Much to Post, Little Time

So, Bethany and I go away on a (well deserved and needed) vacation and the whole world decides to come up with things I should be posting about. Of course now I am so busy catching up with the overload of stuff that I was so busy avoiding. Therefore, just some quick ditties about it all for now with more follow up on some of them (especially the first one) later:

Backpack Calendar Launch – 37 Signals finally released the calendar component of my fave tool Backpack. It is finally here and boy is it easy to use. You will now find it next to the pages link at the top of your Backpack pages. I have spent the past several minutes (yes minutes, it is that easy) dumping all of my upcoming events in there from my trusty Moleskine planner. To those of you who are already Backpack users and/or 37 Signals fans, it should come as no surprise that the calendar is nearly perfect. It is incredibly well thought out, straight forward, supports e-mail and SMS reminders, natural language input for events, iCal standard sharing, everything you need and nothing you don’t. I will give a complete review and how it is working into my Org-fu soon… Oh, and while we are on the subject, My Business Magazine has a great interview with Jason Fried of 37 Signals. Check it out.

OmniPlan (Beta) – The gold guilded gods at OmniGroup have announced and released a public beta of OmniPlan – A new project management application that, from my first glance, looks as easy to use and powerful as all of thier other products. As one would assume, it has all of the standard project management stuff. Gantt Charts, task management, resource allocation and assignments… The works. All of this wrapped up in the standard OmniGroup cocoa flavored painless to use wrapper. Well worth checking out for anyone with a project to manage.

43 Folders Series: “Back to GTD” – Have you fallen off the GTD bandwagon? Have you let your things get undone? Just need a little refresher to get you back to an inbox-state-of-mind? Then Merlin Mann has just the thing for you. In this series he will cover not only how to get your GTD back on track but also surmise how it got off in the first place so that it wont ever happen again. He kicks off the series with the best way to jump start your GTD – The fast “mind sweep” . Worth a read even if you have your org-fu neatly aligned because you never know what little yummy info nuggets Merlin may drop even on a well trained info-ninja.

Geek to Live: Quick-log your work day – Gina over at Lifehacker has some great tips for keeping a work log. While her guide is a little Windows-centric, the basic premise can be achieved with any tool. I have been doing this for a while now using PB Wiki. It really comes in handy at review time when I want to see where all of my time has been going or, at the least, why I seem to be working my ass off and nothing is getting done. Anytime I get an interruption, I log it. Anytime I get pulled away from one task to start another… Yep, log that too. That way, when the boss comes and asked why I have not gotten insert task or project here done, all I have to do is pull up the log and show her why.

OS? What OS?

So, my poor little Powerbook G4 12inch decided to have a line vertically down it’s screen yesterday. Therefore, I had to take it in to be sent off to the mothership for what seems to be yearly maintainence. Thank god for Applecare or I would certainly be at the highway onramp begging for change by now. Oh, and I was told that they are pretty busy right now so the repair might take longer than usual. But it is not all bad. There are some truths that save my well cooked bacon in times like these.

First is my backup portable machine – a old Thinkpad running Ubuntu Linux. It is no speed demon but it is small and light and is fine for getting the job done. Heck, I even like the keyboard better than on my Mac. With all of the recent talk about long time famous Mac users in the technorati switching to Ubuntu, I largely shrug and can’t for the life of me figure out what all of the fuss is about. I am a long time Mac user and a huge Mac fan. I have a Macintosh consulting business and am the resident Mac guru for one of the top colleges in the country. Yet, I am here to admit, it does not really matter to me anymore what machine I use or what platform I am on. So much of what I do is web based that I can be on any machine and do what I need to do. As I write this, I am using Writely and I started this post on my Mac at work. Added to it on my PC running Windows at work when I happened to be on that machine. Now, I am on the Thinkpad running Ubuntu at home. Platform, to me, is nearly irrelevant. I know I keep hammering away on this Web 2.0 stuff but I am so excited to be living in a world where the internet has finally leveled the playing field and computing is almost ubiquitous. In the words of Donald Fagan, “What a wonderful time to be free”.

What, in fact, these days is an operating system and why does it matter? I mean, for most of my purposes the internet itself is my OS of choice. About the only client side stuff that even really matters to me is having a good browser. Although I am pretty addicted to Firefox, I find myself using Safari and Flock just as much lately. See, even saying “good browser” offers many choices (none of which really matter more than the next). I use whatever happens to be launched and will get me to my “OS” as quickly, safely and compatibly as possible. OS? What OS? Why do I need to care about an OS? Let’s be honest, I like the Mac because it is stable, fast, elegant and things just seem to make sense and work well together. I could also say this of Ubuntu to a great extent. Then there is Windows… Well, it is more stable with Firefox and running SP2…

That is not to say I do not have some apps I miss. Usually, I write all of my posts in MacJournal. It’s full screen mode and one click publishing to my blog can’t be beat. It is a truly fantastic application. Reading feeds is not the same on Bloglines as it is in Newsfire (nothing is like Newsfire) but for the time being it will do just fine. There are a few things I do not keep online and use a desktop app for like my check register. But even that has an online, Web 2.0 equivalent if I need one. And how does anyone get anything done quickly without Quicksilver? But seriously, it is not the end of my world. For day to day stuff I am set. My productivity does not even see a slight dip. I just use another tool or choose a new way to go about things. I am even just as comfortable using webmail as I am a mail client.

Do I prefer one over the other? Sure, but if my Mac disapeared tomorrow I would not loose too much sleep. I would toss and turn a little for a few days. I would probably cry a little before I finally dozed off. But only because a machine that was elegant in every form and fuction and a trusty friend is no more. Not because it stopped my forward movement.

The Tenth Dimension

Very interesting explanation of dimensional theory all the way up to the tenth. Easy for even a quantum physics lay person to imagine and understand. Fascinating stuff:

Imagining the Tenth Dimension (via“ Kottke)

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