Tag: Mac

Niceness in software

I just was cleaning up my Applications folder and opened up Yojimbo, which I had stopped using once I realized I had DEVONthink Personal. It alerted me to the fact that my trial time had expired and had the usual options – buy a license, enter license information or quit.

What caught my eye, though, is that it also offered the option to export the data it had – so that if I needed to, I could quit and still have access to the data through another software package… rather than holding my data hostage.

So, while I don’t need Yojimbo, I’ll certainly keep Bare Bones Software towards the top of the list for other packages I might want.

More stuff on Mac

I had an a-ha moment today. I’ve been dabbling a little in Applescript – I had a need for a timestamp, so I wrote a small script that would create one and dump it into the clipboard. I set it to trigger off CMD-1 via Quicksilver, and now, if I do CMD-1, CMD-V I get a nice little time and date stamp pasted wherever the cursor is.

Then I started thinking. For work, every week I copy a bunch of files from where I work on them out to a shared folder on the network, then send an email to management saying “hey, they’re updated.” I then attach them to an email to send to one manager who doesn’t have access to the networked folder. I realized today that the entire process could be automated via Automator, linked to a Quicksilver trigger and *poof* the whole thing would be done.

This is the kind of stuff I was looking forward to doing on the Mac that I couldn’t do as easily on the Windows side.

The ol’ switcheroo (part II)

Of course, after I start talking about my switch, the folks at Lifehacker go ahead and do it better. They’re covering some different ground, though – I’m just sharing what I found that interests me. (And they write better, too.)
Another pair of programs that I really love are Entourage and Growl. Entourage is the Outlook replacement within Office 2004. For the most part, it covers the same functions – and since I lived in Outlook at work, I needed it to keep things moving there. However, what sold me on it was the Project Center. It allows me to keep everything – calendar, contacts, notes and emails – in one view for each project… while still keeping things in their “normal” locations.

Growl is another stop on the tour here. It’s neat because every application tries to let you know something is happening in a different way – a pop-up here, a bouncing icon there, some use sound and some don’t. Growl can be used to corral these notifications so that all applications (at least, all that are aware of it) use the same method.

As I keep playing and working, I’ll keep updating as to what else I’ve found that’s made my switch easier,

The ol’ switcheroo (part I)

I’ve always hated Windows. I tried Linux, and while I liked it, I didn’t like the whole feel of do-it-yourself that pervades the community. I work with PCs all day, so the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was have to work with them again just to figure out if I still had money in the bank. (Tinkering because I wanted to, well… that’s different) So, once Apple began rolling with Intel, I decided to make the switch. I bought a MacBook in early November and 2 months later, there’s very little I do on the PC at home. Work, is another issue – I can’t very well ask my employer to buy me Mac software because I’m on a crusade. There’s been a few software titles that have just made the transition so much easier for me.

Parallels is probably the biggest one – it allows me to run Windows programs on the Mac. Sure ,you could do it with Apple’s BootCamp but who wants to reboot each time? And the beta version I’m running allows Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop so the Windows programs appear to be running in OS X.

Qucksilver started with me looking for a way to emulate the ability to use Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog – I got good at using that to open Excel, Word and Notepad rather than hunting through the menus. OS X appears not to have that functionality built in, but Quicksilver fixed that – and gave me a whole lot more. I’m just getting started with it but it appears to be one of those “how did I live without this before?” type of programs.

Geektool is interesting because it allows an updated textfile to be displayed as part of the desktop. I use it to keep track of my todo.txt file.

Finally, something to help with my inability to keep track of what I already have – Delicious Library. It’s a media (DVD, CD, VHS, book & video game) library system. This would be incredibly tedious to catalog if it weren’t for one thing which appeals to the geek in me – I can use the camera built into the MacBook to scan the barcode, then Delicious Library goes out and find out what the barcode is for. This is an entirely unexpected way to use the camera and I think it’s a pretty neat idea.

I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember them right now.