Saturday, May 29, 2010

WriteWay Pro

Writeway is another piece of "writing" software for the windows platform that tries to exploit the note card metaphor.


It comes in two versions: Writeway and Writeway Pro. I have not tried either (and probably won't do so in the future for reasons pointed out in earlier posts). In addition, this one is aimed at people who write novels. It bothers me when I have to make "a scene" when all I want is just write a chunk of something (or anything).

But it seems to be one of the more capable programs of this type.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where Lotus Went Wrong

Agenda, a very efficient and functional personal information manager, looked like this:


Lotus Organizer replaced Agenda. It was a definite step backwards in functionality with a corresponding new look:


Whether it would have been perfect, if it had stayed true to Agenda's principles and looked like this, I dare not say:


But the latter certainly would have been much better.

This will be the last post on the visual representation of metaphors for writing and note-taking for now. I hope I have made clear that this is not primarily an aesthetic issue, though it is that too.

As I wrote some time ago in the Outliner Forum: Are aesthetic considerations in personal knowledge applications really relevant?

My first thought was that they are not. To say that such an application doesn’t cut it aesthetically seems to me equivalent to saying that a blank canvas or a blank sheet of paper doesn’t cut it aesthetically. Neither canvas or paper is really meant to "cut it" aesthetically on its own. The finished painting or the finished text is meant to do so. The canvas or the application are meant to allow you to accomplish something that is aesthetically (or otherwise) pleasing, useful, or important. The application should not get into the way. It should serve as an affordance for your own achievement.

I still think that this is right. This is why I also think that a minimalist approach to aesthetic features is preferable and that "form should follow function."

A Thought on Thoughts

Here an example of what I don't like: Thoughts is designed as a note-taking application that looks like a notebook.[1]


Cheesy—I think ... or thought ...

It shows that Apple applications have no monopole simple and functional user interfaces.

1. See also: Literary Machine, Virtual Notecards for Writing, Pigeonhole Organizer, and Organize! (I did not know better in 1990).

Whizfolder and the Fieldstone Method

From the Website of Whizfolder, an application I bought before it became outrageously expensive:
For effective writing, you should use a tool that allows you to write down your notes in pieces. If you keep on writing in one long-scrolling document using a word processor, it becomes a daunting task to review this long piece later. Instead, you should write in pieces, classifying and keeping each piece of note separately as you go. This helps in many ways. You keep the related pieces together, and that helps you get a better hold on your subject matter or plot as you go. You can move around the pieces later to change their order as your ideas change (as they often do). WhizFolders has all these features and is a perfect tool for any kind of writing. What is more, you can bunch up any number of pieces to make a full manuscript any time. Save your effort in brainstorming new ideas and plots ... Do not outline too soon ..."
Whizfolder is, however, essentially an Outliner with the ability to link different outline entries easily.[1]

An outliner is essentially a list processor, or perhaps better, a list processor that easily allows you to construct nested lists. It also allows you to work on one list item at a time, ignoring all the other things on the list (something that is much more difficult to do on paper. But not all list processors are outliners. Brainstorm is another one, in many ways more simple and perhaps just because of that, more powerful.[2]

Outliners demonstrate at least one thing—or so I think: they are applications that, from the beginning, have tried to overcome some of the limitations inherent in paper. Whether this has anything to do with the fact that they did better in DOS than in windowing environments is an interesting question I do not want to decide here.

I no longer use Whizfolder, but the advice on the Website does not appear altogether bad (and is quite in keeping with the idea that "writing in chunks," or in a way that "is not dependent on any particular order of doing things" (Weinberg, p. 20). Ideas do not always come in the order in which they need to appear in a finished piece of writing.

Any application that allows you to concentrate on one idea at a time without concern or regard to how it is ultimately related to a project will do just as well, and some, like a personal wiki, will work better (for some).[3]

1. The price has come down again. The "Pro" version costs $25.00, the "Deluxe" version $49.95.
2. See also my earlier post on Brainstorm.
3. See also Hierarchies and Nets.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Writing in Chunks

Some time ago, I bought and read Gerald M. Weinberg, Weinberg on Writing. The Fieldstone Method. Since programs which use the index card metaphor may be said to suggest a similar approach, it is perhaps not entirely inappropriate to say a little bit about this "method."

Weinberg starts from the observation of how people in New England and elsewhere build fieldstone walls. They first accumulate a pile of stones, "one or two at a time" without a specific project in mind. In fact, collectors of fieldstones may have several projects going at the same time. At some point, after they have collected enough stones of varying sizes, shapes, colors, texture, and density, they will determine where the particular stones fit in.

Writing can be approached in the same way. We can accumulate ideas or chunks of writing over time without worrying very much about how they will fit into any particular kind of project we have. What is important is that we accumulate the ideas and passages and then later fit them together into something more coherent, but the idea is not to force it.

Weinberg actually suggests the use of note cards for collecting the chunks of writings or the ideas. But there is of course no reason why you could or should not use a blog, an outliner, or a wiki to collect them.

However, if you do use software, the metaphor of "fieldstones" is ultimately just as unimportant as is that of "notecards," though I imagine there is someone somewhere writing on a program that allows you to push around pictures of fielstones that represent ideas because he believes that this will allow you to see better how they "fit." I find Scrivener's and SuperNote's index cards just as superfluous as such "field stones." Though I can also see how visualization might help. Isn't that why most of us use an abacus for counting and basic arithmetic?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Virtual Note Cards for Writing

There are several programs that try to mimic paper note card-systems for writing. Most of them are freeware or shareware. Text Block Writer seems to be freeware (though I seem to recall that I have also seen it advertised as shareware).

According to the author: "Text Block Writer is a virtual index card program for writers. It can be used to organize research papers, articles, fiction, non-fiction, books and whatever related to writing. It is intended for people like me who use paper index cards to write all the notes and pieces of an essay, and then arrange the pieces and then use that to type them into the computer. With this program, you can type in the notes and arrange them on the computer, and then export them to an rtf document (that can be opened in word, open office, or just about any other word processor)."

I tried it a long time ago, and I must say that it did not do anything for me. It's rather disorienting with its very small snippets. It also takes a heavy hit on Resources because it needs version 2.0 of the .NET framework. Windows only.

Mindola's Supernotecard costs $29.00. It's available for Windows and the Mac. It can even be used online.

One nice feature: "Notecards automatically highlight keywords that relate to factors like characters or references like websites, journals or books. Pop any into a second window to refine as you work. Or, add notes to track the details of the relationship between a character or source and each notecard."

I also tried it some time ago. It never clicked either. There is something "toy-like" about it that interfered for me with serious (academic) writing. It probably was never meant for people like me.

Finally, there is Ndxcards for Windows.[*] "The program uses the concept of electronic index cards to capture notes and ideas. As they say: "It provides you the freedom to organize notes by keywords, subjects, sources, and authors. All the features of ndxCards™ are very easy to interpret and use. Whether you are a student, manager, teacher, writer or a lawyer, ndxCards has a use for you."

Actually, I found it rather confusing. Also, it is primarily designed for note-taking. I use it only to round out the discussion.[1]


On the whole, I find the programs that try too hard to reproduce the "look and feel" of paper notecards rather disappointing. Virtual notecards obey different laws than paper notecards. In fact, the paper look becomes something of a misleading and restricting "metaphor" for something that in principle goes far beyond the restrictions of paper. On this, I can only agree with David Weinberger's Everything is Miscellaneous. The Power of the New Digital Disorder: Virtual applications allow us "to arrange our concepts without the silent limitation of the physical." Why re-introduce the physical limitations by way of metaphor?{2] That's why I use a wiki-like arrangement instead of notecards.


* The website is defunct, as I noticed on March 22, 2015.


1. Scrivener allows you to use virtual notecards, but it does not use notecards as its primary metaphor.

2. The German program Zettelkasten, about which I have written earlier in this post, is now available for Windows, Unix, and the Mac (and in Spanish and English localisations). It has been improved to reflect Luhmann's ideas better, but it also seems to me to suffer from an attempt to stick to closely to the physical meetaphor. (I will write a post about it at some time in the future.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Life-logging

In self-Knowledge through numbers I took a very brief look at what is known as "lifelogging" or the attempt to capture e everything we do and see. Here is a "constructive" critique of this idea. I can only agree with one of their conclusions: "Selectivity, not total capture [should be the aim]. Rather than unfocused efforts to "capture everything," system designers should channel their efforts more fruitfully by identifying the situations where human memory is poor or targeting the things users most want to remember. These situations are where the systems would provide their greatest utility. Furthermore, people may sometimes want to forget, a view anathema to the lifelogging philosophy."

As Friedrich Nietzsche already pointed out, forgetting is just as important as remembering, and taking note of something is no more active than trying to forget it: "Forgetting is not simply a kind of inertia, as superficial minds tend to believe, but rather the active faculty to ... provide some silence, a 'clean slate' for the unconscious, to make place for the new... those are the uses for what I have called an active forgetting ..."

Whether some of the more extravagant conclusions Nietzsche draws from this are true or or not is one thing, it is quite another to acknowledge that good note-taking always involves actively taking note of some things while actively forgetting others.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ConnectedText 4.0.0.8

I just downloaded the new minor upgrade of ConnectedText. It feels more like a major one. Look at this:


As far as I am concerned, the LilyPond plugin which allows you to typeset music and the new ability to ranks searches by relevance are the most important improvements. "Search Results" now shows the results for "Pascal" in my projects. I am not a great admirer of him, even though he was an early adopter of the notecard method, as I pointed out already.[1]

1. "The Pensées, a pile of papers concerning religion, were originally written on mostly large sheets of paper, some of which were subsequently cut into individual passages, of which again only some were divided into twenty-seven bundles or laisse, 414 in all, or just under half of the total were then attached together by thread running through holes pierced in the top left corner and knotted after the title had been given to the group." See also Index Cards and the Fear of Nothing(ness).

PsiXpda

PsiXpda is a new version of the old Psion. The new psion does not seem to live up to the reputation of the old one, however.

No further comment!

Using the Neo as a Keyboard for the iPad

Apparently it can be done. Here is a video.

I have a Neo. All I need is an iPad, it seems. But I wonder whether this is really a good idea. The Neo is slightly larger than a typical Netbook. The iPad is almost as large as a Netbook (I think). Would I really want to carry two Netbooks to do the work one one?[1]

This just goes to show that not everything that can be done should be done![2]


1. This criticism is not necessarily an argument against buying an iPad. The Website on the Neo and iPad also shows that you can use the iPad as an electronic picture frame for home or office.

2. For more on the Neo, see Still a Good Idea and Neo by Alphasmart. On an autobiographical note, I still like the Alphasmart but more frequently use a Netbook and the iPod Touch now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Of Index Cards and the Fear of Nothing

I bought today Julian Barnes's Nothing to Be Frightened Of, a memoir billed as "barbarously intelligent." Well ... intelligent it is, and I read more than half of it, which I take to be a sign of the grip it had on me.

On p. 83 he speaks of Somerset Maugham and his envy of Maugham's "knowledge of the world" in his "early twenties." He confides: "At this time, I kept a box of green index cards, onto which I copied epigrams, witticisms, scraps of dialogue and pieces of wisdom worth preserving." Some of these, he says "strike me now as the meretricious generalizations that youth endorses (but then they would); though they include this, from a French source: 'The advice of the old is like the winter sun: it sheds light but does not warm us." The two pieces of wisdom are "beauty is a bore;" and "The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love" (84).

It appears that the entire memoir is informed by index cards, no matter whether they are green or "the other" colors.[1] Many of them appear to be from Montaigne, and many more are from Jules Renard's Journals. All of them concern God, death, and the fear of death. Not even Kuebler-Ross is left out (182).

The memoir is indeed "beautifully done" and "very entertaining" in an intellectual sort of way. Perhaps it is even "cunningly composed," but I would not say that it "tells beautiful, shapely lies which enclose hard, exact truths" (78). Rather, it warms over shapely and meretricious truths in a flabby enclosure.

Mind you, I recommend the book. It makes for a good afternoon read, just don't expect it to change your life or how you think about death. But, remember Pascal, an early adopter of the note-card method and even more obsessed by God and death? He claimed, as one of my electronic note cards informs me: "All of man’s troubles stem from his being unable to sit quietly alone in a room." Barnes made me sit quietly alone in a room for several hours. Not bad![2]


1. Close to the beginning, Barnes tells the story of how, as a child, he came to collect stamps of all countries other than Great Britain just because his brother was collecting stamps of Great Britain. It seems that stamp collecting led to collecting "epigrams, witticisms, scraps of dialogue and pieces of wisdom worth preserving." We hear nothing about how this might have happened.

2. In addition, some of Barnes's cards will undoubtedly end up in my own electronic card index. You never know when you might need them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Self-Knowledge through Numbers

"Self-Measurement" is an interesting article about the importance of "self-tracking." Peter Drucker, who knew more about Socrates, Wittgenstein and philosophy in general than most people realize, said already: "the unrecorded life is not worth examining."

The author of this article similarly claims that self-tracking "is not really a tool of optimization but of discovery." But she thane goes on to claim that "if tracking regimes that we would once have thought bizarre are becoming normal, one of the most interesting effects may be to make us re-evaluate what 'normal' means." Perhaps, but whether that is altogether a good thing is still another question.

Those who find this idea attractive (as well as those who find it disturbing) might be interested in the author's Website: The Quantified Self.

Some of the things people most frequently track are: Food, Sleep, Exercise, Work, Mood, Money, and Medicine. Not really the best material for discovery.

What about notes and ideas? That's what I track mostly, in any case. Not that it is unimportant to make sure you have taken the medicine you need to take, but discovery, it seems to me, has more to do with your intellectual life.

Research and Twitter

Could Twitter Revolutionize Academic Research? The author of this article thinks that this is not a stupid question, even though most tweets are inane. He thinks that it is useful "for those who are interested in quickly, cheaply and efficiently reaching millions of potential research participants"

I have a hunch that you are not going to get a representative sample this way, unless, of course, you do research on twitter users.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Erasmus on Common Places

Another writer who was even more important with regard to commonplace books was Erasmus of Rotterdam. His De Copia (On copiousness in words and ideas) of 1512 became a model of commonplace books. Erasmus thought "whoever has resolved to read through every type of writer (for he who wishes to be considered learned must do that thoroughly once in his life) will first collect as many topics as possible. He will take partly from classes of vices and virtues, partly from those things that are especially important in human affairs, and that are accustomed to come up most often in persuasion; and it will be best to arrange these according to the principle of affinity and opposition. for those that are related to one another automatically suggest what should follow, and the same thing is true of opposites."

And he suggested the following organisation. Suppose the first heading is Piety, then the following would be appropriate:
  1. Piety and Impiety
    1. Piety
    2. Piety toward God
    3. Piety toward fatherland
    4. Piety toward parents or children
    5. Piety toward teachers and others who have a similar status as parents
  2. Impiety
    1. improper indulgence of children
  3. Superstition (fits here)
    1. strange cults
    2. various ceremonies of different people
  4. Fidelity and Infidelity (might be next)
  5. Fidelity
    1. fidelity to God
    2. human fidelity
    3. fidelity to friends
    4. servant's fidelity to their masters
    5. fidelity to enemies
  6. Beneficence (might be next)
    1. Gratitude, etc.
"All these topics can be treated along the following lines: First what piety is, how it differs from other virtues, what is peculiar to it, in what ways it is preserved or violated, by what things it is strengthened or corrupted, what it profits man. Here a field of exempla and judicia is opened up. But anyone may make an orderly list of the virtues and vices for himself, following his own judgment, or if he prefers, he may seek it from Cicero or Valerius Maximus or from Aristotle or from St. Thomas. Finally, if he prefers he may follow an alphabetical order." The arrangement does not matter. what does matter is that the list does not deteriorate into listing minutiae, but only those things that "are frequently needed in speaking."

This list of the virtues, is followed by a list of general classifications (partly exempla and partly commonplaces):
  1. Extraordinary longevity
  2. vigorous old age
  3. senile youth
  4. unusual happiness
  5. remarkable memory
  6. sudden changes in fortune
  7. sudden death
  8. unnatural death
  9. extraordinary eloquence
  10. unusual riches
  11. famous men of humble birth
  12. subtlety of intellect
  13. extraordinary physical strength
  14. extraordinary appearance
  15. distinguished character in a deformed body
and "innumerable others"

Again, the opposites and the things that are related should be listed. Furthermore, "a disorderly mass of materials [will] produce confusion." It is therefore "useful to divide the more general classifications into several subdivisions".

Given this scheme, one can promptly mark down everything that is noteworthy under its proper heading. This "method will also have the effect of imprinting what you read more deeply on your mind, as well as accustoming you to utilizing the riches of your reading". "And so the student, like the industrious bee, will fly about through all the authors' gardens and light on every small flower of rhetoric, everywhere collecting some honey that he he may carry into his own hive; and, since there is such a great abundance of subjects in these, a complete gleaning is not possible, and he will be sure to select the most important and adapt them to the pattern of his work"

Again, no tension between order and chaos. The order of an individual commonplace book may be up to the individual, but the fundamental order of the subject matter is, in fact, given and not in doubt—at least if you consider yourself as working within the commonplace tradition.

Agricola's Loci Communes

Rudolphus Agricola (1443–85) was very important in the history of thinking about commonplaces (and accordingly in the history of commonplace books). Indeed, it is difficult to under-estimate his influence on early modern logic. Agricola revised the "system" of commonplaces in systematic way. There were for him exactly twenty-four places, divided into groups, namely ten internal and fourteen external places. The internal places are further broken down into seven intrinsic and three extrinsic places, and the external places into four cognates, three circumstances, five accidents and two repugnances. The resulting table looks like this:
  • Internal
    • Intrinsic
      • Definition
      • Genus
      • Species
      • Property
      • Whole
      • Part
      • Conjugate
    • Extrinsic
      • Adjacent
      • Act
      • Subject
  • External
    • Cognates
      • Agent
      • End
      • Effect
      • Intention
    • Circumstances
      • Place
      • Time
      • Possession
    • Accidents
      • Contingency
      • Pronouncement
      • Name
      • Comparison
      • Likeness
    • Repugnances
      • Opposite
      • Different

This does not look very chaotic at all. In some sense it looks like Kant's system of the categories. But it would be a mistake to assimilate it too much to it. In some ways it's closer to his Dialectic, as logic had two functions for Agricola:
He thought (following Cicero) that logic had two functions:
  1. finding arguments (inventio)
  2. judging or arranging the material found (iudicium)
The first part was most important to him. But however that may be, one of the most important points of of common place thinking is to impose a common order, to have a place for everything and to put everything in its place.

Locke's Commonplace Books

I always wanted to write an entry on Locke's Commmonplace books, but never did. Here are two informative blog entries by others: One with the phrase information overload—an expression that I have come to loathe, and another that has references to other interesting sites.

I reserve the right to comment later on Stephen Berlin Johnson's lecture The Glass Box and the Commonplace Book. Just this now: I think that this claim is highly misleading: "The tradition of the commonplace book contains a central tension between order and chaos, between the desire for methodical arrangement, and the desire for surprising new links of association." There is no tension of this sort in the traditional commonplace book. In fact, this tension spells the end of common places.[1]

1. For more on this point, see Darnton on Commonplace Books.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Classical Text Editor

This editor "was designed to enable scholars working on a critical edition or on a text with commentary or translation to prepare a camera-ready copy or electronic publication without bothering much about making up and page proofs. Its features ... meet the practical needs of the scholar ... The possibility to search for and visualise manuscript constellations may be of considerable help in detecting affiliations between sources. It is the primary purpose of the Classical Text Editor to do the automatable work which consumes so much time and energy, and let the scholar concentrate on scientific issues."

It's a program I might actually use, even though I find that ConnectedText works very well for the first stages of writing a commentary.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dropbox Folder Sync

I just came across this: "Dropbox Folder Sync is a tool which automatically allows user to link a folder with Dropbox folder, which means no more custom symbolic links headache. It will automatically sync the folders using the Windows Explorer right-click context menu."

It can be downloaded from here

I have not yet tried it yet, however.

Trollope's Writing Habits

Boice's general advice is far from new, of course. Anthony Trollope worked essentially that way. His maxim was: "A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules." And he did something else, Boice recommends: he kept score. As he tells us in his Autobiography, a page for him consisted of 250 words.[1] And he produced 40 pages a week at his best, 20 pages at his worst. If we assume he wrote 30 pages on average, he must have written roughly 1000 words a day.

Trollope also tells us that "all those I think who have lived as literary men, working daily as literary laborer will agree with me that three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write. But then he should have so trained himself that he shall be able to work continuously during those three hours—so have tutored his mind that it shall not be necessary for him to sit nibbling his pen, and gazing at the wall before him, till he shall have found the words with which he wants to express his ideas. It had at this time become my custom ... to require from myself 250 words every quarter of an hour." So his blocks of daily writing must have been one hour long on average (after training himself appropriately).

Trollope did all this before going to work at the post office, which may or may not have been harder than the daily work of a professor.[2]

1. "I found it to be expedient to bind myself by certain self-imposed laws. When I have commenced a new book, I have always prepared a diary, divided into weeks, and carried it for the period which I have allowed myself for the completion of the work. In this, I have entered, day by day, the number of pages that I have written, so that if at any time I have slipped into idleness for a day or two, the record of that idleness has been there, staring me in the face ... I have alloted myself so many pages a week. The average number has been about 40 ... my page has been made to contain 250 words."—This amounts to roughly one double-spaced typed page.

2. See also Trollope on Reading and not Thinking.

A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing

Some time ago, I broke down an bought Professors as Writers. A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing by Robert Boice (Stillwater, OK.: New Forums Press, 1990). The central idea of the book is simple: "Write every day for a short period." Put negatively: "Don't write 'in binges.'"

Boice advises us to make writing a daily activity, and to write in "small, regular amounts" (79). Daily "20-30 minute blocks of time" are "available for writing in most work-weeks."[1]

Why is daily writing important according to Boice? Because "once under way, writing builds its own momentum" (41).

I think all this is true—and not just for professors. Anyone will benefit from daily writing in relatively short bursts, as long as the writing will concentrate on a few topics over a longer stretch of time.

I am not so sure about Boice's more specific points regarding "spontaneous" and "generative" writing, where "spontaneous writing consists of writing "anything that comes into your head" rapidly and uncritically, something that Peter Elbow called "free writing." Generative writing has to do with what is called in the literature "the revising process." Thus Boice's advice amounts to the shopworn maxim that we must learn to separate "the producing process from the revising process." Let me just say: This does not work for me. Nor am I impressed by the psycho-babble about the left and the right brain and everything that is supposed to follow from it. And the Self-Help Questionnaires seem like an insult to the intelligence of professors and other people who are likely to read the book.[2]

The general point and the advice to 'schedule writing tasks so that you plan to work on finishable units of writing in each session" seems good to me, however. Let's all do "brief daily sessions", or "BDS's." They will help in making our ideas explicit.

1. Another, and perhaps better, way to measure "short bursts" would be by counting words, as many professional writers did and do. You would be surprised to see where 500 words a day gets you, for instance.

2. Boice also wrote Advice for New Faculty Members and How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency: A Psychological Adventure, neither one of which I have seen.

Friday, May 7, 2010

On Having an Idea and Writing "it" Down

Ideas and Prose is an interesting post on "the disparity between thinking and writing". While I am not sure that there is a great disparity, the problem is worth thinking about.

Among other things, there is a claim that this disparity "is amplified in the case of having an idea in, say, Danish and writing it down in English." Not in my experience. (I am a native German speaker, who has lived in English for more than forty years. I usually do not know in what language I am "having an idea." In fact, whatever it is that "I'm having," becomes an idea only when I write it down or say it in English or German. Before I see it, I have no clear idea about "it" (no pun intended, of course).

To be sure, I can also clarify or "see" it "in my mind," but this is a secondary, not a primary mode of attention. Expressing the idea is a necessary condition of the possibility of "having" it.[1] And writing is better than talking. (No matter what Plato might have thought—or should I have said written?)

Still, I agree with the conclusion that the "only proven method is to think often and to write often"—as long as it is understood that the two activities are not as disparate as some people think they are. Writing is the most effective “way of thinking,” if only it makes explicit what would otherwise remain mere musings.[2]

1. See also On the gradual creation of thoughts while speaking.

2. I also found interesting the post on Dividing Your Time

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

JSesh Hieroglyphic Editor

I suppose most of the readers of this blog have no use for an hieroglyphic editor. But then again, someone might:


JSesh is a free, open source, editor for ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts. It's currently quite powerful, and it covers most of the so-called Manuel de Codage.

I know that I will never use it.

No further comment!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Update on "Notational Velocity for Windows"

Notes now has been updated and can now synchronize with the Simplenote Website.[1]

It works! [December 5, 2011: It seems to be no longer available.]

1. You must scroll down to the bottom of the page to get to the entry.

Symbolic Links

Vista and Windows allow you to create "symbolic links." This adds considerable flexibility to accessing files.

For a good description of how to do this, see here. This post describes how symbolic links are useful to DropBox users. this is much less radical than making your DropBox folder your actual "My Documents" folder, which is also possible.

I actually prefer Windows Live Sync for synchronizing between the home, office, and netbook computers.