Archive for the 'Writing Stuff' Category

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 09 2011

Setting up a writer’s ambiance


I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to be in a certain state of mind before I can start writing.
I need quiet music, low lighting (or super bright if I’m going the pen and paper route), a comfortable chair, and no distractions.

I’ve found tools on the web that can help me with 3/4 of these things (still waiting on that comfortable chair app).

img from flickr


1. Shades (mac only)- This is a great application that I just found the other day.  Sometimes I like to have my screen really bright, but not while I’m writing.  However, I can never find that happy medium between too bright and too dark.  Shades gives you a slider that you can adjust to change the brightness of your screen.  But I think my favorite feature of this app is that you can change the tint of your screen.  Instead of dimming to a dark black color as usual, you can dim it to purple, pink, yellow, orange, any color you can think of.  I like yellow because it’s akin to writing on old parchment.

2. Spotify – Spotify is a lot like Pandora, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, but it’s kind of way better.  You can search for playlists, star songs you like, play a genre specific radio, and even make your own playlist.  I like classical music when I write and it’s super easy to find a lot of it at once.  Spotify is also very social networking based so you can share what you’re listening to on facebook.. or not.

3. WriteRoom (mac only.. although there is a windows version out there somewhere) – This is my favorite of all three of these.  WriteRoom gives you a big, giant, happy plain text screen where you can just writewritewrite.  I might have written about this before.  I don’t care.  It’s the best.  Are you one of those people who starts writing and says “Wellll I’ve written for five minutes, ooh look, a shiny open Facebook tab!”?  Because I am.  WriteRoom takes up your whole screen so you can’t explore the other things floating on your desktop.  The format reminds me of the Terminal on the mac, very clean.


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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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