Headlines for Monday:

  1. Chapter outline draft: Planning your day in Emacs (181 words)
  2. The return on investment of social computing (219 words)
  3. Meet Enterprise 2.0 (73 words)
  4. Wow. Lots of stuff done today. (891 words)
  5. Reading about Enterprise 2.0 (122 words)


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated.
AXPrepare blogging plan
AXWrite about Enterprise 2.0
AX@1200 Check mail
AX@1020-1030 Prepare book outline (WickedCoolEmacs)
AX@1400-1500 Show Stephen Perelgut interviewbot

AXFollow up with Driss

AXRefine interviewbot - allow use of password
AXFind something cute to put the script into
AXFinish 3 updates
BXTake notes: Make Your Contacts Count

AXMove finances to PC?
AXCheck Fido bill from 2007.10.01
AXNotify Jane and Robert re work permit

AXinterviewbot: Allow dialogs for structured responses
AXinterviewbot: Add notification when someone is done
AXinterviewbot: Register interviewees
ACinterviewbot: Add incentives


1. Chapter outline draft: Planning your day in Emacs: 10:29

The first chapter I'm working on is about planning your schedule in Emacs. Here's my draft outline. I'm targetting 20 pages. The chapter before this is about managing tasks (35 pages). The Org and Planner sections in this chapter will build on the previous chapter, which I haven't written yet.

  - do not keep track of schedule at all
  - track schedule using Outlook, Notes, or some other program
  - track schedule using PDA
  - track schedule using Filofax or other paper planner
  - already use Emacs and want to learn more tips

Why run your life in Emacs
Overview of methods
The basics
   Setting up Diary
   Getting reminders for appointments
   Importing an event
   Importing a calendar
   Exporting your calendar
   Publishing your calendar
Using Org
Using Planner
   Including Diary events
   Using tasks as appointments
      Sorting tasks by time
      Automatically updating a Diary section
      Keeping private Notes
   Publishing your schedule
Tracking Time

Can you think of anything else that should go into it?

Random Emacs symbol: eshell-script-load-hook - Variable: *A list of functions to call when loading `eshell-script'.

2. The return on investment of social computing: 11:33

Luis Suarez has another good post on Making the Business Case for Social Computing. He realized that the arguments for informal learning are the same for social computing: the intangible can make a big difference, and these initiatives should be measured the way you measure other changes in the organizations—by the overall outcomes.

The most common objection I hear after my presentations on Enterprise 2.0 is, "I don't have the time to blog." The underlying questions are, "What's in it for me? What can I expect to get out of blogging? What's the return on investment on my time?" It's hard to give a dollar amount ("You will earn XXX more") or a firm idea of time savings ("You'll save YYY minutes every week"). I'm still trying to figure out how to explain the intangible benefits of better connection and collaboration to people who already think they're maxed out. Maybe learning more about how to establish the business case for informal learning and related concepts will allow me to be more effective at evangelizing Enterprise 2.0.

On Technorati:

Random Emacs symbol: nlistp - Function: Return t if OBJECT is not a list. Lists include nil.

3. Meet Enterprise 2.0: 11:59

Here are some great presentations on what people who use Enterprise 2.0 look like. =)

Someday I'm going to make slides like that.

Thanks to The Shed 2.0 for pointing me to this group of Slideshare presentations.

On Technorati:

Random Emacs symbol: set-file-times - Function: Set times of file FILENAME to TIME.

4. Wow. Lots of stuff done today.: 22:34

I really enjoy looking back on a day and saying, "That was a day well spent." You can do a surprising amount of stuff in a day, home-cooked meals and all.

Today's big rock was the interviewbot I'm building for Stephen Perelgut. I not only put together a decent proof of concept ("It's more than enough", according to Stephen), but I also implemented a number of features that I thought would take me much longer to do. I gave him a full-perms copy of the scripted object so that he can show it around. I have a couple of other feature requests I can work on while waiting for feedback. It's coming along nicely, and I wonder if it's something that we can even release as IBM in order to get more brownie points. ;) (Either that or I figure out how to sell it, etc.)

Building that interviewbot in Second Life showed me that I'm still good at picking up new languages quickly and exploring what they can do. The limits were a little frustrating, but knowing what features were important to my target user made it easier for me to figure out the simplest thing that would work instead of getting caught up in shiny, new, complicated procedures.

Building the command language for my interviewbot reminded me of the shells I'd worked on for embedded programming projects. I added tab completion and a simplified help structure to the Compaq iPaq Linux bootloader, the first open source project I ever had commit access to. I chose that project because working so closely with hardware terrified me. What better way to learn than to work with code that could turn my shiny new PDA into a brick if I made a mistake? (And I did. Compaq sent me a better model because I'd been so helpful.) I learned a lot while improving the user interface for something with limited memory and input capabilities (just a serial terminal for the bootloader). Several years later, when a friend asked me if I could recommend anyone with experience in both embedded programming and Flex/Bison (high-level tools for designing and interpreting new grammar), I took a look at the requirements and realized that many of the same techniques I used in my first project also applied. I fixed the problem in their code, wrote a cleaner solution in C, and sent it to my friend for free. And now I've done it again—had lots of fun writing a little command-line interface. I seem to like working with these interface constraints.

I am geek. Hear me roar!

So yes, I'm very happy about that. =)

I'm also happy about the book that I've just finished reading: "Make Your Contacts Count", by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon. Most networking books read alike, but this one made me stop and take pages of notes. It's worth adding to my collection of favorite networking books, along with "How to Talk to Anyone", "Love is the Killer App", "Work the Pond", "Never Eat Alone", and the classic "How to Win Friends and Influence People." I'll write more about this book over the next few days. Great find. Written in 2002 and not the least bit dated. I wouldn't have found it if I hadn't requested practically every networking book in the Toronto Public Library as part of my goal to deepen my knowledge of professional networking. I've read extensively about professional networking, but that doesn't mean I've learned everything there is to know.

One of the things I love about reading all these books is recognizing things I'm doing or want to do. For example, "Make Your Contacts Count" suggests organizing your own lunches or dinners with interesting people at conventions. Hey, I've done that! It also suggests volunteering, and I know how much that pays off. There are a lot of articles I can write based on the notes that I've taken and the experiences I've had, and I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts and learning from others.

I'm learning a lot on the home front, too. W-, J- and I had a lot of fun learning about Siamese fighting fish (bettas) for J-'s science homework. We enjoyed another perfect melon while watching Discovery Channel's How It's Made (fishing reels, doll houses, kitchen mixers... cool)! We've decided that this week is Halloween crafts week, and I'm looking forward to decorating. =) Life is good.

PCFinancial raised its savings rate to 4.25%, which further supports my decision to move the bulk of my savings to PCFinancial from TD. I'll still keep my accounts at TD for flexibility, but I'd rather park my money in PCFinancial for now. I know it's relatively easy to move things around, anyway.

And to think that it's only 10:30. I wonder what tomorrow will be like!

Tomorrow I have a few errands, including depositing some checks and renewing my social insurance number. I'd like to focus on WickedCoolEmacs in the morning, and maybe tinker around with my bot a little bit before taking off for errands.

I'll be taking trapeze classes in the evening, too. $15 for a drop-in class on Queen and Bathurst at 7:30 PM. Want to join me? E-mail or call for more details.

Life is good.

Random Emacs symbol: ido-complete-space - Command: Try completion unless inserting the space makes sense.

5. Reading about Enterprise 2.0: 22:37

Nearly forgot to mention that Google Reader is my new favorite RSS reader and that I had a lot of fun dipping my toes back into the Enterprise 2.0 blogosphere. It isn't hard. Start with a few favorite blogs like Luis Suarez: elsua, follow a couple of links, subscribe, follow a couple of links, subscribe... I look forward to getting back into that space, and might look into finding a way to categorize my posts. =)

By the way, does anyone know how to get Feedburner to forget your default feed reader when reading a SmartFeed feed? Right now, it automatically tries to add stuff to Bloglines. Old habits...

Random Emacs symbol: nntp-wait-for-string - Function: Wait until string arrives in the buffer.


  1. E-mail to Dan Howard
  2. Reply to "Geri Berholz"
  3. Reply to Stephen Perelgut - sent today
  4. Reply to Ian Garmaise - sent today
  5. Reply to Michael Nielsen - sent today
  6. E-mail to Stephen Perelgut
  7. E-mail to Alex Sirota, Kevin McIntosh
  8. E-mail to Ian Garmaise
  9. E-mail to David Modjeska
  10. E-mail to David R. Millen
  11. E-mail to Allen Milewski
  12. E-mail to Robert Terpstra, Jane Reid
  13. Reply to Jamie McQuay - sent today
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