Lost Diary

diary-pb-screenshot-1992.pngOver the Memorial Day weekend, I’ve been squaring away some of the backup procedures that keep our personal documents, photos, music, and websites all backed up to large external hard disks in the basement. I wanted to confirm I had copy/pasted old diary entries into our family blog from a HyperCard stack I built in 1991 to record events. In doing that, I discovered a second diary called “Diary PB.” The PB stood for “PowerBook.” When I got my first Mac laptop, I started recording diary entries in a second copy.

I found much of 1992 and 1993 recorded in there which included our move from Hancock to Rae, living with Mom and Dad for a month, and the preparation and arrival of Kelly! The two girls each came down to check on me late at night in the basement because I was laughing so hard and some of these entries… especially “The Bucket Man” and the famous story of the little old man.

Click on the thumbnail to see how big a 9″ b&w Mac screen was. It was in that small square that I did a lot of writing and sometimes small sketches drawn with a mouse. I built the stack from scratch using HyperScript for programming. The buttons include: 1: Lock/unlock so text would not be accidentally deleted. 2: Search 3: Create new entry 4: Home for other stacks 5: Quit to the Finder 6: Sort stack by date 7: Print. At the bottom was a font size toggle for easier reading, an author toggle (Kathy and Nicole sometimes wrote entries.) In this example I have a button that links to a related entry… the hyperlink of the day. I also drew a small illustration using the built-in painting capability.

I want to get all of the text, images, and even sounds out of the HyperCard stacks into the blog, because there will come a day when I will not be able to user HyperCard. This very innovative software was long ago abandoned by Apple. It will only run under OS9. Only our oldest Mac can still run OS9 (under OSX Tiger in emulation.)

Exporting Yahoo Notepad to Google Docs

For years, whenever I have created a new account with a website or bought software that had a serial number, I would use notepad.yahoo.com to create a new note titled with the name of the software, company, or website and write hints to myself about account logins and passwords or any other information I might need. This is especially useful for infrequently visited sites or infrequently used information. (Ted uses his Palm Pilot iPod Touch this way.)

I routinely go to notepad.yahoo.com a few times a week and type a quick search to find the notes I need.

However, since I have not used Yahoo mail for a long time, I’ve always wanted to move all 156 notes over to either Google Docs or Google Contacts. Until today, I never was able to find an easy way to do it.

Today, a google search for “yahoo notepad export” listed at the top exactly what the doctor ordered. Greg Sadetsky created a page that will log into your Yahoo account, export the notes, and optionally create one Google Doc per note. Any labels for the notes are carried over to Google’s label/folder tag.

I had to think carefully about doing this. I was giving someone I don’t know access to both my Yahoo and Google accounts. And while I changed my logins to have temporary passwords, there is sensitive data behind those accounts. In some ways my Notepad notes were keys to everything else (although I only tend to store hints.)

Can I trust Greg?

I looked at his home page, his linked-in page, and how he wrote the FAQs for his utility. I concluded this was an honest guy who has written some clever code and has gone to the trouble to share it. He even offered a “safer” way to run the program myself by downloading the code.

I decided, sure, I can trust Greg. I ran the utility, and it worked! I had to actually run it 4 or 5 times to get all 156 notes to go over (deleting the incomplete, exported set each time.) The utility seemed to time out at random counts between 80 and 130 until it finally got to all 156. Not sure if it helped, but the last time, I kept bouncing between the utility, Google Docs, and Yahoo Notes to make sure none of the systems were timing out.

Not sure how many other Yahoo Notepad users are out there looking to migrate, but I can highly recommend Greg’s work. Thanks Greg!

Timex Expedition, Changing Battery

Timex-Expedition.jpgJust changed the battery in my Timex Expedition which is now my “yard watch.” Kathy has given me two nice watches that I wear to work, but the Expedition is still a favorite because it has an analog look, but the features of a digital watch including alarm, stopwatch, countdown, and perpetual date and time. I use the countdown routinely when running a sprinkler or filling up the pond.

Reminder on how to get the back case open and closed:

1) Pry open back using notch marked with arrow in upper right corner using either a strong knife blade or small screwdriver. Loosen both tiny screws upper left and upper right to remove battery.

2) Position notch opposite side of analog knob. Seal with watch between two boards in a vice grip. Slowly close vice grip and watch for back to snap in place. (May not make a sound.)

I think this Timex has lasted longer than any other I’ve had. I remember Carol Popp liking it when I first moved from HBS to Marketing in 2002. Also I mentioned it here on Ted’s Timex post.