Jeffrey C. Long

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Typewriter sounds redux

August 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Last night I had my headphones while using my ipod touch and realized why my subconscious suddenly wanted typewriter sounds when I typed on my laptop. The ipod touch makes typing sounds. There you have it. The mind works in strange ways. 

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Add typewriter sounds to your word processing

August 4th, 2010 · No Comments

I finished the introduction to my book “Too Much Information: Backing Up” today. Writing is hard work. Before I sat down to work on it, an idea struck me. Computer users lack the physical connection between the tactile response of a keyboard and the sound associated with it. Many authors still use typewriters for numerous reasons, but I imagine this is one of them. 

It was pretty easy to find a solution.

For the Mac: Typewriter Keyboard

For Windows: Clickey

(I don’t have windows, so if someone is so inclined, please report its usability in the comments)

I just love it. My computer now sounds like a typewriter. Complete with carriage return and backspace. 

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Banks are scamming the public to keep debit card overdraft fees.

August 4th, 2010 · No Comments

Banks are scamming the public to keep debit card overdraft fees.:

Credit card and bank reform are designed to protect the public. Yet the banks are using fear tactics to get the public to opt-in to the very practice that the government was trying to protect the public from in the first place. Worse, banks like mine, “Chase” are preying on people with low balances. I’ll be moving to Bank of America soon.

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Books, books, books, kindle!

July 30th, 2010 · No Comments

A frustration for anyone who has lived with me has been the piles of books spread all over. Most recently, the trunk of my car holds the library of my current thoughts. But on my way to the park today I realized I had all I needed in the slim device in my pocket. The Kindle on my iPod Touch is a revolution for someone who just can’t stop asking questions.

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“Stupid risks are what make life worth living.”

July 26th, 2010 · No Comments

“Stupid risks are what make life worth living.”

Homer Simpson

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Where do ideas come from.

July 24th, 2010 · No Comments

Two days ago I was reading “Politics” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was remarkably thought provoking, speaking well to the sea change going on in American politics. But the grammar and vocabulary made it a struggle to read. I’m fairly literate. But it was hard to read.

It got me wondering, “who was reading this back then? Was the standard of literacy measured by sentence length, grammar and vocabulary significantly higher then?” My suspicion is that it wasn’t. Without researching it (I’m at the pool) I believe that there was a huge disparity between a small population that was literate and even scholarly and the majority whose reading level was lower.

Which means, that the people exposed to the ideas of Emerson were small.

Our day is remarkably different. Literacy is up, though one could argue that understanding isn’t. But those who trade in ideas, Malcolm Gladwell, Chris Anderson, Kevin Kelly are accessible to most people. And they are all writing about the dynamics of social change in our present-future world. Anyone can read “The Tipping point,” “The Long Tail,” “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” and “Smart Mobs,” and be informed about social change in a way that only a few could take advantage of during Emerson’s day.

The question is: Will this make a difference. Will people take advantage of the opportunity. We live in an era of immense change. Democracy works best when its citizens are informed. And we have access to more information then ever before.

My invitation is this: that each of us stretches our mind and continues to learn. The future demands that we do. If we don’t, we will find ourselves back in Emerson’s day when decisions were made by the literate elite and we will lose the opportunity to have a voice in the creation a new future.

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July 24th, 2010 · No Comments

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“The Problem E-mail takes too long to respond to, resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those…”

July 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

The Problem

E-mail takes too long to respond to, resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those who receive a lot of it.

The Solution

Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead. is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be four sentences or less. It’s that simple.

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Start at the front, go to the back

July 16th, 2010 · No Comments

It seems like such an obvious thing. I’ve been annoyed with it in the past but it hasn’t written to the level of driving me nuts.

My voice mail on my spring phone starts at the oldest and moves forward. This doesn’t make sense because what I want to hear is that call I just missed.

Google Voice to the rescue. It handles all of my voice mail. Which is cool because it sends me an (often bad) transcription of the message. But most importantly when I call to retrieve it starts at the most recent and goes backwards.

21 gun Huzzahs to Google!

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My business, “Jeffrey Long Solutions” serves people…

July 15th, 2010 · No Comments

My business, “Jeffrey Long Solutions” serves people by helping them bring order to the ever-growing flood of letters, bills, advertisements, junk mail, documents to file, email and spam in their lives. But I also believe that as we do, we should replace the attention that has been stolen from our lives with thoughtfulness, care and art. With that in mind, I won’t simply talk about productivity on, but will intersperse it with media and thoughts that enrich our lives. To that end… this wonderful performance of Rosanna by Toto. 

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