Tag Archives: mac


With iMessage & notifications, OS X Mountain Lion looks more like iOS — Apple News, Tips and Reviews:

Apple’s desktop OS is starting to bear more than a passing resemblance to iOS, especially with the new incorporation of iOS features like iMessage, Game Center, Reminders and Notifications into the software.

They are continuing to blur the lines of OS X and iOS, as long as they don’t mess up the “power user abilities” (i.e., installing apps that aren’t from the app store) I couldn’t be happier!

One Day After (Instacast)

One day after and I have a couple new notes.

1) I’d like to be able to reorder the list of episodes (downloads, unplayed and starred) manually to how I’d like the playlist to play.

2) Needs to be able to set different actions for new feed items on a per feed basis. I want one feed to download all new episodes and another to just update and I’ll pick what to download.

3) 1.5X is teh bestist!

Instacast Update

I have a list of Apps the I keep an eye on, watching for updates or polish that will make me switch. I actually have a small Twitter List to follow some of them.

Anyways, an update to Instacast came down the tubes recently and it fInally plays nice with CastRoller feeds. There was some weird error that would never show episodes. In dealing with these things we see, all to often, some small error in a feed or in the aggregator software that messes things up pretty bad. It’s also usually fairly hard to track down.

Well, things are fixed now so I have a few things to share. Some general notes about moving from my current “old school” CastRoller -> iTunes -> iPhone Music App having to sync all the time to CastRoller -> Instacast. Yes, even with wireless sync it’s still a bit of a pain. Easier but, I have to have my Mac to get episodes, they have to be on the same network while it syncs, etc. Being able to just get stuff on the phone is awesome, especially when I travel.

I’ve talked about Instacast here before and they’ve done some great work in making the app better. Most of my concerns from before have been addressed. These notes are new based on more experience using the app both before this last update by importing my OPML from CastRoller and now using it by subscribing to my CastRoller feeds (My Collection, Starred Items, Shared and a couple channels).

Before when I filled the app with the actual direct feeds I noticed that the app is great for people who listen to a small number of podcasts. I’d say twenty or so is easily manageable. Not the 89 like I’m currently subscribed to. And that’s just my main collection, I have a few other channels I casually keep up with. When you give it that many feeds updating them alone is cumbersome. Trying to get everything sorted out so it’s easy to use is also a chore. Like you’d likely want the shows that release shows more often up near the top, say Tech News Today, a new show everyday is a nicer to have at the top of the list. Add a bunch of shows after that and you have to start moving things. Yeah you can have it sort based on new stuff but I personally don’t like things moving on me. This wasn’t the deal breaker. Long refresh times were.

Truthfully other then that the app is damn near perfect for me. My love for the features is CastRoller we’re the only real conflict to living in a world oblivious to waiting 20 minutes to update all my shows!

So after the updating moving back to the app with CastRoller I noticed that I REALLY liked having my content on my computer as well as my phone and using Seamless to jump back and forth. At home I could jump form my phone to my computer and push to all my AirPlay devices in the house (which there are many) so as I worked around the house my podcasts came with me. No headphones needed! From the phone you can only play to one device, not a downside for most but something I miss. I wonder if they can use their new iCloud features to build a desktop app, or some weird integration with iTunes to allow playback on a computer and get AirPlay in the mix too!

Take 5 changed how I listen at work great deal. On both the desktop and the phone, I constantly pause playback and never get back to it. If they can build that functionality into the app I’d be one happy podcast listener. Also now being able to star episodes and get them on my phone in no time flat is the best. I hated having to subscribe to a show just to try it out.

Don’t know how things will fall out and how I’ll continue to manage things going forward. Probably switch back and forth a lot anyways, seams that’s my history!


A Gift Basket Owed

With everything I’ve been reading about Microsofts strategy with Windows 8 and Metro on Intel and ARM chips I think Apple better be sending a nice big gift basket to Redmond! When a user walks in to buy a new PC and starts down the “well this will run everything but this will only run apps that have been recompiled to run on the ARM processor” path I think it might just help sell some Macs and/or iOS devices!

Microsoft has such a huge opportunity here. If they would just bit the bullet and tell their developers Metro runs on everything and the traditional desktop only runs on full blown (Intel) machines. How many people keep asking for iOS apps on their Mac? It’s something I hear people saying would be so cool.

Metro everywhere would basically be the perfect hybrid of OSX/iOS for the Microsoft camp! You can jump between the slim, fast, and easy Metro UI when all you need is simple tasks (email, Facebook, etc) and for the power users (“business”, developers, etc) they can still have their power machines.

Business is in quotes because I don’t believe that most of those users really need the extra power they just think they do.

Little Things

I very carefully curate my desktop. I hate things on the desktop and I need things a certain way to work effectively. An example of this as you can see I have the dock hidden. I don’t need it, there’s nothing in it except the running apps and that’s what CMD+Tab is for. I’ve even replaced that part of the default functionality by highjacking the keys into Witch so I can customize the way it acts. Mostly just switching between all windows instead of just the main window for each application. I can also launch a new Finder or Chrome window without having to switch to it then CMD+n. If your interested, ping me I’ll help get the setting right for ya. As you can tell I’m actually a little, ok a lot, obsessed with these things. The latest, after switching to this schweet new wallpaper, is this one last menu bar icon.


WeatherEye 1

It’s an app called WeatherEye. I used to love it, on the iPhone and iPad it’s a pretty good app. The ad’s in all version have been bugging me. The colour in the menu bar is the last straw. I’m off to Weather Snitch on the iPhone. Oh, seams Version 2 is now out. Kind of annoying that I have to pay but I’ll check it out.

From looking around I’m going to give Degrees a shot. It’s a little pricy for a simple weather app but I’d rather pay a few bucks for an ad free app that I think fits my needs. Weirdly, it can’t find London, Ontario. Not a big deal I’m closer to Strathroy and for and for some even stranger reason that IS in there!

Any other suggestions for a great MONOCHROME menu bar weather app?

Web Dev on an Air

“First and foremost: I miss the backlit keyboard.”

via Using a MacBook Air for Web Development – Monday By Noon.

Partly just adding fuel to the fire for Will here.

I honestly thought I’d miss it too but, I don’t. I kinda forgot about the feature until after my purchase realized it a week later noticing that I didn’t miss it. I think my use has changed over the last year. I used to do a lot on the couch at night behind the TV. Now I do a lot more things (ie running) at night, sometimes just sitting outside with flesh and blood people.

Either way rumour is the next version will have the feature. Nice to have but I’ll be in no hurry to upgrade.

Oh and I did build the CastRoller App, albeit a small app, in xcode and it took seconds. Bet it’s not a huge deal to write apps on this thing.

It’s a race

I was a fan of Things when I was basically just on one Mac. I use to run my life on a MacBookPro. It was time to put it out to pasture so I switched to an Air for travel, PC at work and MacMini at home. So happy with the setup.

When I retired my MacBookPro, the machine I used everywhere and used to sync my iPhone (hence Things) with, I looked at other options. Nothing was as good (read:usable and drop dead georgeous) as Things but, Remember the Milk worked. Sure it came with a fee, it was U.G.L.Y. but it syned and as a plus I could get to it on my PC.

So I’m OK not having my stuff on the PC at work as I have my iPhone. Most of my tasks at work done get into my task list. Day job stuff is a little more structured. What I need is  my tasks on the Air, Mini and iPhone.

So along comes The Hit List.

Now it’s a race. I want to see the iPhone app before I spend another $50 on the desktop version and $10 on the iPhone version. Money I really don’t want to spend but it’s getting very hard to wait.

So will that get approved before Things get’s OTA sync?

The Race is on!


No secret I love the Mac App Store. It’s made my MacBook Air feel like an iPad and I can still install apps on my other Macs.

The latest App I’m trying is Pulp.


So far I like it, not quite love yet.

It’s very slick, they’ve added some small touches that just make it feel pretty. One is the edge of the window.


The paper look is a little thing but totally cool.

It takes a lot of work setting it up. I’m not totally done yet but I wish there was an easy way to import all my Google Reader stuff into tabs matching my folders. You can import Reader but it’s all manual. It’ll give you a big list of your feeds, you select what to import. I also think it should sync the unread items back to Reader. It does sync but to Pulp’s own server then to your other Mac’s or iPads. It works well for what it does, just a couple clicks on my MacMini and it’s all synced up.

The other cool feature is the Shelf. It’s a little holding place at the top of the app. Pulp 1

It pops out and you can drag articles to it to read later. I think this feature does need a keyboard shortcut though. You have to grab the mouse and drag stuff to it. It’s just not optomized for the way I work. I love keyboard shortcuts. I think thay shuld also add shortcuts for Instapaper, Twitter and Facebook but…


So far I love that app, if that can come up with a way to get a version on the iPhone I’d probably switch and use this instead of Google Reader! And Syncing to Reader would seal the deal!!