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Welcome to my blog and website, I hope you find your visit interesting.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

-- Mark Twain

WriteMonkey and I have more new students

March 13, 2016

Hello to everyone!

I found this new text editor for writing my blogs. Instead of using MS Word I am now using WriteMonkey ( After all, why use a huge memory pig, word processor if only writing a simple text document? WriteMonkey is a very stripped down writing application, with a minimal interface that doesn't get in your way or distract your from your actual work - writing. It does everything you would expect from a writing application, even to the point of having a few different sounds for your typing, so it can sound like you are working on a typewriter. There are many plug-ins available for people who donate to the developers. Otherwise, use it as is and it is free.

Notice I wrote "writing application". That is not the same as a word processor with all the bells and whistles. This is an application that is meant to be used by writers.

You can use WriteMonkey in a window (windowed mode) or full-screen. When in window mode it has a typical menu at the top, and a status bar at the bottom which shows your file name, word count and amount of time working. If you use it in full-screen mode you get just your document and no visible menu or task bar, nothing to distract you. Simple keyboard shortcuts then bring up anything you might want to see in the menu and status bar.

The program is very small - about 1 1/2 megabytes. And you don't even have to mess with an installer. You download one executable file, copy to any location, even a thumb drive or other external drive, and just run that one executable file. If you put it on a usb thumb drive you can take it with you and use it on any computer, anywhere.

You can customize the interface, as you might expect, including the info in the status bar, the language, fonts, sizes, layout, docking windows, language of your choice, etc etc etc.

It is fully UTF-8 compliant so it recognizes just about every international character that exists. It also works in Unicode and ANSII formats.

You can use it with or without a mouse as all commands and functions can be reached by using keyboard shortcuts.

The statistics you can get are really cool, more than you can get with MS Word. It will show you all sorts of counts ? words, characters, paragraphs, sentences, pages and more elaborate statistics like word frequencies, lexical density, Gunning Fog index It will even tell you the approximate reading time of your text.

You can have a visual progress bar for writing a certain length of article. And timers so you can set yourself a certain amount of writing time. You can even have a timer marker on your progress bar. It tracks your actual working time in the application, not the time you are inactive, off fixing a cup of coffee or using the restroom.

There is a ton of features on the web site that I have not mentioned. If you like to write for yourself, for a blog or website or newspaper, whatever, you must take a look at WriteMonkey. It is indeed a fantastic writing tool.

According to my "Progress" data (progress as of the last period after the word "tool") -
Characters - 2623
Nonspaces 2152
Words - 479
Unique words - 229
Sentences - 26
Average characters per sentence - 100
Average words per sentence - 18.4
Paragraphs - 9
Pages (words / 300) - 1.6
Reading time (words / 150) - 03:11
Hard words - 10.0%
Lexical density - 47.8
Gunning Fog index - 11.2
Work done - 48%
Time left - n/a

And then on the next page of data is a list of unique words and the count of those words. For example: You (24), time (3), just (3), document (2), word (5), the (13), and (12), can (11), your (9), writing (8), etc for all the unique words used in the document.

So, enough about WriteMonkey. What else is happening here in Barranquilla? I have 5 new students that started this past week. Four of them are all at one company; they include the owner and one of his sons, and two accounting women. The fifth new student is a student at one of the universities here, writing his thesis for his Masters degree. Another student of mine is a member of a family that owns a large business here in town (about 400 employees) and last week his father told me he would like to work with me as well, to help him improve his english. I just need to find space in my schedule which is getting full. There is no shortage of potential students here, but there is a shortage of hours in the evenings and early mornings, which is when most people want to do lessons.

Well, that's about all for now. I do keep my website updated at least once a month, and have been posting pictures of Barranquilla in the photo album.

Till next time - Chao!

Please consider helping me help people here in Colombia. I am not a foundation or organization that will allow you to use tax-deductions for your donations, I am just a guy who is helping people improve their lives and the lives of their families. It's not easy to do alone, and there are needs that I simply cannot afford. So, if you feel inclined to help me in this journey, there are links in the right column for doing just that. Thank you.

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