Category Archives: writing

Install Simplenote on #Linux with @simplenoteapp

I missed the arrival of Simplenote on Linux – how wonderful.

Up until now I have relied on nvPY to add to and sync with my Simplenote account.
nvPY works really well – possibly even more smoothly than the new Simplenote app, which exhibits some of the glitchiness of it’s brower version – so if you don’t mind a little ugliness, stick with it. For the moment I’ll try both, side by side, to see which I prefer.

Simplenote on Linux fills in one of the missing gaps of ‘apps I missed from my Mac’.

#Artha ~ The Open Thesaurus #opensource #Linux

What a brilliant find. I installed Artha a few weeks ago and like all serial application fiddlers forgot all about it. Then, this morning I launched Artha by mistake and am pleased, grateful and enthralled. I’m pleased that I have this wonderful tool to use on my Linux Typewriter; grateful to Sundaram Ramaswamy for having the idea, and investing the time to make Artha; and enthralled, as I always am, by how perfectly formed free, as in freedom, and open source software so often is.

All the functionality you need in a thesaurus is there. There are no frills. Sundaram’s use of font styles, colour and layout is perfect. I appreciate Artha’s naming derivation from the Tamil: Arutham, and Sanskrit: Artha. I appreciate The Open Thesuaurs ~ Artha.

If you need a thesaurus on most Linux desktop environments, Windows or Windows Phone 7, Artha is for you.

#DuckDuckGo goes !Bang

I love DuckDuckGo !Bang.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine for finding what you want on the worldwide web. It’s unique selling point is that it doesn’t track your search history like all the other mainstream search engines. Which is just one good reason for trying it out.

Because DuckDuckGo also have a great search facility called !Bangs – these are special short cuts exclusive to DuckDuckGo that always start with an exclamation point, followed by a short cut letter, typed into the search slot. Like all useful computer tricks you have to have a need for the trick to find it useful.

I use Wikipedia a great deal and for this !bangs are perfect.

Go to DuckDuckGo and type an ! in the search slot. Some of the available !bangs will pop up. Type in the letter w directly after your ! – then a space – then your Wikipedia search word or words – click Enter.

duckduckgo bang

DuckDuckGo will go to Wikipedia, search, and return with the Wikipedia page you were looking for like magic.

For users of a Launcher Application such as Kupfer on Linux, you can enter a DuckDuckGo !bang directly without having to load a web page.

First, in Kupfer Preferences, enable the Wikipedia Plugin.

Now when you want to look something up in Wikipedia, while writing in your word processor say – Launch Kupfer – Type a period . (to start free text mode) – Type ! followed by w followed by your search terms – and Launch. You will be taken directly to the Wikipedia page from your word processor, in just a few clicks – wonderful.

To use a !bang other than Wikipedia choose from the others available, the YouTube !bang !yt is also very useful.

==DuckDuckGo !Bangs==


Hero 9075 Fountain Pen #fountainpen #writing

The Hero 9075 Fountain Pen
I’ve just taken delivery of a Hero 9075 Fountain Pen with an Iridium Nib. The delivery cost 39p and it took just a couple of weeks for the pen to arrive from eBay user bg27cyf based in Hong Kong. The pen itself cost just .99p – and it’s surprisingly good.

I would class the nib as fine and the quality of the pen as excellent. It has a metal cap, plastic body and built in slider ink filler. The design and build is modern and better than I have any right to expect from a pen costing £20, let alone £1.38.

The Hero is a small, thin pen without it’s cap posted. With the cap posted the pen feels OK in the hand. The grip area is the only potential let down, for large hands it is a little thin, although the more I use it, the more I like it.

The picture is of the Hero using Diamine Asa Blue ink. The ink flow is good and steady, no blotches or splodges, and it doesn’t seem to clog if you leave the pen unused for a while.

If you’re thinking of trying out a fountain pen, this Hero fits the bill perfectly – and you can’t go wrong for the price.

Adding emphasis in #Lyx – wot, no bold or italic!

An apparent lack of bold and italic in Lyx is something I’ve been aware of for some time now, but only today have I finally spent a moment to get  my mind around the answer.

In the Mail Archive, Lyx Users, I came across a thread which explains the philosophical and practical reasoning behind the general lack of bold or italic within Lyx, and the reason for the lonely Emphasis button.

Next week – I discover what the Noun button is for…

Adding accented characters in #Lyx #writing

I hope this helps any new Lyx users who need to add the occasional accented character.

I’ve just used up a half hour of writing time, doing something other than writing, just to discover the solution to a relatively simple task. How do I type the word fêted, complete with its circumflex ê, in Lyx?

Thanks to PaulJohnson32gm here is one solution that appears reasonably straightforward.

Either – go to View/Toolbars/Command Buffer or enter Alt+x – either of these actions opens a little window at the bottom of the Lyx screen. Leave the cursor where you want the accented character to appear, within your Lyx document, then click in the little box and type whichever of the following you need. The correctly accented character appears within your document.

  • accent-grave e
  • accent-acute e
  • accent-circumflex e

I know, this answer will be somewhere in the Lyx documentation. I couldn’t see it after 5 minutes; but DuckDuckGo and I found it in 5 seconds.

Thanks Paul.



Mapping & Organising with #TreeSheets #mindmap

TreeSheets is a brilliant concept, beautifully executed. If you are on Linux or Windows (beta on Mac) and use mind mapping or note taking software, TreeSheets is astonishing and well worth a long look.

TreeSheets has, in one morning, taken over from Kabikaboo as my main creative out-liner and planner for long-form writing. It is almost exhilarating to find a tool that works in such a way, that suits one’s mind and thought processes.

Try it.