Coda™ is brilliant!

Have you ever watched ABC TV’s ‘Extreme Home Makeover?’ If so, were you struck by how many times the family members said, “Oh, my God!” when they viewed their new home for the first time?

A company called Panic presented me with a new home, of sorts, yesterday. My home is a new Mac OS X program they’ve named Coda™. When my new home was revealed, I found myself saying things like “Wow,” “Neat,” “What Fun” and I’ll bet I even said, “Oh, my God!”

Panic describes Coda as ‘one-window web development.’ Coda helps me organize, visualize and conceptualize my web sites. I can edit, upload and download. Coda even teaches me about HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript. Coda does all sorts of impressive things, but I’ve discovered that the very best thing Coda does for me is that it facilitates my productivity.

The good folks at Panic clearly had a web site coding epiphany; one of those ‘Duh’ moments. Perhaps that’s why they called their new baby ‘Code Duh.’ Coda is brilliant! Click here to check out Coda for yourself.

Yep: Organize Your PDFs

Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I organize all my PDFs?”

Consider using Yep.

On first launch, Yep locates all the PDFs on your Mac, and shows them to you in a simple iPhoto-like interface. Yep then displays your PDF documents in one place. It’s a simple, intuitive, but amazingly powerful, PDF management system. Yep is actually easier to use than it is to describe.

I downloaded a trial version and purchased it a few minutes later.

Daylite Makes Productivity Fun!

Has anyone ever engineered a computer software program just for you?

It feels like Marketcircle did exactly that when they released version 3 of Daylite. Daylite fits my business needs perfectly.

I’m told there are approximately 13,000,000 network marketers in North America. If we assume they all own a computer and we accept that Apple’s Macs make up 6% of those computers, that means at least 1,690,000 Mac users should be lining up to check out Daylite as soon as possible.

Daylite is a very impressive, powerful, information-management tool that sports a gorgeous Mac OS X interface. I’m amazed how much I’ve accomplished in my first week using this software.

That said, it gets even better. Marketcircle’s DMI (Daylite Mail Integration) module achieves seamless integration with Apple Mail. I’ve concluded that Daylite used in combination with DMI is simply brilliant! I easily crafted 22 letter templates that allow me to quickly respond to my new customers and team members.

Background

A long time ago, I purchased the very first release of Daylite. I quickly decided that, although it showed great promise, it simply wasn’t ready for prime-time. Later, I purchased Now Up-to-Date and Contact, OD4 Contact and recently SOHO Organizer. None of these packages delivered exactly what I was looking for. I even tried a kludged together ‘solution’ that made use of a combination of Apple’s Address Book, MailTemplate, Serial Mail and iClip.

A week ago, I decided to give Daylite another whirl. I’m really glad I did. Wow, as you can tell, I’m truly delighted with the new Daylite! I look forward to discovering more of Daylite’s potential in the years to come.

My recommendation: Test Daylite to see if it fits your business. Take advantage of Marketcircle’s 30-day free trials of Daylite and DMI.

Update: I’m no longer involved with network marketing.

Mac OS X – Browsers and Bookmarks

When I last wrote about my use of web browsers and bookmarks in Mac OS X I was actively using Camino, Firefox, OmniWeb, Opera, Safari and testing Shiira. I’m no longer using OmniWeb, Opera and Shiira. Safari has become my primary browser. I use Firefox or Camino, in the increasingly rare circumstance, when I encounter a web site that’s problematic for Safari.

My bookmark management scheme has also changed; I no longer use URL Manager Pro. I synchronize my Safari bookmarks with Camino and Firefox using a nifty little app called Bookit. I maintain 15 links in my bookmarks bar and about a hundred more in my browsers’ bookmarks. These days I’m using WebnoteHappy to keep track of the thousands of other interesting sites I come across. WebnoteHappy is one of those delightful OS X apps that just feels right. It makes you feel, well… happy that you’re using a Mac.

– Take notes and tag web pages
– Find your webnotes with an iTunes-like search
– Integrated with del.icio.us
– Navigate your tags with the Tag Browser
– Organize your webnotes within Folders
– Create Smart Folders – like Smart Playlists in iTunes
– Open the associated web page for any webnote
– Import from Safari to better manage your bookmarks
– Merge duplicate bookmarks when importing from Safari
– Import from and export to XBEL
– Export to a bookmarks file
– Works with all major web browsers on OS X

I picked up a family license for just $29.95. Check out WebnoteHappy for yourself.

In Praise of SuperDuper!

I use SuperDuper! to maintain a fully bootable backup of my iMac. A couple of weeks ago my iMac G5 decided it was tired and began to unceremoniously shut itself down. Faced with potential disaster, I simply connected my PowerBook G4 to my FireWire backup drive, booted from the external drive and continued to work as if nothing had happened. My iMac was away for a week; it took awhile because replacing the power supply didn’t help, it was actually a logic board problem. Yesterday, I was back to the twenty inch screen after using SuperDuper! to update my iMac from the FireWire drive.

Many thanks to Dave Nanian and Bruce Lacey at shirt-pocket.com.

My family has owned twenty Macs in the last twenty-three years. My Macs have lived charmed lives, I’ve never paid to have a Mac fixed. I have had three hardware problems; all three occurred in the last six years. My original AirPort Base Station failed and was replaced free of charge long after the warranty had lapsed. My daughter’s iBook had a logic board problem that Apple fixed without cost to me; again, after the warranty had expired. Last week my iMac G5 required a visit to the computer technician (see first paragraph) and was repaired under warranty.

Webnote

I’m a fickle Mac browser user. I have the latest versions of Camino, Firefox, OmniWeb, Opera, Safari and Shiira in my applications folder. Safari and Firefox get used most frequently. A couple of my browsers have half-decent bookmark management, but I have also used Bookit, del.icio.us, FURL and URL Manager Pro to synchronize my bookmarks. Just yesterday, I started using WebnoteHappy Lite. Luis de la Rosa, the programmer, a Mac OS X Indie developer, is obviously a very clever fellow; he shifted my bookmark paradigm overnight. I love this little app – import from Safari – one-click URL saves – URL notes from tags to stories – FAST searches – one-click to open the link in my browser – import/export to XBEL. You need to try WebnoteHappy Lite – it’s free! I’ll be purchasing the full version of WebnoteHappy as soon as it’s available.

Who Will Win?

I loved watching Joe Montana and Michael Jordan. They both have big hearts, love the game and wanted the ball in the final minutes. I prefer proven veterans to rookies. I’ve never been able to comprehend why rookies receive huge contracts. That said, I’ve just paid for TextMate even though I own version 8 of BBEdit. I’ve heard TextMate targets ‘switchers’ and coders. I’m not a prototypical ‘PC switcher;’ I started using Macs in 1984, moved to NeXT, then to PCs and finally back to Apple and Mac years ago. I’m also not a propeller head. I do basic text editing and a little (very little) HTML, XHTML and CSS.

BBEdit is deep, feature rich, solid and proven. It has features that I’ve only scratched the surface of. I admire Rich Siegel and the gang at Bare Bones.

TextMate is fun. It feels good and has tremendous potential! I’m impressed by Allan Odgaard.

Question: So… who is going to win the Mac text editor war?
Answer: It’s not a war, but users, like you and me, win!

Macs are beginning to regain lost market share. Impressive new programs are being developed for the Mac and that’s great, but you won’t catch me betting against a veteran with a big heart. I’m looking forward to seeing future versions of BBEdit and TextMate.

Macs Are Fun

My deal is to be happy and to try to help others be happier.

Can computers and computer software help people live happier lives? Although the initial purchase of a computer is almost always an exciting, full-of-promise, time, I suspect that many, perhaps most, people quickly become frustrated with their new machines and eventually lose hope that they will ever become truly helpful devices.

Many years ago, I was uncomfortably using Windows 95 at my medical office and at home; I certainly wasn’t having fun. Almost every day I would receive calls from friends asking me questions like, “What does it mean when it says, cannot find TWAIN.DLL?” or making statements like, “I tried to install a sound card and now nothing works.” My, very tolerant, wife would actually leave the house when I was installing new PC hardware.

Shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple I found myself wearing a path in the sidewalk in front of an Apple vendor’s store here in Vancouver. I was contemplating purchasing Macs for my family, but I had a substantial investment in my PCs and my Window’s software, so it wasn’t an easy decision.

News Flash – Computers can be helpful and fun!

Moving to the Mac was the best technology decision I’ve ever made. These days when friends call with questions I say, “I’m sorry I haven’t kept up with Windows problems, I’m using a Mac.”

Consider this simple plan:

1. Buy a new Mac
2. Buy an external FireWire hard drive
3. Buy SuperDuper! and use it every day

Your computing life will never be perfect, but you will enjoy using your Mac and I’m betting that will make you happier. I run my home business with a Mac.

Toys

When I was a med student I enjoyed watching the engineering students play with their punch cards; for whatever reason, these crazy guys would curse and then throw piles of their cards in the air. They did it, for me, over and over and over again.

Later, I watched my father play with a little HP computer that sported a tiny black and white screen and a built-in thermal printer. I remember buying dad 16 K of RAM and a program called VisiCalc for Christmas.

My first personal computer was a North Star Advantage. It ran an OS called CP/M and had two large floppy drives. Shortly after buying it, I invested in an amazing 5 MB hard disc, that took almost an entire day to format.

My computing world changed forever when I saw the Apple Lisa demonstrated at a ComputerWorld store in Vancouver. My fascination with the Lisa was so obvious that one of the sales guys asked me if I would like to watch a Steve Jobs’ video. It was as if Steve understood exactly where I lived; I loved the great toys he mentioned!

Today, I play with a 20″ iMac and my wife plays with a PowerBook. Steve’s passion for great products is more evident than ever! BTW, speaking of great toys, have you seen the new iPod nano? Wow!

Imagine operating an international business, from the comfort of home, and all the while getting to play with some of the coolest toys ever. I know my dad would have been impressed.