Getting to Done: Mac-Style

Since most of what I do that matters to me these days is either composing with words or with light images, the computer is central to the way I organize, create and express myself. So the recent (end of January 08) transition to Mac has been more than a mere technological transition, and consequently, has altered my workflow off and on for several months.

Do I feel like I’m completely over that particular hump? Yes. Mostly.

But with the fact that computer techology, software and culture are constantly changing, I don’t think anyone ever gets to DONE. Even so, I’m finding some tools that at least for a while, seem to help in that regard. One step in that direction…

I paid for the recent MacUpdate bundle, and from the mix, now have a few programs I’ll use every day–and a few I’ll rarely use.

LEAP is a beefed-up finder. It is running in the background all the time, and lets me easily find my blog images, most recently edited images, pdfs, and applications or any other file in a flash. It allows tagging but I haven’t gotten into that habit yet.

TYPINATOR is a word-correction and phrase typing utility that is always on.  All the phrases and urls I used to type out now come automatically with a few letters. Words I frequently screw up are corrected no matter what program I’m typing in.

MENU-CALENDAR-CLOCK is another program that runs in the Mac Menu Bar with a pop-up calendar connected to iCal, with a drop down of calendar events and tasks. I actually use it often. In fact, I’m coming around to the wisdom of using the calendar and email that comes with Leopard, including To-dos within mail.

I was about to pay for a $40 sound editor but the bundle package contained the $80 program SOUND STUDIO. The bundle costs $69. So I think I came out pretty well. I hope to start doing some podcasts using this latter program soon.

Later (now that you’re on the edge of your seats) I’ll mention some freeware I’m using with good gains in efficiency in my workflow.

Bad news: Microsoft’s World Wide Telescope released on May 13 is something I’ve been looking forward to for almost a year. Today I downloaded it and it won’t run on my Mac Pro without an upgrade to at 3D video card. Program uninstalled with much regret.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I’m fairly sure that you have a compatible video card. Parallels just can’t emulate it properly.

    if you installed windows via bootcamp, and rebooted into it, the telescope would probably work.

    (pain in the behind though)