LinkedIn group Cooperation Among Cooperatives’ name says it all — ACCA

Some canadian guy interviewed me about the LinkedIn group i started over 7 years ago. Then he wrote an article about it….

‘If it’s actually fostering co-operation among co-ops, then I say mission accomplished,’ says Joel Brock


Via Alberta Community and Co-operative Assn. : LinkedIn group Cooperation Among Cooperatives’ name says it all — ACCA

Declaration of Internet Freedom

Declaration of Internet Freedom

Declaration of Internet Freedom – Signed.  Also, check me out:


The brilliant intersection of infographics and really crappy MS Paint art

Graphs – The brilliant intersection of infographics and really crappy MS Paint art.  From the creator:

I have rules for my creative proses. (sic)
#1-Only trackpad (No mice)
#2-No take backs (If it’s not right then I just make it work as best I can)
#3-Use graphing for good (Not evil)

Reward Volunteers® — A volunteering app for iPhone and web

reward volunteersReward Volunteers® — A volunteering app for iPhone and web – An iphone app by Cabot Cooperative Creamery that lets volunteers keep track of their labor for the org.s they volunteer for, as well as letting the org.s manage their volunteers’ time.

Here’s a screenshot: rewardvolunteers

Pretty nifty concept!  Love seeing solutions that work for lot of different co-ops.

[iTunes link]

Graceful solution of the day

graceful solutionsSo today i was looking for a good-sized chunk of available disk space on one of my 5 hard drives.  I found a folder with random things and i could-not-for-the-life-of-me remember what all that stuff was doing there.  Finally i found an outdated backup script that was still running, and removed it, whew, problem solved.  To prevent future confusion i’ve come up with this very effective and insultingly simple approach to adding notes to random drives/folders, etc.

To do this yourself simply created a new folder ( cmd + shift + n ) and name it “_THIS SPACE  IS FOR _____”   The preceding underscore ensures that your new “label” stays at the TOP of any listing.  For added fun, give it a color label (right click the new folder).

Your iPhone is following you, no one is watching

Yup, it’s true.  Wouldn’ta believed it if i hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

This map is generated from a database file stored in a backup of my iPhone.  This is everywhere i’ve been in the NW Oregon/SW Washington since 9/22/10.

O, but don’t worry, nobody is actually looking at this data, it’s just piling up on your phone, all the time.   Unless you live in Michigan.

Read more about this matter or generate your own pretty/creepy map of your whereabouts at the iPhoneTracker website.


UPDATE:  the jailbreak community has beat Apple to the patch.  untrackerd will clear any old location data stored on your iPhone.  Requires no user interaction, just install it and it runs in the background.  Unless you LIKE being watched…  I know thats a thing for some people.

Some GrEaT productivity resources

gmail-blackbeltAre You a Gmail ninja? – An assortment of common and less-common Gmail tips, hacks, labs features, and smart suggestions for managing your Gmail world.  Organized into skill levels from white belt to Gmail master, this is a really dang comprehensive resource for Gmail users and power-user hopefuls.

I’d also encourage you to try out Priority Inbox as well, for a hyper-intelligently filtered list of your email, showing you what’s important and seperating out the signal form the noise.




inbox-imgTop 10 Productivity Basics Explained – Kevin Purdy of compiles a top 10 of some of the most tried and true productivity hacks.  This is a great introduction into several far more complicated techniques, but only if you want to get that deep.  The rabbit hole only goes as deep as you want it to go.




HARVEST – The single best business expense i’ve made has been my subscription to Harvests time-tracking and invoicing web app.  I use Harvest to log ALL my time spent working, coding by client and project as i go.  Then, when it comes time to invoice the client, a couple clicks generates a professional-looking invoice, and a couple more to send the invoice off to the client, No paper, no postage.  They include an option to receive Paypal payments on your invoices, if you’re into that.

Harvest has also recently gotten off their duffs and released an official iPhone app that is just a delight to use!  The old un-official app never quite synced right, so i would end up with timers running overnight.  If only those were billable hours….

Another productivity tool that has become more and more useful is


Dropbox – Too lazy to reach into your pocket to pull out your flash drive?  Then you need Dropbox!

This little Swiss army knife is little more than a secure, personal, 2GB flash drive that lives on the net.  Where it gets interesting is the companion software (available for Mac, Windows, and Linux) which makes your Dropbox folder appear as a folder in your Home directory.  Just drag & drop.  Love it!

I even have mine set up to allow me to trigger downloads on my home computer from anywhere.  Very cool/handy.

Endtimes?: Wireless, Lightup Product Packaging Is Here

The future of product packaging is just around the corner….  you may want to turn around and go back now.

Yep, these cereal boxes light up. They’re using a new branded-technology called eCoupling that provides electricity via induction, which means the shelves have a coil with AC power running through it. The “printed coils” on the boxes allow inventory control and data exchange presumably thanks to a low-power microcontroller.

Using induction technology, which has actually been available to consumers for a year now, these idiots will now be responsible for the forthcoming massive uptick in cereal aisle seizures and the nightmares; we will all suffer.

via Hack a Day Link Shortening for a Better World


There is now apparently a URL shortening service using the .coop TLD as a ploy to raise awareness about the whole dotCoop thing.  Brilliant!

.coop is the domain name for democratically-owned co-operatives across the world. Co-operatives also strive for a greener world, so much so this website is solar-powered. is run by Co-operative Press, who publish Co-operative News ( in the UK


Backing up Gmail…..Just in Case

peace of mind
If you are one of the many who relies on Gmail as your base of operations then you are no doubt enjoying it’s many productivity-enhancing features (labels, filters, priority inbox, i’m talking to you).  But what if the unthinkable should happen?  Or you simply want to have the peace of knowing that all your years of email correspondence is backed up safely, somewhere other than in the giant Google brain.No problem!  There’s a couple of super-easy options available, i’m going to tell you about 3. 

IMPORTANT:  Step #0: In order for some of these to work  you’ll need to log in to your Gmail account, go to Settings (currently under the “gear” menu in the top-right) > Forwarding and POP/IMAP > and select Enable IMAP.  Click Save.

Option #1:  Use any old email client (All platforms):

Did you know that you can use almost ANY email client such as MS Outlook, Outlook Express, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, any email program that supports IMAP email accounts cna be used to keep a locally-stored, searchable, readable backup of all your precious Gmails.

Useta be I’d have to tell you specific details on how to set this up like mail server addresses and such.  But these days, all the latest email clients seem to support automatic detection of all these settings for your Gmail account.  So in most cases you’ll only need to go to the account setting in your email client, add a new account, and enter your name, email address, and password.

Once the account has been successfully added, your email program will likely spend a while downloading ALL of your emails.  This could take up to 2-3 days!  Once all your emails have been downloaded, you now only have to launch your email client periodically, say once a week, or once a month, and let it download all the new stuff.

To find all your downloaded emails:

For Mac users, using

  • Apple Mail: <your username>/Library/Mail/IMAP-<your gmail name>
  • Thunderbird:  <username>/Library/Thunderbird

On Windows

  • Thunderbird: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application\Thunderbird
  • MS Outlook: C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst

ADDED BONUS (for Apple Mail users):  Feel free to download this simple Get New Mail script that will launch Apple Mail, get new mail, and then close Apple Mail.  You can even schedule this script to run by firing up iCal, and creating a new repeating event.  Under the alarm menu choose Open File… and select the Get New Mail app that you just downloaded.

Option #2 – Gmail Backup (Windows + Linux):

gmail backupDISCLAIMER:  As one user pointed out to me, GMAIL BACKUP MARKS ALL MAILS AS READ. So if you are using the unread message status as some sort of “filing” or organizational system, watch out!

A simple interface and quick setup make Gmail Backup a highly recommended tool for any user.  Simply provide your login info and make note of where the backups are being saved to.

To perform a complete backup of ALL your email:  For “Since date” you can enter some date way in the past, before you even had your gmail account.  For “Before date” enter tomorrows date.

That’s it!  Hit “Backup” and go about your business.  This is going to take a while.

Once you’ve got all your emails backed up you can re-run Gmail Backup periodically and only backup the emails accumulated since your last backup.  To do this, adjust the “Since date” to the date of your last backup.

As of this posting, the latest version of Gmail Backup is 0.107 (click this link to download Gmail Backup).

Another neat trick that you can pull with your locally backed up emails is to use MS Outlook or Thunderbird as an email archive “browser”.  Gmail Backup stores your email archives as .eml files, which can be opened with most email clients.

Option #3 – (Web-based, all platforms):

backupify services listAnd now for something completely different, Backupify offers a completely web-based approach to backing up not just Gmail, but a large chunk of your online life including flickr, Facebook, Google Docs, and now Google Calendar too.  But let’s just focus on Gmail.

To get started: You’ll need to sign up for a free account with their service.

Once you’ve verified your new account, log in to your Backupify dashboard and take a look at the list of service available to be backed up.  Like Gmail Backup, setup is crazy-simple to get running.  Unlike Gmail Backup, once up-and-running, Backupify is completely automated.

In the list of Services find Gmail and click “Add”.  Enter in your  Gmail login info.  If you have more than one Google account you’ll be asked to specify one to allow access for the backup service.  Backupify uses Google OAuth which allows you to grant them access to your account without sharing your personal login info with them.

That’s it.

You’ll receive an email notification after your account has been successfully backed up.  In 2 or 3 days.  The big shift from Gmail Backup is that you don’t automatically get a copy of all your backed up data on your hard drive.  It’s still backed up in the cloud (like Gmail, just in a different cloud). Here’s the one major flaw in Backupify: No bulk download or bulk restore of your email.  You can however restore individual emails directly into your Gmail inbox, which is kinda nice i guess. Hopefully they will make these features available SOON!  Are you listening Backupify?….

The Breakdown

If you like the security of knowing that ALL your important emails are backed up on your hard drive (which is also being backed up, right?) then the more manually operated Email Client or Gmail Backup methods are for you.  If you like hands-free, set-it-and-forget-it email backups, check out Backupify.

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