I’ve been using a simple technique I consider my “second dock” for semi-frequently used applications. It’s a simple setup, and if you use a lot of apps but aren’t exactly a mac “power user”, you might like it:
Adobe had been emailing me for several weeks before the big release of Creative Suite 5, and I even signed up for the “Global Online Launch”, which seemed to actually be a couple videos they would have sent me anyway. I guess I was hoping for a live, Apple-style event or something.
Don’t get me wrong, Adobe makes great improvements to their tools with each update, and I’ve even seen a few updates that make me excited. The Illustrator “shape builder” tool and art board enhancements look great, and this video (via yewknee.com) on the content-aware fill looks too good to be true. But other than this, I haven’t really checked it out too much.
Here’s the thing — I’ll buy it. New tools, enhancements, all great to see. But I’ll buy it because it’s the software for my industry. It’ll get hard to do my job if I don’t stay up-to-date. So that’s that — I’m saving up for it. And (begrudgingly) looking forward to getting my teeth into it.
When Apple came out with the iPhone, I was wowed like (nearly) everyone else, but I’m a cell phone luddite. In a precog moment I actually thought to myself, “If only it weren’t a phone…” Enter the iPod Touch.
I loved the idea of this device but still wasn’t willing to jump on the technology bandwagon. I have enough pieces of hardware and software calling for constant updates (read: $). I can keep buying $9 packs of field notes, and no one will tell me I have to buy the latest and greatest update.
Cut to the chase, right? As the title implies, I’ve taken the plunge, thanks in large part to an Apple gift card I got from my brother and fellow web marketer, Chad. It’s too early to tell whether it’s as useful as I hoped it would be (contacts, todo lists, calendars — I already have an iPod for music), but I certainly like it. A lot.
And one unforeseen effect: the interface is so interesting, I want to produce content for it. At the very least, I have some fun ideas for wallpapers. We’ll see if I actually manage to crack open the iPhone developer tools.
I turned 30 last month. With three kids, the oldest turning 4 in October, 30 years didn’t feel like much of a landmark. But I did get money from generous family members, and I bought some fun items this year.
One of those was a Wacom “Bamboo” drawing tablet. This is the amateur user version of Wacom’s Intuos line. It has fewer pressure sensitivity levels and doesn’t detect the tilt of your pen like the more expensive tablets, but it’s a great little tool to play with. Besides, I generally draw in pen & ink and color on the computer, and for that it’s perfect.
It installed without a hitch on my macbook pro. I did have a little trouble in photoshop after the initial install. There was a long delay between my mark on the tablet and the mark appearing on the image. Then it would cut out entirely after a couple marks, and I’d have to switch to another application and then back to PS. I restarted my mac and haven’t had a problem since.
The image here was drawn entirely with the tablet, directly over a photo of my friend, Evan.
As a web designer and overall tech geek, I love productivity tools. I love software that helps save me time, organize my files, or streamline any process I execute multiple times daily. I love browsing iusethis.com for the latest freeware software tools.
I use one tool daily that is worth every penny I pay for it. It’s an online time-tracking service called Harvest. It has great tracking/reporting tools, easy invoicing, and an intuitive interface, but the feature that makes it priceless for me every day is the OSX dashboard widget. I work on any number of projects everyday, tracking time spent on each separately, and I often have to switch from one to another.
Say I’m working on a logo design, and I get a call from a new website client. I simply pull open my dashboard and click on the plus sign in the Harvest widget. All the projects I have setup at the Harvest website are available for me to choose, it immediately starts tracking my time on the new website project, and all my times are stored online for reports or invoicing. When I get off the phone, I simply click on the logo project to start tracking that again, and I continue with what I was doing. Fantastic!
(as you can see from the screenshot, I’m blogging right now. I can get a little anal about my time tracking)