Episode 89: Charles on Writing


The Main Topic: Writing Essentials

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14 Replies to “Episode 89: Charles on Writing”

  1. merelyjim

    On Writing;

    Every Word-Processor, Note-taking application, and text-editor should come with the following warning in big red block letters; WARNING: WRITING CAN BECOME ADDICTIVE. They should include it on typewriters too, if you want to go the analog route.

    In order to compensate for poor grammar skills, I was told that I should try to imagine Winston Churchill speaking what I had written, and if it didn’t fit, rewrite. I didn’t have a whole lot of access to Churchill material as a lad, but there was access to the two funniest Brits to ever walk the planet; Douglas Adams and John Cleese. It got me through college, but oh, what a monster they created!

    Write SOMETHING. Go to the Linux Mint Community website and read a HOWTO, to figure out the format, and take a shot at one yourself. Start a blog through WordPress or Blogger. Post in the forums. Review a book. There’s something you know that can be shared to the greater good, but without letting us know about it, you’re a terminal with a broken connection.

    If you choose to write material for a for-profit publication* [not a thing wrong with this…I don’t mind sending your kids to college if you help me send mine, all economic equality aside], there’s an Evergreen concept you might want to look at… Evergreen, like the tree, holds on almost forever. I bought a copy of “The Linux Cookbook [2nd edition]” by Michael Stutz back in 2006, or 2007. It’s mostly command-line tips and tricks, all 852 pages of it, distro-agnostic, dog-eared and my GOTO book when things go wrong. This is the book that Scotty consults when Kirk says, “we need more power!” I bought a PDF copy of it last week so I could always have a copy of it on-hand. There’s a lot of technology that quickly passes by the wayside, but the core – the kernal – of Linux, endures**.

    * I will gladly buy well-written Linux information from publications. This is where I go when someone tells me to RTFM on a forum. I’ve easily spent twice as much in books on Linux than I’ve ever spent on the latest version of Windows operating system.

    ** Thanks to Dennis Ritchie, who didn’t get enough credit when he was alive, and damn sure should be remembered now and in the future.


  2. Easy

    As to: Dell ships Ubuntu in China.

    This is a joke. Not on Dell’s part, which I commend them. It’s the Chinese. They don’t give a sh#t. I’ve lived in China for over 7 years and have seen many a time when a top brand named computer company tried to sell their laptops pre-installed with a Linux only to have the local stores wipe the drive & install a pirated copy of M$ WinXP. I’ve even seen them wipe M$ Win7 or Vista & replace it with a pirated copy of M$ WinXP.

    When I asked the storekeep why, they say, “It doesn’t sell.” The truth isn’t that it doesn’t sell, it’s simply that the storekeep doesn’t know it or like it. So they won’t sell it.

    What’s even more laughable, storekeeps here have gone so far as to wipe a legal copy of M$ WinXP only to install a pirated copy – go figure.

    The Chinese here do whatever they damn well please, regardless of the manufacturer or anyone else, and not just with computers. They do it with everything. Any way they can cheat, steal, rob someone of money. They will spend more time to find a way to cheat someone for a few pennies than to do something legit to make an honest living and an honest profit.

    • Sid32

      Makes sense to me. With all the flavours or MS out there, Home, Premium, etc. Its worth their time to wipe and install a fully patched, top of the heap edition of Win___. Not only does it give customers a better value, but some ‘Black/Pirate’ editions comes with a better setup out of the box, and with additional software, Anti-Virus, VLC, burning suite, Word, etc.

      Less time for them spend problem solving, removing virus, fixing codecs problems, etc, and a better value for customers then what store X provides.

      I would say Ubuntu doesn’t sell because people aren’t use to it. Just getting people to eyeball the Ubunutu desktop in stores is a win for Linux users. Hopefully we end up with people who are familiar with it, in the same way they are familiar with iOS and Android. As a viable OS to have on their home/personal products. Thats easy to use, lets them do their work/entertainment, and gets out of their way.

  3. BostonPeng

    A very timely show indeed, especially since I just finished listening to the show at the end of a few days of writing posts on my blog about how to get some things installed on LMDE 64-bit with KDE bolted on top. I’ll have to see where I could repurpose some of it to at least give back to the Mint community.

    Also, I was checking out the latest issue of Full Circle Magazine and wished we had sommething like that specifically for Mint, especially since we have so many flavours of Mint. The fact that LMDE is so different from the flagship Mint could make a FC-like publication just that much more useful.

    Thanks for stopping by again, Charles. It’s always a treat when you do. Please say hi to Rothgar for us. I hope he’s doing well. I miss hearing from him.

  4. nubunu

    I like using FocusWriter for my writing needs. What it does, is gets rid of all distractions and essentially leaves you with the full-screen theme-able notepad with spell checking and rich text output. It also has daily goals, that I haven’t really figured out, as i don’t really pay attention to that part of the software. But, the best thing I love about FocusWriter, is the typewriter sounds it makes when you’re writing. Works well, since I’m using a laptop. 🙂

  5. Ian Barton

    Enjoyed the section on writing. I just about live in Emacs org-mode. One tool you didn’t mention, which I find especially useful is version control. Personally I use git, but any tool will do.

    It’s great for experimenting with changes to you text, without losing your original text. Also you can review your article through its various different stages of writing it.


    • Charles

      Ian, this sounds very interesting. I use Org-mode for my writing, and would be interested in setting up version control. Could you go on the mintCast show sometime to talk about how to set up version control in git?

  6. Joseph

    Great show. I enjoyed the discussion about Ubuntu and the way Shuttle-worth is working. I think it was great that someone stood up for them when it is popular to bash them at present. I’ve been using Unity for a good while now and don’t have any issues. The dual monitor problem that was mentioned was the same on my system initially: Unity bar in the middle. However, since I have an Nvidia card, I changed which monitor was the left-most in the Nvidia configuration tool and Unity has worked correctly since then. I also remember doing this under Gnome 2 at one point!

    • Sid32

      Hey, if Firefox w Bing as the default search engines leads to Mozilla brining in more money, who are we to complain?

      At the least it will allow them to show google they have other options to sell their default search to, and rise $$$ that way..

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