Categories
Highlights Mobile Newsroom tech Open source PC productivity

Get things done faster on your mobile phone and PC with FMA

If there’s one application responsible for an exponential boost in my productivity at the news copy desk it’s Float’s Mobile Agent (FMA). I wrote a short post about FMA earlier. FMA is an open source application that allows you to manage and operate your mobile phone through your PC via a data cable, infrared or Bluetooth connection.

Float's Mobile Agent

With FMA installed in your computer, you can just leave your phone in your desk and do all your mobile communications in your PC-from sending, receiving and archiving SMS messages, managing phone contacts, to-do lists and calendar entries to (for some phone models) taking and making calls using your regular PC headset. The program also allows you to easily back up important phone data like messages and contact numbers.

Categories
Highlights Journalism Newsroom tech Open source PC

Turning a discarded PC into a newsroom intranet server

(Note: This is version .5 of the article. I estimate five more rewrites to finalize this.)

The newsroom recently upgraded computers used by its reporters. The computers, with clock speeds ranging from 166 Mhz to 500 MHZ, were early generation Pentiums and were primarily used for word processing.

I told our editor-in-chief I wanted to try to build a newsroom intranet that would host an online version of our Sun.Star Style guide and a searchable index of contact details of news sources. I then asked the newsroom IT in-charge to clean up a 400 Mhz unit and add RAM to it.

The newsroom already had an intranet — a search interface to our archives. It was set up by the company’s IT department. I wanted to try to install a more integrated one – a portal to documents and data that reporters and editors need. I’ve long been searching for a ready-to-deploy newsroom intranet script but I haven’t found one. What I’ve found, however, are open source scripts that could be used to handle certain data that a newsroom needs.

Categories
Highlights Journalism Newsroom tech Open source

Newsroom tech: Sharing and a call for help

I regularly experiment with open source scripts and programs for possible features in Sun.Star Cebu‘s Cybercafe page. At times, I’d find programs that can be used to improve a newsroom’s system or the way a journalist works with the PC.

During a recent chat in an online course I’m taking, we discussed the open source philosophy. I told the group that I recently set up a newsroom intranet (which I’ll write about later) using a discarded PC and different open source programs. Two of my classmates, Ederic Eder and Chooi Yew Tzen, asked me how I did it and expressed interest in setting one up for themselves.