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@ -280,6 +280,210 @@ From SndChaser...
Can't decide whether to include this section or not. If you make it all
the way down here, let me know what you think.
** TODO Catchy title about Supernote being "the new paper" :Supernote:Writing:Productivity:Organisation:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: something-about-supernote
:EXPORT_HUGO_CUSTOM_FRONT_MATTER: :toc true
:END:
I like writing things down. I like the feel of the pen (preferably a
fountain pen) glide smoothly over the paper, that nice solid feeling of
the tip against the table, seeing the ink dry as it flows from the nib,
accidentally swiping my hand through it before it's finished and
smearing a bit of ink across the page, cursing under my breath as I dab
it up with a handkerchief or a napkin or something else nearby. I also
love that writing things by hand [[https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797614524581][has an impact on memory and improves
retention]].
*** The problem
Unfortunately, I don't love keeping up with that paper. Across many
different classes, even with dedicated folders for each one, something
important inevitably gets lost. Notebooks are also bulky and can take up
a lot of space. I tried [[https://bulletjournal.com/][bullet journalling]] for about a month earlier
this year and, while the process was enjoyable, the maintenance was not.
My brain moves faster than my pen (even though I have terrible
handwriting) and I inevitably forget letters or even whole words. This
is a problem while writing in pen because white-out looks ugly and I
dislike wasting whole pages because of a couple mistakes.
The obvious solution here is to get an iPad with an Apple Pen, right?
Right??
Wrong because Apple bad[fn:2].
*** The solution
Enter the world of ... what are they even called? E-ink notebooks? Paper
tablets? E-R/W[fn:1]? Do they even have a "device category" yet? I don't
know but they solve my problem in a wonderful way.
As the names suggest, these are devices that can /usually/ open and read
e-books (EPUBs, PDFs, etc.), annotate them, and create standalone pages
of notes as if they were full notebooks. The most well-known of these
devices is likely the [[https://remarkable.com/][reMarkable]]. They had a [[https://venturebeat.com/2019/10/08/remarkable-raises-15-million-to-bring-its-e-paper-tablets-to-more-scribblers/][hugely successful
crowdfunding campaign]] and produced the reMarkable 1, followed by [[https://blog.remarkable.com/remarkable-2-the-next-generation-paper-tablet-91b47d0080cb][the
reMarkable 2 in 2020]]. There are a few others by now but we'll look at
the reMarkable first.
*** The reMarkable
This device boasts all of the features I was looking for. It renders
digital content, from books and manuals to comics and light novels,
allows you to mark those documents up as you would if it were physical
media, create full notebooks of hand written text, organise them,
search, and, if your handwriting is legible enough (mine certainly is
not), perform OCR on your notes and email a transcription to yourself.
It even runs Linux and the developers have opened SSH up so you can
remote in and tinker with it as much as you like. Because of this,
there's a pretty awesome [[https://github.com/reHackable/awesome-reMarkable][community of people creating third-party tools
and integrations]] that add even further functionality. My favourite is
probably [[https://github.com/bordaigorl/rmview][rMview]], a really fast VNC client for the reMarkable that allows
you to view your device's screen on any computer.
After watching all of [[https://www.youtube.com/c/MyDeepGuide][MyDeepGuide's]] [[https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsSI9-gaSSmiXwb7Vjk5Vb-nB41UTnrXd][extensive playlist on the
reMarkable]], however, I decided to go with a different product.
*** Enter the Supernote A5X
The [[https://www.supernote.com/#/product?type=SN-A5-X][Supernote A5X]] has all of the basic features the reMarkable has:
reading documents, writing notes, and organising your content. Its
implementation, on the other hand, seems to be much more polished. It
also lacks some features from the reMarkable while adding others.
*** Operating System
While the reMarkable runs Codex[fn:3], a /"custom Linux-based OS
optimised for low-latency e-paper"/, the Supernote just runs Android.
There are both benefits and detriments to this; on one hand, they're
running all of Android, bloated that it is, on a very lightweight
tablet. On the other, they don't have to develop and maintain a custom
operating system. This allows them to focus on other aspects that are
arguably more important so I don't actually mind that it runs Android.
The only place that Android stands out is in system operations; file
transfer uses MTP and, when you swipe down from the top of the device, a
small bar appears similar to what was in early Android. This lets you
change WiFi networks, sync with the companion app on your LAN, the
remote servers, take a screenshot, search, and access the system
settings. Nothing else about the device really makes me think of
Android.
*** Community
I don't usually browse Reddit but [[https://old.reddit.com/r/Supernote/][the Supernote community]] there is
fascinating. I haven't looked around enough to know exactly what his
relationship is with the company, but one of the members, [[https://old.reddit.com/user/hex2asc][u/hex2asc]],
seems to represent Supernote in something of an official capacity. He's
incredibly active and usually responds to posts and questions within a
couple of days.
Before I purchased one, [[https://old.reddit.com/r/Supernote/comments/lhffyd/sync_targets_open_document_formats_and_crossnote/][I wrote a post]] asking about a couple of things
that concerned me: sync targets, open document formats, and cross-note
links. I don't ever plan to write full documents with a keyboard on the
Supernote but it would still be nice. The other features would be
absolutely killer for me as I would like to maintain a Zettelkasten (I
wrote about [[/vim-as-a-markdown-editor/][using Vim to do so]] last year but didn't end up sticking with
it) and manage document synchronisation with my own Nextcloud server.
The community was quick to respond and confirm that Zettelkasten
functionality would be implemented soon™. u/hex2asc responded /the day
after/ and said that WebDAV would be supported but not earlier than May,
ODF would likely not be supported, and cross-note links were definitely
a possibility. Another community member has been avidly following the
subreddit and even put together an [[https://app-rm.roadmunk.com/publish/03e6dca3d769e2b7015f7f48a649cb3f75f44d9e][unofficial roadmap]].
*** Interfaces
**** Home & Organisation
***** TODO Record very short videos
**** Settings
***** TODO Record very short videos
**** Writing & Annotating
The following images are screenshots of the full page above with the
possible UI variations while reading a book. This first one is default,
with the editing bar at the top. It is exactly the same as what's
displayed on the blank pages for hand writing full notes. From left to
right is the Table of Contents toggle, the pen tools (fineliner,
"fountain" pen[fn:5], and highlighter), the erasers, lasso select tool,
undo/redo, context menu, palm rejection toggle, previous page, goto
page, next page, and exit.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-default.png]]
You can hold your finger on that bar and drag it down to detach it from
the top. The default width exposes all the tools without whitespace. You
can move it around the screen by dragging the circle with a straight
line through the middle on the far left.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-medium.png]]
If you tap that circle, the width shrinks and everything except the
pens, erasers, and undo/redo buttons are hidden. It can be dragged the
same was as in the previous image and tapping that circle will expand
the bar again.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-small.png]]
The last mode is with the bar completely hidden. You achieve this just
by dragging it to the right edge of the screen. Once hidden, you can
swipe right to left from the edge and it will be revealed flush with the
right edge.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-minimal.png]]
*** Experience
**** Reading content
I love e-ink. I think it looks beautiful and would love to have an e-ink
monitor[fn:4]. That said, the Supernote has an especially nice display
with 226 PPI (pixels per inch). The image below was taken with my
phone's camera so it's not very good. However, if you zoom in a bit, you
can see that the curved edges of some letters are /slightly/ pixellated.
Viewing with my naked eye at a comfortable distance, it does look better
/to me/ than some of my print books.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-resolution.png]]
/At the moment,/ I am pretty disappointed with Table of Contents detection
for ePUBs. A great many of my books seem to use a legacy ToC format that
the Supernote sees and tries/fails to read before attempting to read the
more up-to-date one. This is easily remedied by editing the ePUB in
[[https://calibre-ebook.com/][Calibre]], going to Tools → Upgrade Book Internals → Remove the legacy
Table of Contents in NCX format. You might need to make a small change
to one of the HTML files and revert it before the save button is
enabled. After that, just copy it back over to the Supernote and
everything should work properly.
**** Writing notes
I write notes as often if not /more/ often than I read and annotate books.
It's the main reason I purchased the device and I love the experience.
The Supernote doesn't /really/ feel like paper despite what their
marketing materials claim, though it doesn't feel /bad/ either. It's hard
to describe but I would say it's something like writing with a
rollerball pen on high-quality paper with a marble counter underneath:
incredibly smooth with but a little bit of texture so it doesn't feel
like writing on a glass display.
While writing latency[fn:6] is noticeable, I really don't have a huge
issue with it. I write very quickly but find that the slight latency
actually makes writing /more/ enjoyable. It sounds weird and I'm not sure
why, but I /really/ like writing on the Supernote; it's wonderfully
smooth, pressure-sensitive, the latency makes things interesting, and
[[https://supernote.com/#/part?id=SP-04][the Heart of Metal pen]] feels good in my hand.
**** Surfacing Content
While organisation is done using a regular filesystem hierarchy, the
Supernote does have other ways to search for and surface your notes. As
you're writing, you can use the lasso select tool and encircle a word. A
little dialogue pops up and gives you a few buttons for things you can
do with that selection: copy, move to another page, cut, add it to the
Table of Contents, or mark it as a key word. If you select the key word
icon, the Supernote does some incredible OCR[fn:7] on it and displays a
dialogue where you can add it to the note file as a tag. This dialogue
allows you to edit the word before adding it just in case the OCR was
wonky. Even with my terrible handwriting, I've found that it works very
well and I rarely have to make edits.
*** TODO Pong Isi and Volpeon when finished
** TODO Migrating repositories between git hosts
** TODO A perfect email setup (for me)
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: a-perfect-email-setup-for-me
@ -643,210 +847,6 @@ accounts as you want to send email from.
*** TODO Pong Jake when finished
** TODO Catchy title about Supernote being "the new paper" :Supernote:Writing:Productivity:Organisation:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: something-about-supernote
:EXPORT_HUGO_CUSTOM_FRONT_MATTER: :toc true
:END:
I like writing things down. I like the feel of the pen (preferably a
fountain pen) glide smoothly over the paper, that nice solid feeling of
the tip against the table, seeing the ink dry as it flows from the nib,
accidentally swiping my hand through it before it's finished and
smearing a bit of ink across the page, cursing under my breath as I dab
it up with a handkerchief or a napkin or something else nearby. I also
love that writing things by hand [[https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797614524581][has an impact on memory and improves
retention]].
*** The problem
Unfortunately, I don't love keeping up with that paper. Across many
different classes, even with dedicated folders for each one, something
important inevitably gets lost. Notebooks are also bulky and can take up
a lot of space. I tried [[https://bulletjournal.com/][bullet journalling]] for about a month earlier
this year and, while the process was enjoyable, the maintenance was not.
My brain moves faster than my pen (even though I have terrible
handwriting) and I inevitably forget letters or even whole words. This
is a problem while writing in pen because white-out looks ugly and I
dislike wasting whole pages because of a couple mistakes.
The obvious solution here is to get an iPad with an Apple Pen, right?
Right??
Wrong because Apple bad[fn:2].
*** The solution
Enter the world of ... what are they even called? E-ink notebooks? Paper
tablets? E-R/W[fn:1]? Do they even have a "device category" yet? I don't
know but they solve my problem in a wonderful way.
As the names suggest, these are devices that can /usually/ open and read
e-books (EPUBs, PDFs, etc.), annotate them, and create standalone pages
of notes as if they were full notebooks. The most well-known of these
devices is likely the [[https://remarkable.com/][reMarkable]]. They had a [[https://venturebeat.com/2019/10/08/remarkable-raises-15-million-to-bring-its-e-paper-tablets-to-more-scribblers/][hugely successful
crowdfunding campaign]] and produced the reMarkable 1, followed by [[https://blog.remarkable.com/remarkable-2-the-next-generation-paper-tablet-91b47d0080cb][the
reMarkable 2 in 2020]]. There are a few others by now but we'll look at
the reMarkable first.
*** The reMarkable
This device boasts all of the features I was looking for. It renders
digital content, from books and manuals to comics and light novels,
allows you to mark those documents up as you would if it were physical
media, create full notebooks of hand written text, organise them,
search, and, if your handwriting is legible enough (mine certainly is
not), perform OCR on your notes and email a transcription to yourself.
It even runs Linux and the developers have opened SSH up so you can
remote in and tinker with it as much as you like. Because of this,
there's a pretty awesome [[https://github.com/reHackable/awesome-reMarkable][community of people creating third-party tools
and integrations]] that add even further functionality. My favourite is
probably [[https://github.com/bordaigorl/rmview][rMview]], a really fast VNC client for the reMarkable that allows
you to view your device's screen on any computer.
After watching all of [[https://www.youtube.com/c/MyDeepGuide][MyDeepGuide's]] [[https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsSI9-gaSSmiXwb7Vjk5Vb-nB41UTnrXd][extensive playlist on the
reMarkable]], however, I decided to go with a different product.
*** Enter the Supernote A5X
The [[https://www.supernote.com/#/product?type=SN-A5-X][Supernote A5X]] has all of the basic features the reMarkable has:
reading documents, writing notes, and organising your content. Its
implementation, on the other hand, seems to be much more polished. It
also lacks some features from the reMarkable while adding others.
*** Operating System
While the reMarkable runs Codex[fn:3], a /"custom Linux-based OS
optimised for low-latency e-paper"/, the Supernote just runs Android.
There are both benefits and detriments to this; on one hand, they're
running all of Android, bloated that it is, on a very lightweight
tablet. On the other, they don't have to develop and maintain a custom
operating system. This allows them to focus on other aspects that are
arguably more important so I don't actually mind that it runs Android.
The only place that Android stands out is in system operations; file
transfer uses MTP and, when you swipe down from the top of the device, a
small bar appears similar to what was in early Android. This lets you
change WiFi networks, sync with the companion app on your LAN, the
remote servers, take a screenshot, search, and access the system
settings. Nothing else about the device really makes me think of
Android.
*** Community
I don't usually browse Reddit but [[https://old.reddit.com/r/Supernote/][the Supernote community]] there is
fascinating. I haven't looked around enough to know exactly what his
relationship is with the company, but one of the members, [[https://old.reddit.com/user/hex2asc][u/hex2asc]],
seems to represent Supernote in something of an official capacity. He's
incredibly active and usually responds to posts and questions within a
couple of days.
Before I purchased one, [[https://old.reddit.com/r/Supernote/comments/lhffyd/sync_targets_open_document_formats_and_crossnote/][I wrote a post]] asking about a couple of things
that concerned me: sync targets, open document formats, and cross-note
links. I don't ever plan to write full documents with a keyboard on the
Supernote but it would still be nice. The other features would be
absolutely killer for me as I would like to maintain a Zettelkasten (I
wrote about [[/vim-as-a-markdown-editor/][using Vim to do so]] last year but didn't end up sticking with
it) and manage document synchronisation with my own Nextcloud server.
The community was quick to respond and confirm that Zettelkasten
functionality would be implemented soon™. u/hex2asc responded /the day
after/ and said that WebDAV would be supported but not earlier than May,
ODF would likely not be supported, and cross-note links were definitely
a possibility. Another community member has been avidly following the
subreddit and even put together an [[https://app-rm.roadmunk.com/publish/03e6dca3d769e2b7015f7f48a649cb3f75f44d9e][unofficial roadmap]].
*** Interfaces
**** Home & Organisation
***** TODO Record very short videos
**** Settings
***** TODO Record very short videos
**** Writing & Annotating
The following images are screenshots of the full page above with the
possible UI variations while reading a book. This first one is default,
with the editing bar at the top. It is exactly the same as what's
displayed on the blank pages for hand writing full notes. From left to
right is the Table of Contents toggle, the pen tools (fineliner,
"fountain" pen[fn:5], and highlighter), the erasers, lasso select tool,
undo/redo, context menu, palm rejection toggle, previous page, goto
page, next page, and exit.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-default.png]]
You can hold your finger on that bar and drag it down to detach it from
the top. The default width exposes all the tools without whitespace. You
can move it around the screen by dragging the circle with a straight
line through the middle on the far left.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-medium.png]]
If you tap that circle, the width shrinks and everything except the
pens, erasers, and undo/redo buttons are hidden. It can be dragged the
same was as in the previous image and tapping that circle will expand
the bar again.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-small.png]]
The last mode is with the bar completely hidden. You achieve this just
by dragging it to the right edge of the screen. Once hidden, you can
swipe right to left from the edge and it will be revealed flush with the
right edge.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-reader-minimal.png]]
*** Experience
**** Reading content
I love e-ink. I think it looks beautiful and would love to have an e-ink
monitor[fn:4]. That said, the Supernote has an especially nice display
with 226 PPI (pixels per inch). The image below was taken with my
phone's camera so it's not very good. However, if you zoom in a bit, you
can see that the curved edges of some letters are /slightly/ pixellated.
Viewing with my naked eye at a comfortable distance, it does look better
/to me/ than some of my print books.
[[/assets/pngs/supernote-resolution.png]]
/At the moment,/ I am pretty disappointed with Table of Contents detection
for ePUBs. A great many of my books seem to use a legacy ToC format that
the Supernote sees and tries/fails to read before attempting to read the
more up-to-date one. This is easily remedied by editing the ePUB in
[[https://calibre-ebook.com/][Calibre]], going to Tools → Upgrade Book Internals → Remove the legacy
Table of Contents in NCX format. You might need to make a small change
to one of the HTML files and revert it before the save button is
enabled. After that, just copy it back over to the Supernote and
everything should work properly.
**** Writing notes
I write notes as often if not /more/ often than I read and annotate books.
It's the main reason I purchased the device and I love the experience.
The Supernote doesn't /really/ feel like paper despite what their
marketing materials claim, though it doesn't feel /bad/ either. It's hard
to describe but I would say it's something like writing with a
rollerball pen on high-quality paper with a marble counter underneath:
incredibly smooth with but a little bit of texture so it doesn't feel
like writing on a glass display.
While writing latency[fn:6] is noticeable, I really don't have a huge
issue with it. I write very quickly but find that the slight latency
actually makes writing /more/ enjoyable. It sounds weird and I'm not sure
why, but I /really/ like writing on the Supernote; it's wonderfully
smooth, pressure-sensitive, the latency makes things interesting, and
[[https://supernote.com/#/part?id=SP-04][the Heart of Metal pen]] feels good in my hand.
**** Surfacing Content
While organisation is done using a regular filesystem hierarchy, the
Supernote does have other ways to search for and surface your notes. As
you're writing, you can use the lasso select tool and encircle a word. A
little dialogue pops up and gives you a few buttons for things you can
do with that selection: copy, move to another page, cut, add it to the
Table of Contents, or mark it as a key word. If you select the key word
icon, the Supernote does some incredible OCR[fn:7] on it and displays a
dialogue where you can add it to the note file as a tag. This dialogue
allows you to edit the word before adding it just in case the OCR was
wonky. Even with my terrible handwriting, I've found that it works very
well and I rarely have to make edits.
*** TODO Pong Isi and Volpeon when finished
** TODO Setting LXC up for local "cloud" development
* Education :@Education:
** TODO Homeschooling

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