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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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pda joys

The interview with Jeff Bohnhoff is now online!

Jeff and I had dinner at his sister's place last night, and I had a chance to hang out with our four-year-old (almost five) niece Brittany. Brittany is always a bundle of energy, joyous and affectionate. We played Barbies (Barbies have certainly improved in joint flexibility and wardrobe since I was a kid) and chase and camping. Jeff and I are going to take her for a canoe trip this summer.

I've begun to snoop around for interesting software for my Palm Vx. I had been sadly neglecting it for a while, using it only for its datebook facility, and occasional memos. Wow, lots of very cool stuff out there! Here are a few of the goodies I've picked up recently:

  • AvantGo: I first heard about this application from my friend Brian Parkinson. After you register (for free), you can select whatever "channels" you'd like from a growing selection of news, entertainment and other types of information sites. When I hot-synch my Palm every morning, I automatically pick up that day's news and information. I'm trying out different channels right now to see which ones I want to keep. Channels on my Palm at this moment: Asimba, CBC News, Fictionopolis, HandHeldCrime, Jason Pettus online journal, Kim Holzer Leeds online journal, New York Times, Palm, PalmPower Magazine, Salon, SCI FI Channel,,, the Compleat Bellairs: Pigwidgeon, and I took my Palm to the gave me lots of interesting reading material without my having to fit paper books and magazines into my backpack.

  • PocketRogue: Augh! This is the game I was so obsessed with in university! And now it's available for the Palm!! I just downloaded it and am secretly hoping that it's not nearly as addictive as I remember.

  • Interactive Fiction: Remember the old text-based adventure games like Infocom and Scott Adams? I always preferred those over graphic-based adventure games because it left more to the imagination, almost like being part of a novel as it was being written. Ok, so I'm a geeky writer at heart. Anyway, you need a Z-machine interpreter (several versions are available for free), but then can choose from many text adventure games available online. More info available in's Interaction Fiction resource.

    Today's Blatherpic:
    My nephew Garrison and niece Brittany. This photo was taken at the cottage last Canadian Thanksgiving.
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