Patrick Rhone’s Circa

December 3, 2007

Wality 52

Originally uploaded by patrickrhone.
I’ve been following Patrick’s blog for a while now. It was through his post that I found out about Cornell paper and also GTD with Base Camp. It seems Patrick is getting into analogue big time!

What I also like about this notebook is the tab. The white tab looks so much cleaner then my colorful tab which makes the white labels stand out too much. Here the white labels of the label maker blends in nicely.

Somewhat related:

Patrick’s trip to Levenger review of the Circa Steno

A Note from Ryan

November 12, 2007

A Note from Ryan

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.
This note makes me smile. The story behind this True Writer began one morning when I received an invitation to explore Second LIfe Abott’s AeroDome from Ryan/Austin. Ryan had made a giant True Writer Shuttle in Second Life. I think it is the same color even. Back then Ducce was a noob and could not fly it very well…and he’s still is to some extent. I have earned my wings indeed. I like the green ink that Ryan uses. The True Blue has a nice finish and weight. I can refill it with six styles of Ballpoint, Roller, and my favorite Anti-Gravity.


flickr truewriter

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Commonplace Journal Index Page

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.

“a certain old, well-thumb’d common-place book…carried in my pocket for three summers, and absorb’d over and over again.” – Walt Whitman.

CommonPlace Journal Cover

The book comes with three white stick on labels. The journal has a preface which explain what a Commonplace journal is. Those two small pages of explanation gives me so much ideas and possibilities for this notebook. It began in Renaissance times. The Latin term is loci communes, or commonplaces. There is a guide for using the Commonplace Refill. So for example ‘Game Theory’ would be under ‘Ga’. Take the first letter and the next vowel. Then note the pages separated with a comma. This system is based on John Locke which would be filed under ‘Lo’ and or ‘Co’ for commonplace book. You get the idea. There are six pages for Index and additional two pages for more or different categories. Otherwise it is just like the ruled journal with numbered pages. The signatures are sewn together with threads instead of glue for durability. There are 120 pages for both the Journal and the Commonplace book. The pages have very smooth but not glossy surface so the ink sits well on the page and not bleed through.

Already I am thinking that in the back section could use some sort of indexing system, perhaps a simple alphabetical index or appendix. These journals are called Refills and they are meant for the three versions of the jacket. Stand alone, the covers are flexible for bending and putting it into a jacket sleeve. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a version of a sturdier cover which can be a stand alone notebook or slip more easily into the jacket.

All in all, it’s a superb journal. I could use it for a book of quotations, journals, or ideas for a novel. Participating in NaNoWriMo has taught me to first capture and later catalog. Now there’s a way to index it and later edit the work in an organized fashion.

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Wiki Circa

October 15, 2007

Work has started on a Wiki Circa:

The thought of writing for Wiki seems daunting. I’ve seen the stories of how the disc bound rollabind was started and I think someone should contribute and expand upon the stub. There should be a general disc bound and the include Atoma, Myndology, Rollabind and others.

Circa Junior Leather Fold Over

My First Circa Fold Over. Like a first set of Legos which strangely enough I have never own. I usually just play with my friend’s set. After all the looking at my comrade’s Fold Over, I collapsed and folded, head over heels for the Circa Fold Over. Even after trying out the Circa Jacket with a belt, I find myself using the cheaper version of the Rollanotebook fold over knock off more and more. The real estate on my office desk is precious. It’s amazing how compact a Junior folded over can become. So with the event of getting older, I thought that I would give myself a present. Plus there was a good deal on the ‘Sand’ color in the Levenger Summer Stock up Sale. I could not find this deal on the Levenger website. I mailed ordered mine. There were other goodies like a pen cup and paper clip holder for about $4. The Bookography line is also marked down. The sale lasts until August. Waiting at present for the CFO.

Update: My CFO arrived last Friday 7/20/07

This version is much improved because the pockets are now in the front cover instead of the back. It makes writing against a flat surface much more suitable. I don’t storage anything in the pockets. I also write on the Verso, the left side of the page and need a nice flat surface for that as well. The bomber version has the same design. Unfortunately, Levenger discontinue the Sand version.

Picture in facebook group ‘Lev’angelism’.

[9:36] Austin Ellison: I’m interested to see how Microsoft’s coverage of Wimbledon will work in SL.

[9:36] You: really

[9:36] You: how

[9:37] You: give me the landmarks please.

[9:37] Austin Ellison: ;) I think Allison wants to play ;) – I’ll grab a link – one moment

[9:37] You: k

[9:37] You: *throws Allison a bone

[9:37] You: Well I will have to get my tennis whites on

[9:38] Allison Jonze gnaws on the bone

[9:38] You: *pets dragon

[9:38] You: Allison I can’t remember when I saw you as a human.

[9:39] Austin Ellison: I think big blue is keeping the build location a secret for now.

[9:40] You: ha-ha

[9:40] You: lovely

[9:41] You: I use to have a flaming wall.

[9:42] You: Do you have any other Avies?

[9:46] Austin Ellison: No, just Austin Ellison. (So if you want to publish anything, just ask. ;) )

[9:48] You: btw I saw what you wrote about ten faces on Stephen’s blog.

[9:48] You: I always wonder why you don’t write like that in your own blog.

[9:49] Austin Ellison: Just remember, not many of your readers understand what an avie [avie is an Avatar] is, let alone that there can be a separate ‘personality’ attributed to that avie. ;)

[9:49] Austin Ellison: Thank you.

[9:49] You: or maybe it’s because when people asks in form of an interview or questions…our writing response becomes better?

[9:50] Austin Ellison: I walk an odd line with how I use Collaborative Ideation. I want to keep it entertaining, but I ‘do’ represent Levenger to an extent with what I write.

[9:50] Austin Ellison: I often try to avoid anything that appears too commercial.

[9:50] You: Yes … I think that is your fear to appear too commercial…

[9:51] You: and I think it holds up some of the writing.

[9:51] Austin Ellison: There are times where I am really excited about a new product or find a large discount on an item others have expressed an interest in, but I do not post such content as it would appear to anyone unfamiliar with my work, as an advertisement.

[9:51] You: in a way it’s a sort of censoring of one self?

[9:51] You: I would agree.

[9:51] You: that’s where people like me come in :)

[9:52] You: to bring that sort of good news to the consumers.

[9:52] Austin Ellison: ;) With your outside perspective, you can offer an opinion about what I write that feels more objective.

[9:52] You: I see.

[9:53] You: but some times I hold my tongue.

[9:53] You: because I know they are free samples.

[9:53] You: and I edit my opinion too much.

[9:53] You: I try to find a ground where products try to work together if I can.

[9:54] Austin Ellison: I’m thankful for the work you do, with the entire notebook community. I realized a few months ago that the social media experiment I’m running is less about the ‘kind’ of notebook used, but about the creativity and “fast-prototyping” of the community that helps us learn together.

[9:54] You: and I think that’s the most fun …to be creative with the good.

[9:54] You: thank you…I sometimes don’t know what I’m doing…I simple play on a hunch and experiment like you.

[9:54] Austin Ellison: Your voice is certainly being broadcast out there to businesses. You’re doing a great job.

[9:55] You: you have an input and support have help.

[9:55] You: and it seems each blog links me to a new connection.

[9:55] You: from Levenger I found out about Tom Kelley

[9:55] You: and then to snow crash to SL

[9:56] You: I wonder if it’s like that for you?


[9:57] Austin Ellison: There are a small group of influencers managing content. Following the web, or clusters, is what can lead to hive research. (Or lots of wasted time.) ;)

[9:58] Austin Ellison: Learning takes on an entirely new operation with collective content intelligence (web 2.0)

[9:58] You: hm…Hive research

[9:58] You: good analogy…we are like worker bees.

[9:59] Austin Ellison: Try creating a feed from a search for some topic or group of words like “SL+library”. You will benefit from the research of everyone else, and as you bookmark your own sites, give back to that effort.

[10:00] You: I see

[10:00] You: I’ve always wonder why you don’t use

[10:00] Austin Ellison: This is where I step off to some proverbial lectern and begin speaking about emergent communication technology. …..Rather see the space station?

[10:00] You: Or why you choose Tumblr?

[10:01] You: fine with me…do your lectern

[10:01] Austin Ellison: (I find to be much better. It is the blogroll on the right of the tumblr page.)

[10:02] You: Tell us about what you think is the emergent communication tech.

[10:02] Austin Ellison: Further, the guys behind Tumblr have some bright potential. I think there should be some great improvements to the platform in the next few months. It is very “mash” able

[10:03] You: aha I see…delicious had become too commercial maybe.

[10:03] Austin Ellison: A great place to learn about emergent communication is Alex Pang’s EndOfCyberspace blog.

[10:04] You: I see… how did you find his blog?

[10:05] Austin Ellison: He works with a few other researchers from Palo Alto. It was only by chance that I learned of his upcoming book. I had read his entries on Future Now for quite awhile.

[10:06] You: I see….it’s all overwhelming sometimes to keep up with.

[10:06] Austin Ellison: I’m not going anywhere. ;)

[10:06] You: You were talking about Avies earlier.

[10:06] You: what is your explanation.

[10:08] Austin Ellison: Yes. I wanted to mention that sometimes the concepts that you and I have already grasped in regards to dividing selves into SL-Avie, RL, RL on the phone, RL instant messaging, etc, aren’t easily understandably to an audience unless they have experienced them first-hand.

[10:10] Austin Ellison: SL is actually pretty foreign to some. Perhaps you should create an objective, or mission, for Ducce as Duc. Something to help distinguish the personalities while adding a purpose like, “the web 3.d explorer”.

[10:10] Austin Ellison: I bet your fans would find that exciting.

[10:11] You: I think so…(Duc looks around…What fan?)

[10:11] You: I didn’t think anyone reads those things.

[10:11] Austin Ellison: …or “ace reporter from the metaverse” ;)

[10:11] You: but one woman got out of character to chide me on my bad grammar.

[10:11] Austin Ellison: ;)

[10:12] You: Ducce’s personality arrives as he went, a sort of fool misfit.

[10:12] You: I even had to make corrections to make her happy.

[10:13] You: She is a furry in SL. I know some people only exist as furies on here.

[10:13] Austin Ellison: I grasped that on your first post. (Especially when Ducce called Duc an XXX) ;) But I bet you thoroughly confused a few readers

[10:13] You: and good…

[10:14] You: I think some people are so serious with their blogs

[10:14] Austin Ellison: ;) Yeah, I agree.

[10:14] You: that’s why I like to read the humorous Steve on DIYplanner.

[10:14] Victoria Trenchard is Online

[10:15] You: What do you think about trying to appear like your real life self on SL?

[10:16] You: I’m thinking I would like to do that but I don’t know how yet.

[10:16] Austin Ellison: I ‘read into’ things a great deal. Further, I felt it would help me to remain focused on my objectives and keep accountable for my actions.

[10:17] Austin Ellison: A fountain pen network member was in Chicago last Friday. He recognized me by my avatar. I was quite impressed.

[10:17] You: :)

[10:18] Austin Ellison: -just add a suit and tie.

[10:18] You: I did see your Youtube demonstration of the Aaron Chair

[10:18] You: I must say there is a resemblance.

[10:19] Austin Ellison: Have you seen the station?

[10:19] You: No….I do like the Circa ‘salad’ bar.

[10:19] You: Perfect cross pollination there!

[10:19] You: It’s design experience in action.

[10:19] Austin Ellison: …oh ….. ;) I’m having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to promote this thing.

[10:20] You: The gadget station?

[10:20] Austin Ellison: It’s funny how a difficult advertising ‘free’ notebook is. (What’s the catch? the predominant response.)

[10:20] Austin Ellison: -no the space station – SL

[10:21] You: oh *Ducce perks up* free?

[10:21] You: I haven’t seen the space station.

[10:22] Austin Ellison: *this is where I sound like a commercial* Anyone that enters a Levenger retail store, can receive a free, custom, Circa notebook. We build a sample with the kind of pages they want to try. The idea behind it, obviously, is that we want to get people excited about the personalization potential of the system.

[10:24] Austin Ellison: Anyway,…that is what those video prototypes are about. We are developing some method for letting customers know about it that doesn’t seem too “cheeky”. A series of videos shot within the actual stores seemed the right blend of authenticism.

[10:24] You: Oh…I would put on a different mask and appear with a different accent so I can get it all…hehe

[10:24] Austin Ellison: ;)

[10:25] Austin Ellison: To the space station? (I thought it would be a good photo op in the cockpit before launch

[10:25] You: good idea


Ducce Here for another report…You thought you were rid of me…hehe. Not so easy my friend! Anywho…This morning, bright and early, I happen to see my friend Austin Ellison on SL. (aka, Rasmussen or as I would like to call him Austin POWERS Ellison…but I don’t think that will go over too well…indeed). He had given me a TrueWriter space craft. Ah yes it’s an Offworld vehicle not to be allowed on Arrikas [Arrakis, the planet known as Dune; third planet of Canopus] (Either am I for that matter…yes my tribe have banished me from my Steich [Sietch: Fremen Cave/home] and now I have to get the spice from smugglers…but that’s a long story…I’m now of the Hogwarths school for male Bene Gessits [corrections: there are no male Bene Gesserit]. Yes, I even had to inflict a Crysknife wound on my forehead to be legit like my main man HP. But whoever I am, my Fremen brother Austin still accepts me and that’s saying alot!) It is a replica of a writing instrument of Earth origin from a company call Levenger? Have you heard?!

So the 99 W other wise known as the McLoughlin highway had a slight incident. Yesterday, a refrigerant truck crashed and spilt some Hazmat ammonia on the asphalt. Roads were closed…ya da ya da. So The Flying Truewriter pen came in handy as a way to get around. Austin tele-ported me to the Tarmac and off we go!!

Yeah…that’s me flying! Thanks for the ride!

The following is an audio commentary of the video by yours truely Ducce:

Ducce: Oh look at the way the brother struts his stuff! And then the Kung-Fu jump landing from the elevator…impressive Austin! Woe…did you see that jet of vapor trail above my head?!?! The brother left me in the dust.

LY: It didn’t even look like you got off the ground much Ducce.

Ducce: I did, Austin just didn’t catch it on film. He was too busy showing off to the ladies in the lounge. And I was perfecting my barrel roll. And you should shut up LY, this is my commentary and you weren’t even out there my friend.

Oh did I mention that Austin made the space craft? Yeah the brother has a degree from an Aeronautical school for the Gifted scripters.

P.S. Ly, I warn you man! Next time you wanna borrow my Beautiful AV Bod for an interview…at least do a decent job man…for crying out loud! You make me sound like a wimp! and you didn’t even make a move on such a beautiful lady:)

[oh and btw LY IS A DUMBA$$]

Rasmussen’s True Writer Assembly


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circa junior belt jacket

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.
glam shot of the Junior

Some related articles:

First circa-rolla Post


circa-j-jacket open

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Myndology Arrival

April 12, 2007

myndology 0274

I’m so surprised. I was just expecting one notebook but a whole box? Wow. I am already thinking what I can use for each items. I’m learning Polish so the one ring flash cards are very helpful. I got my work cut out for me this weekend of fun!

I spoke with Jason yesterday and learn a little bit about Atoma. The product was first realized in 1948 and it hadn’t caught on in the States until recently. Myndology has been selling the Atoma disc only in the last two years. The back of the cover still bears the Mindbinders which Duffy and Partners later revised to Myndology. The quality of paper and line seems to be very good; on par with Levenger and better then the Rollabind Notebooks from Staples. What I’m amazed is that the ring/disc has a slightly smaller circumference compared to the smallest of the Circa disc 1/2″ and yet it manages to hold the same amount of paper. The ring/disc has a wider band than the Circa Rolla and seems to grip onto the paper more tightly. The mushroom head also seems to latch onto the paper. As with any design, there are give and takes. I would say that the Atoma would fall more towards the Ring spectrum of the design because of the wide band. Where as I see the Circa and Rolla more of a disc, with a narrower band width.

Wow what amazes me is that the Myndology/atoma mushroom shape can fit into the Circa Rolla disc and vice versa. The space between the disc/ring are equal distant but their starting point is not! So it’s like when you button your shirt without checking and see that it is mismatched. (Photo to follow.) This is fixable in the new punch that Myndology will product this summer, I hope that it will align with the Circa Rolla. Myndology letter size (8×10 inches approx.) has ten rings versus the other’s eleven discs. However, both of the junior size of the Circa Rolla and Myndology has eight rings!! So they do align but the Myndology page is slightlywider then the Circa Rolla. Which means that the Circa rolla pages can fit into a Myndology but not the other way around. That being said, I think there are potential for a truly personal notebook in these three or four systems where you can choose, mix and match because the disc/ring is a single unit, not bound by a predetermine length, that is a notebook can be made by the sum of it’s parts. As long as the mushroom shapes are inter- changeable between ring/disc systems, I don’t see why you can’t use a punch from Circa or Rolla right now (until Myndology makes one) and clear pretty color rings of the Myndology/atoma? For example, earlier I had a drawing to modify the Real Simple Orange cover, well now I can use the orange Myndology rings to bind them in matching color. I don’t know if consumers can purchase just the rings from Myndology, but I think this would be very useful because I wouldn’t want to disassemble my Myndology notebook for parts. I’ll go so far as to say that you can even assemble a notebook with alternating ring/disc, one of Atoma and Circa Rolla, as long as they are fairly similar in size. Really, that was one of my main and major concern about these disc/rings. I’ve heard that it’s not compatible many times and didn’t know why. Now I think that their incompatibility is slight and can be over come. It might take a little bit of moding but it should work together. (I will try out this experiment later.)

I spoke with Jason about the punch. Consumers are lamenting over the price of the Circa Rolla punch. And if Myndology is to produce a punch, we all hope that it would be affordable. But in true, there are many metal moving parts to produce on this kind of punch. So take that into consideration when you look at a price of the punch.

Speaking of price, the Myndology line called the Muse has very reasonable price for a designed product. Their index card are about $2-3, comparable to Mead at office supplies. Myndology’s availability in Universities, paper supply store and on-line, give them a competitive edge. The $8 letter size notebook is comparable to Rollabind’s.

The plastic cover is more pliable or malleable, frosted both sides, in brilliant orange, and probably available in several colors like blue and red. The one on the Circa is frosted on the outside cover and smooth on the inside and more rigid. Also available is several muted tones. This is either good or bad. It’s all a matter of preference. The pages are rounded with a larger radius on the Myndology at the left margin side. The orange cover matches perfectly with the paper. Where as the Circa has a smaller radius rounded corner on the cover but on all corners and also slightly larger to accommodate the tab dividers. Again personal preference. I’m just reporting on what I see and you can decide for yourselves.

These are just first impressions. I’ll do a more through look at this later. arrival





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Dear DUC LY,

We believe we’ve discovered a secret to happiness, and we want you as our Preferred Customer to be the first to know.

We found it in a book that J. B. Priestley, the English playwright, wrote more than a half-century ago. Delight is J. B.’s engaging and witty compilation of the small, everyday felicities of life that give him “a dingle-dangle of delight.”

Things like the sound of a football and the smell of Tahiti…. Fountains…. Ship decks in early morning and detective stories in bed…. Departing guests and the coming of the idea…. Sunday papers in the country…. Escaping from time…. Meeting a friend.

Taking pleasure in the small things in lifeWe think J. B. is on to something big with his small delights. We all experience such simple pleasures, and it is these that can bring us lasting happiness. While we may struggle for the big-ticket rewards, it’s the pennies that truly are from heaven, and that may well end up being the most valuable tender of our days.

Here’s J. B. on discovering Vermeer:
“I discovered at last that a painting could fill me with a strange joy, which might haunt me for days, if only because the artist had begun to shape and color my own vision of things.”

On his first time abroad:
“The North Sea that week was as blue as any that Ulysses ever saw.”

And after a concert:
“Held aloft on the shoulders of Bach and Mozart, I can believe that the good life is not yet a lost dream.”

Delight reminds us that as good as it gets can be pretty darn good. And so a beautiful new edition of this nearly forgotten literary delight is our newest offering from Levenger Press. We bound it in cherry-red leather, lettered it with gold and printed it on rich, creamy stock so that the book itself is a delight. Here’s the link: Delight: Taking pleasure in the small things in life.

The true power of this book is not so much what’s inside the covers as what it elicits inside your mind. After dipping into some of J. B.’s wonderful vignettes, you may find yourself making a list of your own dingle-dangles of delight. What a joyful journey you can begin with such small steps.

All my best,

Steve Leveen, Publisher
Levenger PressP.S. What’s a small thing in life that gives you great pleasure? Email us your Delight at cservice{at}levenger{dot}com. (Here’s one of mine: the wind chime of halyards on masts of sailboats at anchor, a sound I associate with some of my favorite days.)


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