end kvetch

Macs, productivity, &c.

Getting Things Done (When You Really Have To)

Sorry I didn’t get around to it sooner, but here’s my article that appeared on Dumb Little Man.  By far my favorite part of this all was the picture of Judge Judy that was added because of my line “turn off Judge Judy and do it that instant, you’ll thank yourself later.”  In a bout of irony, I was planning to work on my novel but I didn’t end up doing it.  You know what I did instead?  Yeah, I watched Judge Judy.  And it was awesome.

Filed under: Productivity, ,

WordPress Takes a Little Nap

As I logged in for my routine, every-five-minute stat check, I was greeted with this rather curt little message.

uh-oh.png

It seemed I wouldn’t be able to get my stats are do anything for two whole years. Now, I wasn’t going to just take that. I showed my discontentment like only a blogger can– I took a screenshot (damn straight).

Now, unless you too have been sleeping for a rather long time, you’ll probably notice that it hasn’t been two years yet. I too figured this out and it lead me to a startling conclusion. WordPress is obviously paying the same people who make progress bars that one minute are “less than one minute” from completion and the next have “about an hour” to go to estimate how long their maintenance will take. The worst part is, they’re obviously not paying them enough. I would expect to be told that the the site will be “back in a jiffy” only to find that when I check back a jiffy later the estimate has changed to “730 days”. WordPress obviously skimped and bought the “break it to ’em quick” package. I demand false hope!

I think this whole situation would have been a lot easier to stomach if, in the guise of a FAQ, I was directed to a 404 error.

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Hey Linux Users!

With your 2.8% market share, I know you guys are everywhere.  You might as well put that [advantage of Linux] to use in a way that other people can’t because of [disadvantage of operating system that people actually use].  Why don’t you turn that dull work environment into something that you can stare at for hours on end in a slightly creepy fashion.  Introducing…Somatic GNOME the [Linux jargon that I don’t understand].  Using Ubuntu and the GNOME desktop environment thingy, you can turn your boring desktop into a disturbing shrine to yours truly.

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Slightly Bitter, Mostly Sweet News

Just recently I submitted a post to Dumb Little Man, a productivity and life tips blog. Just now I’ve received the wonderful news that it will indeed by published early next week (I’ll link to it once it’s up). This is great news because it should drive a lot of traffic to End Kvetch but it also means I won’t be putting much productivity stuff up here because I would rather submit it to DLM in the hopes of getting another traffic boost. Don’t worry though, y’all will still get the rejects.

In related news, you may be wondering where the “Getting Things Done (When You Really Need To)” post went. The answer is: a better place. Yes, indeedy, an improved version of that post should be appearing on DLM next week.

R.I.P “Getting Things Done (When You Really Need To)”
January 24, 2008 – January 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized

Desktop Extras: Choosing a Wallpaper

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Show of hands, how many of you have one of the following sub-optimal desktop wallpapers?

  • One of the ones packaged with the OS.
  • A technically and compositionally godawful family photo.
  • A picture that is too small and must be centered, tiled and stretched.

Now, I’m sorry, but my cold, childless has something to tell you: little Bobby doesn’t belong on your desktop. And I mean, really, you don’t actually like “Bliss” or “Aurora”, do you? And finally, if the shoe don’t fit, don’t wear it. Find a wallpaper that fits your screen– seriously. Before we get into what your should do, let’s look at some examples of what you shouldn’t…

No bad baby photos! finderscreensnapz003.png

At this point you’re probably flustered. Where in the world could you find a picture of the proper size that isn’t of your child and wasn’t provided by the nice folks at Apple/Miscrosoft(/Linux)? Luckily there are plenty of places. David Lanham has wonderful stuff for both widescreen and fullscreen displays, however, I have found that they look a little funky with Leopard’s transparent menu bar. My favorite site for wallpapers is the oddly named Pixel Girl Presents. You can search by style, artist and, best of all, screen dimensions. Although the selection is somewhat limited, you should be able to find something you like (unless you’re some kind of super manly-man).

However, it’s not as simple as just finding one that you like and that fits. You have to think about whether you will be happy staring at it all day (it’s like choosing a paint color). I try to shy away from sad wallpapers because I don’t want depressing thoughts sneaking in to my head. I also look for colors I like and, finally, I don’t like it when desktops bear the logo or name of the artist. Sometimes you can crop it out, but other times it may be best just to keep on looking (or, you could decide to not be super obsessive like me and just deal with it). Finally, make sure it is a desktop you will be happy with people seeing. Avoid explicit images in general and just use common sense (don’t have a pink teddy bear as your wallpaper if you use your computer during football practice and don’t use the gay pride flag as your desktop if you’re working on Mike Huckabee’s campaign).

Although your desktop wallpaper may seem like a trivial thing, it really can be pretty important because you spend a lot of time looking at it. Overall, choose a wallpaper that you like, fits well and won’t depress you (and won’t get you fired…or lynched).

And in case you were wondering, here’s my desktop:

finderscreensnapz005.png

Filed under: Desktop Extras, , ,

Desktop Extras: Agua Re-Reinvented

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aqua.pngFor quite a while, Agua by David Lanham has been my favorite icon set.  A while back it was updated for Leopard with 512×512 icons, slight restyling and additional Leopard-specific icons (downloads folder, Time Machine drive, etc.).  However, because these folders were angled (rather than front-on like Apple’s Leopard folders) they looked super messed-up in CoverFlow.  Now (well, a bit back) David Lanham has updated the folders so they are front on (he also added a couple drive icons and another alternate downloads folder) and look decent in CoverFlow.  If you use the Agua Leopard icons or are looking for an alternative to the regular icons in Leopard, check out the twice updated Agua icons.

If you were wondering, I do hope to make Desktop Extras a regular feature (I made a banner for it and everything).  I plan to cover things such as icons, wallpapers, dock styles and whatnot.  As always, if you have suggestions or questions for Desktop Extras (or any other feature) give me a shout in the comments or you can email me (see the contact page).

Filed under: Apple, Desktop Extras, , , , , , , ,

Software Sumo: Journler vs. MacJournal (Rematch)

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Some people did not like the agèd nature of MacJournal during the original match. So now, considering that MacJournal has just released a new version and Journler will soon be going commercial, I figured I would do a “fairer” match-up.

Interface

I must say, kudos to Mariner for the improvements in the MacJournal interface. It is starting to look like a nice, Leopard-worthy app. However, one thing I simply do not get is the fact that some of those godawful toolbar icons from v2 are still hanging around. I mean, they have a new dock icon, I don’t think it would kill them to get some new toolbar icons as well. Those hideous, Panther-y icons are what’s really killing this interface. I’m not crazy about the fullscreen here (but I’m not really big on fullscreen writing anyway) but it is quite customizable. The option to display entries either in the sidebar or above the actual entry text (like you would see messages in Mail) is nice. The calender looks a bit odd swimming in a see of white space when one’s sidebar is extra wide but otherwise it looks a-okay. One thing I do not like is that while in three-pane view, the entry list does not have an alternating background. The entry selection buttons (on the far left of the toolbar) are a little odd because they go up and down rather than left/right. Although this makes more sense I still think it looks a little odd (however, the plastic finish on the buttons is nice).

macjournalscreensnapz002.png

The Journler interface recieved a pretty small facelift with the latest update. The main change is that I noticed is slightly more spacing in the entry list. Overall, the Journler interface is quite similar to that of MacJournal. I prefer the calender in Journler and I obviously prefer Journler’s toolbar icons. Magically, Journler finds out what your system folder icons and uses them in its sidebar. I also like the more integrated header in Journler because it is both easier to fill out and, in my opinion, looks better.

journlerscreensnapz001.png

MacJournal: 7/10 – This would be a really solid interface if Mariner would just redo those buttons!

Journler: 8/10 – A nice, consistent interface that could use a couple tweaks.

Features

I’m not sure if journals in MacJournal are supposed to act like folders, but I’m not feeling it. Although journals can be placed inside each other, I really don’t like how the hierarchy works. Bad folder structure aside, MacJournal has all the features I would expect. It has wiki-linking, labels, fullscreen and blogging as well as sound and video recording.

Journler has finally brought real tags, a feature I have been waiting for for a while. Journler has all the features of MacJournal except blogging support which was recently dropped because the developer decided it was an underdeveloped feature. However, I do feel that the fullscreen (which includes all three panes rather than just the text) isn’t as strong as the fullscreen in MacJournal.

MacJournal: 7/10 – Bad folder hierarchy aside, a very nice set of features.

Journler: 7/10 – Good features but no blogging and fullscreen is lacking.

Overall

Journler is ahead by just a little bit and because it will be selling for ten dollars less, I think it’s the better choice.

MacJournal ($34.95): 14/20 – Needs more polishing, but it’s a good app at the core.

Journler ($24.95 as of v2.6): 15/20 – A good journaling application that needs a bit of work in some areas.

Look here for more screenshots from this edition of Software Sumo.

Filed under: Apple, Software Sumo, , , , , , ,