life-long computer skills

i have been thinking about this for a while, without being very specific. as it turns out, Nielsen thought about the specifics before i got to it…

Life-Long Computer Skills (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)

Schools should teach deep, strategic computer insights that can’t be learned from reading a manual
There is some value in teaching kids skills they
can apply immediately, while they’re still in school, but there’s more value in teaching them deeper concepts that will benefit them forever, regardless
of changes in specific applications
[This will give] students insights that they’re unlikely to pick up on their own
People will
learn how to use features on their own, when they need them — and thus have the motivation to hunt for them. It’s the conceptual things
that get endlessly deferred without the impetus of formal education.

Following are some general skills that I think we should teach in elementary

here’s the short version of Nielsen’s list:

  • search strategies
  • information
  • information overload
  • writing for online readers
  • computerized presentation skills
  • workspace
  • debugging
  • user testing and other basic usability guidelines

mutt flagging and filtering

(mutt is an email client…)

this tip on filtering/ limiting was exactly what i needed right now. it’s
been a while since i went over from mutt to gmail, but i still handle some email with mutt.

When I come across a message that I’d like to read more closely, or that needs a reply, I flag that message as “Important” by pressing the “F” key. Then
at a later time I can ask Mutt to show me only the flagged messages with a command like “l ~F“.

(bold text marked by me)


here’s a few ways to use feeds:

how I use it: opera for (a lot of) news, gmail for fun stuff, feedreader for stuff I want to follow closely.


regarding the habit of writing your answer at the top of an email, including the previous text at the bottom 🙂


A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.

Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

A: Top-posting.

Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?

palm treo 650 hotsync crash tip on log

the following tip was really useful in pinpointing the application that crashed during hotsync.the code given worked for me, even with a Norwegian
Palm Addict – Palm OS Treo 650

check the crash log to see why the Treo is resetting. There is a specific code for each carrier. Check your manual or simply do a search for: Treo “crash
My code is #*377 (at least I think it is. I haven’t had to use it in a while). So, from the phone screen dial #*377 and hit the call button. The Treo will
then tell you what app caused the last crash.(Peter Wolchak)

For some the code is a little bit different, e.g.,

maplex – time tracking

looks interesting – think i’m gonna try it out
Veex Software Technologies – MapleXp – Working time logger

MapleXp application gives you the ability to track multiple projects and categorize how much time went into each of the tasks involved. Each project can
be divided into a hierarchical structure of tasks, which allows for very precise tracking of working time. ….MapleXp is a freeware