Keeping Your Life Pure & Simple

Take Away The Unnecessary

Keep asking yourself, does this “something” add anything to my life? If you have to think about an answer to the question for more than a few seconds, it doesn’t. Remove it from your life. Throw it away. Clear out the space visually and mentally.

There’s no use keeping around a piece of digital material (RSS feed, song, file, bookmark) if it’s not adding anything to your life, or helping you in any-way. Try to simplify things down and keep only the essentials, both in the material world and the evolving digital world.

Moving from a desktop computing setup to a notebook based setup comprising of a MacBook Pro helped my digital cleanliness propagation a few months ago, I migrated over 1TB of data into under 100GB.

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Shooting Stats: December 2006

I thought I’d post my photography shooting stats each month so I can keep a tab on how my photography is coming along. A few of you who have asked for more personal and “statty” posts should enjoy this too.

Images Taken: 1,685
Images Kept: 966
HD Space Used: 5.57GB
Average Shots Kept Daily: 31

Shots With 18-55 Lens: 856
Shots With 75-300 Lens: 101
Shots With Other Cams: 9

Review: Elgato Turbo.264

Those involved in any kind of video work will be able to relate to the grueling chore of long encoding sessions, especially if you’re not on an exceptionally quick Intel based machine. Video encoding takes time, hogs your machines resources, and is a long and tentative task.

I’m lucky enough to own a powerful dual-core MacBook Pro now which makes encoding videos for my show an easy process. However on my old Intel iMac this wasn’t the case. Videos took an age to encode into different formats, while the process left something to be desired. Enter the Elgato Turbo.264, saving your sanity, and your wallet from having to shell out for a quicker machine for faster video encodes.

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MacBook Pro Storage Limitations

The overall transition from a powerful desktop to a slim portable machine has been very smooth to date. I enjoy portability much more than the added power of the desktop machine, the MacBook Pro is one tool I don’t think I could go without now having used it for a few weeks.

However, there has been one downside to the transition which I expect to see eliminated over the course of the next 24 months – data storage. It’s difficult when you have over 500GB of live data but just a 160GB internal hard-drive. This will start to improve as manufacturers pump out higher density drives, Western Digital already have a 320GB drive on the market. I don’t think it’ll be too far away until we see those as official Apple BTO options for the MacBook Pro.

I’m very interested in the new WD Scorpio 320GB 5400-RPM HDDs. Installing a 320GB drive into the MacBook Pro would mean less data to keep on external drives, in turn leaving me with less headaches. It’s no fun receiving a warning message like shown above. Thank goodness for my 250GB LaCie Porsche external drive, which is now home to my extensive catalog of digital images in Lightroom (review coming very soon for those who have asked).

Spaces

OSX Spaces

When the first details of Leopard sprung onto the scene at WWDC 2006, Spaces was something which caught the eye for a second, and immediately disappeared from my mind. Even over the past few weeks when the official feature list was posted on Apple’s website and Spaces was featured as one of the main components to the operating system, I still glanced over it - thinking it wouldn’t change the way I worked.

Boy, was I wrong. At this point in my continued exploration of Leopard, Spaces is by far one of the most convenient Leopard feature.

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What Mac Apps Do You Use On A Daily Basis?

Mac Apps

I have an array of applications which I use on a regular daily basis for fun, work, and to get specific things done. They range from office application right through to games, what exactly do I use?

Information And Organization

OmniFocus is employed as my universal to-do list. All tasks which enter my world are entered into OmniFocus so I can take care of them later. I like having a dedicated to-do application which allows me to clear my head and get things out of the way.

NewsFire is still my RSS reader of choice. I read over 100 feeds on a daily basis and NewsFire allows me to sort through them quickly and efficiently. I thoroughly enjoy the interface of the application and the way it manages my feeds intelligently.

Mail/Safari are two applications which I’m constantly browsing through to read and gather information, get things done, and waste time… Most of my digital tasks and to-do’s are generated through Mail, and most of them are completed using my web browser of choice, Safari.

Twitterrific is an application I use more than once daily..50 times would be more accurate. I’m constantly receiving updates from friends on Twitter via Twitterrific, along with using it to post updates. Twitterrific is by far one of my most active applications.

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Review: Nike + iPod Sports Kit

Apple logo
plus sign
Nike swoosh logo

Running is not something that really interests me. I play a lot of sport, but I just find running plain boring. When I saw that the Nike + iPod sports kit was being released in New Zealand, I started reading up about it, and running for points, setting goals, and competing in challenges sounded really cool to me (I’m a big stats guy).

I promptly went out and purchased a new iPod nano, Nike+iPod sports kit, and the stylish Nike+ shoes so I could get into optimal condition for the grueling cricket season ahead. The kit includes a wireless transmitter which plug’s into your iPod nano, and a wireless sensor which you insert into your pair of Nike+ shoes.

When you head out for a run, you connect the wireless transmitter to your iPod nano, put your Nike+ shoes on, choose which workout you wish to complete (basic, distance, time, or calories), set your playlist, and you're off.

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Do It And It’s Done

Sometimes people can get too caught up in a GTD mindframe. Each and every task which comes in they will write down on their to-do list, and take the appropriate steps to complete it. However some tasks can be done right away, avoiding stress at a later stage.

For me, if something actionable will take less than 5 minutes to do I will do it right away. The task does not get added to my to-do list. Instead, it gets done as soon as it reaches one of my data collection points, and it doesn’t cause me to procrastinate – which means no stress.

However, some tasks are too large to apply the “Do it and it’s done” method to, which is why I enjoy publishing productivity related posts – to help you manage these larger projects and tasks and get them done in an efficient manner.

Do it and it’s done. The phrase to keep in mind – I recommend you print it out and stick it on the wall behind your workstation.

Frenzic: Addictive Gaming From The Icon Factory

Icon Factory logo

I’ll say it right off the mark, I am no gamer, never have been, never will be. I really don’t see the point in playing games, it’s just not me. Last week The Icon Factory released their first Shareware strategy game, Frenzic. At first I passed off the news when I saw it was a game - today, with nothing else to do I was sifting through NewsFire and decided I’d download it to try it out.

Right now, 6 hours later I can say I am officially addicted to Frenzic, it’s one game I wont get tired of playing down to it’s simple game-play, beautiful UI and application design, and online modes leaving you with much to explore.

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Shooting Stats: January 2007

Here is the January 2007 edition of my photography shooting stats. I shot a lot of cricket for the first time this month, which makes up the high number of shots I didn’t keep and therefore deleted.

Images Taken: 1,312
Images Kept: 465
HD Space Used: 3.78GB
Average Shots Kept Daily: 15

Shots With 18-55 Lens: 223
Shots With 75-300 Lens: 242
Shots With Other Cams: 0