I have no idea what I'm doing.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Building the perfect typewriter

I should be writing more.

I've come to the realization that I may be spending too much time building the perfect typewriter.  For me, my current "typewriter" includes, but not limited to, the following:

  • Dropbox to keep all files in sync
  • A writing folder inside Dropbox for all my projects
  • Console2 app for working in the Windows console (provides tabs and split screens)
  • PortableApps inside Dropbox (gives me apps like VIM...  among other things)
  • VIM portable (custom vimrc for Brief controls... easier for me to write)  Does a command line word processor exist these days for a modern OS?  WordStar, WordPerfect 5.1, the DOS Word.
  • Homebrew PowerShell scripts for:
    • Tracking changes to text files (short stories, novels, ideas, blog stuff)
    • Recording word count information to a log files
    • Displaying activity of various writing projects

I usually work in a split pane view.  After starting up my config, I usually fire up a VIM session on the left pane and start writing.  On the right pane I usually have one of the following:

Below is how things look today:  

I'd like to think this setup will make writing easier (the same config on all my machines, thanks to Dropbox), and also provide an inspirational dashboard, but part of me thinks "that's B.S., just write something already, quit fidgeting!"  I'm hoping that my dashboard will show a level of progress in various projects and cheer me on.  The programmer in me loves to play around with this stuff.  For example the dashboard has some interesting features:
  • Some quick shortcut keys at the top (no big whoop)
  • Project tracking for text files or Word docs (I have some custom macros to record word count info to log files).  The project tracker displays the following info:
    • Change in word count
    • Date of the change
    • Bar graph of the word change (in relation to the displayed dates, not the entire log... which is completely adjustable)
    • Bar graph for the overall word count progress (again, completely adjustable.. number of dates(rows) to display, width, color, etc)
  • And at the bottom is a small list of files that have recently changed in my writing directory.

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