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ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
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We've Lost Mr. Rogers

Ah, some sad news came to me today... we've lost Mr. Rogers. He passed away today of cancer at age 74. He will be greatly missed.

I'll always remember Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood for the joy it brought me as a child; the encouragement to spend time in "make believe" as well as practical things learned from Mr. Rogers.

I do hope reruns of his shows continue to air, as I want to share Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with my son Nathan when he's old enough to understand. It will be a tradition I'll be proud to pass on to him.


Vintage Hardware Several years ago

Several years ago I read an excellent Wired magazine article by Mark Frauenfelder called Never Say Die. I just came across the article again the other day after a discussion of old computer hardware with a friend of mine.

I found it fascinating that there are still loyal users and supportive user communities actively using really old computer hardware and software. I'm not talking Y2K vintage Pentium or PowerPC boxes... I'm talking seriously ancient Commodore 64s, Apple ][s, Ataris, Amigas and old NeXt cubes.

And this brings me round to the point of why I'm mentioning this story, which is, I love old hardware! I love that old computers just keep churning away, refusing to die, like my trusty '93 PowerBook Duo 230.

Well, I've been inspired. I'm going to get my little Duo working again for travel. It's small, light, goes a long time on a charge and if it's lost or stolen, no big deal. I'll keep you posted on the Duo resurrection project.

Hopefully you too will consider dusting off a bit of trustworthy old iron and get it rolling again, just to show those newfangled whippersnappers what's for! :-)


Say Cheeeez! It's aweome being a Dad!

It's aweome being a dad! Even taking into account the overall lack of sleep and extreme changes in my life's schedule, I just can't get enough of my little 3.5 month old son Nathan, especially when he gives me smiles like this! Life with Nathan is even more fun now, since he's starting to develop a personality. He's smiling and laughing much more, though I should mention he had the pouty lip face mastered within the first month. :-)


Palm Blogging Update

Well, had a few days to think over my ideas and chat with a few folks regarding the Palm-based blogging tool concept I posted last week. Here are some updates:

1. A developer friend suggested that it might be more practical to develop a powerful web interface that can be accessed by today's powerful Palm browsing tools than a Palm app. Using a Palm browser with JavaScript support, I could access browser-based tools like Blogger and Blogger Pro for posting and editing past posts.

2. I learned that Blogger Pro ($35 yr. subscription) has an email posting feature that would work with SnapperMail or another web-capable Palm email tool (assuming you have net access with your Palm).

3. I've now setup an RTF file on my Mac to sync with WordSmith. This way I can write posts away from the Mac, HotSync my Clie then copy and paste any new posts from the RTF file. I'm also testing this setup with Quickword on reccomendation of John over at MyPalmLife as Quickword has HTML tools built in.

4. For budget-conscious bloggers, the trusty Memo Pad will work well for getting text from a Palm to a blogging tool, as long as your posts are 4k or less.

5. Palm-blogger PalmDoc mentioned an AvantGo posting tool called PocketJ for offline posts, though it's incompatible with Blogger. Still, this idea has inspired me to experiment with iSilo and AvantGo to try and access Blogger. I'll keep you posted on that.

6. There is a stand-alone Palm blogging app called handX Weblog that works with an weblog app you load on your own server. However handX is a proprietary system and will not (as of yet) support Blogger or Blogger Pro.

7. Another stand-alone Palm app is Kablog, though it relies on Java and a direct net connection to work. I'm not fond of Java apps running on top of the Palm OS, though I suppose this package could work well.

So, it appears there are several ways to post via Palm... I hope even more solutions will appear as blogging continues to grow in popularity. As I learn more I'll post new solutions here.


Palm Blogging Tool

As a Palm guy, I've been thinking lately about how I can use my Sony Clié as a blogging tool when I'm not here at my Mac pounding away.

After some thought and working with Mac blogging tools like NetNewsWire from Ranchero Software I've started a wishlist of the details I'd want in a perfect blog tool for the Palm. Here they are:

1. A word processing app for the palm with menus or buttons to generate common and custom codes such as links, image tags, bold, italic, etc.

2. Would store your access preferences for at least one blog account, preferably multiple blog accounts, just as mail apps SnapperMail can store info for multiple email accounts.

3. Probably a good idea to make the app password protected in case your Palm is ever lost or stolen.

4. The app should be able to work in offline or online modes; if in online mode, the preferences entered for your blog (username/pw) would let you post directly to the blog server should you have a wired or wireless connection.

5. If in offline mode, the posts would be saved in a hopper of sorts, and posted to your blog via the conduit (Mac or PC) something like how AvantGo or Vindigo can connect to the web and send/post info.

6. Should also have a 'drafts' option which would save posts on the Palm app, which would be great for posts you want to start but need research or maybe further thinking to complete. These draft posts could then be marked for posting by pressing a 'Post' button on screen, or maybe a 'Post' checkbox. Then the post would either be posted immediately (if connected to the net) or sent via conduit as explained above.

7. A really nice option feature would be the ability to subscribe to RSS news feeds from news, blog and other websites that offer this. Currently there are many sites with RSS feeds. In this sense, the app would act more like an email client or Newsgroups reader.

8. If an RSS news feature were added, It would be important to allow the user to grab a news item and include that in a post with the blogger's comment.

9. A nice but optional feature might be a matching (optional) client for the PC and Mac with similar functionality to the Palm app. Or maybe collaboration with existing Mac and PC clients.

10. One last 'option' that would be cool: the ability to preview and grab a JPG picture from a VFS card (SD, MemStick, etc.) and include that in a post. It would be really slick if this feature were integrated into the image tag generator, so that you'd select a JPG image, the size would be automatically entered in the IMG tag and then this could be included in a post. I suppose for direct posting this would be doable, though I don't know if adding the picture post from the card option would get complex in the offline/conduit mode.

If you have anything to add to this list if wishes or you're a Palm developer interested in creating a tool like this for the Palm, drop me a line!