Your ComputerWorld article: Are computers transforming humanity?

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Your ComputerWorld article: Are computers transforming humanity?

Steve Litt
Hi Mary,

You might want to write an article on the VimOutliner project. Here's why...

Your May 18, 2009 ComputerWorld article titled "Are computers transforming
humanity?" is great. The URL is:

Impressive. Your article discusses the benefits and the problems with humans'
increasing use of computers in a very balanced way. And it reminded me of the
VimOutliner community:

The preceding website is in the middle of a transition, so not everything
works, but the people comprising the community sure do. It's a community of
I'd estimate 100 or so people who use VimOutliner as a todo list, a task
planner, a project planner, a client reporting tool, a configuration
management tool, and of course the oldest use in the world -- an outliner of
books. VimOutliner definitely enhances their native human abilities.

VimOutliner is an open source outline processor that runs on both Linux and
Windows. Its claim to fame is that it's *extremely* fast for a touch typist,
so in real time the user can listen to a lecture and make an outline of that
lecture. Similarly, it can be used to outline a planning committee meeting in
real time. Because VimOutliner is so quick to use, the user never runs into
the problem where the thoughts to be recorded are forgotten by the time the
text-entering mechanics have been done.

VimOutliner's motto is "Work fast. Think well." The preceding paragraph
discussed the "fast" part. As far as "well", different VimOutliner users have
found different ways to enhance their human thinking with VimOutliner. Most
have incorporated VimOutliner into their every day activities. Many have
incorporated VimOutliner into a core tool of their small businesses.
VimOutliner project maintainer Noel Henson uses VimOutliner (we affectionately
call it VO) to plan and track his embedded electronics/software projects for
various customers, and he also uses it to report progress to those customers.
About 3 weeks ago I used VO to create an outline for my latest book, and the
outline was good enough that writing the 41,000 word first draft took less
than 2 weeks.

If you'd like to subscribe to the (fairly low traffic) VimOutliner mailing
list, please email me at [hidden email] and I'll have Noel set you
up. Normally enrollment is automatic, but as I mentioned, our website is
transitioning at the moment.

Here are some other VO resources: The project website : A presentation
on VimOutliner and outlining in general : My article about
outlining : My article on the
"secret origins" of the VimOutliner project, and its early history, including
the motivations for decisions made. : Scott Scriven's TKDO software, which is
a VimOutliner tool for David Allen's GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology. : Bruce Parens' review of VimOutliner

We can get you plenty more resources if you need them. I suggest and hope you
can write a ComputerWorld article on VimOutliner. Please feel free to email me
at [hidden email] for any needed info, or if you want to subscribe
to the VimOutliner mailing list.

Thanks, and once again, your ComputerWorld article was great.

Steve Litt
Recession Relief Package

VimOutliner mailing list
[hidden email]