Sean's Blog

RAMBLINGS FROM THE DAZED & CONFUSED

January 29, 2017

A Soft Murmur

Yes I know, I should be writing not surfing the interwebs but I have just found an awesome little website, so that’s my diversion this evening fully justified I believe. 😉

As writers we all know that there are times when having a little background noise or music on while writing or thinking about your story helps the creative juices flow.

http://asoftmurmur.com is a web and an Android app developed by Gabriel Martin that provides ten ambient background noises such as: rain, wind, fire, thunder, coffee shop, etc.
a soft murmer
 
It has to be said that overall the sounds are pretty good, though the wind sounds more like white noise which is unfortunate as I love the sound of the wind blowing outside on a stormy night. The app has a timer that you can set to start and stop the noises, useful if you want something smoothing to lull you to sleep.
Overall though a handy site to have in your bookmarks. According to the website an iOS version is in the pipeline.
Edit: I have used the ‘thunderstorm’ sound the past few nights when I’ve woken during the night (yes, I have the world’s crappiest sleep patterns) and found it really helps me drift off to sleep again. So big thumbs up from me!


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January 28, 2017

Lofree mechanical keyboard

Every so often a little piece of tech pops up and and makes you go: ‘Oooh I need that in my life‘.
I had such an ‘Oooh‘ moment the other day when I came across the Lofree keyboard.
Now it’s not often I get excited about a computer keyboard, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever been excited about one before. However, this keyboard is a little different, let me explain…

The keyboard is, and I quote:
Inspired by traditional typewriters, we engineered round keycaps to give lofree a classic, yet contemporary feel. It’s a delight for both eyes and ears. Lofree is the only mechanical keyboard which comes with your familiar Apple Magic keyboard layout. The compact lofree keyboard is packed with awesome specs. Mechanical keyboards shouldn’t be boring and clicky. We designed Lofree with simple, bright colors in mind to brighten up your mood’.
Source: Lofree

The round keys certainly give it a nice retro look. But unlike a typewriter (even my portable), it is compact and light enough to carry around with you.

 

Lofree mechanical keyboard

   It works wired or wireless and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and can be paired simultaneously with up to three devices. The keyboard has three backlight settings, and will be available in a number of different colors. There’s no news as yet regards pricing and availability, but if you want to know more, you can sign up here to receive more details as soon as they become available.

 Lofree mechanical keyboard

Would one of these make me more productive? Probably not, though it may well make writing more fun and definitely a lot more colorful.


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January 21, 2017

Mr Catt

So it seems there’s even a game of me now! Whilst surfing the web the other day I came across ‘Mr Catt’ an app game for Android and iPhone.
Mr Catt game

 

‘In this new puzzle game, they’re trying to weave in a charming story about loneliness, space, and cats. The game plays out in two beats: a story sequence, then a series of puzzles. In the story sequence, you will witness the journey of Mr. Catt, searching the vast universe for the White Cat, who left under mysterious circumstances.’ extract from haogamers review.
Made by 7QUARK Games, it’s available free in Google Play & in Apple App Store.


And yes I have started playing it. The graphics are gorgeous and cute (have to love the cat’s head making the M in Mr!, even the music is a big step up from the normal dirge a lot of games have.

The Haogamers review is here if you are interested.


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January 17, 2017

All Change at seancatt.com

Yes it’s all change at seancatt.com.
The new website is finally up and running and looking pretty damn fine, even if I say so myself. I’m particularly pleased with the new signature logo, which you’ll find gracing all my social media accounts.

Sean Catt signature logo for seancatt.com

Yes I have branding! I’m feeling so corporate.

In fact this is the Mk2 version of the website. The first version was tragically lost during transfer to a new hosting company. Don’t ask. Suffice to say I lost around 30 hours work!

After several hours of the tech support guys at EUKhost struggling to get it to work we had to admit defeat (thanks guys, really appreciate all the effort). Yes, depressed and frustrated with the realization that I needed to start over I had a little cry.

But hey ho… Here is the latest and greatest revision and I think it’s better and shinier than ever, and yes the site now has a SSL certificate (that’s the https: bit) in readiness for an online store at some later date.
So please, have a look around and message me, tell me what you think. Not everything is finished as I write this, but it’s 75% complete and should be all done in a few more days.

So today I learnt that if at first you don’t succeed, keep sodding trying until you do.

 

Sean Catt short signature

 


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January 17, 2017

Chapter headings turn black in MS Word

Do you write using MS Word?
Ever opened up your latest piece of work to find all your chapter headings have turned into black blobs?
You are not alone!
Had this happen to me several times now in Word 2010, and always ended up losing my headings or generally making things worse. No matter what I tried including importing all my text into a new document, the same thing seemed to happen next time I opened the document, and the next time. Eventually it seemed to get cured for a while (usually through more luck than judgment I should add).
However, after it happened to me again, and after much late night trawling of the interwebs I seem to have found the answer. And here it is!
It’s a little complicated, but stay with me on this one.

  • Make a backup copy of your document in case something goes wrong.
  • Find a document which has the correct formatting in it.
  • Save this as a template (.dotx).
  • In the corrupted document go to the styles dialog box. The easiest way to do this is to use CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+S, otherwise you will have to try navigating your way down through the ribbon.
  • Click on the button at the bottom of the box (red arrow).

MS Word styles

  • In the right hand window of the box which appears, click on close file.
  • Now navigate to the document template and select it.
  • In the scroll box above, navigate to the style (Heading 1 in my case) you want to fix and click on it (single click).
  • The copy arrow should now point to the left, towards the corrupt document.
  • Click on copy
  • Say yes to everything.
  • Close all dialog boxes.

This worked for me. Obviously please don’t blame me if it doesn’t work for you, or breaks your document, (this is why you always backup your work before trying to repair it).


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