Daring to Dvorak

I’m writing this article with a Dvorak keyboard layout. It arranges the letters on your keyboard differently, so that “D” becomes“E”, “K” becomes “T”. You can see the layout here. It’s slow, laborious, and my words per minute has dropped from 100 to 2, or thereabouts. To most people, it’s a completely worthless skill to … Continue reading Daring to Dvorak


Track Changes

Anyone who writes or edits books will eventually come across a mention to the Track Changes feature in Word. It's a powerful tool that gets a lot of use on my Mac, and it's worth the price I paid for Office all on its own. I'm going to go over what Track Changes can do, … Continue reading Track Changes

Coffee and Plain Text

Every so often, in my job as an editor, I receive a manuscript that uses multiple fonts. This may seem like a small thing. Using a different font for chapter headings, or setting a computer's error message in Courier isn't that much of a big deal. I haven't seen a manuscript in comic sans, or … Continue reading Coffee and Plain Text

Writing on a Tablet

Some time ago, I wrote about my Android tablet, focusing on how it worked as an e-reader. My verdict at the time: As an e-reader stand-in, it's not perfect, but it's serviceable. It's much heavier than a Kindle or a Nook, and battery life is its biggest barrier to being a proper e-reader. I have … Continue reading Writing on a Tablet

Thoughts on my Android E-Reader

A few weeks ago, I bought a Kindle Fire for my birthday, after trying out a regular Kindle for a day. Here's what I said about it: Friends suggested I get a Nook, an iPad, a Samsung... but the point of this exercise was to experience using a Kindle, currently the most popular such reader[...] … Continue reading Thoughts on my Android E-Reader

Ask Ceil – A Failure to Communicate

Dear Ceil, I was thinking of commenting on an internet article, and then I read the other commenters. So I stopped. Should I have? Opining in Oregon Dear Opining, I see that you have observed the conundrum of unfettered free speech. Apparently, people feel free to say things. You see, they realize they'll never meet … Continue reading Ask Ceil – A Failure to Communicate

Ask Ceil – Introduction, Computers and Asses

Hi. My name is Ceil Kessler and today I am pleased and proud to announce the addition of my advice column, “Ask Ceil,” to Magnificent Nose. “Ask Ceil” will be published once or twice weekly, depending on both the frequency of questions and my availability to answer them. At this point, I will consider questions … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Introduction, Computers and Asses

R.I.P. Chrome Laptop

I was thinking about what to write for a blog post -- today I'm coming up empty on ideas -- when I realized I'd not written about the death of my Google Chrome laptop several weeks ago. The story is somewhat embarrassing: We were making cookies, which called for finely chopped nuts, the chromebook was … Continue reading R.I.P. Chrome Laptop

The Wrath of Rina (or, Dealing with Customer Service)

In my last job, I trained customer service agents. Which Neil seems to think qualifies me to deal with any customer service issue with any company. (I think it’s just a ploy so he can avoid it!) Although I claim that I’m not enough of an expert to take on all customer service tasks, I … Continue reading The Wrath of Rina (or, Dealing with Customer Service)

Friday on the web

Every so often, the web produces something literate and intelligent; these gems are often found buried under Gilligan's Island fan fiction and LOLcats. Controlling Your Environment Makes You Happy, by Joel Spolsky I'm fascinated by programming despite having no ability to actually code. This article is ostensibly about programmers and user interface, but it applies … Continue reading Friday on the web