turned the power back on – however, that’s a step I’m NOT willing to recommend to anybody else even though I’ve never had a problem doing it! 🙂

4. Once you’ve got Ubuntu loaded up, your wireless signal should show up in the Network Manager and then it’s simply a matter of connecting to it. With 7.10 I didn’t have to do any command line tweaks at all – yay!

Archiving your email in Yahoo! Mail Plus

For Yahoo! Mail Plus subscribers, you can download your email and save it to a DVD, hardrive and/or import it into Outlook Express. However, I’ve found that the only way that works for me is to do it one folder at a time. Anytime I’ve tried to use the ‘All Folders’ option, the request eventually times out and on top of that, I can’t access my email for awhile either! 😐

It’d be great if Yahoo! actually offered an ‘All Folders’ download that worked (or at least specified what the max size is that does). I’d also like to see being able to set both start and end dates for the download as having just one or the other doesn’t guard for duplicate dates from previous downloads.