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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (regency cards)
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 02:41 pm

It seems posting about events I'll be attending has the positive effect that friends of mine frequently decide to join me. Accordingly, I'm going to try to occasionally post information about upcoming events I'm planning to attend.

You can always contact me about any of these for further information; for some I don't have information or links on hand to provide.

October 31st, Albany NY, Fall Frolic [SCD] ($50, Students $25)

The Albany-area Scottish Country Dance group hosts an annual ball in late October. Always lots of fun and good dancing, I try to attend every year. On Halloween this year, which means costumes! No costume requirement I'm aware of. More information in the PDF flyer, including instructions for all the dances, 'cause SCD folks are cool like that.

December 13th, Rehoboth, MA (near Providence, RI), Jane Austen's Birthday Tea Dance [Regency]

Afternoon Regency Tea Dance, period day dress encouraged but not required. I'll probably post about this again when I have more detail.

December 19th, Salem, MA, Fezziwig Ball [Civil War?]

This is being hosted by CVD, and I don't yet have very complete details on the event. Evening event to be preceded by a lantern-light promenade in Salem. Period dress encouraged but not required: period being anytime during the life of Charles Dickens [1817-1870]. Dance likely to be primarly Civil War-era, but that's a guess.

I may not be able to attend this one, as mid and late 19th Century dance features a lot of couple dancing that's very hard on my right forearm. These are interspersed with set dances and quadrilles danced in the stately walking style.

February 21st, Cambridge, MA, Tea Dance [Regency]

I'll definitely be attending the Regency Tea Dance. Also worth mentioning is the rest of the Vintage Tea Dance series--I'm sure I'll be attending some of them, although as they're mostly Victorian, my arm may again limit my participation this year. These are great, fun events, though; I encourage people to go without me. These are Third Sunday afternoons through April.

Alternate Fridays, Salem, MA, Vintage Dance [19th Century]

Fun, beginner friendly, low emphasis on costume evening of dancing in Old Salem Town Hall. I get up there occasionally when my free Fridays coincide with the event, especially if I have someone to drive up with. However, again, with my stepping back from couple dancing I haven't been up as much recently.

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marcmagus: (regexp)
Friday, May 29th, 2009 11:49 pm

I've spent some time this evening checking out the combination of remind and wyrd (a front-end to remind). This may possibly be the calendar tool I've been looking for:

  • Calendars stored in a human-readable (or at least programmer-readable) text format.
  • Use of include functionality means calendaring can be modular.
  • remind is a command-line tool, and wyrd is designed for keyboard-and-terminal.
  • Designed to work with pipelines at either end of the process to take advantage of other tools in the finest Unix tradition.
  • Ships with functionality to make a printable calendar via rem -p | rem2ps
  • Integrated support for denoting the time-of-day an event occurs and its duration.
  • Very powerful and expressive language for describing when an event occurs; they're really not kidding with this one.
    • Regular exceptions to a regularly scheduled event due to holidays are easy to specify.
    • Irregular exceptions because the guy who organizes the event decided to hold it a different night this week are a little hairier, but still quite doable.
  • Can be configured to colorize output in manually specified or semi-automated ways fairly easily, and to only do so where it's appropriate.

I've been using Google's Calendar for the last while, but I wasn't really happy with it. It was an improvement over the other things I'd been playing with, I guess, but it has some major flaws:

  • Web Applications are laggy! There shouldn't be a detectable pause when I move to the next week/month/year/whatever for a simple calendar application.
  • Keyboard support exists, but is pretty basic. It's not all that easy to quickly enter a new event without using the mouse.
  • I have to give Google my potentially sensitive data.
  • I can't see my calendar without an Internet connection, unless I install a bunch of extra stuff.

The new setup doesn't allow sharing, which . . . I don't use all that much anyway. There's an iCal importer (which kinda sucks), though, so I should be able to use it to see other people's calendars in iCal [including at Google], and, well, if I really want to share my calendar, the biggest obstacle is that there are things remind can express that iCal can't.

Definitely on the "to check out" list is getting that print calendar generating process hooked into a pocketmod generating process. Should be fairly straightforward. Would be easier with metric paper; Letter doesn't divide as cleanly into eighths as A4.

Also need to pick an approach for synchronizing with haversack, for additional calendar-without-Internet capability.

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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Monday, February 18th, 2008 02:34 pm

I think I'm in search of a new calendaring application. gcal, while great, doesn't seem to support the features I really want (or needs a front-end I haven't yet discovered to do so). Here's my feature wishlist:

  • Lets me store my data on my own computer. A tool which requires that I give some vendor all my data will lose points. A tool which does so and also doesn't allow me an easy way to replicate that data locally so I still have access to it in the event of connectivity issues (or the provider disappearing) will lose even more points.
  • Is easily usable from the command-line within a terminal window for basic functionality. This includes both displaying the calendar in reasonable views and adding events to the calendar. For the latter, editing a file is acceptable as long as it's easy.
  • Makes it easy to interrogate the calendar for things like "what do I have going on today/this week/this month/the second weekend in April/etc.?" and "When is that Passover thing happening again, anyway?"
  • Does all the work of including holidays I might care about.
  • Makes it easy to dump all of my data into it, but doesn't clutter its UI so much that I can't tell what's going on after I've done so. Should be able to easily visually distinguish the importance of the most important thing going on during a given time-period (day/hour/whatever).
  • That means the UI needs to be able to know what my definitions of importance are.
  • Should have support for existing open standards for calendaring, because this might be useful down the road (say for sending events to other people).
  • In an ideal world, has a web-enabled front-end with access controls (or just one which is read-only). This should allow me to easily (ideally without any intervention at all) share my schedule with my friends. My schedule is busy enough with interesting stuff that for some reason it seems to me that there are people who'd be interested in seeing what I'm doing just to know about stuff that's going on. (This UI should also, at a minimum, be able to filter on some sense of importance so people aren't confronted with boring minutiae.)
  • Again, it must be sufficiently usable that I will actually use it. Usable is here defined as requiring a minimum of effort for tasks I want to perform while allowing me to perform any task I reasonably want to. In particular, I have to bother to enter every event into it as I become aware of the event, and I have to bother to check the calendar regularly.
  • A bonus feature might be allowing others to enter (provisional) events for me. This could work with the open standard support mentioned above.

Any suggestions? Just as Hiveminder has been great for helping me dump tasks I want to do someday somewhere central and not have to worry about forgetting about them indefinitely (and is also handy for things I need to do more immediately), I'd like something which helps me keep track of what I've promised to/hope to do when so I'm aware of potential conflicts sooner.

(Incidentally, hm fails the not requiring me to give someone else my data test. This is something I forgive them for partly because they apologize for it. If I find something which gives all the functionality I use without that requirement, I might switch to it.)

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