Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Some people have their best ideas in the shower. This seems to be the product for them.

The notes are "recyclable, environmentally friendly, and the notepad is printed with soy-based ink." On the other hand, if you take showers that last long enough for you to write down your thoughts, perhaps you should consider your habits of water consumption. My showers are short enough so that I will not forget my thoughts during or after them—at least not yet!

Via Life Hacker.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ema Personal Wiki

Ema Personal Wiki is an application for the Android and Windows. Both applications can use DropBox, so it's easy to synchronize the Android with the Windows Version.

The Windows Wiki is free, if you buy the Android version.[1] It requires .NET framework 3.5.

You link pages by using either the CamelBack convention or by enclosing a word in curly brackets, like this: {camelback}, which is a bit unusual. For formatting the program uses Markdown. You can do check boxes "[]" and "[x]" (for a checked box). It has a (very) rudimentary search function (which does not include the titles or wiki words).

I have tried the Windows Version and would try the Android version, if it were available on Amazon. It's an interesting concept!

1. "You are allowed to install and use the Windows version of Ema Personal Wiki v1.x if you bought the Android app. If you didn’t, feel free to try the application for some days and donate some money via PayPal if you like the application and want to continue using it. You may not use the Windows application if you didn’t pay." But see also this newer entry.

Typewriter Blogs

I guess it was inevitable. With the new-found popularity of typewriters, there have to be blogs about them. Here one blog with many links to others in the same "genre."

It's not a world I intend to explore widely. I dislike typewriters!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The claim on this Webpage is that in wikis "we start using page titles as replacements for whole ideas, allowing readers to 'drill down' to the core of all the important concepts, building a LinkLanguage as we build the site.” Thus "People writing a wiki often evolve a 'Link Language:' a fluent language wherein special words automatically link to definitions of their meaning."

An interesting idea, but does it capture what is important about linking? The second claim is certainly problematic. Wikis involve semantics, this seems to reduce them to semantic connections. A "LinkLanguage" is a nice piece of jargon. One might perhaps go so far as to say that it reduces wikis themselves to jargon.[1]

Thanks to this post by Edward Vielmetti who tries (but to mymind fails) to make sense of these claims.

Thinking on paper

Here a post on "paper thinking."

One of the characteristics of "paper thinking" identified by the author is "a human in every loop." Wikis are supposed to be an alternative.

I am not sure that "paper thinking" is as limiting as the author seems to think. Perhaps it is true that it "will become a constraint in the face of increasing scale of data-intensive and data-centric research and increasing automation - a problem we are already beginning to have."

But constraints are not necessarily bad.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Structured Procrastination

Here an interesting article by a philosopher. It's had an influence on me. I am not sure it was a good influence, but an influence it was nevertheless.

No further comment!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sain Outliner

There are not many one-pane outliners in Windows. Sain Outliner is one of them. It's basic, but it's quite nice.

You can edit outlines quickly with keyboard shortcuts. You can number the outline headings (though there are only two numbering schemes). You can export to HTML or text files (with numbering intact). It allows you to assign basic styles to outline headings (different font and background colors). Check boxes are supported (but can be turned off). The same holds for "row lines." Files are stored in XML.

I could get used to it.

You can "pay what you want" at Paypal.[1]

1. See also Comparison of Outliners.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Wuala is a "cloud service" by LaCie, the European hard disk manufacturer. Their claim: "Backup. Sync. Share. Access Everywhere. All data encrypted on your computer." It's available for windows, the Mac, Unix, and "mobile devices."

It's considered better than DropBox by some—especially as far as security is concerned. Others dispute this claim.[1] 1 GB is free, 10 GB cost 19 EUR per year (25 GB - 39 EUR, 50 GB - 59 EUR, 100 GB - 99 EUR, 250 GB - 229 EUR). You can pay, using paypal.

Features considered "pro features" are now available in the free version as well.

1. Just do a search for "Wuala." It's supposed to be pronounced like "voilĂ ," by the way.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

OHTO Tasche

My favorite mechanical pencil is still the Pentel P1037 Sharp Kerry. However, I recently bought an OHTO Tasche which seems to be a bit of a cult pen.

"Tasche" is German for "pocket."

It's quite a bit smaller and not quite as well produced as the Pentel Sharp Kerry. It takes 0.5 mm leads, but it also has a cap, and it can be carried more easily in a shirt pocket than the Kerry. Accordingly, I find that I am using it more and more.

For a review, see Dave's Mechanical Pencils.

There is one other capped mechanical pencil I know of, namely the Tombow Zoom 505 which is still larger than the Pentel Kerry. I wonder how long I can hold off on buying it. See Dave's Mechanical Pencils. I don't need it, but, as you can find out in that post, "it won the 1990 German International Design iF Award." Perhaps I should not visit Dave's site so often.