Random Bits

If you've been following the PIM series here, you know that I recently delayed my reviews because the Worldwide Developers Conference is just around the corner (a time of year when many Mac apps are updated). But I have a confession to make. This delay is also a convenient excuse! I haven't had time to devote my energies to the PIM review series over the past couple of weeks, and this offered a valid reason to postpone. With the recent update of two of the five apps in this review series (Together and EagleFiler), I plan to be back with the next review soon. I may change the order of the reviews and start with the recently-updated apps as a precaution.

Speaking of the PIM reviews, there has been an interesting development regarding this series: Alan Schmitt of Metadata posted a very well-thought out argument that VooDooPad shouldn't be part of this review series since it's a fundamentally different sort of application. Alan makes a distinction between PIMs as data organizers and PIMs as data creation tools: while the former is focused on manipulation of metadata, the latter is focused on manipulation of data. I think this is an excellent point. What I'm thinking about now is how the various Mac info managers fit on the creation vs. organization spectrum. I'll post my thoughts soon.

Meanwhile, here's a short round up of odds and ends that recently caught my interest around the Macosphere.


1. Get Satisfaction

Get Satisfaction
Get Satisfaction is a community-driven customer service site with an aim to create new and better connections between companies and users. It's a place to get tech support, a place to gripe about a product or service, a place to interact with employees from a company, and a place to share ideas. For companies, it's a great way to manage tech support and directly engage with customers (and it's free). For customers like you and me, it's a very interactive and interesting way to get help with an app or service (or just to monitor what people are saying). I also like the newly-added 'Overheard' feature on Get Satisfaction, which allows companies to track what people are saying about them in the Twittersphere. It's an interesting way to view a narrow segment of Twitter posts. It's also a novel way to generate tips and ideas for posts for bloggers (for instance, I can monitor the worldwide Twitter stream of all posts that mention Apple). I have the sense that Get Satisfaction is a harbinger of things to come as social networking/microblogging evolves and matures. It's a great tool that is worth your time to check out. Let's count down the days until it's bought by Google.


2. Alternative Twitter Views

I'm still adjusting to the Twitter phenomenon. The best description of it I've heard so far comes from Adam Christianson of the MacCast, who noted it's like iChat without the commitment. I like that. At any rate, here are a couple of interesting sites that provide alternative views of the Twitter stream. The first, twittervision, is a mash-up of Google Maps and Twitter. As you might expect, it displays Twitter posts in realtime on a world map. The second, Firehose, presents a realtime Twitter timeline. These sites aren't particularly useful, but they are interesting. The Firehose stream is particularly mesmerizing.


3. Delicious Library 2 Nears Release

Delicious Library
The developer of Delicious Library, the barcode-friendly media cataloguing tool, announced the availability of a Beta download of version 2.0 yesterday via a Twitter post. If you buy the current version of DL (1.6.6), you will get the 2.0 upgrade for free. If you've never tried DL, download the trial and check it out. It's the slickest use of the built-in iSight camera that I've seen. Note that the 2.0 Beta is optimized for OS X Leopard 10.5.3, which has not yet been released.


4. Ready-Set-Do! GTD App Updated

Ready-Set-Do!, a Getting Things Done workflow app, updated to 1.3 recently. This isn't as much an application as it is a cleverly packaged set of Applescripts that allow you to manage the files on your Mac using GTD methodology. From what I've read, this app is for people who really grok the GTD process. It appears to be most similar to Midnight Inbox, in that it aims to serve as a GTD command post to manages all the files on your Mac by creating alias links (in other words, files are not actually moved around, they are only referenced and managed through the Ready-Set-Do! interface). Interesting idea.


5. Links for web developers

blogwell's Top 100 Resources for Web Developers
I'm kind of tired of 'top ten' style lists, but blogwell.com's 100+ Resources for Web Developers is a good reference and summary.


6. Graffletopia

If you use OmniGraffle, you must check out Graffletopia. Here, you can choose from over 300,000 free stencils to use in your OmniGraffle project. GraffletopiaIf you're unfamiliar with OmniGraffle, it's a tool with which you can create diagrams. If you peruse through some of the Graffletopia styles, you will quickly get a sense of just how useful this tool can be.

Troy Kitch @troykitch