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Postie Roger - the paperless demigod


Thanks to the selfless act of postman Roger Annies of Barry, Wales (who sadly as I write has been suspended for his actions) news has broken across the UK that it is possible for households to opt-out of un-addressed junk mail from the Royal Mail (the kind of mail that's headed 'to the occupier'). Although I've added my name to the MPS this form of unaddressed junk mail has remained a proverbial fly in my paperless ointment but thanks to Postie Roger not any more.

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The Paper Monster stomps into Edinburgh

PapermonstAt this time of the year I absolutely love life in my little corner of the world. The Edinburgh Festival has rolled in and the hit of creative energy you experience walking the streets of Edinburgh during the Festival (should really be termed festivals as it also encapsulates books, films, arts etc.) is immense. Gifted street performers mingle with outlandishly attired show promoters resulting in an eclectic cocktail of colour, pageant and raw talent. Seriously if you’re looking for a dose of ‘off the wall’ inspiration then just spending a hour or two wandering around the event arena will top up your creativity tank for a whole year 

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An act of paperless martyrdom?


Sometimes I wonder if I take my quest to be paperless too far.  In the past I’ve taken positive action to cut down on the amount of unsolicited mail that I receive and as a consequence there is still very little paper hitting my front door mat in the mornings. However there’s one paper package arriving monthly that I have been reluctant to put a stop to – my National Geographic magazine. I love this magazine (even with all of the advertisements for 4x4’s..grrrr!! :o) ) as it always takes me on a ‘mystery tour’ of discovery, unearthing things about the world that I never knew existed. It’s a perfect tool for evoking the da Vincian principle of Curiosita within me. Bearing this in mind you would think that such a valuable learning and discovery tool would have been immune from cancellation. Wrong! To continue my quest towards being 100% paperless I’ve taken the decision not to renew my subscription.

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Gentlemen (and ladies)….START YOUR SCANNERS!!!

Well the day for going back to university must be getting closer as everyone in the paperless Blogosphere seems to be talking book scanning. Looks like Tracy over at StudentTabletPC is really looking forward to her bout of pre-term scanning….NOT!!! and Jason at DorkoTech is celebrating the new book scanning season by buying a shiny new scanner. I’m looking forward to hearing how Jason gets on with his new scanner. He’s decided against the paperless student's  'scanner of choice' – the Plustek OpticBook and opted for the Canon MP830. With ADF (automatic document feed) and duplex scanning (scans both sides of a page at once) he may well have made a clever, time-saving choice.

What about my book scanning for the start of term? Well I got the basic 6 books that I need for next term at the start of July but not surprisingly they’re still waiting to be scanned....blush! Term time for me doesn’t begin until mid-September but if I put off the scanning much longer I’ll be doing it all in the first week I’m back. Nothing else for it....time to get a hold of a couple of 3 hour DVDs and monster size bag of Skittles and get to it :o)

MindManager is growing on me – Big Style!


Recently Mindjet organised a fabulous webinar with the author of Vincibook How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci (Us Amazon)– Michael Gelb in which he presents what he calls the 7 daVincian Principles. Mindjet kindly recorded and released this webinar for general viewing (thanks again guys!) so I had the pleasure of viewing it (and I really urge you all to do so too if you haven't already). I’m a massive fan Discoverbookof Michael Gelb and the Leonardo book has been a bible to me for a couple of years now (as is his excellent Discover your Genius (US Amazon) book which is on a similar vein) so Michael’s presentation of the ‘principles’ taught me little new. However watching his presentation and seeing the responses given by Michael in Q&A part of the webinar being compiled in MindManager by the Mindjet team got my little brain cells pondering in a way they haven’t before.

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Wile away summer doing some paperless art

Goneinkin_1 Perhaps showing that I have waaaaay too much time on my hands I thought I'd share a few TabletPC friendly websites I've found for arty paperless students (or anyone else for that matter) to wile away their summer vacation. Follow the jump to see the sites. If you know of any similar tabletpc friendly art portals then please add them as a comment so we can all waste even more of our summer on needless, but fun, paperless art activities :o)

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StudentTabletPC.com gets a makeover

While the rest of us (...well probably just me) are making the most of the summer weather others such as Tracy Hooten are working their fingers to the bone to bring a fresh look to their websites. POP yourself along to see the fruits of her labour (although I'm hoping her website is one of those you already visit daily anyway) it's well worth the clickity click!


TabletPCs – The saviour of handwriting?


I was skimming the postscript section in one of my favourite creativity books yesterday - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (I highly recommend it). In the book Betty discusses how handwriting has degenerated as a consequence of little importance being now placed on teaching handwriting. I couldn’t agree with Betty more. I’ve always considered that legible handwriting is declining and even more so in a society where ubiquitous computer use has negated the need to write by hand. I ‘gained’ first hand experience of this kind of degeneration during my Multimedia Technology degree. Almost exclusive daily use of computers during that time made my end of term exam papers embarrassingly illegible. My ‘scrawl’ was so bad that I’m still convinced to this day that my papers must have been sent to one of the world’s leading Hieroglyphic experts for deciphering (and I’m not exaggerating!). In addition to my handwriting being atrocious I would also find that five minutes into every exam I would begin to be blighted with excruciating bouts of writer’s cramp which would last the duration of the exam It was official - computers were detrimental to my handwriting and I was uncomfortable holding a pen and writing on paper – shock and horror (at least for Betty) I preferred to use a keyboard.

Follow the jump to read the rest of this article and to see examples of my handwriting from 2002 and 2006 to see if it has improved any.

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