Friday, 6 December 2013

Best PC programs I use (Windows & Chrome)

My life in computer world, as opposed to living outdoors, has given me at least some nice discoveries in applications department. Here are some Windows programs and Chrome extensions I highly recommend.

SCRIVENER- if you write, especially if you write a lot & professionally, you can't go wrong with this one.
FREEDOM- life saver for all us internet addicts. The only thing it does is cutting you offline for certain time. It works miracles. 
LIBREOFFICE- you don't need MS Office any more, really. 
µTORRENT- you know, for torrents. 
MUSICBEE- I was experimenting with music players, as I'm quite old fashioned in this realm, playing mostly music from my hard disk drive, not streaming from the internet. I couldn't get used to Spotify nor Pandora nor nor Soundcloud. I was one of the last Mohicans, using Winamp, then Clementine, and then MusicBee, which I found the one to rule them all. 

Chrome Extensions: 
ADBLOCK- this is a superb, extremely helpful tool, especially appreciated by heavy YouTube users. This extension kills ads and popups in a very efficient way. I honestly forgot already that there are some adds on YouTube forcing you to wait. Thanks to AdBlock you don't wait. 
HOVER ZOOM - another simple, but surprisingly powerful thing. Enlarges thumbnails on mouse over. I use it dozens times a day.
POCKET - neatly collects things you want to read later on the internet. 
STUMBLEUPON- discover something out of the internet, that is not necessary Facebookish nor Twitterish. 
GOOGLE DICTIONARY - a brilliant, instant way to get the definition of a word just by highlighting it in a text, delivered with pronunciation. I simply love it.

There's one more thing worth mentioning. For most of us it's not adding, but removing what makes a difference. So when you're not happy with a program you use for years, look for the alternative or just get rid of it. There's a lot going on in the apps domain, why don't we refresh our options.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Top Android apps I use daily

A geeky update today. Here are some programs I use daily on my Nexus 4. 

KINDLE - you don't have to have kindle to read kindle. At least when it comes to the hardware. It's because the software comes in handy making all nerds happy.
SWIPEPAD - golden productivity tool when using naked Android with basic launcher. Gives you access to frequently used apps with just a swingy swipe, as opposed to endless tapping.
EVERNOTE - for more complexed notes and keepsakes. With the simple ones Google Keep works just fine. However the more and various materials you collect in your memo, the more you'll enjoy its cool features, like searching words on photos. 
SKYSCANNER - compares flights prices. The freedom alone felt when searching for directions (v)everywhere & (v)any time makes installing it worthy.
COLOR ZEN - chill out and invite yourself back to children's innocence. It's a non competitive, but contemplative game with colors and shapes. After 15 minutes you cherish life and bliss the fellow commuters.
CONTACTS+ - Cool way to keep all contacts together, and stay updated with all social networks imaginable. Why make NSA employees lives harder?

I'd like to mention beautiful and useful Battery Widget and Allthecooks app gathering community of cooking lovers with million recipes. 

Temptations of new technologies are too strong to resist. Let's not forget unbeatable Google products like G.translate, G.Maps, G.Search and Gmail, making me feel that the struggle is finished. I've won the victory over myself. I love Big Brother.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Immigrant's perspective

I'm coming back to vlogging, starting with a short impression about immigrant's feelings when in the UK.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Business of nostalgia

© Jason Freeny

And so it happened. “Wonder Years” are long gone by, “That’s 70s Show” archived as well. Broadway and West End are filled up with Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury musicals. Cinemas are welcoming sequels of The Smurfs and The Muppets. There's no clearer sign that my generation has just taken over the entertainment. And now it's time to jerk off to OUR childhood stars.

It's not that damaging for elders, who know what's going on. And what's going on is a business of nostalgia. It just not very polite towards the children, who we want to choke with our sentiments, while they deserve something fresh. There's something mental in going into raptures over our sweet memories dipped in a fog.

Surely, it will pass, along with our conviction about how exceptional we are. And we'll be more understanding maybe, seeing new generation embracing their precious memories. After all, business is business, and self- indulgence rules. 

There is one sequel that I'm looking for though. And this one is not created for money, out of sentiment nor self-indulgence, hopefully. It's "Cosmos" - updated, iconic Carl Sagan's TV series, taken over by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Age of Abundance (or nerd in the park)

Seeing some Sci-Fi film ad on a London bus I felt suddenly embarrassed for all involved: producers, actors, designers, and so on. “They should be ashamed of themselves.” - I thought. “It hits low, pins to the flatland.” I really got carried away with disgust, as I was walking familiar streets in Zone 2. I kept on complaining in my mind. “It's trashing the culture. It's a waste of time, prayer to money.”

It might sound harsh. It might sound overly serious. But somehow I caught myself on that explicit judgement. Cause really, we would do without another movie. We would easily do without half of the movies made over the last 50 years.

What we generally need in the West is selection. Subtracting instead of adding, giving away instead of taking, letting go instead of gathering. For start try selling instead of buying.

We have a religion of collecting and upgrading. We produce the same films for decades, over and over again. How about setting up a religion of selection, or at least politics or business of selection.

Said someone who adds his blog to the noise, plus tweets, plus Facebook updates and YouTube videos. Oh well, whatever comes next.

I should probably stick to watching dogs running in the park. But no walk is innocent when you are a fatalist nerd.

Monday, 10 June 2013

What is Three Times Theory?

Walter Iooss
As Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski once said, the best way to deal with your need is meeting it. If you want an apple, just go ahead and grab one. And deal with all the consequences.

Generally I share this view, but I think it applies best to first time experiences. I have a simple and special approach towards it. Enter Three Times Theory.

It is based on notion, that everything experienced for the first time is special. But that's not the whole story. Second times are very interesting as well, in my opinion undervalued. And there's this third time, which signals routine.

First time is so mind blowing because you're not able to scale it. What you have at your disposal is at best some partial report, dull info, naked data. That's why when it actually happens it's totally emotional. Even if disappointing, it can hardly be challenged. Suppose you have upgraded your Honda Civic to Lexus. As impressive as this promotion gets, it can't beat your initial jump from walking to driving. Can it?

Second time experience is more scalable. That's because the first time gave you some measures, tangible expectations of its limits, glimpse of insight. Whether it's a second job, second girlfriend or second drug use, comparison comes naturally. It's somehow new, but familiar.

Third time introduces cyclical nature of things, gives you the sense of understanding. From here you start being experienced. 

So happy is, I think, the one who had three houses, three spouses, and three jobs. Hey, but not at once! Let's not praise personality disorders. When you lived three lives, you can call yourself lucky. You've been testing your freedom. That guarantees minimized risk of anxiety, uncomfortable flashes, and insomnia later on. Well, at least it should help.  

Thursday, 23 May 2013

5 rules of life in your twenties (that I should have followed)

Dagmar Hochová

I'd like to walk to my younger self and tell him a couple of things. I'm writing a book instead, hoping it will reach some folks with madness and hunger for life similar to mine. The general ideas are as follows: 

 1. Don't panic. 

We're doomed. That's generally true. But in the meantime we can be brave and happy. Sure, there's a small list of things you should avoid, like long term commitments (mortgage, marriage, kids), or life/health hazards (starting with suicide attempt, which sounds so sweet sometimes), but the message is: enjoy your freedom. And first of all - stay calm. 

2. Participate. 

Don't only think about things but breathe them, engage your sweat & blood. Be part of it, not apart. And over all: share with others. 

3. Anticipate. 

You have one source of income? Cool, work on another one. You love your partner? Marvellous, don't forget about your friends. You feel great with children? Awesome, just keep in mind they will be gone in 10 years. Get ready. 

4. Believe in your choices. 

Feeling you've landed somewhere or with someone by accident? How so? Everything you are now is either result of many decisions or just an inertial force. Let it better be decisions, your decisions. Listen to feedback, but don't let people sabotage your plans. Almost everyone has this inclination to give advices, not always with good will. And rarely with better knowledge of the situation than you have. 

5. Acknowledge that there's nothing as it seems. 

Appearances can really be misleading. Less is more, big is small, depends how much you research it. And be ready for surprises. Did you know that Jimi Hendrix was a very shy guy? Not to mention that Jack Nicholson was growing up with sister, that turned out to be... his mother. 

So the book should be ready at the latest in September. 

By the way, while wondering who publishes similar content I found a great site:

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spirituality of comedians

I adore seriousness. I think it's something we miss in our amused to death society. But lately I realized that the lion's share of content I consume take comedies. After analysing this surprising fact I came to the conclusion that the reason is - wait for it - their spiritual message. 

By spiritual I mean depth and addressing important issue. They touch what is hidden in the shadow. Like discovery that Stockholm syndrome is represented more often than it seems.

Now for something happier: democracy kicks in!

How about a comment on social trends.

I adore seriousness, and I adore comedians. 

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