Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

March 02, 2005

Productivity and Plain Text Files

Thanks to some fine tutorials and discussion at 43 folders, amongst others, I've been using Quicksilver for a while now and can safely say that it is the best piece of software I have ever used.

Well, they've done it again the smashers. Mike Harris' review of remind prompted me to download a copy and try it out. And it's brilliant. To call it a calendar and reminder program isn't doing it justice. Take a look at the tips and discussion that have accompanied Mike's article in the comments, and then take a look at the extensive man page if you don't believe me.

A nice useful feature is the ability to output your calendar as a postscript file. With this I can print out a month's calendar and pin it up next to my desk. Because I'm running remind on my Mac I can take this one step further. By opening the postscript file in Preview it gets converted into a PDF, which not only has a smaller file size but aids portability to boot. It's possible to do this at the command line as well - with ps2pdf, but I haven't found the right combination of options to make the output look as good as Preview does.

It's allowed me to ditch my Palm Pilot and fully embrace the geek credo (see of storing all of my information in plain text files. My old PDA hadn't been pulling it's weight recently. I'd replaced the address book with an XML file and a simple Python script so it's only remaining use was as a diary. Remind, even in the few short hours I've been using it, has easily supplanted that function.

My to-do list is currently stored in Omni Outliner but I suspect that it will be making it's way to a plain text file any day now.

Now here's hoping that I can back up these files to my new phone. It's just a shame that it's obsolete before I've even got my sticky fingers on it.

As a trap for young players, by slavishly following Mike's advice I discovered that GeekTool doesn't play well with Desktop Manager. It's the first time I've managed to seriously mangle my Mac just by running some simple software. You have been warned.

Posted by Andy Todd at March 02, 2005 02:16 PM