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January 20, 2010 10:51 AM

storytlr_icon.jpgAlmost a decade ago, blogging got started and today we have far too many ways to show everyone how awesome we are. You can post your photos on Flickr, Tweet your lunch and become the mayor of store and let everyone know about it. But, the lowly blog remains the one place where you can (should?) collect your thoughts into a longer and more coherent format.

The main issue with blogging is that it takes a long time if you care about it at all. You write your thoughts on a given topic, reread it, rewrite it, maybe show it to someone else for some copy editing and then post it. Back when I was blogging regularly, I was spending two hours or more per post to make sure I was making a clear point that was at least vaguely supported by a fact or two. Then I had a kid and the value of time and coherent thought went thru the roof.

Today, many people, including me, who used to blog every day are now just using Twitter since the format itself encourages you to be short and carefree. From time to time though, you want/need a longer and more permanent format, so the blog remains relevant. Still though, I have signed up for, and continued to use, many cloud services, such as Flickr, Facebook, and Digg and I'd like to have more content here on IMX than just the blog entries.

So, it's time to evolve past the blog and aggregate all of these various cloud activities, and Storytlr seems to be a way to do that. The best part is that I don't have to relinquish control which is a big deal, so I'm going to give it a try. But due to the reasons that I use Twitter a lot more and blog a lot less are still in play, so it's like the circle of life(streaming).

I think the concept of personal cloud aggregation is something MovableType can't ignore and I can see myself dropping it for the first time since I migrated from GreyMatter to MT.

December 28, 2009 11:02 AM

IMG_0633.PNG I have an iPhone 3GS and six pages of apps (I try to keeps things tidy). I use about 20 of those apps on a frequent basis and am generally over-connected. For Christmas my daughter got an iPod Touch, and since she's so young (6), I turned off the wifi connection and then configured which apps should be installed. I learned a couple of things...

  • I have many apps (read: most) that are completely useless unless there is a 3G/wifi connection.
  • The app store has tons of app for adults, but precious few quality apps for 1st grade kids.
  • I'll only pay a buck or two for an app for me, but will gladly pay $5 for a good app for my kid.
  • The entire first page on my iPhone is made up of connected apps (except Calendar and 1Password) and my daughter's first page is all games.
  • My six year old kid knows how to use an iPod Touch with ZERO instructions, but if she had to use iTunes to get apps onto it, she'd fail miserably.

There's a market here somewhere.

November 19, 2009 11:19 AM

textPlus-app-icon_large.pngI'm talking about the 2.0 version of textPlus, which I use daily. Paying for texting makes me feel like I'm actually burning my money, so textPlus saves the day since it's free to use (but has a generally sluggish user experience).

Should you pay money for something better or deal with some frustration so you don't have to pay? Like I said, I'm using the app everyday, so I've come down on the side of "free is more important than performance" but that's not going to work for everyone.

These issues really need to be resolved before I'd recommend the app to everyone.

  • It's sluggish! Almost everything you do requires some sort of loading or syncing that takes time, and texting is an inherently "NOW!" activity. While syncing and loading whatever, the app locks up, even if you are typing. You can keep typing tho and the iPhone's buffer will hold your keystrokes until the app becomes responsive.
  • When you start up the app to read or respond to a text, it has to load up an advert, and sync your current convo from the server. Even if you've received a text and saw it on screen, it usually won't immediately show up in the app since the app is syncing with the server. I just saw the message as an alert, and a preview when I loaded the app, but when I click the person's name who sent the message, it doesn't show up until the app syncs.
  • Somewhat often it will glitch in one of two ways, it will fail to connect to the servers (I usually blame AT&T for that) or the UI won't update correctly. The UI will show two texts overlapping and you have to back out and start back up to see everything correctly.
  • New in 2.0 is a bug where you'll see the app has a number badge on it indicating unread texts AFTER you've read all texts. You can reset that by opening the app, reading the unread texts from each conversation and then going back to the conversation list before quitting the app.
  • I think this might be unfixable, but the user experience from people receiving texts from you is less than optimal. The message isn't sent from your phone number, so they have to send the name you put in the app. Most phones use the phone number together with the phone book on the phone to show who sent the text. That gets broken and the result is a fairly verbose message. My wife told me to not send texts to her from the app because of this.

Everything actually works though, so it's worth giving it a try. Hopefully, over time, the app will become a lot snappier.

August 13, 2003 9:30 AM

Two machines in my office were booted from the network yesterday when they were found to be infected with MSBlast. The worm itself is not malicious (yet), but when your machine is banned, you can't get much work done. That worm yesterday cost me, my office mate, and many others time and money, and none of us did anything except run Windows. Look ma, no attachements!

I actually patched my Win2k machine before this worm could knock on its door ("hey! come on in!"). The other two Winblows machines were not so lucky.

My Mac and our Linux box had 0% downtime yesterday.

March 3, 2003 9:22 AM

We all know how to pirate MP3s right? Sure! Everyone (who's evil) knows how, but modem users like myself don't really get that much out of that system, and even worse, pirating movies is pure hell. The downloads are huge, and all of the formats are confusing, but TechTV wants to help you take those DivX files you have and pump them onto a DVD. All of the apps involved are freeware too.

February 19, 2003 8:03 AM

I've been using Mac OSX since the first public beta, which is what, 2 years ago? Ever since then, Quark has been the one big hold out on migrating to the new operating system, and now the rumors say the new OSX version will be OSX ONLY. What part of the word 'migrate' does Quark not understand... oh wait, they're a dead tree applications provider. Nevermind.

In other, more relevant news, I saw a presentation on upcoming AOL software/products/strategy, and I have to say I'm very encouraged (even if the time tables seem a bit aggressive). The training wheels are coming off, and I think the 'reset year' is going to be better than people think.

November 15, 2002 2:23 AM

For what it's worth, I thought I'd mention that I bought Transmit 2 yesterday, and I love it. Between this version of Transmit, and the new version of BBEdit, my life is much easier. This is the way software is supposed to be; well written, targeted, non-bloaty and interconnected (eg, the Edit in BBedit comment in Transmit).

September 16, 2002 11:31 AM

Two recent developments in the OSX software world make me believe lots of good stuff is on the way. The first is Camel Bones "is a framework that allows many types of Cocoa programs to be written entirely in Perl". So, you don't have to write your app in Objective C (or Java); you can write all the logic in Perl and wrap it up in sheep's clothing. If you are a Ruby coder, you can look like a sheep too.

The salient language agnosticism of OSX makes me hopeful that more and more applications written by individuals or small teams of people will emerge. Why would I be hopeful of that? Well, IMHO, small groups of people make the most innovative, timely and bloat free software, instead of 38 meg application binaries. This was true of Quicktime which was originally written by five developers. NetNewsWire is written by one guy.

September 13, 2002 11:06 AM

Transmit 2 IconI was a lucky Mac user today and got in on the private beta test of the next version of Transmit. Back in the day, I bought Transmit when it's name was Transit (no "m") because I liked it so much (I was a reformed Fetch user). The short story for this new version is that it's cocoa native, has a much improved tool bar, and can show unix file permissions inline. That's great stuff, and so far, no crashes. Here's a few more vital features in the new version...

  • The icon is cool (ok, this isn't vital, but it's cool)
  • native long filename support
  • significantly more flexible interface
  • supports fully secure and encrypted FTP connections to via SFTP/SSH
  • You can queue downloads
  • There's a built in text editor, but BBEdit it ain't (but it's still nice to have)
There's a lot more in there, but who knows how long the beta test will last, so you may have to wait a while to get the goodies.

August 6, 2002 1:06 AM

A third party search interface for MovableType blogs was updated yesterday. Like the author says, let's hope this search code makes its way into the official distribution, but I'm guessing that might (?) be one of those value-added bits of functionality that may be a premium (read: pay for) service.

Anyway, this will help out on the usability front at this site. Google referrers have been finding monthly/category archive pages on this site instead of the individual archives, and I think has lead users astray. Who wants to scroll all the way thru an entire category of posts to find the one they were interested in? No one.

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