New screencast on using a TiddlyWiki

I’ve recreated my earlier video guide on using a TiddlyWiki, a single-page wiki you can use for your notes and task lists. Instead of Wink, I used CamStudio to capture screen activities this time.

Wink is an easy to use free software to capture videos of your screen activities and it’s great for creating tutorials. My only problem with it is that it doesn’t offer an option to capture screen activities in video format (i.e. mpeg or avi) so that it can easily be uploaded in video sharing sites like YouTube, Metacafe, and Revver. Wink outputs the screen activities in .swf and .exe formats.

My previous screencasts– one is on how to turn any web template into a WordPress theme–are in .swf format and hosted in the Internet Archive. I’ve had complaints on its playback quality and how it can be slow at times so I decided to try hosting it other video services. These services, however, do not accept .swf files so I spent days trying one application after another to convert the files into .mpg or .avi formats to no avail.

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Using a TiddlyWiki: a video guide

I am a long-time user of TiddlyWikis and its various adaptations. Before a catastrophic accident involving the synchronization of various offline files wiped out my tasks list, I was an extensive user of GTDTiddlyWiki. After the accident, I moved to a server-side TiddlyWiki, alternating between Serversidewiki.com and ZiddlyWiki before finally settling with TiddlySpot.

I am also a long-time TiddlyWiki “evangelist.” Any chance I get to introduce TiddlyWiki, I’d show it off.

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Work on blog post ideas with Wridea

I seldom finish a blog post in one session in front of the computer. My typical blogging day starts with reading news feeds to check on updates on topics that interest me. Sometimes I get a blog post idea while reading RSS feed items and I’d write a note in my personal wiki about the topic.

I’d then work on the post in the office, right before the newsroom goes into overdrive chasing page deadlines and after I’ve finished my pages and while waiting for pages assigned to me for line-reading. I’d then publish the post at home, after my early morning meal–that’s dinner for all you morning people.

Most of the time, however, I’m working on several projects that can generate several blog posts. These projects are experiments on content management systems, blogging, wikis and anything that might be of use in a newsroom environment, particularly that of a small community newspaper.

I keep my technical notes on these experiments and my to-do lists in various personal wikis, including a txt file in my K750i. But for blog post ideas, I may have found the best notes repository, for me, in Wridea. (Click on photo to view larger image)

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Wiki on a K750i? A txt file will do

I’m a huge fan of TiddlyWiki, a standalone web page that you can edit through a browser for just about anything: to-do lists, notes or any other text data. I’m an extensive user of one of its derivatives: the Zope server-based ZiddlyWiki but before that, I used GTDTiddlyWiki, a version that incorporates a getting things done menu and is formatted for easy printing on index cards.

ZiddlyWiki fits my need for a server-side notes taking and archiving solution that is accessible anywhere. I host my ZiddlyWiki on a free Zope hosting account with Objectis. I needed a server-side solution because I wiped out a lot of notes trying to synchronize the GTDTiddlyWiki in my home PC and in my office PC last year.

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Objectis.net free Zope hosting getting to be reliable again

The previous free Zope host of my ZiddlyWiki seems to have fixed its services. I use ZiddlyWiki extensively for note-taking when I’m on a PC. I checked my free account there last week and found that it was still up. I monitored its services for a few days and did not experience any downtime. With this, I quickly reconfigured my ZiddlyWiki account there and have started using it extensively again.

When Objectis.net experienced problems with its servers, I used a free account that I had opened with Freezope.org months back. Still, in my experience, FreeZope.org’s services don’t seem to be at par with what Objectis.net offers. FreeZope, for one, doesn’t allow quick imports. And is it just me or is access to FreeZope really slower than Objectis.net’s?

If you have no idea what a ZiddlyWiki is, check out my post here.

Transferring my notes wiki

I finally transferred my ZiddlyWiki from Objectis.net to a FreeZope.org hosting. The services of Objectis.net have been erratic lately and ZiddlyWiki creator Tim Morgan told users to transfer to FreeZope. The new installation process – created because FreeZope doesn’t allow quick imports – is even easier. I use ZiddlyWiki extensively for my notes, usually taken while surfing websites I frequent daily.

Putting out a personal status page

I found this interesting post in 43 Folders on the need for a personal status page via a link from Sacha Chua. I think a personal status page would be a great way to inform people you are dealing with on the progress on common projects or tasks assigned to you.

I always tell people I’m easier to contact through e-mail or through my blog and that’s true. I always check my mails but I seldom check my phone and most of the time it’s in silent mode and I wouldn’t know whether I received a message. I’m setting up a status page using PBWiki so that people I deal with will know whether I’m doing the tasks I’m supposed to do and they’ll have an indication on how far away I am from completion. My personal status page can be found here.

Blogging story

I finished my story on blogging and journalism last Sunday and ran smack into the limits of print. The draft would have taken three 11 by 17-sized pages to print. The newsroom, I think, expected only a one-page story.

I tried to cut it down into an acceptable length starting late Sunday evening and I finally gave up and submitted the article early Tuesday morning – four days after the deadline.

When I arrived at the office later in the afternoon, I saw my editor laying out the pages for the article. It still took two pages but I was glad that the office decided to allocate the extra page for the article. I tried to do all work on the article on a wiki, which you can access here, but I got sick close to the original deadline and I wasn’t able to keep up with updating the wiki. The answers of the interviewees, though, are there.

I plan to publish in this blog the full text of the answers to the questions I e-mailed.

Journalism experiment and recovering from a ZiddlyWiki disaster

I was asked to write a special report on a topic I can’t disclose yet. I’ve already sent preliminary e-mails to people I would be interviewing. I had planned to do all my note-taking using ZiddlyWiki. While finalizing my notes it occurred to me: why not give the people I would be interviewing read-only access to my wiki? After all, the topic I’m writing about isn’t controversial – where people might try to influence you on how your draft article is shaping up.

I immediately set up a new wiki for the notes. I had previously hosted my notes in my main wiki. ZiddlyWiki allows you to easily create multiple wikis, you just had to copy the index_html file and place it where you want the new wiki to be hosted.

I created a new sub-folder and placed the index_html file there. I, however, forgot to create a tiddlers folder in the new subdirectory. Because of this, the subdirectory was using the tiddlers of my main wiki and when I started deleting notes not related to the article I also deleted these notes from my main wiki. The disaster would have been complete had I not saved a copy of my main wiki in another sub-folder. I was able to partly reconstruct my main wiki using data saved in the abandoned sub-folder.