Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Check out the nanoBundle from MacHeist

6 Applications are available for free — right now.

5 are available for download at MacHeist.com and a sixth, Virus Barrier is available once you share the news with your FaceBook friends. A seventh application — Mariner Write — will be unlocked when 500,000 free bundles have been downloaded.

Have at it folks. Download the free nanoBundle.

P.S. Be aware... Hordes of Orcs can potentially be addictive. ;)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

MacHeist stirring up the Macosphere again

If you haven't been seeing a fleeting tweet or two in your twitter stream and you are an avid Mac user... you've still got time to play.

Take a look at MacHeist.com and do some sleuthing. You'll be rewarded with a copy of DaisyDisk.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Productivity and archiving with your scanner

David Pogue has found a useful tool for his workflow and his recent column, A Better Way to Manage Receipts for Business Travel, is all about how he makes use of the NeatReceipts scanner and NeatWorks software.

I have no experience with that particular scanner but the NeatWorks software looks tempting. I have the ScanSnap S300M, which is a wonderful scanner with duplexing capabilities. It too can handle the small receipts up to legal sized paper. I was pleasantly surprised to see the NeatWorks is listed as compatible with my scanner.

So, if you have a scanner already, check it against their list to see if the software is compatible before sinking the cash into another scanner just to get the capabilities demonstrated by their software.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Mac App Bundles continue with three to choose from

I'm late to the game with this one. The Mac Sale has been going on for a bit apparently but I just heard about it when I checked my MacZot emails. The Zot for 5% off the $49.99 price runs, as I type this, for 3 more hours.

10 apps included:

You have a little more time to decide on TheMacBundles current offer. This one has 6 days to go.

9 apps (plus 1 bonus) included:
The remaining available bonus app is CosmoPod

And there's also the MacBundleBox with 12 apps:
If, like me, you've bought a fare number of previous bundles you may have some of these already. If you don't have the pricier apps it might be worth a jump for a bundle and then see if any other apps find their way into your regular stable.

Otherwise, perhaps you will find something you didn't know was out there and, if the price for one app directly from the dev is reasonable their marketing has succeeded in getting the word out for the devs involved. 

Happy shopping.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The mac application bundles continue... what market still exists?

Application bundle fatigue? Not me. :)

Then again, I'm a confessed Mac application addict and consummate bargain hunter. The latest offering from MacUpdate via their mupromo.com got me thinking, who is left who needs these apps if they've been around for one or two previous bundles of software from various marketers?

I just had the pleasure of finding some people I'd not known about previously via folks I follow on Twitter. And the pleasure increased when I was able to be the first to welcome @baldheretic, a switcher, to the Mac.

And now, do we have the battle of the bundles? A new bundle has hit the net from themacbundles.com. Both have a selection of apps that could be useful to a new or established Mac user. Both had duplicates of apps I already own, some from previous bundles, or apps that are very similar to ones I already use.

Ultimately it comes down to whether you think you will make use of enough of the bundle to make the discounted cost worthwhile. In the process you might find an app or two you wouldn't have tried, but find useful because it was there to play with.

Keep in mind, not all bundle promotions are equal...

...even if the price nearly is.

There are some wonderful side benefits to participating in something that is "more than a bundle", which is how I view MacHeist. As I mention in a previous post, a vibrant and ongoing community has sprung up around this particular bundle event that remains unrivaled by any other that has come along.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

And, just like that it's over...

Hope you got a couple apps you had been thinking about or wishing for from Panic. 'Cause the sale is long gone. :(

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some great deals on premiere Mac Apps - Panic is having a sale!

Unheard of! And it's only for a short time. Panic is having a 3-day Sale! Better act fast. Their apps are 50% off. These are the apps that MacHeister's have been asking to be included in bundles, these are the apps that people following mupromo.com and their bundles have wished they'd include.

Get it while you can — the sale is over 11:59 PST, May 29.

Monday, May 25, 2009

If you see me smiling for no apparent reason...

I'm likely thinking of something amusing or amazing that my 7 year old has said at some point. People who don't have children just don't understand this. It's okay.

He's an only child, like I was. That too is okay. I converse with family and friends who have more than one child and there are days when I'm thankful we had him when we did and that we only have one child. He can be a real scamp at times. I have utter respect for friends and family who are managing multiple children. Knowing how much love and effort one child can pull out of me I can't imagine doing this with more than one.

A friend, who knows me well, said that I'd do fine. She's just had her second, a daughter. Children are absolutely amazing and I'm positive she will be a wonderful mother to her son and daughter. I'm sure I'd do fine as well but I love the interaction and direct attention I can provide to shape this wonderful creature.

I've gone and done it. Another Mac App blog...

But, can you blame me? There is such a wide selection of software available out there I thought it might be at least slightly useful to pass on what I and some friends find to be most useful applications. Ones we use on a regular basis, were willing to search out and possibly even pay for! ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The ongoing discussions about MacHeist

Discussions. Is that the correct word? I'm not so sure. Blatant flinging of opinions may be more accurate.

Those of us not on the inside would do well to stop flinging opinion and accusations at the crew that started and currently manage MacHeist. At least there are a few more people who are calmly making posts about it now. That's refreshing after fora, blog and podcasting flame wars that ensued in the first two years of the event. To be sure, MacHeist still has it's share of detractors.Among them this time around is Marco Arment, who is certainly entitled to his opinion. One response to Mr. Arment's posted opinion is from a dev who is involved directly with MacHeist.

Here is some additional opinion from a developer at M Cubed Software and Buzz Andersen's Sci-Fi Hi-Fi blog post.

So, what more can I seek to add to all of this discussion that gets exhumed and rehashed with each iteration of MacHeist?

I'm the consumer. I've purchased all three bundles that have been offered. I've participated in all but the very first "heist", only because I didn't get invited until just as that one ended and didn't have time.Overall, it's been delightfully entertaining and a great core community has grown up around the annual bundle releases. By far, as the consumer, I'm more annoyed by whiners and complainers who think every step should be picture perfect with no hiccups or issues than with anything I've had to deal directly with the MacHeist team about.

The MacHeist folk are treading new ground in many instances, pushing the envelope and bringing us interesting puzzles, free software to try — or to ignore or delete if it isn't useful to us — and a bundle of software that is so reasonably priced that it really is hard to pass up.

What I think a lot of the naysayers and supporters alike are missing is the ongoing community aspect that sprung up without originally being intended by the creators. That community is acknowledged now, within the MacHeist team but, originally, the forum was an afterthought. To be sure, in the thick of activity building to a bundle there are a lot of fluff posts. It got even fluffier with the advent of teams and points that none of us knew how to really earn other than myriad speculated methods. We still don't have an explanation as to what points are all about or how we gain and lose them. Meh, big deal.

I took a quick, and silly, quiz. I got assigned to the Green Team (my husband gave nearly identical answers and ended up my opponent on the Orange Team but he's not really into it anyway). I've now made a group of friends via our Team Chat. A super core of people on the team with whom I interact regularly. We are Mac users. We help each other find apps of use, hardware recommendations and a variety of other things including sharing our musical tastes via Blip.fm.

Oh, and did I mention, as a consumer I've been willing to check out independent software developer's wares much more since I did my first heist. I've gotten some great software from MacUpdate's mupromo and macZOT, both of which are ongoing, year-round.

We even have an enterprising MacHeist community member who is digging up deals for us and posting them in the fora for all to take advantage of on a regular basis. I've gotten in on two of those so far was well. Folks are certainly entitled to their own opinions. It's akin to people who complain about the posts of people they are following on twitter being annoying... Unfollow! If you as a dev don't think you will get a good deal out of participating in MacHeist... Don't! If you can't afford the bundle, even with the ridiculously low price for what is included or you don't see software in it you want... Don't Buy It!

Oh, and if you don't like the FREE software you got for solving the puzzles don't whine to the rest of us who are quite happy to give them a try or just ignore ones we don't want. No one is being forced to do any of these things against their will. Gee whiz, they were FREE.

I've spent money to upgrade some of the free apps that I found useful. I've spent money to upgrade bundle apps as well. I'll echo others when I say that I likely would not have sought out some of the apps that came in the bundles. Those very apps for which I've paid upgrade fees to the devs. I've bought other apps from some of the devs I'd possibly not have found otherwise. My exposure to MacHeist has certainly produced a positive for developers of software that I make use of on a regular basis.

Participate in the community a bit before accusing, whining or denigrating it. It would be refreshing to see people do some real research before spouting off.

Dear Bankers...

Our family has tried to be pretty responsible with our finances over the years. We have a few too many Legos, some stuff we could live without if we had to. But overall, we've been careful with our earnings.

Our mortgage lender thinks so too. So, what do they do to indicate that? They send us a nice piece of mail with two plastic cards that have our mortgage loan number on it, telling us how wonderful we are and that we now have Preferred Status. Hooray for us!

Why did my bank need to spend money on two useless pieces of plastic, an oversized envelope and the postage to tell me this? Look at your records, Dear bankers. I'm sure you can easily see... every payment on this loan has been done electronically.

I'm set up for email notifications. I've asked you to stop sending me other paper stuff. WHY would I want these stupid plastic cards? There are so many other effective ways you can market to me, your targeted consumer, that don't use paper or plastic. I respectfully ask you to please STOP producing junk I'm going to cut up and add to a landfill somewhere.

If I want to contact you I am not going to go rooting around for a card that sort of looks like a credit card but isn't. You should be watching your budgets as you try to do the right things to stay in business. Cut out the junk!

When was the last time I was actually transacted business inside one of your banks? This is trackable. You actually bill people for doing this. Stop spending money on this useless stuff, pay employees a decent wage to be there when I do need the help of a human being! Not everything you offer can be done online or at an ATM. We both know this. Can't we somehow get back to doing smart business with each other? I'll be contacting you, my bank, directly about this. I want to encourage others to do so as well when they encounter wasteful or stupid marketing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Veronica Belmont to host the MacHeist 3 bundle reveal show!

It's time again for the annual MacHeist bundle and this year they're doing a live video show to reveal all the apps in it. Hosting the show will be Tekzilla's Veronica Belmont, Lisa Bettany, and Chris Pirillo.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MacHeist 3 finally begins! Go get your free apps

The first mission is now live for Mac users interested in grabbing free software. Head on over and you can get ShoveBox and KavaTunes for free!

read more | digg story

Monday, January 12, 2009

Heist time again for the Mac Community?

We had a teaser during the holidays. A nice little batch of loot to whet our appetite.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the actual MacHeist III. Say what you will, I've managed to get some rock solid apps at reasonable prices through these events. It's a nice community on the forums as well. If you stop by and sign up now you can get your hands on Jumsoft's Process just for signing up.

Yellow Pepper Soup insomnia...

My sleeping patterns have been all out of whack since the holiday break. Of course, it doesn't help to start a project of yellow pepper soup at 8:30 PM on a Saturday night.

The broiling and peeling of the peppers takes a bit of time. Luckily, the end result is mighty tasty. I did a dumb thing though, I decided to do a really large batch. One blender-full the last time just wasn't enough. I should have counted, but I didn't, so I don't know how many peppers I had total. It was more than 25 though. 

I started with a recipe I'd found on a search in Google. The recipe I used to use is archived away on a hard drive in an old 386 PC. No idea at all where that's gotten to. It used to be in my kitchen in our previous house but I haven't seen it in years. I kept all my favorite, tried-and-true recipes on it. Ah well. So, the internet age to the rescue. I like this recipe better, actually. Though I must admit I didn't follow it exactly. I didn't have some of the ingredients so I substituted.

I'm making use of a great piece of software now, MacGourmet, on a much newer computer (a MacBook Pro). It's leaps and bounds ahead of the old software I made use of years ago to keep my favorite recipes.

I did have yellow peppers and potatoes but the rest varied a little. The original recipe made far too little soup for the effort and most recipes that call for "salt and pepper to taste" never receive the salt in my kitchen. I have found a great vegetable stock mix that has enough sodium to suit me and I don't add more.

Don't let a lack of the listed ingredients put you off from trying a recipe if you have stuff that might be "close enough". The recipe I found called for 1/2 a small yellow onion. I didn't have it and I don't generally cook frequently enough to only use 1/2 of an onion. I messed pretty heavily with the recipe but it came out quite well.

Yellow Pepper Soup 
the big batch with what I had available

3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 small carrots (or in my case 40-45 baby carrots ;-), peeled and diced
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
6 green onions and 1 leek chopped (hey, it's what I had. I wanted to use all leeks but someone beat me to them at WholeFoods that day, literally right as I went to get the leeks - she had 4 in her basket and there was only one left)
Approx 5.25 pounds yellow peppers - broiled and peeled
3 teaspoons Seitenbacher powdered vegetable broth with seasonings (thank you Amazon case pricing Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning, 5-Ounce Canisters (Pack of 6))
4 cups water
Parsley or other garnish

Cut peppers into quarters, clean seeds out and place on cookie sheet skin side up. Broil until skin starts to crisp — don't be afraid to let it burn. It will peel so much easier if you do. Allow to cool a bit (don't burn your fingers!) then peel.

If you use baby carrots, no peeling necessary just dice and set aside until you have the vegetable stock started. Otherwise, peel and dice your small carrots. Chop the green onions and shallots. Go as far up the stems as you like. This will all be cooked down and puréed but too much green does potentially make the yellow soup look odd (little tiny flecks in the soup). (-;

In a stock pot, combine the olive oil, water and powdered vegetable broth, add the carrots, green onion and shallots to simmer while you peel and dice potatoes to add to the stock. Slice the peeled peppers into strips, add to stock pot. Simmer until potatoes are thoroughly cooked (fall apart when you stab 'em with a fork).

Purée in a blender or food processor. Garnish if you'd like or just serve it up hot, as is.

My method was to peel some peppers, work on the other veggies for the stock and then go back to the peppers. Once you have the peppers peeled they are a little like handling slippery yellow fillets.

I had 3 cookie sheets of peppers to roast under the broiler. I started out with the peppers just in half, that didn't allow the sides to broil well enough and peeling was a pain. By quartering the peppers the skin came off much more easily. The last pan of peppers was a snap — I'd finally gotten the hang of it by then. 'bout time, it was nearly 1AM and I still had to simmer and purée the darned soup!! (-;

The iPhone works pretty well for quick snaps, even over a steamy pot of soup, no? Not the most perfect, foodie magazine quality shots, but serviceable when I can't find a better camera while I'm cooking.