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 Miscellaneous Debris – Archive

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

24 Jun 2004

And so, my first test has passed. Four pages scribbled full of commentaries, ideas and blatant re-hashes of the professor’s words in class – the ones I agreed with, anyway.
Oh, the touch of a pen. How long since I had written four whole pages in handwriting? Very long ago, I suspect. For many it’s a paltry amount, but I had given up at an early age the love of the handwritten word. Got my first taste of Qwerty at the age of 6 and haven’t looked back since. Had I a laptop in highschool, I’m sure my grades in many subjects would go up – much of my reluctance to summarize and take notes stems from the awkwardness of handwriting for me – illegible words! Indelible ink! The sheer SLOWNESS of it all!
On a keyboard – even a laptop keyboard – I can so easily transfer ideas into words. So easily transcribe my thoughts, or even write down what I hear immediately, without bothering to process it my mind. The keys become an extension of my hands, the file – my own memory. A copy is left in my mind, like the impression on a sheet of of carbon-copy paper, but the final storage for the information is on my hard-drive.
It’s a shame that computer interfaces are still unwieldy for non-textual data. Perhaps a Tablet PC will allow me to add scribbles, doodles and direct annotations to the words, but we’re not quite there yet. A pen and paper still offer more input flexibility, though the data they generate is so inert, so unusable.
In an old discussion in gaal‘s journal I claimed that we are fast accelerating on the slope. Computers are becoming ubiquitous, and data input technologies will adapt, expand and advance. Already we have digital pens and pressure-sensitive touch-screens. I can’t wait to see where this will continue.
We are living in interesting times, my friends.

11 תגובות על

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gaal

24 בJune, 2004 בשעה 11:37

bitching already 🙂

That pen is cool, but the tech isn’t all there yet, or at least not affordably. It seems like the pen needs special paper?

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/productlist/US/EN,crid=1845

Kudos for Logitech for not ripping us off on the ink — you can use a standard refill cartdirge — but $4 a notebook? I haven’t decided if it’s the money that annoys me, or the fact that you can’t use random scrap paper.

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yggdrasil

25 בJune, 2004 בשעה 14:39

Re: bitching already 🙂

If I remember correctly, all that’s special about the paper is the special grid printed on it that serves as anchors for the pen’s camera. You can download the grid schematics and print it on any normal paper.

Then the printer ink costs get you, and you still need to get a stack of papers ready in advance, but still – it’s better than relying on them as the sole suppliers.

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gaal

25 בJune, 2004 בשעה 23:35

Re: bitching already 🙂

Oh, they aren’t trying to lock you to a certain supplier (they could eaily have done it with the ink and didn’t). But the fact that I can’t just grab a napkin at a diner and doodle on it sucks.

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yggdrasil

26 בJune, 2004 בשעה 09:10

Re: bitching already 🙂

So next we’ll have an easy-carry porta-printer, like a rubber stamp, with which you can imprint the grid onto any convenient surface.
Or, alternately, have the pen use micro-GPS to determine its location on the paper.

I can think of dozens – no, hundreds! – of impractical solutions!

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gaal

26 בJune, 2004 בשעה 13:25

Re: bitching already 🙂

I can think of one practical one: my optical mouse (from logitech too) works fine with plain surfaces. Why not augment the pen with a laser?

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yggdrasil

26 בJune, 2004 בשעה 13:39

Re: bitching already 🙂

I think it needs the grid to get absoulte spacial position on the page. The mouse only needs to know relative positions during a single sweep of the mouse.

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themoniker

25 בJune, 2004 בשעה 11:40

Pen and Paper rulez

Well, I’m too old to have had a laptop in high school, and in fact I’ve very rarely typed notes at a meeting or talk. I had a long-lasting fetish of typewriters before computers were ever endowed with real output devices (printer, network), but again, paper is the best medium for me for making notes “live”.
I actually learned to make proper lecture notes only in high school Biology class (excellent teacher, excellent use of a blackboard and diagrams, and excellent ability to repeat everything until I wrote it down…). In all the other lessons, I relied on photocopied notes from other students (mostly a girl with ant-sized handwriting). Only in university did I really make my own notes, and I actually had other people photocopy them.
Now, bear in mind that many of my University courses were biology, and made extensive use of diagrams: circles and arrows and labels encoded essential data that would be a mess to follow in textual form. Lecturers that couldn’t use a blackboard (the lecture halls are just too big) used slides or (perhaps preferred) transparencies, which they could draw on. So there’s a strong handwriting-slant here.
I bet that Math and Physics lecturers will be using chalk until you pry it from their dead fingers, and even the geekiest students of these disciplines stick to pen and paper for keeping notes.
Also, during my stint as a journalist, I wrote notes by hand during interviews and reassembled the conversation in my head when I wrote it. I found this not only freed me from the drudgery of transcribing recordings, it also let me avoid quoting too literally (with recordings, I felt I was cheating when I ommited the speakers’ “em”s and “uh”s). I guess I might have typed my notes, but I like the freeform structure of paper – it lets me organize my notes into flowing blocks rather than a stream.
Also, when I GM I take notes, and paper is great for sketching rough maps for positioning during complicated scenes or fights.
Finally, I recall that as a kid I preferred pencil to pen; probably because, since I wasn’t taking notes, I could use it to draw in my notebook.

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badcloud

25 בJune, 2004 בשעה 12:46

I’m personally waiting for the Y2K bug to kick in

give me a pencil and paper any day of the week

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yggdrasil

25 בJune, 2004 בשעה 14:42

But after you’ve written something with a pen on a piece of paper it just… sits there. It’s dead. It’s the decaying corpse of text.

Let’s say you drew something or wrote a passage. What can you do with it now? You can read it back, yes, but that’s all. You can’t send it to someone. You can’t post it in your blog. You can’t find it 10 months later when searching your harddrive for something. It will just sit there on the paper, getting yellow and coffee-stained and wrinkled and crumbled and torn, and be a terrible nuisance.

Information should be stored on computers. Hard-copies should be just that – copies. Dispensible copies that can be tossed after reading.

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orbar

25 בJune, 2004 בשעה 15:47

but you can make a nice fire if you right on paper…
that’s about the only advantage I see in pen writing – got a laptop this semester and I’m never goin back

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badcloud

26 בJune, 2004 בשעה 12:00

touche. I just find it more romantic

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