Writing a novel with AI

With all the excitement over AI, the big question remains: Can AI write a novel for you? The simple answer is yes – AI can write a novel with a lot of assistance. However, it’s not as easy as some people like to claim. AI writing books and sites claim that all you need to do is provide a 100-word synopsis, and in the time it takes to make a pizza, AI will spit out a novel. First, that’s not enough material for AI to work with. Second, AI doesn’t provide hundreds of pages of text in a response. (If anyone actually knows a site that produces 2000 word responses to input and doesn’t charge $200 a year, let me know.) I’ve used AI to help write a lot of different things, from articles to interview questions. Articles aren’t bad because it’s following a bulleted list of items and they are short. It still needs a lot of revision though. […]

A year with RoboTask

Since I get so much benefit out of Keyboard Maestro, last year I invested a huge amount in the Windows automation tool RoboTask. Using my knowledge of Keyboard Maestro as a benchmark, I set out to see what Windows tasks I could turn into macros. I’ve accomplished a lot, but it hasn’t been an easy journey, nor has it been cheap. Automating Windows isn’t like trying to automate a Mac. The Mac has Keyboard Maestro, Alfred, Automator, and others. Windows doesn’t have that many software choices. However, I did find a tool called RoboTask, which certainly reminds me of Keyboard Maestro. It doesn’t compare to Keyboard Maestro in features, but it’s proven to be pretty useful and I’ve accomplished a lot with it. The Pros: To its credit, RoboTask is a pretty sophisticated app. It’s programmable like Keyboard Maestro with variables, loops, clipboard management, and dozens of other Windows functions. For example: Using those functions, I’ve done a lot of […]

All I wanted to do was play some cards…

Over the weekend, I really wanted to play poker. That sounded like a great way to spend time and unwind. There used to be great poker games for the iPad, so I started there. When that failed, I tried for the desktop. Surely, poker games for the desktop are popular? Sadly not. It seems card games, word games, and “casual games” in general are now browser games. That’s not horrible, except they’re riddled with ads. I found a few sites with stand alone games, but AdGuard counted up like a video game with all their ads and trackers. I miss the days of single player games. Everything has turned into a “With Friends” variant. You don’t play, you “compete” against real players. It may sound silly, but I want to play the game of poker, not “gamble.” I don’t want to play against other people, or spend real money. Nor am I interested in being competitive. I want to enjoy […]

Offering up some kind words in Kind Words

When Kind Words showed up as a Steam recommendation, I thought it was a variant on Scrabble or Boggle. It’s not a word game, maybe not even a “game,” but a platform to share thoughts, feelings, and fears and say something nice and supportive to people you’ve never met. Kind Words is about saying kind words and hopefully make a small difference in someone’s life. Here’s the premise: Kind Words is a “game” where you anonymously “Write a Request.” You write down what you’re thinking, feeling, or experiencing in that moment, whether it’s positive or negative. You then put that message into a digital bottle and throw it out into the world. A kind, but equally anonymous stranger will reply back with some words of encouragement, a piece of advice, or simply an acknowledgment of what you’re going through. And maybe that’s all you need, to be heard and acknowledged. On the other side, you can “Read Requests.” For that, […]

Fun with Bash shell scripting

Now that I’ve got a couple skills in shell scripting, what have I been doing with my new found knowledge? In almost every case I’ve started by creating a UI in Keyboard Maestro, then I pass variables to the shell script and it does the work. In some cases that’s the value for the loop, in others, its multiple text field entries. I tell you what, using Keyboard Maestro and the Shell together is one of the reasons the Mac is so damn power and productive. So far I’ve worked: I find Keyboard Maestro and Bash a really good combination. I can make a UI with text fields, drop downs, or directory pickers, then pass that information to the shell script. I can use a UI from Keyboard Maestro to prompt for text to search through text files and finish the job before a Terminal prompt is even open. Keyboard Maestro generates a random number of passwords of whatever length […]