I first heard about it in 2007, when I started using Scrivener, but dismissed it because the requirement that a novel be fiction. I only just found about NaNo Rebels, which allows you to customize the “50,000 words” into nearly any other creative exercise, including non-fiction. So yesterday, this was born:
I don’t know if I can finish since it’s about a good sized blog article each and every day. We’ll see how it goes. So far it’s been a bit strange writing a book. For instance, I can’t use my WordPress shortcode macros lest I ruin the word count.
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“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
— Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
In 1992, one of my first postings on Usenet was an article on comp.sys.mac.* titled “Zen and the Art of Buying a Macintosh.” As someone whose first computer was an Apple ][+ in 1979, used Macs since they came out in 1984, and owned them since the “Fat Mac” in 1985, I was the very definition of an Apple-lover. In writing that post, I wanted to express the confusion and helplessness I felt when recommending a Macintosh to anyone. There were PowerBooks, Performas, LCs, Centrises, and Quadras, some of which were the same exact computer with different names. If a Mac fanboy like me couldn’t make heads-or-tails of it, something was seriously wrong for the Macintosh. It was clear to me that Apple had lost the very quality that attracted people like me to it in the first place. That post became popular enough that a number of Mac user group newsletters asked to republish it.
That Apple, the one that made infomercials, is no more. Steve Jobs retook the helm in 1997 and radically simplified its line into a quadrant based on two questions: Do you want a laptop or desktop computer? Are you a professional or consumer?
Those days are gone, but I can’t help but feel that Steve Jobs embedded in the DNA of Apple something to ensure they’d never again lose the very quality of “Apple” that would take it in a wrong direction. Apple became a company that stopped making something just because some business analyst said that they need to because it was “disruptive” or ” would protect their market share,” but rather a company that would only introduce a product when they had an idea who that product would be for.
Now to you kids, I want to tell you this: not every Apple product is for you.
I’ve been a manager for 2.5 years and I’ve been too long away from programming. There is something just so wonderful about being able to work again in a world where there is a right and a wrong.1
I decided to start to finally2 teach myself iOS development today for: first, because I’ve never done it before and second, because it’s an opportunity to learn a new language and re-learn an old one3 I haven’t done for over a decade.
We’ll see how it goes. I’m not optimistic.
…and getting the feedback to know which is which! ↩
In nearly every review of the new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro Retina, a big list on the minus column has been the new [MagSafe] 2 connector.
Mostly because this necessitates the purchase of a $10 part for all ones other’s adapters that is (admittedly) easy to lose.
But overall, I feel this deserves a big plus. Since I’ve had my MacBook Air, I have not once put my USB cable into my MagSafe outlet. This was an almost daily occurrence, so much so that I noticed I unconsciously nurtured a habit of using the right USB port first.
Now if they can only bring back the low profile connector and license MagSafe to third parties. Well that, and create a FindMyMagSafe2Adapter app. Because I seemed to have lost one of mine already.
I recommend [Scrivener] as **the** application for doing long-form writing. But since I’m no longer in academia and I don’t write creatively, I don’t often use the program—unless my blog articles run away from me. (Besides, my [vim][macvim] keybinding addiction is enabled by [QuickCursor]). Even when I do, it is pretty much limited to its [MultiMarkdown] export to HTML for notetaking.
The other day, I noticed they added a tutorial document to the application itself. I decided to go through it.
This screenshot shows both normal and “smart” collections, split screens with audio dictation handling, custom templates with custom icons, and that I love my boo 🙂
Very cool. I learned a lot that I didn’t get (not) slogging through the complete(ly boring) user manual.
Now if only if I can figure out some reason to actually use the program… 😀
[Scrivener]: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php “Scrivener—Literature and Latte”
[QuickCursor]: http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/quickcursor “QuickCursor: Your Text Editor Anywhere for Mac—Hog Bay Software”
[MultiMarkdown]: http://fletcherpenney.net/multimarkdown/ “MultiMarkdown”
[macvim]: http://code.google.com/p/macvim/ “macvim: vim for the Mac”
I’m surprised I never got around to mentioned this, when [I promised I would][nans second story]. Since it’s been years, go back and read it, and come back. I’ll wait.
In high school, I owned a [Thunderscan][Thunderscan]. For those of you too lazy to click on the link, this was a device that would digitize photos by replacing the ink cartridge of your ImageWriter, [a dot-matrix printer][dot-matrix printer], popular with Macintosh computers of the era.
(For those of you too young to remember what a dot-matrix printer is: in the old days, our printers were slow enough that you could watch an episode of *[Cheers][Cheers]* waiting for it to print out an article or “graphics” —the latter of which was whatever came out of [Print Shop][theprintshop]. And they were so loud, that a popular accessory was huge muffled box to place the printer in, in order to contain what can only be described as the primal periodical scream of the then nascent personal computer, “Why the f*&k do I have to be tasked for the next half our printing up a sinfully ugly banner for [your terrible P.T.A Yard Sale][review the print shop]?”)
Now imagine something that did the reverse (put print into the computer) by scanning it line by line. And realize that a typical “line” of text back then was actually 24 “lines” to this scanner.
> Equally interesting is what [[Siri][siri]] portents for Apple. Just like the App Store began the intermediation and exclusion of Google by offering users a better experience interacting with data in apps than via a web search, Siri continues it by theoretically making it easier and more enjoyable to engage in query/response with Siri than with Google. In typical fashion, Apple isn’t building a search engine to compete with Google, they’re building something to obsolete the current conception of search engines. And they’re not doing it by becoming a walled garden — there’s no profit in that. They’re doing it by becoming a walled gate with a multi-directional toll system.
Great observation. Reminds me also of how Apple got out from under the [Microsoft Office Sword of Damocles][microsoft 150] with [Safari][safari] and [iWork][iwork].
[tipb]: http://www.tipb.com/2011/10/12/ios-5-iphone-ipad-walkthrough/ “iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad walkthrough—TiPb”
[microsoft 150]: http://www.apple.com/ca/press/1997/08/AppleMicrosoft.html “Microsoft and Apple Affirm Commitment to Build Next Generation Software for Macintosh. The $150 million was a smokescreen to avoid the obvious anti-trust move of bundling Explorer in order to keep Microsoft continuing to develop Office for the Mac.”
[safari]: http://www.apple.com/safari/ “Safari: Browse the web in smarter, more powerful ways—Apple”
[siri]: http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html “Ask Siri to help you get things done—Apple”
[iwork]: http://www.apple.com/iwork/ “iWork: Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The Mac way—Apple”