Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.
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Category: Other

I know that we haven’t published anything in a couple of days, but we haven’t forgot about you guys. We think about you a lot. Yesterday Alex and I spent all day working (did you pay attention to that the Latte-counter increased by 6?), and while doing that we thought about topics for future articles. May we tease you a bit with topics such as building an intranet with LDAP-authentication or scripts for an (bandwidth efficient) uptime-monitor of an array of servers with mail-alert?

We also have a couple of cool Web 2.0-pages we want to share with you as well.

We promise we’ll take the time to publish a cool article within the next few days.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

We have written about Parallels for Mac before. That time it was about Parallels addition of Boot Camp support and drag and drop between Windows and OS X. Since then, Parallels has been steadily improving on their software to make the best use possible of their head start against VMware. The kicker was going to be 3D support in their next release. But did they do to little too late?

Parallels have been saying for a while that they’re working on 3D acceleration. On their official blog in January Parallels said, “We’re still on track to add this in the next major upgrade version.” But if this was Parallels great advantage, there is bad news on the horizon: they’re not the only ones on track. Engadget recently reposted a YouTube video showing VMware run full speed 3D graphics on a Mac. If this is an indication of how VMware will run when it’s released on the Mac, Parallels might have some serious competition on their hands.

It’s hard to overstate how much Parallels has benefited from being first to market. They got some very healthy buzz. Now they’re prominently on sale in the Apple Store, and have even been mentioned in a footnote in one of the Apple advertisements. But fame or no fame, it is also true that Parallels has not always been doing a great job with the actual software. Parallels for Mac is frequently riddled with little quirks and bugs. When the software was first released, it routinely caused kernel panics, at least on my machine. At the time of this writing a search for “usb problem” on the Parallels forum turns up 391 results.

The truth of the matter is that there has always been a sense of lack of polish with the Parallels software. Consider the following message which is displayed when starting the latest beta. It has some fairly peculiar grammatical structure.

Parallels Message

In case you can’t read it, the message is “Parallels Tools initializing [sic] is in progress. Please do not turn off or reset the virtual machine, and do not perform any operations in the guest operating system until Parallels Tools initializing [sic] will be complete, because it may result in data loss.”

I’m not an English expert but this sure sounds rather awkward to me.

When VMware releases their product it is likely to have been both proofread and carefully debugged. It is likely that it will look and feel like any professional application you use. The only saving grace for Parallels then will be established market share, and any additional features they managed to finish in the time between their release and VMware’s release. If Parallels was banking on their 3D support, they’re heading out into deep water if the video demonstration above is genuine.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.
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Category: Business

If you haven’t heard about PortableApps yet, you’ve missed out on something cool. PortableApps focuses on modifying popular (mainly open source) softwares to run on USB flash-drives. The benefit of this is that you have all your bookmarks and settings right there, and you don’t have to install the softwares you need on each and every computer you use.

Among the products available, these might be used in business:

I’m not seriously suggesting that everyone run around with a flash-drive with all their data, but rather use their home directory on the server as the installation target for these applications. I’d imagine that this would be very useful in an organization that do not use individual computers, but have many computers that are shared by the people in the organization. By doing so, everyone gets their set of individual applications with settings, cached e-mails and everything accessible without having to spend time configuring the applications for every computer.

Of course there are other approaches to solve this problem, such as roaming profiles with samba or a windows server, and locally installed softwares with profile support. I’m not suggesting that one solution is better than the other, because they both have their benefits and drawbacks.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

For a quite a while I’ve been into the whole GTD movement. I must admit that I never got around to read the actual book which started the whole thing, but I have read a lot about GTD.

Until recently I used a GTD-plugin to OmniOutliner, which worked quite well. However, I was tired of having to have OmniOutliner running all the time, so I started looking for alternatives. Since we currently live in the ‘Web-based era,’ I looked around for some Web 2.0 GTD web-app. As it turns out, there’s a couple of them, but the one I really liked was Simple GTD. This software is a really clean Web 2.0-looking web-app with a simple user interface. First time you visit the site, you just create you user account, and you’re set. Now you can just start adding you items.
Simple GTD Screenshot
If you’re curious about how Simple GTD works, take a look a this screencast.

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Introducing YippieMove '09. Easy email transfers. Now open for all destinations.

Back in 2003 I bought my first Mac, a PowerBook G4. I’ve been very satisfied with the laptop, but it’s starting to get a bit old. Even though I don’t find an upgrade urgent since the computer still runs fine, it’s always nice to get some change once in a while. The only problem though is that I don’t find they new MacBooks improved enough for me to upgrade (sure, they’re faster, but that’s basically it).

In order for me to upgrade I’d need a better reason than just an increased CPU speed, because the speed of my laptop is currently not something that bothers me. However, there are some features that I miss on the MacBook.

Battery Life
Come on Apple, the battery life on the PowerBook and MacBook is pretty sad. When Sony can get their Vaios to run about 6-8 hours on the same CPU, I fail to see why this wouldn’t be possible on Apple’s laptops. Even the old Sonys (3 years old or so) has at least 4 hours of battery life.

I certainly see a big market for this. Sure, the Windows Tablets might not been as successful as the PC vendors hoped, but I believe in the idea. Right now I often end up taking notes on a plain sheet of paper, since certain type of data (graphs etc) is too time-consuming to record with only a keyboard and mouse.

There is certainly a demand for a Mac Tablet, since a company named Axiotron actually developed a modified MacBook (named ModBook), which was modified into a tablet. However, it would be nice if Apple could release this themselves.

Biometric reader
There are plenty of different standards available, but I guess finger-print is the more widely used technology. Wouldn’t it be convenient to log into the computer without having to type a long (secure) password every time? I don’t know how well the BSD-kernel supports these kind of devices, and how it would be solved, but I’d sure love that feature.

If Apple can implement these features in the next generation MacBook, I’d be the first one to sign up on the waiting list (assuming it’s not too much more expensive than the current MacBook).

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