Pronto writing in six steps

I don’t like hand writing as much as typing simply because I’m a slow writer. The faster I write, the less legible my words become.

It’s incredibly easy to get going with a MacBook Air (Oct 2010), especially since it wakes up from sleep so quickly.

Mac OS X on my MacBook Air

  1. Open lid.
  2. Enter password.
  3. Press Command + Spacebar to activate Spotlight (or whichever keyboard shortcut used to activate Quicksilver , LaunchBar, or Alfred App), type “Bean” or whichever text editor/word processor you use, then press Enter.
  4. Frantically type whatever thoughts are spewing from your mind.
  5. Command + S to save your document, then Command + Q to quit your text editor program.
  6. Close lid.

Windows 7

You can type the program name after pressing the Windows key.

Once you’re done writing, Control + S to save your document, then Alt + F4 to close the program.


Which programs do I use to write? The following are essentially free simple text editing programs, designed with minimal features so you can focus on writing. If you like any of them, please donate to the developers.

I save these small text files to a dedicated folder within Dropbox[1. Affiliate link to Dropbox. “For every friend who joins and installs Dropbox, we’ll give you 500 MB and your friend 250MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 16 GB)!”] only for text files, with a specific prefix to help me find it later. (e.g. BP means blog post in “BP – Pronto writing in six steps.txt”.)

Why not use Microsoft Word, Apple iWork Pages, or Writer? If you’re only working with plain text, you don’t need the extra features and bloat.

If you don’t know the HTML tags for post formatting, copy your text[2. Select All for: (Windows) Ctrl+A; (Mac OS X) Command+A], paste it[3. Paste for: (Windows) Ctrl+V; (Mac OS X) Command+V] into your blog post, then format and/or add links accordingly.

Hello, Windows 7

I finally bought Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. I spent most of Thursday and Friday imaging my Windows XP partition, backing up all my program configuration files, clean installing Windows 7, and reinstalling my programs.

So far, all is well. I’m waiting to receive my 2GB ValueRAM replacement from Kingston Technology, but the other 2GB is doing alright. I’ve also been looking through Lifehacker posts tagged #Windows7.

It’ll be interesting to feel the speed boost and stability that comes with using a 64-bit operating system.

Oh, and I’ll need to update my Recommended Software list. Done.

My fist through the heart of standby

In an effort to save energy, I rescheduled my backup and sync programs[1. Jungle Disk, Karen’s Replicator] to start earlier and run for only a few hours, then use Slawdog Smart Shutdown to put my computer into standby.

When I woke up this morning, my computer couldn’t. *gasp*

Since my computer is on lower shelf of a wire rack, I had to:

  • unplug the eight cables (4 USB, audio, Ethernet, VGA, and power),
  • move my Canon CanoScan 5600F scanner out of the way (since it’s on the top shelf), and
  • remove the computer cover.

After that, it was a matter of removing the BIOS battery and holding down the power button for about ten seconds to dissipate the power.

Warning: Geek lingo after this point.


Continue reading My fist through the heart of standby

How to split huge PDF documents for free

How to split PDFs for free

At work, one of the attorneys had a humongous PDF document she needed to email a lot of other attorneys outside the office. I tried extracting pages with an old version of Adobe Acrobat (v5), but the original file still kept the same size (despite having deleted the pages).

With open source (free) software, I split the document into two separate files in a couple minutes.

Required: PDFCreator

Once you install that, open your PDF document (original_superlongdocument.pdf) in your preferred reader. Now, go to File > Print. Change your printer to PDFCreator, then change your page range so you’re only “printing” half the document. If you have a 1,000 page document, set it to 1-500.

Follow the prompts and save that new PDF file — just not over your original. (superlongdocument_a.pdf)

Now, repeat for pages 501-1000 and save that one with a different filename. (superlongdocument_b.pdf)