April 30, 2007

I found Freewebs through an anonymous source (my niece). As my avuncular duty, I signed up to keep tab on the lassie. It’s has some lovely templates, including a realistic looking book:

Too bad it doesn’t have the ability to tag the entries. I would like to use this as a book of quotation.

Freewebs have some other templates that I believe allows one to edit Cascading Single Sheets (CSS). WordPress still charges a premium for this feature.


Snow Crash

April 30, 2007

‘The Art of Innovation’ led me to ‘Snow Crash‘. I started reading it over the weekend and didn’t want to put it down. It’s very funny. For some reason, I latched onto this book. Maybe it’s because it talks about the Metaverse. Recently, I got into Second Life (SL). I need to do a little bit of research to find out which came first. It talks about people building houses in the virtual world. I can see some similarities between the Metaverse that Neal Stephenson renders and the world of SL. I think this book has influenced a lot of people and companies. For example, the book talks about goggled into the virtual world through the vision apparatus, a goggle. Hm…Google sounds a lot like goggle. Was the book the source?

update: “The Metaverse is a fictional structure written in code” – Neal Stephenson


I’m not a big fan of Sc-fi books, but once in a while a book like ‘Snow Crash’ proves to be readable. I’ve try William Gibson’s ‘Neomancer’. I didn’t make the leap into it yet. Maybe it’s too far out there for me to grasp. ‘Snow Crash’ seems very plausible. I remember, in my younger days, buying David Brin’s ‘Startide Rising’ because it had a cool cover of the man and dolphin. Uplift series

TOW Half Pint

April 26, 2007

color index cards 2.5 x 3
You know how you save certain box or pick things from the trash which somehow appeal to you? Well, I’ve been saving the box that the invisible tapes came in from Corporate Express. I image that Scotch tape has a certain box of similar size. So one day I started to play with the half-size index cards 3x 2.5 inches or 7.6 x 6.3 cm. They fit perfectly into such a box!! The half size fit into my wallet as well. Mead makes a nice color coded version: blue, pink, yellow, green, and orange.

So that’s your Thursday Tip of the Week (TOW)

Happy trash hunting!

Russell + Hazel

April 26, 2007

I got a nice gmail from Kristie of Russell+Hazel. I told her that I have been eyeing their products for a long time now, since September of 2006. As the year was drawing to an end, I was particularly interested in their SmartDate set. Let’s face it, as innovative as the Disc bound products are, people still use the three-ring-binder. In this case, R+H has redesign the prosaic three ring with cloth bound, metal reinforced corners, and a white board like material on the inside cover for jotting down notes with a dry erase marker. The covers come in a variety of design and colors.

The problem I see with existing plastic binder is that they are not durable. The heat from the sun can wrinkle the cover, the rings sometimes have a glich that won’t close properly, and the plastic cover sleeve always wick the ink from the printed page.

I’m excited and look forward to reviewing R+H. I’ve seen them everywhere lately, on Notebookism, Uncrate, and Outblush.

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April 25, 2007

Mark, the creator of Tinderbox, Eastgate, and promoter of hypertext has agree let me review one of the products. He sells Epica journal as well on the Eastgate Website. I peruse Eastgate while checking out the wonderful forum at

I’m waiting to get the bigger watercolor sketch journal for reveiw…


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April 25, 2007


Type Writer

I have the Wii for about a week now and it’s going great. I whacked at the air for tennis, and putted my golf balls. It was strange to play that game all by myself. It’s hard to explain the sensation. It was like playing air guitar. I felt silly. Probably like the first person who ran on a tread mill. But it was all fun. I think I would have felt less strange if other people were swinging along with me. What’s different about the conventional control versus the Wii remote? Well one thing is that I’m not accustomed to holding a remote more then an hour. Usually, I use the remote to turn on / off a television or adjust the volume. While I think that is one of the reasons, there are others. You see, at the same time that I got the Wii, my office decided to get rid of a big old electric type writer. I rescued it from the trash and brought it home with me. So I got to experience a leap forward into video technology and at the same time, a leap backwards. (Good examples of how old technology is sometimes better then the new one happen just now, as I was writing along and wanted to save it into this blog. Most of it disappear and fail to be visible. So I’ll try to rewrite what I was thinking about) Ah yes I was saying that I’m in my late thirties and wrote my school papers on a typewriter. As word processing programs became available, I made the switch over and have become accustom to writing in a non linear fashion; skipping around and adding and taking stuff away, editing as I write not after the fact. So after a session of air swing in-front of the television screen, I would go to my new old typewriter. There it was looming in front of me. The white paper looks to be the size of a match book sitting in an over size writing machine. It emitted a low hum. When I started typing, a clatter of keys come a live, as the daisy wheel rotated and the hammer head branded each precise letter into the pale white flesh of the page. I was knocking out words like it was going out of style. Never mind if it was good writing. I got that instant gratification of seeing what I wanted to say appears straight away. There was no going back, no editing. I was mesmerized with the mechanical process, staring at the hammer head that was making the words. I had to commit myself to the page. Everything I wrote was recorded. It was all so permanent.

What’s this got to do with the Wii? Well imagine that you are air typing. What if there was a way to tape ten sensors to your fingers and thumbs and it recorded your typing? That’s what playing with the wireless Wii remote is like. It made me think that it’s possible to create a writing machine without the keyboard. The strange sensation can be compare to typing without a keyboard, though Wii is far away from such an apparatus. (Recently, Wii added Opera Internet search capability. So if you have a big screen, you can surf along in the 42″ plus plasma-tic t.v. screen. There are rumors of a keyboard, but a wired ordinary board. One can save a favorite website for easy access. So next time one doesn’t have to hunt and peck the virtual keyboard one letter at the time with the Wii Remote.)

You get the picture. It’s like swinging a remote instead of a golf club. I had become accustom to conventional controls for video games. This is one leap into the virtual world. Still there are clues to ground the player in the physical world. Built into the Wii remote has a small sensor that vibrates and alerts me that I’ve placed the cursor onto the right spot. So Wii has given us a visual and well as a physical clue. You don’t see this feature built into the mouse. It’s amazingly easy to adapt to this type of intuitive remote.

This post has been linked on ‘how-to-play-the-game’.

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This American Life

April 24, 2007

Recently I received a new letter from Vox call Vox Talk. The big announcement is that ‘This American Life’ is on Vox!!
So I added Ira Glass as a friend on here to keep track of what’s happening in the program. Plus there’s the podcast of the show. Way to Go Vox.