many things

I feel like things have gotten a little out of control lately.  I’ve been letting non-essential paperwork pile up at home. (Still paying all the bills on time, of course.) And there have been various minor irritants in my life that are making me a bit cranky and jumpy.  (For instance, the nighttime Main St. repaving project that’s been going on right outside my window, and the daytime parking lot repaving project that’s made it hard to find a place to park after work, and other stuff like that.)
I’ve been working this week a bit on “clearing the decks,” to the extent that I can.  I’ve got my old NMS 401(k) rolled over into Merrill Lynch. (That’s a long story that I won’t go into here.) I’m getting my GMail inbox under control (with the help of Other Inbox). And I think I’m about ready for both my NYU iOS dev class, which starts next month, and NYCC, which takes place next month.
I’ve been slacking off on keeping up with my GTD lists, which I generally keep in Backpack, but I think I’m getting them in shape now.
So, I guess I’m doing OK.  I still kind of feel like I need to go on some kind of zen retreat for a few days and find my center. Or something like that. (I should mention that the link above was just found with a quick Google search.  I have no idea if it represents a genuine, legitimate Zen Buddhist organization. Looks legit, though, right?)

Other Inbox

I signed up for Other Inbox today. I’ve been having trouble keeping my GMail inbox organized. I was up to about 500 messages in there last week.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve gotten it down to “inbox zero.” I got it down to about 250 over the weekend, but that’s still too much.

Other Inbox started scanning my account a couple of hours ago.  It seems to have gotten stuck at message #157 for some reason. It has moved a bunch of stuff to folders already though. We’ll see if it ever actually finishes.

One thing I wish I could change with it is the name of the root folder it uses.  It puts everything under a folder named “OIB.” Since the folder list in GMail sorts alphabetically, “OIB” is way down there. I wish I could rename it to “!OIB” or something.

accessing an IMAP account from .Net

I’ve been working lately on a couple of programs that need to access IMAP e-mail accounts. First, if you need to do this in .Net, MailSystem.NET is a good open source library.  I’ve had a few problems with parts of it, but the basic functionality is solid.

Figuring out how to test and troubleshoot a program that’s reading messages and moving them around in an e-mail account can be a little tricky.  First, it’s useful to know how to do IMAP stuff at a low level.  This page has a great overview of how to access an IMAP account directly over telnet. And, if you want to copy the contents of one IMAP account to another, so you can have an account to test against, then imapsync is a very good thing.

One other random helpful hint: I’m working with both GMail and 1&1 IMAP accounts.  I’ve found that there are some unexpected differences between them.  For instance, GMail generally returns a message containing the word “Success” when a command is successful.  1&1 returns a completely different message, so you need to be careful about what you’re looking for in a response string.

Blogger shenanigans

Hmm, the bit of code I’ve been using to generate a tag cloud stopped working for a bit, then just started working again. Maybe it’s time to review that code and rewrite it.  I know a lot more about JavaScript (and jQuery) now than I did when I took that code from someone’s blog, tweaked it a bit, and pasted it into my template.

Buster Keaton

I went into NYC today and saw The General at Film Forum, as part of their all-day Buster Keaton marathon. I would have liked to have seen one or two more films while I was there, but I didn’t want to stay in the city all day. I first became a fan of Buster Keaton when I was in college, a long time ago. I haven’t managed to see more than two or three of his films though.  I really need to rectify that. I think I should try to find time to watch Sherlock Jr. soon.


I went into New York yesterday, and did a few semi-interesting things. First, I went to the building where my NYU iOS dev class will (likely) be held. I wanted to do a dry run before the class actually starts, so I’d know where it was and how long it would take to get there. While i was in the neighborhood, I stopped at Strand Books and Forbidden Planet. I picked up one book at Strand, but managed to somehow leave Forbidden Planet without spending any money. Then, I took the subway from Union Square to Grand Central, and wandered around there for a while. I stopped at the Lexington Ave Midtown Comics location. This time, I did not succeed in leaving without spending any money, though I only bought a few new comics.

After that, I walked to MoMA and hung out there for a while. I would have stayed longer, but a pigeon used me for target practice while I was in the sculpture garden. (I just got a bit on my shirt sleeve, which I managed to wash off in the bathroom, so it wasn’t really that bad.) There’s a joke in here somewhere, involving this Jackson Pollock painting, but it’s too obvious.

I held up pretty well through a day that involved a lot of walking around in hot weather, but I started feeling it on the way home.  I had some back pain last night and didn’t sleep well.  But I’m feeling better this morning and will likely try to do a bit of walking around today too.