Monthly Archives: November 2013

An hour, 10$ and a smartphone = 175x digital microscope

This is a very nice weekend project either for yourself or with kids! As a bonus, this will let you performed digital capture (photo 😉 ) of your observations at no extra cost (other than assuming you do have a smartphone with an integrated camera)

Instructions from PetaPixel (video) and Instructables (step by step).

 

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos documentary available

Just recently rediscovered the must see documentary Cosmos: 13 episodes of 1 hour each, all available for free here.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

― Carl SaganCosmos

What is going on at Mekentosj with Papers 3?

Having a PDF management system, which allows in-app citation (e.g. WORD, Pages, Mellel, …), is a necessity for scientists and researchers. On OSX, we have the chance of having the choice between extremely well-design and efficient applications such as Sente, Mendeley and yes, Papers (there are of course free options, as always it depends how much time you want to spend working with your tools relative to working on your tools!).

 In the past I have used Endnote, Zotero, Sente and finally settled for Papers starting at version 2.0.8 for its extremely well thought-of citation mechanisms, PF editing options and nice interface. A review is available here in the e-office series.

Zoom to the latest version (still a beta) of Papers. Yes the interface changed quite a lot, both on OSX and iOS. Mekentosj seems to have adopted the design element of iOS 7 as a reference across the board. Quite frankly, the only thing I do not like in iOS 7 is the color scheme used for certain icons. Otherwise, I like it very much: it is clean, simple, introduced great new stuffs and does not get in the way. 

Below are the screen captures for iOS version of Papers and Papers3. 

Papers-iOS

Papers3-iOS

So, you say great this guy love Papers 3. Not at all. Design change you can get use to it (assuming it is for the better) but key missing feature is a problem.

Papers 3 allow syncing via DropBox or import/export of the whole library…Gone is the great WiFi sync of the previous version. Why it is this important? My library is large, closing in 5 Gb. I do not want to put that on DropBox (or on any servers for that matter) nor do I need to have all of that in the Cloud. The DropxBox options look interesting for a small library but for large libraries I am not convince and I feel it is unnecessary to pay for cloud storage space to store my library (this is why I do not like Mendeley for example). Even my library at close to 5 Gb is not that large and only contains over 4000 entries.

When I ask Mekentosj about it, I received the following from the support staff:

Hi there

Thank you for your feedback regarding this. I’m afraid that Dropbox is the only solution at the moment. However, we hope to include a possibility to sync via Wi-Fi in some point as well. However, depending on the technical aspects and Papers release cycle, it’s hard to know yet when that’s going to happen, so please be patient

So it might or might not happen in the future. For now, I would think that this is a big deal for users with large libraries. I reverted back to Papers2 like a number of my colleagues.

Overall, very disappointing first contact with Papers 3

 

NOTE: Academic workflow on Mac also has a coverage of Papers 3 which describes other important issues

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