Evernote – a go-anywhere synchronizing note app

March 30, 2008

I’ve gone through a bunch of note management applications over the past few years. I always like the idea, but most of them require that you adapt yourself to their workflow in order to get the most out of them, or are difficult to access from multiple devices, which usually results in them being more trouble than they’re worth to me.

For the last week, however, I’ve been playing with Evernote, and the more I use it, the more I’m inclined to use it as my go-to organization app.
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Installing Java 6 on Mac OS X

March 30, 2008

Mac OS X
As I mentioned previously, installing Woopra on a Mac requires installing the beta of Java 6. Unfortunately, how to get that done may not be terribly obvious to some users (it wasn’t to me, to begin with).
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Woopra – Live Analytics for your Web Site

March 30, 2008

Woopra Dashboard
At WordCamp Dallas yesterday, John Pozadzides (of One Man’s Blog) gave us a sneak peak at Woopra — the hottest Web Analytics tool I’ve seen in a very long time.
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Mail.appetizer for Leopard

March 27, 2008

Mac OS X

Woohoo! Mail.appetizer is back!.

Mail.appetizer is a great little freeware “notifier” for — the mail program that comes with Apples OS X.

What it does is pop up a little translucent window on your screen with the sender, subject and an excerpt of the message each time you receive mail. It also has buttons to mark the message as read, delete it, or go to mail to view it.
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Anthony Bourdain – Ambush by Video Blog

March 24, 2008

Anthony BourdainMaybe it’s just me, but this seems a little less like good foodie journalism than it does “how to serve chickenshit”.

Granted, Anthony Bourdain has been plenty vocal in his criticism of Food TV, but to catch him when he’s obviously “in his cups”, shoot a video, and THEN not have the guts to run it unbleeped, is just a little sad.
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Talk is cheap, good coffee costs money

March 19, 2008

Source: WikipediaYeah, I know I love to kick Starbucks, but hey — they make an inviting target. It’d be almost impolite to not abuse them.

But still, the news from their annual shareholders meeting actually sounds kind of promising.

They’ve bought the much discussed and semi-mythical Clover, and will be deploying it in all stores. The whole idea behind the Clover is that it can deliver (in 30 – 60 seconds) a full-on properly brewed cup of varietal coffee. Which is pretty great in concept, although early reports were that it took a fair amount of tweaking to get each specific origin brewed correctly — and what are the odds that the baristas-who-can’t-be-trusted-to-grind-and-pull-a-real-shot will learn and take the time to use it properly? Still, it should be a dramatic improvement over what passes for brewed coffee at most Starbucks these days.

As much as I wish they’d also announced that they were buying Reg Barber and would soon be returning to the land of real espresso, they’ve apparently decided that the solution to crappy automated espresso is to turn to even more automation, and to that end they’ve teamed up with Thermoplan AG to produce the next generation of cyborg pushbutton espresso. Hopefully the only way to go from here is “up”.

Other announcements include a new signature roast, new loyalty programs tied to Starbucks Cards and increased ethical sourcing.

All in all, it could have been better, but at least it’s a sign that they know that what has to be done is to improve the coffee & espresso — not a word about rolling out new foods and snacks, new gimmicky confection drinks, or anything of the kind.

That’s good, ‘cuz “it’s the coffee, stupid”.

Hangin’ with Alabama 3 at SXSW

March 18, 2008

If you read this site much, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that I’m a big fan of Alabama 3, the UK “techno country” band (“The best live band in the UK” according to The Guardian).

Last week, they were back in the US to appear at South by Southwest Music in Austin. Well, since I’m in Dallas, I couldn’t really not go, could I?

Unfortunately, I had a limited window during which I could sneak off for a day, and I had to book a hotel well in advance of the official schedule. Long story short, we ended up in Austin the night before they were to perform, with no real way to stay over an extra night.
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Proporta Laptop Sleeve Review

March 18, 2008

Proporta Laptop Sleeve
It seems like I’m always looking around for a better laptop sleeve. I’ve been rocking a Brenthaven Eclipse II sleeve for my 15″ Macbook Pro for awhile, and it’s a great sleeve, but for day-to-day stuff, I’d prefer something a bit more lightweight and “portfolio-like”.

Enter the new Proporta sleeve.
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iMac Display Calibration

March 14, 2008

Display Calibrator Assistant
After living on Powerbooks and Macbook Pros for the past four years or so, I’m in the process of making the switch to a 24″ iMac instead. So far, all has gone well, except for a steadily increasing loathing of the display.

Everyone’s taste is different and everyone’s room lighting is different, but for me, the iMac display was way, way way too bright. Even cranking the “brightness” down all of the way, I was still seeing issues like white text on dark backgrounds “blooming”.

Fortunately, the fix turns out to be pretty easy.
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In Defense of Coffee

March 8, 2008

In this day and age, it seems like everything that you enjoy comes complete with a Greek chorus of whiners telling you why you should avoid it.

Coffee is no different. Despite Starbucks opening new stores every 60 yards on any paved road, every wanna-be-self-helper tells you why you should give up caffeine, give up coffee, etc.

That’s what makes it particularly refreshing to see Lifehack have a go at what’s right with coffee.

Their list of coffee’s benefits includes:

  1. Better health through antioxidants
  2. Improved alertness
  3. Resilience to shifting schedules
  4. Improved socialization

Not bad for the devil’s drink.


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