Got an email today about the “new RegFly.com”….ugh. That’s kind of like hearing about “the new Enron”. If you don’t remember RegisterFly read about them here, but long story short they were one of the worst domain name registrar scandals, ultimately losing their ICANN accreditation and causing me and plenty of others A LOT of grief. The fact that they are using a different domain name to avoid having to display the court-ordered notice about losing their accreditation speaks volumes to the fact that things haven’t changed at all. Please spare yourself some agony and avoid them like the plague.
StartupNation.com is running their 2009 Leading Moms in Business competition, which ranks the 200 best mom-owned startups of 2009. My wife Nina has her business, Tasty Clouds Cotton Candy Company, entered in it. Ranking is done by popular vote, and it’s a tight race, so I’m asking anyone who has a spare second to help us out and cast a vote. You can actually vote once a day.
You can vote and read a little about Tasty Clouds Cotton Candy Company here: http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-2009/contestant/3464/index.php?mode=castvote
I love Pandora, but their AIR app…I’m not sure what’s goin on there, but it consumes a ton of memory. So after searching around for a bit I found pandoraboy, a native mac os x app that brings pandora.com to the desktop. Some cool features of the app are that you can control the app with global hotkeys, and it supports growl notifications to let you know what song is playing.
Just stumbled across a pretty cool “design inspiration” site: PatternTap. There are loads of design inspiration sites out there, but the angle with this site is that they focus on showcasing particular design elements as opposed to overall design, with categories such as backgrounds, borders, comments, audio, tabs, web application, 404 pages, and much more. For somebody like me, who has the design skills of an intoxicated chimpanzee, this site should come in very handy.
I’ve been upgrading some sites to wordpress 2.7, and I gotta say I’m pretty impressed with the admin area overhaul, definitely feels like a major step forward. There’s a better overall flow to the UI, it’s like somehow they added more stuff but made it simpler. I think I’m going to see how it goes using it a general cms for a while.
I use the app Things as my to-do list to keep track of..well, my to-dos. It’s been pretty great so far, definitely a huge plus for my workflow. I’m also trying to get more into Quicksilver to try and speed up some of the mundane tasks you do on the computer everyday…a good amount of your daily mouse clicks can be reduced to keystrokes by QS (or apps like it).
So today I was thinking it would be cool it I can take a bulleted list of changes from a client and add them to Things without having to manually copy and past them from mail, open Things, and paste each item one by one.
What I found was that you can do this with two features of QS: Proxy Objects, and the Services Menu Module plugin. To install the Services Menu Module, simply open up QS preferences, go to plugins, and click the checkbox next to ‘Services Menu Module’. To enable Proxy Objects, go to Catalog -> Quicksilver and enable Proxy Objects. If you click on the ‘i’ (info) button at the bottom of the window with Proxy Objects selected, a drawer will open displaying al iist of Proxy Objects you can use. They were all already selected for me, so I left them that way, but the one I needed for this to work was ‘Current Selection’.
So after enabling Proxy Objects, I went over to the Triggers tab (still in QS preferences), and added a custom Hot Key trigger. Under ‘Select an Item’ I chose ‘Current Selection’. For the action I chose ‘Things/New To-do containing selection as title’ (which is one of two Services menu item added by Things). Then I clicked on the info button at the bottom of the pane to open up a drawer which contains settings related to the trigger. I assigned the trigger a hot key of ^T (control-T) and made sure that the trigger would be active in all applications.
Now, in back in my email which contains the bulleted list of items, i can select an item, hit ^T, and the Things quick entry window pops up with the selected text already pre-filled in. I can add more info if i need to, tab down and select an approproate project/area to add the todo to, tab over to save and we’re done.
It’s one of those small things where the time savings really start to add up the more you use it, which is my goal of getting more acquainted with QS. The one thing I would like to do is have it so I can select the whole bulleted list at once and add each line as a separate to-do, so that I can skip the part of selecting each line individually. If Things had an API I bet stuff like that would be pretty easy.
I’ve been curious about jailbreaking my iPhone since I first got it, and just the other day I went through with it. I used QuickPwn and it was a snap. For the record, I have a 2G (the original) iPhone and I wasn’t going for unlocking it.
It’s cool to see all the non-App Store things you can install on your iphone, plus all the customizations you can do with it. I think my favorite app so far is Flixwagon’s video braodcasting app, which records video that can viewed live it flixwagon.com/username. Considering I have a new baby in the house and family and friends scattered all over the country who are always asking for pictures, the app has really fit the bill for me. The other thing that has rocked has been customizing the SpringBoard (which, I never knew, is the name for the ‘desktop’ of the iPhone, the screens that contain all the icons for the apps you have installed).
Downloading new software using Cydia has been every bit as simple as using the App Store. As far as I can tell, the overall selection of apps is not as big as what it used to be because there were big changes in the iPhone software from version 1.x to 2.x and not all apps have been ported over.
One big word of warning to anyone who is about to attempt this: DO NOT INSTALL KATE. Kate is an iPhone customization app the has had many, many problems reported with it. Unfortunately I only learned about that after installing it left my iPhone in an unusable state. Even after i uninstalled it, it was still whacked, so I had to reinstall it, turn off all of its options, and then uninstall it. Then after restarting the phone all the icons were all out of place and a bunch of app’s settings were reverted to their defaults.
If anyone has some suggestions as far as killer apps or repositories I should be checking out, please let me know.
If you haven’t yet checked out Dropbox, the slick file transfer/sharing/backup tool, you should. It’s one of those things that reminds me that computers supposed to be here to make our lives easier, not harder. It’s so easy, even my wife was excited about it (“Cooooolll !!!” )
Dropbox installs on your computer and completely integrates with the filesystem…it’s actually just a folder (your ‘Dropbox’) you drag files into. In your dropbox you have a public folder, and once you drop a file within the public folder, you can right-click on get the web URL for that file. You can then send that url to anyone you like and they can view that file.
In addition to your Public folder, there is a ‘Photos’ folder. Dropping images (or a folder of images) into that folder will create a public photo gallery with thumbnails.
You can also create Shared folders within your Dropbox, to be shared only with specific people.
Your drop box also keeps a version history of your files, so you can roll back to a previous version, a la Time Machine.
There are two small downsides I can see so far with Dropbox. First, as of right now they have a 2 gigabyte limit. Two gigs of backup for free is not that bad I guess, but I think 5 would be a better starting point. Regardless of that, they will soon be offering paid plans to increase storage, and I’ll be jumping on that immediately…goodbye local hard drive backup.
The other issue I have is that you must place everything within your Dropbox….so for example, if you wanted to share your Iphoto library you would need to copy the images into your Dropbox. I think they are working on allowing for watched folders as well. Mac (and I’m assuming linux) users can get around this by creating symbolic links in the dropbox.
Overall, 4-stars, two thumbs way up for Dropbox.
Note: I have no affiliation with Drobox, it’s just love at first sight.
I was doing a bunch of Flex work for the past few months, and get really comfortable with Flex Builder. There are so many awesome features to aid development it simply kicks ass.
However, my current project is Flash CS3-based, so I went back to TextMate, which I also love. There are many great features in TextMate which eclipse does not do that really make me miss working in it.
My main points of comparison:
- Perceptual Bulk – TextMate feels so lean, where FlexBuilder just feels so heavy. Probably due to eclipse not being a native mac app, but still, I just feel ‘cleaner’ working in TextMate.
- Tab Triggers – I can’t count how much typing I’ve saved using tab triggers in TextMate. Type in a few key strokes and hit tab, and some templated code gets placed…with tabstops mixed in so you can simply tab to the next appropriate place to type. I only pray that someone tells me you can do that in eclipse.
- Column Selection – Another tool of TextMate that i find incredibly timesaving. being able to select a rectangular area of text, and have whatever you type repeated on each of the selected lines, is a blessing. Another thing I wish eclipse would support.
Flex Builder (eclipse):
- Integrated debugger – That pretty much puts the smack down right there.
- Code Sense/Code Completion – Another swift backhand. For being such an awesome text editor, why can’t TextMate handle this better? (yes I know about using the escape key for auto-complete, but that’s pretty weak compared to what you get in eclipse).
- Find in Language Reference – I use this constantly, and as far I know it doesn’t exist in TextMate (for actionscript anyway)
There’s probably a few more but those are what jump out at me. If anyone knows how to get some of the features listed above into the other app, please do tell