Archive for freeware

Time Tracking & Management

Posted in DIY, Health, Inspiration, Life, Productivity, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2008 by blakejohnson

I’ve been working on managing my time recently, a little, trying to be productive and whatnot while maintaining a healthy lifestyle too.  I recently discovered a number of posts at Lifehacker (duh) that were pretty helpful in pointing in the right direction.  Through them I found both Tick and RescueTime, the latter of which being the most interesting.

Tick
Tick is a project-management webapp that basically allows you to list your projects, keep track of individual tasks on each of them and define how many hours each should take, essentially all in an effort to get you to meet your “time budget.”  Tick is unfortunately a trial and only allows you to have one project listed and open (currently being worked on) at a time, with the paid upgrade of somewhere around what I believe was $10.  I currently use Anxiety, though, so I’m probably going to cancel my membership with Tick.

Anxiety
Anxiety is a lightweight, free task management app that is… well… a task manager that integrates beautifully with Apple’s Mail and iCal, giving yo all the benefits of different calendars and events within those calendars, separating your work, personal, bigger ideas.  It hovers over all applications with the option to hide it and each tasks even have handy little check boxes on the side so that once you’re done, you just check it off, and it’s immediately updated as one less to-do in Mail and iCal.  It’s a very useful tool, and its constant visual presence on the screen I find is a reminder of the things I should be doing when I’m doing things like aimless internet surfing or on a YouTube binge.

RescueTime
I really just wanted to post on the blog because of the email verification I got from downloading this app.  There’s a required registration for it, but the email was nice enough of a surprise and the app sounds like it’s going to do a great job, so I’m aiming to keep it.  From the little I found out about it, it tracks what you do while on the computer and send you a weekly report of how you spent your time, as well as offering a range of full-featured graphs and tools to see how distracted you were when you should have been working.  Yup, something I can definitely make use of ;).  Here’s a screenshot of part of the confirmation email:

picture-1.png

I thought that was a great change of pace from the typical “Hello, thank you, go to our site, goodbye” messages.  I was glad to receive something like that from what it essentially makes out to be three guys goofing around with their program for the good of others.

So, three programs that can help you (and me) get things done.  The two I use so far work great, though I’ve only had about an hour’s worth of experience with RescueTime running in the background, so really it’s that I love Anxiety.  That mixed with Quicksilver and the built-in Mail and iCal on Mac are a wonderful workflow.  How do you manage your time and your projects?  Let me know!

Frets on Fire!

Posted in Entertainment, Games, Humor with tags , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2007 by blakejohnson

No doubt most of you have at least heard of the rampaging game Guitar Hero, or played it.  Well, that’s all fun and good, but the super hardcore kids get to play Frets on Fire, an open source game for Windows/Mac OS X/Linux that lets you not only play just like Guitar Hero (though not commercial music), but you get to rock the crap out of your keyboard while doing it (no kidding, you actually hold it like a guitar, check out the demo video).  I was pretty into this game when I first found it, and the how-to-play video is quite entertaining, judging by the demo video mentioned above.  I’d love to give it a try, but I don’t want to put it on my Windows video system, and the only other computer I’ve got is a MacBook… (if you watch the demo video, you’ll see how hard this game would be to play on a laptop).  It looks like an awesome game though, and I would highly recommend if you’ve got access to either a USB or wireless keyboard, or another monitor (the extra keyboard would be better for laptop users), then go ahead and give it a shot!  (Of course full-sized desktop system users are already set up to play this without the extra keyboard or monitor).  Let me know if you try it out!

Friend & Freeware

Posted in Blog, Friends, Me Online, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2007 by blakejohnson

I wanted to take this opportunity to announce two things (really three).

First, I’ve added another friend’s blog to the Blogroll section on the right-hand menu, so check that out when you get a chance.  He was a friend of mine when I lived in Colombia.  Not too close, but we knew each other, and we had the same group of friends.  It’s cool to keep up with old friends like that.  Check his site out by the link to the right, or here.

Second, I found an incredible listing of freeware/open source/GPL-licensed software today form one single site.  It’s amazing.  I’m not even going to go into details, but they’ve got everything, and it kept me busy going through only half of the page for about 4 whole hours.  Yea.  It’s that kind of incredible.  Here’s the link, check it out if you’re interested… and I bet you are ;).

Thirdly, I’ve updated the AV blog twice today, which is a big change from my typical habits with that blog, since I don’t usually update that one all that much, unfortunately.  The first update actually includes the site I mention above, but the second update is about the final film shoot for my short film The Waiting Room.  I’m super excited to get that finally done, and tomorrow (err…today) I’m going to edit the last bits of footage together and try to get a rough cut online for some friend’s critique, and look into music for it.  I’ll keep updating on that as it progresses.

I’m really liking the fairly reliable updating of this blog recently, especially those posts accompanied by Flickr uploads.  I love the layout and usability of Flickr and the nice-looking calendar and image pages are great ways to share my photos with people through this blog.  It’s a fun thing to do at night when I have time during commercial breaks from Man vs. Wild or some such nonsense thing.  Heh.  Thanks for reading, enjoy the links.  It’s bed time now for me ;).