Archive for June, 2010

OmniFocus for iPad inching closer (and the surprising reason why I care about that)

June 27, 2010  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

The Omni Group recently confirmed that OmniFocus for iPad is probably technically on schedule.  They had previously slated OmniFocus for a June release on the iPad.  I am sure they think that all will be forgiven for missing their deadline just because they threw in a clever Star Wars reference.  But I am having none of that!

You might be curious at the renewed interest in OmniFocus.  After all, aren’t we using Things around here?

Well, yes, we had been using Things.  But it just didn’t seem to be helping us get things done.  It is simple to use and has a nice interface.  But there seemed to be something missing.  Something that I couldn’t put my finder on, keeping us from using it as our main task tracking system.  So we used Things as a supplement to Bento and iCal.

As you can imagine, the results were quite unsatisfying.

We have been using OmniFocus for the better part of a month — for everything apart from scheduling.  I have to say I am quite pleased.

I have found the following features particularly useful:

  • Deep folder hierarchies makes organizing tasks by topic and client much easier
  • Different views lets me easily see what I have to do from many different angles (home in on one project or see everything due within the next few days)
  • Action groups lets me make mini projects for a client engagement (the lack of nested projects was a major limitation of Things)
  • Syncing across multiple computers has enabled us to work on the road much more effectively

When I first took a look at OmniFocus, I thought it was too powerful for what I needed.  But I think that was because I really didn’t understand what I needed.  In a busy firm, living the philosophy that “if I don’t record a task, it’s not getting done” really takes a powerful tool.

We have decided that tool is OmniFocus.  And so far it’s working out nicely.

All About iOS 4

June 20, 2010  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

In a review whose depth has only been matched by Arstechnica and Digital Photography Review, TiPb last week posted a walkthrough of all of the changes coming in iOS 4 (the new name for iPhone OS).

Whatever you think you know about the changes coming this week to your iPhone, I am sure you will find something new in this article.

Mini Workhorse

June 16, 2010  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

When the first Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server was announced in October 2009, I was intrigued.  A Mini with two hard drives totaling 1TB could certainly work as a file, mail, and calendar server for a small office.  And now Apple has upped the ante.

At first blush, the new Mac Mini Server seems like mostly a cosmetic change with a minor processor bump.  The headline always seems to be the processor, but a 2.53 GHz to 2.66 GHz jump is pretty negligible (and mostly irrelevant for file servers).  It’s nice to see that Apple now supports an 8GB RAM configuration.  RAM is at a premium on servers.  But even if you don’t want to spend the $400 to upgrade from 4GB to 8GB, you’re definitely going to enjoy the new 7200 rpm hard drives.

Previously, the Mini came with what were essentially laptop hard drives, 5400 rpm.  The server version now comes with two 500GB 7200 rpm drives.  It’s a subtle difference, to be sure.  But even minor increases in data access speed will start to add up over the weeks and months.

I have been looking into getting a server for some time.  At the moment we are using primarily syncing and sharing technologies.  But a central server has some appeal.  Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to implement it.  The new Mini is cute, but I don’t need another desk accessory.

Back in Business

June 15, 2010  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

It’s been no secret that this blog has languished for some time.  A lot has gone on since I last updated this site regularly.  So it’s time for me to get Apple Briefs back in business.

News, tips, and changes are headed your way.  Stay tuned.