This is an update of my previous “colophon” page.
The mailing list “vacuum-egroup” is run on Yahoo Groups. It has about 150 subscribers, and has been running continuously since my first post in April 1998. You are invited to join.
Paper notebooks are from Moleskine (the pocket squared one) and Roaring Spring (the lab notebook size). Lab books are typically whatever is cheapest at Michigan Book and Supply – I paid $1.75 for the last one, but sometimes they run $7.00, and I haven’t figured out what time of year is cheapest to stock up. All the paper is 5 squares to the inch quadrille ruled, so that I can do page layout with straight lines and get the measurements exact and replicable. I write in both and they compete for attention, see Moleskine vs Lab Notebook.
I’m using an iBook G4 running Mac OS X 10.3.5. Last time around I was on an old Dell running Windows 98 SE. I’m happy I switched. The old Dell is now the kitchen laptop for listening to Internet radio like Free Speech Radio News and for doing email – Deb uses it mostly.
The weblog is published with Typepad. In the past I used Blogger, and before that I edited pages with vi. My first weblog goes back to 1999. In some ways I’m happier with the fine grained layout choices I could make back then with sidebars and tables all constructed by hand, but the whole process is a lot quicker now.
My private wiki is powered by Socialtext. More often than not I am not sure whether having a “personal wiki” makes sense except as a private PIM – you might be better off contributing to an existing wiki that covers the topics you are interested in at the moment, rather than building a wiki around your own ideas for yourself.
Postings for the weblog are composed for the most part with Ecto, which is nice because I can compose either online or offline. At any point along the way I usually have 15 or 20 half-finished entries in the works, and periodically when I’m away from good internet connectivity I’ll go through the list and add detail to each of them one after the next.
Pictures are done with Flickr. The camera is a Canon Elph S200 – the link is to a 2002-era review when this camera was a new model. The “S” stands for slow, but it takes pretty good shots. The 64MB memory card that I got for it was a big purchase back in the day but I see that compact flash memory has gotten really cheap.
Email is with Gmail. My inbox is 26% full. This is a change from 2004 when I was using Pine for everything. I find the search functions in Gmail to be so vastly better than Pine that my personal sense of memory is improved as long as someone has sent me mail about a topic. I’m still perpetually behind on reading my mail, but isn’t everyone. The standard strategy now for mail handling is to read it, try to dispatch it quickly, and if it’s not going to go away right away use the Gmail “star” function to put it in a kind of holding bit – that leaves starred mail as an out of the way place for unanswered mail.
VOIP service through Skype. It’s a bit of a pain to have to have headphones for calls to sound good, but the cost of the service more than makes up for it. My phone call to Valdis Krebs while he was flying above the Atlantic Ocean has gotten a lot of mileage.
Long distance phone service is through Telesthetic. Does your long distance company send you a holiday card every year and invite you to their open house? They do VOIP too, I don’t yet have an Asterisk PBX running at home to take advantage of it though. In due time.
Cell phone service at the moment is via AT&T / Cingular. I have an ancient Nokia phone which works just fine (except for an occasional screen-scramble into something that looks like Cyrillic). I’m eager to replace it with something that does the iSync dance with my iBook and a better cell plan.
Shared office accomodations are at Clearweave, with Jill Peek and Colin O’Brien. It’s not a very big office, but it is away from home and quiet and it has lovely warm brick walls.
Bus service is from the AATA. I can be in my downtown office in 17 minutes on the #5 bus, and The Ride is reliable enough and relaxing enough that I regularly get some writing or reading in on the way.
Baby supplies (diapers, wipes) from CVS – they’re close by and it doesn’t require a special trip. Plastic bags (and you need a lot) from the Ann Arbor News and the New York Times.