I’m the Grinch who grumbles about every WordPress theme. Except one. After years of resisting change, I finally switched FilterJoe to a modern, responsive theme: Twenty Sixteen—the new default theme included with WordPress 4.4.
An easy-to-read blog matters to me. Nothing WordPress offered in the last 7 years has tempted me away from the child theme I personally put a lot of effort into nearly 7 years ago.
My only temptation has been to leave WordPress for a simpler and more writing-focused platform like Ghost or Medium. While WordPress was for blogging at first, it expanded over the years into content management and an online application platform. The original focus on blogging has been diluted, and WordPress themes often reflect that.
However, WordPress now offers Twenty Sixteen for modern blogging, and it is good.
In this post, I detail how Twenty Sixteen makes me comfortable with it as a wonderfully content-focused blog theme.
I’ve spent a bit of effort with this site describing techniques and reviewing software and hardware that helps people reduce distraction, filter information, or otherwise deal with information overload . . . perhaps a bit too much effort at times. In this post I’m going for short and sweet:
Here are some iOS apps I use day in and day out that help me get information I want, and nothing more:
The Nook Simple Touch received a major software update yesterday. Barnes and Noble’s communications around this update were confusing, and they have not published a detailed list of changes and bug fixes. News outlets have added to the confusion by parroting the Barnes and Noble press release without doing any fact checking.
Using a dedicated portable reading device is one of the best ways I know to read digital content without distraction. But selecting an appropriate device can be confusing. My guess is you won’t get the most suitable device for your needs if you ask, “Which is the best e-reader?” Try instead asking the following set of questions:
Over the past few years, excitement has been growing for the idea of an “everything device” that you carry in your pocket. Why carry many separate physical and electronic devices for your phone, address book, calendar, planner, GPS, books, magazines, etc.? An iPhone, Blackberry, or Android-based smartphone will do it all.
With a single click, you can reformat a busy web page so that only the main content is visible. I first wrote about this in Filters for Reading on the Web, where I also discussed why extended reading on a computer monitor is so difficult.
Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest in helping people read without distraction. Apple has included a Readability button with the Safari browser. All browsers but Safari now include a full screen mode. Many web page reformatting services have come and gone.
But Readable and Readability are the two web page reformatting services which came out first, and both have withstood the test of time. Both also came out with new versions in early 2011. Here’s what you need to know about the latest versions.
Tablets are the latest tech fad and for good reason. Compared with laptops, they’re more portable, they have longer battery life, and they’re easier to use and maintain. This makes for a superior experience for displaying a wide variety of content. I suspect that within a few years, tablets will be a general purpose computing appliance that is easier to use, maintain, and secure than traditional computers.
Do you spend hours reading computer displays each day? Does this tire your eyes? Me too. So I’m on a mission to find a device on which I can read anything. Ideally, it should be:
as easy on my eyes as a paperback book
as portable and convenient as a paperback book
simple to read for any kind of format
simple and free to get reading material onto the device
I tried reading anything on a second generation Kindle. The e-ink screen is easy on my eyes and Kindles are great for reading novels. But the software has many shortcomings for reading other material such as PDFs or long articles on the web. I devoted considerable effort to making my Kindle overcome these shortcomings, but in the end decided to try a more flexible device lacking an E-ink display.
Enter the iPod touch, 4th generation (or iPhone 4), with double the screen resolution of prior models. Reading with the “Retina Display” is easy on my eyes and the software makes reading a breeze for a surprisingly wide range of reading material.
The iPod touch 4G works well for reading. It works so well for me that I stopped using my Kindle and sold it. Read on for details, including many tips along the way for using an iPod for reading.