Thursday, April 09, 2009

Writing Technologies

This is just a quick note about the new word processor I've been using while on sabbatical. I really like it. It's called Bean and it's a free, open-source word processor for Macs. Microsoft Word has gotten so large and slow and complicated that it makes me sad just to click on its icon these days. This word processor makes me happy. I find that's important since there are so many other ways for writing to make me sad it seems silly to start down that path just by opening the word processor.

I will date myself here by confessing that I started writing my dissertation using Microsoft Word 1.0 on a MacPlus. That sounds ancient. No doubt it is ancient. In human years, that would be about 1990. I remember really liking Word 1.0 though. It was very simple and very easy to use. Bean takes me back to those halcyon days of my youth when word processors were easy to use. I like this, and not purely for reasons of nostalgia. Time spent wandering through menus is not helpful to the creative process, nor are crashes and freezes. Bean is also easy on the eyes. Literally. One feature that my recently bifocaled eyes appreciate is the simple slider at the bottom of the window that changes the size of the text in the display. Brilliant! I can read what I'm writing again. I'm sure this is an important step forward in the quality of my writing as well. Bean is also free. I like free. If you drive a Mac, check out Bean. It may make you happy too.


  1. Neat! I've been wanting to switch word processors for ages -- I tried Mellel, but it seemed to require the same twelve-year apprenticeship that Word has so far required of me, and I'm just not willing to put that much energy into my relationship with a piece of software. I also objected to paying for it.

    Can you say more about what you like about Bean? Or perhaps Bean will just help me through a seminar paper, and I'll decide for myself.

    ... Also, if you don't stop posting photographs of idle beach scenes and misc. lizards, I may keel over out of sheer petty jealousy.

  2. In lieu of May Day 2009, you’re invited to participate in an online blog event on the topic of revolution to share our ideas and each others’ blogs. Take the time to answer the question, “When/if there is a revolution in the United States, what will it look like?” Schedule your post to publish on May 1st, and let me know so I can link to it from my blog.

    - UOB

  3. Oh by the way I moved from Hyperborea on to a new blog on Wordpress.