The Smart Phone's Real Purpose
Roland is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
At a young and impressionable age, I saw a movie named “The Big Chill” and heard something like the following:
“I write for People magazine. Do you know what that really means? It means I can’t turn in an article longer than 800 words because that’s the average length of time a person spends in the bathroom.”
What brings this up is the fact several on-line outlets have liked some of my work and asked me to write articles for them. Anyone who’s ever read my blog knows that I never concern myself with length, just ramble until the story ends. Commercial blog and article sites, however, want articles between 300-1200 words and they want raw, flowable text.
Lately I’ve been writing all of my books with LibreOffice on OpenSuSE after moving from Ubuntu and OpenOffice. While it is true that both OpenOffice and LibreOffice have a word count feature, it is a static script. You have to stop what you are doing and navigate through a menu to get the current word count. LibreOffice 3.5.x is supposed to include a floating word count window, but, that isn’t out yet and “supposed to” doesn’t always equal “will.”
My search turned up a delightful little word processor called FocusWriter.
There are dozens of “themes” available free of charge which change the background image, foreground color, default font, etc.
It stores files in either OpenDocument or RTF format. It includes a running word count (or line or paragraph or character) in the floating bottom bar. Probably the coolest feature is that it is full screen by default. Anyone who remembers the glory days of DOS based WordPerfect (CORL) will wax a little nostalgic at this multiplatform minimalistic word processor. Someone even created a theme for it with the heritage WordPerfect white on blue color scheme.
Full screen is different than what people think of as “full screen” when you choose the maximize option of any given application window. A maximized application window still has borders displayed. You can get that type of display if you prefer it by unchecking the Fullscreen option under settings on the menu. This is the old fashioned DOS definition of Fullscreen. That operating system bar with a main button and icons for all of your minimized applications doesn’t even show. You have to be well aware of <ALT><TAB> to rotate applications around. It is a truly nostalgic feel.
Would I use this word processor to write one of my books? No. It’s minimalistic. I don’t know of any modern author that uses the long defunct “manuscript format” nor would I ever want to. When I “see” a book I “see” it fully lain out, all of the fonts, images, screen shots, etc. This word processor is incapable of that. I tried opening up my current novel with it and watched all of the formatting disappear.
That said, I can leave my mouse at the bottom of the screen and watch the word count while I type. This stops me from blasting past the end of the sweet spot which makes me more productive.
On-line buyers wish to purchase raw flowable text with URLs that they may or may not show images from. Why? You see the screen size varies from the iPhone (NASDAQ: AAPL) to the Nook (NYSE: BKS) to the various smart phones from Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Motorola (NYSE: MMI) and others. Why is that important? Because the commercial sites know many of you were embarrassed to be seen carrying a newspaper or magazine into the bathroom at work but you all take your “reading devices.” We’ve heard you playing Angry Birds in there. http://shop.angrybirds.com/