12 July 2009

Computing Life, Simplified

I have a long road to travel to attain a simpler life. My home office is a mess, I started to upload to the attic, the backyard shack is more manageable but can use some more cleaning, the list goes on. But when it comes to a simpler computing life, I recently achieved one point.

For some years now I've been writing software review for ATPM magazine. I would use a template in NeoOffice so that once it's opened I already have a few lines of text entered, like so


Rating: OK/Good/Very Nice/Excellent
Web: http://www.blah.com/bleah
Price: $
Requirements: Mac OS X v. 10.n Universal.

A true template file when launched would have a name like Untitled, not the template name. You do not run the risk of overwriting the template with data. All I would need to do, supposedly, is sort of fill in the blanks and choose one of the rating. The trouble was that there is a noticeable delay between the time NeoOffice is launched and the template is ready for use. NeoOffice, as great as it is, free competitor to M$ Office and all, is no speed king at startup. Writing is a strange process, a few minutes delay can make the difference between non-stop ranting and raving and having writer's block.

I recently discovered that the system built-in TextEdit works just fine for my need. I would create sort of a template file and open that, whether directly or via Open Recent. I would need to name the file properly lest I lose my "template" because TextEdit opens the file as is. Small price to pay for the instantaneous access to the tool. Besides, when using NeoOffice, the final product would need to be saved in RTF anyway, something that TextEdit already does automatically. NeoOffice is definitely useful for typing combined with graphics and tables etc, but for my simple need, less is more and TextEdit suits me perfectly.

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