An awesome to-do app

The reason I love this app is it does one thing, and one thing well.
Really well.

“Today” allows you to add the tasks you need to do TODAY. a brilliant
UI, and a very clever UX. tilt the device portrait to view tasks, tilt
the device landscape to add tasks.

Get it here http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/today-todo-basic/id341902044?mt=8

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Collaboration Software?

>One of the things i really love about my job as a change agent is setting up new efficient systems or processes – especially if the old ones were super inefficient.

Currently I am in the middle of researching the best software to allow our team to collaborate in the most efficient manner.

I really want something that is going to complement our workflow, rather than become just another learning curve and just another piece of software to use.

I also really want something that minimises paper-trails – I’m always nervous when there are multiple versions of a document floating around!

Currently I am choosing between:

1. Google Apps (Free, but limited in its scope)

2. Some groupware solution (Group-Office, Kolab, Tonido)

3. Basecamp (Expensive, but extensive scope)

4. Some self hosted option ?

has any one had any luck with using any of these? How did you find them?

UPDATE:

After spending hours trawling Google, and not really finding something that matched our desired workflow and our desired cost range, we were thinking of just going with Basecamp. However it didn’t quite do what we wanted, it seemed also that the API hadn’t seen much action recently, and the pricing was just a little too high. However in the process of trying to find add-ons and API wrappers for Basecamp, I stumbled across TeamworkPM vs Basecamp.
Voila! Exactly what we were after. Hopefully I will get the chance soon to post a full review here, but at the moment, after using it for two weeks, I can definitely say that we are LOVING IT. The team at TeamworkPM are friendly, respond to emails quickly and in a human (as opposed to a bot) fashion, and they are continually upgrading and releasing new features. The TeamworkPM team seem to be full of energy and wanting to make decent software – which is something I like. It reminds me of energetic startups like Twitter and Foursquare. Challenging the status quo!

Autosave in iWork

>One of my biggest frustrations with iWork is the lack of some of the really obvious things – like autosaving. Fortunately, iWork barely ever crashes (unlike M$ alternatives), but there are the occasional glitches, and human error is always a factor.

Recently, I was working on an assignment and had forgotten to save my work. I was so engrossed in the assignment that I also ignored my laptops warning that it was now running on reserve battery power. 
When my laptop eventually shut down through lack of power, I wasn't too worried, since in the past I have just plugged it in, and then waited for it to load from the sleepimage. however, for some unknown (and highly frustrating) reason, it didn't boot from the sleepimage this time but completely rebooted! Thus I lost two hours worth of work, which is demoralising as well as frustrating.
This sent me on a quest to find recovery solutions, and alas, i found none that were satisfactory. However I did find a script (and hence the real reason for this blog post) that runs in the background and autosaves your iWork documents. It defaults to every 10mins, but can be easily modified to suit.
The script is available here (For_iWork > iWork '09 > autoSave_iWork.zip), and I recommend setting it to run on login! [NB – a '08 version is also available]

Microsoft’s misguided tablet strategy is the apotheosis of the company (via Jason Hiner)

I came across this post and thought I should re-blog it.

Microsoft’s misguided tablet strategy is the apotheosis of the company (via Jason Hiner)


Let’s be clear: Microsoft doesn’t have a tablet.

In fact, the company barely has a tablet strategy, despite what Steve Ballmer urgently told investors last week about Windows tablets that will soon compete with the iPad.

We’ve heard it all before. I sat in the front row at Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote in January, on the eve of Apple’s iPad announcement, when Ballmer tried to preempt Steve Jobs by announcing Windows 7 “Slate PCs” that would be released during 2010.

While the iPad has turned into an international phenomenon, Ballmer’s promise turned out to be little more than vaporware. No Windows 7 tablets have hit the market, or even been officially announced.

Ballmer showing off an old pen-based Tablet PC. Photo credit: CNET

The flagship slate PC from Hewlett-Packard that Ballmer showed off at CES got cancelled by HP because Windows 7 was reportedly too much of a power hog. ASUS, which had been planning to power its Eee Pad with Windows, switched horses and went with Android instead. And, one of Microsoft’s most reliable partners, Dell, also spurned Windows for Android on its tablet — the Dell Streak.

You can’t blame these traditional Microsoft partners for balking at Windows 7 on their tablets. After all, Microsoft has treated these devices as just another form factor of the PC, and Microsoft saw the biggest advantage of Windows 7 tablets being that they had all the power and capabilities of a full PC. That was a fundamentally misguided approach.

The iPad and the forthcoming Android tablets are much more like smartphones than PCs, and users tend to like these devices for two reasons:

  1. The touch-based interface is far more self-evident than a traditional PC or Mac
  2. The app experience provides single-task immersion that makes it easy to do things

You simply can’t recreate those two factors in a tablet with a full PC operating system. It’s too complicated. A few people inside Microsoft recognized that and they trumpeted Windows Embedded Compact 7 (based on the old Windows CE) as an answer for a Microsoft-powered tablet computer that could match the capabilities and user experience of Android and iPhone.

But, that naturally confused everyone. After all, Ballmer had already declared the full Windows 7 as Microsoft’s tablet platform in January. And, in February, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 as the company’s next smartphone platform, setting off speculation that it could also become the natural candidate for a Microsoft tablet.

Microsoft did little to help clear up the confusion. In fact, the company said that it would “continue to support, ship and sell [Windows Mobile] 6.5″ even after the incompatible Windows Phone 7 devices arrived. And, this spring the company also released the ill-fated Kin smartphone, which was based on an entirely different mobile platform altogether and which was so poorly received in the market place that Microsoft and Verizon killed it less than two months after launching it.

So Microsoft has talked about five different mobile platforms in 2010: Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Phone 7, Kin, and Windows 7, with very little explanation about how these platforms relate to each other and which ones Microsoft wants to use in which settings. Is it any surprise then that Microsoft is flailing so badly in the mobile space and has no coherent tablet strategy?

And I think it’s fair to say that Microsoft’s tablet troubles are indicative of the larger problems that are haunting today’s Microsoft — similar teams competing for resources, minimal collaboration between similar projects, and not enough vision from the top to get everyone pushing in the same direction.

What’s puzzling is that Ballmer and the Microsoft board of directors haven’t come under greater fire for this lack of product focus, and for the misguided strategies that have led to Microsoft falling so far behind in the mobile computing race, which will likely end up spreading to far more people around the globe than the PC revolution.

This failure is a direct consequence of Microsoft putting an accountant in the CEO position to succeed Bill Gates. Steve Ballmer has done an excellent job of maximizing Microsoft’s profits and milking as much money as possible out of consumers and businesses for Microsoft products — primarily Windows and Office. But, Ballmer has done little to propel the company forward technologically or strategically.

That’s why Wall Street has continued to bet against Microsoft. The stock market is a barometer of the expectations of a company’s future success. Microsoft’s stock price has hovered in virtually the same place for a decade because Ballmer’s leadership has given the market no reason to bet on Microsoft’s future.

When you hear Ballmer speak, the stuff he gets most excited is things like explaining that Microsoft now has eight separate billion dollar businesses. Ballmer would make a great CFO or COO/President of Microsoft. He’d also be a great CEO of a mature public company trying to maximize its profits in order to produce a dividend for its shareholders.

However, Microsoft’s top dog needs to be a product leader. If you look at all of today’s successful tech companies, they almost all have a product visionary at or near the top of the org chart.

Microsoft still has plenty of strong assets and a ton of smart engineers in Redmond. But, where’s the leadership? What’s the company’s vision of the future of computing? At a time when mobility is about to power the next great wave of expansion in the technology industry and bring the benefits of computing to hundreds of millions of new people, Microsoft is standing on the sidelines still trying to figure out which play to run.

Hiring the Right Fit (via Read Write Web)

>

Hiring the Right Fit For Your Startup Culture (Via Read Write Web)

Written by Audrey Watters / July 19, 2010 4:00 PM / 2 Comments


bee_thistle_jul10.jpgWhen we asked earlier this month "Is a job at a startup right for you?," we alluded to the importance in having not just the right skills for the job, but the right personality as well. Of course, being a good fit as an employee is important regardless of the company's age or establishment. But it seems particularly key for startups, where it's expected everyone share some of the same drive, ferocity and confidence that the founders do – that so-called "startup culture."

There can be strong pressures to simply hire someone – anyone – particularly if your startup is experiencing a rapid growth spurt and desperately needs to bring on more staff. And this pressure can make you feel like the cultural fit isn't as much a concern as just filling the seat. According to Jonathan Kay, Grasshopper's "Ambassador of Buzz," the founders of the small-business support company say that ignoring the importance of culture while hiring was one of the early mistakes they made. "When we hit our big boom," says Kay, "we were hiring people left and right and were worried primarily with bringing in the best technical fit for the job."

To help address this, Grasshopper spells out key elements of its company culture and makes sure these values are stressed during the hiring process. Noting that this means much of an interview is devoted to assessing this cultural fit, Kay says that employees need to demonstrate they have these core values, not just the requisite skill set, in order to move forward in the interview process.

Arguably, that cultural fit can be seen in a variety of ways. You can ask questions during the interview process. You can, as Mark Suster suggests, schedule one meeting with job candidates take place over food. You can probably hazard a few guesses based on the absence of creativity in a resume (or, I suppose, the presence of Comic Sans). You can look at your potential hires' past experience with startups, their side projects, and their social media presence in order to gauge whether or not they fit with your culture.

Of course, all this assumes you know what your company culture is – not merely the grandiose wording of a mission statement, but the ways in which your team actually works together.

HOW TO: Use Game Mechanics to Power Your Business (Via Mashable)

>

HOW TO: Use Game Mechanics to Power Your Business (Via Mashable)

Game Pad ImageShane Snow is a regular contributor to Mashable and tweets at@shanesnow. This post was co-authored by Phin Barnes, a principal at First Round CapitalSneakerheadVC and creator of the Xbox game, Yourself!Fitness. He has also served as a consultant to MTV games.

Before Foursquare managed to storm social media, GPS friend finders and city guides did in fact exist. But, Foursquare quickly became a star, engaging hundreds of thousands of users in just a few months and turning them into evangelists for its product. It did this by taking the existing geo-social concept and turning it into a game. Video game-esque elements like “badges” and “mayorships” hook you long enough so that you discover the true utility of the app, and stick with it long-term.

Common game elements like points, badges, leaderboards, and levels are proven (and increasingly popular) ways to engage customers and encourage profit-driving consumer behavior. Foursquare is a great example of why these work. However, many proponents of this type of “funware” in product development and marketing miss the larger point: “How” you incorporate game mechanics is just as important as “Why” you should. A leaderboard alone does not make for a worthwhile or engaging game.

Trip Hawkins, founder of game companies Electronic Arts and Digital Chocolate, says that compelling games need to be “simple, hot, and deep.” They should be easy to pick up, instantly engaging, and offer you somewhere to go once you are engaged. Creating these kinds of games takes work.

Legions of online businesses are following this trend right now as they attempt to integrate game mechanics into their products. Investors used to hear customer acquisition plans that included, “and we’re going to make it social” or “and we’re going to make it viral.” But lately, these pitches have changed to include, “and we’re going to use game mechanics” to address customer acquisition and engagement.

Many of the “games” being built in this flurry, however, are certainly not going to be fun. Many will distract the user from the core value proposition of the application or service. At worst, copycat “game mechanics” will quickly become annoying and trite — destroying value for users and creators alike.

“One of the greatest risks is being unoriginal,” says Gabe Zichermann, author of the 2010 book Game-Based Marketing. In the short term, he says, adding soon-to-be-cliche elements like badges is OK, because any amount of additional enjoyment is good for a product. “But a good design takes into consideration the long-term scalability. If you think you can end with badges, that’s where you’re [expletive].”

Poor or late planning gives rise to boring (too easy) or frustrating (too hard) games. Since the goal of game mechanics is to keep customers coming back and doing what you want them to do, you want to stay far away from those two zones.

Game Chart Image

So how can you use game mechanics the right way and supercharge your business? We’ve distilled the process down to four steps.


1. Start With Your Vision and Work Backwards


Effective games cannot be bolted onto a service after the fact. They must be integrated into the product from the start. To work, they need to be designed with your vision in mind, or they’ll be largely meaningless.

The first thing you need to do is define your end goal. What is it you want to accomplish? What’s the big vision?

Here’s a cheesy example:

Business Vision Image


2. Make a List of Required User Actions


Now that you have defined the vision, you need to figure out what specific user actions will be required to realize it. What behavior patterns would they need to adopt in order to sustain your business model?

Think in verbs, not nouns. What do you need people to do?

Behaviors Image

Once you have this list, rank the items from most critical to least and also score them from most plausible/natural to least. Now you know where to focus your game-based psychology experiment.


3. Motivate the Most Important Behaviors


Games can be used to drive almost any user behavior. As Marc Metis, President of Digital Chocolate puts it, “Games have the potential to tap into the full range of human emotions and motivate a wide range of behaviors.” That’s the beauty and value proposition of game mechanics. Take the specific behaviors you’ve defined and plan some games that will make people do what you want. No matter what type of game you are designing, a few key principles will help:

  • Sid Meier, developer of the Civilization game franchise, defines a game as “a series of meaningful choices.” Consumers will naturally explore the choices you give them (if they believe it is worth it). Motivate them with rewards and then teach them to do what you want.

    A great example of this is Foursquare’s Newbie badge, which gives users a taste for rewards the moment they start using the service.

  • Foursquare Newbie Badge

  • Mechanisms should be layered. Users should constantly be starting one task as a beginner and enjoying a sense of discovery, be in the middle and deeply engaged by another task, and mastering (i.e. getting bored with) a third. The online multiplayer game World of Warcraft is an excellent example of this. Players are constantly working on short-term quests and heat of the moment battles while long-term upgrades keep them logging back in day after day.

    These layers can exist in both tasks and in time. If you can create a sense of shared past, present, and future, your user experience will be more “sticky,” with customers/players investing time and coming back for more to deepen their history with your product.

  • Pull the consumer toward the most critical behaviors with rewards. Additionally, adjust the rewards so that the most enticing prizes are offered in exchange for the behaviors that are hardest to motivate. Zichermann says, “There’s no question that today’s tweens are going to have to be rewarded to do anything.” Make sure you’re offering rewards for the essentials.
  • Mechanisms should be designed for flexibility and growth.

Game Mechanics Image


4. Evaluate and Adapt


As with any lean startup process, you’ll only succeed if you’re willing to evaluate and adapt both the game mechanic layer and the behaviors that are critical to motivate. Both will change as you learn about your consumer, and as they learn how to play your game.

“Running a social game is a bit like being a head of a country’s Central Bank, so you are always adjusting,” says Metis. “You really have to pay attention to the finest details of user experience and merchandising.”

Re-rank and reevaluate often. Take honest looks at what users do and why. Remember, make it fun for them, not for you. Zichermann reminds us most entrepreneurs think their users’ primary motivation is to achieve. But, he says, most people — especially on the web — just want to socialize. “They’re not in it to win it, they just want to make friends.”

Make sure you understand your audience, and design your mechanics accordingly.


The Promise of Game Mechanics


Ultimately, game mechanics are not about simply having fun. They’re about helping users discover the utility in your product. Like Wile E. Coyote from the old cartoons, you want to get your users to run through the air without noticing the ground’s not there, until they reach the other side. Games can help get them to cross that ugly gap of “Why should I learn about and adopt this product?” And once they’ve crossed, you’ll have them, because they’ll feel the utility of your service and understand why your product is great.

To finish with our initial example, Foursquare’s game mechanics alone aren’t that fun. But they’re fun enough to get you to stick with the service while you figure out how useful it can really be. That’s how Foursquare nailed it.

Right now, too many companies are building a bridge to nowhere with their games simply because games are trendy. Design an experience that will delight your users and use game mechanics to show them something useful that will add value and make their lives better.


More Social Business Resources from Mashable:


– Top 5 Ways to Make Your Site More Fun
– 5 Social Media Trends to Watch Right Now
– Beyond the Checkin: Where Location-Based Social Networks Should Go Next
– What the Future Holds for the Checkin
– Are Location-Based Services All Hype?

Image courtesy of iStockphotoLobsterclaws

>How the iPhone could reboot education

> This is a reblogged article. Credits are contained below.


How the iPhone Could Reboot Education

iphone_studying

How do you educate a generation of students eternally distracted by the internet, cellphones and video games? Easy. You enable them by handing out free iPhones — and then integrating the gadget into your curriculum.

That’s the idea Abilene Christian University has to refresh classroom learning. Located in Texas, the private university just finished its first year of a pilot program, in which 1,000 freshman students had the choice between a free iPhone or an iPod Touch.

The initiative’s goal was to explore how the always-connected iPhone might revolutionize the classroom experience with a dash of digital interactivity. Think web apps to turn in homework, look up campus maps, watch lecture podcasts and check class schedules and grades. For classroom participation, there’s even polling software for Abilene students to digitally raise their hand.

The verdict? It’s working quite well. 2,100 Abilene students, or 48 percent of the population, are now equipped with a free iPhone. Fully 97 percent of the faculty population has iPhones, too. The iPhone is aiding Abilene in giving students the information they need — when they want it, wherever they want it, said Bill Rankin, a professor of medieval studies who helped plan the initiative.

“It’s kind of the TiVoing of education,” Rankin said in a phone interview. “I watch it when I need it and in ways that I need it. And that makes a huge difference.”

The traditional classroom, where an instructor assigns a textbook, is heading toward obsolescence. Why listen to a single source talk about a printed textbook that will inevitably be outdated in a few years? That setting seems stale and hopelessly limited when pitted against the internet, which opens a portal to a live stream of information provided by billions of minds.

“About five years ago my students stopped taking notes,” Rankin said. “I asked, ‘Why are you not taking notes?’ And they said, ‘Why would we take notes on that?…. I can go to Wikipedia or go to Google, and I can get all the information I need.”

Conversely, the problem with the internet is there’s too much information, and it’s difficult to determine which data is valuable.

These are the specific educational problems Abilene is targeting with the iPhone. Instead of standing in front of a classroom and talking for an hour, Rankin instructs his students to use their iPhones to look up relevant information on the fly. Then, the students can discuss the information they’ve found, and Rankin leads the dialogue by helping assess which sources are accurate and useful.

It’s like a mashup of a 1960s teach-in with smartphone technology from the 2000s.

Each participating Abilene instructor is incorporating the iPhone differently into their curriculum. In some classrooms, professors project discussion questions onscreen in a PowerPoint presentation. Then, using polling software that Abilene coded for the iPhone, students can answer the questions anonymously by sending responses electronically with their iPhones. The software can also quickly quiz students to gauge whether they’re understanding the lesson.

Most importantly, by allowing the students to participate in polls anonymously with the iPhone, it relieves them of any social pressure to appear intelligent in front of their peers. If they answer wrong, nobody will know who it was, ridding students of humiliation. And if students don’t understand a lesson, they can ask the teacher to repeat it by simply tapping a button on the iPhone.

“Polling opens up new realms for people for discussion,” said Tyler Sutphen, an ACU sophomore who has participated in the iPhone initiative for a year. “It’s a lot more interactive for those who aren’t as willing to jump up and throw out their answer in class. Instead, you push a button on the iPhone.”

iphone-university

Kasey Stratton, a first-year ACU business student, said her favorite aspect of the iPhone program was how apps are changing the way students interact socially. Many Abilene students use Bump, a free appdownloadable through the App Store [iTunes], which enables them to swap e-mails and phone numbers by bumping their iPhones together. Also, the campus’ map app helped her become familiar with the campus quickly when she arrived.

“At ACU it’s like they see [the iPhone] is the way of the future and they might as well take advantage of it,” Stratton said in a phone interview. “They’re preparing us for the real world — not a place where you’re not allowed to use anything.”

Implementing the iPhone program wasn’t easy. In addition to writing custom web apps for the iPhone, the university optimized its campuswide Wi-Fi to support the 2,100 iPhones. Rankin declined to disclose exact figures for money invested in the iPhone program, but he said the initiative only takes up about 1 percent of the university’s annual budget. To offset costs, the university discontinued in-dorm computer labs, since the vast majority of students already own notebooks. Students who opted for iPhones are responsible for paying their own monthly plans with AT&T.

After a successful run, the university plans to continue the iPhone program, with plans to upgrade to new iPhones every two years. Rankin said some UK universities plan to launch similar initiatives as well. In the United States, Stanford doesn’t hand out free iPhones to its students (yet), but it offers an iPhone app called iStanford for students to look up class schedules, the Stanford directory, the campus map and sports news. Stanford also offers a computer science course on iPhone app programming, whose lectures are streamed for free via iTunes.

“For us, it isn’t primarily about the device,” Rankin said. “This is a question of, how do we live and learn in the 21st century now that we have these sorts of connections?…. I think this is the next platform for education.”

See Also:

Photo: Bigarnex/Flickr

>How to lead a scammer / phisher on!

NB – I have reblogged this from another blogger, and unfortunately cannot find the original! It’s still a great piece and should live on, but i claim no credit for authorship!


Phishing — where scammers attempt to steal sensitive information like account passwords and credit card numbers by posing as trusted sources or web sites — is all too common. Fraudulent e-mails and sites are best avoided altogether, but if you’re feeling particularly “vigilante,” there are a number of ways you can ruin a phisher’s operation, and perhaps help protect your fellow web users in the process. Here’s how.


1. Bait the Waters


Lure would-be scammers by registering dozens of e-mail addresses, using fake names and identifying information. The more e-mail identities you have, the more spam e-mail you will receive.


2. Respond Credulously


Spam Image

When you get a come-on from an e-mail scammer, write back enthusiastically and ask for more details. “I am sorry to hear that your brother is being held prisoner! Where exactly is the prison he is being held at? Were you hurt when you were deposed in the coup?”


3. Create the Impression of Great Wealth


Mention in your reply e-mail that it is currently a very busy time for your business, or that you are in mourning for your wealthy uncle who has just died and left you his estate.


4. Invent a Persona


Make up a name, and include small details in your e-mail, including the name of a spouse or a pet. Do not select a real name for your persona, in order to avoid implicating other people in your anti-scam scam. Name yourself something that is clearly ridiculous to you, but that a foreign scammer might not recognize, such as “Alfred E. Newman.” Find stock photographs to complement your new persona.


5. Ask for Proof


ID Lock Image

When the scammer expresses his desire for you to wire money, act as though you are wary. Ask him to send proof of the legitimacy of his business. Ask for photographs of his office, his co-workers, and his car. Remember, the more time he spends satisfying your requests, the less time he has to devote to scamming other people.


6. Ask for Patience


Keep the scammer excited about how much they are going to fleece you for. “After reviewing my accounts, I think I will soon be able to comply with your request, and in fact can double it.” First, though, say you must arrange to have the money released, which will take time. Apologize.


7. Ask for Money


Turn the tables on the scammer by explaining that, before you can wire the money, you need to pay a fee to your own bank to have the funds released. Ask him to wire you money. If he sends a check, do not cash it, but record the account information, as it is likely a stolen or made-up account.


8. Poison Future Scams


Over the course of your correspondence, relay incorrect information that will make the scammer’s future scams less effective. For example, mention that American women love to be called dirty, offensive, names, or that most American banks are only open on Sundays.


9. Delay


Delay Image

Invent more and more delays to the promised pay-off. The scammer just has to do one more thing for you, send one more photograph, etc., before you can go ahead and send the money. The more hoops you make the scammer jump through, the more willing he will be to do more, since he has already invested so much time and energy.


10. Enjoy


Increase the difficulty level of the requests. Ask the scammer to travel to another country “to meet your representative” there. Then e-mail again, apologizing for the mix-up and reschedule the meeting. If you start to feel badly, remind yourself that this is the same technique scammers use on their victims. They get them to sink more and more money in, in the form of fees and upfront costs, making it harder and harder for the victim to admit to him or herself that it’s a scam.


11. Abruptly Cease Corresponding


Cancel the phony e-mail you had set up. Post the scammer’s name and any other identifying information you have received on anti-scam web sites.


Be Aware, and Be Safe


Caution Image

– The most infamous pool of e-mail scammers is in Lagos, Nigeria, but they come from all over the world, including from within the United States.

– Never use your real name, or any real-world details about yourself or your family, when interacting with a scammer. If you correspond via letter or package, use a safety deposit box and a fake address. Though there may be a comic element to their communication, scammers are professional criminals.

Editor’s note: The preceding post is a work of satire.

>Control your mac remotely from Twitter

This is a great idea! I thought i’d share it…(source: http://www.themacbox.co.uk/tweetmymac/)

Controlling Your Mac from Twitter

SEPTEMBER 3, 2009 · 0 COMMENTS

TweetMyMac.png

A new app called TweetMyMac has come out giving us the option to control our Macs from a twitter account. TweetMyMac lets you get screenshots, iSight snapshots, and your IP address from your Mac just by sending a direct message to your specially setup Mac controlling account. You can start torrents remotely, shutdown your Mac and more.

Setting Up TweetMyMac

  1. Sign up for a new Twitter account just for your Mac (I called mine TweetAlexsMac) – feel free to protect the updates if you like. IMPORTANT: You MUST sign up for a new account, not just use your normal Twitter account or everyone you follow will be able to control your Mac!
  2. Set the new account to follow your main twitter account.
  3. Download and run TweetMyMac.
  4. Enter the account details for the new account you signed up for (that’s your Mac’s Twitter account)
  5. To control your Mac send it a direct message with a command (either using the direct message option on twitter or by writing a tweet of the form “d MacAccountName command”)
  6. Your Mac will reply to some commands (like retrieving IP address or screenshots) using it’s account so you will probably want to set your main twitter account to follow your Mac.

Commands:

shutdown – Shutdown your Mac. Will NOT save any open files.

restart – Restart your Mac. Will NOT save any open files.

logout – Logout of your Mac. Will NOT save any open files.

sleep – Sleep your Mac.

ip – Get your Mac’s external IP address. Your Mac will reply with it’s current IP.

isight – Snap an image from your Mac’s iSight camera. Your Mac will reply with the picture posted on TwitPic.

screenshot – Get a screenshot of your Mac. Your Mac will reply with the picture posted on TwitPic.

say [phrase] – Your Mac will speak the phrase in the default voice.

torrent [torrent URL] – Your Mac will download the torrent and open it in the default torrent client.

[URL] – Your Mac will open any URL it is sent.

%[command] – Your Mac will execute the custom shell command. Note: this is disabled by default for security and must be enabled in the options to use.

Do take into account the note on TweetMyMac’s website which states:

TweetMyMac is currently still considered beta software so please don’t blame us if your Mac spontaneously catches fire.

So there you have it! Would you use this often? What do you think this could turn into in the future?

>Enable See-Through QuickLook Folders

I find this super useful and so I thought I would share. (source: http://www.thecustommac.com)

Enable See-Through QuickLook Folders

OCTOBER 7, 2009

Open Terminal and type in

  defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableXRayFolders 1

Then enter

  Killall Finder

to restart the Finder. You should now be able to quicklook any folder that has files and see it in the folder preview.

UPDATE: If you ever want to disable it this feature, quit the Finder, then repeat the above Terminal command, but change the 1 to a 0.

Source: Mac OS X Hints