Monthly Archives: February 2009

Dating DEVONThink

I was all excited. I thought I had found a solution to my vexing Journler problems. Crashes, freezes, all manner of frustrations had pushed me away from the love of my life application. Journler was the app I had been immersed in for the first year of my writing, my first crush, but the application’s solo developer had gone off, and it was clear, the bugs that existed would be problems forever, so I went looking for another.

I wrote “Bye, bye, Journler. DEVONThink is my girl now. She’s not beautiful like you, kind of clumsy actually, but she is smart and will be here for the long haul…”

Now I’m starting to wonder. DEVONThink is an application best described as inattentive to its appearance. It is messy in the way it interacts with others and is more worried about the mad scientist, artificial intelligence core of the program than in adding any real value to how users create or manage data…

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Artists Stand Naked

All these writing exercises, many under time constraints – “Please do a character development using dialogue and no description for the next 12 minutes” – become like unconstrained mini-therapy, without the benefit of professional interpretation.

“You are not the narrator…” Sure I’m not. I’m supposed to connect with my “conscious, make friends with it” and “take a stand in your work”. If I really took a stand everyone in the room would fall down.

I’m learning that artists stand naked. Perhaps that’s why they are hunched over all the time.

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If Mark Twain Had a Laptop

Are we better off with all the writer’s and researcher’s tools on our PCs?

I look down at my MacBook’s desktop, and staring back at me is a monster. A jumble of incomprehensible and expanding piles of electronic icons spill and shuffle around as if the sorter cubbies on top of a roll top desk had just collapsed. I think, if Mark Twain had a laptop this is what it would have looked like.

The nice thing about the physicality of books, printed pdfs, and paper journals is their hard edged presence and volume. Having them piled up around you reminds you of things; like how much you’ve done, and how much you need to do. That volume of paper communicates what you have to do, and more importantly, it gives you a gauge of what you can do.

So where does that leave Sente, Zotero, Pages, EndNote, OneNote, DEVONThink, Together and Journler…

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Agenda for America

Agenda for America: After Quantanamo lets make Jet travel safe again.

The LAT reported that 208 passengers have been convicted of felony terrorist activity under the Patriot Act over the past few years, often for raising their voices to Flight Attendants.

I’m surprised the number isn’t in the thousands…

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