I have a lot to be thankful for on this holiday in the United States (though I reside in North North Dakota, as my friends in Brooklyn sometimes say). Instead of revealing my most treacly and open reasons for thankfulness, however (which include, importantly, my health, my family, my business, my quick wit, and the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States of America), I thought I would treat you to my latest thank yous to those technological innovations that drive my work, my mind and, perhaps most relevantly, my distractions. These technologies are constructs that I could easily live without, bits followed by bytes that are less necessary than they are needed, and more pervasive than they are pertinent. In any case, or in all cases, they are as follows:
- NetNewsWire, which I use every few months, but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy it. The strange reality of RSS feeds is that they hover in nothingness, without context or the pretty graphics that make blogs great and relevant to me. But I still love the unification of posts in NetNewsWire and the synchronicity of Newsgator, multiple desktop apps, and the iPhone app. No one has done this integration better than these guys.
- Backpack (note: affiliate link), which I love to hate and hate to love. I’ve tried other to-do lists, note-taking tools, and online repositories of every variety and I keep coming back to the scrapings of Basecamp, which allows me to semi-organized my semi-life with relative simplicity.
- Movable Type, in which I have written, composed and re-written and re-composed endlessly boring posts like this one. I still vastly prefer my current installation of the application, stuck in, approximately version 3.5.2 and I likely will not upgrade to 4.0 until it becomes 5.0 and less reliant on pretty-pretty. I know that my blogging friends and neighbors are all moving, en masse, to Expression Engine and WordPress, but I like what I know and I know what I like: MT 3.5.2.
- Safari, which is a browser par excellence, and continues to beat Firefox, a recently beautified application that is unquestionably faster, cooler, and more relevant to Web designers and developers like me.
- MobileMe, Apple’s terribly expensive sync tool, allowing me to write once (in iCal, Address Book, and Yojimbo) and find it anywhere and everywhere. While it’s had its hiccups, it continues to be the only way to ensure that I don’t have multiple dates, names and passwords strewn across the desktop landscape of my office and abode.
- Yojimbo, speaking of this, which humbly holds a ridiculously large number of passwords, bad ideas, good ideas, bad passwords, receipts, boilerplate, serial numbers, and digital detritus that has nowhere else to reside. Yojimbo, horribly named, has grown on me like a new arm.