Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Vitamin-R- Productivity for the Rest of Us…

Posted: September 28, 2010 by Jonathan in Technology

When it comes to writing, my intentions are oh so good, my planning is mediocre and my execution is randomized. The two random options are either off-the-cuff creative outpouring, or meandering drivel that hits the recycle bin 6 months later. I’m quite convinced that a major part of the problem is the planning/organization stage, and since I started using Things for task management, and Dropbox for file syncing, I’m doing a much better job of outlining ideas, and formulating a reasonable plan for completion. Having provided, then, the bridge between intention and execution, I now face the final battle in consistently writing, and that would be actually writing.

Let’s just say I can be easily distracted. The internet can drag me in so easily, mindlessly checking and rechecking emails, reading old gReader feeds, looking at things I’ll never buy but think might be useful some day in a specific situation when I won’t have access to buy them anyway. You know how it goes. Enter Vitamin-R. The team at PublicSpace.Net have created a multi-function tool for Max OSX that acts like a personal trainer for task execution in the digital realm. Essentially, you take the task you’re about to work on, set a time limit for the work right now and set Vitamin-R in motion.

In the menu bar, you’ll see a clock counting down the time allocated and, depending on your preferences, audio reminders sound to tell you how much time is left, whilst a ticking clock gives you an extra sense of momentum. Personally, I typically mute all sounds but I have considered a good use for the voice reminders. My go-to composition tool when on my MacBook is WriteRoom, mainly because it does one thing only – provides a place for writing. It does not do major formatting, picture insertion, table creation blah blah blah. It just provides a minimalist writing space, and it can be set to full screen so nothing else distracts. This is great because I am one to get distracted, even by the layout of the words I’ve managed to scrape onto a page. However, in this fullscreen mode the menu bar also gets hidden, hence my idea of activating the voice countdown to give me an aural reference without enabling my web-based diversions. (more…)

iPad Review

Posted: April 16, 2010 by joelmartin in Technology

Yes, I am one of the fanatics that stood in line on day one of the iPad release to get one. The line was short and it only took about thirty minutes. Here are my disjointed thoughts on ten days with the iPad:
* Heat dissipation. I don’t know where heat from the iPad goes, but there is none to the touch on the unit. You know how when you use a laptop on your lap for any length of time, how the heat is billowing out and you start sweating? The iPad seems to emit no heat and is much easier to cradle when you are reading, surfing, etc.
* The keyboard. It’s still not ideal. Obviously it is far superior to the iPhone, and when you just want to fire off a quick email or something, it works fine. But when it comes to writing stuff like this, or working on documents, it is less than ideal. I bought the keyboard docking station [which I’m typing on right now] and it make life much easier. Personally, I’d be happy with a tablet that assumes the size of a small keyboard [such as this] as a starting point and built the form-factor of the tablet based on that size, but maybe that’s just me. (more…)