Opal

There may be hope after all! The outliner Opal seems to be on the right track.
http://a-sharp.com/opal/

What is most encouraging, is that David Dunham (Opal’s software designer), has already sent me two emails regarding his product and as a bonus – owns IN CONTROL too, so he knows what I’m talking about! I’m hoping David adds columns soon as they’re absence makes Opal difficult to want to use. Ideally, I hope over time he can incorporate the best features of IN CONTROL into Opal. If he does, I’m confident he’ll have a great product.

-Bob

Sir James Galway – in concert

I just got back from seeing Sir James Galway perform with the Napa Valley Symphony – it was a great concert! I actually found out about the concert thanks to a friend emailing me about it on Thursday, otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d have missed it. On Sunday, I left around 1:00pm to get over to Yountville by 2:30pm to buy a ticket. Much to my surprise, when I got to the Lincoln Theater the concert was sold out! I hung around the Will Call window and got lucky – a woman came up holding tickets. I asked her if she was selling tickets, and she said no – and promptly gave me one! 🙂

The concert started off with the Beethoven 2nd Symphony. This was a reversal in the program order as the Beethoven was supposed to be in the second half, the Galways in the first. Anyhow, I was surprised to hear the majority of the people clapping after every movement! Usually at a classical concert here in the USA a few people might clap between movements – but this was different.

After the intermission, Sir James took the stage and played the Mozart D Major flute concerto. He sure gets a nice fat low register and though initially I had a hard time hearing him cut over the orchestra (I was near the back of the hall), within a few minutes a good balance between him and the orchestra emerged. The 1st movement cadenza was played well, and it was refreshing to really hear Sir James get a chance to show off his still quite formidable flute playing. The second movement cadenza I didn’t get, it seemed pretty mindless really (no reflection on Sir James as he didn’t write the thing). The third movement zipped right along. All in all, a nice version of the concerto.

Sir James then left the stage and returned shortly thereafter with his wife to play the Cimarosa. Can’t say that piece does anything for me, sorry. Would have much rather heard them play the scherzo from the Mendelssohn ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Several encores followed the Cimarosa. They played an arrangement of the Mozart ‘Turkish March’ and then Sir James played Brian Boru’s March, Danny Boy, and the fastest version of Bach’s Badinerie I’d ever heard him do (too fast, to be honest).

I stuck around after the end of the concert in the lobby and got in line with all the others to get CDs signed by the Galways, or just say hello (which is what I did).

Catch him if you can.
http://www.napavalleysymphony.org/singleconcert_concerts.html&id=73

-Bob

IN CONTROL 3.5 – the news is not good…

I just got off the phone with FileMaker. Looks like in 1998 FileMaker ended all development of the Claris product line, which I guess IN CONTROL was then unfortunately a part of. Too bad – IN CONTROL was a great product and with much potential (especially these days!). The World (or at least my world) could really use a product like IN CONTROL brought up to date. At least the OS9 program still works and so as long as I have this computer, I can continue using it in all it’s twelve year old glory – which ain’t much. Perhaps someday a programmer will whip something together for us IN CONTROL die hards to use in OSX or better yet, online. How difficult could it be? 😉

-Bob

IN CONTROL 3.5 – anything like it online?

I have an old Mac OS9 program (circa 1991-1995) called IN CONTROL that was made by the Attain Corporation and written by Robert Alpert, Dan Chadwick and Steve Troppoli. This is a great organizer program which I still use because it works so well. Unfortunately, IN CONTROL never made it to an OSX version and I believe 3.5 may have been the sunset release. It’s also my understanding that IN CONTROL is currently the property of FileMaker Inc. which – for whatever the reasons – decided to no longer continue it’s development. A couple of reviews of IN CONTROL from 1993 and 1994 can be found at:
http://www.tidbits.com/tb-issues/TidBITS-191.html#lnk5
http://db.tidbits.com/article/01826

The closest thing I’ve seen to IN CONTROL is OmniOutliner. A lot of the “look” of OmniOutliner is very much like IN CONTROL, though I don’t feel it’s the same intuitive experience – or more likely, I’m simply not as familiar with OmniOutliner and so I prefer sticking with what I know.

Like IN CONTROL, OmniOutliner is still a desktop based program. Given my preference to Web based applications (Yahoo! Mail, Google Docs etc.) I find having something like OmniOutliner tied down to my home machine very limiting. What I’d really like to have is access to something like an online IN CONTROL program. Anybody know of anything?

Thanks,

-Bob

Google Reader – it rocks!

Recently I’ve been using the newly redesigned Google Reader and it’s great! I’m finding Reader to be the best way to ‘keep up’ with all of the sites I regularly visit. Probably the most amazing thing about Reader for me is the way new content is automatically retrieved. To advance, all I do is hit the page down button and Reader does the rest – talk about convenient!

Especially for Digg and other big sites, I’m finding that Reader is the way to go. Thanks to Reader, now I at least have a chance of staying up to date with the seemingly endless amount of posts from those sites. Highly recommmended!
http://www.google.com/reader/

-Bob

How to add the PayPal fee to your total

In a scenario where a buyer wants to pay you using PayPal so that you get the exact amount (buyer pays the PayPal fee), the asking price has to be changed – but by how much? Here’s the formula to get $120 (International, Domestic):

PayPal fees:
Intl (3.9% + $0.30)
ex. to net $120.00:

$120.30 / .961 = $125.18

Domestic (2.9% + $0.30)
$120.30 / .971 = $123.89

-Bob

Importing your PayPal history into MySQL

Here’s one way to do it:

1.) Login to PayPal -> History – > Download My History -> Custom Date Range (Note: if you have a large amount of transactions, PayPal will time out and you’ll get nothing. The trick is to do a year at a time.) -> File Types For Download -> Comma Delimeted – All Activity -> Download History.

This should put a “Download.csv” file on your desktop.

2.) Open Download.csv in Excel, delete first row, and save as another .csv file (for example, paypal-2006.csv).

3.) Login to your MySQL database using phpMyAdmin.

4.) phpMyAdmin -> (your database) -> SQL -> Insert and Run the following:

CREATE TABLE `paypal` (
`Date` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Time` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`TimeZone` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Name` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Type` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Status` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Subject` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Gross` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Fee` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Net` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`FromEmailAddress` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`ToEmailAddress` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`TransactionID` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`ReferenceTxnID` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`ReceiptID` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”,
`Balance` varchar(255) NOT NULL default ”
) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

5.) phpMyAdmin -> paypal -> Import -> Browse -> (select paypal-2006.csv) -> replace the semi-colon (;) with a comma (,) in the “Fields Terminated By” box -> GO

-Bob

Free Mozart scores

A few months ago, all the works of Mozart were digitized and made available to everyone for free! It’s wonderful to be able to have access to this – I just wish the Web site was a bit easier to figure out! With that in mind, here’s how I use it:

1.) http://dme.mozarteum.at/DME/nma/nmapub_srch.php?l=1
2.) Type in the Kochel # in the KV search box and hit return (if you don’t know what the Kochel # is, try searching Google for the piece by title).
3.) The link to the score will be in red and to the right of the item title – click on it.
4.) On the top left there’s a tab called “Inhalts – verzeichnis” – click on it
5.) NOW – you should see the pdf icons which you can download (yay!)

-Bob