The Wii U disappointing…

Disappointed? Oh ya…

I have a Wii U and for a current generation console this thing is about as slow as heat off excrement. I choose System Settings and it launches an APP to do it. Doo doo doo doo… really? Everything seems to be an application and needs to launch. Slowly. If I choose anything it should just happen – not make me wait every single time. It honestly a horrible experience. Crap customized Android. I expected a lot more from this console. Continue reading

iPad mini BT keyboards? Consider the one that might be on your desk already.

We’ve all been to meetings where people with iPad minis are laid out on the conference table, the cover rolled up to allow a typing angle. Lots of screen typing, but when an edit is required everything comes to a grinding halt as the process is quite slow.

When the use is casual, this isn’t a problem. But when in a meeting one wants to be able to enter and edit text in a timely manner so as not to become removed from the discussion while one struggles with previous points. Continue reading

8-bit pixel fireplace for OS X

It’s cold out there in many areas in the United States. There are plenty of fireplace apps out there in the wild, but anything as cool as this?

Alfred found something awesome...

Alfred found something awesome…

You can grab the OS X application here. It’s interactive which is a huge bonus. It’s really awesome. And it almost makes the room feel warmer. I forgot I had this application. I can’t wait to use it at work.

Wunderlist 2 versus Things 2 with Cloud

 

Things 2

I purchased the iOS version of this (iPhone) and I have the trial of the new OS X version. I have read all over that this app’s UI is amazing. It’s very plain looking to me. I have seen some screenshots of the iPad version and it looks more appealing. The other apps while nice seem like fancy list item management. Almost like tutorial apps taken a little further in order to sell.

I know a lot of people became angry because the app was in beta for so long in regards to their own cloud integration and gave up on it – but that cloud integration is available and it works very well. That said, the apps must be purchased separately. $9.99 for the iPhone version, nearly $50 for the OS X version, and I imagine $9.99 for the iPad version? That’s a lot of bones for a GTD application ecosystem.

I do like the implementation of recurring tasks in Things. Nicely done. In general though I feel like the app flow scrapes the surface and doesn’t reveal enough to me quick enough. It’s a set of list items I can click into. Tagging is a very nice way to handle things – but I don’t have enough projects and categories of things going on all the time to warrant their filtered use. At least not now.

It’s an expensive foray into a very good application, but it doesn’t feel rounded out well enough for me. The default categories of Today, Next, Scheduled, etc. seem kind of artificial to me. Why should I need to categorize stuff like that?

 

Wunderlist

I’ll start with this: free everywhere with cloud sync. There is a web application. iOS. Mac. Android. Windows. Collaboration. Notes. Recurring tasks. A Chrome browser extension. A beautiful design throughout the entire experience.

The detail view for tasks is what makes this superior to me in my usage. Due date, reminders, sub-tasks and that beautifully useful note. No tags, but there is a smart list feature that becomes active when required, hidden when it’s not. Less visual clutter.

On the iPhone it shines, on OS X it’s very nice and I hear it’s a very consistent experience all around. Three view modes in the desktop application which is very much appreciated. It’s very clean… without being spartan like Things. I have to say that Wunderlist is quite close to the perfect GTD application and it didn’t cost me a lot of money to implement and get everything synced. It’s a joy to use so far. Being a developer and a designer, I appreciate the smaller things they have done here and there – it’s a very well thought out application with a lot of support around it, a lot of cross-device parity, and even a web interface. Awesome.

One caveat: I got the iPad version (HD they called it?) and it is pretty awful and it’s been pulled from the App Store (not sure when – but you can’t get it anymore). There are many things wrong with that version and I suppose it was pulled to settle a lot of that and then release it again. As a back-up you can use the web interface on your iPad and it works very well there.

Wunderlist FTW!

Update:
It seems to me that the developers for Wunderlist are extremely active and are already working to fix the iPad application. They are very quick to respond to contacts (I sent an email last night and woke up to a response already) and as you can see below a comment from them too.

They are on the ball and while they have already delivered a wonderful suite of applications and cloud sync, they are pushing on and I think we can expect feature requests to be considered and worked on in a timely fashion. I love this about them too.

Nice applications.

Kaleidoscope for OS X.
A difference application for text, images, and folders. Integrates with many tools. $34.99 for OS X. Would be nice if it integrated with Xcode but I don’t really use version control within Xcode itself – I use Versions. And Kaleidoscope integrates perfectly with it. I might need to pick this up for our team.

Finish for iPhone.
Overcome the clutches of procrastination with Finish, a busy iPhone user’s best friend. Unlike other to-do apps that are “clever” for their own sake, only Finish takes advantage of how you naturally think. Finish gets in your face when you need it, stays out of the way when you don’t, and effortlessly keeps you focused the only thing that matters.

Scanner Pro for iOS.
Turn your phone or new iPad into portable scanners. Scan documents, receipts, and whiteboards. Who hasn’t needed to do this from time to time. Saved as PDF. What makes this interesting is really only the ability to combine “scans” into a single PDF.

It’s a little pricy… wondering if I should roll this out myself. Using OCR technology or something. Probably impossible for converting really terrible scribbles and hand-writing to anything useful.

UIGestureRecognizers – sometimes it’s okay to simply say no.

I’ve been working on a project that was using UIGestureRecognizers – mainly Pan but some others as well. As it turns out sometimes it’s perfectly fine to go old school and use touchesBegan, touchesMoved, and touchesEnded.

You won’t go to developer jail and you won’t be looked at unfairly by other developers during a code review. Use the tools you need without introducing any un-needed seeming simplicity that ends up complicating matters. They are nice when needed but don’t jump to the conclusion that you should always prefer them to the previous solutions.

A little bit of a rant and also a revelation.

Temple Run 2

Is it a lot of fun? Yes. More fun than the original and Brave. It’s a little more creative… A little better than the Pitfall one that is out there. Run out and get it. This post is short because this iPad mini keyboard isn’t my favorite thing in the world. The space bar is quite difficult to trigger for some reason.

Gunnar glasses

After a long day of coding or designing my eyes are a bit tired. Staring at pixels for hours on monitors takes its toll. My eyes don’t dry out and I don’t suffer from mind-splitting headaches, but my eyes definitely become tired at the end of each work day.

Gunnar Optiks 3D

I have these same frames, but the clear plastic on the “stems” aren’t clear but a tint of dark brown.

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Development vs. Design

We have all been there. We envision a widget or a piece of UI and how it might work. It takes all of a few moments in time. So you jump into header and implementation files, coding and stubbing. Refactoring and turning methods into Classes. You leave comments to remind you to do some less than fun things. Then the music in your headphones starts to confuse you.

You drop the cans, push back from your monitors and mutter to yourself, “what the fuck am I doing?” You feel confused, wondering if what you wrote makes sense in context of the overall problem-solution game. Have you painted yourself into a corner? Are you on the right path and really close to the end game?
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