43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Apple, Macs & OS X

3 iPhone Media Apps (that Feel a Little Like Magic)

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 »

Quicksilver's Back; Nerd Hope Cautiously Restored

New Quicksilver builds | Hawk Wings

Quicksilver Logo

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.

Please note that this is only a bug fix version, the creator of Quicksilver (Alcor) is working on a complete re-write of the frameworks of Quicksilver and should hopefully release it soon ;)

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 »

MobileMe: .Mac's iPhone-Friendly Replacement

Apple - MobileMe

MobileMeThere'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:

  • Individual account quota doubled to 20GB of storage, including email and files (.Mac currently offers 10GB at the same price)
  • MS Exchange-like "push" syncing between applications on multiple Macs as well as your iPhone, via the MobileMe "cloud"
  • Revamped, web-based Me.com versions of Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, and iDisk applications

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 »

MBW 81: Throbbers, excess moisture, Johnson Rods, and Male Answer Syndrome

MacBreak Weekly 81: Click the Throbber

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Andy Ihnatko, and Alex Lindsay Safari 3.1, security update, Apple mulls music subscription plan, this week's picks and more.

Here's a direct MP3 download of MBW 81.

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 »

Nuclear reset for .Mac syncing

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.

Apple's .Mac syncing features are sometimes no exception to these problems, and even though Apple provides a number of decent solutions in its .Mac sync support pages, they don't always work. Fortunately, a brief adventure using .Mac sync chat support (found at the bottom of that aforelinked page) cleared up a repeating "merge/overwrite" sync dialog problem for me, and we felt the procedure was worth sharing.

FWIW, here's a few other things I do (as a raving .Mac paranoiac):

read more »

Life Without a Laptop, Two Months Down

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 »

1Password beta: Secure name and password filling for iPhone's Safari

Safari AutoFill for iPhone and iPod Touch (Switchers' Blog)

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.

click to view larger

From Dave's post on the company's blog:

read more »

Macworld Expo '08: Merlin talks with the makers of 1Password

Aha! Embeddable video for a third MacBreak interview at Macworld '08 has turned up -- this one's with Dave Teare at Agile Web Solutions, makers of 1Password.

As we discuss in the video, I'm really looking forward to seeing 1Password's secure password bookmarklet for iPhone.

MacBreak: Macworld 2008/Agile Web Solutions

 MacBreak (iPod video) - MacBreak 122: Macworld 2008: 1Password

read more »

Getting Sandy in my Face

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 »

.Mac: Future of a sleeping giant?

TUAW Interviews Merlin Mann

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 »



An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »