Stay Focused!

17 04 2010

This is a simple little post, for a simple little tool.  I’m starting to like the Google Chrome browser more and more.  This Chrome plugin, StayFocused, will limit your time spent on stupid websites ( which for me are Facebook and Reddit ).  Once your time expires for the day, you can’t give yourself more time without typing a long an rather funny paragraph about the perils of procrastination.  I like it.





A New Beamer!

17 03 2010

Sadly, it’s not a car  — it’s just a presentation toolkit.

Recently, I went to a meeting where folks from various groups presented lighting talks on a variety of topics. We saw the whole gamut of presentations, from simple black-on-white power points (me) to the shiny Microsoft PowerPoint themes with fade-ins and slides all over the place. But, there was one presentation that just made the others look downright childish. It was attractive enough, that I approached the presenter to find out more, especially when I noticed it was in PDF.

Beamer comes with the Latex typesetting system.  It lets you concentrate on your content, giving practically no care to presentation. Latex doesn’t lend itself to a quick start, so expect to spend some time learning it. There’s just something special about the quality of the rendered documents that makes it all worthwhile though.

So, Latex and Beamer can take this:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{beamerthemesplit}
\title{Example of a Beamer Presentation}
\author{Paul Boin}
\date{\today}

\begin{document}

\begin{frame}
 \frametitle{Mini Beamer}
 \framesubtitle{Easy, gorgeous presentations}
 \begin{itemize}
 \item Simple
 \item Free
 \item Attractive
 \end{itemize}
\end{frame}

\end{document}

And make this:

minibeamer