September 28, 2006

Coming Back to Quicksilver

Well, Quicksilver was a way of life for me until this summer. When I upgraded from Panther to Tiger, I decided to force myself to give Spotlight a try. I'm done with it, and now back into using the superb launcher and do it all Quicksilver. If you've never heard of the utility... you owe it to yourself to give it a try. QS allows you to have access to anything quickly (like you do with Spotlight), but then allows you to do an incredible array of actions with that item. You can launch apps, but you can email documents, append to them, run scripts and actions on them, all from a quick keyboard interface. QS allows you to create system-wide key combinations to actions (like Quickkeys), and it's much faster at finding items than Spotlight, since Spotlight is searching for metadata, not simpy file names.

Give it a download and peruse these tutorials to get you started.

There are other options in the "launcher" arena, mostly Butler and Launchbar. If you're a fan of either of these, it's probably worth you just sticking it out with what you're used to... but if you're new to the genre, Quicksilver is definitely the way to go.

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September 20, 2006

Ottobib - Web-based bibliography formatter

Ottobib is a new, simple bibliography formatter. From Jason Clarke's review:

Ottobib is a site that allows you to simply type in the ISBN number of a book that you need to reference, then choose the style that the bibliography must be written in, and it spits back your fully formatted bibliography. Simple as that.
Ultimately, it has limited use. We don't tend to keep our booklists as lists of ISBN numbers. And the database is rather small. I tried out first the closest book on my desk, Hoffmann, et al's "Documenta Q, Q22:28,30" to no avail. It did find one book on my desk, Kloppenborg's "Q Parallels". The Chicago result was:
Kloppenborg, S., John. Q Parallels. Sonoma, Calif.: Polebridge Press, 1988.
Also, it currently includes styles MLA, APA, AMA, and Chicago/Turabian (and no SBL, of course). However, this is simply one step towards increase ready-to-hand bib info. The day will come when I type a book author and title, and then select and hit a menu item and voila!
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September 18, 2006

Word 2007 for Mac Details

Have a look at this interview with a glimpse of what's coming next year with the new release of Microsoft Word 2007 for Mac. It is a little sketchy on details. Updated UI and Universal Binary. This was a big undertaking for any older application:

Last month, they completed the transition to Apple%u2019s Xcode, which forms the basis for the Universal binaries that are compatible with new Intel-based Macs as well as older PowerPC machines. %u201CThis was a huge milestone for us%u201D Starman says with equal parts pride and relief. %u201CWe had to move from the CodeWare compiler, we were dealing with millions of lines of code and we still had old code that was written in Assembly, so it%u2019s been a long process to switch everything over and for our developers to learn the new tools.
No mention, of course, of any attention to support for Unicode Hebrew right to left support.

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September 10, 2006

Viral .Mac feedback

Our church is deciding on switching to an open source CMS (content management system) for hosting it's web site. I'm curious what other church's are doing for their solutions (not for blogs, but for web pages). Our current $35.00 monthly contract gives us (get this):

  1. 10 mailbox names
  2. No workable forums applications
  3. Inferior templates
  4. 50 megabytes of space on the server
This is a web management contract from the dark ages. Did you seee that server space? Fifty megs!!! This is forcing us to go with a do-it-yourself setup.

It makes me sad that Apple's .mac offering is about this poor of a service as well. I repeat here an open and repeated letter to Apple regarding their .mac service:

With competing all-in-one services taking on .Mac, and plenty of individual services offering far superior performance in contrast to their .Mac equivalents (often for free), you are quickly losing any appeal or value. Your fall from the throne isn't merely a result of your apparent disinterest in pushing the boundaries of web services, for it is also caused by your blatant and persistent lack of the basic fundamentals in much of what you offer. Easily dwarfed storage space, an insulting lack of server-side spam filtering, and competing syncing services that outpace yours in terms of both platform compatibility and innovative features - all top an extensive list of snowballing frustration and complaints from a decreasing community of .Mac users big and small. We encourage you to seek out the mounting and disenchanting feedback across the internet from your users, only because it seems that you have recently forgotten this crucial practice. Please, if you insist on charging for these aging services, start placing a refreshed effort into them so users have something to show for paying your chart-topping yearly fee. Apple is a company known for thinking different and innovating - it's time .Mac begins living up to that ideal again.

September 06, 2006

EndNote X

Here's a first look at EndNote X from TUAW. Among the features added is drag-and-drop pdf management. I am using Bookends, and the ability to use it to keep track of my downloaded/etext articles is essential. I do wish that it was a bit more tailored towards this, but then there are a few quirks with Bookends that bug me. Still, Endnote has long passed the bloatware threshhold and I can not imagine going back to it.

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