Myths of Ability

A (multimedia) writer goes technical.

  •, a Libre alternative to Microsoft 365

    Categories: technology


    Information Technology

    Operating Systems

    Self Improvement

    Opendesktop dot org is a ‘Libre’ stab at Microsoft 365 which may not offer as much as the latter, but still gives you enough to work and collaborate, minus the email options (Microsoft 365 gets you Outlook and a terrabyte of storage while you have no email options and five gigs storage with ). gives you the full Libreoffice suite, collaboration tools, contacts, calendar, and messaging, among other things. It is imperfect and in constant development, but usable. As someone who works on both desk and laptop computers, it is useful to have something like to keep and access files between devices. While Microsoft 365 does give you the full office suite, Outlook is limited unless you are willing to pay for additional features. A case in point is only one e-mail address per domain name and for each additional address you pay a fee. For example, name@domain, billing@domain, peronal@domain, and so on. Those extra names add up! There are better offers for email services elsewhere that give you more for less money, such as multiple names at a domain without paying extra. is an iteration of NextCloud, an online collaboration platform that runs LibreOffice tools and stores attendant files. There are many companies that offer NextCloud, and just happens to be a free version of such. If you, or your business/institution need larger capacity, a lot of companies offer this for modest pricing relative to Microsoft. provides a whole lot at once and that can be problematic. Too many moving parts in a project can lead to complications and breakdowns. The fact that the suite does not fully work is telling. However, if the development team can eventually juggle all these things and keep them in the air, more power to them (and us). Currently, some parts of breaks, but not the critical stuff like storage and office applications.

    The things that break, like clicking ‘Music’ ( a music sharing platform? ) is frustrating but when you click 'Weather' on dashboard, you get cool graphics on local weather movements. I have used for a couple of months so far and like it. It is generous for a free service and I am glad not to have used funds on Microsoft. For now, there is "free and good enough" and this is currently sufficient to fit my needs.


  • Jon Wozencroft, graphic designer, Touch label runner.

    Categories: graphic design

    Jon Wozencroft from ESAD art + design on Vimeo.

    Jon Wozencroft opines on graphic design and the attendant ideation process

    I review music, namely electronic and experimental, since 2000. Some months I would get 30 compact discs to review and all sorts of album art would flicker across my view, yet what kept getting my attention were releases on the UK-based Touch label. Their technique tends to be a striking photo spread across a jewel case or sleeve with artfully-placed text comprised of elegant typeface. With the deluge of media that flows across my desk and screens, it takes a lot to grab my attention and pause. Jon Wozencroft, Touch label lead and designer knows how to grab my attention at least when it comes to art work.

    It is well worth listening to a design master and instructor like Wonzencroft talk about graphic design. Though I do not always grasp the connections he makes, there are some nuggets of wisdom to be gleaned. "Pattern recognition...if you can work that out for yourselves...early in your're going to be very, very, very much in demand."

    Some of my favorite music releases of all time, including the art, are on the Touch label, including New Order's Video 5-8-6 and Rafael Toral's Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance. Other examples of Touch cover art can be found here.

    Album cover Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance by Rafael Toral

  • Sarabun Font

    Categories: graphic design

    web dev

    Sarabun font

    Gracing this and the strangeambience blog site is the Sarabun font designed by Suppakit Chalermlarp of the Thailand-based Cadson Demak graphic design studio.

    Trying to find the best font for a site is not easy. Web safe fonts are dull, proprietary are too costly, so openfonts are the best route to go. I went through a lot of fonts on which does a great job of showing your how a font works in different scenarios such as size and backgrounds. I settled on Sarabun because it is attractive, clean, elegant and legible through all scenarios and the package comes with a full family of bold and italic variations. Sarabun also has a ‘classic’ look and seems to be at its best on lighter variants. Picking a font to represent you for personal branding requires confidence and am happy to pick Sarabun, even over proprietary fonts.

    The story behind how Sarabun came to be is interesting. Sarabun was commissioned by the Thai government in a bid to save money on licensing fees paid to Microsoft every year for their fonts used on bureaucratic documentation. Once the font was designed, the Thai government had it released under an opensource license, which is both generous and fortuitous for the rest of us. Sarabun also happens to be the ‘national font’, which is pretty cool when you consider that not many countries have a ‘national font’.

    If you are designing/developing a website, consider openfont library as a resource to examine and test fonts and please give Sarabun consideration.