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Omnifocus to Things Beta Applescript
12 April 2012

I know Omnifocus is great. True GTD. Seamless sync. Hundreds of cool options to deal with your tasks and/or hide them from you. And I’ve tried many times to get the hang of it, but it does not work for me.

Things is much more to my taste. It is far simpler and better looking. After many years of development the new Things Beta now even offers cloud sync. But what to do, if you increasingly frustrated gave OmniFocus a chance for many months and have collect dozens if not hundreds of tasks?

To move your Omnifocus Tasks to the new Beta you can use the following script I took from the Things Wiki (and slightly modified to work with the Beta).

OmniFocus_2_Things.scpt


Experten
8 März 2012

So hatten die Experten beispielsweise das zweite iPad und das iPhone 4S als Enttäuschung bezeichnet – den Kunden war das egal.

Völlig unerklärlich.

(via Apple stellt das neue iPad vor – Unbedingt berühren – Digital – sueddeutsche.de)


Der Quatsch der SZ in den letzten Tagen
10 Oktober 2011

Vor den Apple-Shops drängten sich Menschen mit Tränen in den Augen. Auf Post-its kritzelten sie ihre letzte Botschaft an einen Mann, den sie nie kennengelernt hatten und dessen Tod sie dennoch bewegte. Spätestens da wurde klar: Woanders heißen Käufer Kunden – bei Apple sind es Jünger. Steve Jobs war ihr Guru, der Apple-Shop ihr Altar. Der Griff nach dem neuesten iPhone kann auch als der Versuch einer Trauergemeinde gewertet werden, sich Erinnerung zu bewahren.

Also wo die SZ ihre Schreiberlinge her bekommt… Ich kann es echt nicht mehr sehen.

Das Erbe des Steve Jobs wiegt schwer. In ihm verliert Apple nicht nur einen Visionär. Der Konzern verliert auch eine Stilikone, die als Verkaufsargument viel wichtiger war, als es irgendeine technische Neuerung je sein könnte.

Nein, nein und nochmals nein! Die Kausalkette ist eine andere: Jobs (+ Team) haben häufig geniale und “runde” Produkte geschaffen. Sie sind nicht, wie viele andere, nur nach den reinen technischen Spezifikationen gegangen, sondern nach der besten Kombination von Hard-, Software und Design. Deshalb sind die Produkte beliebt, nicht weil Steve Jobs sie angepriesen hat.

(via Steve Jobs – Mythos für den Ladentisch – Wirtschaft – sueddeutsche.de)


Ein nettes Gesprächsthema bei Tisch
7 Oktober 2011

Das sind die Fans, manche sagen Opfer, von Steve Jobs. Der Computer-Unternehmer, der mit 56 Jahren als Legende starb, hat einen neuen Typ von Unternehmer erfunden, eine Figur, die im dunklen Rollkragenpullover auf die Bühne tritt wie ein Magier und die nächste Innovation wie eine Religion verkauft: iMac-Computer, iPod-Musikspieler, das mobile iPhone, das iPad. Die Produktankündigungen von Jobs wurden zum Gottesdienst. Den Gläubigen war egal, dass sie ihre Apple-Spielzeuge überteuert kauften. Die Pods und Pads sind von erlesenem Design, leicht bedienbar, ein nettes Gesprächsthema bei Tisch und ein sicherer Image-Zugewinn für den Besitzer.

Ich schrieb es heute schon bei Twitter: Ich habe das Gefühl jeder Idiot erklärt Apples Erfolg mit fanatischen (Bonus: religiösen) Fans und Marketing. Als ob Apples Produkte nur durch Spucke und Steves “Magie” zusammengehalten werden und Gestern kollektiv ihren Dienst eingestellt hätten. Es könnte ja nie sein, dass Apples Produkte in der Regel nicht nur teurer, sondern auch besser sind. Argh.

(via Apples riskantes Geschäftsmodell – Göttlich – und gefährlich – Wirtschaft – sueddeutsche.de)

[Update 8. Oktober 2011]

As always there are those who reveal their asininity (as they did throughout his career) with ascriptions like “salesman”, “showman” or the giveaway blunder “triumph of style over substance”. The use of that last phrase, “style over substance” has always been, as Oscar Wilde observed, a marvellous and instant indicator of a fool. For those who perceive a separation between the two have either not lived, thought, read or experienced the world with any degree of insight, imagination or connective intelligence.

Stephen hat die ganze Problematik etwas eloquenter umschrieben.

(via Steve Jobs « The New Adventures of Stephen Fry)


Upgrade
6 Oktober 2011

Heaven got a major upgrade today.

(via Chris Calloway, Wired reader)


Lion rant
24 Juli 2011

Not everything is bad in Lion but:

[Update 25. Juli 2011]


iMacs and/or SSDs
6 Mai 2011

Marco, the inventor/creator of Instapaper, struggles to decide between several options regarding a new Mac.

In 2008, and for a long time before that, three major factors severely inhibited the performance and long-term usefulness of laptops (and iMacs, since they used many laptop-class components): – Laptop hard drives were extremely slow relative to desktop drives, and most laptops can only hold one drive. – Laptop CPUs usually had significantly lower performance than desktop CPUs. – No laptop components, except RAM and the hard drive, can be upgraded after purchase. And RAM often maxed out too low for power users.
Some things have changed since then. For one thing, laptop CPUs are now awesome. But the biggest change, by far, is something that 2008-me never thought would be economical and practical: SSDs.
The hard drive — usually the biggest bottleneck in personal computers, and formerly the biggest performance gap between laptops and desktops — can now be replaced at sane prices with an SSD that’s hundreds of times faster. The SSD is the most important performance increase to happen to personal computing in a very long time. And, notably, desktops and laptops use the same SSDs.

Having a brand new iMac 21.5” and a two year old MBP, with a new Intel X-25 SSD, I totally agree with his thesis. Performance-wise my old MBP is soo much ahead of the iMac that it again has become my main working machine. Also, the glossy screen of the iMac was a good second reason to do so (what was the benefit of having those, again?).


ipad productivity/science apps - a list of recommendations
19 März 2011

This list is by no means complete and might be updated in the future.

Update 23. April 2011

- Although simplenote provides a great environment for sharing notes, I have switched to a different system. In the advent of nvALT 2, with its built in OpenMeta support, I finally made the switch to a Dropbox / textfile based solution. In the end simplenote was replaced by PlainText. I also tried Notesy and Neboulous but did not like what I found there…

- Recently I’m amazed by PDF expert. Soo much better than iAnnotate and GoodReader (user-friendly interface, highlighting works more reliable, export highlights to emails is a breeze too) and does include extra-features like a dropbox folder sync!

/Update

The Basics

- Simplenote (free)
Simplenote is my extended brain.

- Reeder (2,39€)
Simply the best App out there to read your RSS Feeds. Because of Reeder I preferred reading my Google Reader feeds on the iPad for quite a while. Only the new Reeder for Mac has changed this a bit.

- Instapaper (3,99€)
One of the best Apps for the iPad. A must.

- Dropbox (free)
The official client, not too bad.

- Good Reader (3,99€)
Everything file management (including FTP etc) plus reading. Very good value for little money.

- Articles (3,99€)
A beautiful wikipedia client.

Science

- Papers (11,99€)
Even without the Mac client software a great piece of software to find and organize articles from journals on the go. If you own a Mac and work in science this is a must.

- Mendeley (free)
A free alternative for Papers. It’s a cloud based service and besides the iPAd app there are clients for all desktop OS and even a website with the same functionality. Function-wise not at the same level as Papers.

- iAnnotate PDF (7,99€)
A not so beautiful GUI tries to mask the most powerful PDF tool for the iPad. Highlighting and annotations to PDF work great. The feature I like most: after you finished working on a PDF iAnnotate allows you to wrap all highlighted text into an email and send it to wherever you want it to. I use this with my Simplenote email address quite a lot.

- Sente
If you use Sente on the Mac this is probably a nice piece of software for you. The included cloud sync allows for instant access to all your references and PDFs everywhere. Still no annotation function and the desktop software has many quirky parts which annoy me.

Update Sente seems to have now a more complete iPad app. See here I haven’t tried this one (yet). (15,99€)

- Pleco (free+but some parts of the software are expensive add-ons)
Great software if you ever want to work with Chinese texts.

Data Buckets

I kind of stopped using data buckets and now work with a filing system along the lines of the one described in this article with an added layer of OpenMeta tags (hint: file naming conventions, Hazel, Tagger, Spark and Leap are important parts of this solution, which will be dealt with in a future blog post).

- Evernote
I tried to get into Evernote several times. In the end the paid solution is too expensive and the client software too ugly for my taste. Others might think differently, though.

- Yojimbo (7,99€)
Yojimbo on the Mac is very minimalistic and I really dig its ease of use. Adding tags is a breeze. However cloud sync is a pain and only works with a dropbox hack. In addition Yojimbo allows only for certain file types to be added. The iPad version is a little buggy and does not allow you to add new PDFs. Not overly happy with it.

- DevonThink to go (11,99€)
Haven’t tried this one, as I don’t use DevonThink. I know I probably should, but I simply can’t wrap my head around some design and GUI decisions of the desktop software (worst implementation of the tag-concept ever!).

Productivity

- 1Password (7,99€)
Great software that syncs with Dropbox. All passwords ready, in a safe and secure way.

- iA Writer (0,79€)
Minimalist writing software. I like using this to just get writing tasks done. Works nicely with any bluetooth keyboard.

- Omnifocus (31,99€)
Task management in the GTD fashion done professionally. I still use the iPhone version on my iPad, the iPad version is just soo expensive. However, many people swear by it and even call it magic.

- Things (15,99€)
Not as sophisticated as Omnifocus and lags a cloud sync option. It’s a beautiful piece of software, though.

- iThoughtsHD (7,99€) and MindNote (4,99€)
Nice software to create OPML mindmaps, which I end up using in Scrivener.

- Office2 HD (5,99€)
Software for editing Word and Google documents. Bought it, but never actually had a use case for it.

For more app inspiration you should turn to the MacSparky home screen series or Beautiful Pixels.


Using the iPad as a usb drive for movies/everything
29 September 2010

Update 5.10.2010
PhoneDisk allows for even more straight forward copying from and to any iOS device via PC or MAC.

Here is a quick one: the iPad/iPhone easily can be a USB pen drive for all kinds of data. All you need is a PC or Mac with iTunes 9+ (apparently this works only with newer versions of iTunes) and your iOS device with VLC or CineXPlayer or similar software installed.

Just attach your iOS device to the computer via the USB cable. Click on “devices” (“Geräte” in German) on the left column. After that you have to click on “apps”. At the very bottom of the page you’ll have the option to add files to an application. Just click on VLC or a similar App and start copying files by drag&drop of whatever you want to carry around. This also works vice versa, you can also drag all files from that menu to your desktop. Enjoy!

in pictures:

select devices/Geräte

click on apps

drag&drop movies/files


Nur ein großer iPod Touch?
28 Januar 2010

…Das Tablet ist ein teures Netbook – wenn man meinem EeePC das Display abbricht, die Tastatur rausreißt und dann das Display mit ner Touchfolie an den angedachten Ort für die Tastatur klebt, schwinden die Unterschiede. Er behält trotzdem mehr Funktionalität als das iPad jetzt hat.

Ich hatte heute eine nette Diskussion mit Martin/@Blackspear zum iPad, von dem auch obiges Statement stammt. Die komplette Diskussion findet man hier.

[Update]
Hier ergänzend zur Diskussion noch ein paar großartige Beiträge:

[Update2]
Dieser Artikel beschreibt recht eindrücklich wohin die Reise gehen könnte: I need to talk to you about computers ! Gerade auch vor dem Hintergrund von Chrome OS und Android Tablets ein sehr interessanter Gedanke.

[Update3]
Da ich mich mit Martin/@blackspear nicht über die wahrscheinliche zukünftige Bedeutung des iPad einigen konnte (und die Bedeutung von Flash), müssen wir auf einem anderen Weg feststellen wer die besseren Argumente hat.

Wenn das iPad bis zum 1.1.2011 keine 40%+ Marktanteil im Tablet-Markt (Touchscreen mit mind. 6”) haben sollte, bekommt Martin eine Flasche Whiskey von mir. In jedem anderen Fall bekomme ich die Flasche. In beiden Fällen wird der Inhalt gemeinsam verzehrt ;). Als Benchmark-Quelle dürfen keine Statistiken von Apple bezüglich Marktanteil verwendet werden.