My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

4 Articles in January 2008

  1. Todoist: The solution to a problem

    My to do list

    I have a lot of projects going on all at once. I'm coding VSNS Lemon, trying to code another site, managing a couple of other sites, trying to redesign this site, doing support at InvisionFree/ZetaBoards--and that's just in my free time. I've also got school and work to balance. So time management is a big deal for me. Unfortunately, I'm the sort of person who, instead of doing the things on his to-do list, spends his free time finding shinier ways of creating to-do lists.

    Now my hunt is over. Today I came across the neatest little site for making to-do lists, and I am very satisfied. Todoist is an excellent example of how one person can turn a personal need into a useful service. I did something similar when I first made VSNS Lemon, although on a smaller scale. Since I don't have the time to create a task management application, I'm very glad Todoist exists.

    The interface makes use of well-designed JavaScript to be both flexible and intuitive. There's keyboard shortcuts, but most of the functionality is obvious, so you don't have to worry about getting lost. The best part, though, is how you can organize your tasks.…

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  2. Gmail + Thunderbird + IMAP = Wub

    I learned today that Gmail offers free IMAP access now (they have for awhile, but I'm out of the loop, I guess). I wub Gmail in general. I forward all of my email accounts to my main Gmail account--except for my university account, which is separate. Using Gmail for their email system was, incidentally, the smartest technical decision my university ever made.

    However, up until tonight, I've been using POP to view my messages in Thunderbird. For those of you unfamiliar with mail protocols, POP lets you download messages off a server, but you can't really interact with them. This means that if I download a message off Gmail in Windows, for example, then when I go to Kubuntu and open up Thunderbird there, the message will have already been marked read and sent to Gmail's archive. There are various settings I could have played with, but in the end, IMAP is the way to go.

    IMAP, unlike POP, keeps the message on the server and lets you modify it on the server. Now that Thunderbird accesses my accounts through IMAP, I have access to every single message in my Gmail account--not just the ones I've downloaded onto my computer.…

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  3. Mr. Idaho. Surprised to see me?

    I've finished Sandworms of Dune, the final installment of the Dune saga. Originally conceived by Frank Herbert, who wrote six novels before his death, his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have written six prequels based on the material left behind by Herbert. Since then, they tackled the challenge of completing the famed "Dune 7", the conclusion of the story arc begun in Chapterhouse Dune. This book they split up into two: Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune.

    I love the Dune saga. It is perhaps my favourite serious science fiction novel, because it's just written so well, and it's so wonderful to read. The prequels will never be as good as Frank Herbert's original works, even if they are based on his notes and plot ideas. I like Kevin J. Anderson as an author--but that's one problem. The books have more of Anderson's voice than Herbert's. They are pale shadows compared to the original six novels--enjoyable, but not as fulfilling. I experienced the same problem with these last two sequels, and now that I've read the conclusion, I must say that I'm disappointed.

    Spoiler warning below.

    So basically in Sandworms of Dune, it…

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  4. JPod and PVR

    I had a very good day today. Everything just seemed to go well. Sure, there were some rocky moments--I got stuck behind a tow truck trying to hoist a vehicle on two separate occasions--is that weird or what? But I won't let that ruin the rest of the good moments.

    If you come up to a group of people waiting outside a room, don't assume they're waiting because the door is locked. Until you actually try the door yourself, you don't know it's locked--maybe the first person to show up didn't try it, and people just followed along. That's what happened today at my English class. I've learned this lesson before, however, so I tried the door--and it was unlocked. I turned on the lights, and the rest of the class followed me in. Now all we need are textbooks.

    I had a pleasant lunch with my dad, then I submitted my passport application. ^_^ The person at the passport office told me that everything was in order, so I'll get my passport in a couple of weeks when they do their next mail-out. :w00t: Since we're already required to travel to the U.S. with a passport if we fly,…

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About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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