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 …

Continue reading ‘Directory of Distraction-free Writing Tools’ »

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 …

Continue reading ‘XP and the User’s Loss of Nerve’ »

A Beginner’s Guide to Saving an Old Computer

(This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, written mostly for newcomers to personal technology, and syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. Editors interested in carrying the service please feel free to email me.) What should you do with an old laptop that is so slow you have time to down …

Continue reading ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Saving an Old Computer’ »

A Read/Write Web? Sometimes

Another good piece over at Read/WriteWeb about the coming shift to the browser as the only program you’ll need, when all applications come from online. But, frankly, they’re going to have to get a lot better before that happens. I love, for example, Google Calendar, and have foolishly started relying on it. At least, until …

Continue reading ‘A Read/Write Web? Sometimes’ »

Windows. How Much Pain Can You Take?

If you’re still happy with your Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium Edition then you’re on your own. Microsoft won’t help you out after July 11, 2006, when it ends public and technical support. This doesn’t just mean not having someone to talk to on the phone. It means no more security …

Continue reading ‘Windows. How Much Pain Can You Take?’ »

Does IE7 Herald The Death of Windows 98 and 2000?

You may have read that Microsoft has launched a beta version of its browser, Internet Explorer 7. An aspect of this that seems to have not received widespread publicity is the fact that with IE 7, Microsoft has effectively killed off Windows 98 and Windows 2000. In an interview with eWeek, Gytis Barzdukas, director of …

Continue reading ‘Does IE7 Herald The Death of Windows 98 and 2000?’ »

A Short Essay From Jef Raskin

Further to the previous post, honouring the fact that Jef Raskin passed away last month, I thought I would post a little essay he sent me a year ago to illustrate some of his thinking in his last year: Genesis and Goals of The Humane Environment Our increasing knowledge about human behavior and mental processes, …

Continue reading ‘A Short Essay From Jef Raskin’ »

Microsoft Does The Decent Thing

Good news for Windows 98 fans, and for folk who don’t believe in upgrading their software just because companies say it’s the cool thing to do. Microsoft has relented on its decision to abandon updates for Windows 98 and Me this week, saying it will continue to provide limited support for the operating systems until …

Continue reading ‘Microsoft Does The Decent Thing’ »

News: Type Anywhere, On Anything

 From the This Really Could Be Funky Dept: iBIZ Technology Corporation has introduced its Virtual Laser Keyboard and has promised to start shipping the unit by November for $99.00. The Virtual Keyboard is an infrared device that projects the image of a keyboard onto any surface, allowing you to type straight into a PDA, a desktop, a …

Continue reading ‘News: Type Anywhere, On Anything’ »

News: Step Aside, Bill, Let Asia Take It From Here

 From the Suspect This May Be Wishful Thinking Dept Japan, South Korea and China are set to agree to jointly develop a new computer operating system as an alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software, Reuters quotes Japanese media as saying on Sunday.   It would likely be built upon an open-source operating system, such as …

Continue reading ‘News: Step Aside, Bill, Let Asia Take It From Here’ »