1Password

Review: 1Password

I started using Siber System’s RoboForm Password Manager in 2007 after a colleague recommended it.  I tried their free version briefly and then happily shelled out $20 for a license.  Since then, I’ve had different passwords on sites and have increasingly made them more complex over the years.  When I decided to leave RoboForm, mostly due to wanting better mobile applications and a distaste for their subscription model, I test drove both LastPass and 1Password.  Ultimately, I ended up with 1Password and still feel like it was the right decision.  I liked their integration and over time, their one-time license fee is a better bargain than paying a subscription fee annually. Read more

OmniFocus dashboard

Using OmniFocus for GTD

OmniFocus ForecastI’ve been using OmniFocus for about a year now and it seems like the right time to post a comprehensive review of it and how it’s worked for me.  I’m an extremely diligent GTD (Getting Things Done) practitioner and frankly, both my personal and professional lives would be a mess without it.  GTD is a time- and task-management methodology based on the book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.  I first read David’s book in 2006 and implemented his principles at that time; he released a second edition last year which I’ve also read. Read more

Automated Website Backup

Backup Your Web Site Automatically in cPanel

One of the services I perform for web clients is periodically making backups of their web site. This includes backing up the web directory (all of their HTML files including WordPress and any accompanying theme files and plugins) and taking a backup of their site’s MySQL database.

Rather than doing this manually, it’s easier (and more reliable) to just schedule the process in cPanel.  Unfortunately, if you’re using a reseller account like mine or if you have multiple sites, you can’t select a single web site in the native cPanel Backups module.  You’ll have to write a bash script and run it at your desired frequency through Cron. Read more

Personal GTD Workflow

My Task/Time/Data Management Process

I get asked quite frequently about my task management workflow in general, and specifically how I keep projects organized and quickly/easily refer back to discussions in meetings or emails from months earlier.  Here’s a look at how I have things set up.  And I’ll add some additional posts about the actual setup of individual tools at a later date and link to those at the bottom of this post. Read more

Sites with Security Hacks

How Many Times Have You Been Hacked?

Results: How many times have you been hacked?Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people.

The New York Times recently created a microsite that allows you to answer a few questions to learn which parts of your identity may have been stolen in some of the major hacking attacks over the last two years and what you can do about it. Not all attacks are included, and many attacks go undetected, so think of your results as a minimum level of exposure.

Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/29/technology/personaltech/what-parts-of-your-information-have-been-exposed-to-hackers-quiz.html

Karma Hotspot and MacBook Pro

How Not to Launch Your Product

I recently (well, not recently, more like 294 days ago) purchased a Karma Go wireless hot spot device for use when I travel.  My in-laws didn’t have wireless connectivity in their home (they used dial-up until when they switched to broadband last year, and finally installed a wireless router a couple months ago) and on more than one occasion I’ve had to drive around looking for a location with wireless because I had an emergency at work and needed internet access.

While I could get a wireless hot spot from work, I like the idea of having my own wireless connection and at $99, the device is tiny and fits in my briefcase or backpack.  More importantly, the data never expires and there is no monthly contract, so the fact that I would only use it as a last resort/contingency, makes the whole concept very affordable.

Getting the device was an adventure in and of itself. Read more

Connected Devices Map

A Map of Every Device Connected to the Internet

This isn’t exactly current (about a year old, actually) but I ran across a tweet recently by programmer and “Internet cartographer” John Matherly: Read more

OmniFocus dashboard

GTD Review: OmniFocus

Overview

I recently switched to OmniFocus as my GTD application for Mac OS X and iOS.  Now, I realize this goes against my initial criteria for finding a new GTD system, which included a requirement that the system be cross-platform, but my computer usage — even at work — has shifted to almost entirely Mac OS X.  Further, while I rely on an Android (Samsung Note 3) as my personal phone, there are a couple good applications — I currently use Quantus Tasks — that have been able to access the OmniFocus sync servers using an open API, meaning I can always access my todo list whether I’m on a computer or on the go.  This has also made me more reliant on my company iPhone and I ended up purchasing the OmniFocus iOS application as well.

OmniFocus is not a light investment, the Mac OS X application is $40 (upgrade to Pro version is another $40) and the iOS app is $40 (upgrade to the Pro version is another $20), which is a turn-off for many users, but it can be configured from a very simple workspace to one with significant complexity and features, making it a great choice for GTD practitioners of all skill levels and needs.  Personally, I’ve spent similar money on GTD applications ($50 for todoMatrix and another $20/year for its web interface, $20/year for Doit) and in my opinion, paid applications only increase the level and quality of support and enhancements from the developer over time.

Read more

Internet Ads

View or Change Your Google Ad Settings

No one really likes online advertisements. But they do help to pay for your Gmail hosting and the occasional brilliantly written article on the web. If you’re going to be served up ads by Google then you may as well make sure that they’re about topics you’re interested in. Here’s how you can find out what Google thinks you like and make changes if required.

First, head over to google.com/settings/u/0/ads and remember that you’ll need to be logged in.

View the section titled Interests and you can delete irrelevant ones or even add new ones.

Google Font

Google Font Library Project

Someone I follow on Twitter (CodeVixen) sent out a link to Font Library, an open source project intended to tag and organize Google Fonts.  If you’re a little typography-challenged at times like I am, you can shop by tag and the site displays a sample of each font on the page so that you can see how it looks.  Really helpful!