Monday, December 31, 2007

Travel Tips: TSA limits lithium batteries on flights

If you're traveling after Jan 1st, you should be aware of new TSA guidelines on the your spare laptop batteries.  TSA guidelines now stipulate that

  1. You may not pack spare lithium batteries in checked luggage
  2. You may pack devices with installed lithium batteries in checked luggage
  3. You may carry spare lithium batteries in carry-on luggage
  4. You may bring lithium batteries installed in a device
  5. You can bring lithium ion batteries installed in a device that are up to 8 grams of equivalent lithium content
  6. You can bring up to two spare lithium ion batteries with an aggregate of 25 grams of equivalent lithium content.
  7. Lithium metal batteries, whether installed or carried as spares, are limited to 2 grams of lithium each.

I took this from Web Worker Daily and some comments are pretty funny.  One commenter was re-screened three times as TSA personnel resolutely tried to figure out what the plastic box in his carry on was (it was his laptop charger) :)  Who knows how they'll figure out how many grams of lithium you have on you!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Free Group of David Allen GTD Articles

If your New Year's Resolution impulse is cranking up (I resolutely suppress mine) you may find these free article offer grist for the mill.

    • 5 Phases
    • Stalking the Wild Projects
    • Palm
    • Are You Micro-Managing Your Mind?
    • The Weekly Review
    • The Coach as Personal Trainer
    • The Threefold Nature of Work
    • Make It Up and Make It Happen
    • Organizing a Paper Organizer
    • The Productivity Investments
    • General Reference Filing
    • The Tickler File
    • Overtime... All the Time
    • Managing Work on a Vacation
    • Personal Inventory Control
    • Workflow Diagram
    • Workflow Advanced

They are available here as a .zip file.

via LifeHacker

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Facebook adds 'Friends List"

Facebook just rolled out a new feature: Friend's lists.


Right now there doesn't seem to be a lot of functionality built into the change.  It appears that right now you're only given the ability to message a list.  You cannot, for example, restrict a video to a group of friends.

I'm sure FB will be adding this kind of function....but it's STILL not here yet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nice upgrade to DocSyncer

Last week I wrote about a nice new service called DocSyncer, which synchronizes your desktop docs with your Google Docs account.  Yesterday they announced a much needed, and appreciated, upgrade.  With the new version you can:

  • Open desktop docs right into GDocs through a file association.
  • Open files on your desktop through the your browser.
  • find support for RTF, TXT, CSV, and HTML as well as the ability to turn off certain file types. 
  • Change your Google Docs account
  • Edit which folders are included in the synchronization

They're also working on:

    • Google Apps for Your Domain support.  We hear you and it's coming soon!
    • Google Docs Folder Support - Through Google's API, we have no way to assign documents to folders.  We'd very much like to do this so your Google Docs account is just as organized as your computer.  We're trying to work with Google to add support soon.

This is a great set of new features and answers some of the issues I have with DocSyncer.  I'm happy to hear, for example, that they're working on syncing folders with GDocs and allowing users to choose which folders are synced.  Great move DocSyncer!

Friday, December 07, 2007

DocSyncer: Keeping your docs where ever you are

docsyncerlogo I'm all for online document applications like Zoho and Google Apps, but they have one big drawback: you have to upload your docs and you risk creating various versions between your desktop and the "cloud".  Zoho has taken a step in the right direction by utilizing Google Gears.  Now you can work with your documents on-line or off (I wrote about two of those last week). 

But about a month ago a new service, called DocSyncer was reviewed on TechCrunch.  A limited beta was announced at the time and I just received my invite.  DocSyncer offers a lot of promise.  Simply, it claims to "Syncronize your Microsoft Office Documents with your Google Docs account."  From TechCrunch:

“DocSyncer is always sitting in the background,” explains founder Cliff Shaw, “watching for new documents. When something is added, it’s immediately synced up to our online viewer and Google Docs.”

It actually delivers on that...mostly.  Setting it up is simple.  After creating your account you're immediately taken to a Google Docs screen, asking you to authenticate access to your GDocs account.


After you've approved access you download a Desktop application which does all the heavy lifting.  The DocSyncer app lives in the system tray and keeps your documents synchronized in the background.

Nothing appears to happen on the desktop side of things, but DocSyncer keeps track of what's happening on their web interface.  This window shows the directory structure replicated on the left and a directory's contents on the right.  It also shows the status of remaining documents to be uploaded


The DocSyncer website shows all of your documents' status, but they actually are hosted with your GDocs account.  This is where the "beta nature" of DocSyncer begins to show.  The pic above shows the DocSyncer window.  It looks beautiful.  Here's my GDocs Windows:


The GDocs window is not nearly as attractive...or usable.  I'm inclined to think that this is an issue with GDocs and the way it organizes documents.  While DocSyncer clearly understands my file structure, GDocs is completely oblivious to how I organize my stuff.  The file structure isn't duplicated  at all, and all I end up with is a long list of file organized, not by creation date, but by upload date.

My other observation is the speed at which files are uploaded.  The DocSyncer applet has been running for a couple of days in the background, and I still don't have anywhere near all of my docs uploaded.

The application is still in beta, and I see lots of potential in this service.  This is the missing link.  If I could keep all my documents synchronized between my desktop and the Google cloud I could forgive GDocs for its horrible formatting.

Office 2.0 Database - calc5

Ismael Ghalimi compiled a great round of of "web 2.0" applications.  He's grouped them by categories: bookmarking, calendar, contacts, CRM, database, desktop, document management, etc.  Then he's listed his primary app and secondary/alternative apps.  This is a great list to bookmark.

via Scobleizer

Monday, December 03, 2007

Marc Orchant Suffers Massive Coronary

While sitting on my couch reading through my feeds I learned that Marc Orchant suffered a massive heart attach yesterday morning (Sunday) in his home.

At some time between 7:30 and 8:10 AM on Sunday Morning December 2nd, 2007, Marc Orchant, my fellow author on this blog, as well as one of my closest friends sustained a massive heart attack while working in his home office. At this time Marc is in critical condition at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Critical Cardiac Care Unit, Bed 3. He is not expected to regain consciousness for the next 24 to 48 hours.

I've never met Marc personally, but have followed his work for some time.  I first "met" him through 1src, a site dedicated to fans of the Sony CLIE PalmOS devices, several years ago. 

Please pray for his recovery!

via blognation USA

Blogs in Plain English

Another great "in Plan English" video from the LeFevers. These videos work great in presentations.  They really help people understand some of this plain English.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Twitter Toolset: 50+ Guides, Hacks, and Scripts

 Great set of Twitter tools at Visual  They just missed Snitter and OutBin, both of which I think are worth a look.