Archive for October, 2006

Syncing Google Calendar With Everything

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

I have a lot of devices that I’d like to keep the same calendar in sync on: Two phones, an iPaq, my work PC, my home PC and Google Calendar. The smartphone and iPaq played nicely with outlook but there was some “glue” needed to get my Sony Ericsson phone and Google Calendar in on it.

The “glue” is a few pieces of software I found recently. First of all, to sync my Sony Ericsson with GCal I use GCalSync over GPRS, then to sync GCal with Outlook I can use either Companionlink for Google Calendar (a little buggy, doesn’t auto-update, not free) or RemoteCalendars which is Open Source and very flexible. A no brainer which one I picked, really.

More info on using RemoteCalendars with Google Calendars on

Essential TV Viewing

Friday, October 27th, 2006

If there’s anything good about Summer ending and Autumn and Winter rolling in it’s a new season of TV the world over. In the UK some shows have already had an entire new series and in the US they’re just warming up.

Here’s what I’ve been watching:

Dexter. A forensics expert who is also a serial killer. Sounds naff, actually really good.
Everybody Hates Chris season 2. Same as the last season, hasn’t lost its charm yet
Family Guy season 6. Unlike the Simpsons, this just gets better and better. Currently on episode 3
Heroes. A new favourite of mine. This series follows the lives of ordinary people as they discover they have super powers. Brilliant characters, compelling plot.
My Name Is Earl series 2. Proper feel-good, laugh-out-loud stuff
Robot Chicken series 2. Pop culture gags animated with action figures with plenty of ultraviolence.
Freak Show A new surrealist cartoon from David Cross about the most ineffective superhero team in the world
The Mitchell and Webb Look Sighs all round as Mitchell and Webb transition their show seamlessly from Radio 4 to TV. Not a bad miss at all.
Extras series 2. Trailed off and got a bit formulaic and then pulled it all back for a brilliant last episode
Lead Balloon. New comedy from Jack Dee who is basically playing himself. Same sort of uncomfortable deadpan humour as Curb Your Enthusiasm and Extras. Great stuff.

Managing podcasts with, Visiting sites l8ter

Friday, October 6th, 2006

I found a neat little site drift past on the popular links feed: It’s a simple idea – you enter your email address and the URL of a site that is currently being DDoS’d by Slashdot or Digg and it emails you back when it’s popped onto the internet again.

I thought this would be really cool if there was a Firefox feed or Javascript bookmarklet for it so you could just hit a button when you see an error 500. A few emails with the creator, John and he’s added a bookmarklet to the confirm page. Kudos!

File this under hacks: As you might guess I use my own PHP script, Automated Serendipity to aggregate all my podcast feeds. This squirts them onto the end of my current Winamp playlist. I’ve been using it this way for a little over a year, but now I’m using to manage all my feeds. My podcast feeds (and MP3 blogs) are all tagged with “podcast feeds” so all that’s required is a quick bit of PHP to drop it down into the flat file format the my script expects et voila, I now manage my podcast subscriptions by adding them to, giving me one centralised base to refer to.

If you want the PHP to drop a page into flat text, you’ll want this zip. It’s got a little hack in there to extend the number of records to 100 as the RSS feed limit is 40 and the page limit default is around 25 (I think).

Some handy vim key mappings

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

This has just saved me a whole load of keystrokes on some very dull HTML marking up of content pasted into vim from a Word document. I’ll post it here in case anyone else finds it useful:

:map <F2> 0i<p><CR> <Esc>$a<CR></p><Esc>
:map <F3> 0i <li><Esc>$a</li><Esc>
:map <F4> 0i<ul><CR><Esc>
:map <F5> $a<CR></ul><Esc>
:map <F6> 0i<CR><h4><Esc>$a</h4><Esc>
:map <F7> 0i<ol><CR><Esc>
:map <F8> $a<CR></ol><Esc>
:map <F9> 0i<blockquote><CR> <Esc>$a<CR></blockquote><Esc>
:map <F11> bi<strong><Esc>ea</strong><Esc>
:map <F12> :%s/^• \(.*\)$/ <li>\1<\/li>/ge<CR>:%s/^[0-9]\+\. \(.*\)$/ <li>\1<\/li>/ge<CR>:%s/…/\.\.\./ge<CR>

Either run each one of these commands or paste the whole lot into the end of your vimrc file. This will map all the F-keys as follows:

F2 – Wrap line in paragraph tags
F3 – Wrap line in list item tags
F4 – insert unordered list tag before current line
F5 – Insert unordered list close tag after current line
F6 – Insert a new line, then wrap current line in header 4 tags
F7 – Insert ordered list tag before current line
F8 – Insert ordered list close tag after current line
F9 – Wrap current line in blockquotes and indent
F11 – Wrap current word in strong tags
F12 – Perform the following substitutions:
– bullet points into list items
– numbered lists into list items
– Word elipsis character into 3 full stops

Have some useful links on vim to go with that:
And my bookmarks tagged vi