I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

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