16 March 2009

Dozukis and Sunbirds

I should post more often. There. Guilt trip over.

Two words for the day, completely unrelated except in my life.

A Dozuki is a Japanese woodworking saw, intended for cutting the joints that lock two pieces of wood together. Like all Japanese saws, it is frighteningly sharp.

I'm working on my first "real" woodworking project, a Shaker-inspired wall shelf with drawer. (Project plan at: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/shapely_shaker_shelf/ )I'm at the point where I need to cut the 1/4"plywood for the drawer bottom and back. My husband, the Mad Engineer, has set up a welding station in front of our bandsaw, the best power tool for the job. I tries the hand held jigsaw, but it has a case of palsy and couldn't settle down long enough to even begin the cut. So, in desperation, I got my dozuki out, expecting the 24" long cut to take an hour of push-pull, arm falling off sweaty hard labor.

In 3 minutes, I had a nice, straight cut, all the way through. Including set-up time, the dozuki was faster than the jigsaw. More fun, too.

Now, the next word of the day: Sunbird.

Sunbird is a calendar program, created by the Mozilla project, and available free for all major platforms.

In order to manage my family's busy schedule, I keep a series of Google calendar files, one for each person. For several years, I've been using GCal, an abandoned single-function browser that let me see my Google Calendar web page. But Google changed its log in page, and GCal no longer can get in to my calendars.

I first looked at software to make my own stand alone web page ... but I run Mac OS X 10.4.11, an old version, by choice, and the software won't run on my OS. I found a connector to let iCal, the built-in calendar program synch with Google calendar, but it is clunky, and I don't much like iCal anyway. Eventually, I found Sunbird.

Sunbird looks a lot like Firefox, which makes sense, since they are both Mozilla projects. Like Firefox, there are add-ons and themes to customize the calendars. I added one item that allows invisible two-way communication with my Google calendars. A little bit of color coding, and I'm all set.

Except I seem to be drawn to abandoned software ... Mozilla is planning to abandon Sunbird, for lack of user interest and a shortage of developers. So if you are intrested, wander over to http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/ and download your own copy.