Sunday, 21 May 2017

Get your desk surface back

If you have a laptop computer that you normally use at a desk with external monitors, you are not alone. One of the problems is that you lose much of your desk surface to cables and the laptop itself.

My setup isn't like that, however.


You can just see my laptop, nestled under the platform my monitors and speakers are sitting atop. It slides in and out of there quite happily whenever I need to disconnect it and take it somewhere with me, but most of the time it sits there happily out of the way, with all the cables safely tucked away too.

Now, there is no shortage of information on the web about how to connect your laptop to dual monitors and how to keep the laptop from sleeping when you close the lid. (Hint: in the Control Panel power settings look for 'change what happens when I close the lid' and buy one of the interfaces pictured below.)




But what you won't find very often is the tutorial for making the desk itself work. Here's all you need to make it happen:
 
Click on the pictures to view these products at Amazon. You'll need four of the pipes and one shelf. All You need to do is place the pipe lengths on your desk where the shelf will go - near the four corners of the shelf - and then just place the shelf on top of them. And that's it.

If you don't like the look of the shiny PVC, you can do what I did and using PVA glue wind some string around the ones at the front (those at the back won't be visible.)



If you want accessible USB ports like I have you can also get one of these:

Simply connect this to one of the laptop's USB ports and then use a strong fixing pad to fix this to the underside of your shelf.




Saturday, 6 May 2017

Now there's three of them

It wasn't long ago I was announcing the Very Short Shorts sequel, and today there is a third.

Once again, these are collections of fifty-word stories, ten in each volume. If you're wondering what a fifty-word story can achieve, here's one from the new volume:

Miss Bronte’s outline for a sequel
In joy we married. We honeymooned, drunk on each other. But it all went wrong. Harsh words and insults became punches and kicks. He had so much anger and such strength. I did the only thing I could to save myself. Death finally stilled his rage. Reader, I buried him.




Like the first two volumes, it's a very quick read indeed and priced accordingly. Each of the books costs about a pound, a dollar, a euro - or any local equivalent. It might not fill the theatre interval, but it will cost less.

Use these links to view the book at your local Amazon site in your own currency:

     Very Short Shorts

     Very Short Shorts 2

     Very Short Shorts 3

To view all my books, many of which are available as paperbacks as well as Kindle e-books, visit this link:

     Books by Ray Blake


Saturday, 29 April 2017

A book about books

I have just released my new book and it is on a subject close to my heart.


"A Book Club of Your Own" is available now in paperback and Kindle book formats. To quote the back cover blurb:

Raise your reading game now!
If you’re not in a reading group, you can start one today, even if the group is just you.
In this book you will read how to establish your group, countless ideas of books to read, what aspects of the books to consider or discuss and what to move on to next.
You’ll find 40 themed book challenges, like these:
  • Books about popular music
  • Modern prize-winning novels
  • Travel books
  • Single volume fantasy
  • Distant lives
  • Inspired by classics
Here is all you’ll need to get started straight away, whether it is just you or you have a group of friends joining you.
Read more. Reader wider. Read better.

This one really has been a labour of love for me, and I hope you will consider buying it.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Free Midori TN calendar (diary) inserts for 2018: Part 6 - Field Notes size layouts

Today's post contains 2018 versions of my layouts for the popular Field Notes format.

As usual, all are available for download as A4 and Letter paper PDFs. As ever, they are all free for personal use.

Here we go.

1. Week on two pages




The week on two pages layout gives you a straightforward planning view, a week at a time. You'll need two booklets for a full year.


  2018 A4 version: H1  H2

  2018 Letter version: H1  H2

2. Daily log book


The daily log book is ideal for tracking daily activities - exercise, say, or diet - even Pokemon

  2018 A4 version

  2018 Letter version

Special offer

Maybe you prefer not to print your own. I will print and bind a 2018 daily log book for you at a cost of £5, including postage to anywhere in the world. It will have a printed card cover that looks like this:


If you want to take advantage of this offer, email me and we can make arrangements.


What you'll download each time is a file that is ready to print straight away, without any need to use booklet format on your printer. Just print this straight to A4 or Letter paper, with duplex set to flip on the short edge (I'd recommend you print just one or two pages first to make sure your printer deals with this correctly and make adjustments as necessary.)

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions:



Remember, though, that for this size you meed to cut down to 90 mm wide rather than 110 mm and you'll have to trim 35 mm from the top and from the bottom as well, leaving you a booklet 140 mm tall. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Free Midori TN calendar (diary) inserts for 2018: Part 5 - Moleskine large cahier size layouts

Today's post contains 2018 versions of my layouts for the Moleskine Large Cahier format.

As usual, all are available for download as A4 and Letter paper PDFs. As ever, they are all free for personal use.

Here we go.

1. Daily dashboard





The Daily Dashboard gives you a booklet per month and contains a monthly overview followed by a double page spread for each day, letting you organise tasks, appointments and anything else you can imagine.

 2018 A4 version - Jan
 2018 A4 version - Feb
 2018 A4 version - Mar
 2018 A4 version - Apr
 2018 A4 version - May
 2018 A4 version - Jun
 2018 A4 version - Jul
 2018 A4 version - Aug
 2018 A4 version - Sep
 2018 A4 version - Oct
 2018 A4 version - Nov
 2018 A4 version - Dec

 2018 Letter version - Jan
 2018 Letter version - Feb
 2018 Letter version - Mar
 2018 Letter version - Apr
 2018 Letter version - May
 2018 Letter version - Jun
 2018 Letter version - Jul
 2018 Letter version - Aug
 2018 Letter version - Sep
 2018 Letter version - Oct
 2018 Letter version - Nov
 2018 Letter version - Dec


2. Week on two pages




The week on two pages layout gives you a straightforward planning view, a week at a time.


  2017 A4 version: H1  H2

  2017 Letter version: H1  H2


What you'll download each time is a file that is ready to print straight away, without any need to use booklet format on your printer. Just print this straight to A4 or Letter paper, with duplex set to flip on the short edge (I'd recommend you print just one or two pages first to make sure your printer deals with this correctly and make adjustments as necessary.)

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions:


Remember, though, that for this size you meed to cut down to 130 mm wide rather than 110 mm.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Free Midori TN calendar (diary) inserts for 2018: Part 4 - Personal size layout

Today I'm updating the week on two pages layout I produced for the Personal size.




You have the choice of downloading this in A4 or Letter format. Either way, you will need both the Half 1 and Half 2 files to make both booklets covering a full year between them.

 2017 A4 version:    H1   H2

 2017 Letter version:    H1   H2

You can get more guidance on booklet making in this video.


Remember that you will need to trim Personal size booklets more narrowly, as well as trimming the top and bottom.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Free Midori TN calendar (diary) inserts for 2018: Part 3 - Monthly and yearly layouts

Following on from the weekly and daily layouts for 2018, today I have the monthly and full year layouts.

As usual, they are all free for personal use.

Here we go.

1. Monthly - month on two pages




Nice and simple, this layout gives you a two pages for each month. A booklet includes two years.


 2018-19 A4 version

 2018-19 Letter version


What you'll download each time is a file that is ready to print straight away, without any need to use booklet format on your printer. Just print this straight to A4 or Letter paper, with duplex set to flip on the short edge (I'd recommend you print just one or two pages first to make sure your printer deals with this correctly and make adjustments as necessary.)

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions:



2. Yearly calendar




The yearly calendar will print equally well on A4 or Letter paper. Each version includes two years. Cut each one out and fix to the cover of a booklet for a quick overview of the whole year. There is a choice of colour themes.

 2018 - 2019 Red
 2018 - 2019 Orange
 2018 - 2019 Blue
 2018 - 2019 Purple


 2018 - 2019 Green

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