Wednesday, April 21, 2010

iographica for MacOS X

Where does the time go? I don't know -- but thanks to IOGraphica on my Mac, I do know where my mouse goes. Pretty pictures, from tracking your mouse for a few hours. Goodbye, boring text-only weekly status reports!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hard Drive Activity Lights

Remember hard drive activity lights? Yeah, back in the day they all had them, so they could blink in self-importance when your disk was busy with data-doing things. Then they fell out of vogue, so people wrote little applets that blinked an icon on your screen to do the job. Then those went out of style. No more drive activity indicators.

Well now that everything is virtual I'd like them back. I've been building an unfortunate number of windows servers, and during the initial tango of reboots and patch applications, you can't really tell when the disk is thrashing versus when the system is ready for input. You kinda get used to waiting for a few seconds of idle-looking-ness and giving it a sort of "are you done yet" drag of a window to see how quickly it redraws.

I think a simple hard disk activity light would make me feel a little more in control of the situation.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Tools

Okay, I just placed the order for my next Timbuk2 bag. It's the new-fangled Laptop Messenger, with rubbery laptop sleeve and napoleon pocket. Size small, because I'm finding the iPad is just fine as my bring-to-work personal machine.

I need some other tools too. I need another swiss-army language. Back in the day this was Perl (before that it was Hypercard) and I used it everywhere I saw a nail sticking up. Perl's showing its age and I wonder what I think of python or php. Really all I need is a language that I'm still learning, so that boring little automation tasks are a fun challenge to discover and implement, rather than yet-another stupid perl or bash script.

Maybe by the time the bag arrives (four or five business days!) I'll have an idea of what language to learn. Or maybe I'll just flip a coin.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Index Card Trick

Every day you have an index card (Mac OS Stickies note) with the five things you're gonna that day. My lists are things like "load OS on blahblah" or "do draft project plan for froofroo" -- real accomplishments, not just fiddly bits. But I'm really feeling like I'm getting a lot done, with just five each day. So I figured maybe my friends might want to try.

It's especially nice because five things is totally doable. Or you know exactly what got in the way. It's not a big critical path analysis on some monolithic project plan -- just five things. It's really working for me.

Oddly, some folks who have no idea that I do this, seem to understand what I mean when I say "okay, I'm putting that on my index card for tomorrow." Maybe it just sounds official.