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MiniReview: Inspire Writer

inspire-writer-in-dark-mode.png
Why have I never heard of Inspire Writer?
(I suppose another way of thinking about it, is 'how did I hear about it now?' and I'm not sure I can answer that either.

It's a minimalist wysiwygish markdown editor.
And I really mean minimalist. Minimalist in looks, minimalist in features and virtually no settings that can be tweaked. Though not minimalist in cost - it's not expensive but it is paid software whereas most markdown editors on Windows are free. $30 atm, same price as iA Writer.

Many similarities to iA Writer and Ulysses to my untutored eye as a non-Mac user who tried the iA Writer trial, but never felt any value in using it. It feels as if there's a macness about it. I like the dark theme (which is what I use) much better than the iA Writer theme which always felt to starkly black and contrasty. This one is remarkably similar in tone to my preferred theme on Obsidian (Obsidian Nord).

  • It has typewriter mode, but no focus mode apart from making the edit pane full screen.
  • It has import from docx, HTML. I didn't try HTML, but the docx imports never worked.
  • There's no ability to move files around, or headers around in the outline.
  • There's no folding on headings (and it accepts a #heading instead of requiring # heading).
  • There's no way to have more than one file open at a time that I could find - only one window, no tabs, only one pane.
  • Switching view modes is slow. Slower than any markdown editor or word processor I have used before. Usable, but noticeable.
  • The markdown syntax it has available is very limited.
  • But does have images, tables etc working simply enough
  • Only two themes (light and dark). I suppose the light theme is okay, but don't use them so can't compare. I do like the dark theme.

Looking at the above, it looks much more limited than all the free editors I, and most people, use.

So why would anyone consider paying money for it?

Well, it actually looks like a neat little editor for writers. It has the necessary features (bar underline and folding) but isn't weighed down by the tonnes of useless garbage most markdown editors smother themselves with. It looks nice and easy on the eye (though would benefit from a focus mode - FocusWriter would be a good implementation; maybe adding a sentence option). There are four predefined tags - Urgent, ToDo, Draft and Published - which points to writers being their target market.

And it does have useful features.

There's an option for live spellchecking in up to three languages (not that this is something I often turn on).
There are statistics for selection and whole document (characters, sentences, paragraphs, pages - though I'm not sure how the pages are calculated).
There's a comment syntax (++ for a line/section; %% for blocks)
There's a very nice set of export options - Ghost, Medium, WordPress (+ PDF & HTML) and especially .docx. I really like this one. It presents the option of exporting into a number of styles (Modern, Elegant, Formal etc), allows a preview, and then the options are to save, to put into clipboard or to open in a selected program - such as Word. So no need to create documents if that's not needed, which suits my Workflowy purposes ideally - though I still need to do my copying from Word itself to get the paragraphs I need - Enter appears to = New Paragraph; with Shift-Enter = New Line, but the 'paragraphs' are really markdown lines, and the new lines are soft line breaks.
Autosave is quite fast (at least in external files) and it has a regular backup schedule.

So all that's quite nice. And all of that is for files living in the file explorer, being shared with other editors. There are a few more features, for those files created in or imported to the Library. (I assume that the library is some type of database. Imported files stay where they are, there's just a new copy created in the library; the new copy is not synchronised with the original file.)

Possibly the most important of these is that the files in a Library folder can be moved around the sequence easily and that individual files can be selected for export using the usual Ctrl or Shift options, which makes it very easy to put together a long document/book for export to Word or PDF. These 'sheets' can also be split or merged as desired.
There's also a note/sticky note feature (only one per sheet) and session word counts (and goals).

Do I like it?

Yes I do. Despite the lack of folding, I can imagine using it as my main writing interface. The export options to Word are great. It's very simple; all the options it has are useful to me (most writers, I imagine) and there's nothing else getting in the way. For those that want them, the Scrivener like scene/chapter/book type options seem functional. It happily works as a normal markdown editor on external files as well as those in its database, though with slightly fewer features (I think its file explorer gives it an advantage over WriteMonkey 3 in this regard). I'm happy to buy it for my writing and happy to use the other editors for notes and anything that needs their more advanced capabilities.

I came across the following review, which specifically compares it to Ulysses, so I feel that my impression of macness is probably on the mark.

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..


Opinions requested on my new YouTube Video Series

I've recorded a 5+ hour (16 part?) video series called "Micro-studio Boardgame Video Production":

https://www.youtube....dS3u1bo7zW80rt-d3bDr

First episode:


It covers most of what I've learned in the last year.

It's not live yet, I still have another 10 days or so before I make it live, and I'd love any feedback about things that I should fix before making it live!
Let me know your suggestions.


Deskreen - nice free tool for sending (teleprompter flip) pc window to a tablet

Screenshot - 1_19_2022 , 9_03_30 PM.png
Went looking for a straightforward tool to let me broadcast one of my pc screens to an android tablet during a recording -- with the additional need to be able to flip/mirror the screen in the process for a teleprompter effect.

Came across Deskreen which seems to work well and is free (donations encouraged):

https://deskreen.com/


How to boot up an old PDP-11 computer from the 1970s

14764327468_24c57e779b_b.jpg
Fun picture guide on how to boot up an old PDP-11 computer from the 1970s:

So you want to play Adventure, but don't know how to turn on the PDP-11? These instructions are for booting our dual rack machine from its RL01 drives, although booting the single cabinet machine from the RK05 is very similar.

https://trmm.net/PDP-11/Booting/

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

posted by mouser donate to mouser
discovered on OSnews.com
(permalink) (read 2 comments)

Anyone watching the 2021 chess championship matches?

blog clipart
Game 6 was INTENSE!


Nuclear missile silo keyboard repurposed for usb

Screenshot - 12_1_2021 , 12_20_17 PM.png
Gothic (John), a programmer and electronics savant, who used to handle server administrator for DonationCoder, had a project featured on Hackaday.com today.  Very cool stuff.

He found a weird old keyboard (with trackball) on ebay and it turned out to come from a nuclear missile silo.  After some work with an Arudino board he got it talking to USB interface.  Very cool.

https://hackaday.com...-re-launched-in-usb/


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