~/.diary schedule
9:00 12:00 Class
13:30 16:30 Class
Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
A1XKanji review
A2XChuukyuu 19
A3XKanji 31
A4XChuukyuu 18
A5XKanji 30: Reading
A6XKanji 30: Writing
B1XCompile kernel (LinuxLaptop)
B2XRestore my resolution to 1024x600 (LinuxLaptop)
B3XConfigure new kernel (LinuxLaptop)
B4XFind missing partition on my hard disk. Hehehe. - /dev/hda7
B5XMerge improvement to planner-create-note-from-task: E-Mail from Chris Parsons ... (PlannerModeMaintenance)
C1XWork on PlannerModeMaintenance from 2004.11.28
C2XCheck out Slashdot from 2004.11.30

1. The cost of plagiarism and laziness: 12:28

Categories: None -- Permalink
I am deeply saddened to read the message posted on http://www.newartisans.com/johnw/ , which I reproduce below:
Recently, one of my essays--originally an article posted on Usenet titled "What is philosophy?"--turned up in an eastern Wisconsin high school. There it was submitted by a student who claimed it as their own work. After exchanging a few e-mails, the teacher presented evidence to me, in the form of an electronic log, of the student having authored the article before me. Since my own proof is no more substantial, the essay was accepted by the school as the student's own.

In light of this, and the possibility of future occurrences, I am ending my Web-publishing endeavors. I will continue to write, but through printed outlets, where the role of authorship cannot be disputed. It is not so much the accusation of plagarism which troubles me, as the doubt it casts on the very aim of my writing: upholding the glory of a life lived for the Truth.

My apologies to all who found this site encouraging or inspiring. If you wish to write me at jwiegley@hotmail.com, I would be happy to continue a private dialog with you on whatever subject interests you most.

To that student, whoever you are, wherever you are: I hope you're proud of yourself. Idiot. You may have taken the easy way out now, but I hope you wise up before someone out there finds out you're a fraud. Even if no one catches you, there'll always be that nagging feeling that you haven't really explored your potential.

John, don't stop writing. Keep sharing your ideas. Keep thinking out loud. Live. Dream. Inspire. One person may not believe in what we value, but there are people in the world who listen to what you say and who share your thoughts.

UPDATE: 2004.12.03 , from John Wiegley

Hello! to everyone who wrote after my website was taken down: After thinking about it for a couple of weeks, I decided it was too harsh a measure. I hope everyone will continue to visit again. I'll start posting blog entries again tomorrow.

2. Reflections: Random thoughts on presentations: 17:40

Categories: None -- Permalink
Not in any order.

- Focus on what people want. Whether you're selling an idea or

teaching first-year students the joys of programming, you have to show your audience what they'll get out of the talk. Restructure your talk if you have to. What makes sense for you might not make sense for them.

- Don't read off your slides. This is a canonical rule, but I'm still

surprised at how many people break it. If you summarize your points using incomplete sentences on your slides, you'll find it easy to follow this rule.

- Break long slides into more slides. Whitespace is your friend. Watch

your font size. If it goes below 20pt, chances are you're trying to cram too much data on one slide.

- Tables full of data are evil. If you find yourself with a table of

numbers, see if you can make a graph instead. Make sure you choose the appropriate type of graph. Bar graphs and line graphs show growth and relative levels, pie graphs show percentage.

- Make sure your text is readable. Light-on-light is unreadable even

with drop-shadow. Be careful about dark-on-dark, too. Projectors don't handle some colors well. If possible, test under the same conditions as your actual presentation. Try to take color-blindness into account, too.

- Use your background as free advertising. Add a logo related to your

talk or your company. I like putting Tux on my Linux-related talks because Tux is cute and the logo reminds people they're listening to, well, a Linux talk. Think subliminal.

- Animation should feel natural and be almost unnoticeable. You want

animation that just makes sense. Never use random or gratuitious animation. Make sure each animation has a purpose. If you use slide transitions, pick one transition and stick with it. You do not want your audience to be going "ooooh, what a cool animation" unless you're selling them presentation software.

- I find it helpful to provide an overview on almost every slide.

../presentations/2004113-taming-the-todo.pdf has an example. Some people like seeing the bigger picture when they're learning something. The overview also makes it easier for people to estimate how far they've gotten in your talk.

One thing I'd like to experiment with would be using blanks in my slide text. (Remember those fill-in-the-blanks from school? Right.) I wonder how that will affect audience concentration...

3. Another recruit for the wonderful world of Planner hacking!: 18:59

Categories: None -- Permalink
Chris Parsons wrote:
Well, I was using the excellent new planner-create-note-from-task, and thought, "wouldn't it be nice to have the note optionally created on the plan page rather than the (less useful) date page? I must ask Sacha to do that."

And then I thought, "No! I'll venture into the previously unchartered depths of lisp programming... and work out how to do it myself."

Here's my diff. Pass a prefix argument to always create on the plan page. Perhaps this should be the default - Sacha's call, I guess.

Be gentle, it's my first proper lisp coding :)

Wheeeeee! Another person discovered the joys of Emacs Lisp hacking!

See, Planner is easy to hack. =)

E-Mail from Chris Parsons

4. XF86Config-4: Linux on the Fujitsu Lifebook P1110: 21:23

Categories: None -- Permalink
Important notes:

- Use the ati driver. - Modeline "1024x600" 51 1024 1040 1216 1328 600 600 606 626

See LinuxLaptop#3 for the whole config.

5. Emacs for my Mom: 21:43

Categories: None -- Permalink

Do you think Emacs is something we can learn?

I think Emacs is something my parents can learn, but something they currently don't have reason to study. Even the PIM aspect won't be helpful, as my mom is really uses Outlook synchronization with mobile devices.

Right tool for the right job, I guess. =)

People sometimes try new things for the sheer heck of it. My dad tries different lighting techniques. My mom tries new ways of management. I try new sites and new software (mostly related to PIMs). We do that because we are interested in the topic and we can see the long-term benefits either directly caused by the tool or indirectly due to keeping our minds flexible. We serve as gateways (or gatekeepers?) for other people who don't have the time to explore these things.

Sometimes we're not looking for new ways to work. Sometimes we're just curious about stuff. That's cool, too. If my mom's curious about this software program I keep writing about, she can give it a whirl. =) http://mindlube.com/products/emacs/index.html seems to have Emacs for Mac OS X, although I've never actually tried it because I don't have a Mac. (Hint? ;) ) Pick "Emacs for OS X (your version here)". Err, I don't know what "mount the DMG disk image" means under Mac OS X, but it might be something you can find under the option-click (or one of those funky buttons) menu...

Knowing my mom, hmmm... I suggest trying out Tools: Games: Tetris first. =)