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posted by janrinok on Monday June 11, @07:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the asking-soylent dept.

Imagine being isolated off-grid for an unknown number of years. Maybe you're stuck somewhere like Davidge or Mark Watney; or perhaps you've chosen a life of isolation like Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maybe you're a survivor of the $Apocalypse. Wouldn't keeping a journal be a great idea? You could pass on your knowledge, keep track of daily activities, maybe even keep yourself from going insane!

Forget all the wastefulness, extravagance, and complexity of most modern devices, you've got survival to think about! Obviously power usage would be a major concern, but ergonomics, searchability, repairability, and data robustness would be important too. Keeping in mind that this is a dedicated device for journaling and barring the old Russian pencil and paper, what would the best solution look like with off-the-shelf modern technology?


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Monday June 11, @08:10PM (22 children)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:10PM (#691569) Journal

    Pen/pencil and paper. And searching? Who's gonna care about your writings? KISS wins.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday June 11, @09:19PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:19PM (#691616) Journal

      Exactly.

      Pens, maybe. Lots of them. Spiral bound notebooks. The size that fits easily in sip lock bags.
      I've used these for years. Two rules: Date Every page. Add a checkbox in front of every action item.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Monday June 11, @09:48PM (1 child)

      by Hartree (195) on Monday June 11, @09:48PM (#691635)

      I keep a small notebook in my back pocket. Quick and handy for short info like model numbers and/or serial numbers.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday June 11, @10:12PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @10:12PM (#691639) Journal

        All of my notes, some writings and every idea starts out as scribbles on paper for me. Thought for the task you described I have pretty much transitioned to using my cellphone to snap a pic of parts/name plates/tags/etc. But for sure, paper wins as the best medium for writings and doodles.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Monday June 11, @10:13PM (10 children)

      by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @10:13PM (#691640) Journal

      If you actually want it to last, make sure paper is acid-free, preferably archival grade. Personally, I'd go with cotton rag paper for anything I wanted to preserve long-term.

      And make sure you have a good source for ink that will last a long time unless you want to learn to make your own. Having a large supply of fountain pen nibs might be preferable for long-term, if you're concerned about disposable pens drying out over the years.

      Want even more durable? Animal skin parchment has really stood the test of time. You have to worry about the occasional worm or very hungry rat, etc., but I've worked with thousand-year-old manuscripts that have only suffered discoloration over the centuries.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by aristarchus on Tuesday June 12, @01:32AM (8 children)

        by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @01:32AM (#691727) Journal

        Dip-pen nibs, or just a good supply of feathers, and a pen-knife. A decent gold or even stainless steel nib in a fountain pen should out-live the user.
        Ink, avoid the pretty colored water, for once exposed to water again, it will become water again. You want a good iron-gall ink, Registar's Ink, as specified by the Church of England for official records. Or Possibly German or Japanese iron-galls. Take a look at TheFountainPenNetwork. [fountainpennetwork.com] Madness. Stay out of the calligraphy forums, however. It gets nasty in there.

        --
        #freearistarchus!!!
        • (Score: 2) by tonyPick on Tuesday June 12, @06:53AM

          by tonyPick (1237) on Tuesday June 12, @06:53AM (#691807) Homepage Journal

          For an example of what you can do with travel notebooks in ink and sketchwork (and talent, of course):

          https://www.boredpanda.com/traveling-artist-handmade-sketchbooks-jose-naranja/ [boredpanda.com]
          http://josenaranja.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

        • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Tuesday June 12, @10:49AM

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @10:49AM (#691850) Journal

          Yes - nibs are pretty durable... If you don't do something stupid like lose them or destroy then accidentally. I didn't really mean a very large supply -- just several spares. Decent nibs are so much easier to use (I find) than feathers, etc.

          And yes, totally agree about ink type.

        • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Tuesday June 12, @06:23PM (5 children)

          by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday June 12, @06:23PM (#692041) Homepage

          Iron gall ink is not friendly on fountain pens. It's the 21st century, we have permanent water-based fountain pen inks, Noodler's Black being a prominent example.

          Modern iron gall inks are better mixed to reduce the amount of deposits, but you still have to be extra careful or it will destroy your pen.

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday June 13, @12:15AM (1 child)

            by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday June 13, @12:15AM (#692161) Journal

            What if we made the fountain pen out of a titanium-depleted uranium alloy?

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday June 13, @12:38AM (2 children)

            by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @12:38AM (#692171) Journal

            Why do you say this? It is not true. Why do you think that nibs were made of gold in the first place? Gallo-ferric acid is corrosive, but gold only dissolves in aqua regia, which any competent alchemist knows. Modern, 21st Century iron gall inks are perfectly copasetic for fountain pens, if the user is conscientious about use, occasional flushing, and normal scribing procedures. (Oh, and iron-gall is itself water-based, as medium.)

            Noodler's is a company run by a single right-wing nut-job. The cellulose-reacting dyes are proprietary, and aimed at foiling check-washing, not longevity.

            --
            #freearistarchus!!!
            • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Wednesday June 13, @03:21AM (1 child)

              by darkfeline (1030) on Wednesday June 13, @03:21AM (#692206) Homepage

              I'm not talking about the nib, and nibs are not made of pure gold anyway, they are made from a gold alloy. Also, stainless steel has existed for a long time now; gold alloys haven't been used for their corrosion resistance since then. Nibs are now made from gold for the perceived value and extra flexibility of the nib (they feel slightly better to experienced users).

              I'm talking about the internal feed, which gets clogged by deposits from the iron gall ink. Yes, like I said, if you're extra careful, modern iron gall inks can be used for a period of time, but it will fuck up your pen if you keep using it, just like eating McDonalds will do to your arteries, even if you exercise and limit yourself to one meal a week. Admittedly, if you're using a cheap pen with a feed wider than then it may keep working for the majority of your lifetime.

              When I wrote "water based" I meant water soluble dye based inks ("water based" as in leaves behind no particulate matter when the water evaporates), which iron gall ink is not.

              > aimed at foiling check-washing, not longevity

              I don't know what to say, good sir. Medicine is aimed at curing disease, not prolonging life. Cars are aimed at moving matter around, not transportation. All I see is you saying that the ink is designed for permanence, but not for permanence.

              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday June 13, @04:20AM

                by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @04:20AM (#692216) Journal

                I'm talking about the internal feed, which gets clogged by deposits from the iron gall ink.

                Feeds are typically non-metallic, traditionally ebonite, or hard rubber. Iron gall does not chemically react until exposed to an oxydizing environment, so put the cap on your pen! And flush it out once in a while. Not like those actual "carbon black" pigmented inks, which do contain particles. Of course, all the rage now is "shimmer" inks, with metallic particles. I suggest, you have to make a choice, when journalling, between convenience and durability. Archival paper, and lower acid iron-gall inks are the way to go, if you want a journal that will survive until humanity remembers how to turn the lights back on. If they ever do.

                --
                #freearistarchus!!!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:09PM (#691937)

        Fountain pens are fun but obsolete compared to just about any other writing instrument out there.
        I think people who like them are attracted to the finicky aspect of using and maintaining them, honestly, like tinkering on an antique car.
        If you like writing with liquid ink, technical pens with air tight caps will not dry out for many years. Sadly, drying out is something fountain pens do very quickly. That and leak a bit on your fingers.
        For ultimate longevity, may I suggest a pencil (mechanical or conventional). You could pick one up decades later and it will still write. The writing will not run or fade, but you do have to watch out for smudging if you use a soft lead.

        If you want to go full caveman, some have suggested dip pens which will last a REALLY long time before breaking/becoming unusable, but I would suggest learning to carve pens from reeds if you want a theoretically inexhaustible pen supply.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday June 12, @02:00AM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @02:00AM (#691746) Journal

      Hammer, chisel, and a rock face. It was good enough for our great-great-etc-greats.

      --
      Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday June 12, @11:43AM (1 child)

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @11:43AM (#691859) Journal

        I hear they also walked to school uphill, both ways in the snow without shoes.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday June 12, @03:24PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @03:24PM (#691949) Journal

          Well, the upper class neo-humans had snow. The poor folks just got rained on. BTW - when did they invent shoes? I'll bet it was a long time after the hammer and chisel were invented. Probably a good bit before paper and/or parchment.

          --
          Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday June 12, @04:43AM (3 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday June 12, @04:43AM (#691777)

      A potential upgrade I've unsuccessfully dabbled with, if you want stuff digitally accessible and backup-able: digitally scan or photograph your journal pages.

      Once they're digital you can use handwriting recognition, etc. on the images for searchable access.

      I think one of those online-only journal programs (Onenote? Evernote? ) will do all that automatically, if you're up for trusting a corporation (Microsoft?) with your journals. There must be an offline version of something similar (I hope), but I haven't found it.

      Of course that requires actually scanning your notebooks regularly, and probably doesn't work so well if you often modify past entries, as you might for more "active draft" notebooks

      • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Tuesday June 12, @09:42AM (2 children)

        by choose another one (515) on Tuesday June 12, @09:42AM (#691843)

        OneNote is more like an "active" notebook or filofax than a journal, however it definitely does what you say with handwriting recognition, and there is a mobile app (office lens) for taking the photos (auto page-detection, straightening / deskewing, contrast etc.).

        BUT, like every current level tech I've tried, it doesn't do the handwriting recognition very well, at all. Allegedly the latest version is much improved, but as it is also cloud-only (along with other steps backwards) I haven't tried it. Part of the problem may be that my handwriting is pretty poor these days, which is why I type mostly in the first place, which is why my handwriting is poor... It does better with printed text, but still not perfect, like any OCR.

        MS have been messing around with OneNote versions and what used to be an excellent offline tool (with optional sync to online) in Office 2007/10 is now more or less online-only in the latest versions, and they have added/removed different features in the different versions. Example: you can record video in 2010 but not insert a video, in Win10 version you can insert a video from the web, but you can't record video, WTF?

        If you are using OneNote (the proper offline one) as a digital backup / index for a physical notebook then you aren't really trusting MS with your journal - only with your backup. If you use OneNote as primary journal then the file format is documented and various export options are available.

        Of course this is all off topic because you wouldn't trust even the offline versions to keep working off-grid for an unknown number of years - not because of MS, the hardware is the weak link.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday June 12, @01:38PM (1 child)

          by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday June 12, @01:38PM (#691880)

          I was thinking less of trusting them with preserving the only copy of your journals, than with trusting them with full access to them. Probably just a privacy consideration for most people, but if you're talking about an R&D journal you might want to keep that information close to your chest.

          >Of course this is all off topic because you wouldn't trust even the offline versions to keep working off-grid for an unknown number of years - not because of MS, the hardware is the weak link.

          The original question strongly implied they were looking for an electronic solution - in which case for longevity I would STRONGLY recommend a PC based solution over any specialty hardware. Even if the particular PC you started with died, you can always migrate the software to a new PC. Android, iOS, etc - I have far less confidence in the long-term availability of compatible hardware/OS to run the original binary on. I hate to do it, but I'd even go so far as to recommend (pre-win10) Windows software specifically - the backwards compatibility is likely to extend into the future indefinitely, especially with VM's etc). Unlike Linux where binaries must be recompiled for compatibility (an issue for non-Free and abandoned Free software alike - not everyone can roll their own from source, even assuming no modifications are needed)

          • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Tuesday June 12, @02:42PM

            by choose another one (515) on Tuesday June 12, @02:42PM (#691918)

            I was thinking less of trusting them with preserving the only copy of your journals, than with trusting them with full access to them. Probably just a privacy consideration for most people, but if you're talking about an R&D journal you might want to keep that information close to your chest.

            Wasn't sure, but sort of figured that - both are potential issues.

            Older OneNote desktop versions (now deprecated and no longer being developed by MS - dropped from Office 2019) will do local storage, which is fine for your R&D journal or the sensitive notes I used to have at work. They will also sync to on-premise SharePoint server instead of OneDrive, so you could stick a domain server and sharepoint server in a VM and sync to that, but it looks like they are also in the process of removing support for that from the App versions (which are the only future versions) - iOS and Android users already reporting being unable to sync with on-premise after App updates.

            You'd think that MS would have a bunch of enterprise clients (actually I _know_ they have) using this stuff who won't want cloud note storage, but apparently they don't care. To quote from their FAQ at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/frequently-asked-questions-about-onenote-in-office-2019-6582c7ae-2ec6-408d-8b7a-3ed71a3c2103 [office.com] :

            We understand and respect that some people might not want any data stored in the cloud. For the vast majority of OneNote customers, however, having access to their notes on all their devices is a core part of the value of OneNote. We know that this means some of you might look for other solutions, and we understand. We have an open file format that other note-taking apps and developers can use to export notes from OneNote.

            So in other words they know, and they don't care, go use something else. OneNote was a market leader, almost a hidden Office feature for years, then someone high up at MS obviously "found" it and thought "that's good lets mobile/cloudify it and f*** it up". Morons.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Bot on Tuesday June 12, @07:31AM

      by Bot (3902) on Tuesday June 12, @07:31AM (#691813)

      I guess the writings will not be very interesting.

      Day 1: found no other people alive, plenty of food
      Day 10: still no answers from outside
      Day 63: my bunker is very comfortable, i built another bed just in case
      Day 164: apparently the hd with all the porno movies died
      Day 166: HELP!! SOMEBODY %&DAMN HELP
      Day 168: THATS IT GONNA CROSS THE OCEAN

      The end.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:10PM (#691570)

    I had trouble when I first tried XFS, maybe 18 years ago. Lately it's been fine. My demands are modest.

  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 11, @08:11PM (8 children)

    by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 11, @08:11PM (#691571) Journal

    Clay tablets and some sticks. Couldn't be easier to use, and we've got some of those that have survived thousands of years still intact. Plus in most places on Earth at least you could easily produce replacement parts from the dirt laying around you.

    If that's too much weight, you can use paper and pencil without sacrificing *too much* of the reliability, and you can still potentially do some repairs/replacements from local resources.

    If it absolutely MUST be digital...my first thought would be something based on a Raspberry Pi, but SD cards aren't even reliable enough to discuss their "reliability" -- they don't have any such thing. Although if you brought a stack of SD cards and a USB card reader, and included the card image on the card itself, you could probably keep it going for a while by using the backup card to re-flash the main every time it got corrupted. But probably you want the lowest power device you can get that'll boot a standard Linux distro off a USB stick, then run in CLI mode and edit your journal in vi or nano. Bring multiple USB sticks, keep multiple copies of everything, and ensure you have the ability to reformat and reflash your sticks should they become corrupted. Or use a standard PC/Laptop style system and replace the hard drive with a compact flash card, those things are extremely robust...but still bring a few spares with you, and use two at a time in RAID (or some other kind of duplication...maybe rsync to a USB drive might be better for simplicity). And bring at least one full backup computer too for when parts start failing.

    Clay tablets definitely seem like the best option... :)

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday June 11, @08:32PM (6 children)

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:32PM (#691588) Journal

      Honestly, if you want a solid computer you're looking for 80's/90's stuff that lasts for decades. Some of that stuff was running up until it was tossed in a dumpster. I'm thinking m68k, EEPROMs, flash, drams and srams with a mono lcd.

      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 11, @08:53PM (2 children)

        by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 11, @08:53PM (#691599) Journal

        Yeah, that's still not going to survive if you trip and smash the thing against a rock though, so you'd likely still want at least one spare...and with size/weight considerations you might be better off with a redundant array of garbage SBCs compared to a single ancient but robust luggable. Depends on the constraints...if weight matters but cost doesn't, buy two dozen Pis and two hundred micro SD cards and call it a day. If cost matters but weight doesn't, buy as many ancient PCs as you can. Although you may also need to consider how you get your data back out, too...you could eat up a good chunk of your budget on interface adapters if you're buying older hardware.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Monday June 11, @10:45PM (1 child)

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday June 11, @10:45PM (#691650) Journal

          If SD cards are so awful, why do I hear that SSDs are pretty good now? They've maybe pulled ahead of HDDs in reliability.

          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday June 12, @01:44PM

            by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday June 12, @01:44PM (#691885)

            Maybe because SD cards aren't SSDs? Aside from the underlying bit-storage technology they're completely different products.

            You may as well ask: If floppy disks are so bad, why do I hear that hard drives are pretty good now?

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday June 11, @09:11PM (2 children)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:11PM (#691611) Journal

        No grid.

        What you going to plug those energy sucking old pigs into? A Current Bush.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday June 11, @09:31PM

          by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:31PM (#691623) Journal

          What you going to plug those energy sucking old pigs into? A Current Bush.

          hmmm. Now you got me thinking. If it were a divine burning bush, one could build a boiler around it and...

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by urza9814 on Monday June 11, @09:52PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 11, @09:52PM (#691637) Journal

          If we're starting from an assumption that you can have a computer system that will survive whatever duration is required in whatever environment it's required for, then surely you could also have a sufficient quantity of solar panels (plus the requisite redundant backups).

          But that does make the old machines look even worse compared to a big bucket of RPis if you've got any constraints on size or cost...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:20AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:20AM (#691681)

      Hollerith clay tablets.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:25PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:25PM (#691581)

    Bashblog, [github.com] Void [www.gget.it] or hugo [gohugo.io] with grep on your source files for searchability.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by DECbot on Monday June 11, @09:08PM (2 children)

      by DECbot (832) on Monday June 11, @09:08PM (#691609) Journal

      I prefer to use Gmail and the NSA. It will take many acts from Congress before those data centers will shutdown.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 2) by aim on Tuesday June 12, @06:28AM (1 child)

        by aim (6322) on Tuesday June 12, @06:28AM (#691802)

        I prefer to use Gmail and the NSA. It will take many acts from Congress before those data centers will shutdown.

        Umm, sure for the backup, but do tell me how you go about doing a restore, or simply accessing the data, from there? FOIA?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:52PM (#691889)

          By that time they will all probably be dead so you can just walk in and get it yourself so long as you can figure out how to unlock it after you get the power back on

  • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Monday June 11, @08:27PM (4 children)

    by Hartree (195) on Monday June 11, @08:27PM (#691582)

    "Imagine being isolated off-grid for an unknown number of years."

    About Wednesday afternoon that usually sounds very appealing. Maybe Antarctica.

    Naw... Too many people. I'll hold out for the Moon.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Monday June 11, @08:36PM (3 children)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:36PM (#691593) Homepage Journal

      I learned in today's SoylentNews that too many people walked on the moon. Their footprints have made it VERY HOT there. And all that heat may make the moon glow. Very soon you'll be able to see it at night or even during the day!!!

      --
      #FreeDonaldTrump [twitter.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:52PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:52PM (#691598)
        Please don't feed the tool^Wtroll.
        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Hartree on Monday June 11, @09:43PM

          by Hartree (195) on Monday June 11, @09:43PM (#691631)

          Is it ok if I feed the garden gnome? He's casting a hungry look at a my tomato plants.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:50PM (#691887)

          If that is an Erfworld joke I'll pay it

  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Monday June 11, @08:40PM

    by Aiwendil (531) on Monday June 11, @08:40PM (#691594) Journal

    Punch cards or chains. No really.

    Since that is about where you can expect to figure out how to read it and also build a primitive computer without really good chemical or metallurgical plants.
    It also have the advantage that it can be operated without electricity (just imagine what you can do with a waterwheel and a loom) and the storage can be handmade,

    You can even write on the punch cards with a pencil.

  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Monday June 11, @08:55PM

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Monday June 11, @08:55PM (#691602)

    There is an video journaling app called 1 second everyday. After a month I can already see the output from this will be remarkable. It's not something you'd use on a desert island, but modern minimalists living without an app enabled smartphone probably are not a large subset of the SoylentNews audience.

    For actual journaling, I'm still a pen and paper nerd. My notebooks cover a couple of feet on a shelf now, and I love them.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:56PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:56PM (#691603)

    I wrote a journal in HTML with simple features like anchors for each date and some basic CSS styling. Back it up periodically on separate media.

    You could even add inline SVG drawings, all in the same file.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:44PM (#691886)

      Sounds like Wiki on a Stick

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @09:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @09:31PM (#691622)

    i have weekly logs containing all my bookmarks, webcaptures, screenshots, journals, project-logs, plans, ticklers, things to memorize .. going back 5 years next month. its free. and out of the box.. you just have to put it together the way you want to .. without an instruction manual of course :) .. in any case, whatever else you choose, inform yourself about org-mode so you at least understand the terrible compromises you're making by going another path. good luck, its doable!

  • (Score: 1) by curril on Monday June 11, @11:10PM (1 child)

    by curril (5717) on Monday June 11, @11:10PM (#691658)

    If you are going to use electronics, TiddlyWiki is a great journaling tool. Everything, including the application, is stored in an HTML file so it can be read on almost any device and the file format is likely to be supported long into the future. Saving changes can be a bit clunky depending on what web browser/OS you are using but the application itself is easy to use and can be easily extended with a little HTML/Javascript knowledge.

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday June 11, @11:46PM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @11:46PM (#691666)

      Not that I would recommend this out in the middle of nowhere, but I can 2nd TiddlyWiki. Ended up not using it because it was just too isolated, and didn't offer the ability for multiple people to use at once. We needed something a bit more Enterprise like WRT features.

      TiddlyWiki can be completely self contained only requiring a basic web browser, or you can use it with a minimalist web server to run it off a network server. There is a server side PHP script that will let you save your changes directly to the file on the server, instead of a local file. A consequence of that is basic authentication so that only authorized users can make changes to the Wiki.

      I can also say that I love their version of Markdown, and found it *very* easy to use creating new pages, links, ToC, etc. Only thing I didn't like about TiddlyWiki was its fully self contained nature, and that it didn't lend itself well at all to environments with multiple users & multiple authors.

      TiddlyWiki [tiddlywiki.com]

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Monday June 11, @11:42PM

    by c0lo (156) on Monday June 11, @11:42PM (#691664)

    Quipu [wikipedia.org] - the advantages are endless

    1. why go 2D on the the area of a page when all you have to say is usually linear?
    2. no dual printed/Braille-embossed editions needed
    3. where a digression just mean literally adding another thread to the story; then, reconnecting it to the main thread in the appropriate place of the story comes naturally;
    4. works with any type of long fiber. You'll help preserving the trees and encourage crops that produce longer fiber - e.g. some species of hemp will offer you the flower-buds to boost the creativity and subproducts of the main stem as support for your creative expression.
    5. you can also employ artistic figures of speech under the form of small carved beads on the thread. E.g. one can really polish his metaphors to perfection even when, originally, they started as a turd.
    6. your critics can't use your opera to wipe their asses; who, in their right mind, would use threads to do so?
    7. ...
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:07AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:07AM (#691672)

    Honestly we don't build computers like that yet, but I think we are getting better at the technology through cell phones. The important bits use less power and are getting more rugged with each generation. I'm very hopeful that if/when humans set up outposts in space that we will see the demand go up for very long lasting devices.

    Still, if we were to get the best engineers together with today's tech I could envision a device that:

    -Is phablet/tablet sized.
    -Is solar, possibly mechanically charged. You wouldn't want to throw it doing a "shake-a-weight" move by accident though.
    -Is completely sealed and water proof. No external ports. Would take a lot of courage.
    -Is powered by energy stored through a stable nano-material capacitor. NO chemical batteries.
    -Utilizes an E Ink display or something like it that only uses power to refresh, along with ability to connect wirelessly to other displays.
    -Makes use of a touch screen qwerty keyboard, and also has the ability to connect wirelessly to a good mechanical keyboard.
    -Contains no electrolytic capacitors and is designed to avoid whiskering of the electrical innards.
    -Runs at a very low temperature to avoid wear.
    -Contains a very simple and rugged, yet completely open, single board computer design that is in the public domain. Could use a VERY low clock speed.
    -Keeps memory stored in static RAM and ROM.
    -Has some sort of UNIX based embedded OS with busybox containing vi (or whatever).
    -Contains a long range UHF transceiver like goTenna.
    -Is actually multiple clones in a mesh network that periodically back each other up and error check over the UHF.

    Thanks, I actually want a few of these now...

    • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday June 12, @12:16AM (2 children)

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday June 12, @12:16AM (#691676)

      > Thanks, I actually want a few of these now...

      There was a company with a kickstarter for a ruggedized open tablet that was going to do many of these features. It was called Earl; www.meetearl.com. Unfortunately the design team burned through all of the kickstarter money and is now kaput. It's a shame; it was a clever idea.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:56AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:56AM (#691704)

        Cool to know. This seems like a really simple idea, but as Earl demonstrated building and delivering is hard.
        I really like the idea of an heirloom computer that's still functional. Imagine leaving one of them on a stump in the woods only to find it again working 10 years later with the stump rotten away! Surely it's possible, I think a big company would have to get behind it. Guess I still have my mother's old calculator from 73. Still works.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:14AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:14AM (#691760)

        And just like that the OLPC laptop is lost forever, forgotten by history. Less than a generation old and already no one remembers it, not even me.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:19AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:19AM (#691679)

    Magic markers on the walls to journal her demons.

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Wednesday June 13, @07:31AM (1 child)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @07:31AM (#692256)

      Does Poettering use magic marker on the walls to journal his daemons?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, @01:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, @01:31PM (#692874)

        It's a pity poettering's parents couldn't be bothered using a condom

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:06AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:06AM (#691757)

    Since you're for some stupid reason excluding paper, something which has worked for thousands of years (Literally, they keep digging or fishing up more of it) and you want an off-the-shelf tech product rather than a DIY array of batteries and solar panels plus all the components to keep it repaired for years on end or your own personal coal power plant, your only choice is an OLPC laptop. They are rugged, can be powered from a hand-crank, and have minimalist journaling software built-in. You may need a spare hand-crank. I don't know the quality of that part.

    Keeping track of daily activities or preventing you from going insane are not valid uses of a journal in the situations you describe. Daily activities quickly become habits and don't need to be recorded. If writing is the only thing keeping you sane after the world has ended then you're gonna die sooner rather than later. You're not mentally tough enough to survive. If you can't handle isolation then writing is only going to make you go insane faster. Talking to yourself/something through journaling isn't isolation, so you'd also be self-defeating your reason of wanting to be isolated. You may want to be isolated so you can focus on writing a book, but book writing is very different from journaling.

    Teaching someone after you isn't a valid use either. They either aren't going to care about your enlightenment as your life goals and views aren't the same as theirs (and if they were then they'd want to reach enlightenment on their own rather than by copying you), are going to be too concerned with daily survival to take the time to understand what you've recorded, won't find your stuff, or aren't going to be able to read.

    If you're planning on getting ship wrecked on an uncharted desert isle and then coming back after a few years, what you really need is a hand-crank powered radio. You'll want to keep up with current advances so you'll know if you need to stay away from certain areas so you don't get killed by robots by stepping into their work areas. Or if saying "hey" to a random stranger has become an aggressive verbal attack punishable by jail time. It may become illegal for you to talk to someone without sending and confirming a talk request. Or perhaps it'll be illegal for you to look away from that ad before you step on the sidewalk. If you instead waste all your time journaling, you'll probably be unable to cope with the new modern society and will want to go back to your island.

    In summary, what is this bullshit 'article' and why did I spend any time responding to it? Go buy two OLPC laptops, keep only one of them, take a tropic tour vacation on a tiny boat with a millionaire and his wife, and finally use your brain before asking people questions. Your teachers lied to you. There are stupid questions. Every question is stupid. You've never seen a question decide it had enough of being a question and chooses a different career path or identify for itself. That never happens so all questions are stupid, including your's.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:05PM (#691901)

    Anything good will still be there years later.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:14PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:14PM (#691906)

    Have children. Tell them stories. Teach them to pass on these stories to their children. Over time the stories will evolve and take on a life of their own. Perhaps you will be remembered as someone blessed by the gods to have been spared the humility of human existence, to have been more than human, to have had angels speak to you. Then, one day, your children's children's children's children times a thousand and their slaves and captured nations will rampage across the world to slaughter the believers of Pepsi and tear down the mighty KFC Klan.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:37PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:37PM (#691915)

      It's been done..

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:53PM (#691926)

        Kinda. They haven't conquered all of Europe yet. Austria is expelling imams and closing mosques

  • (Score: 1) by CZB on Tuesday June 12, @02:20PM (2 children)

    by CZB (6457) on Tuesday June 12, @02:20PM (#691909)

    A typewriter modified to feed rolls of aluminum foil.

    If your thoughts are really good, form them into epic poetry and teach them to an oral society. Its the medium with the longest track record.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:35PM (#691913)

      Well that foil survive very long in the harsh Australian bbqing summer environment?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @12:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @12:47AM (#692174)

      A typewriter modified to feed rolls of aluminum gold foil.

      FTFY! Even better if you have a typewriter that types in a lost language that only a Verified "Seer" can read by looking through and Official "Seer-stone". You could become the creator of the world's fastest imploding religion, and apologist for a past history of racism!

      https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/05/17/no-the-mormon-church-did-not-apologize-for-having-a-history-of-racism/ [sltrib.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:46PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:46PM (#691921)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-DISC [wikipedia.org]

    They claim it will last 1000 years.

    If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:48PM (#691924)

    Encode your diary entry's into the binary of a pr0n video.
    Stenopower!
    Upload to the net when you can.
    It will probably be there for add long as the Internet survives

  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday June 12, @03:17PM

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday June 12, @03:17PM (#691943)

    Others have pointed out, you've conflated many different scenarios all with different requirements. Knowing that I will be intentionally off the grid is different from isolation is different from a Zombie Apocalypse. And if there is any degree of control, is it a limited period of a lifetime, and will I have Amazon?

    If it is a truly "away from all possible resupply," then I'm sorry but Paper Don't Break. (It may degrade or mold or lots of other things, but not on the same scale of entropy as any modern electronic device.)

    If power isn't a concern then Something like this. [dell.com] Or a decent Panasonic toughbook or Dell ruggedized.
    If power is a concern and I have any kind of cell or data connection, an iPhone with a separate keyboard will be sufficient.

    Otherwise a Tablet, running Android (or whatever), separate keyboard, with an SD slot. I've used Docs to Go (once Documents to Go) with mixed results (I loved it on my Palm T|X once upon a time and so it is still my goto). Any office solution will do that would allow for saving files in a standardized format to the SD slot; I'm not really thinking about the searchability but if you're saving standard files then there should be an app for that. Solar charging system, maybe a battery tank with attendant solar as well. The biggest limitation: How can you achieve redundancy in the file storage. Maybe save-to-SD, copy to main memory, then move that copy to a second SD. And PLENTY of spares on everything... because for however long your mission is you'll need enough backup hardware to survive, no matter what it is. Again, plan for what will happen when it breaks because it will, sooner or later - which brings us full circle to what the actual scenario is and a reminder again that Paper Don't Break.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday June 12, @04:57PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday June 12, @04:57PM (#691995) Journal
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