Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tall Cotton

The brown and green cotton I planted in the herb bed, next to the stevia, got off to a great start. It is tall and literally covered with blooms and immature bolls. With only one month (or less) left till average first frost, I truly doubt that the bolls will have matured enough to harvest any. Such a shame, because the pink and white blooms are so lovely and the plants so tall (a couple are over my head) that it looks so, so promising. Guess the beauty will have to be enjoyed without the cotton itself being spun...always hope, though!

Knitting in my Palm (part 2)

Finally got a chance to work some more on the leaf edging today, reading from my palm, and this reminded me that I might respond to Lea-Ann's comment about her frustrations with her computer and her palm not playing nice. She wrote
I *used* to luv my palm too . . until Outlook crashed and the sync from palm to computer actually didn't, and everything on the computer wiped out the palm :-( -- why don't they have a database backup???? Or a warning that "do you really want to overwrite everything on your palm to nothing??" URGH!! Do you sync yours to the palm desktop? Maybe I'll just go back and use it and forget about the whole Outlook sync thing. I never get through my e-mails anyway. Darn computers :-( . . . oh, have a nice day and I really like your new blog template. Lea-Ann
Yes, Lea-Ann, "darn computers".
But to answer your question. Yes, it is stupid the way it doesn't ask you when you crash, reformat or switch to a new computers, it just blithely over writes the whole thing...unless you remember when you start with a fresh computer, to set your first sync to "palm overrides desktop" then blink! you are back where you were (remembering to do that is the key, and they don't remind you, they expect me to remember something in the throes of a reformat? fat chance) But easier than that, there are several free or cheap third party software that let you back up its entire little brain to an SD card at the tap or a button or pre-set intervals (no brainer, I like that) Then you just reload it all off of the card if you ever slip up like that again (yes, I have done this more than once)
And no, I don't sync to outlook. I tried it. I think outlook is ugly. really ugly, I mean, like, distasteful to look at, too complex, too invasive of my thoughts and controlling of my work flow.
At first, I found the palm desktop limited and tried some third party database ad ons for it, but have grown to appreciate it's simplicity. I have mine skinned in (bet you guessed this) a lovely lilac, green and cream color, in the winter, it is skinned in lilac and ice blue and ocean green. (this is so unimportant, but it does relate to yarn color choices, so I toss it in here)
I now use google calendar, and use the freeware version of goosync to sync it to the palm (and palm desktop) calendar.
My friend Hunt's Poorly pointed out to me that it probably isn't a good idea to carry my brain around in a little box, but I find one little box easier to keep track of than a thousand little jots of paper hear and there. It disciplines me to record things in a tidy manner...my normal mo being a "scap paper jotter and loser"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Knitting in the "palm"

For a "mother earth type, back to the lander, fleece sniffing spinner" admitting that you "love"  a piece of technology is kinda difficult, but I have to be honest and say that, far into its 3rd year, I still love my Palm TX.


My first excuse reason for buying one was that I needed to be able to still check on orders, conduct business and work on my publications while on the road (mostly back and forth to Mom and Dad's and traveling to gigs with JB)

It needed to be in a very portable format (hauling a laptop into the waiting room when taking your parents to the dr. in tennessee is inconvenient and just plain weird looking) I convinced myself that I could get a whole lot of work done on it while waiting...little did I know that it would be mostly knitting work.

Back then, there were more free wi-fi spots than there are now (at least in TN) and keeping up online was easier, but over time, my palm has evolved into a beloved, glorified extra brain.

It does several things really great for me, and the one thing that is so fabulous about it, I didn't even count on when I first got it.

  • First...I can knit from it! with a simple "sync" into it is dumped the lace pattern, cable pattern, sock pattern, or whatever I am currently knitting..I don't ever lose my place, because with a tap, the cursor is at where I am at...if I have to turn it off, I can mark my spot with an symbol and easily pick up where I left off and erase the symbol. Since my palm goes where I go, and it takes a 2gig sd card,  I have loaded it with lots (and lots) of patterns that I have been meaning to try at my disposal (it has a search built in that will pull up exactly what you are looking for in seconds. This is an instant on, instant off sort of thing, no booting involved, so you can slap it open like a book and start knitting, toss it back in your bag when you get interrupted...have yarn, have needles, have palm, will travel!

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  • Second, it really has done what I had hoped, it has helped me design. I have a draw program installed, and I can sketch out ideas for vests or socks or color patterns, etc, sync them up and refine them later. I can knit on the road and write patterns as I knit and not fear losing little scraps of paper with important gauge notes or row counts on them, because everything is all in one place..amazing!

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  • Back in daily life, as a flexible calendar/agenda it helps me keep track of what I am supposed to be doing during each day. I can set alarms for going to the post office in time, starting the rice, whatever, In the evenings, I look it over, and can rollover things I didn't get to, delete things I must have been nuts to think I could accomplish, and make plans for a better day for tommorow, all in a little black box the size of a deck of cards that lives in my purse/knitting bag that I can't lose, because I have little sweet ignorable alarms set to go off daily that help me find it (and my purse and car keys) if I misplace it.
  • It acts as an amazing, flexible goup of shopping lists, post it notes and little reminders...I have shopping lists for stuff that must be gotten today(!) like dog food, stuff to get when I go the "big city" that cant be gotten around here, and a lust list (that, no surprise, is made up of yarns, and seeds and tree seedlings)
  • Another thing it does that  I didn't count on,  it has been a great garden/climate diary..when I made little notes in the calendar the two years previous about planting this or that, or soaking those or these seeds, or seeing this or that bird, I didn't realize that the next, and the next, year they would show up on that date as a reminder and a comparison of the weather and seasons.
  • Recipes! I cook from it too, and store a database of my current garden seeds, successes, failures, etc.