Little things that smooth the way.

Techy, geeky stuff again. I’m going to stop apologising for that. For a while, there, I toyed with launching another blog as an outlet for the geeky things I like to post; I’m aware that it’s not really the cup of tea of everyone who reads here. I was going to call it Heartless Gravity. (Extra points if you figure out why.) For now, though, I’ve decided to keep it all here.

Having just gone through a (relatively painless) operating system upgrade, I’ve been noticing the little things, software especially, which make my day go just a bit more easily.

  • 1Password is very first on the list of software that I'd have trouble functioning without. With so much business being done online and web applications as far as the eye can see, I've ended up with what feels like hundreds of username/password pairs to try and remember. Better that everything has its own (difficult) password, so 1Password remembers them all for me and I only have to remember its single (stonkingly complex) master password. Best make sure that database is backed up...
  • MobileMe is the over-the-air syncing service from Apple. It was a little flaky when it first launched, but now it keeps the diaries and address books on my computer and on my phone matched up without me having to do anything about it. This is the service that got me away from pen and paper for everything, which is enough of an achievement alone.
  • Caffeine is dead simple. It's a little icon in the menubar of my Mac that deactivates the screen saver, sleep setting or anything else that will affect the screen when the computer is idle. Don't try and give a presentation without it.
  • Things is a simple, slick task tracker, and it even syncs to my phone. I could never do lists, but over the last few years I've developed a serious habit. Things tracks everything for me. If you take it away, I'll never get anything done.
  • TextMate is just a text editor. Like Notepad, or TextEdit. A big, smooth Lexus hybrid, or a Porsche 911, is just a car. Like a Corsa or a Fiesta. TextMate can be the Lexus or the Porsche. Or a Landrover. I do more and more of my writing in plain text, before dropping it into Word or Pages or whatever, and I've tried a ridiculous number of text editors. TextMate won that race.
  • ChronoSync keeps my local copy of all my work documents in step with what's on the file server in the office, so I don't have to think about it.
  • Spotify sits alongside iTunes, keeping my ears happy through the day.

And that’s just the software, and only that of it that’s always running every day. There’s plenty more.