I am, I suppose, inspired, a little bit, but mostly Scott just reminds me that I’ve wanted to make a list (regularly) about this stuff. And not for you – for me, and for me-in-two-years to look back and laugh.
At press time, I was not a PC. I’m using an almost three-year old MacBook Pro – one of the first Intel Core Duo Macs, which won’t go forward with us into the pending 64-bit revolution. (I have worked on a few 64-bit machines, and the difference between the two platforms caused a few headaches on a recent ASP.NET project I worked on.) I am looking forward to replacing it, and also looking forward to doing that with my data in place, since Time Machine (theoretically) makes it easy to back up and restore. My AppleCare expires in eight weeks, I think.
There is a six- or seven-year old PC in the basement that doesn’t like to turn on without a warmup. It runs XP and I don’t mess with it that often. I have XP on a Parallels image I can use in emergencies, but that’s (over the past year)
- 50% time-waster games / apps that won’t run in Mac OS X
- 50% Visual Studio.
I also find myself doing more and more “general computing” (games, email, websites, Twitter, Facebook) on my iPhone, which is the third generation (3G S) iPhone. About half the time I’m reaching to take my computer out of a bag, I’m remembering that I can just go to my pocket. It’s useful.
At work, I don’t know. It’s a Mac Pro, but it’s running XP. It has two screens, and I’m fond of it.
We’re using Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 at work. That’s my job. There’s also Outlook.
Every other waking minute, I’m using a mix of:
- Quicksilver. Just got back on this one, actually. Spotlight served my needs for a year or more, I think, and it wasn’t an unhappy year. QS is a little snappier, I think, a little smarter, and has cool tricks Spotlight won’t do. (I append to a file called inbox.txt when I have an idea and don’t want to lose it.)
- TweetDeck. If you follow more than a few people on Twitter, or you just want to quarantine the high-volume high-chatter people from your real friends, you want TD’s categories. Twitter will implement that functionality someday soon, but again, at press time, we don’t have it.
- iCal. Again, this is a new experiment, but as cool as Google Calendar’s online functionality is, it’s not useful to me offline. Even with the iPhone, I’d rather trust the nearby calendar, the one that can alert me without using the text messaging network, than the one in the “cloud”.
- Gmail. Sometimes I pop open Mail.app accidentally. Sorry, Mail.app. Didn’t mean to get you excited. If you’re visiting from 2014 and I’m not still using Gmail, something very bad must have happened.
- Evernote. About six months ago, I decided I needed to keep notes. I wasn’t wrong about that – frequently looked up, temporal, never-know-when-you’re-gonna-need-it notes are helping me stay productive, but I didn’t find Evernote until a few months ago. In this case, I’m cool with the cloud.
- Safari. I’ve gone back and forth on this, too. I was pretty strict about Firefox until I fell under the “Safari just seems more like a Mac app” spell. Somehow, the little things it insisted upon stopped irking me so much. I have learned to live without my nest of plugins, and I’m none the worse for it. At work (XP, remember) I use Chrome almost exclusively.
- Google Reader. I’ve been steady with Reader for years now. Whichever one you choose, choose an RSS reader, and quit wasting your time “visiting” sites to see if they’ve changed. Your brain has much, much better things to do.
- OmniFocus. I don’t do a daily review, but I do have the ceremony of a pretty important weekly one. I’m not strict GTD, but I do enough there that I really miss it when Sunday comes and goes without me thinking – alone – about where I am and where I want to be.
- TextMate. I needed a higher-test text editor than what comes for free on the Mac, but I no longer write emails, blog posts, or anything but text files in there. It’s in the dock because I forget its name. That’s how fervently religious I am about text editors.
- Over the air digital. We’ve been DirecTV/cable-bill free for a year now. A lot of TV sneaks in on DVD / Netflix. The rest comes off the DVR.
- TiVo. Probably a little undersized for high def TV, but they sell external drives. That upgrade will happen soon enough.
- Netflix. We don’t mess with high-def media or downloads. I guess I’ve seen a couple high-def rentals from the Xbox Marketplace, but I have to have a couple of beers before the whole money-for-points-for-movie-rentals economy starts to sound reasonable. But four Netflix movies at home at a time, plus a giant online library through the Xbox and TiVo is silly for the amount we pay for it.
- iTunes. If I didn’t like it, I’d still pretty much have to use it, on account of the iPhone. Fortunately, I still think it’s the most forward-thinking, fully featured app for music collections. And anything can play music these days.
- Pandora desktop. They started talking about a desktop app for a yearly fee and that was a day one no-brainer. You have my money.
- Pulsar (XM online). XM / Sirius is a car standby (and a road-trip workhorse), but I don’t use it on my computer a ton. Still, the online service is perfect for what it is.
- Xbox 360. I really hoped to usher in a new generation of casual arcade-style gamers with the Xbox. “Casual” means that you jump on, play for 15 minutes, or maybe grab a friend and rock for an hour. The kids didn’t pick that up. (Although there’s an argument to be made that Xbox game design itself leans towards “play forever and order a pizza”.)
- iPhone games. Casual. 15 minutes. Arcade-style. Perfect. (But not the slightest bit social.)
- A big TV. Plasma. They were cheap last year. And it’s almost paid off. If I had to do it again, I’d probably go LCD. In 10 years, I probably will.