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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Mon, 01 Oct 2012

It may not be wrong, but I know it ain't right: I push my work e-mail through Gmail

I spent a brief time years ago pumping the mail from my terrible workplace e-mail server to Gmail, which obliterated many sins (low capacity, terrible software and hardware) while giving rise to others (Google is data-mining us like crazy).

Well, after years of IMAP in Thunderbird, I'm changing course. I'm letting Google's Gmail handle my work mail again.

I'm aware that Google is using my e-mail to craft marketing messages it will aim at me. I don't like it, but I don't hate it enough to suffer through my current mail routine, with the inbox maxing out more days than not. That leads to all sorts of lost productivity on my part.

And my coworkers are making increasing use of Google Drive/Docs, Calendar and Google Plus (with plenty of Google Chat/Talk and Hangouts).

My thinking: If I'm doing all of that, Gmail doesn't add much to the spy vector. And this is for work only. I've been trying to do most of my personal e-mail off of Gmail -- and every other ad-supported e-mail service.

But faced with a poor e-mail system that I must use daily, Gmail makes it much more usable. Google has won me over. Again.

Wed, 06 Jun 2012

What Google's doing with Quickoffice, and what it could mean for Microsoft and Apple

I'd hate to be a company looking for growth by selling a packaged office suite. Now Google is acquiring Quickoffice to bolster its mobile offerings. I'm not sure why they need it. Development of Google Docs / Google Drive seems to be moving rather rapidly on Android, though not so rapidly on the iPad, from what I can see. I have no idea about Docs/Drive on the iPhone.

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Mon, 24 Oct 2011

I add the Widgets Plus Google+ widget to this site

I already have the Widgets Plus Google-Plus (aka Google+) widget on my official Los Angeles Daily News-sponsored, Movable Type-running blog, and today I added it to this blog, which runs under Ode.

I had to tweak more than a couple of parameters to fit the widget in the 178px space in Click, but for the 235px space at

Posted: Oct 24, 2011 2:51pm UTC

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Category: /google/plus/

Breadcrumb trail to post: home > google > plus

Tue, 18 Oct 2011

Get a Google+ widget for your website

I've seen these Google+ widgets popping up all over. Here's where you can get one.

Mon, 18 Jul 2011

Google+ -- shiny and new

Yes, I'm on Google+. So are many of you. And more every day.

From what I can see, we're all captivated to some extent by its shiny newness. And that it's not Facebook.

We're more comfortable with Larry and Sergey than with Mark Zuckerberg.

There's no 140-character limit.

Hence, a lot of us are, in effect, blogging into Google+. Sure, we can get that content out of there at any time. But currently there's no "native" way to bring feeds from other sites directly into our Google+ streams.

This needs to happen.

And I need to get back to writing into my own sites. Including this one.

I'll try to post this entry in Google+. And Identi.ca (which will, in turn, post to Twitter, which posts to Facebook).

Look here (and not just there), I'm saying.