Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to fly like an aero with Mac?

Just wanted to point out a wicked piece of software for the Mac that lets you do the "Aero Snap" feature found in Windows 7.

It's called "Cinch" and it's available from Irradiated Software (an independent software developer named Steve).

Well worth the -- appropriately priced -- 7 bucks. And I say that as a cheap bastard who'd rather buy pickled beets than buy software.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

And we're back

Sorry for the delay between posts. That's the last time I fly Air Canada anywhere.

Lots of tech to talk about since my last post. Lots. Google's new software and hardware forays, Apple's resurgence with a murderer's row of fantastic product releases -- Apple TV excepted -- and Microsoft's continuing decline into irrelevance.

Let's start with the iPad, since that's actually a fairly recent product.

I don't want one.

Sure, it's slick looking and futuristic. But I don't see a place for it in my life. I have a laptop (my 2008 MacBook Pro still going strong) that comes most places with me, but my 32 GB iPod Touch does all the really mobile stuff, with a few exceptions. There's really not a lot of room in there for a device in between, despite what Steve Jobs insists.

I have given this some thought. If I decide I need a light mobile platform, my future looks like this:
Dell 10v Mini

A Dell 10v Mini system hacked to run OS X, aka a "Hackintosh". You get all the mobility of the iPad, but with the option of running all the OS X software I've already bought (especially OmniFocus for productivity management and Scrivener for authoring), along with specifying my own ways of consuming all the media that the iPad keeps wrapped up in their own DRM (digital rights management). 

Lots of digital ink has been spilled covering Apple's decision to hold ownership of media content in their hands, rather than letting users own the media they've paid for. I'm not here to debate that, but it irks me and I'd rather go in a different direction.

It's also cheaper. The 10v is $299, plus an extra $30 for a Snow Leopard installation disk. The cheapest iPad is $499 in Canada. 

I will admit, I don't have 3G connectivity with the Dell. And it's a pound heavier. And, well, it's not nearly as sexy. But I get a camera, a bigger display, 160 GB of storage. And I can plug USB devices directly into the damn thing without an extra acce$$sory. And it's a real computer, not a glorified ebook reader.

I'm looking forward to making this happen. Just gotta root under the couch cushions for that $350. I'll let you know how things go.