Monthly Archives: December 2010

Fascinating Talk about Security and Theft of Computers

Posted by mitch on December 29, 2010

This video is worth watching for anyone interested in security.

In addition to an interesting talk, many of the conclusions are counter-intuitive.

Tags: , , , ,

Mac Software I Want in 2011

Posted by mitch on December 25, 2010
productivity, software

2011 is just a week away now and there’s a few things I’d like to see come to the Mac in the next year.

This past year, we finally got something called ‘Outlook’ native on the Mac. It’s time that this Outlook got a few things that have been missing on the Mac for a while–for me, that means:

1. Google Apps Sync Engine for Outlook. Without this, Outlook on the Mac isn’t as exciting for Google Apps as it is for Windows.

2. Xobni for Mac Outlook. Xobni is a very handy tool and I have bought copies for it for both machines on which I use Windows. But I’d really like to have it on the Mac.

3. A plug-in for the Mac Outlook. Again, we feature parity with Windows would be nice. Specifically, I want to easily tie emails onto contacts and opportunities in

In addition to these Outlook items, I have some other wishes:

4. OmniFocus needs a little email improvement. Right now, using email to send something to OmniFocus requires Apple Mail and custom rules. I’d like to see one of two solutions: (1) is to have OmniFocus check email with a dedicated account that the user configures. This seems confusing to explain to customers, so I am not sure that’s a good solution for Omni. (2) is for Omni to provide an email service, just like Evernote does. Evernote gets email integration right–just like Salesforce does–everyone should copy their approach.

5. More native DropBox support for iPad and iPhone apps. OK, this isn’t exactly Mac-specific, but I’d really like to see OmniFocus and Evernote applications able to browse DropBox contents easily. Native DropBox support for DAV as a front-end and DAV in apps with an eye towards simple DropBox integration would be handy.

6. Some better graphics tools. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, OmniGraffle; I’ve played with Pixelmator, DrawIt, and others–but somehow none of these quite do what I want for “marketing graphics”. I want the control of Illustrator and Photoshop to build widgets and something like OmniGraffle but with more intelligence to piece them together. This almost sounds like ClarisDraw… but EasyDraw isn’t the answer either.

7. More head-less and powerful virtualization. VMware Fusion guest processes are lost when the Mac window server goes away (e.g., killed via remote ssh). VMware Fusion needs support for multiple Ethernet interfaces without hacking around in random files. I’d like to see something marketed for a more professional workstation user with more of the Workstation features. I’d be happy to see a Fusion Pro or something at a higher price point if that is what’s needed.

8. VMware VI Client without having to run a Windows virtual machine in Fusion or investigate awkward WINE stuff.

I have some other wishes as well–I’d like to see Apple fix the broken iTunes sync with devices and limits around a single library. For example, music I buy on the road I cannot sync to an iPod or iPad or iPhone, since they all sync to my desktop–and my 256 GB MacBook Air isn’t big enough to hold my 1 TB iTunes library.

Tags: , , , ,

Mac Productivity Software Round-up

Posted by mitch on December 23, 2010

Recently I spent some down time playing with some new utilities to see what’s out there that might help me. I’ve added the following tools to my Mac toolbox:

TotalFinder ($15) — This is a plug-in for the Mac Finder that adds tabbed browsing and some other nifty hacks, such as a “two-up” tab view for looking at two directories concurrently in the same window. Finder window management has been a mess for 26 years, and perhaps a real problem for me for the last 20 years, so it’s nice to see someone working on this.

SecondBar (free) — This puts a second menubar up on a second monitor. Unfortunately, the name reflects reality–it only provides 1 more menubar, and not one per additional screen. However, it works well for what it does. I tried some other menu utilities, but they all miss the boat for my needs.

BetterTouchTool (free) — This does a number of things with the Magic Mouse that didn’t seem very useful to me. However, it also provides Windows 7-style window snapping, which is one of my favorite Windows 7 features. And it works better with multiple monitors than the Windows 7 feature does.

StoryMill ($50) — The killer feature for StoryMill is the full-screen mode. It’s significantly better than what Word or Pages have for full-screen and makes writing prose much easier for me. Of course, it brings a lot of organizational tools for writing very long documents (books!) as well. I love using StoryMill for cranking out raw text to be edited later.

Kaleidoscope ($40) — This is a very cool differ. There are certain things that I miss from my own differ, RoaringDiff, but my favorite part about Kaleidoscope is that I don’t have to fix the bugs. I just started looking at Kaleidoscope today, but expect I will be registering soon once I’ve confirmed that the CLI entry point will work well for my svn workflow.

Evernote (free or $45/yr for premium) — I’ve been using Evernote for a while now. Recently I added two new pieces to my Evernote ecosystem. One is that I’ve configured the email address book on my multi-function printer/copier/scanner like this one (the one I have is no longer available) so that I can scan paper into Evernote with 4 button clicks. The other is that I bought FastEver Snap ($2) for my iPhone, which lets me photograph whiteboards and upload them to Evernote immediately without having to take explicit action.

Tags: , ,