yWriter on Download Squad


Yesterday I posted an entry about yWriter, a free tool for creating and organizing a novel. After I blogged about it I surfed on over to Download Squad and submitted a tip about yWriter. I didn’t really expect to see yWriter mentioned on their homepage since I figured the site managers probably wade through hundreds of submissions each day. Well, to my surprise I noticed today that not only is yWriter mentioned at Download Squad but there’s also a brief “shout out” to myself for sending them the tip.

I just hope that not so many people becoming interested that it ends up bringing down the guy’s site.

For those (few) of you who have been visiting for a while you may have noticed that I’ve had Download Squad included in my list of Tech Links. I’ve been visiting their site for several months. While I’m not interested in every piece of software mentioned I find that it’s very informative in regards to what software is actually worth using and they cover software for multiple platforms. Rather than trying to find my way through a typical “freeware/free software” site in search of at least one good candidate for a specific task I can simply run a quick search on the Download Squad site and will have a much better chance of finding what I’m looking for. However, more often than not I will learn about a program that I didn’t know I couldn’t live without, until I read about it on Download Squad.

The Download Squad write-up on yWriter is available here.

And once again, here is the link to Spacejock Software, the publisher of yWriter (and other utilities).

I Finally Found What I Was Looking For – yWriter


For more than ten years I’ve been working on my Great American Novel. Granted, this novel only exists in the form of outlines, character sketches, and snippets of dialogue but I am “working on it”. One of the things that has been holding me back…is a lack of good software. While I could easily use a word processor to write I prefer to have a more organized working environment that would provide me with a simple way to find and organize specific information and chapters. I finally found what looks like a suitable program for such a need in the form of yWriter.

yWriter is free and created by a programmer who is also a writer. While I haven’t used the program for more than an hour so far it looks promising. There may very well be “better” commercial programs, but for a free app this is one of those tools that’s just hard to beat at that price. If you happen to visit Spacejock Software have a look around. The author also has written several specialized apps that demonstrate his awareness of what defines a useful application.

yWriter – A free software package for creating a novel that includes support for tracking and organizing chapters, characters, and several other useful features.

Logitech Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser vs. IOGear MiniView Micro USB PLUS KVM Switch


It seems like no computer upgrade/project is ever as simple as it should be. My new cordless keyboard and mouse set for the Mac arrived today. It’s a Logitech Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser. The receive is a small USB adapter that connects to a larger “dock” adapter. The receiver can be removed from the dock thus allowing one to use the mouse and/or keyboard with another computer without having to reach to the back of the computer to unplug the USB. The keys are layed out for a Mac system.

My goal was to use the cordless set with my IOGear MiniView Micro USB PLUS KVM Switch so I could share the keyboard, mouse, and an LCD with a Windows system. Getting it all to work properly was a problem. If I plugged the receiver’s USB connection into the USB keyboard port on the switch then mouse clicks would stop working as soon as I logged into OS X. If I plugged the receiver into the USB mouse port on the switch the mouse worked fine but the keyboard command to switch computers would not work.

Then I remembered that I had a similar Logitech set working on this system previously but I hadn’t installed any software. So I proceeded to uninstall the “special” software that came with the keyboard and mouse. To access an uninstall program I had to insert the installation CD and then run the uninstall program from that CD (simply disabling the LCCDaemon did not fix the problem – it required a complete uninstall of the software).

As a result I’ve lost functionality of some of the extra buttons on the side of the keyboard but I rarely use those anyway. The mouse clicks now work when the receiver is plugged into the keyboard port and I can switch between computers using the keyboard.

The switch isn’t very fancy and the only way to switch between computers is to send a command with a specific set of keystrokes to the switch. It does not have a physical toggle on the KVM.

So far the cordless keyboard and mouse set has worked great since I uninstalled the software and I can effortlessly switch between my Mac and Windows computers.

A spell-check and an addition of photos to this post will be completed later…

Kodak EasyShare CX4230 Digital Camera Infrared Modding Guide


This week I modded my Kodak EasyShare CX4230 digital camera to record infrared light. Since I couldn’t find a guide for this type of camera my first attempt involved careful prying and the removal of several screws that weren’t important to this mod. As a consequence there is a possibility that I’ve left out some steps or added extra ones in this guide.

First, some words of caution. Since I modded my camera it doesn’t zoom properly and has a tendancy to power off when the lense is zoomed to the maximum. This is probably a result of man-handling the lense assembly as I was attempting to figure out how to get to the filter (or when I attempted to add a visible-light filter). Next, the quality is much less than it was prior to the mod. Lastly, the camera seems to have difficulty focusing, especially at the lowest zoom setting, which is probably directly related to the first issue.

Now that you’ve been warned, here are the details.

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Kodak EasyShare CX4230 IR Mod (Coming Soon)


I decided to mod my Kodak 2.0 Megapixel digital camera to display infrared. It was a risky project and in the end I probably need to reinsert the padding that was around the IR filter to create the proper distance between the lense and the sensor. I will post a guide in the near future.

CVS Digital Camcorder Infrared Mod


After I modded my CVS Digital Camcorder to be reusable I thought about purchasing another one so I could modify it to record infrared. However, since I recently purchased a miniDV camcorder I decided to go ahead and use the CVS digital camcorder that I already have.

I used Everett’s project as a guide but only modified the camera rather than build the entire rig. I also added a piece of developed film negative to filter much of the visible light. I don’t have photos for this guide or the other to detail what I did, but I may re-work the original mod to resolder the USB connection, change the USB connector, and affix the connector to the camera body.

More to Come


I have a few new items on the way along with a couple new gadgets already here. Expect more information in the near future, including some photographs. Last weekend I purchased a miniDV camera and a portable USB 2.0 drive. One the way is a wireless keyboard/mouse combo for the Mac that I’ve been eyeing for some time.