Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Book problems...

I stumbled upon this nice video, which in a few minutes shows you a couple of (very good) reasons to switch to digital also in reading books – in the case you’ve not already done it. Yes, “the smell of paper” can’t be reproduced by a common e-reader (at least, not yet) but it’s not all so amusing with books: sometimes you’d prefer to have a Kindle instead 🙂

See why…. 





Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Google Wave Drips With Ambition….

Sometimes, it’s interesting to dig a bit deeper in the Net to understand that things did not go the way we all supposed… I’m still missing Wave, it has been a revolution aborted in the initial stage. But it had all the potentiality to truly innovate the super-old email standard. I’m still disappointed about its premature disappear.


Sunday, 31 August 2014

No pain, no gain

Yes, I think that it’s the way things are: you must work hard to obtain results.

This is true in a variety of situation. More or less, it’s true basically everywhere.
Take the case of art, for instance.

This is a field in which misunderstanding is quite common, on this topic. People are used to think that great artists are people who let flow art naturally from their hands. Naturally, i.e., without (too much) effort. 

Problem is, things are different. Artists are ordinary people which a strong urge to make art: following this sort of calling they are simply determined to work hard till they obtain the desired results (avoiding the traps of perfectionism).

Of course, talent matter.

But, talent isn’t all. Work and regular practice is even more important.



I can speak only for myself, of corse. I cannot say how much talent I have in writing. But I can assure you that my best results have come in that cases where I convinced myself to spend a good amount of time on a given project. Making myself available also to write and re-write till I was not satisfied. 

To listen to suggestions. Even to change the plot, in some crucial points.

I worked on each chapter of my novel Il ritorno (in italian) for a lot of time. Plenty of time, actually. One thing I can tell you, that all that works succeeded in improving considerably the manuscript.

First draft is always frightening, even if – it can contain some gems inside.

Working till the light of the gems comes out, it’s the hard part. But it’s necessary.

And, after all, it’s what each person who love writing, is willing to do. Because he know that he has no change, nothing different than take his art seriously.

And it pays. Always.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

How can I save stuff on Facebook?

Facebook is a great service, no doubt. You can find a lot of interesting stuff each day (together with a greater amount of not-so-interesting items, the so called waste of cyberspace). I’m pleased by the fact that you naturally build a sort of story of your posts, in the form of a diary, with easy access to past years and months.

You may already know that you can also easily integrate your diary with information from the past, such as the day of your birth (that’s fine, at that time you was not thinking about updating your timeline with smart phrases such as I was finally born or similar amenities, but more probably Facebook was not accepting messages yet, simply because it still did not exist).

That’s fine, but what about saving an interesting post? With saving, I mean here, having a way to access that post also after some hours, or days, from the original publication. You can like the post, of course. But this does not solve your problem, it only allows you to be notified for comments, from now on. What about a great post with few or no comments at all? How can you easily retrieve a list of all your liked post?

Nope. There is no way to do it (at my knowledge).

What to do, in the not-too-infrequent case in which you find interesting stuff you want to retrieve at a later time?

Have you experienced the frustration arising from your complete inability to find a given post, at a distance of just a few hours from when you red it? It disappeared from your timeline, that’s all.

You know, Twitter has its way to do it. Tumblr has its way to do it. You can simply mark the post as favorite: anytime, you have an easy way to access to your favorite posts. Facebook has no way to do it. It’s interesting that neither Google+ has its way to do it: too much shaped on Facebook style?

Anyway, I think am pretty sure that it would be a very welcomed feature. At the moment, when I find something that I do not want to loose, I’m forced to copy/past the text in some note taking app or website (like the excellent MomoNote). Not that I do not see the advantage of this procedure. But I also understand that it’s not comfortable, having to switch to another environment just to save an interesting piece of text, for example.

To be honest, there are workarounds already available: for example, if you use Chrome you can benefit of extensions like Facebook Favourite. Anyway, even if the idea is good, it’s still far from obtaining the real benefits of a native Facebook feature, and apart from that, while the extension basically do it’s work, there is (let me say so) great room for further improvements.

To have a Twitter style manner to save post for a later usage, will be simply great. Let’s hope Facebook just realize it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Make more art

There is only one possible answer. This diagram has the advantage of a great simplicity. You can’t escape. When I saw this on Jeff Goins Facebook page, I was immediately struck by the evidence of the answer. Yes. The only answer is make more art, no matter how you can evaluate your craft.




The other thing that prompt me to reflect is the simple fact evidence that if you make art, you’re an artist. No matter what. So it’s extremely liberating: you are immediately free from the prepotence of your inner censor, the one that always keeps saying “no, you’re not good enough, it’s better that you quit now”.

Our work as artists is not to win the internal censor, that’s probably impossible. It’s different, it’s to keep on notwithstanding the internal censor. To keep on embracing your fear.

So, let’s make more art. World is waiting for us to express our unique voice.

Thanks Jeff, I definitely needed it 🙂

Sunday, 13 April 2014

OSX, a tale of complex simplicity

One thing I like very much about working with a Mac, it’s not the Mac itself. It’s the software. I found several pieces of software for OSX that have a sort of intriguing personality. At first glance they seems very simple guys: they are not intimidating you, they do not bother you with a lot of possibilities to do what they are supposed to do.They do their job in a simple way and most of the time you’re fine with them. Perfectly fine.

Then it may happen; at a given point you want to search for a given feature that’s not so immediate, or you want simply to explore new possibilities of a program that it’s now quite familiar to you. And then you discover that normally you use your program (as your brain) only for a little part of its possibilities. In other worlds, the simplicity does not come at the price of reducing the possibilities and the features: I propose the terms complex simplicity to address this issue. I used linux for several years, sometimes even Windows, but only coming to OSX I found programs with this attractive peculiarity (be advised, anyway, that things may change, and my knowledge can be partial or biased).

This seems to me particularly true when I turn to writing software. Note that I am now on the point to reveal you which are my favorite programs to write down worlds in a computer (one of the things I like most, definitively). Just to start from here, I’m writing this post with MarsEdit, a program that fits wonderfully this paradigm of complex simplicity. It’s only after some time spent looking around that you discover what it really can do. At the first glance, you’re presented with a very simple interface, letting you to write down your thoughts without having to deal with an excessive amount of technology. MarsEdit can even be reduced to a simple windows, to just write (see below). There are many option but you do not need to worry about them until you actuality start searching them.

 Writing this post with MarsEdit was a pleasure 🙂

At any rate, the software that surprised me most, about its complex simplicity, is definitively MacJournal. I bought this long time ago, to be adopted mainly as a daily work diary (a task which it does quite well, in passing). It’s only recently that I realized how MacJournal is good at writing. I mean, writing short stories, as well as poetry. Wonderful, for that. I’ve adopted MacJournal to manage a series of short stories I’m developing. I created a diary named Racconti (which stands for Novels in Italian) which has various folders (you can organize your diaries at your pleasure), one for each project. Each entry in such folders is a novel, at various stages of completeness. For each post, I can easily see the number of words, I can make it editable or not, see the creation or last modification date, and a number of other useful option. Of course I have a full set of options for text formatting. I can even set a word goal for a specific diary, very useful when it does contain novels. When it comes to create, writing without distraction is easily done by choosing Focused Editing Mode, which turns MacJournal as a all screen application, showing text over a customizable background. There is much more in MacJournal, of course. This is just to give you an idea of an excellent software, very good for writing. And, needless to say, for each kind of journaling!

But the first great program for writing, you guessed, is Scrivener. Admittedly, Scrivener takes some times to understand how can you use it in an intelligent way (i.e., to really take advantages of its peculiarities). It is a kind of program which ask you to live with him for a while, before starting to use it at its best, moving inside its incredible set of features. Nevertheless, even with complex piece of software as Scrivener, you can follow a gradual approach. Thanks to its complex simplicity, you can be productive almost immediately, even you’re still barely scratching the surface of the sea of possibilities. I’ll probably talk more about Scrivener in a future post.

This was intended to let you understand why I like OSX software. And why I think that a writer feels at home with a Mac (no advertise intended!).

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Do bloggers have choices?

Just found this interesting article that has been Fresh Pressed. These are the questions that – more or less – each blogger can find behind him. The answer may indeed be found in flexibility and in our true desire to embrace multiplicity. Good post indeed.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

I believe

 


Making science is much more funny when you understand that the Universe is something bigger and much deeper that a series of “casual” events….

Friday, 7 February 2014

The butterfly


It’s time to came to terms with this: nobody can live only with hard rock or heavy metal… Patrick Ball has been a very pleasant discovery, to me 🙂

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Contemplation

With this post I intend to elaborate my response to the intriguing provocation of the Weekly Writing Challenge. Following the indications, I chose one of the photo of the post, and added below my two cents.

To tell the truth, I was tempted from almost all proposed images… anyway, after some rumblings, I selected “contemplation”. Contemplation is something we often I think about. Usually, to be honest, I only think about it, without doing anything. We just think that we should contemplate more in our life. But what about starting seriously to contemplate, i.e. to observe? I mean, just observe, without doing anything.

Maybe it’s me but I can’t help to feel this way. We do not observe enough. I do not, certainly.


Let me explain, so that you can evaluate if your situation is similar to mine. Namely, I’m always too full of things that I should do immediately in order to make my life better. To make myself a better person. Problem is, usually I do pretend too much from myself, so that it’s not infrequent that I cannot reach the goals that I set for myself.

In this situation, the risk of getting frustrated is everything but academic.

Because I realize that I’m still walking in the wrong path, in the wrong way.

Let’s turn to contemplation, instead.

Contemplate reality is as taking a break. It’s like relaxing for a while. It’s just to realize that what we must do, what we are asked to do – first of all – is to let it flow.

I know, it’s not easy. But we have no escapes: it’s necessary.

“It is necessary … for a man to go away by himself … to sit on a rock … and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?” (Carl Sandburg)

I understand that there is something. Something in our life that we can reach only if we finally surrender, surrender to the flow of reality. When we stop pretending to change ourself, or change the world around us.

And start contemplating. Start experimenting the pure joy of existing. Exactly as we are. Without discarding or censoring our weakness. Loving it, instead, just as loving everything inside and outside us.

Nowadays there is a great hype on oriental philosophies, so that the emphasis of contemplation may appear to someone as just spiritual stuff imported from places outside our occidental culture and civilization. It may seems, but it’s not. See what Aristotle was saying, just a few years ago…




This was originally posted on a wordpress.com website.

Monday, 3 February 2014

FeedLine (a fresh start)

I know, I know… This blog has been wandering in cyberspace, lately. It started under Blogspot, than I’ll move it to Altervista.org (inside a WordPress installation) and now we’re here, into WordPress.com ecosystem. I’ll try to see how if this can help to reach more readers, and I’ll take advantage also for experimenting a little more with wordpress.com and its social features.

Overhall, a great occasion for a fresh start.

The original name of the blog was patch panel, but it resulted already taken in WordPress.com, so I was forced to change. After a bit of reflection and (mainly) with a little help of a friend of mine, I chose this name, FeedLine. I like it since, as the previous one, it evokes a sense of connection. As I wrote some years ago (let me quote myself)

connections between words, between concepts, or even, between different branches of knowledge.

I realize that I missed the most important things… connection between people, and between people and their hearts.


One of the most venerable “transmission line” …

Quoting Wikipedia,

In a radio antenna, the feed line is the cable or other transmission line that connects the antenna with the radio transmitter or receiver. In a transmitting antenna, it feeds the radio frequency (RF) current from the transmitter to the antenna, where it is radiated as radio waves. In a receiving antenna it transfers the tiny RF voltage induced in the antenna by the radio wave to the receiver. In order to carry RF current efficiently, feed lines are made of specialized types of cable called transmission line…

So, here we are. Connection established. All checked. Everything is up and working. Antenna is now linked with the receiver.

We can start (again) to transmit. Stay tuned… 😉

This was originally posted on a wordpress.com website.