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Showing posts from February, 2009

First impressions of the Safari 4 beta

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When Apple released the beta version of Safari 4 I thought, "whatever". While I like Safari and find it to be a perfectly capable browser I am hopelessly addicted to Firefox with its extensions and add-ons. Then I started to see some of the articles coming out about the new Safari and two things got me interested: speed improvements and a new UI for tab management.

I pulled down the Safari beta and installed it on my MacBook Pro, which has 4GB of RAM and is running the latest version of Leopard. By default it installed over my existing version of Safari which I wasn't too happy about. You can uninstall it and it will roll back to your previous version if you need it to but I would have liked to be able to run both concurrently. I'm sure there's a strong technical reason that's not an option. Quite a few users complained about problems with Mail.app, especially if they used Growl for notification support. In my limited time looking at it I didn't experience…

SharedStatus.com - easy team management

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Since starting this blog over a year ago I've been sharing my adventures about switching from Windows to Mac and thrown in a couple of stories about starting up a business. When I left the company I founded in late 2007 (after selling it in 2006) my intention was to take a little time off and then plunge into my next business venture, this blog quickly becoming a way for me to escape working 16 hours a day. Now that the new business is ready to go I would like to tell you about SharedStatus.

First Some Background
In virtually every company I have worked in I have had to conduct or contribute to status meetings. The problem with status meetings is that they can be very inefficient. Since most people manage their personal task lists in their own way they often wait until the last minute before the status meeting to quickly slam together what they have been working on.

In setting out to address this problem I discovered that there were other corollary problems that people experienced. T…

My top 10 free Mac utilities

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I personally love free software, especially when it adds real value to my work day. In the year since I made the switch from Windows to Mac I have examined hundreds of applications, many of them free or open source, and would like to give you a list of the applications that have made their way into my every day use.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, simply the top applications that I have found to be used nearly daily. In addition I'm not including utilities that ship with OS X. Without further adieu here is my take on them:

Firefox
Though I also use Safari, my default browser is Firefox. Why? Extensions and add-ons. Firefox is effectively a mini-platform for web browsing and as a developer that builds web based applications the number of add-ons to help with HTML/CSS/etc. is mind numbing. The only problem I have with Firefox is that it needs to be restarted occasionally because it will suck up and continue to hold memory, especially after visiting Flash intensive sites. Si…

My new favorite free utility: Dropbox

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Lately I've been playing with Dropbox, a free utility for Macs, Windows and Linux based machines. It's a pretty simple concept; an internet drive that allows you to sync your files between multiple machines. There is really not too much to using it; a small application is installed that monitors a folder on your hard drive (normally placed in the user's home directory but you can put it anywhere). Dropbox monitors changes to that folder and if a file is updated it is pushed up to your virtual drive on the interwebs. If you have multiple machines with Dropbox installed and pointing to the same account then they will automatically pick up the changes.

While this sound like something that can just as easily be accomplished with a network share, the nice thing about Dropbox is that the files are automatically copied to the machine's local drive. In my case I have three physical machines: a Mac Pro, a MacBook Pro and an HP Slimline that serves as an Ubuntu workstation. In ad…