movies with happy endings! is it just me …

Or, is anyone else noticing that mainstream (advertised) movies are leaning towards endings that are more true to life as opposed to your blanket “happy ending”. I generally only watch movies that are popular, mostly because they’re easy to find, and ten years ago I’d be hard pressed to think of a movie without some sort of happy ending. Yes, there are those off the wall movies but I only discover those through recommendations and such. But, for the popular mainstream stuff, this seems to be becoming a popular pattern, this unhappy ending business.

Just my personal observation.

onenote vs evernote, winner announced

EVERNOTE WINS

Why?

It works with mac and windows; you can save webclips and screenshots; 40mb/month free or 500mb/month for 5 bux a month; accessible over the INTERNET(!), obviously; I can search text in pictures(!) – that feature is in the pay/per version; I can click a checkbox for “local storage” that will not be available online or synced with their online service – this is important because I need just a tad bit of privacy for talking mess about everyone else in my handwritten journal entries; works on your ricer telephone (iphone, blackberry, ipaq); has a bar on the right hand side of the desktop application that lists the dates everything was added to a notebook – it’s like a timeline!

Onenote doesn’t do that (see above). Plus, onenote costs like 60 bux or so and has so many friggin caveats. For instance, onenote 2007 doesn’t have handwriting recognition under winxp. That feature only works if onenote 2007 is on vista or xp tablet edition, and as you know, I don’t want to fork out 700 dollars for a new computer. You could get onenote 2003 and it would work with some workarounds. Still, no online capability, can’t have it everywhere, etc.

Evernote is the CLEAR winner here for me. In fact, if I get it crunk enough, I might just purchase the $45/yr subscription to their online service – but I don’t think I will exceed 40mb a month at all. The only things I’d like to upload to their sharing service are my book notes that will be either a scanned image of my notes (convert pdf to jpg) or a straight up inking from the faux tablet pc like a cyberpad.

But, I have not yet decided to purchase the cyberpad. I’m kind of on edge as to whether or not 150 bux is worth it seeing as how evernote handles pictures just fine – I’ll have to sleep on that one.

Finally, what is are my big plans for this note managing application? Well, I’ve purchased over 200 dollars worth of books in the past two weeks to get ready for my big reading/studying extravaganza. And I will definitely be taking a LOT of notes, but I don’t want to have to store all that paper, blah. So, that’s where evernote will come in. I’ll stick all my notes in there and sort (tag) them by book – the timeline will take care of the part of when I took the note and blah blah.

And that’s all I want out of this. That’s it. Thank you. Of course… I think I’ll probably get more use out of it, but ‘organizing my book notes’ will be my baseline to say that this service functioned well for me.

Oh, when you upload stuff to their servers, you get a neat little blog share page for people with feed readers (you do use google reader don’t you?). Here’s an example I googled up real quick: http://preview.evernote.com/pub/erick/notes/

Now, my next order of business is to verify that the cyberpad widgets/programs/things are compatible with xp 64 bit. I use 64-bit because I made a very deliberate effort to acquire 8gb of ram all in the name of speed and awesomeness. And, well, I can never go back to less than that on my desktop. There will be no settling here.

Oh, did I mention that, out of all of the cheap tablets, the cyberpad is the winner? Well, it’s the winner because of compatibility: works with reg. paper, ink from a few dif brands of pens, onenote software, and evernote software.

Do I have any room to complain? Of course. But seeing as how that would do me no good at the moment, I’ll try to keep that to a minimum. Maybe later I’ll list out some “critiques” and a few “standing words” about all this stuff. In the meantime, I hope to decide whether or not to use a cyberpad or a regular scanner so that I can bust these books open already. My WoW account expires [because I cancelled it] on Sep 5th, so I’m getting anxious to bust open these books – actually, I’m already cheating but am holding back my notes and full dedication so far.

ps: yes I tried google chrome web browser, and no I will not be using that until it graduates from it’s baby stages – even still, I need my foxmarks synchronized bookmarks .. so unless the plan on implimenting something similar, I’ll probably never actually use it even after it graduates.

(on notetaking) incoming gadgets – what to buy, if anything

I’m now in the market for a new toy to use for my note taking. I’ve recently found that I take lots of notes and do not, in any fashion, organize those notes; every day I find myself looking for something that I wrote down “somewhere” or a piece of paper that I stashed away somewhere.

This is not a big issue yet, but as I get more and more notes and papers, I can see it becoming one – wait, actually, it kind of is an issue since I’m taking the time to talk about it. Anyways …

I don’t have the money to burn on a really nice “affordable” 700 dollar tablet PC, nor do I want to deal with the following issues on a day-to-day basis: battery life, finding a plug every hour, glare, vista, did I mention I don’t wanna spend 700 dollars on another computer?

Now, of course I would LOVE to own a tablet and play with it constantly and use it to death, but the pricetag alone would be bad for me. Now that we’re over the tablet pc’s, what are my other options?

software to organize my notes
Well, the two softwares that I imagine using to organize my notes in windows would be onenote or evernote. I like them both.

Onenote review

Evernote review

hardware to make my notes
For this area, I’m going to disregard ugliness, bulkiness, and all around shoddy design. I’ll focus on functionality and price for my needs.

capturx

+ works very well with onenote
? don’t know if it works with evernote
– requires special notebook
– 300 dollars, I could almost buy a tablet pc for that pricetag

livescribe

+ records audio along with the writing
– requires special notebook
– doesn’t work with onenote
– doesn’t work with evernote
+ reasonable pricetag

cyberpad

+ doesn’t require a special notebook
+ reasonable pricetag
+ there’s a program out there that makes this work with onenote
+ works with evernote
– does require special clip board, but that’s comes with the one time purchase of the set

So there is obviously a clear winner for my needs – I NEED to have searchable notes, otherwise I might as well use paper and a scanner. But even still, I’m reluctant to spend the money. Maybe I should just stick my head back in my sewer and try to keep my paper notes organized? The feature that I just swoon over in regards to evernote, and onenote, is that 5 years from now, my notes should still frikkin be there waiting for me to type in a search expression and summon the golden nuggets from history – really, how could you possibly top that.

Lastly, I don’t know much about scanners. I do know that there are some nice small scanners out there with a nice small pricetag, but when you scan your notes into a computer, can those notes become searchable? So far, I haven’t found any real clues to indicate that this sort of thing works; still have to do more research. Initially I thought the only downfall of the scanning idea would be that I’d have to go HOME in order to scan in notes I just took, unless I was cool with looking ridiculous in that moment, but I later realized that’s not a downfall at all. With any of the note taking tools, aside from the expensive tablet pc, I’d have to wait until I get home in order to put the notes back on my PC anyway since I don’t want my business on public computers. And with that in mind, here are two other potentials:

random “portable” scanner – no I wouldn’t really carry this in a bag

random flatbed scanner

And that’s where I’m at in regards to incoming gadgets; I’m in the grey area of “still trying to decide to get anything at all”.

MUST KNOW – POWER POINT PRESENTATION TIP #AWESOME

B

If you’re in a powerpoint slideshow, and you press B, the screen will turn black. If you press B again, you’ll see the slide you were previously looking at.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT! You can actually have a powerpoint presentation for pictures or some other visual (maybe even a chart), and then BAM, blank screen so the audience can now focus on what you’re saying instead of getting blood shot eyes from staring at your amazingly lame slideshow – I don’t care how awesome you think your slideshow is, it’s most likely a distraction more than half the time, and a seriously annoying distraction at that with a side of eye strain.

Of course, the best powerpoint presentation ever is the tip that shows you how to turn it off.

Enjoy!

LEVEL 70!!

After many many man hours, my warlock has finally made it to level 70 in World of Warcraft.

If there’s one thing that I learned from this, it’s that if I were doing anything (ANYTHING!) else with the same time and focus commitment that I gave to WoW to get to level 70, I would be pretty close to an expert in whatever that anything is.

So, lets say, the time and focus I spent on WoW would instead be spent on pro/Engineer (cad software). I would be an expert in pro/engineer by now.

And with that … I still don’t regret the time I have put into wow. It was actually one of my goals to get to level 70 on WoW, since I’d never done it before.

Geeky gamer goal achieved!

30 day 3 – fail; quit smoking day 4 – fail

Well, I failed this time with the 30 day trial on day 3, simply because I made a decision to STOP all activity at that point. I decided instead to continue doing what I was already doing, playing video games, so as to distract me from the fact that I wanted to smoke. I quit smoking one day before I started the trial and did pretty well up until today after work.

Lots of factors at play here, but none of them, I think, kept me from succeeding as much as my own “want to” did. Parts of my 30 day trial stay steady – like the waking up, showering, etc but the parts that don’t stay steady are the cleaning up the car especially. Everything else got done on day 3 before I quit other than cleaning up the car and hitting the bed around 10pm. And since it was all part of the list, I figured, start from scratch in the name of attempting my previous list-method theory.

So, stay tuned for the next update. On the bright side, I failed quitting smoking on day 4, whereas I previously failed on day 3. That’s some improvement as I think I can overcome all the physical withdrawal symptoms fairly easy. The part that got me this time was that I had a really strong withdrawal pang pop up while I was driving back home from closer into town. It caught me off guard, as I didn’t have my quit smoking mp3’s or my quit smoking “what to do if you feel like smoking a cig” list handy. My “what-to-do … ” list got deleted when my pda decided to kill all my data when it crashed … but, i did backup my shizzle before that happened so I’ll just have to restore the documents.

Next time, I need to make it a point to have those items available 24×7. We’ll see what happens then.