DIY Field Notes Style Notebooks For $0.19

Although I spend most of my day in front of a computer screen, I still love the feel and speed of pen-on-paper for quick notes, to-dos, wireframes, ideas and doodles. My desk is full of papers and post-it notes, and on the go I usualy fold an A4 paper in 8.

In the past, I’ve tried different pocket size notepads, but they were all too bulky and just didn’t feel right.

I’ve stumbled across Field Notes pocket notebooks, and while they are extremely cool, I have a slight issue with them: At roughly $3 a piece, I wouldn’t feel comfortable enough “wasting” them on day to day doodles. I mean, not everything I write I Da-Vinci level. I guess they’d be great for things I want to store and reference like recipes etc, but I just wnat something cheap and elegant that I can throw into my pocket.

As far as I’ve searched, nothing similar is available here in Israel. All pocket size notebooks/notepads are either stapled top stapled (which makes it hard to keep open) or spiral-bound (making them bulky).

There are side-stapled notebooks in Israel, in fact, the standard school notebook here is a 40 page, side stapled one. But they are A5 sized, way too big to fit in a pocket.

Walking through Office Depot today I came across a 5 pack of super-simple, recycled brown cardboard notebooks for 7 ILS (1.90$). Then the idea hit me: why not cut them down into 2 A7 sized notebooks, A little smaller then field notes, but perfect for my needs.

20130405-154812.jpg

For anyone unfamiliar with the european Ax peper sizing scheme, every paper size is the larger size cut in two. So cutting an A5 notebook in two will result in 2 vertical-opening A6 notebooks. Cutting those in half will give you a “normal” horizontal notebook and a bunch of unattached scrap paper.

I decided I would try cutting them down with household tools, and here’s how it was done:

20130405-155221.jpg

1. The tools I used were a ruller, sharp knife, cutting board and pencil.

2. I measured and marked the notebook halfway down verticaly.

20130405-155838.jpg

3. Holding the ruler down firmly I sliced through with the knife. It took about 5 times to cut through all 40 pages.

20130405-160305.jpg

4. Now I had 2 long narrow notebooks. I repeated the same measuring and cutting process to get the width right.

20130405-160611.jpg

5. Now I have a bunch of beautiful little pocket notebooks.

20130405-160940.jpg

20130405-161102.jpg

6. Bonus: you also get a bunch of loose note paper.
20130405-161230.jpg

How Would You Upgrade Your Mac if Money Wasn’t an Issue?

Interesting thought. Imagine you’re stuck with your current mac, but you can get any upgrade you want for it. What would you do with it?

I have a late 2009 17″ MacBook Pro. Here’s what I’d do:

Hard Drives

I currently have the standard 500GB 5400rpm HD. If money wasn’t an objective, I’d go SSD – while maintaining the same storage capacity.

A 500 GB SSD goes for around $500. But if I’m gonna be extreme, I can get the intel 710 enterprise SSD for $2250. I know, only 300GB, but as I’m currently using about 170 of my 500 GB, I think that should be enough.

Yet, why only one? this $60 attachment will let you get rid of your optical drive and stick in another HD/SSD. I can’t remember when the last time I used my optical drive was. Actually, I don’t think I ever used the optical drive on the pro. Not really needing the extra storage, It would be an awesome backup drive. Not sure if i’d use time machine for the benefit of single file recovery or RAID for instant swap ability in case one fails.

Total so far: $4560

RAM

There’s not much I can do for my RAM, as the max ram for my model is 8GB. But that’s exactly what i’d do. another $50 to the total.

Other

An Apple magic trackpad and wireless keyboard would be useful at letting me sit a little further away from my computer while at work. The mouse is dead, long live the multi touch trackpad. The price for the 2 is around $140.

Total

THe total cost of this would be around $4750. That’s enough to buy a top of the line iMac with a 3.4ghz quad core i7 chip, 16gb ram and a AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5 graphics card. And that would cost $3350. $1400 less then the ‘upgrade’.

I am comparing to a new iMac and not MacBook because I use my MBP at the office, and rarely move it. Seriously, a 17″ laptop isn’t really portable.

To be fair, the outrageous price of my proposed upgrade is caused by the enterprise level SSD’s. If I got normal quality SSD’d, the upgrade would cost around $1250. FOr that price, it’s already a real question if you should upgrade your mac or get the cheapest iMac. Espeacily when the new iMac ships with pretty much the same processor I have in my 3 year old MBP.

All that said, I’m probably not doing a crazy upgrade anytime soon.
I will probably get the RAM upgrade soon, and upgrade to a 300-500gb SSD once prices come down a little more.

Site Update: Still Here (barely)
Came around today seriously considering reviving this blog only to discover that the domain had expired, and is now for sale for $18,000 I’m now back, temporarily on w3lift.org till i figure things out. I do hoever intend on reviving this site, as a profile site for myself, with articles that I feel that people [...] - June 21st, 2012, Read more. No Comments »

I guess I’m alive

It’s been almost a year since I last posted anything to this blog. I don’t know if I can call this a blog and myself a blogger. The good news is, blogs are so 2006. In 2010 web 2.0 is ancient and social media is for grandmothers. Everyone is busy maintaining several profiles and presences on different sites, and then trying to link them all and not get lost in the mess.

About a year ago, in a little spurt of craziness, I started transferring this blog into a multi section magazine to cover my different interests. I never finished the project, and didn’t post for a whole year, because I made my site too overwhelming even for myself to post. In retrospect I don’t know what I was thinking, I can barely keep a regular blog going.

I’ve seen on-and-off bloggers like myself poking in once every few months and announcing “I’m Back” only to hibernate for another 6 months. I’m not saying I’m back, maybe the way blogging works for me is when it’s not on tight timeframe, and that’s OK with me.

Anyways, Here’s a recap of lot’s of things I would have posted about in 2009, and some plans for 2010.

  • I got a job working for a web/SEO Company
  • I’m now trained as a professional pastry chef (It was fun, and who knows, I might use it professionally one day
  • I’m perhaps warming up to the idea of using twitter, and tweets will probably get aggregated here as asides or “mini posts”
  • About 5 years too late, I started using Delicious and I love it.
  • I’m putting allot of effort in making OpenDesigns something really special
  • I quit my job in order to dedicate myself to my sites and freelace work and consulting – - I live the independence, and currently i’d consider taking a job only at Google, or perhaps Automattic

So that’s it for now, next update to come sometime in the future.

Why do these spammers even bother?

Theyr’e many types of comment spam. Some spam comments are really sophisticated, and are designed to get people to click on a simple link, or even on the author’s link. Some of them are to promote questionable sites (no respectable site would use these tactics) and sell questionable products. Some are designed to spread viruses. But some spam that gets caught in the system is so blunt and stupid. I mean, why even bother?

How about this comment:

The Cheapest VIAGRA Online-Drugstore. Always Special Offers in Our Online-Drugstore. Click on the THIS LINK or the images below to proceed to the original pharmacy shop.

http://centraltds.com/top.jpg

http://centraltds.com/viagra.png

It’s so obviously span, that no one will bother clicking. It’s so obviously spam, that it’s most likely to get filtered or moderated. It won’t help you with search engines, because WordPress adds rel="nofollow" to links in the comments. If it skips spam catchers and manual moderation, the site is probably so trashy that nobody visits it anyways.

Yes, I’m aware that they’re other blogging platforms besides WordPress, and then you’ve got the forums. But most blogs run WordPress or other secure systems that will add the nofollow attribute. As for forums, how many forums are open for guest posting without any form of validation?

So please someone explain why anyone waste their time writing and operating these spam spiders? Does it repay their efforts? Oh, and just this last question: Wouldn’t you hate yourself if you were a spammer?