Friday, June 17, 2005

iCal hack to print events

Originally posted: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 19:13:47

NOTE: This hack is no longer available due to subsequent changes in how iCal stores files -- I never got around to recoding the script, and now the original files are lost in the mists of time.

One reason I've been trying out different pieces of software for time management is that iCal doesn't have a way to print a list of events. You can print out calendars by day, week, and month, but you can't print out the tabular list that you get from doing an incremental search. That's too bad -- it's not a hard piece of functionality to implement, and it's tremendously useful.

When I ran across an article on how to use Ruby to print iCal events, then, I was interested. Especially since the hack allows a lot of latitude in formatting. The original hack prints out today's and tomorrow's events from all calendars to text columns on the terminal. I'm more interested in multiday projects in a nicer format. So I spent a few hours teaching myself Ruby and came up with this:

The HTML file gets generated through a modified Ruby script (attached: projects.rb) whose output is piped into an HTML file (attached: The HTML file (attached: projects.html) is formatted with some basic CSS (attached: projects.css).

To try this out:

1. Download Ruby and install it.

2. Download all the files below. Save them to the Desktop or whatever folder you like, as long as they're in the same folder.

3. Open the Terminal and navigate to the folder.

4. Type: "chmod +x"

5. Open iCal, create a calendar called "projects", and enter some events. Close iCal.

6. From the Terminal, type "./".

7. In your web browser, navigate to the directory and open "projects.html". Your events should be in there.

The Ruby code is ugly as can be, and large chunks don't do anything. And it's hard-coded to produce exactly the output I want. If anyone wants to undertake some cleanup and revision, please be my guest!


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Originally posted: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 19:38:03

I just finished re-skimming John Law's Aircraft Stories, which connects actor-network theory (or at least this postvariant) pretty firmly to Deleuze and Guattari's work. Based on that reading, I picked up Deleuze and Parnet's Dialogues, which weighs in at only about a hundred pages. Maybe I can finish it this weekend. First, though, I have to finish Law's Organizing Modernity; this one has some bright spots, though Law spends an awful lot of time talking about himself rather than his research site. (This is legitimized by invoking "reflexivity.") I've also picked up Marc Berg's Rationalizing Medical Work, which should be interesting given Berg's involvement in the CHAT community. >

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(Reading Roundup: The Lightning Round)

Originally posted: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 18:10:47

I've read so many articles in the last few days that I don't have time to review them as thoroughly as usual. So here's a list of the articles and a couple of points on each.

Sheller, M. (2004). Mobile publics: beyond the network perspective. Environment and Planning, 22:39?52.

Embraces ANT's relationist materialism, but suggests that its metaphor of network is too limiting: "this metaphor of social networks is now being outmoded by the very processes of mobilisation of people, objects, and information enabled by the new communication technologies" (p.46). Instead, nominates the term "gel": "whereas a network implies clean nodes and ties, then, a gel is suggestive of the softer, more blurred boundaries of social interaction" (p.47). As in mainstream ANT, actors are network effects: "new 'persons' and 'places' are constantly emerging out of the social gel itself" (p.50). Has a terrific example of how phone networks enable new connections (p.49), which leads to a linking between ANT and new economy thought.

Callon, M. and Rabeharisoa (2003). Research "in the wild" and the shaping of social identities. Technology in Society, 25:193?204.

More linking on ANT and new economy:

Briefly, even if there are multiple markets and they are organized in different ways, all now share a common feature: users or consumers who take an ever greater role in defining demand, that is, in the conception of the products being offered to them" (p.194)

And a rare discussion of expertise in ANT:

As Harry Collins put it in a recent review, it is a mistake to jump from a critique of Western science to arguing for the abolition of the notion of expertise [20]. We would add that it is also a mistake to deny the existence of lay knowledge.

The AFM experience takes us even further in the adoption of a symmetrical point of view. It shows, first, that these types of knowledge are not contradictory but complementary, for ?when science is applied without taking local knowledge into account, it is often the poorer for it,>

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