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Preview: DanToday


The personal weblog of a technophilic English professor.

Last Build Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:56:07 +0000


Just Fool Enough to Try One More Time

Sat, 03 Oct 2009 18:31:00 +0000

I am going to try to support this blog on my own again. May the spammers, hackers, and viruses stay away from DanToday.

A List of Minimalist Text Editors

Tue, 29 Sep 2009 02:55:00 +0000

This list of Minimalist Text Editors was originally compiled by Jeff , author of DarkRoom.

A List of Minimalist Text Editors

Dark Room X

JDark Room










Mon, 28 Sep 2009 04:00:00 +0000

I am trying to write a series of sentences, none of which begin with "I".

Etherpad Embeddable

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 04:55:00 +0000

Etherpad tells of new developments: a "time slider" on every pad and the option to embed Etherpads in other web pages.

Darkroom Preview Release

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 04:53:00 +0000

The minimalist text editor "Darkroom" has a new preview release. It now runs on AIR.

The President Tweets

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 04:28:00 +0000

The President has tweeted.

Merlin Mann Says, "Get Started!"

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 21:14:00 +0000

I enjoyed listening to this talk about overcoming procrastination, delivered by Merlin Mann.

I heard it on "The Sound of Young America" podcast.

It motivated me to write this post!

Overstock. com: Waiting to See

Tue, 18 Aug 2009 21:46:00 +0000

I just bought an (impressively) inexpensive item from We'll see if good stuff comes our way.
Here's your chance to wow us with value and savings, Hope you come through.

Paint Doodle

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 22:00:00 +0000


My One and Onlies

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 03:23:00 +0000

It's sad that some of the best coffee I drink comes from quirky, serendipitous blends I'll never drink again.
This morning I drank a delectable blend, 75% of which consisted of Gene Hicks "Good Morning" blend, with the other 25% made up of Whole Foods "365" Colombian and a smattering of Tanzanian Peaberry from White Rock Coffee.
It was an unrepeatable blend, like a David Antin talk piece.
I doubt I'll ever taste its like again.

test 3

Mon, 10 Aug 2009 15:02:00 +0000

test 3

Another Test Post

Mon, 10 Aug 2009 05:48:00 +0000

Test Post.

PubSubHubBub Test Post

Mon, 10 Aug 2009 05:32:00 +0000

Test Post.

Update: Test post.

A Little to Work With

Thu, 06 Aug 2009 21:13:00 +0000

Composition Assignment:

Provide some content and challenge students to arrange it in a way that gives the content a narrative or argumentative shape, and to do some original writing to fill in the gaps.

Assign the use of particular rhetorical devices.

Illustrator Richard Bell in New Video

Wed, 05 Aug 2009 04:05:00 +0000


British nature illustrator Richard Bell, creator of the Wild West Yorkshire illustrated nature diary, is featured in a video recently uploaded to YouTube by New York artist Danny Gregory.

The video has two parts: part 1 | part 2

GPACW 2009

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 03:26:00 +0000

The Annual Conference of the Great Plains Association for Computers and Writing has posted its call for papers.

This year the conference will be hosted by St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Quiet, Please! (Part II)

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 18:56:00 +0000

I am again in the Belfast Free Library. Mercifully, no work is being done on the road outside, and the noises that filled the great reading room on Tuesday have gone. Today, however, I have been joined at my long wooden table by a man with a penchant for pornographic videos and not a clue as to how to mute his netbook.

Quiet, Please!

Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:37:00 +0000

Some kind of construction work is being done on the street near the public library in Belfast, Maine, where I am trying to get some work done. This is what it sounds like in th Belfast Pubic Library right now.


Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:16:00 +0000

Working with great intensity but to little positive effect. Frustrating!

Online Text to Speech

Fri, 17 Jul 2009 21:03:00 +0000

To save my eyes, I found two online text-to-speech applications that work well, without limiting the length of text one enters to be read:


Thu, 09 Jul 2009 17:32:00 +0000

Hunch: the most personalized of searches. 3.1 = Improved Graphics

Fri, 03 Jul 2009 03:53:00 +0000

OpenOffice.Org 3.1 features anti-aliased graphics.

FriendFeed Real Time Search

Fri, 03 Jul 2009 03:19:00 +0000

FriendFeed search goes real time today.

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My Writing Page Gets a Face Lift

Thu, 02 Jul 2009 16:32:00 +0000

The old design having gotten too complicated, today I revised my web page for writing.

The new design is better. It is based on a streamlined writing process which still embodies the fundamental moves of my approach to thinking and writing, an approach that is marked by association and iteration.

The new writing page has two columns (it used to have three). The left column is for drafting. The right column serves three purposes: timing, outlining, and publishing.

The contents of the left column are simple: just a textarea formatted so as not to be too wide. The textarea appears inside an iframe which comes in handy later, in connection with publication links in the right column.

At this point, the column on the right contains a timer, a narrow textarea for outlining (and by outlining I mean just an informal list of words), and a list of links to web based word processors that open in the iframe on the left.

The process I follow when writing is simple. It is built on the kind of trust in the power of association of which William Stafford, Ray Bradbury, and other writers have written. With nothing or just a little something in mind to write, I set the timer for five minutes and write spontaneously and improvisationally in the textarea on the left for that time. When the time is up, I look over what I've written and type, in the narrow textarea on the right, a list of words suggested to my mind by the writing I've done on the left. Next, I delete what I've written on the left and begin again, this time following and riffing on the word list. This generally gives me a pretty good draft of some writing to share.

The links to publishing portals that appear below the narrow textarea on the right may be superfluous. I'm not sure. In any case, they open Zoho Writer, Buzzword, or Blogger within the iframe on the left. Buzzword and Blogger work better than Zoho Writer, which doesn't like to open in the iframe right away. To get Zoho Writer to open, you have to scroll around a little to login, then click the Zoho Writer logo in the upper left hand corner of the login page (you only have to go to this trouble to log in, however; after that - during the same session - the app opens fine with one click of the link). Buzzword and Blogger work better. Transfering text from textarea to publishing portal is simply a matter of copy-and-paste.

To prevent data loss due to a browser crash, I use Firefox with Greasemonkey and the textarea backup script installed.

I have added a bookmark to a locally stored version of my writing page to my browser's bookmarks toolbar. That way, if I feel like writing something, I can easily open the page in a tab with one click.

And that's my writing page at this iteration.