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I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire, I got a cobra snake for a necktie. A brand new house on the road side, and it's a-made out of rattlesnake hide.

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Mdognrdog commented on 15 Feb 2014
There's a lot to like about Vox, but I don't have it as my primary music player, because I haven't been able to find any way to FFWD/REW within a track -- all I can do is next/prev tracks. If somebody can point out to me how to do that, I'm definitely going to use it for all my music listening, and just use iTunes for iPhone management and serving up video to my Apple TV.
[Version 2.0.1]

1 Reply


Mdognrdog replied on 03 Mar 2014
Thanks, @Pwenzel. Now I can really start to put Vox through its paces.

Mdognrdog reviewed on 10 Feb 2014
Airmail has a lot going for it. It borrows heavily from Sparrow, which is a good idea for a Mac Gmail client. It adds better Contacts/Calendar/Reminders integration than Sparrow ever had, which is great.

I have problems periodically with things not properly being moved from one IMAP mailbox to another (sometimes things showing up in the Inbox several times). This is a little unsettling, but I haven't ever LOST anything.

I wasn't able to duplicate the keyboard shortcuts I had used in Sparrow, because a LOT of keyboard combos are marked as taken for menu commands in Airmail. They really should unbind most of the keybindings, so that users have more freedom in assigning their own hotkeys.

If the developer really nails the IMAP implementation the way Sparrow did, this will be by far the best mail client for users of GMail. Right now, though, the core functionality of moving your mail back and forth between IMAP folders does seem a little sketchy, so if you're basically content with your current mail program, hold off on switching.
[Version 1.3.1]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 23 Oct 2013
I just don't get this release at all. I loved the old NNW's user interface. The day-to-day navigation of articles was all doable with one hand on the keyboard. The sync may have been jacked up, and it may have lacked some of the features and slick looks of some competitors, but its UI just couldn't be touched.

With Google sync going the way of the dodo, Black Pixel could have really built up something new, starting with the best UI of any RSS reader out there. Instead, these guys managed to 'fix' the one thing about NNW that I didn't really care about (the appearance) and break the navigation completely. Everything is now driven by cmd-key combinations.

I'll let other users complain about the other features they broke. I didn't use those. But I *did* use the one-handed navigation every single day, and now I can't.

[Version 4.0.0]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 19 Jul 2013
Version 11.8.800.115:

- Running Flash Player no longer causes CPU usage to spike and beach ball to appear what the release notes would have to say before I could give Flash Player anything but a 1.
[Version 11.8.800.115]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 13 Jul 2013
Launchctl is a weird, weird beast. I don't really know why cron supposedly wasn't good enough, but what's done is done.

Since there is no try-then-buy version of Lingon anymore, I gave LaunchControl a try, and it's more than adequate. I wish that when my jobs exited with a bad status, there was an easy way to look at the appropriate error messages, but at least you know where to start looking.

If you write a bunch of scripts, you either a) already know how to use launchctl; or b) need this software.
[Version 1.6.1]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 11 Jul 2013
Once again, Devon Technologies has put out a minor release that many, many vendors would have tagged as "major" and charged for an upgrade -- this time, adding a new note type, Markdown capability, and Mavericks tagging.

I bought this package shortly before 2.0 came out, when the developer was offering a 2.0 upgrade for any buyers of 1.x after that date.

That was five years ago; the 2.0 release was in 2008. And several times now, the Devon people have put out some pretty big new features (especially on the Pro Office package, which I don't have), without upping the major release number.

If you're going to spend anything more than $10 or $20 on a piece of organizational/research software, it's nice to know that that "planned obsolescence" is not the developer's strategy.

Aside from that, it's just really good software. I tried a bunch of these products that make information capture and organization easy. Yojimbo's capture is probably easier, but not by very much if you use DevonThink's Sorter. DevonThink can also capture from a lot of different places in your workflow -- browser extension, print-to-PDF dialogue, global Inbox in your Finder, all mean you can capture any time the thought comes to you.

But none of the other information managers out there provide you with anything like the kinds of tools you get from DevonThink for whipping your information into shape once you've captured it. Seriously, there's just no contest. There's an AI for suggesting cross-references and filing/tagging locations, you can auto-file all the stuff in your inbox if you've learned to trust that AI, you can annotate and edit PDFs, HTML, and Rich Text...

It's just flat sick, is what it is.

And, since it's basically morally wrong to keep a guy's stuff in a proprietary database with no way out (and there are information managers that do this), you can export to plain old files-and-folders that mimic your groups/tags, and navigate them through the Finder.
[Version 2.6]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 25 Apr 2013
I never think up passwords. Ever. 1Password generates them for me, and if a certain site requires a certain type of password, I can set 1P up to do that.

1P does a very good (but not perfect) job of translating a first-time registration into a login that one can use from then on at a simple login screen. Sometimes, I have to go back into the program and clean up the login by hand. Maybe once out of every 10 or 20 logins captured/generated.

If you keep the data file in your Dropbox, you can get to it from anywhere, so although it's not *convenient* the way it is on my Mac, it's still available.

It is a very well designed, stable program that vastly simplifies the maintenance of multiple secure online identities.
[Version 3.8.21]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 21 Apr 2013
Marked is the kind of application that made Unix great: it does a handful of things well, and thus works well as part of a larger tool chain, which in this case includes one's text editor, file browser, and perhaps other programs for viewing output if one exports to RTF, HTML, or PDF.

All the other apps directed toward Markdown usage are basically trying to be an IDE for a .md format that doesn't need that AT ALL: they're basically Rich Text input fields with editing widgets of varying complexity, and they save to a plain-text .md file.

These other editors are doing precisely the wrong thing for people who already LIKE their plain-text editor of choice, and want to work in that editor as much as possible. If I'm working in Sublime Text or TextMate or BBEdit, I just want to be able to compile the .md file and preview it easily. That's it. Once it's where I want it, then I might want to save it as a real HTML file, or as a PDF.

Or, working in the other direction, let's say I want to preview an existing .md file from the Finder (or, in my case, Path Finder). Marked comes with services that let you preview from the context menu or with a hotkey. Then, if you look at it in Marked and decide you need to edit it, you can hit cmd-E, and Marked will pop the file open in your editor of choice, which gives you a robust set of editing tools, rather than the stripped-down offerings of the dedicated Markdown editors.

That's pretty much all Marked does. It supports the *correct* Markdown workflow for people who already use a dedicated text editor as the core of their development, regardless of language. (I.e., most people who write code.)

If there's any problem with Marked, it's that the appearance of Marked's preview only changes when the source file is saved. This is how it was for me, when I started learning to code HTML in Xemacs back in the mid-90s, so it doesn't seem like a burden. But I gather there are people who really demand real-time updating. This won't do that.
[Version 1.4.1]

Mdognrdog commented on 26 Mar 2013
Way back when, Quicksilver was the darling of the Mac cognoscenti. When Alcor went to Google to work on Quick Search Box for Mac, development slowed to a crawl for a while.

The team of developers that's been working the project for the last few years has made QS faster, more robust, and fuller-featured.

At its core, QS is a way of grabbing at ideas with snippets of words. First, you think of your sentence's subject: the words might be the name of a file, or a bookmarked URL, or an iTunes track, or an entry in Contacts. Then, you search through QS's list of Actions (your verbs) that you can apply to the subject. Some Actions provide you with a third phase, an object (like, what file do you want to attach to an email, maybe).

Being able to string together commands with this sort of rudimentary syntax is extraordinarily powerful, and doesn't require that the user memorize a lot of hotkeys. (This is also good because a lot of good hotkeys are already taken.) For this reason, I strongly prefer QS to Launchbar, which also can do a lot of things, but which requires that I, in turn, remember all the keystrokes that I've assigned to those things.

If you WANT hotkeys, the sentences you write can be assigned Trigger, and you can treat QS like Launchbar.

Also, it is free. There's no reason not to download it, install it, and give it a try. It won't stop working after 30 days; it won't ever nag you to send a donation to anybody. You can just leave all that power sitting around, waiting to be set loose.

It's great to finally be using a major release after eight years of using betas.
[Version 1.0.0]


Mdognrdog reviewed on 05 Jan 2013
I guess $20 is kind of a lot for an archive utility. But that's the only possible gripe I can see about this program.

Entropy handles both creation and extraction of all the major formats, and quite a few minor formats. Its default settings are sensible, but can be configured to suit lots of different methods of work.

Because almost everything I need to do has been added to the Services menu, I hardly ever actually launch Entropy directly. But that's the way a utility should be: unobtrusive, waiting to do what you need, and then out of the way again.

Great, great program.
[Version 1.5.2]

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