Saturday, October 03, 2009

Just Fool Enough to Try One More Time

I am going to try to support this blog on my own again. May the spammers, hackers, and viruses stay away from DanToday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A List of Minimalist Text Editors

This list of Minimalist Text Editors was originally compiled by Jeff , author of DarkRoom.

A List of Minimalist Text Editors

Dark Room X

JDark Room









Sunday, September 27, 2009


I am trying to write a series of sentences, none of which begin with "I".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Etherpad Embeddable

Etherpad tells of new developments: a "time slider" on every pad and the option to embed Etherpads in other web pages.

Darkroom Preview Release

The minimalist text editor "Darkroom" has a new preview release. It now runs on AIR.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The President Tweets

The President has tweeted.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Merlin Mann Says, "Get Started!"

I enjoyed listening to this talk about overcoming procrastination, delivered by Merlin Mann.

I heard it on "The Sound of Young America" podcast.

It motivated me to write this post!


". . . we could see a whole new form of blogging really soon."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Overstock. com: Waiting to See

I just bought an (impressively) inexpensive item from We'll see if good stuff comes our way.
Here's your chance to wow us with value and savings, Hope you come through.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

My One and Onlies

It's sad that some of the best coffee I drink comes from quirky, serendipitous blends I'll never drink again.
This morning I drank a delectable blend, 75% of which consisted of Gene Hicks "Good Morning" blend, with the other 25% made up of Whole Foods "365" Colombian and a smattering of Tanzanian Peaberry from White Rock Coffee.
It was an unrepeatable blend, like a David Antin talk piece.
I doubt I'll ever taste its like again.

test 3

test 3

Another Test Post

Test Post.

PubSubHubBub Test Post

Test Post.

Update: Test post.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Little to Work With

Composition Assignment:

Provide some content and challenge students to arrange it in a way that gives the content a narrative or argumentative shape, and to do some original writing to fill in the gaps.

Assign the use of particular rhetorical devices.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Illustrator Richard Bell in New Video

British nature illustrator Richard Bell, creator of the Wild West Yorkshire illustrated nature diary, is featured in a video recently uploaded to YouTube by New York artist Danny Gregory.

The video has two parts: part 1 | part 2

Sunday, August 02, 2009

GPACW 2009

The Annual Conference of the Great Plains Association for Computers and Writing has posted its call for papers.

This year the conference will be hosted by St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quiet, Please! (Part II)

I am again in the Belfast Free Library. Mercifully, no work is being done on the road outside, and the noises that filled the great reading room on Tuesday have gone. Today, however, I have been joined at my long wooden table by a man with a penchant for pornographic videos and not a clue as to how to mute his netbook.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quiet, Please!

Some kind of construction work is being done on the street near the public library in Belfast, Maine, where I am trying to get some work done. This is what it sounds like in th Belfast Pubic Library right now.


Working with great intensity but to little positive effect. Frustrating!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Online Text to Speech

To save my eyes, I found two online text-to-speech applications that work well, without limiting the length of text one enters to be read:

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Hunch: the most personalized of searches.

Thursday, July 02, 2009 3.1 = Improved Graphics

OpenOffice.Org 3.1 features anti-aliased graphics.

FriendFeed Real Time Search

FriendFeed search goes real time today.

My Writing Page Gets a Face Lift

The old design having gotten too complicated, today I revised my web page for writing.

The new design is better. It is based on a streamlined writing process which still embodies the fundamental moves of my approach to thinking and writing, an approach that is marked by association and iteration.

The new writing page has two columns (it used to have three). The left column is for drafting. The right column serves three purposes: timing, outlining, and publishing.

The contents of the left column are simple: just a textarea formatted so as not to be too wide. The textarea appears inside an iframe which comes in handy later, in connection with publication links in the right column.

At this point, the column on the right contains a timer, a narrow textarea for outlining (and by outlining I mean just an informal list of words), and a list of links to web based word processors that open in the iframe on the left.

The process I follow when writing is simple. It is built on the kind of trust in the power of association of which William Stafford, Ray Bradbury, and other writers have written. With nothing or just a little something in mind to write, I set the timer for five minutes and write spontaneously and improvisationally in the textarea on the left for that time. When the time is up, I look over what I've written and type, in the narrow textarea on the right, a list of words suggested to my mind by the writing I've done on the left. Next, I delete what I've written on the left and begin again, this time following and riffing on the word list. This generally gives me a pretty good draft of some writing to share.

The links to publishing portals that appear below the narrow textarea on the right may be superfluous. I'm not sure. In any case, they open Zoho Writer, Buzzword, or Blogger within the iframe on the left. Buzzword and Blogger work better than Zoho Writer, which doesn't like to open in the iframe right away. To get Zoho Writer to open, you have to scroll around a little to login, then click the Zoho Writer logo in the upper left hand corner of the login page (you only have to go to this trouble to log in, however; after that - during the same session - the app opens fine with one click of the link). Buzzword and Blogger work better. Transfering text from textarea to publishing portal is simply a matter of copy-and-paste.

To prevent data loss due to a browser crash, I use Firefox with Greasemonkey and the textarea backup script installed.

I have added a bookmark to a locally stored version of my writing page to my browser's bookmarks toolbar. That way, if I feel like writing something, I can easily open the page in a tab with one click.

And that's my writing page at this iteration.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's A Tweet?

A Tweet is a chip off the old blog.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nice Map!

I had not noticed this graphical weather map from the National Weather Service until today. I like it a lot.

In Appreciation: Traffic Cams

I was about to leave the house (in a car) to go for some sandwiches seven miles away. Seven highway miles away.
"Are you sure you want to do that at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon?" asks the spouse.
"It's summer," says I. "Everyone's already home."
"Really?" says she.

Well, apparently not everyone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Directed Research Groups

I like this phrase: "Directed Research Groups". It suggests the kind of student activity I think works very well in online learning environments.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Google Chrome Experiments


be a lot more honest

about the observations
about the details
about the issues
about the doubts
and about the thoughts



What makes our current extra-hot weather even worse is that it looks so nice through the window.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all fathers!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Aviary's Talon: A Seriously Convenient Screen Capture Tool

Aviary, a startup that has developed and hosts a startling complement of browser-based image editing tools, now has launched Talon, a Firefox browser extension that lets one capture a screenshot of an entire web page, no matter how much of that page appears outside of the browser window. Now that is a serious convenience.

Update: I also like Pixlr. I prefer Pixlr's tools for drawing on the computer screen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Originally uploaded by djweinstein
Cricket finds an object worthy of attention on the roof outside my study window.

How to Install a WordPress Blog on a Hosting Account

Follow these instructions to install Wordpress to your nearlyfreespeech hosting account.

First, Download Wordpress to Your Desktop.

Once you have downloaded Wordpress, follow these steps (on a Windows PC) to unzip the folder that contains the Wordpress program files:

  1. right click on zipped folder icon

  2. open with > compressed (zipped) folders

  3. When window opens . . .

  4. file > extract to your desktop >

  5. complete the wizard

  6. this should give you a Wordpress2.8 folder, and inside that, a "wordpress" folder, on your desktop
  7. Make sure you have fully extracted the WordPress folder to your desktop.

Next, open the wordpress folder. Inside the wordpress folder, open the file named wp-config-sample.php. In a little while, you will edit the MySQL settings in wp-config-sample.php to match those of the database you will set up for your blog. But first, follow these steps to set up a database for your blog:

  1. Log in to

  2. Go to your dashboard (the web page you see immediately after you log in to the portal)

  3. Create a new web site (click "Create New Site" link in right side bar)

  4. enter a short name for your site (example: moretolearn)

  5. the host will append to the short name you enter

  6. approve the url they give you

  7. copy the FTP information for your site into a text file and save it; you'll need it later

  8. Create a Database for your blog

  9. Click the MySQL tab in your dashboard

  10. Click the "create a new MySQL process" link in the right side bar

  11. Name the process (you can call it "blog" or "wordpress")

  12. Associate the process with your account

  13. You will receive an email when your MySQL process is running

  14. On your MySQL page, click on the DSN (Data Source Name) of your process

  15. In the right side bar, click "Create a Database"

  16. Name the new database (you can call it "blog" or "wordpress", too). Save changes.

  17. Click "View MySQL Information" in right side bar. Keep that view in the browser as you switch your attention, for a moment, to your text editing program.

  18. Go into the WordPress folder on your desktop, and open wp-config-sample.php file in your text editor

  19. Edit the lower case text between the single quotes on the following lines:

  20. define('DB_NAME', 'putyourdbnamehere'); // The name of the database

  21. define('DB_USER', 'usernamehere'); // Your MySQL username

  22. define('DB_PASSWORD', 'yourpasswordhere'); // ...and password

  23. define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

  24. After DB_NAME replace 'putyourdbnamehere' with the name of your database

  25. After DB_USER replace 'usernamehere' with your nearlyfreespeech username (not your website username which is yournearlyfreespeechusername_yoursiteshortname)

  26. After DB_PASSWORD replace 'yourpasswordhere' with your nearlyfreespeech password (you only have one of those)

  27. After DB_HOST replace 'localhost' with the name of your nearlyfreespeech MySQL process (DSN)

  28. Save wp-config-sample.php in the Wordpress folder on your desktop

  29. Rename wp-config-sample.php so its name is wp-config.php

Now it's time to upload your Wordpress folder to the public folder of your web site To do this, you will need to get yourself an FTP client. For our purposes, please download and install Filezilla. Once Filezilla has been installed on your PC, follow these steps to set up communication between Filezilla and your nearlyfreespeech account:

  1. From Filezilla's toolbar, select Open File > Site Manager

  2. Click the New Site button

  3. Enter a reference name for your web site

  4. Set logon type to "normal"

  5. Enter the FTP information of your web site. You will find this information on the web page for your site ( > member login > sites (tab) > click-the-short-name-of-your-site)

  6. The hostname is likely

  7. The username is yournearlyfreespeechusername_yoursiteshortname

  8. example: honeyofano_honeysite

  9. The password is your nearlyfreespeech password

  10. Save these settings by clicking "OK"

  11. Connect to your site

Now, transfer the wordpress folder (not the Wordpress2.8 folder, but the wordpress folder that's inside it) from your desktop into your public folder (drag and drop the folder from the left side window that displays your desktop files to the right side window which displays the public folder of your nearlyfreespeech web site).
Once this transfer is complete, install Wordpress by navigating your web browser to, and, in the form that will meet you, entering the title of your blog (for example, I've titled my blog "web2blog"), your email address, and clicking the "Install Wordpress" button.

Next, Wordpress will give you a password. Don't lose it. Paste it into a text file and save it. Then log in to your blog using "admin" as your username and the password Wordpress has created for you. You will be able to change your password and create new user profiles once you have logged in to your blog.

Lastly, publish your first post. Tell everyone hello. Then send your instructor the URL of your weblog: Your instructor will create a reading list of class blogs for you to graze.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A New Assignment for Web II

For Web II, a new assignment to begin: use Exhibit to create a dynamic discussion displayed in a timeline. Then, use the exhibit as class worklog.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Web Everywhere

". . . the web isn’t just this thing on the side that only appears in browsers. It’s everywhere. It’s the oxygen of modern computing."
Brent Simmons

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I am now using Pidgin for chat.

Can't NOT Write

My goal is to design a research and writing environment that makes it impossible for one NOT to write.