Posts about Writing (old posts, page 5)

2010-02-12 22:25

Marave 0.5 is out!

Just uploaded Marave 0.5 to the usual place. Marave is a relaxed, fullscreen text editor that tries not to distract you.

It even includes a simple music player just so you don't have to think about switching to another application!

This release has several bugs fixed, and looks a bit nicer.

The main new feature is ... internationalizacion. It now includes a spanish translation only, but if you want to help translating it to any other language, please step forward!

There are only 60 phrases to translate, so it shouldn't be more than one hour of work.

Here's a screenshot of this release:

marave7

Marave is free software under the GPLv2, and should work on any platform where PyQt works, which means Windows, Mac, and Unix-like operating systems, at least.

2010-02-09 16:04

Marave 0.4 is out!

Version 0.4 of Marave, a distraction-free fullscreen editor is out at http://marave.googlecode.com

This version includes several bugs fixed and features implemented since 0.4:

  • It works better with WindowMaker (dialogs appeared behind main window)
  • Works better with some Qt styles (combo boxes were unusable)
  • Added support for SVG backgrounds
  • Code cleanups

Marave is free softare released under the GPL, and should work in all major desktop platforms.

I would love feedback on this release, as well as ideas for Marave's future, so if you want to help, please join the mailing list:

http://groups.google.com/group/marave-discuss

Of course, if you like Marave, feel free to give me money

2010-02-08 21:17

Marave 0.3 is out!

Version 0.3 of Marave, a distraction-free fullscreen editor is out at http://marave.googlecode.com

This version includes several bugs fixed and features implemented since 0.2:

  • New 'Styles' support, you can change the look of Marave with CSS syntax
  • Debugged themes support, a few themes included
  • Fixed bug saving text color
  • Fixed font changing bug
  • Use the document name in window title
  • "Now playing" notification

Marave is free softare released under the GPL, and should work in all major desktop platforms.

I would love feedback on this release, as well as ideas for Marave's future, so if you want to help, please join the mailing list:

http://groups.google.com/group/marave-discuss

Of course, if you like Marave, feel free to give me money

2010-02-07 19:49

Marave 0.2 is out!

Version 0.2 of Marave, a distraction-free fullscreen editor is out at http://marave.googlecode.com

This version includes several bugs fixed and features implemented since 0.1.1:

  • A corrupted Right-click menu (Issue 20)
  • Flickering on background changes
  • More detailed licensing information
  • More tested on Windows
  • Added help (F1)
  • Search & Replace (but replace all is not done)
  • New artwork
  • Status notifications
  • Document Info (Ctrl+I)
  • Better feedback in the UI elements (specially the buttons)
  • Save font size correctly
  • Fix "Starts in the background" problem (Issue 17)

Marave is free softare released under the GPL, and should work in all major desktop platforms.

I would love feedback on this release, as well as ideas for Marave's future, so a mailing list for Marave has been opened:

http://groups.google.com/group/marave-discuss

Of course, if you like Marave, feel free to give me money

2010-02-04 19:58

Marave 0.1 released, please test!

The first "good" version of Marave my relaxing text editor is out!

What is Marave?

Marave is an editor that doesn't distract you. It has a fullscreen interface, and most of the time, while you write, you will only see your text, and maybe a background:

marave1

Of course it is also quite configurable:

marave2

Some of the features:

  • Custom backgrounds (images or colors)
  • Font and font size are configurable
  • Resizeable editor of configurable opacity
  • "Vanishing" UI, when you tipe, it all goes away
  • Optional media player (right now aimed at streaming audio, maybe soundscapes someday)
  • Optional audio feedback for the keyboard (just in case you miss the old typewriter)
  • Theme support
  • Multilingual spellchecking (requires pyenchant)

Marave is implemented using PyQt, so it should work in all major platforms, Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, as long as you have PyQt installed.

In the future, easy to use binaries will be provided for Windows and Mac.

This version is not feature complete. Specifically:

  • Search+Replace is not done
  • There may be some customizations not implemented

Download Marave 0.1

UPDATE 0.2 is out, at http://code.google.com/p/marave/downloads/list

2009-12-18 11:50

The smartest thing I ever wrote

When I was migrating the comments I noticed a page looked wrong in the site, and started fixing it.

While I was reading, I noticed a couple of things:

  • It was published almost exactly 5 years ago
  • It may be the smartest thing I ever wrote

Sometimes, you get an idea, and you can give it shape. Since I really think it's not completely stupid, I translated it to spnish (there was only an english version) y "reprint" it today.

It's about programming, it's about evolution, and I hope you like Being a good Lamarckian froggie!.

2009-11-11 15:12

Advertising to the math-deficient

As a former future mathematician, it drives me mad when I see an ad that looks like a great opportunity... as long as you don't crunch the numbers.

Not that they are hard to crunch at all, in fact they are pretty much pre-crunched, but consider this one:

Frávega, a large electronics/appliances store is advertising that in november, for one day, EVERYTHING WILL BE FREE.

That's right, for one day in november, they will not charge one cent for anything. Everything has a price tag of $0.

Of course we don't know what day that is. It will be decided randomly after the month ends.

And... ok, and you don't get the money back, you get a voucher for the same amount, and you can use it in Frávega.

So, while this may look like a big promotion, it's actually doubtful Frávega will spend any money whatsoever in it, except the money spent printing the banners.

How much does this cost?

Assuming a random day, and that this campaign brings no new sales whatsoever, it's 1/30th of the monthly sales.

Also, they are not giving you money, they are giving you store credit. Since you can only spend it at Frávega, in reality will be getting a "2x1" deal. You spent in november, got the second one for "free" in december.

So, what is really happening is that 30 people spent, say, $1000 each in an oven, and Frávega has to give them 31 ovens.

That would mean this is the equivalent of a 3.33% discount.

What? A 3.33% discount doesn't sound so appealing? Of course not! They are taking advantage of maths not being intuitive.

So, always keep it in mind: whenever you see numbers in advertising, they are there to convince you to buy. More often than not, it will not be as good a deal as it seems. This is an extraordinary case in that "one day everything for free!" actually means "a 3.33% discount in average for a month!".

BTW: the cost for frávega if you win is more probably less than $600 for a $1000 oven:

Frávega buys two ovens (let's be generous and say they paid $1800 for them?) and gets $1000.

But the $800 deficit goes against earnings tax, which is 35% so $280 come back.

And if they bought the ovens for $900 each, that means $314 are VAT, and since they are selling you two ovens for $1000, there's a VAT refund of $140.

So, those $1000 actually are only $580 after taxes.

This part about taxes can be terribly wrong, though ;-)

2009-11-06 12:00

Myckey Mouse explains the Large Hadron Collider problems

You may have heard about the possibility that the Large Hadron Collider is being sabotaged from the future.

That may sound preposterous, but it really is quite reasonable, once you think about it a little.

Let's start with the obvious:

Suppose you travel back in time and kill your grandfather. Then you wouldn't exist. And you couldn't travel back in time. And that's a paradox.

Then there is the anti-paradox:

Suppose you can't travel back in time. Because you didn't save him, your grandfather died. Ergo you don't exist.

That's not a paradox, but suppose time travel is possible: that means you can go back in time, save your grandfather, and thus make your own existence possible, ergo allowing you to save him.

As soon as you allow for time traveling to be possible, the solution for paradoxes is obvious: you can´t change change the past because the future won't let you. The future "faction" that tries to preserve the past will always win, because the past is fixed.

So, if you travel back in time and try to kill your grandfather by shooting him in the head, another person from the future will appear behind you and disarm you. Or appear behind you and kill you as soon as you had the idea to travel in time in the first place.

Or your kid will drop a coke bottle on your time machine just before you used it to kill his great-gramps.

The exact mechanism used to prevent you from becoming a paradox is unknown to you because you need to go further "forward" to know it.

Now, back to the LHC: if in the future there is knowledge about time travel, and there is knowledge about how the LHC may destroy the world[1]_ then maybe some time tourist decided to see how humanity dressed in the pre-ice-age era, comes to 2009 and while eating a sandwich, somehow spooks a bird which then drops a piece of bread in the machinery.

Which of course, brings me to the best time-travel show on TV: "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse".

If you don't have an under-4 kid, grandson or nephew, you probably don't know it, but let me give you a summary of each darn episode.

  1. Something "bad" happens (Goofy has a cold)
  2. A solution is proposed (Give Goofy some Minniestrone soup)
  3. A flying ideogram of a mouse called Toodles shows a collection of tools:
    • Giant candy cane
    • Roller skates
    • Picnic basket
    • Seesaw
  4. Something else "bad" happens (Pete wants the soup)
  5. The tools are exactly what's needed to solve the problems presented to accomplish the proposed solution (You can use the seesaw to move giant rocks blocking your path).

This is obviously a case of the future preventing something from happening. How else would Toodles know what tools to choose before they are needed? There was no way to guess that a giant rock would block the ravine through which Mickey and Minnie would try to escape from Pete! [2]

So, whenever you need to think about paradox prevention, remember Mickey and his friends and just call Toodles.

[1] No, I don't think the LHC would destroy the world.
[2] Also, that part shows a complete ignorance of how leverage works.

2009-09-24 08:44

This is why I like having a blog, also, I am **old**.

These are the visitors of this site in the last 10 minutes or so:

visitors1

Let's see: Belgium, the Netherlands, USA, Turkey, Brazil, Thailand, Austria.

I know most people are not impressed by this kind of thing anymore, but I am old enough to have had to buy ftp sites on CD (Remember the Infomagic collection? I had like 10 of those).

In 1994 I was one of the first ten or so to have a mail account in my university ( in fact, since I had root, I could have been the first one ;-) and the web was a wasteland ... you could not even find porn!

So, knowing that my blog has some sort of a following, even if it's a handful of people and that it's close to being 10 freaking years old, and it comes from a time when they were not even called blogs... is making me feel strange today.

This blog is one of the specific things I have done longer.

  • I have been a husband for 4 years.
  • I have been a dad for 3.
  • I was active in KDE for 4.
  • My company is about 2 years old

Of course there are obvious and/or fuzzy things I have done much longer:

  • I have been involved in free software 15 years.
  • I have worked with computers 18 years
  • I have programmed 30 years (started on paper, kids!)
  • I have inhaled and exhaled regularly for 38 years

But a specific thing, I can point at and say "that's mine, I did it"? This blog is proobably my longest-lived project.

I don't see myself not having it. I see myself not posting for a month or so, I do that every now and then, but not having a blog? I can't see it.

I have added things though, so it's not a static deadend thing.

I am loving screencasts (thanks to qt-recordmydesktop and youtube). I enjoy twitter and identi.ca very much.

So, this rambling post is just my unfocused way of saying that what I love about having a blog is that someone reads it. So, let's do something worth blogging about ;-)

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