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Turning the pages of Leonardo’s notebooks

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Imagine my delight when I discovered (through GottaBeMobile) that the British Library (an ‘homegrown’ initiative for a change :o)) have released an online digital book application Turning the Pages 2.0 which allows us, the common people, to get up close and personal to some of the most historical and revered books in the world. Imagine my further delight when I realised one of the featured titles is nothing more than one of hero’s notebooks (Leonardo daVinci) – absolutely magnificent. Other featured titles include Mozart’s musical diary, Jane Austen’s early works and of particular interest to a Mediaeval/Islamic historian like me a 1570 Atlas of Europe and an early Mamluk Qur’an in all of its sumptuous glory.

Be warned though, Turning the Pages 2.0 is primarily primed for the new Vista platform but you are able to access the titles if you are running WinXP (with service pack 2) and .NET 3.0 framework. The screenshot above is from the lowly Shockwave version of Turning the Pages as that's the best I can run on my antiquated computers.

I’m delighted with Turning the Pages 2.0 though (even though I haven't seen it in all of it's Vista glory) because aside from giving availability of rare titles to all of us, this method of delivery negates the need to reproduce these titles in printed format. What’s more the British Library have given us a teaser of what’s possible in relation to delivery historical books electronically and if libraries all over the world start using digital book applications like this, which I’m sure they will, then all of us are in for a very special treat!!

Greenpeace looking for green apples

Logoapple_1 Got to love the ‘green my apple’ campaign from Greenpeace. They’re really working at turning the eco-responsible screw on Apple Inc. and encouraging everyone to do the same. Don’t worry though Greenpeace aren’t interested in encouraging consumers to boycott their precious Apple gadgets. Their motive is focused solely on persuading Mr. Jobs and Co. to make a significant change for the greener (primarily to remove toxic chemicals from their products and launch a free worldwide 'take back scheme') and I think this is such a worthy cause. Given the incredible size and influence of Apple is it not be in everyone’s interest to encourage one of our planet’s biggest companies to be one of our planet’s biggest protectors too?

Well if you agree then get yourself along to the campaign website (if only to admire Greenpeace’s excellent spoofing of Apple’s corporate website) and see if there is anything you can do to help make Apple greener.

Way to go Greenpeace!

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Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 2

Moleskine_1 So if you were reading part 1 of my post, you’d remember that I ended proceedings with the ‘cliff-hanger’ statement that over the past few months I’ve harboured some ‘immoral’ paper-esque feelings that contradict my quest to operate 100% paperlessly Aghast! Horror! Shock!

Well firstly I should make it clear that unlike Jason I wouldn’t say that ‘scribbling away with my stylus has lost some of its flare and pizzazz.’ Thankfully I still experience that exact same ‘feel good’ buzz that I did on Day #1 so I’m thankful for that. However it’s the change to my course structure at university that has mainly resulted in me finding less of a necessity to continually scribe via digital ink. My degree course, as mentioned briefly in a previous post, is now more seminar based and consequently contains less lectures. Additionally my scheduled classes are significantly less in number than they were before leaving me more self guided and mobile which has had a significant impact on the way I operate.   

So specifically what are the detrimental feelings that have evolved over the past few months and why?

Continue reading "Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 2" »

Bubbl.us = one nifty online mindmapping tool!

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Fellow mindmapping nuts may be interested to know about the new online mindmapping tool bubbl.us. I've had a play with it and I've got to say it's got a lot of potential. Ok so bubbl.us may not have the feature bursting mindmapping power of something like MindManager but it is one quality little application.

The author appears to have really thought about the user and how he/she interacts with the program too. Peer topics or 'bubbles' (the metaphor that the application uses for its topic boxes) are easily created by hitting [TAB] and child entries are created using the [ENTER] key.  Navigation around your expanding mindmap is simplicity itself (simple click on the background and drag) and the facility is there to save your creations for later reference (FREE registration is required in order to do this). For the paperphiles among you....boooo!!! :o) there is also the facility to print out a created mindmap. There are plenty of other feature which I'll let discover for yourself ( contextual realtime help is available while you are creating your mindmaps)

Moving forward I'd like to see bubbl.us offer more in the way of control over fonts, bubble shape/colours and allow for the inclusion of images - you know all the usual 'right brained' mindmapping enhancement tools :o) Of course all of these inclusions may lead bubbl.us to lose much of its simplicity and ease of use so maybe all these features are better kept in something like MindManager.

All in all my hat goes off to the developers of bubbl.us and I can see myself using this  online tool often (espeically when I'm on a computer other than my own). The great news is the program, at least for the moment, is free to use and unless you intend on saving mindmaps for future use then you don't even need to register for a FREE acccount. What's stopping you? Go and have a play. :: via LifeDev

Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 1

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Paperless aficionado and MindManager supremo Jason Dorko recently scribed a thought provoking piece about his diminishing need to use his TabletPC (or rather his TabletPC in tablet mode) as his sole productivity ‘workhorse.’ Alternately, in order to maximise his efficiency, Jason now adopts a more prudent ‘make the tool(s) fit the job’ rather than the ‘job fitting the tool(s)’ ethos and a knock on effect of this has lead him to focus on a less stringent paperless lifestyle.

Continue reading "Priorities CAN dent the quest for personal paperless nirvana: Part 1" »

Happy 2007!

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Just wanted to wish everyone all the very best for the New Year. I, along with the Nutty Notes, hope you all achieve your ambitions and dreams over the next year and stick doggedly to your resolutions (one of which I'm hoping is to remain as paperless as possible :o))