January 15, 2008
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Leopard

It's MacWorld keynote day. Bound to be interesting.

Tim Bray makes a great point: small improvements in the operating system quietly make a very significant difference. Like Tim, I made a mistake a few days ago and thought I was in Big Trouble, only to realize that Time Machine would undo to blunder in a minute or two. It's just a backup tool, but it gets things done.

For small offices: do you backup all your computers to one Time Machine drive, or does each computer still have its own backup disk? Email me.

I'm also intrigued by the Drobo, an external enclosure for network backup drives.

Bray also mentions that

But what’s really cool is that these days, if there’s a date or a time in an email message, you can click on it and it’ll make an effort to figure out event details and jam them into iCal automatically. It gets lots of things wrong, but usually not the time, so at least you get an event opened up at the right place in the screen, so you can fix up any mistakes and put the details in the “Notes” field.

I didn't know that! This is an interesting aspect of design for a changing system: how does the program tell you about new things, without interfering with getting your everyday work done?

Another interesting hack: DTerm lets you pop up a tiny terminal with a hotkey, giving you a command line anywhere. Now, I know some people who live on the command line and really care about Terminal, but I visit the command line for special tasks (and nostalgia). I'd never have thought about this, if Gordon Meyer hadn't mentioned it on Twitter the other day. But perhaps this would work. Perhaps it might be something you'd use all the time. Also interesting because the product page is completely centered on a video demo, and that demo really zips.