Support Your Favorite Creators Today

There’s a good chance you frequently use free software and consume free content. Some of it is created by companies who support themselves by selling you private information to the highest bidder and by displaying intrusive ads. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are among the most prominent companies that do this.

But some of the free software and content you use, are created by organizations and individuals who don’t earn any money from doing it. Instead, they rely on user donations. Ever since I got a steady income, I’ve made donations to creators of free software and content I use regularly.

Here’s a list of my current, monthly donations:

A Picture A Day 2019

As you’ve probably realized, ’tis the season not only to be jolly, but to sum up the year. How did my A Picture A Day project do in 2019?

2019 was another good year for the A Picture A Day project. I managed to post a picture every day, and that was my one and only goal.

This year, I’ve also added a new feature to the A Picture A Day project. Every now and then I post personal stuff, like a picture of the kids. Since I started the project in 2013, I’ve become a lot more privacy conscious. Facebook, Google, and all the other technical behemoths whose business is based solely on selling your most private secrets to the highest bidder, have thought me the value of tightening the control of what I share. Posting pictures of people online without their consent is also a major no-no. I could of course the my kids’ consent, but they don’t really understand what it means yet.

Because of all this, I’ve locked down the personal photos I post so that they are only available to those of you who have been granted access. The technical details if outlined in the post A More Private A Picture A Day. It’s quite simple, though. If you want access, just click on one of the pictures with a padlock on them, enter your e-mail address, and you’ll go through a not-so-thorough manual vetting process that might end up in you getting access.

A Book A Month 2019

Which books did I manage to plow through this year?

This is the fourth year of the A Book A Month Project, and this year I’ve almost exclusively read books that are part of a series. The only exception was Airport by Arthur Hailey, a book I abandoned after 5 hours of reading simply because I felt it was going slowly nowhere in particular.

2019 has been dominated by two authors; Marko Kloos and George R. R. Martin. I read the last three books of Kloos’ excellent Frontlines military science fiction series. I even managed to post a review of it. Like most series, Frontlines has its ups and downs, but my informal individual score of the books never dipped below 3.5 out of 5. As military science fiction series come, Frontlines is top notch.

Neo Cab

I’m a sucker for neon lights, cyberpunk, and a good story. Here’s my Neo Cab review.

California based Change Agency‘s Neo Cab is a game that delivers on all three of those points. So when I loaded up the game for the first time I was pretty sure I was going to have a good time. And I wasn’t left disappointed.

Neo Cab tells the story of Lina, one of the last human driver-for-hire on the streets of Los Ojos. Lina’s friend and only lifeline has gone missing; with no money and nowhere to stay, the only thing she can do is keep driving. As the player, you choose what passengers to pick up and how you engage with them to learn their stories. Balance Lina’s own emotional wellbeing with the needs of her passengers as she strives to keep her perfect rating, and her job. Maybe someone in this city can help Lina with her own story?

Distraction Free Writing

When you’re trying to get in the zone, it’s important to eliminate as many distractions as possible.

But how do you eliminate distractions when you’re writing on a computer, a device which is itself a distraction? A distraction free writing tool might help. These full screen text editors do their best to remove everything that is not important to the task of writing. In this post, I’ll have a look at five of them in an attempt to find the right one for me. Let’s see what Left, Ghostwriter, iA Writer, Writemonkey 3, and Calmly Writer have to offer.

Left

Left is distraction-free plaintext editor designed to quickly navigate between segments of an essay, or multiple documents. It features auto-complete, Markdown support, synonyms suggestions, writing statistics, markup-based navigation and a speed-reader.

The application was initially created to help Rekka with the writing of the upcoming novel Wiktopher, and later made available as a free and open source software.

Left isn’t truly full-screen. In Windows, I can still see the menu bar, which annoys me like crazy. The auto-complete and synonymous features are very nice, but they have an unfortunate side effect. As you write, information flashes along on the bottom of the screen, where both the auto-complete and synonym suggests appear. This is a distraction in itself, which is unfortunate for a text editor that aims to eliminate them. Also, there is no way to control the width of the text in full-screen mode. This means that on a wide-screen monitor, you have to move your eyes a lot from side to side as you write.

Left