Lately Review

It's Friday and I have a bunch of links, notes, and accomplishments to share. First up, jfm and I have been continuing the discussion we had about task lists in a new discussion of the /posts/mobile-productivity-challenges. I've also imported some conversation from facebook (to a discourse page, since removed) following up on the :Cyborg Analysis and Technology Policy post that I made this last week. I'm really really proud of the extent to which the comments and edits that I've gotten have made my writing and thinking clearer on these subjects.…

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This document outlines the use of emacs' require and provide functions to help new users understand how to better configure the text editor. While there are a number of different strategies for organizing emacs configuration files and lisp systems and there is no single dominant best practice, consider this document if you find your .emacs or init.el` file growing out of control. Background and Overview After using emacs for any period of time, one begins to develop a rather extensive emacs configuration.…

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Interfaces in Enterprise Software

This post is a continuation of my human solution to IT and IT policy issues series. This post discusses a couple of ideas about "enterprise" software, and its importance the kind of overall analysis of technology that this posts (and others on this site) engage in. In many ways this is a different angle on some of the same questions addressed in my "Caring about Java" post: boring technologies are important, if not outright interesting.…

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Create Better Task Items

I was paging through a list of things that I made for myself during a call I was in a few weeks ago, and was utterly dismayed by how useless the items were on the list. I wasn't sure what needed to be done, I couldn't remember what things meant, and I was left with the sinking suspicion that I had forgotten something crucial. I write this, in part, as a lesson to my past self on how to write good task list items.…

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Cyborg Analysis and Technology Policy

I want to put together a series of posts about cyborg perspectives on industrial IT practices. This post introduces that series. The "cyborg analysis," makes difficult to ignore that most problems with technology, even seemingly outright "technological problems" are better as understood as problems at the intersection of humans and technology. Ignoring either people or technology, leads to imperfect analysis. While, false divides between "problems with users," and "problems with technology" aren't helpful either, this might be a conceptually useful exercise.…

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Mobile Productivity Challenges

I've never really figured out how to do work with anything less than a full computer. I've tried everything: Palm Pilots and Pocket PCs in the early 2000s, laptops, and eventually I just settled on just dragging a (smaller) laptop almost everywhere circa 2005. I get the feeling that, most people who have been thinking about mobile technology and productivity assume that the only impediments to mobile productivity are better hardware and software.…

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Links, Reviews, and Updates

While this week flew by in many respects and I only got a couple of posts out, there is much change and progress afoot. This post is an attempt to catalog some of the work I (and others) have been doing that hasn't made it onto the blog: Discussion of the "Better Task List" post by jfm`. Including spoilers for posts that I hope to have ready next week.…

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