Site Overlay

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

The Power of Tiddly

This week’s Loose Wire Service column, a service for print publications,  is on the TiddlyWiki, a piece of software I find myself coming back to from time to time: This isn’t for everybody, but I’ve found myself recently going back to a little itsy bitsy piece of software that turns your browser into a notebook cum database. It’s called TiddlyWiki, and it takes the two concepts — tiddlyness, as in smallness, and Wiki, as in simple editing software — about as far as you can take them. The result: a flexible piece of software that contains both the programming needed to run the thing andContinue readingThe Power of Tiddly

Foleo, Foleo, Where Art Thou?

Caption competition: “Is this a dagger I see before me?” “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio” Now you see it, now you don’t Photo from BusinessWire It has the grim predictability of a company that doesn’t seem sure of what it’s doing, and what people want. Ever since Ed Colligan unveiled the Foleo — a Linux-based sub-sub-notebook — a few months back, folks have been saying it was a mistake. Now it’s dead. I liked the idea, but felt it was the wrong solution: the iPhone and the Nokia N800 seem to prove people now want something that isn’t just a workhorse, but anotherContinue readingFoleo, Foleo, Where Art Thou?

The Gecko in the Machine

 (This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. If you’re an editor interested in subscribing to the service, drop me a line. Regular readers of the blog, meanwhile, will be familiar with some of the themes here) I found myself reading the words of one Timo Veikkola one morning. Frankly, before then I did not know that Timo existed, although I do know of his colleague at Nokia, Jan Chipchase. Not only do these men have far more interesting names than I, they also have far more interesting jobs: peering into the way we useContinue readingThe Gecko in the Machine

Getting My Brain Around PersonalBrain

 This week’s column for The Wall Street Journal (subscription only) is about PersonalBrain, a topic I find hard to write about: Here’s a heads-up on some organizing software that may take some getting used to. Frankly, it’s taken me nearly 10 years to appreciate its power. But now that I do, it has become something of an obsession. I even have dreams about it. It’s a defiantly different kind of thought-mapping program called PersonalBrain, and a new version (including versions for Mac and Linux users) will be launched next month by U.S.-based TheBrain Technologies LP. Users include scientists, soldiers, inventors and others who have usedContinue readingGetting My Brain Around PersonalBrain

Seeing Your Files in Three Dimension

This kind of thing has got to be the future of files and folders so long as we have files and folders: the Innolab 3D File Manager from Adam Miezianko, Kristopher Rambish, Karen Fung, Zavnura Pingkan at Boston University. (Thanks, visualcomplexity.com) This design is like a ferris wheel which organises contents by their relationships rather than their physical position on a hard drive. Each spiderweb thread marks the ties between folders holding contents related to the open file folder (center, in purple). The file manager runs on Linux. It’s actually old: 2003, so something of a shame this kind of thing hasn’t caught on. The closest,Continue readingSeeing Your Files in Three Dimension

Blog Off(line)

I know I’m old-fashioned, but I still like to edit my blogs from a client, not from the webpage itself. It’s probably something to do with the temperamental connections I get in this neck of the woods, but I’m always convinced my ramblings are going to disappear into the ether unless they’re somehow being saved on my computer,  not on someone else’s. What’s more, I hate the fact that Control+k doesn’t always mean insert a hyperlink. It should in every language, every situation. Really. So it’s simple. A blogging tool (or client, if you want to be fancy) simply allows you to create, edit andContinue readingBlog Off(line)

Blog Off(line)

I know I’m old-fashioned, but I still like to edit my blogs from a client, not from the webpage itself. It’s probably something to do with the temperamental connections I get in this neck of the woods, but I’m always convinced my ramblings are going to disappear into the ether unless they’re somehow being saved on my computer,  not on someone else’s. What’s more, I hate the fact that Control+k doesn’t always mean insert a hyperlink. It should in every language, every situation. Really. So it’s simple. A blogging tool (or client, if you want to be fancy) simply allows you to create, edit andContinue readingBlog Off(line)

Piracy Helps Some Countries Grow

One can only imagine Bill Gates’ discomfort: Standing silently as the Romanian president told the world that pirated Microsoft software helped his country become what it is: Pirated Microsoft Corp software helped Romania to build a vibrant technology industry, Romanian President Traian Basescu told the company’s co-founder Bill Gates on Thursday. “Piracy,” Reuters quoted him as saying during a joint news conference to mark the opening of a Microsoft global technical center in the Romanian capital, “helped the young generation discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania.” True, but as Reuters points out, 70 percent of software used inContinue readingPiracy Helps Some Countries Grow

Directory of RSI Software

This is the first in a number of posts about RSI, or Repetitive Strain Injury, the subject of this week’s column, out tomorrow. Here is a collection of software designed to ease RSI. RSI software tries to help in a number of ways: working out how long you’ve been at the keyboard and reminds you to take breaks; suggesting exercises for you to perform while you’re taking those breaks; records macros (shortcuts) to specific tasks you do a lot so you don’t have to use the keyboard as much (especially keystroke combinations); reduces mouse usage by allowing you to control the mouse from the keyboardContinue readingDirectory of RSI Software

Copyright © 2020 loose wire blog. All Rights Reserved. | Catch Sketch by Catch Themes