Tag Archive 'writing'

Jul 30 2012

Say “Night, Night” to Long Installation Sessions with Ninite

A new computer is a popular high school graduation gift, and a great one at that! However, getting all your favorite applications and software isn’t as exciting, and can be a very time-consuming process. Luckily, Patrick Swieskowski and Sascha Kuzins–two awesome people at Secure by Design, Inc–have created a way to streamline that process for us!

Click here to visit Ninite, a website with a long list of popular software that you can download in a single bundle.

Ninite Software Options

What would you like to download?

Check the software you want on your machine–Ninite (which takes suggestions of what apps to include) offers a multitude of selections in categories such as browsers, imaging, media, developer, and documents.

This is great if you are (as we hope you are) a devout user of Firefox and Chrome, because your average Windows machine, for instance, comes only with Internet Explorer. How about another free favorite of ours, the imaging app Gimp? Yup! It’s there too.

Ninite's Installer

Easy to download the bundle!

After you’ve made your selections, download the installer and treat it like a dot exe file–execute it! All the programs you want will quickly download. It’s as easy as that!

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Nov 08 2011

(Wh)Y Write(r)?

A tool does not make the master, but it certainly make the master’s job easier. That’s why I’m bringing yWriter to the attention of our readers, particularly our creative writers. yWriter is a piece of freeware developed by a writer for writers.

Simon Haynes (author of the Hal Spacejock series) created yWriter after struggling to write his first novel in an organized and efficient manner. “I really struggled with my first novel because I wrote slabs of text into a big word processor file and I just couldn’t make sense of the whole thing at once. No real overview, no easy jumping from scene to scene, nothing,” he states on his website.  As an experienced computer programmer, he possessed the know-how to create a piece of software that would work with him, and then kindly shared it with the world for free (and with regular updates).

yWriter5 Main Screen

The yWriter5 Main Screen

yWriter’s keynote feature is its usage of “scenes” inside chapter files.  As a creative writer myself, I found that thinking about my story in such terms helped me as well, and although I have a plethora of other programs I could write on, I’ve been a satisfied user of yWriter for the past three years.  I first discovered it while participating in NaNoWriMo (which is going on now).

Give it a try.  You might discover that yWriter is the tool that will revolutionize the way your approach and complete your stories. It’s compatible on all system. If you find it useful, consider making a donation of support and thanks.

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Feb 18 2009

Stuff for Starving Artists

At SfSS, we know that starving artists are an important subspecies of starving students. That’s why I’ve hand-picked five useful resources for all you tormented, creative types out there.

First, the Louvre! Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to Paris to visit. The Louvre’s website provides images of the museum’s artwork, plenty of corresponding information, and–joy of all joys–a totally badass virtual tour. You can wander through the wings of the Louvre, clicking on any painting for a closer view and description. You can even save your favorite works in custom albums, using their ‘my personal space‘ feature. Want to be the next Van Gogh? Nothing’s stopping you now!

If you’re a musician, I’m about to make you very happy. No, I haven’t just kicked Paul McCartney in the balls, but I think you’ll like this too. Chordie is a website dedicated to providing guitar, banjo, ukelele, and mandolin chord progressions for pretty much every song you can think of. And, because it’s just made of awesome, it will transpose these songs into any key you want! Imagine the possibilities.

But what about writers? Try Duotrope! I know it sounds like a sleazy, non-FDA approved drug, but I promise it won’t give you cancer. Duotrope’s Digest is the largest database of literary journals on the web. If you’re looking to get published, this is a fantastic resource for finding journals to submit to. You can search by genre, length, payscale, and a whole host of other attributes. Do you write experimental post-apocalyptic short fiction about mice and root beer floats? There’s a journal for that. Well, probably.

Maybe you write something that can’t be published in a traditional way, like screenplays. While certainly not the most attractive website, the Internet Movie Script Database has screenplays available for most movies, word-for-word. Recent additions include “Slumdog Millionaire“, “Revolutionary Road“, and (unfortunately) “Twilight“. If you want to write like the Coen Brothers, the best way to start is by studying their work. IMSDb makes that easy.

Hey graphic artists, you didn’t think I forgot about you, right? Check out Vecteezy for free creative commons vector art. You can search by category, file type, or license, and there are even sections for flash animation, Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator brushes, and all kinds of nifty icons. Web designers, I’m looking at you too. Think how shiny your sites will be now that you’ve got this resource at your fingertips. People will follow you around, in awe of your design skills. Small children, cuddly animals, and generous millionaires will flock to you.

So go create art, you beautiful people!

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