Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Apple, Macs & OS X
Merlin Mann | Jul 16 2008
There are so many amazing new apps on the iPhone store that I hope to review here (and I'll certainly spend time on a few more over coming weeks), but today I want to point you to three applications that make me feel like I'm a music fan of the very-near-future -- where personalized data flies through the air, phones play rock music based on your personal preferences, and everybody listens to Silkworm on moving sidewalks and in tricked-out rocket cars.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 8 2008
Since going open source late last year, things have seemed pretty quiet in the world of our favorite app launcher, Quicksilver. Today, our pal, Tim Gaden of Hawk Wings, posts on the availability of a bug fix release of Quicksilver that's come out in the last few weeks. He also points to a thread on the QS Google Group that suggests Quicksilver's auteur and flippered mystery bot, A1c0r, is currently hard at work on a substantial rewrite.
The post by user Patrick also refers to a separate, similarly numbered "Ankur's cleaned-up QS version," which refers to the work Ankur Kothari has been doing primarily to reduce the weight of Quicksilver's code.
These have been white knuckle months for me (and a lot of other Quicksilver nerds), dreading the inevitable OS X update that might break the aging Quicksilver build we've been using. This all seems like encouraging news -- although you have to hope at some point the different folks working on improvements will be able to consolidate their efforts into one big, happy, branch.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jun 9 2008
There's lots to digest from today's WWDC Stevenote -- not least of which was the dramatic announcement of a 3G iPhone for only $199. But you'll be hearing lots about that in a million places. I want to talk about my first impressions about something even closer to my heart that's at least different this time around, if not entirely new.
Today, Steve announced the upcoming release of Apple's MobileMe service, which will replace the existing .Mac service at the same price of $99/year for an Individual account, while adding some new features, including:
As someone who's had strong feelings, high hopes, and occasional disappointmens with .Mac, I'm going to spend some time over the next few weeks looking into what these changes will mean for the always-on knowledge worker -- particularly now that the service is clearly moving toward tighter integration with iPhones, the iPod Touch, and web-based usage. But first, just a few things to note here (quickly and on first impression):read more »
Merlin Mann | Mar 20 2008
Very fun episode this week if I do say so. Andy and I nerded out a lot, there was much jollity, we worked blue a few times, and my (repeat) pick o' the week is SafariStand -- specifically for the amazing "Copy Link as Markdown" and "Copy Link HTML Tag" functionality. Dammit: go pimp your Safari!
Update, 2008-03-20 16:29:45
Next Week: Patrick Wilson from Weezer
Oh, man. How did I forget this? Next week, MacBreak Weekly's special guest will be Pat Wilson, the drummer from Weezer and The Rentals and the multi-instrumental leader of That Special Goodness. Yeah, I know; I can't believe it, either, but he actually asked Leo if he could be on the show. Weird. I wonder if he sent email to the wrong place and actually thinks we're Grammar Girl or something.
Anyhow, it's on, and I'm thrilled, because I go way back with Weezer. After the jump's a live video of an old Weezer favorite (which, according to WikiPee, Pat co-wrote), "My Name is Jonas."read more »
Merlin Mann | Feb 26 2008
How-To: Truly reset your .Mac sync data [Ars Technica]
I never have trouble finding company when it comes to whining about the reliability of .Mac syncing. It's surely not fair to lay all of this at the feet of the .Mac developers -- sync is, we are often reminded, "hard." But if you want to rely on syncing your Calendars, Contacts, Preferences, snippets, Yojimbo, and what have you via .Mac in a battlefield environment, you're going to need a strong stomach, a lot of patience, and reliable backups. Plus, friends, you will regularly have to _reset frickin' everything_.
Entirely overfamiliar with that particular reality, I was pleased to get pointed toward David Chartier's tutorial on saving your .Mac's village by burning it to the ground. It's a handy, illustrated companion piece to Apple's own advice on scorching earth. Very handy, and, yeah, you will eventually need it. So print it out. Maybe even have it laminated.
FWIW, here's a few other things I do (as a raving .Mac paranoiac):read more »
Matt Wood | Feb 13 2008
It has now been two months since I sold my laptop and started working with just a Mac Mini in my office and an iPhone, and I've more or less survived. I never expected it to be permanent, but unless my life changes drastically and I have to start traveling full-time, I could probably go on like this indefinitely. My real work hasn't suffered, because I was doing all of that on the desktop anyway, and with Google Reader's killer mobile version, I've been able to satisfy any web surfing urges away from the computer.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 31 2008
Babies, iPhones and very-high-security passwords can be a bitter cocktail; it's really hard to enter a 28-character/mixed-case/special character password on the iPhone while you're holding 15 lbs. of undulating infant. Trust me.
So, if you caught video of my recent interview with Agile Web Solutions' Dave Teare, you could see how excited I was to learn about a then-upcoming beta which would support autofill name- and password-entering via secure bookmarklets on your iPhone. Well, the day has arrived, and, brother, am I ever loving this.
From Dave's post on the company's blog:read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 22 2008
As we discuss in the video, I'm really looking forward to seeing 1Password's secure password bookmarklet for iPhone.
read more »
Gordon Meyer | Jan 20 2008
For quite a while now, Tasks Jr has been my task management tool of choice. I switched to it from my own Tinderbox-based system after I decided that having access to my list from any 'net-connected system was important to me. But now I've switched again.
Over time, the aesthetics of Tasks Jr's design, its limitations (which are resolved by the more advanced versions, I must admit), and the fact that a recent MySQL/PHP update at my web host caused problems made me think about finding another solution.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 18 2008
My tall, new friend Scott McNulty interviewed me yesterday for TUAW's Macworld coverage -- unintentionally providing me a fine bully pulpit from which to perpetuate my baseless theories and half-baked forecasts about how Apple might eat the lunches of about three different industries over the next couple years.
If they can pull it off, if they can fix .Mac, and if they have the vision to re-imagine themselves as the company who makes your entire digital world safe, fun, ubiquitous, and flawlessly integrated.
Anyhow, on with the motley, but stay tuned after the jump for value-added hand-waving.
So, exactly what the hell nonsense am I talking about here?read more »
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