Snap is British slang for a snack or a packed lunch.
"'As't purrup mi snap?" - Have you prepared my sandwiches for work?
War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death. and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth
[ from alt.comp.freeware ]
Here's a program geared towards folks who work on multiple projects at one time where each project has multiple sub-tasks requiring completion in a particular sequence. Its name, "ToDoList," may be plain vanilla but the program sure isn't; it can do pretty well anything with task lists you could want. Sure, there are no fancy calendar displays or Gantt charts but this is a task list manager not a project manager. While it may not have the features of a project management utility, it is, however, much more than a to-do list program; it's so capable it could be used to help manage quite large projects. I recommend everyone involved in project work to check out "ToDoList." It could be just what you are looking for. Freeware.
[ from alt.comp.freeware ]
I have for years had a written policy on firmware development for my (one-man) company, primarily due to using consultants from time to time. Of course it always helps to keep myself straight too. If you're interested, here's a quote from that policy document:
Backups - The automatic backup feature available with many editors does not comprise an adequate backup system and indeed should normally be turned off if possible. The person doing the coding is responsible to ensure that the following minimum backups are maintained.
Only one of each category below need be maintained; that is, a backup may be overwritten with newer data except as noted.
"Save early, save often."
See excellent article at http://cnxn.ca/NoFoldersTutorial.html
This tutorial explains in detail how to use Outlook without folders or filing. We've christened this The AntiFile Methodology or AntiFiling for short. There is a single, fundamental objective with AntiFiling; minimize administration to maximize productivity. We firmly believe that people could file 95% less and be even more productive than they are now.
AntiFiling is also more than just “not using folders”. We’ve taken a hard look at the user interface in Outlook to eliminate things that tend to derail a train of thought. We wanted a method of organizing information that is universal – one place to look, consistent – one method to look for it, and simple so that it quickly becomes instinct. The less distracted we get in organizing and gathering the information the more focused we are in accomplishing the task.
Keep in mind, you may still use your folder in parallel with AntiFiling, but this may allow you to use a lot less of them and simplify your folder heirarchies for less filing.
Flow is a simple game for Win32 based machines based on a cellular automata algorithm which mimics the properties of a liquid. It is not a game with an object or goal like most eg; like scoring points or killing something, but it is rather more like a toy which exists merely to be fiddled with. A good example of something similar is a game used by many charities where coins inserted at the top fall through the game, hitting off things as they go. Where Flow improves on this is that the obstacles can be changed in real-time, with the liquid responding accordingly.
Real-life scenarios such as waterfalls, fountains and showers can be represented - or indeed anything your imagination allows. User-triggered events can be designed (eg; flushing a toilet) through a user-toggleable filter material. Devices such as capillary action (where liquid in a vertical narrow space tends to rise) and water pumps (up, left and right) move the liquid around the game area in a more controlled fashion. There are two different kinds of liquid, one lighter than the other if user-desired and two tools to filter one type from the other.
[ from uk.rec.humour ]
At the risk of being considered a historian, I would remind everyone that on this very newsgroup in October 2003, Fox posted the following:
LONDON (Reuters) - After a year of painstaking scientific research, the world's funniest joke has been revealed!
In a project described as the largest-ever scientific study into humour, the British Association for the Advancement of Science asked Internet users around the world to submit their favourite jokes and rate the funniness of other people's offerings.
More than 40,000 jokes from 70 countries and two million critiques later, this is it:
"Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other man pulls out his phone and calls emergency services.
He gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator in a calm, soothing voice replies: "Take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."
There is a silence, then a shot is heard.
Back on the phone, the hunter says, "Ok, now what?"
Researchers found significant differences between nations in the types of jokes they found funny.
People from the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and New Zealand preferred gags involving word play, such as:
PATIENT: "Doctor, I've got a strawberry stuck up my bum."
DOCTOR: "I've got some cream for that."
Americans and Canadians favoured jokes where people were made to look stupid.
TEXAN: "Where are you from?"
HARVARD GRAD: "I come from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions."
TEXAN: "OK -- where are you from, jackass?"
Meanwhile, many Europeans liked gags that were surreal or made light of serious subjects such as illness, death and marriage:
A patient says, "Doctor, last night I made a Freudian slip, I was having dinner with my mother-in-law and wanted to say: 'Could you please pass the butter?'
"But instead I said: 'You silly cow, you have completely ruined my life.'"
Marriage-mocking also featured in the top American joke:
"A man and a friend are playing golf one day. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course.
"He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer. His friend says: 'Wow that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You are truly a kind man.'
"The man then replies: 'Yeah, well, we were married 35 years.'"
Death earned big laughs in Scotland:
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like his passengers."
And animals figured prominently. Take the number one joke in England:
"Two weasels are sitting on a bar stool. One starts to insult the other one. He screams, 'I slept with your mother!'
"The bar gets quiet as everyone listens to see what the other weasel will do.
"The first again yells, 'I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!'
"The other says: 'Go home dad, you're drunk.'"
The survey revealed other fun facts:
-- Of the countries rating the highest number of jokes, Germans, perhaps surprisingly, laughed the most. Canadians laughed least.
-- If you want to tell a funny animal joke, make it a duck.
-- The most frequently submitted joke, at 300 times, was: "What's brown and sticky? A stick."
Researchers said no one ever found it funny.
polymath \POL-ee-math\, noun:
A person of great or varied learning; one acquainted with various
subjects of study.
A century after Aristotle, in 240 B.C., a brilliant polymath,
Eratosthenes, is appointed chief librarian of the Museum at
Alexandria--the most cosmopolitan city and center of learning in the
-- Alan Gurney, Below the Convergence
Alan Kay, for instance, one of the wizards of PARC and now an Apple
fellow, is a polymath accomplished in math, biology, music,
developmental psychology, philosophy, and several other disciplines.
-- Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman, Organizing Genius
Like her literary heroine, George Eliot, Kingsolver is an old-fashioned
polymath, curious about all branches of human learning.
-- Sarah Kerr, "The Novel As Indictment", New York Times
<http://www.nytimes.com/> , October 11, 1998
Polymath is from Greek polymathes, "having learned much," from poly-,
"much" + manthanein, "to learn."
I'm absolutely delighted with my new laptop replacement. It's way
lighter than my old IBM ThinkPad T42 and at $49 it's a tad cheaper as
The laptop replacement is a USB flash drive. The drive was an answer to
a conundrum I faced last month. I planned to take a two week break part
of which involved camping in the desert. The desert I figured was no
place for my IBM. Yet both before and after the camping segment I would
be in cities where I would need access to a computer.
Taking a USB thumb drive seemed like a sensible solution. As it turned
out it was not only sensible but practical. So practical I'm wondering
whether I ever need to travel with a laptop again.
While traveling I was able to do all my normal work using most of my
normal tools. The tools were on my USB drive. What was different was
that I was plugged into someone else's computer at an internet cafe or
I put quite a lot of thought into the programs I loaded onto the USB
drive before I left.
Most important was a portable version of Firefox
<http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable> along with
TorPark <http://www.torrify.com/> , a special version of Firefox setup
to work with the Tor anonymizing service. Both these run entirely from
the USB drive and leave no trace of my surfing on the host PC. That's
nice but more important was the availability of my normal bookmarks,
Firefox extensions, custom bookmarks toolbar, Google toolbar and even my
surfing history from within Portable Firefox. This was made possible
simply by copying parts of my Firefox profile from my laptop to the USB
drive before I left home.
The comfort of having your familiar browsing environment available
cannot be overestimated. I've customized Firefox to work exactly how I
want so to have that available on whatever computer I was using was both
delightful and remarkable.
The comfort of the familiar was further enhanced by the use of
RoboForm2Go <http://www.roboform.com/pass2go.html> as my password and
form filler. RoboForm2Go is a portable version of the same RoboForm
program I use on my normal PC. Like Portable Firefox it leaves no trace
of itself on the PC your USB stick is plugged into. Again like I did
with Firefox, I copied my RoboForm data from my laptop to the USB stick
before I left, so all my normal passwords and login credentials were
available from my USB stick as well.
Using RoboForm2Go to automatically fill out your web session password is
a surprisingly safe procedure, particularly when using Firefox where the
speed of the typing during form completion is beyond the capacity of
keyloggers to log. I know this; I tested RoboForm2Go before I left using
five commercial keyloggers and none successfully recorded the form data.
Your RoboForm2Go master password however is more vulnerable but there
are ways to improve the security of that too. I'll be covering that in
next month's "Tip of the Month."
The other software I took on the USB drive included Portable FileZilla
<http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/filezilla_portable> , the
portable version of my normal FTP client, EditPad Pro
<http://www.editpadpro.com/> which is my normal text editor and
PhraseExpress <http://www.phraseexpress.com/> the program I normally
use for quickly inserting boilerplate text. The latter two programs were
not available in portable versions but I found that by simply copying
the installation folder from my laptop to the USB flash drive they both
Handling my email was a cinch. I normally use Outlook to collect my mail
from Gmail via POP3. While traveling I simply used Gmail as webmail from
Firefox. When I got home I just collected all my mail in Outlook and had
complete copies of all my correspondence back on my laptop
Oh the pleasure of it, to sit in front of a strange PC in some strange
location and to have your normal computing environment fully available
to you. Your normal tools, your bookmarks, your passwords; everything.
And the pleasure too of not lugging around a laptop or having to worry
about it being stolen.
I suspect it's also a pleasure you may need to get used to. The future
of computing folks is going to be web based applications accessed
through your browser. In a few years you may be carrying around only one
piece of software on your USB stick: your highly personalized browser
that will give you the same computing experience on any PC, in any
location in the world.
Personally, I can't wait. After my positive USB flash drive experience
I've decided to move things along by converting one of my home PCs to
have no applications installed other than a browser. Everything will be
web based: email, calendaring, digital editing, spreadsheets, word
processing and more.
Think about the advantages: no backup worries, dramatically reduced
security concerns, no software update and licensing hassles, less
demanding hardware requirements and best of all: the availability of
your familiar computing environment from any PC.
Yes, the attractions are many but is it too early to make this bold
move? That dear readers, is what I hope to find out.
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