This week Knightwise delves into the world of words and how he gets the words out of his head and down onto the virtual page across the myriad platforms that he finds himself.
There are lots of different editors for different kinds of jobs. Check out a whole bunch of them on this week’s episode of the knightwise.com podcast.
There are certain things in the universe that are constant. Toast always falls with the Marmelade coated side DOWN, cats land on their feet and Will Smith’s son Jayden will never be able to utter an intelligent sentence on social media.
And the same goes for interesting articles on the web. Their will be a constant relation between the moment you find an interesting article you want to read and the lack of time you have to do so. So how about fixing that problem. What if you could store those interesting articles and .. have them read TO you when YOU have the time.
No time right now ? It’s in the pocket.
Enter “pocket” : A notebook service that lets you store articles in the cloud to read them later (either on or offline). Pocket consists of a free cloud based account that lets you store articles and webpages and an application that allows you to read those articles when you have the time.
Adding articles to the “library” can be done with a Chrome or Firefox extension. You can access your collection of stored articles via Pocket’s website or use the application.
The application “syncs” your pocket articles so you can read them offline on your mobile device (Smartphone or Tablet) and is available on IOS and Android.
The one excellent feature you can use in the Pocket app is that you can have it READ the article out loud via text to speech.
Its a bit like listening to a podcast of articles you have collected on the web. The voices are fairly natural to listen to and you can adjust the speed AND the language so your Dutch article doesn’t get read by an English voice. (You should try it though , its hilarious).
The pocket service, the extension AND the pocket apps are free and available on all the major operating systems. Don’t read the web.. have somebody read it to you !
There is not a lot that is really “New” in OSX Mavericks. Aside from braking a lot of stuff (Like for example Wiretap Studio, Mountain Lion-server, mail and more) there are a couple of interesting new tricks hidden under the hood. The voice dictation has been around in both IOS and OSX for quite some time. Unlike on Nexus devices, this worked by sending up whatever you “said” to the computer to Apple servers to be analysed, translated into text and sent down again. It was pretty cool to do once or twice, but depending on your internet connection it could be a little laggy. It would also keep breaking my concentration (and conversation) as the words on the screen would not ‘keep up’ with my trail of thought.
In OSX Mavericks you can now have that “voice dictation” ability available “offline”. No more sending your deepest thoughts towards a giant datacenter for analyzing .. Just a quiet one on one between your computer and you.
Do do this :
- Open system preferences – Go to ‘Dictation and speech’ – Select “use enhanced dictation”
- Select the correct language and wait for OSX to download the speech pack (about 700 meg)
- Open the text editing field of your desired application (Mail, Textedit, The blank form on your ‘I-still-love-hannah-montanna blog on Myspace)
- Press your function key (fn) twice and .. start talking.
How to let it work for you ?
- Great for typing out quick emails
- also nice for tweets and chats .. you are really FAST on IRC this way.
- Dictation of boring text
- Fantastic if your fingers are covered in peanut butter and you don’t want to ruin your keyboard.
So how do YOU talk to your tech ? Tell us in the comments section.
Time to raise the hairs on the neck of all Wifi-enabled laptop and mobile phone users in this interesting interview with Gerjon McVries ( @mcvries on Twitter) about “The pineapple” and its awesome (and malevolent) potential when it comes to exploiting basic flaws in Wifi enabled devices. If you were worried about the NSA sniffing your traffic in the Prism debacle, then try not to realise that a 14 year old scriptkiddie with a paypall account could buy this awesome toy and sniff every bit you transmit.
I mentioned a couple of interesting command line suggestions for a good Wordprocessor a while ago in a previous post. But thanks for the research I did for the “Return of the netbook” podcast, I came across Wordgrinder. Unlike most word processing applications from Redmont, Wordgrinder is not infested by a talking paper clip, and its menu bar has not been designed like a hidden Chinese puzzle that only Savants can solve.
Wordgrinder is also a different league from the text editors like VIM or Emacs, and is not geared towards code manipulation like Nano. Wordgrinder reminds me of .. Wordperfect. Remember the little paper strip secretaries had taped to their keyboards in order to remind them what function key did what ? Wordgrinder is more like that. Hitting the escape key brings you into the menu bar where you can select all the functions you expect from a real Wordprocessor… from the early Nineties.
But in a world swamped with widgets, buttons and distractions, in a universe where every application at least has one dingdong to tweet whenever you even THOUGHT about farting in the elevator .. Wordgrinder is safe haven of simplicity and focus. Run it natively on any Linux system or access it via an SSH connection to your Linux system from your Mac or your Pc. Sure it isn’t high tech, but it does the job pretty well. For all those times you need to knuckle down .. Wordgrinder is your friend.
Links : Wordgrinder.
Install it from the command line (On Ubuntu)
sudo apt-get install wordgrinder