Friday, July 14, 2006

The New Black

Jon Udell has written an Infoworld article about the Distraction Free Desktop. In it, he describes a free Mac app called WriteRoom that provides an ultra simplified environment to write within. I can hear the Emacs crowd chortling just about now. But anyway, there is a Windows alternative for those of the XP-ilk. It's called Dark Room and can be found here.

I'm fairly well focused while I write. Mostly because I only spend a small part of my day trying to write. So I take the time when and where I can get it, and try to make the most of it. To me, the distraction of email and pop-up notifiers isn't a big issue while I write. Still, I always have a soft spot for PC related nostalgia, and working in Dark Room's stark, green on black environment reminded me of computer lab in high-school, programming simple things on the Commodore Pets we were using at the time.

On a nostalgic note, I still think the editor I was using to code with during graduate school was still at least as nice looking as anything on my 19" LCD looks now... and that was 12 years ago!! We were using Sun Sparc Stations with the OpenWindows environment. I'm not sure what the monitor resolution was back then (they were 21" CRTs I believe), but it sure seemed quite nice at the time. Maybe it's the tint of rose-coloured glasses, but I don't think I've seen an IDE yet that can match it's display of black 6pt Lucida Console text on a white background. That was truly magic.