After I moved house, one of my goals in setting up a new workspace was to have a desk I actually used. I had tried the laptop-connected-to-a-monitor thing and it just didn’t work that well. So I found a small PC that could mount behind a monitor and then I hung the monitor on an arm so nothing would be on my desk except for a keyboard and mouse. This way I could have a clear desk that wasn’t taken up by computer stuff.
It seems that my visit to the typewriter shop really did make me think about adding one to my workflow. I spent a few weeks stalking various auctions on eBay, and when I saw a vintage Olivetti Lettera 22 pop up, I decided to pounce. This is one of the best ones that I’ve seen. It’s condition can only be summed up as “hardly used.” One thing in the eBay pictures convinced me it was in superb shape was that it still had the original dust cover.
In Chapter 7 of my book Stop Typing & Start writing, I discuss how to get handwritten text into a digital format. After the actual writing, this can be the next most crucial step because your words aren’t going anywhere until they’re digital. That’s just the internet-connected world we live in now. So until there’s an OCR program that can read my handwriting, the transcription has to be done by either typing or dictation.
A few weeks ago I bought this cable to connect my phone to my camera. So after a few uses it seems like a good time for a quick review. The bottom line is that it works, and other than a few camera related quirks it’s a good value at $30. As a bonus it can even be used to transfer photos from one iPhone to another. The cable Artisinal data transfer, every byte imported by hand.
Just to the shoot the elephant in the room: Yes, there is gadget lust involved here. Ever since the original announcement I’ve wondered exactly how I could justify the purchase of something so unnecessary. The features are well documented by Apple and others. I don’t see a need to rehash what a cottage industry of speculation has already hashed. So to my possible financial detriment, I went and looked at Apple’s Watch pages.
This project was a few weeks in the making. When I started there was a problem with some of the software not behaving. I leave the hardware driver voodoo to those that understand it. After an update this morning I was able to get all the parts working. So what exactly is a WiFi VPN access point? It’s the combination of several pieces of hardware and software that when running on my Pogo provides me with:
One thing that’s taken a few days to sink is how Apple managed to improve the keyboard on the new MacBook model. During the announcement Tim Cook mentioned that the key tops were 17% larger than the current MacBook keyboards. I noted it in my live blog on Monday, but didn’t think too much about it. This evening I thought about going to an Apple Store to see it in person, but decided to do a virtual comparison first.
One of the great features of Mac OS X is having Time Machine backups of your data. Time Machine can work with an external hard drive plugged in to a USB port, or it can operate over the local network. I have a laptop that spends most of its time on my lap. An external hard drive is just inconvenient. I also don’t want my backups to happen only when I remember to plug the drive in.
In my continuing adventures with the PogoPlug V4, I decided to get OpenVPN working. The install was easy enough, but getting the configuration correct turned into a literal project—it has it’s own GitHub repository. My VPN provider of choice is TunnelBear1. I started with them about a year ago because of their free service. The free accounts get 500 MB of data transfer per month. That’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get me out of a data emergency.
Amazon shipped me the PogoPlug V4 faster than I expected. It landed on my doorstep this afternoon. It’s a little bigger than I thought, but not by much. I also ordered a couple of add-ons: A 8GB tiny flash drive A miniature 802.11n wifi adapter ArchLinuxARM can only boot from the top USB port. That’s why I bought the tiny flash drive. I wanted the lid to close. The wifi adapter won’t see action for a few days yet.