Tag: review

Review: Elecom DEFT Wireless Trackball (M-DT2DRBK)

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.

Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after nine months

This is the third and final lightfastness test of the Lukas Aquarelle watercolor paints (original post, first update, second update). The reason for ending the test is twofold, the test strip was in the way of a window I wanted to start opening, and after ten full months of Arizona sun the verdict is in. I first hung the test strip in January 2016 in a south facing window. Expecting the paint to be faded out before the first 100℉ (38℃) day.

Writing Books 101: Story Engineering

In theory, writing is easy. You type one word after another until the story is finished. But somehow it doesn’t work out that way in practice. At least for me, as someone who’s never had any significant writing instruction, the scope of a large project can be daunting. All the writing classed I’ve ever taken have been focused on short works. From high school creative writing, the classes it took to get junior college requirements out of the way, a few online college classes in short stories and non-fiction articles, and none were focused on work over 1500 words.

Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 after four months

This is one project that seems to slip through the cracks when it comes to doing regular updates (original post, first update). The irony is that the more I forget about it the better the comparison becomes as I leave the test strip in the sun longer. This time it’s been 18 weeks since I first hung the test strip in a south facing window. This weekend is probably the last one of the spring that will see the daytime highs staying under 100℉ (38℃).

Photo Import with the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter

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.

Lightfast Test: Lukas Aquarelle 1862 vs. Arizona Sunlight

Lukas Aquarelle 1862 watercolors are a european brand that is sold in North America by Jerry’s Artarama. Being a low-priced paint, I wondered about the quality of the pigments. So I decided some testing was in order. I bought the following five paints: Alizarin Crimson (1064), Gamboge (1016), Ultramarine Light (1135), Burnt Sienna (1109), and Phthalo Green (1195), in half pans in a Jerry’s store. I have no idea how long they were sitting on the shelf or when they were made.

New Payment Service: Cash.me

Getting paid online is a delicate balance of convenience vs. cost. Some of the services are used simply because they’ve been around the longest. Like PayPal. But new ones seem to pop up every other day. For the most part, they’re worth signing up for to see how things work. The newest is Cash.me from Square. They have a nice link-shortening gimmick called “cashtags.” The idea is to create a username starting with a dollar sign ($) which then becomes your unique URL.

Writing with the AlphaSmart Neo2

This is a follow up to my distractions post. The Neo2 arrived today, and I’ve been testing it out. This post will be the first thing I’ve written on it. Keyboard The typing experience is good. The keys themselves are solid, and use a plastic spring mechanism. I like the feel. It’s somewhere between an old clicky-clack keyboard and the newer chiclet style found on MacBooks. It’s quiet and I’m not worried about the noise being a distraction in quiet places like a library.

What I just read - Sandman Slim

I first bumped shoulders with James Stark in a dark alley called Aloha From Hell. Richard Kadrey’s third book in the Sandman Slim series. I faithfully followed the series through the next three books. Watching Stark adapt to life outside of Hell has been a roller coaster ride through Los Angeles. But what was Stark like when he first came home? Reading the first book never quite made it to the top of my to-do list.

How I work - Ulysses

My main writing tool is Ulysses III. Simply put, it’s where my text is. In a way, it’s like an office. When I open the app I write. What is Ulysses Most importantly, Ulysses is a writing environment. All writing is done on “sheets,” which are managed by the app. The sheets (documents) are kept in a library, organized with a database. This means all files are kept out of sight and don’t clutter up the documents folder.