Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Outlineedit

There is a new outliner for OSX (introduced on July 24, 2014). It is called Outlineedit and sells for $18.99 at the AppStore, that is, it's not cheap. "Works like you expect it to: set an outline title, create new items, then structure them using indentation and drag & drop." It also has a search function, can create color labels, has a notes function, allows checkboxes, can print and create PDFs based on an outline and can copy highlighted information from a web browser into an outline.

It is certainly an interesting application and worth a look. Whether it is worth $19.99 is a different question.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Hemingway Editor

Hemingway used to be a web application. It is now available for both the Mac and Windows. It is supposed to highlights common errors. Use it to catch wordy sentences, adverbs, passive voice, and dull, complicated words." In other words, it does what MS-Word has done for many years.

I have always found these suggestions intrusive and not very helpful. But I am probably in the minority. What I find more compelling is that you can "format with Markdown, preview formatting
side-by-side, and save the HTML." So it's a Markdown editor as well.

It costs $4.99—a lot less than MS-Word.

Someone "Cannot Find Pen; Writes Entire NYT TrendPiece About It"

Here is a stronger reaction to the article I wrote about yesterday. And, yes, that someone is called an "asshole."

I don't necessarily condone the sophomoric humor ... but still.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The New York Times on the Demise of the Pen

In an article entitled "Fare Thee Well, My Pen" in the New Times Fashion section, it is claimed that "the pen is dead. It was murdered by the finger."

I guess this means that fashionable people do not use paper any longer either. They dip their fingers into ink wells and sign documents in this way. Or perhaps, fashionable people don't sign paper documents. The author claims he noticed the complete absence of pens in his house when his "girlfriend asked to borrow a pen to sign the back of one of those paper check things." Obviously, he himself has no need for such things. But why should unfashionable people follow his shallow approach to writing and living.?

For other fashionable exploits of this author see here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Arc It

I have written about the Atoma/Arc/Caliber Notebooks before. Here is a Website devoted to the Arc Notebook alone. You can find out all you want to know about the system—and probably a lot more.

No further comment!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Henry James on Notebooks

Henry James writes about the pleasures connected with re-reading old notebooks: "One notes, as all writers remember, sometimes explicitly mention, sometimes indirectly reveal, and sometimes wholly dissimulate such clues and such obligations, The search for these last, indeed, through faded or pencilled pages is perhaps one of the sweetest of our more pensive pleasures.
  1. Then we chance upon some idea we have afterward treated;
  2. then, greeting it with tenderness, we wonder at the first form of a motive that was to lead us so far and to show, no doubt, to eyes not our own, for so other;
  3. then we have heave a sigh of relief over all that is never, thank goodness to be done again. Would we have embarked on that stream had we known?—and what mightn't we have made of this one //hadn't// we known!
But more generally notebooks are for him also a means of capturing "a record of passing impressions, of all that comes, that goes, that I see, and feel, and observe. To catch and keep something of life ..."

In other words, they serve at least two functions, one having to do with art or theory, the other having to do with life. For him these two functions were starkly separated. "Life is being all inclusion and confusion, and art being all discrimination and selection, the latter in search of the hard latent value with which one is concerned, sniffs around the mass as instinctively and unerringly as a dog suspicious of some buried bone." Needless to say, theory and life do not have to be viewed this way.[1] But not matter how their relation is viewed, notebooks or other ways of record-keeping, are essential for both.


I have never aspired to creating "art" or "fiction."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scribbleton

There is a new cross-platform wiki software called Scribbleton, The Little Personal Wiki. It's in alpha, that is, not even beta. The developer claims that he is making the program available early to bring us "a top-quality cross-platform product." It is a personal wiki that saves a document to the hard drive. I found it irresistible, downloaded it, and played around with it. Scribbleton seems to allow for common formatting and linking of entries.

I say "seems," as I immediately encountered problems with making a word bold, could not delete a page that was created by accident, and could not find any keyboard shortcuts. But more importantly, in my view, when I tried to fix this problem, I encountered a message to the effect that the trial version allows only for a maximum of three, yes ... 3, links. You have to buy the alpha product for $10.00 in order to "support" further development.

This approach is not just a bit cheeky. It also seems to be counter-productive for the developer. You just cannot get a sense of the program with three links. And I wonder how many people are willing to pay $10.00 (per user) on something that may never even see beta. Nor does it inspire confidence in the developer who seems to have little or no interest in his possible customers.

The program looks good, but I have already removed it from my computer. Nor is it likely that I will ever take another look at it. Perhaps some readers of this blog can inform me of how it progresses.