Tag Archives: Web_Tool

Product Review: Language Tool

(See my other Web Tool related posts) – I like trying out new writing tools when I see them. I came across Language Tool recently. Language Tool is an Open Source project similar to the Hemmingway Editor. The project receives financial support from two European sources. The European Union and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Language Tool is free to use for documents up to 20,000 characters. You can access it through the website or you can install add-ons. The add-ons are available for:

  • the Firefox and Chrome browsers
  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Word
  • Libre Office
  • a list of others

Language Tool checks your writing in more than 20 languages. It includes grammar, style, and spell checking. To handle documents up to 40,000 characters in length you can upgrade to the Premium version. The Premium version of Language Tool costs $59/year or $4.92 /month.

I have been a user of two other writing tools for a while now. The Hemmingway Editor and the Grammarly plug-in for Safari. I wanted to compare the results of these three tools so I entered the same text in each and checked the results.

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In the images above the same text is shown in Language Tool, Hemmingway, and Grammarly. As you can see from those images, the results are different for each tool. In my opinion, Language Tool is the least useful of the three.

In my workflow, I enter text first in Hemmingway. Once I have resolved what it has flagged, I paste the results into the web interface for WordPress. I then address what Grammarly has found.

 

Pros

  • Multilanguage
  • Web portal and App add-ons
  • up to 20000 characters
  • Free

 

Cons

  • no add-on for the Safari browser
  • Not as good as Hemmingway or Grammarly

 

Run Apple ][ BASIC Programs in your Browser

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As you sit at home ‘sheltering-in-place’ and are old enough, you might get nostalgic for that Apple ][  you used to have. Now you can step back in time 40+ years. You can fulfill your yearning for Apple ][ programming from within your browser.

There is now an Apple ][ BASIC  emulator you can run in your browser. Specifically, the emulator is for Applesoft BASIC, the Microsoft version of BASIC for the Apple ][. This emulator, the Apple ][js, is a creation of Will Scullin.

This is a full Apple ][ emulator written in JavaScript. While the emulator will run in almost any browser, it works best in Google Chrome.

I loaded the emulator in Safari 13.0.5 and it seemed to run well. When the emulator is opened, you will see the image (see above) of an Apple ][. I tried the first simple program in Further Reading #1 and it worked without any problems.

Need to know more about BASIC? The Further Reading #1 article references online resources for you.

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If you want to try out some games, check out the list in Further Reading #2. If you click on the file name (animal.bas for example) of a game, the BASIC program is shown. You can then enter the program in the emulator. Popular magazines of the time, such as BYTE (See Further Reading #3), often contained BASIC program listings.

If you visit the Will Scullin website you will find that he also has Javascript emulators for the Apple 1 and the Apple //e as well.

 

Further Reading

  1. How to Write an Apple II BASIC Program in Your Web Browser
  2. Vintage BASIC Games
  3. BYTE Magazine

Web Tool for Better Writing – Hemmingway Editor

The video above appears in the Further Reading article

I write articles for my Blog almost every day. Sometimes I write several. These may be only a few sentences or several paragraphs in length. I like to work at improving my writing so I have adopted two tools. These are the Safari extension and the Hemmingway Editor

I posted in March of 2018 about the Grammarly extension for Safari. This is a free option for you. The Safari extension only works on web documents. You do have the option with Grammarly of uploading files for analysis. A benefit of the browser extension is that it analyzes every form I fill out on-line. I enter the text to post on my WordPress Blog through the web portal. The extension performs its check on my writing and I can correct it before publishing the post.

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The Hemmingway Editor is also either a free web-based tool or a $19.99 App that you can run on your desktop. I have been using the web version of the tool. You can see a screenshot of this document in that tool before I tweaked it from the suggested changes.

The Hemmingway Editor gives you feedback and suggestions for improving your writing.

  1. It provides a measure of the document’s readability.
  2. It gives you a word count
  3. It counts and identifies used adverbs
  4. It counts and identifies uses of passive voice
  5. It counts and identifies phrases that could be simpler
  6. It counts and identifies hard to read sentences

The only complaint I have is that I cannot copy and paste from Hemmingway into the WordPress web portal. Extra HTML formatting is copied over. I find that it is best to do a “Paste and Match Style”.

If you do any writing, I recommend that you try the Hemmingway Editor. I have been using it for a few weeks and I believe that it has helped me improve how I write.

Pros

  1. Free to use the web tool
  2. Gives visual feedback
  3. Interactive, you are immediately able to see the effect of changes
  4. Simple to use

Cons

  1. Requires an internet connection
  2. Cutting & pasting from Hemmingway pulls extra HTML formating

Further Reading

  1. Hemingway App: Hemingway Editor for Writing Improvement [Review]

2B-Alert Web 2.0 Better Predicts When to Take Caffeine

coffee

(See my other Coffee related posts) – I made the following post about 11 months ago on July 28, 2018. I am reposting it now becasue the website had been update. It is now 2B-Alert Web 2.0.

Many of us brew coffee first thing in the morning and begin our daily consumption. The U.S. Army researched the consumption of coffee and found that there is an algorithm we can follow to achieve optimum alertness. The results of the study indicate that people’s performance on an attention task can be improved by up to 64 percent. When the algorithm is followed, caffeine consumption can be reduced by up to 65% while still maintaining elevated levels of performance.

As a result of the research, a web-based tool 2B‐Alert Web has been developed to help predict a person’s alertness based on their sleep time and caffeine consumption.

The study “Caffeine dosing strategies to optimize alertness during sleep loss” was published in the Journal of Sleep Research on May 28, 2018.

I don’t drink coffee intending to enhance my alertness these days. I drink it because I simply like the taste. However, if you are in a position where alertness is essential to your job, this may be something to look into.

The 2B-Alert Web 2.0 web tool per their website will:

This software tool predicts the alertness of an “average” individual as a function of sleep/wake schedule, caffeine consumption, and time of day. Optionally, it also provides optimal caffeine schedules for user-provided periods of desired peak alertness. Specifically, it allows users to manually enter a sleep/wake/peak alertness schedule, as well as caffeine dosing and timing, and displays the corresponding predictions for three different statistics of alertness on the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). If the user provides the desired period of peak alertness, the system will output the estimated optimal caffeine schedules. The tool predicts alertness for the duration of the given schedule and 48 hours of subsequent total sleep deprivation.

This tool can be used to:

  1. Assess the effect of different sleep/wake schedules and caffeine consumption
  2. Design sleep/wake and caffeine schedules to optimize alertness
  3. Generate hypotheses that can be experimentally tested
  4. Optimize the benefits of caffeine use

Do you need to optimize your coffeine consuption?

Hurricane Season 2019 has Begun

Well, Hurricane Season (nominally defined as June 1 to November 30) is back. The first major storm of the season will be named Andrea. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern portion of the country or are traveling there or have family there, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.

A while back I published reviews on three good websites for keeping track of hurricanes. I thought it was a good time to bring them back to peoples attention. These are:


You may be interested in my other Web Tool recommendations


Weather at Your Terminal Command Line

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Web Tools – There are lots of way of getting the weather on your computer. Most of those will open in your browser with lots of content, animations, and probably advertisements. But wttr.in is different. It is text only. What is wttr.in? From their website:

wttr.in is a console-oriented weather forecast service that supports various information representation methods like terminal-oriented ANSI-sequences for console HTTP clients (curl, httpie, or wget), HTML for web browsers, or PNG for graphical viewers

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I used curl wttr.in from the terminal command line to get the image shown at the top of this page. This should work on any Linux or macOS system. When I enter http://wttr.in into my Safari browser I get similar output as shown in the image immediately above.

This site provides many options to choose from in their weather report. While it takes your current location as the default, other locations around the world can be specified. Queries from the US appear in USCS units, while most of the rest of the world get values in the Metric System. Optionally you can specify the units.

Reports can be returned in ANSI for the terminal, HTML for the browser, or as a .PNG image. All of the options are explained on their GitHub site.

I like this minimalist weather report and have added the URL to my Safari Favorites.

Have You Heard of Longreads?

Reading – I came across the Longreads website today. It is the first I had heard of them. What is Longreads? Per their website:

Longreads, founded in 2009, is dedicated to helping people find and share the best storytelling in the world. We feature and produce in-depth investigative pieces, profiles, interviews, commentary, book reviews, audio stories, and personal essays.

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The articles cover a wide range of topics. That said, I didn’t find too many there I wanted to read other than “We’re Not Ready for Mars“, but then I have rather narrow interests. If you enjoy reading the popular magazines, you may find this site of interest.

You can, and I have, subscribed to their RSS feed (https://longreads.com/feed/). Vienna is the RSS reader of choice on my Mac.

This may be a site you want to visit, subscribe to or follow.

Product Review – Pluto TV

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Product ReviewWeb Tools – I categorized this as a ‘web tool’ as it has a web component, but it is really more than simply that. I have known about Pluto TV for a while, but I was reminded of it at the July CapMac meeting where it was mentioned in the presentation on “Streaming TV” services. Many people are ‘cutting the cord’ and doing away with cable services and choosing a streaming option. Pluto TV is one of those options.

Pluto is a free streaming service that has been around since 2013. At the time of this article, it has more than 75 content partners, with over 100 free channels to choose from. Estimates are that more than 6 million use it every month. Pluto TV generates revenue through advertisements displayed to viewers.

A few of the current channels are shown in the image above. Channels are grouped into categories such as News, Sports, Movies, Entertainment, Comedy, Chill Out, Life + Style, and Geek + Gaming. There are also several internet radio stations offered. Some, mostly movie, on-demand content is available in addition to the scheduled programs. You can check out what is currently playing here.  The programming available through Pluto TV is included in the listings within the Apple TV App in the US.

You can view programs from Pluto TV through your web browser, or by downloading the Pluto TV App to your Apple TV or iOS device. Pluto TV can also be viewed via several other devices: Roku, Visio, Samsung, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Playstation, and Chromecast.

I do recommend this service/App – I have the App installed on my iPad and Apple TV. Since it is free, I think it is a good option to add.

Pros:

  1. Free
  2. 100+ channels
  3. Available on many different platforms
  4. Has on-demand content

Cons:

  1. Limited current content
  2. Content partners are, for the most part, not mainstream

Hurricane Season 2018 Opens with Beryl

Well, Hurricane Season (nominally defined as June 1 to November 30) is back. The first major storm of the season is  Beryl. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern portion of the country or are traveling there or have family there, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.

A while back I published reviews on three good websites for keeping track of hurricanes. I thought it was a good time to bring them back to peoples attention. These are:


You may be interested in my other Web Tool recommendations


 

Web Tools – HomeKitty

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Web Tools – Are you one of the growing number of Apps users that are wanting to automate their home in some way with HomeKit? If you are you probably already know it is a bit of a problem finding all of the products that work with HomeKit.

Of course Apple does have their own official list of HomeKit compatible products. Now, though, there is another source, HomeKitty, that provides a crowd sourced list of homeKit compatible products. I prefer HomeKitty as it includes a photo of each item, its price and a link to further information.

If you are thinking about implementing some home automation with HomeKit, you may find this new tool useful.


See my other Web Tool articles