Friday, February 12, 2016

Alternote for Evernote

I've been an Evernote user for many years now, and I can still remember that it was the simple interface of it's original app that really drew me to the service. Over the years, however, the official Evernote apps have grown to hog a lot more screen real estate than before, and now that my main machine is a 13" MacBook Air I really don't have the space to spare. Enter Alternote.

Evernote for Mac next to Alternote for Mac
Alternote cleans up all of that excess user interface and tucks it away nicely so you can fit more of your notes on your screen. The side-by-side comparison in the image I've posted to this article shows just how much more of your content you can view with Alternote in comparison to the native Evernote app. For me that was enough to drop the $7 on it, but be sure to check out Alternote's website for more of it's features.  It can do nearly everything the Evernote app can do, but without getting in your way. It also includes a night mode and font settings so you can control the look and feel of the app. The only thing it cannot do is permanently delete your notes. Which is only because the creators of Evernote do not allow this feature for third party developers. However, a quick log into your Evernote account and you can delete anything you like.

Alternote is available on the Mac App Store for only $6.99. If you're a big Evernote user looking for a slicker interface and a more distraction free writing experience then it's well worth the tiny investment. I know it most certainly was for me.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gene Wolfe Cover Gallery Update

I added some new covers to the Gene Wolfe cover gallery recently. Among them are some really fantastic Finnish covers. I wish I had the ability to collect these beautiful editions.

The Sword of the Lictor by Gene Wolfe

Monday, May 11, 2015

Business Objective

Looking up from his cluttered desktop,
the Director glanced in the direction of the window;
then taking flight past clustered cubes,
he shattered perfect panes of glass,
if only to sprout wings-
but not before reaching pavement.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Cover - A Borrowed Man now has some correlating cover art with the upcoming Wolfe novel, "A Borrowed Man." I've added it to the cover art Flickr gallery. Looks intriguing.

Gene Wolfe - A New Yoker Page Turner

The New Yorker's Page Turner section is hosting great little write up on Gene Wolfe by Peter Bebergal suitably entitled, Sci-Fi's Difficult Genius. It's the first time that I've seen someone really question why such a skillful author has dodged the current pop-culture craze for fantasy and science fiction. Something I've also always wondered. It was a great read and I always love seeing Wolfe brought into the spotlight by major news publications and talented writers.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Listening To Luxury

I didn't start my college life with a lot of experience with music. My conservative upbringing kept me rather confined to contemporary drivel, and the farthest I'd stretched my secular reach was listening to my friends Nirvana and Green Day albums while keeping my own CD collection within the confines of DC Talk and MxPx. So when I moved into Lindenwood University with my new roommate Keith in the fall of 1996 I was ready to discover new things and reinvent myself. Keith, whom I knew only slightly via other friends, was a young man who had given the middle finger to the Youth Group Nation that had undoubtedly left us hungry for a taste of real life. He was an inspiring person to live with that first year of college and we discovered a lot of music together. He also introduced me to a lot of what I had already missed out on, including a little group from Georgia called, Luxury.

Luxury was noisy at first and the melancholy vocals were hard to understand. Even so, I never pushed it away. I could see my roommate had discovered something special in their sound and I wanted to as well. The album was called "Amazing & Thank You" and was the first one released by Tooth & Nail Records in 1995. It was my introduction to Luxury, and it was later that year when their second album was released that they finally broke through to me. The Latest And The Greatest was my first Luxury album and twenty years later, it's still one of my favorites.

I vividly remember how eager I was to share my new discovery with the gang from my church youth group. I can still recall putting the CD into the player and letting the catchy and melodic punk spew forth into my friend's living room. I was young and naive and waited for their moment of clarity that was the discovery of Luxury. It never came. My youth pastor commented on how poor the quality of the recording was, and just like that I knew I no longer belonged among these people. It sounds ridiculous, but it was a major turning point in my life. The place where I raised my anchor and set sail, leaving one life behind for a new one. Luxury had become a pivotal part of my life. The band hadn't changed who I was but rather had helped me find who I was. Toby, Mike and Kevin could certainly drop some funky beats, and Billie Joe Armstrong could successfully validate my teenage angst, but it was Luxury who helped me examine my own soul, and getting anyone else to experience that as well would be a hefty challenge.

I recount all of this to you because Luxury's new album, Trophies arrives this June and all of that old excitement has flooded back to me. Thanks to being involved in a Kickstarter project I was privileged enough to get my hands on the entirety of the unreleased album and once again I find myself with an amazing discovery that I have almost no ability to share. Not because people can't listen, but because they won't. It's not the typical hipster tale of liking something no one else does, I experience that on a regular basis by admitting I enjoy The Decemberists. No, this is something that's always defined what Luxury is to me. It's mine. My own. I want to share it, but it isn't really meant to be shared because it speaks a little different to everyone who's immersed in it. It must be discovered. These guys know what it's like to live the hardships of life and they're not afraid to baptize you in the truth of it all. They don't subscribe to the happy-go-lucky Christian ideals that have polluted our churches for so long, but instead examine the heart of human intent and our need for salvation. At least, that's what they do for me. Maybe for you it'll be something else. You'll have to listen to find out.

Check out NPR's interview with Lee and Jamey Bozeman. Two brothers who are kind of the heart of the band. They also have a great Bandcamp page where you can hear all of their music including a preview from their upcoming album. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Printer For Mint

Linux Mint still runs like a champ on my Lenovo u530, and although I've not written about it in some time, I recently purchased a printer/scanner and thought I'd share how easy it was to setup in Mint 17.1 (Rebecca). The HP-Envy 5530 is the first inkjet printer I've had in almost 4 years. I personally am not a fan of printers, and would like to see them dwindle into extinction as society adapts to more and more touch screen devices. That's a different blog post though.

Literally, all I did was go to the "Printers" application under the Administration option of the main menu and Mint detected the printer on my wireless network all on it's own. It then proceeded to update my drivers a tiny bit and the printer was spitting out a neat little test page. Obviously, the HP had it's own setup first, but it was quick and easy and utilized a page from their website. After printer testing I ran a successful scan using X-Sane. I was quite impressed at how easy it all was. See screenshot:

So if you're running Mint and looking for a good printer scanner I can at least let you know I had no issues getting Mint to play nicely with the HP Envy 5530. As for the printer itself, well- it's a printer, so it probably came with it's own set of demons, but at least initial setup was easy and I can scan my little scribbles again.