GTD: A simpler version

Everything requires time. Writing this article required time to think, time to write a draft, time to edit, etc. Sleeping requires time. Eating requires time. Planning requires time. You get the idea.

Therefore, a complex GTD system itself requires a significant amount of time to implement. Managing tickler files, to do lists and the like require time to implement and maintain. With complexity, these tasks become chores and most people try to avoid chores. This makes the barrier to entry quite high for these systems, and that makes turning them in to habit more difficult.

I say, start simple. You may decide later to build up to a more complex method, or you may find that you need go no further. My method revolves around my Calendar and Inbox. Quite simply, if it is worth spending the time to do, it should be on your calendar. Period.

Incoming tasks come from your Inbox and go to one of three places:

  • Complete the task immediately or respond if additional information is required. Move a copy to your Follow-up folder and add an alert so you can keep track later.
  • On the calendar to be completed at some point in the future.
  • In the Trash. Save what you need for long-term documentation in the appropriate location (folder, Wiki, project documentation system, etc.), then delete it.

Use your calendar to block off recurring appointments for handling e-mail, planning and scheduling, but also be flexible. If it is on your calendar, you can drag it to a different time to re-schedule. Keep it on your calendar, and it will get done. If you find that you are bumping a particular item on your calendar too much, then you should re-consider whether it should be on there at all — it obviously isn’t that important to you.

Excellent Animation Explains What the EFF is Fighting

This excellent animation by Nina Paley succinctly explains to anyone the dangers which the Electronic Freedom Foundation fights every day. If you ever encounter someone who just doesn’t understand why most EULAs and Three Strikes (or HADOPI) laws are evil, then this will help make your point clear.

And don’t forget to visit Nina Paley’s blog! There’s lots of good stuff there, too.

Here’s the video, but please visit the page for the full resolution version and more info!

Easiest Way to Create a VMware ESXi 4 Bootable USB Flash Drive

Here’s a quick tip on how to create a bootable USB flash drive from which you can install ESXi.

  1. Download UNetbootin (available for Windows and Linux).
  2. Download the latest ESXi .iso file from VMware.
  3. Format your USB flash drive (1 to 2 GB should work, I used a 4 GB one) with a FAT32 file system.
  4. Fire up UNetbootin and select the option to use your own .iso file.
  5. Make sure you choose the RIGHT USB flash drive — Best Practice would be to have only your target drive connected while doing this!
  6. Click OK and let it cook. This may take a few minutes.
  7. Cancel the prompt at the end to reboot — you don’t want to reboot, really.
  8. Unmount your USB flash drive and test it on ESXi compatible hardware!

There are some limitations to this method:

  • Target system must support USB boot (very few don’t)
  • Won’t work with an EFI BIOS unless that BIOS supports booting a legacy mode BIOS. Even then, it still may not work.

And, yes, you can do this with the regular ESX .iso file, but you’ll need to purchase licensing for those installs eventually. You can register ESXi for free use!