Archive for December, 2008

DevonThink 2.0 public beta released

DevonThinkBig news for those interested in file organization! Devon Technologies yesterday released a public beta of the long-awaited DevonThink 2.0. Among other things, DevonThink 2.0 offers the ability to open multiple databases at the same time, a completely revitalized interface, a web interface to your database, saves files to its database as-is (thus allowing them to be edited by external programs), smart groups for sorting your files, and at long last adds tagging (sort of). DevonThink has always been one of the most feature-rich file libraries available, and with version 2.0 it at last is a bit more friendly. If you need a lot of power and automation (particularly sorting/grouping automation) and don’t mind sacrificing the Finder-friendly approach of Together or EagleFiler for a database, then you’ll need to give DevonThink 2.0 a serious look.

The downside to the first public beta is that it doesn’t actually have much in the way of tagging support. There’s a place for tags in the Get Info window, but you can’t edit them (the contents currently defaults to the groups for a document). However, tagging (and presumably auto-tagging, given DevonThink’s long dedication to auto-sorting) is definitely on the radar for the final release. For more information about what’s new in DevonThink 2.0 and to download see the release notes and DevonThink 2.0 page. The first public beta will expire at the end of January, and upgrade options will be made available at the DevonThink website soon (they have announced, however, that users who purchased DevonThink 1.x after July 1, 2008 will receive a free upgrade to 2.0). DevonThink 2.0 requires OS 10.5.

Minor updates for early December

EvernoteEarly this December Together, Hazel, StoryMill, and Evernote all received minor updates. Together 2.2.3 includes synching improvements and several minor bug fixes. Hazel 2.2.4 offers a number of crash and other bug fixes, including some minor UI improvements. StoryMill 3.2.1 fixes several bugs, including date entry problems and localization improvements. Evernote 1.2 primarily introduces a new feature for premium users only: file synchronization. Basically, premium users can now attach any file on your computer to a note and it will be synchronized between all of your Evernote clients (Mac, web, iPhone, etc.). The only limitation is that a single note cannot exceed 25 MB. Cool? Yes. Evernote has made a lot of improvements since I last wrote about it, so definitely give it a look if you need to access data from anywhere.

For more information on the various updates see Together’s release notes, Hazel’s release notes, the StoryMill 3.2.1 announcement, and the Evernote synchronization blog announcement.

Ironic Software releases Deep 1.0

DeepIronic Software, makers of Yep and Leap, yesterday released a new image searching and tagging program called Deep. Deep offers a unique approach to image searching by combining filtering by tags/keywords, location, size, and aspect ratio with color palette matching. As you build your search in the top portion of the window, the results are displayed in a carousel below with navigation reminiscent of cover flow. As with Leap, tags include not only keywords that you’ve assigned to your images, but folder names, as well, providing you with a very complete list of keywords even if you’ve never tagged a photo. Unlike Leap and Yep, however, Deep is not focused on organizing photos. Although you can add tags to a photo, the program’s primary focus is on finding photos that are similar to one another, leaving the task of organizing, importing, or editing those photos in the first place up to software better equipped for the job. Interestingly, Deep doesn’t use a database; all of its metadata (including tags and color data) is included inside the extended attributes of your image files.

The awesomeness of Deep does come at a cost, however: Deep not only requires Leopard, but is Intel-only. It will not run on PowerPCs. Deep is available for $34 or as part of a package deal with Yep and Leap for $69, and the application includes a 21 day free trial. Definitely check out the manual for some very useful tips and tricks on using the software; although Deep is simple enough to pick up and use immediately (or almost immediately, given the need to index the colors of the images on your hard drive), there’s definitely more to the program than meets the eye.

In search of a scratchpad, part one

One of the key problems I face every day is that I have two computers, one brain, and a tendency to forget things. Perhaps while at work I’ll see a link on Twitter that I’d like to read on my lunch break but which skips my mind once lunch rolls around. Or maybe I forget to fill out my timesheet details and the next day have trouble remembering what exactly I did all day. Sometimes I’ll be off work and see a program that I definitely want to remember to install on my work computer only to start work the next day oblivious. How do I track such minor details without wasting time or brain space? The answer, I’ve decided, is that I need a scratchpad: somewhere that I can quickly toss ideas, URLs, and thoughts that will be synchronized between my computers and contains some simple organizational scheme to allow me to easily identify what needs attention.

TogetherFor the past few weeks I have been investigating software that might serve me as a scratchpad. Although I have not yet developed the perfect solution, I would like to share my first, somewhat flawed solution using Together from Reinvented Software. Together gets almost everything exactly right, but falls short for me thanks to the buggy and error-prone synchronization of MobileMe. Despite the shortcomings of its synchronization, however, setting up a scratchpad in Together is extremely easy and for people who don’t rely on synchronization (or perhaps just have better luck with MobileMe sync services than I) Together is an excellent choice for a scratchpad. [read more...]

Minor updates for late November

EagleFilerEagleFiler and Default Folder X received minor updates in the past week or so. EagleFiler 1.4.3 includes numerous bug fixes, some new esoteric preferences, and other minor improvements. Default Folder X 4.1 removes the lag that normally existed for open and save dialogs, adds Open Office 3 support, and fixes other minor errors and bugs.

For more information about EagleFiler 1.4.3 see the release notes. Default Folder X includes information on what’s new on the Default Folder X download page.

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