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Showing posts from June, 2012

Drawing with the magic trackpad (OS X)

I've experimented with a Griffin iPad stylus and the Apple Magic Trackpad a few times, but found it awkward to click and draw at the same time in SketchBook Express, Photoshop or Illustrator, but searching around I found a few clues towards the answer.

First turn on three-finger dragging in System Preferences ... -> Trackpad -> Point and Click

Now place the trackpad in the middle of your desk and gently place two fingers on your trackpad and then begin drawing with the stylus.

Lift off your two fingers to stop drawing.

Point at a tool with the stylus and add your two fingers back to select.

If you are making a brushstroke and lift the stylus off your trackpad instead of your two fingers, then the stroke will, in Photoshop and other programs, continue to glide on until your lift your two fingers. This is a nice free-flowing side-effect that I rather like.

(If you don't own a stylus you can draw and paint with three fingers instead.)

Note: I've tested the stylus on an a…

eBook pricing strategies - part 1

In a recent blogpost, BubbleCow (Gary Smailes) writes about 'The shocking secret about ebook pricing that will help you price your ebook', which coincidentally comes at the same time that my own publishing company is experimenting with eBook pricing on Amazon and iBooks.  The reason for this experimentation is that in academic publishing the summer months are notoriously light months for sales, where most students and researchers are away either at conferences or on holiday, and stop buying books online. eBooks therefore provide an ideal opportunity to increase casual sales through price reduction to levels well below the production and print costs associated.
This is worthwhile because a handful of sales is better than no sales, and it increases the awareness of titles, and how often they are cited and discussed.
The sale (80% off) of David Mitchell: Critical Essays (edited by Sarah Dillon) continues until 30 June 2012 on Kindle (£1.53) and iBooks (£1.49) and I'll be usi…

Facebook and Twitter vs all the Others

I  recently signed up for menshn, because I sign up for most new social media sites I hear about to see if they can be useful in any way. However, while I understand where menshn is coming from, I can also see that it won't be successful in unseating Twitter. The reason for this is very clear to me: Twitter and Facebook have a casual element that isn't replicated in menshn, because before you make a comment you decide which room you are going to place it in based on the topic that it fits.

This means that before you start to write you have to think, whereas in Twitter this level of thinking is removed. You can add a hashtag if you want, but it isn't necessary, and the hashtag also means that your tweet isn't confined to one room, and so others may well respond to the tweet at a tangent, or add their own hashtag to signify that it occupies more than one grouping, and will be of interest to others.

In Facebook, meanwhile, although you are largely confined to sharing wit…

OpenOffice: How to Mail Merge Address Labels from an Excel Spreadsheet

(1) File -> Wizards -> Address Data Source … (2) Select Other External Data, then click Next (3) Click Settings (4) When prompted for Database type, select "Spreadsheet" and click Next (5) Press Browse and find the file you want to use, then click Open (6) Press Test Connection (7) Click Finish (8) Don't worry about Field Assignment, click  Next (9) Give your address book a name and file location (for the database file) (10) Click Finish (11) File -> New -> Labels (12) Select Database and Table (13) Select and insert fields (using arrow) in order (14) Select label type (15) Click New Document (16) Click Print (17) When asked if you want to Print a Form Letter, click Yes (18) Select output to Printer or File (19) Press OK