Archive for April, 2008

POW! I’m programming again

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

powscreenshot.pngI wrote my first computer program back in 1985. I was writing in a long-forgotten programming language known as “RPG II” for an IBM System 34 mini-computer. (Mini-computers were not what you think — they were room-sized devices to which one connected dozens of dumb terminals.) Over the years, I got pretty good at coding and whenever I needed a computer to do something for me, I’d knock off a quick program to do it. Some of the programs I wrote were even sold to professional magazines so that others could copy my code.
But for the last ten years, I’ve been working on PCs (until a year ago, Windows-based PCs) and have no experience with programming them. I did learn Perl, which I use to write short programs (scripts) on Linux servers for websites. But I’ve found no easy way to write a useable program on my PC.
I’ve long thought it would be wonderful if I could use a language I know (Perl) on a platform I use (the PC) and get back to the stage where I was a decade ago, writing programs to meet my needs.
As of yesterday, that problem is solved. I have just written my first application (a small group of programs) — a powerful task list (to-do list) manager. I am now using this instead of the various programs I have used in the past, such as the Gnome To Do list, KDE Kalendar, and web-based lists such as Remember the Milk, TaDa List and so on.


Is Obama a Marxist?

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Bill Kristol thinks so.
Gosh, you read an article like that and it makes you want to vote for Obama.
Bill’s Dad — himself a graduate of the Trotskyist Left of the 1930s — should take his son aside for a quiet talk. Or should have done so many years ago.

Web-based time-management tools for trade unionists

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Trade unionists as much as anyone else need to make the most of their time – and the web is now full of time-management tools that promise to make all of us more efficient.
I’ve been using web-based tools for years to do several tasks which many of us probably still do with pen and paper – or on desktop PCs.