more kindling

The first thing I should say about Christine Rosen’s critique of the Kindle, which I mentioned in my earlier post on this subject, is that it is but a part of a large and ambitious essay that makes many important points about the present and future of reading that I completely endorse. I hope to have the opportunity to discuss some of...

typewriting

There’s a nice post by Sarah Hatter at the 37signals blog about the lovely design of an old Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter. This reminds me of my early typewriting history. My first typewriter, which I bought at a used typewriter shop, was a huge, heavy, ugly, early-model IBM Selectric — it looked pretty much like this. Every...

me and my Kindle

I pause in my Manhattan festivities to bring you this message. One day a few months ago, I stood in my local Borders bookstore with a big pile of books in the crook of my arm. I had Neal Stephenson’s new novel Anathem — which I ended up reviewing in these virtual pages, another Stephenson novel I hadn’t managed to catch up to, a...

unncessary annoyances

John Gruber had a nice post a couple of weeks back about how the iPhone’s version of Safari simply dispenses with showing the HTTP prefix to URLs, presumably in order to save space on a very small screen. Which makes me think: why have we been looking at HTTP:// and HTTPS:// all these years? Damn, those are ugly. And totally...

the short goodbye

The coolest tool for personal organization I have ever seen is called Stikkit, but if that link works for you it probably won’t for long. More about that in a moment. A good and fairly detailed overview of Stikkit’s features may be found here, but in brief, it works like this: Stikkit gives you a field into which to enter text,...

digital slime molds

Steven Frank is a programmer — he’s one of the co-counders of Panic, one of the most highly respected makers of Macintosh software — who used to maintain a blog. In his last post to the blog, he announced that he was going to be suspending it and — I like this word — “outsourcing” what used to be on the blog to other...

Le Clézio on books

The new Nobel laureate in literature, Jean-Marie Le Clézio, gave his official laureate’s lecture to the Swedish Academy on Sunday, and one of his main points of emphasis was “information poverty” in much of the world. Le Clézio has spent a good deal of his life in developing nations — as a boy he lived for a time in Nigeria,...

Greetings, people of earth

Hello, and welcome to a new blog about technologies of reading and research and, well, knowledge. I’m not going to turn this first post into a manifesto, because manifestos tend to be a lot more boring than they’re meant to be, and in any case if you hang around you’ll see what I’m up to. But in brief: I’m a...

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