Back from the Dead
…so to speak.
School is off to a roaring start. I’ve picked up a second research job that I’m very happy about, doing a combination of research into global administrative law and european legal philosophy and translation work from German to English. I’m a bit nervous about that piece, as I’ve never had translation training (though I’ve done a bit anyway). I checked out a book from the library on German-English translation method and am working my way through it. Classes are fine, and in fact the least of my worries. The journal is very much in full swing, and probably the hardest part of the semester to which I must adjust. We’ll see how it goes. I’m also nearly done applying for the Human Rights Watch fellowship. If you have fingers and toes spare, please cross them for me!
Today, I don’t have anything particularly intelligent to talk about, but I’d like to tell you about a couple of pieces of software I’m playing with. I’ve been using Sidenote for a while to keep my to-do list. Aside from the one devestating crash, which got me backing up much more frequently, I really like it. It’s a program for Mac OSX Leopard that hides off to the side of the screen and is invisible, but whenever you want it, you just scroll over and it pops up. It’s a decent little text editor, and you can have multiple files, so I have a general to-do and also a separate file for writing ideas. I’ve also had a little break from Suite, but those ideas are piling up so I hope to get back to it soon.
The second to-do type program I’m playing with is something called iProcrastinate, available for both Tiger and Leopard. It’s similar to Schoolhouse, whose interface I love, but Schoolhouse crashes extremely frequently, and I just can’t have that. iProcrastinate has fewer features, but it has the basics that I need – you can set up color-coded classes (or other categories; I have some for my jobs and the journal), add assignments for each class with due dates and priority, and create steps within larger tasks. It doesn’t have smart “playlist” style sorting like Schoolhouse (so you can’t, for example, say “show me everything due next week”) but that feature is useless if the program crashes everytime you enter something new. I also like that iProcrastinate has manual saving. Though my to-do list plan works well for me in general, it isn’t much of a big-picture (I tend to look only at today). With iProcrastinate, I hope to get a better idea of the big picture, and then use that to plan each day’s individual tasks out based on what’s coming up. I’m waffling about whether to use it on the laptop or the desktop, though. Since my Bluetooth inexplicably stopped working, I can’t synch the two anymore without a bit of a pain. Sidenote only works on the desktop, so it would be nice to have something that tells me what’s going on when I’m at school, but I also don’t like having to have two computers on at once. Meh.
Finally a quick note on iTunes 8.0. I heard bad things about the Genius feature, but my first attempt with it was pretty awesome. It took about 15 minutes to find all my music, and then I tried a playlist based on “Sons and Daughters.” The review I’d read said that you pretty much had to do pop music or it would find weird matches, but my guess is that either so many people turned the feature on in the past few days that the feature has improved immeasurably since the review was written, or that it just happens to respond well because I have so much similar music on my harddrive. The playlist it gave me includes artists like Andrew Bird, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sufjan Stevens, the New Pornographers, and Belle & Sebastien. “The Flow,” as my mix CD genius of a friend Emily used to call it, is quite good.