I’m Done with MacBooks ›

When I read this post from Khoi Vinh I found myself nodding along in agreement. This part in particular struck a chord,

When I think about where I’m most productive with OS X, it’s always at my desk, where I have a huge monitor (on my iMac, at home) or even two Cinema Displays (at work)

I upgraded my Mac nearly a year ago and had a long debate about whether to get an iMac or a MacBook Pro. The iMac was appealing for so many reasons, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to give up the flexibility my MacBook offers. However there’s no denying that I’m most productive at my desk with a larger screen, and since upgrading my iPad 2 to an iPad Air 2 I’m using that for more work leaving me more focused when I’m on my Mac as well.

In the future I can certainly see myself moving to an iMac over the MacBook Pro and maybe, if budget affords it, and iPad Pro. Especially as it’s capabilities grow and allow for more and more work to be accomplished on it.

Oopsie… Things?

A few months ago I started to use an ingenious AppleScript created by Shawn Blanc which he nicely titled OopsieFocus. It’s purpose? To make sure that when I hit the keyboard shortcut I use for the OmniFocus quick entry window, I was never left hanging without it opening.

Whilst most of the time when I’m at my Mac I had OmniFocus open, occasionally I didn’t and It was those occasions this little script helped me out. By setting Alfred to run this AppleScript on the same keyboard trigger I set in OmniFocus, it checked whether the app was running and if it wasn’t it launched OmniFocus followed by the quick entry window. Genius!

So at the start of September when I felt OmniFocus was more than I needed to manage my tasks, I made the move back to Things and adapted Shawn’s script to work with my new app of choice.

Being a generous chap, I thought just in case any of you folk out there could make use of my altered script, I’d post it here (with Shawn’s permission) for you to download.

Once you’ve downloaded the script I suggest you set it up to run with an app like Alfred (with Powerpack), FastScripts, or Keyboard Maestro to be triggered when you use the same Quick Entry keyboard shortcut you have set in Things.

Download as:

AirFoil’s Menu Bar Access

I seem to have this strange affinity for the menu bar. Well really it’s for little icons in the menu bar. If an app can run in it in someway, chances are it is doing so on my Mac.

Recently the excellent AirFoil from Rogue Amoeba was upgraded to version 4.7. It brought with it the ability to run an icon in the menu bar instead of the dock. Instantly I turned it on, AirFoil is always running and it bugs me to have too many icons in the dock of my MBP1. It’s a brilliant idea and one which, in my opinion, should’ve been available much earlier than it has been. A simple click shows me what song is playing in either iTunes or Spotify, which speaker I’m streaming too and the ability to add more should I wish. It’s almost like the universal AirPlay icon in the multitasking tray on iOS.

That’s all great, except, it feels kinda half finished.

The greatest thing about AirFoil is that I can stream from any source on my Mac. I mainly use it for Spotify or iTunes, but occasionally I play something in Safari like the a live 5by5 podcast. It baffles me that I can’t select what source AirFoil is transmitting from the menu bar. Logic, at least to me, dictated that this would be the chief function.

Imagine the scene. I’m sat working away, I realise via Twitter, that the B&B Podcast is about to start live on 5by5.tv. I click the link in the tweet I just read and I’m switched to Safari. Since I already have music playing from iTunes, using Alfred I can pause it instantly and then I’m free to start the live stream. The only thing is I have to click show AirFoil, then find the window and click the drop down. Then I have to select my source, and then I can close the window. It all seems kinda long winded and like I should be able to switch source on the fly from the menu item. A ‘source’ menu below or above my speakers containing only the apps I have open and available to be used as my source would be fantastic. It’d reduce the clicking and thus the friction in changing a source for my AirFoil broadcast. Hopefully they will add this ability soon, it would complete the app as far as I’m concerned.

  1. I’m a dock on the side guy (left bottom) and so vertical space is limited.

Mountain Lion on Daring Fireball ›

“We’re starting to do some things differently,” Phil Schiller said to me.

No kidding, not only are Apple surprising us with this announcement, they’re surprising us with how they’re doing it. A one on one keynote to announce the next major version of OS X for a select number of writers. Apple really do know how to work things to give the best impact.

If Apple were trying to make Mountain Lion more like iOS we would be touching the screen of our computers to interact with out apps instead of using the keyboard and mouse.

Mountain Lion is about familiarity and integration. The new features and apps in Mountain Lion make sense for a desktop operating system.

(Via Jim Dalrymple.)

Mountain Lion is not more like iOS by Jim Dalrymple

OS X Lion by Shawn Blanc ›

For me, it is not the headline features of Lion that make it such a compelling and noteworthy release. Rather, it is the thousand little refinements that all add up to what is, in my opinion, the most attractive and usable operating system on the planet.

An interesting read from Shawn about Apple’s new version of OS X. with my limited use of Lion, I agree with Shawn’s statement. Lion is polished. Very polished.

Maniacal Rage ›

Eventually, I realized something was funky with my older core OS X install. Whatever it is, it happened—I would assume slowly—over the past six years. Various configurations, application installs, terminal messes… nearly a decade of computing had created a completely bloated and unnecessarily slow machine.

Interesting comments from Garrett about the affect of effectively using the same Mac OS X system for 10 years without starting again. I’ve been thinking of starting a fresh on Lion, looks like I might just do that after reading this. I may not be on a SSD Mac but the thought of a fresh streamlined Mac is very appealing.

Now where’d I put that external HDD…