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Moleskines Redux

Of course, I claim a lot of the credit for this decade-long trend Why Startups Love Moleskines:  “The notion that non-digital goods and ideas have become more valuable would seem to cut against the narrative of disruption-worshipping techno-utopianism coming out of Silicon Valley and other startup hubs, but, in fact, it simply shows that technological evolution isn’t linear. We may eagerly adopt new solutions, but, in the long run, these endure only if they truly provide us with a better experience—if they can compete with digital technology on a cold, rational level.” I have returned to Moleskines recently, partly because I realised I have a cupboardContinue readingMoleskines Redux

Software as Silo

Software is a funny thing. How important is it? Apple has just announced it’s giving most of its away for free — effectively costing it some $900 million in the short term. Samsung has just convened its first developer conference in the hope of persuading more people to write software for its devices. Microsoft, known for its Office and Windows software, has just bought a phone manufacturer — Nokia — and promises a new raft of its lacklustre Surface tablets. Google, known for the money it makes off its software, has promised more Glasses, and owns a cellphone maker, Motorola. Amazon, which sells stuff, alsoContinue readingSoftware as Silo

Sharing on Evernote

Despite some competition, Evernote still owns the space where we save stuff we might need for ourselves. But is it up to the task of our increasingly collaborative world? I’ve gotten a bit confused about what can and can’t be synced and shared and with whom so I asked them. This is what I think I learned: (some corrections made after checking with Evernote) Syncing between devices If you’re a free user, anything you add on any device can be viewed (and edited) on any other device. If you’re a premium user then you’ll be able to download and store offline all notes to yourContinue readingSharing on Evernote

The End of Boorish Intrusion

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications.) By Jeremy Wagstaff One of the ironies about this new era of communications is that we’re a lot less communicative than we used to be. Cellphones, laptops, iPhones, netbooks, smartphones, tablets, all put us in touching distance of each other. And yet, perversely, we use them as barriers to keep each other out. Take the cellphone for example. Previously, not receiving a phone call was not really an option. The phone would ring from down the hall, echoing through the corridors until dusty lights would go on, andContinue readingThe End of Boorish Intrusion

How to Not Sweat the Mobile Office

(This is a copy of my Loose Wire Sevice column, produced for newspapers and other print publications. Hence the lack of links.) By Jeremy Wagstaff I do a lot of work on the road, including setting up offices from scratch. What I’ve learnt—and the mistakes I’ve made—could fill a book, so maybe I’ll write one. But here, for now, are some tips I’ve found useful about working on the road—especially if you’re on the road for any length of time, or setting up your stall in a new place, temporarily or permanently. The first thing to do is to get a local SIM card asap.Continue readingHow to Not Sweat the Mobile Office

Radio Australia Topics, Feb 6 2009

What I talked about on the Radio Australia Breakfast Club today: Everyone, it seems, is writing an iPhone app. Including a Singaporean 9-year old. Not surprising since half a billion apps have been downloaded since the app store went live six months ago. iPhone apps get security conscious: Bank Info lures the thief with juicy bank data but in fact transmits locational information to the owner. FoneJac will make your iPhone go off like a car alarm if someone picks it up.  Google launches Latitude: Now you can see where your friends are, not where they say they are. Pew Internet and American Life ProjectContinue readingRadio Australia Topics, Feb 6 2009

Directory of Distraction-free Writing Tools

(2009 June: added two no delete editors) Editors A working list of tools to reduce writers’ distraction. I’ve been using some of them for a while; I was inspired by Cory Doctorow’s latest post on the matter to collect what I could together. All are free unless otherwise stated.  No backspace/delete editors Typewriter “All you can do is type in one direction. You can’t delete, you can’t copy, you can’t paste. You can save and print. And you can switch between black text on white and green on black; full screen and window.” Freeware, all OS. Momentum Writer Same idea, really. “Momentum Writer is theContinue readingDirectory of Distraction-free Writing Tools

Software, Slowly, Gets Better

Is it just me, or are software developers beginning to get their users? For a long time I’ve felt the only real innovation in software has been in online applications, Web 2.0 non-apps—simple services that exist in your browser—but now it seems that ordinary apps are getting better too. Evernote, I feel, is one that’s really leading the charge. They’ve taken the feedback that us users have been giving them and have added, incremental release by incremental release, some really cool features. For example: now you can save searches in the Windows version. Reminds me of the old Enfish Tracker Pro, whose departure I stillContinue readingSoftware, Slowly, Gets Better

XP and the User’s Loss of Nerve

Poor old Microsoft. They’ve had to extend the life of XP by offering it as an option to customers buying new hardware for another six months at least. They realise that people aren’t going to buy a Vista machine unless XP—what’s wonderfully called “downgrade media”–comes with it: “As more customers make the move to Windows Vista, we want to make sure that they are making that transition with confidence and that it is as smooth as possible,” Microsoft said. “Providing downgrade media for a few more months is part of that commitment, as is the Windows Vista Small Business Assurance program, which provides one-on-one, customizedContinue readingXP and the User’s Loss of Nerve

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