April 2010 Archives
I still feel the same way about OmmWriter. I hope the version they are planning for the iPad is available soon.I'm always testing new bits of software, new tools. Oooh, pretty-shiny-new, how does it work? Most of the time I use a thing once or twice and then forget about it. I move on. But every so often, I find something that naturally suits my way of working, and it becomes part of my life.
My newest favorite thing is OmmWriter - an application created for writing and concentration. A pared-down space. I can imagine making some changes to it (I'd love to be able to add my own background picture someday, or choose my own ambient sound) but the defaults are fine. The software reminds me to be still, to take my time, to think, and then it gets out of the way.
Michael Nobbs has a .pdf book now available as a free download on his website: "Start to Draw Your Life." It's full of encouragement and inspiration for anyone who is interested in beginning to draw...
Yesterday was Art All Night, a giant one-night art show in Pittsburgh. Each artist can only submit one piece, but there is no jury, no censorship, no cost to participate. Organizers told me that this year 1175 people submitted art to show. More than 10,000 people attended. Inspiring to see the outpouring of work.
I am going to use the "Sundry Notes" application for typing the text of this post, as I figure out what are the best ways I can use my iPad in the general flow of things I do.
Meanwhile, I listen to the tone of a late train whistle and think about turning off electronics in favor of a book tonight.
A visual clip from Tim O'Reilly's keynote at a recent conference. The video on You Tube is worth a listen - a chance to hear what O'Reilly thinks of big data, the cloud, and where technology is headed.
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
If more people start using this workaround, maybe someone else will figure out how to print full-sized pages and .pdfs.
(Click to enlarge note - which was made with School Notes Pro on my iPad.)
Not a perfect solution, but it is possible for me to print images up to 5" x 7" from my iPad, via wifi printing to my HP printer.
2 key bits of information:
1. You can take a screen shot with your iPad in the same way you do it with an iPhone - briefly press the power switch and the home button at the same time. The resulting .png image turns up in your Photos application.
2. HP makes a free app called iPrint for the iPhone and iPod touch which lets you print photos to your wifi-connected HP printer. iPrint also works on the iPad.
Challenges I have not yet resolved:
While photo resolution is crisp-ish on screen shots, the .pdf files that Mail will let me save to the Photo app are fuzzy.
I can't persuade the application to let me print anything larger than 5" x 7".
Still - it was very cool to press print on the iPad this afternoon, and hear the printer in the other room rumble into action.
As I think this through further, I'll write more.
Has my new iPad utterly transformed my life? Not in ways immediately apparent.
But I now take it for granted that Netflix streams to a thin wireless screen with nothing else attached to it.
Since the device just gets out of the way, I wonder how that invisibility will be used for art?
I made my own iPad case this weekend from felt and fabric. I've put a set of photos from this project over on Flickr.
Lots of ideas when Singularity Hub offers a list of the ten most amazing electronic clothes of the century, and Make magazine names April "Geek Chic" month with a massive round-up post of links.
I did get one, and so far I like it very much. (I also have a MacBook Pro, and in my house we have 2 iPhones and an iPod Touch.)
The iPad partly works as an intermediate device, something between phone and the laptop, a better space for reading web text and watching movies.
But as I use it more and more, it seems like its own new kind of technology. Example: I tried to use a keyboard shortcut to save some work in Pages. No command key. I looked for a "save" button on the screen. No "save" button. Why? The work is always already saved. Why? Why wouldn't you want to have your work saved? Why should you have to explicitly save it?
The designers have stripped away a lot of our habits and assumptions about how technology works, and have thought about what we actually want to do. This can be frustrating or delightful, depending on the context and your point of view.
For the most part, I'm having an awful lot of fun exploring. A ten-inch, responsive, multi-touch screen is incredible to use.
Tomorrow I can go back to believing everything I read on the internet. Meanwhile, I'd love to get a Monolith Action Figure