Kindle vs Kobo

Every few years I buy ebook reading devices to get a feel for where things are going. Not much news here really, things seem to have stabilized a lot in terms of formatting, price, and reading experience. They don’t compete on much, now that things have settled a little. So I won’t comment on it much,  just to say that the Kobo Aura wins for me over the Kindle Paperwhite, purely on the basis that the Kindle displays advertisements on the screen when in sleep mode, while the Kobo displays the cover of the book I’m currently reading. It makes a huge difference as to how I feel about the device.

New Term in My Lexicon

I have a new term for my Lexicon – “Timezone Disaster”. In short, that’s me – I am a timezone disaster. Recently I have found myself blankly staring into space when I get meeting requests like “Hows Tuesday at 2?”…. unfortunately, my first question is … “Tuesday, where?” as I often traverse the dateline… My Tuesday could be your Monday… and “2”…well… that’s a roll of the dice.  Could be anything.

Then there is the problem that I might be asked that question by someone in Timezone A, there might be someone else in Timezone B to factor in, and then I am currently in Timezone C, but over the period of their availability, I going to be in Timezone D, E or even F.

It’s no joke. This is just doing my head in!

So… time to admit that I can’t manage this anymore and time to introduce Anne Erika Schmidt. A friend of a friend. A Berliner. Efficient. And that’s all I know 🙂 We haven’t met yet but that’s normal for many people I work with, however next week I will be in Berlin and we’ll get to catch up in person. Which is important because Anne is helping me navigate this timezone mess and other things that a perpetual nomad needs help with. So far Anne has helped me a lot and I’m very grateful for it. So if you get an email from me with Anne cc’ed you will know why… I should have done this a long time ago!….

XSweet 1.0!

We have 1.0 of the docx -> HTML transformation tool XSweet out today! It also has a new site:

XSweet is a finely crafted tool. It takes docx files, those horrible mangy MS Word files, and translates them into clean, lovely, HTML. XSweet is open source, modular, and very nicely done.

A huge tip of the hat to Wendell Piez (XML guru), and to Alex Theg. As geeky as it sounds, I loved watching these two chat about the issues they encountered making this software. The attention to detail was really unbelievable. Amazing work. XSweet is a finely crafted tool.

More info on Coko

If you want to do a deep dive into why I think this is important, I wrote this some time ago –

A day in Northland

When in NZ, I often have meetings at 1am, 2am, 6am… since most of the team is ‘somewhere else’ 😉 That can be pretty tiring but a bonus is that if I can muster the energy I can sometimes slip away on a weekday, during the day, and enjoy Northland. Some photos from such an adventure today. I took my neighbor Mike out for a day’s surf’n at Ahipara.

The first two photos show a car we passed that had tried to get around the rocks (we drove around there today – it needs a good 4WD). The car broke an axle and then the tide came in and wrecked the car… it was a sad sight to see and a sober reminder of how treacherous the coast can be.


dsc05407 These photos of us returning to the Hokianga on the Rawene ferry. The end of a great day.

img_20180503_171022 img_20180503_170649 img_20180503_170632 img_20180503_170255

Some Links about Editoria

XSweet n PagedJS

Two interesting releases coming up that I am involved with. PagedJS is what Fred Chasen and Julie Blanc are working on as part of the PagedMedia project. Its coming close to some interesting releases.

Also, XSweet, the docx -> HTML suite will be released as 1.0 in the first week of may. Look for announcements on the Coko site.

Stay tuned!