Archive for August, 2008

Mark Bernstein on Roger Ebert

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

I regret not having spent more time reading and re-reading Mark Bernstein’s writings. The more I read, the more I want to read.

This article (Tinderbox agent-generated, probably) caught me eye, and it’s wonderful. Great editing: Mark introduces Ebert, explains why he’s so good, then gives a little dose. Have you ever made a decision about something, not really examined completely why, then later found something that articulates and deepens your understanding of your decision? So it is with Mark’s highlighting of Roger Ebert’s writing. I’ve really, really like reading Ebert about movies, sometimes (often) even if I didn’t really like the movie.

I rediscovered Mark thanks to an email notice about a new upgrade to 4.5 of Tinderbox. I have to upgrade now. I had set aside Tinderbox looking for some way to organize Japanese text, but I had really used it alot in capturing daily thoughts and actions. Coming back to it after a few months of trying to use “standard tools”, I see immediately what I’ve been missing. I’ve been spending 80% of my time doing the formatting and 20% getting the ideas down. Tinderbox inverts this; I spend 80% on the ideas and 20% on arranging and organizing them.

It’s hard to describe but easy to grok.

The sparkline addition is brilliant.

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Great iPhone Software

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I recently bought an extremely useful and well-built application for the iPhone called the Wisdom English-Japanese/Japanese-English Dictionary. A very cool company called Monokakido (with an interesting etymology for those who read Japanese) has made a work of art. The Sanseido dictionary is excellent, and so is the presentation on the iPhone/iPod. It has that perhaps uniquely Japanese blend of being both functionally succinct and visually elegant.

Very, very, nice.