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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FEAC2006: technical notes

Since last year, I have been actively moving files that I need to access anywhere online, in an experiment to “make the network my computer.” This served me well during the recent Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference in Manila.

The greatest benefit is that the files I needed for things I was working on was accessible whichever computer I was using. I host all my files with Box.net, the best online drive I’ve tried so far. Streamload is a close second and I use it for backup.

I used one of the newsroom’s laptops in the conference and it was a plain vanilla installation. In a few steps, however, I turned it’s Firefox into the browser that I use at home and at the office. When I used one of the laptops set up by the organizers at the conference hall, I was also able to turn it into my familiar Firefox installation (after they installed Firefox): with the same bookmarks and bookmarks toolbar. I did this using Foxmarks, a Firefox bookmarks synchronizer. Foxmarks synchronizes all your bookmarks into a central server, so you essentially have the same set of bookmarks and bookmarks toolbar for each browser that uses your account.

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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.

The network is my computer

Early this year I experimented with having all my essential work related data online. I wanted things I needed for my section, my copy desk job and columns centralized on free online accounts and accessible anywhere.

I wanted to be able to work on things anywhere – office, home or an Internet cafe – if I wanted or needed to. I used several free services in my attempt to make the Internet my computer. I am listing the services below in the hope that if you know of a better one, you’d leave a note so that I can transfer to it.

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Revisiting Serversidewiki.com

Early this morning I revisited my ServerSideWiki.com account for the first time in more than a month. I used my account again because the free host of my ZiddlyWiki, Freezope.org, was inaccessible this morning and my previous host‘s service has become intermittent. As I said in my previous posts on ZiddlyWiki and ServersideWiki, the free account of ServerSideWiki is already sufficient for most users, if they use it merely to keep notes. I group my notes into: blog, wordpress, journalism, personal and into my different tasks in the newsroom-online, column and copy desk. These still fit into the 10-page limit of the ServerSideWiki free account. Unless anyone knows of a more stable free Zope account provider, I’ll just stick with my free ServerSideWiki account for now.

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.

Free Zope hosting for my ZiddlyWiki in trouble?

It’s seems Objectis.net, the free Zope host containing my ZiddlyWiki is offiline. The ZiddlyWiki website asked users to export their data “in case they go down for good.” I wasn’t able to read the notice on time so my data there must be lost for good.

My ZiddlyWiki contained my interview notes for my blogging story but all these have been printed in the blog. The other data there I can easily reconstruct since I have a lot of online and offline backups. ZiddlyWiki is trying out a new way to install the program on FreeZope. The previous installation used to be via quick import.

I use ZiddlyWiki for online note taking. I used to keep my tasks list there but now I’m doing it with Rememberthemilk.com for tasks I do not want to be publicly available and PBWiki. My PBWiki page also serves as my personal status page so that people I deal with would know on the progress of tasks assigned to me. They can just read the status page and they’d know whether I’m doing the tasks I’m supposed to do and how far away am I from completion.

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.