Friday, December 2, 2016

Netflix now unplugged

I really like that with the new Netflix app for iOS you can download shows or movies and watch them later where you don't have any broadband connection.  (It is not permitted for all their materials, but a decent portion.)   OK, I could, and have done, do that with iTunes before, but getting my video appetite subdued that way gets costly quick.

 This is great for taking my iPad Mini to the cafe over lunch, pull out the keyboard and pretend I'm Iain M. Banks for a while, and then kick back with Arrested Development or Gilmore Girls over coffee.

And then read some articles in Pocket or Zinio on the 'pad, or continue my book in the Kindle app. Or audiobook in the Audible app.

Update: it seems downloaded films are SD (Standard Definition, old TV standard) rather than HD (High Definition), so if you watch them on a large device and plan to watch while you *do* have wifi, you'll get a slightly more detailed image by *not* downloading them before watching.
Me, I find the difference barely noticable, although more so with CGI movies (like Pixar's) where everything is so sharp and detailed.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why write in cafes?

I was challenged by a commenter on the last post to explain why writing in a cafe helps some people to be productive. (I wrote most of a course in art in cafes once.)

My best take on it right now is that it helps your mind relax. At home or at office you're surrounded by a lot of objects and factors which are constant reminders of things daily duties and such, and that lowers your level of free attention. At home there are also too many opportunities for procrastination.

 And on the other hand if you were sitting in a hotel room (though this works for some people), the isolation and bland walls gives you too little stimulation, and your woolly subconscious start acting up and playing games with you.

I think the cafe or park or such places are a good in-between place where you're away from a lot of your stressors, and yet you have a bit of semi-interesting things and activities going on around you which you can look at while the mental wheels are free-spinning, but are not too hard to look away from when the machine works.

Photo by Jane Birkin