Remainders 10.31.2006

Have you been considering quitting your job and striking out on your own? Phil Gyford has recently updated and expanded his excellent Beginners Guide to Freelancing. It is a little anglo-centric as he works across the pond but the basic themes are excellent and well laid out.

Lifehacker has a good roundup of 12 Killer Apps for Palm PDAs.

Back in the day, you know that day when all Macs were beige, Acta was a great little outliner for the Mac. Note quite a full featured as others but, for some, less was More (pun intended). Opal is a port of Acta for Mac OS X re-done from the ground up in Cocoa by the original developer. If you are looking for a great, straight forward outliner for the Mac with very few bells and jiggles, it is worth a look-see. (via TidBITS)

Here is a little GTD luv for the Ubuntu crowd – GTD with Linux, Gnome and Tomboy

Short Term Personal Savior: Neal Stephenson

Every so often someone inspires me in such a way that I designate them my Short Term Personal Savior. There are many ways one can receive this special designation. It could be through a lesson I have learned from them, a way that they are living life that is inspirational or that they are just plain badass.

Today’s Short Term Personal Savior is Neal Stephenson. Here is why:

  1. He is hands down one of my favorite authors and I feel probably one of the greatest writers of the last 20 years. I mean, this guy not only writes novels, he writes epics. His last work was The Baroque Cycle which consisted of three books, each nearly 900 pages long… Which he wrote by hand… i.e. Longhand… On legal pads… With a quill pen… Badass!
  2. He discourages almost all public interaction in an effort to increase his productivity as a writer. To him, e-mail, speaking engagements, silly questions about petty details in his book that he has not only answered dozens of times but are also easy to find his answers to them on the internets, all of these keep him from doing the one thing he was put on this earth to do – write. Which he explains thusly:

“Writing novels is hard, and requires vast, unbroken slabs of time. Four quiet hours is a resource that I can put to good use. Two slabs of time, each two hours long, might add up to the same four hours, but are not nearly as productive as an unbroken four. If I know that I am going to be interrupted, I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all. Likewise, several consecutive days with four-hour time-slabs in them give me a stretch of time in which I can write a decent book chapter, but the same number of hours spread out across a few weeks, with interruptions in between them, are nearly useless.”

  1. His only web presence is a page on The Well the contents of which one could basically boil down to this phrase:

“All of my time and attention are spoken for–several times over. Please do not ask for them.”

He is not trying to be an ass. He is just explaining why he does not even have the time to put up a pretty web page or even hire someone to do so for him. He is caring for his inner introvert.

It is for these reasons that Neal Stephenson rocks the block and is worthy of being my Short Term Personal Savior.

Remainders 10.26.2006

No matter what your political stance, here is a great piece on Presentation Zen about former President Bill Clinton’s oratory style and what lessons one can take away for their own use.

There is a great tutorial on using GTDTiddlyWiki @ Lifehacker. Worth a check out.

Need a little paper pr0n? Here is a great little write-up on the new Moleskine City Book. If they release the San Francisco one before I go to Macworld I will be a very happy boy and provide you, the reader, with a full review and pictures cause I will use the heck out of it.

Getting Real, the book on software design and business practice by 37 Signals is now available on the web for free.