An interesting dashboard app called Freeter

I found this app last night on the BitsDuJour site and was immediately intrigued. It’s an application to create a dashboard of “widgets” that link to web pages, files, folders and offers widgets for text notes and to-do lists. After a few minutes of poking around, it works quite well to organize disparate file types. For example, for the projects I work on, there is a test web site, the Jira page with requirements, another Jira page for open tickets, a file for my test plan, the login credentials and several other pieces of information. Some are files on my machine, others are bookmarks. With Freeter, I created a panel of widgets to link to all this information in one central location. I made links to the files, embedded a web browser to show the list of tickets, another for the test sites, created text boxes to take notes and set up a space for a to-do list. Freeter supports […]

Switching from Windows to Mac OS – The Software

With my change in OS comes a change in desktop software, at least to a certain extent. There are plenty of apps with native Mac counterparts and in some cases, they’re better than the original. A standard set of software would be – an Office suite, video editor, screen capture tool, chat client, password manager, note taker and web editor. I now have a native Mac app for each one. For example, Microsoft Office was easily replaced with LibreOffice. Outlook was replaced by the built in Apple Mail. And OneNote was replaced with Outline. While Write replaced Word, I will be using Scrivener that I got a few years ago. Here is a short list of how it’s worked out so far. Word -> Scrivener Microsoft Office -> LibreOffice OneNote -> Outline Outlook -> Apple Mail Irfanview -> Pixelmator. MediaMonkey -> iTunes Notepad++ -> TextWrangler O&O DiskImage -> Time Machine This is the short list of the apps with native […]

Switching from Windows to Mac OS – The Hardware

Buying a Mac is actually a tricky affair. Because of the expense, my first thought was to build a Hackintosh. I love the idea of it, but it requires some specific hardware, some specific procedures and a bit more dedication to the cause than I’m willing to give. And, if I needed new hardware, I would rather get a real Mac and know full well it works. But where to start? Any machine would need to have at least 8 cores and 32GB of ram. That’s what I have now and anything less would be a step back. I also need to add quite a bit of hard drive space. That eliminates the Mac Mini. The iMac, especially the new one with 18 cores, meets the power criteria, but lacks the hard drive capacities and the price tag for that model is in the stratosphere. The MacBooks are nice, but it doesn’t have the cores or ram, and I’m not […]

Switching from Windows to Mac OS – The Reason

Since I switched jobs three years ago, I have been at the helm of a Mac and MacOS. This is a huge change from my decades of using Windows 3.x to Windows 7. I was a bit lost at first, but that quickly wore off and I found MacOS extremely functional. So much so, that I have decided to move away from Windows machines to Mac machines. I’ve never been a fan of Windows 8 or 10, so there was only the slimmest of chances I would upgrade and was already leaning toward Ubuntu. The latest versions of Windows haven’t been winners and in my opinion contain too many questions about security and privacy, not to mention the tricks Microsoft has used to get people to upgrade. But, I haven’t made a change because of Windows’ flaws, but rather the beneficial and useful features of MacOS. For example, here is a short but meaningful list of features that I like. […]

Kindle Fire HD 10 – A nice widescreen tablet for the Amazon ecosystem

As an upgrade to my original Kindle Fire of 2011, I pick up the Kindle Fire HD 10. It’s a pretty nice  $150 tablet that thrives in the Amazon ecosystem. While not a laptop replacement, the Fire 10 is a large tablet in a widescreen format that works well for reading and watching movies. To start, I watched an episode of the Thunderbirds and the quality and sound was quite good. Music playback can sound a little thin, but I thought it was pretty respectable out of the side speakers. If you don’t already have an Alexa device, you do now, as it’s built into the Fire, so you can ask questions, get information, find out the weather and set timers. You can also pause movies, increase the volume and switch over to music. Alexa works the same as the self-contained devices, but includes more visual feedback. For example, if you ask about the weather, you see the weekly forecast. […]