I saw one of my co-workers today, Brett, using Quicksilver, and was giddy with excitement. We were chatting with Fred about Apple computers. He was contemplating getting a mac.
Brett showed Fred some of the web development apps he had installed, and was calling them up with Quicksilver Elven magic. I quickly chimed in about Quicksilver and it’s wonderful ways, and how no mac user should be without out it.
It’s so true.
I would highly recommend, unequivocally to any mac user, that they should use Quicksilver, as it changes lives and helps angels get their wings. Ok, maybe not the latter, but definitely the former in terms of workflow, and zooming around at light speed on your mac.
I was beginning to read Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury, recommended by Corey Doctorow on Boing Boing, and I immediately had a fantastic impulse to write. Not one to lose out on these moments, I put down my Sony Reader and grabbed my Black Macbook.
As I got up from bed and walked to grab my computer, I had an epiphany.
Earlier I had been reading Paul Graham’s Holding a Program in One’s Head, and this ironically enough, was still loaded in my memory. It spoke of the tremendous concentration, and distraction free environment that is required to write great code, or to simply get a problem loaded in your head well enough, that can make the attempt.
With Mr. Graham still in RAM, and Mr. Bradbury’s exquisite words still oozing from my brain like honey, I stumbled upon an a realization that my lack of writing regularly, and writing well was based upon (a) my lack of commitment, but more importantly (b) my inability to stay focused writing on the computer when I have a hundred other things begging for my attention. I’m talking to you Google Notifier, Adium, and Twitterific!
My solution thus far (and that has provided me with the ability to write this post in one sitting!) is this:
Create another user account on you mac via system preferences, I simply named mine “writing”. Maybe don’t make yourself an administrator on this account, so you won’t fiddle with settings.
Choose one writing app and stick with it. I have chosen Textmate for it’s fabulous Markdown Bundle, Blogmate, Flickrmate, and other wonderful tools within Textmate that make my blogging experience 100 times better. Although I like Scrivener a lot, and I do think MarsEdit is a good product, at the end of the day I just need something that is low profile and works damn good for what I do.
Don’t fuck with the simplicity of the system! In other words, once you have all your distractions gone, and it’s you, the computer, your writing app, and your ideas, don’t add back those darn distractions that you’re trying to get away from. Don’t even think of firing up Meebo. I mean it!
Write, write, and write some more for your own peace of mind.
In one of the many hacks of getting through a writer’s block (in this case, to write about writing), I’ve managed to spit out over 500 words in a blog post, which is not too shabby for me. I’d be interested in seeing what Mr. Merlin Mann thinks about this approach to distraction free writing on the mac.
I was just playing a round with the new iMovie ‘08 and my wife’s Canon SD30 (not really a video camcorder but it works pretty well), and I have to say I was impressed.
Once you wrap your head around iMovie ‘08’s new interface (if you’ve used the previous iMovie), then you realize how quickly edits can be made. Not only that but the addition of direct to Youtube feature is amazing (read as “groundbreaking/revolutionary”).
I discovered that once iPhoto had actually imported the video from my camera, it showed up in iMovie under “iPhoto Videos”. Very convenient integration going on there. And before I had noticed it, I was unsuccessfully trying to drag the movie from iPhoto to iMovie directly which didn’t work. I was being a dumb user, so shame on me.
Once I got the video into iMovie, I just selected what parts I wanted (which happened to be the whole thing), and dragged it up into the pane above. Once that was done, I simply clicked “Share”, and then “Youtube” from the dropdown menu.
A dialog appears asking you to allow iMovie to post to your Youtube account. Once iMovie is approved which is seconds because I was already logged into Youtube, you are ready to upload. It prepared it, compressed it, and posted it, all in two clicks.
I heard about this in detail over at TWIT.TV as Alex Lindsay expertly described this situation, and how he and his crew over at Pixel Corps were going to use it to make quick edits while they’re at big conferences. And then later polish it in Final Cut using the export to Final Cut feature.
I’m going to have a lot of fun throwing together things in iMovie now. I think I may be using this when I go to Photoshop World to work.
I thought all I had to worry about as a young adult would be financial debt. I never thought in a million years that there would be this movement of people that needed to “bankrupt their email”. I never had too much of a problem with email, and I wasn’t sure why these other bloggers were making such a big deal of it.
Then it hit me when I read John Grubber’s post on Rethinking Email: It’s a generational gap. The prevelant bloggers like Merlin Mann and John Grubber that are speaking to these things are people that have been in the interwebs business awhile.
While I cannot remember a time without the Internet, I can remember when there wasn’t widely available free email accounts. And when I did finally have more access to the Internet around 1995 or so, there was Hotmail and a few other big players, and I didn’t think anything of email management and the sort then.
The difference is that they used email in a college/business environment before I ever got my first Hotmail account, and that makes our perspectives on email entirely different for sure. They’ve been using it for 15 years, and I’ve been using it regularly for six maybe.
I think us kids can learn a lot from the likes of Merlin Mann and his Inbox Zero Series and Presentation. Hopefully, having grown up in the infancy of the webmail (yes I realize that was a huge paradigm shift at the time), I can have the foresight to not let my email get to the point of bankruptcy.
The security guard asked if I was from a radio station, when I took a picture?!? She said I couldn’t take pictures of the mall. I said no, and continued walking. At this point there were about 75 people total…some let inside in front of the store, the rest outside in parking lot E.
Went in and had lunch with some Apple store folk, and then they had to go back and ready the store from 2 -6pm.
Want to know who is first in line at the International Plaza Store? None other than Nick Starr. We Twittered back and forth about what was going on today. Wish I could be in line with all of those people.