Archive for the 'software' Category

Reposted from PixelBit Lab

Over the last few months i’ve been looking into various web apps to use over at PixelBit. After looking over many, testing a few and reading reviews i’ve formulated a small list of the top tools. We use others as well but these are the ones that shine.

Project and client management. The Suite is a good deal.

Good advertising opportunity for little cost.

Quickbooks Online
Perfect tools for managing the business, paying employees and contractors. Also integrates with our accountants systems.

Hosted SVN for secure, offsite backups. While we don’t use this for all code (contract restrictions) it works quite well for our small team.

iOS Developers “new best thing”. It makes testing a breeze and makes it possible to push builds in minutes with a clear communication with our testing pools.

While not really a web tool it really is nice to get feedback in realtime as a project is being developed.

I have a love/hate for this host, but so far they’ve allowed PixelBit to scale (internally) and provide solutions for our clients.

Excellent newsletter and one-off mailing. Clean, Fast and Intuitive. Plus it has chimps, whats not to love?

There you have it, a little list of the tools we use. I will post some more “company information” in the future as we continue to grow. For now we are focused on our brands and clients, so much that we haven’t even finished our own website. Its the “cobblers children” effect for sure.

What tools and services do you use?

Note: NONE of these recommendations were paid or compensated to be added.

by mkeefe on Aug 21st, 2011

Lion Sucks

After using Lion since the day it was released (about a month ago) I feel the need to warn others! First off the install/purchase process is all handled through the Mac App Store*, which is interesting. No real opinion on that. Once the file was downloaded the installation is like any other OS X install, until you get to the part where Lion loses your account profile (sometimes) and locks you out of you own damn machine.

Now you better have another internet connected device because you need to Google and find the fix. Then wait about an hour for your profile to be recovered. Once you have everything ready you get to watch some of your apps get removed and locked away because Lion removed support for PPC, without any warning that I saw (other than release notes). For me the only app that got removed was Dropbox, but others have lost much worse.

At this point you should be back to using your computer as you were before upgrading, but wait, things seem “iOS like”. Thats correct, Lion is a “iOS++” and it sucks. iOS does convert to desktop usage all that well. Starting with the “natural-scrolling” which is a great thing to argue with other Mac fans.. but I don’t like it. Then comes the “hidden scroll-bars” but the worst part is the fact Lion is a memory and resource hog. I get the “beach ball” more now than I did before. Not being happy with performance I upgraded my MacBook Pro with 8GB of ram and its still not as performant as Snow Leopard was.

I’m sure you are asking, why post this? Simple, after a quick comment on Twitter this morning it got me thinking that Apple really doesn’t care about the desktop market or computers like they once did. Apple is all focused on mobile which is great for iOS but not so much for OS X users.

I guess desktop users are like the dinosaur to Apple, only problem is desktop development and usage is still as popular for actual users. Not “smartphone users” that need to check-in to the local McDonalds. It will be interesting to see how the next couple of years shift developers away from OS X. Which honestly will suck since their are some awesome apps, Transmit, Versions, 1Password, Things and TextMate, to name a few.

* Well I do have one bitch, that being Apple gets a cut of the sale and doesn’t offer trial versions. Not to mention soon they will drop the hammer on “forbidden apps” just like they did with iOS.

by mkeefe on Feb 2nd, 2010

1Password 3 – An amazing update

Agile Software has recently released version 3 of their popular password manager, 1Password. Its no surprise I am a huge fan of this application, but with all that packed into this new version I love it more.

The feature list for 1Password 3 is about 50+ but some of them really stand out. Especially the custom keychain, mobile syncing, software licensing management and even the new design.

64 Bit, check!
Starting at the core the new version runs natively on Snow Leopard in 64bit mode. This of course means more responsive and faster performance overall.

Mobile Syncing
With the 1Password iPhone app you can travel with your passwords and even use the app to login to MobileSafari web pages without ever having to enter a password.

Faster search
1Password 3 now features much better and robust searching. You can quickly drill down on your passwords and find the correct one with ease.

This is a lesser known feature but extremely useful. It gives you the ability to store account passwords, such as those for Airport, FTP, IM and the iTunes store, for example.

Attach files
You can now attach files (licenses, order receipts, keys) to any item in 1Password. This is especially useful for digital purchases, which normally have a simple email key that you often times misplace over the years.

Closing thoughts
I would like to see Chrome supported in a dot release soon, but I suspect that feature is held on the limitation of plug-ins with Chrome on the Mac.

In the end, the peace of mind with having all of my passwords stored safely really is priceless but the low price of $39.95 or $24.95 for the upgrade is a drop in the bucket. Stop remembering all those passwords and use 1Password.

Pick up a copy today, over at the Agile Online Store.

by mkeefe on Jan 16th, 2008

What the Flock is up

… with the browsers on OS X? I am at a loss for words, but no matter which browser I use on the Mac I run into some sort of problem.

Uploading and caching bugs in Safari, excessive crashing in Firefox and untold memory usage in Flock.

I now have to run three browsers to check my mail, blog post and forum surf. Luckily my passwords are moving with each browser, but this is getting a little out of hand here.

Does anyone have a way to get at least one stable browser for the Mac? Don’t make me admit that IE7 in Parallels is gaining popularity with me.

by mkeefe on Jan 11th, 2008

1Password – Password Management for OS X

1Password LogoI have always been looking for ways to manage all my password, across multiple browsers and even systems. Originally I started writing them down (worst idea) and then started using only a few passwords, but that was just as bad. After that I began to use the Keychain that ships with every Mac, but this became a problem when I purchased a new MacBook Pro because I had to transfer all of the keychain data to that new machine.

Another problem with relying on the keychain is it only really works for some applications because not all browsers and programs support it.

Well, the issue is now in the past because I have been using 1Password which allows me to share my login information across browsers and manage it all within one powerful application.


Getting Started
You start off by setting a master password so you don’t have to be bothered with many passwords. This feature alone is enough for me, but it goes beyond that. 1Password allows me to choose, random, strong passwords any time I register for a site. Whenever a new form is encountered 1Password asks me to save that password for future use, or you can enable 1Password to automatically store new forms.


Phishing Prevention
Another great feature of 1Password is phishing prevention. Let’s say you visit a site and attempt to retrieve the login information but its not there, you would now be concerned and confused, but at the same time you know the site isn’t the correct one. This means your identity isn’t stolen and your login information is stored safely from prying eyes.


Password Management Made Easy
Managing your passwords from the easy-to-use application is seamless and quick, and of course you can lock down this application, requiring your admin password in order to modify the settings.

Sync with .Mac
1Password has the ability to sync with your .mac account which means you can have all of your logins synced across your computers. This was especially important for me because I need to have access to my clients systems no matter which machine I am on and now I have this.

Leopard Support
As a bonus, it works on Leopard too!

Overall I found this application to do exactly what it was advertised and that is a great thing.

You can download a demo here and a full license will set you back about $29.95, which can be purchased at AgileOnline. (discount code added to bring price down a bit)

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