Tag Archives: macos x

Pandora Widget

I’ve been using Pandora to fuel my internet radio listening habits for quite a while.  It’s a cool service and does a good job of finding music that I both enjoy and often haven’t heard before (at least unti l’ve listened to a given station for hours on end).  The one minor downside has been that it takes up yet another tab in my browser.  Until now that is- I had a brief 3:45 AM aha moment and realized that there was probably a Pandora Dashboard Widget. 10 seconds later I had it downloaded and installed. Problem solved.

Pandora Dashboard Widget

Writing In Bursts

One of my biggest downfalls when it comes to blogging and writing in general is my tendency to over think each individual sentence and word. I find that my output quickly grinds to a snail’s pace as I over analyze what I’m writing and search for the perfect turn of phrase. Even Mary, my lovely wife, has commented on how long it seems to take me to write what should be a quick email to a friend.

Becomes of the various projects I have in the works in conjunction with the big axodys reboot/remodel/axodys(heh!) I definitely want to start maximizing my writing efficiency. As such I’ve been looking into different strategies for improving my writing output.

Recently I got an email from Bum Marketing guru, Travis Sago, that included a link to a free ebook that offered various strategies for improving your writing speed. The ebook wasn’t particular long, but the idea that really jumped out at me was the idea of writing in short timed bursts.

There’s something about being up against a clock that has a certain appeal to me so I’m actually giving it a try as I write this. On the one hand I think the quality of my writing could drop, but I don’t think it will drop off that significantly. Mainly I’m curious to see how many words of cogent content I can get down on the screen, before my time is up. Finding a way to compete against myself is usually a pretty effective way for me to find improvement.

To aid me in this task I did a quick search on Google and downloaded the unassuming little widget I found called minutes (runs on MacOS 10.4 or higher). Minutes only takes up about a square inch on your dashboard and can be set for for up to 600 minutes or as few as 1. The downside of using a widget like minutes is that you can’t glance over at it to see a nice to-the-second countdown number unless you specifically pull up the Dashboard. On the other hand, minutes actually calculates what time of day the alarm will go off so you can glance at your menubar clock to see how much time you have before the alarm goes off.

Working against the clock allowed me to write the bulk of this post in a productive 15 minute block of time. I’m excited to further experiment with writing in bursts further because finding 10 to 15 minute chunks of time is very doable even at a place like our house where there are lots of young kids seeking my attention.

Of course writing in bursts is just one strategy and I’m sure that there are a lot of other good ideas for writing quickly and efficiencty. Please leave a note in the comments if you have any good tips or suggestions for increasing writing speeds.

MacOS X DP 3

Ars Technica has a great article on MacOS X Developers Preview 3.

I haven’t been putting any mention of Ferris boys basketball games in my weblog this season, but yesterday’s come from behind regional victory over Walla Walla definitely warrants a mention.

MacOS X Debut

The live webcast is working surprisingly well. I guess that Akamai network technology really works. The new iDrive technology is fairly intriguing. Looks like they’re going to be rolling out Mac OS X throughout the next year with sales starting during the summer (presumably around MacWorld).

Wow! MacOS X looks great!  Makes me want to run out and become and Apple Developer so I can get the new betas later this year.

The only disappointing item in the presentation was that the Microsoft Rep sounded like <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/mac/ie/autodemo/default.htm">IE 5 for the Macintosh</a> won't be out until the end of January.  I guess their official press release will be in a half hour.

One new IE 5 feature that is definitely a good thing is that there is a mode to make pages render at the 96 dpi industry standard and end the micro font rendering woes that occur when reading PC generated pages.  I noticed Mozilla build 12 for the Mac does the same thing a while back as well.  Standardization is always a good thing!