Tijd- en humeur-redder: LastPass

Toen ik recent weer een nieuwe gebruikersnaam en wachtwoordcombinatie kreeg toegemaild, brak er iets in mij: de hoeveelheid inloggegevens werd te gortig. Er moest een redmiddel zijn. Ik heb mij nooit echt verdiept in ‘password-organizers’ en soortgelijke tools. Maar nu moest ik wel. Uiteindelijke kwam ik uit op LastPass. Op elke PC/Mac te gebruiken. Ook mobiel. Als plugin en online kluis. Het genereert wachtwoorden die niet te onthouden, maar wel erg veilig zijn. Dat onthouden hoeft ook niet, want elke keer als je ergens inlogt, vraagt LastPass of je dit account wilt opslaan. Daarna log je voortaan indien gewenst volautomatisch in. Ook formulieren kan LastPass voor je invullen…

Hamvraag is en blijft natuurlijk: is dat veilig? Al je login informatie ergens op een onbekende website? Ik geloof het wel. De info gaat versleuteld over de lijn en wordt ook versleuteld opgeslagen ‘in de cloud’. De lokale software zorgt er via een hoofdaccount (dat wachtwoord moet je dus nog wél onthouden!) voor dat een en ander weer ontsleuteld wordt. Lijkt me redelijk safe. Tot het tegendeel bewezen wordt natuurlijk…

Google Wave… mooi zo’n faxmachine

Willen de mensen die mij kennen en ook de beschikking hebben over Google Wave dit kenbaar maken alsjeblieft? Ik heb nu het gevoel dat ik had toen de fax ter wereld kwam. Een schitterend apparaat waar je echter weinig mee kan zolang er nog geen andere faxen zijn om mee te praten…

GoogleVoice: hebben, hebben, hebben

voice-main-videoEen mooie nieuwe toevoeging aan de bijna dagelijks groeiende hoeveelheid apps die Google aanbiedt: GoogleVoice. Een telefoonnummer van Google waar je dan al je bestaande nummers aan koppelt. Je bepaalt dan zelf welke ‘echte’ telefoons overgaan, afhankelijk van wie er belt. Je kunt ook inkomende gesprekken door laten zetten naar je Google Voicemailbox. Die je dan weer vanaf een telefoon of online kunt beluisteren. Of lezen. Want Google zet voicemails (ook) om in geschreven tekst.
Zoiets wil ik meteen hebben. Maar zoals zoveel nieuwe dingen van Google: het is een beta in hun vermaarde Lab en straks eerst alleen in de VS van A te krijgen… Heb mezelf wel alvast op de lijst gezet. Want GoogleVoice is nu nog alleen op invitatie.

Getting back on the GTD-train

I must admit: my GTD routine was a bit low the last month. In fact that is rather strange. Because last month was rather busy. You would say that a strict GTD-routine should have helped to overcome such a periode. But this is proof for me, that my intentions with GTD were just that: intentions (the best of them!) The routine didn’t sink in deep enough to make it second nature. And this is what Ben Tiggelaar is writing/talking/ranting about in his latest publications: to actually change one’s behaviour a lot of very consious and hard work need to be done. After that is all is simple… Because you drilled yourself in a way that the new behaviour became second nature.

Well, my earlier GTD-efforts learned me a lot however. Lessons I can apply now I’m getting back on the train again. The main reason for this – apart from a nagging frustration because I knew things weren’t on track – was the introduction to ThinkingRock (www.thinkingrock.com.au). An Australian (JAVA)applications that runs on my Mac as well as on my PC. It follows the GTD-workflow rather strict and helps me in gathering all things ”IN” in a better, more natural way.

Because this I found to be the hardest in learning and developing GTD-techniques: how to get to a solid, unique and always and everywhere working “INBOX”? How did you fellow GTD-ers manage that?

Broken Macbook Pro: Apple gone mad?

cracked screen MacBook Pro 15
It happened: my Macbook Pro is broken. The screen that is. Never had any problems with carrying laptops in my old and trusted ASUS-briefcase. But the Macbook Pro showed up with a broken screen yesterday… Kind of fragile stuff. Today I visited a official Apple Service Center in Rotterdam in my lunchbreak. They told me that this is not covered by warranty. The price to fix this? A stunning 758 euros without 19% VAT. The repair will last al least 10 working days. But more likely 15.

I left the shop astonished and determined to solve it in another way, To make a long story short: I ordered a new screen via Ebay. Price: 256,98 Canadian dollars. Including shipment. That is 161,01 euros. The manual that tells in a step-by-step way how to replace the display was downloaded via Powerbookmedic.com This includes details photos on how to do the job. I guess it will take me a maximum of 3 hours, probably less. I’ll keep you all posted on how this story ends. But I guess I’m in for a very satisfying solution (fingers crossed!)

The screen arrived! That is rather rapid: ordered Tuesday and delivered Friday from www.screencountry.com in Canada! This evening I am invited to fly with the Dutch Airforce – in a balloon. But otherwise I would have rebuild the MacBook Pro this evening. I’ll do that tomorrow. When all works out, I am done for a bit more than 160 euros. Within a week! Via the official channels the situation would differ quite a bit: at least 750 euros and a waiting time of two – probably three – working weeks…

Did it. Just a day after receiving the screen from Canada, I took the thing apart and fixed the screen. Geeting it back together was probably harder than taking it apart… Nice!

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Nozbe is my favorite GTD-tool

Recently I found out about Nozbe. I think it was via the fine website of Frank Meeuwsen. Nozbe is now my favorite GTD-collection tool. Because it sits in my iGoogle start screen, I can easily and on-the-fly (crucial!) input things to remember. It also has an iPhone specific web application than can be checked everywhere. To keep it short: I’m a fan.

Waiting for my iPhone

iphone.pngI did it! I bought an iPhone. I was sick of the waiting for the announcement-that-never-came on launching the iPhone in The Netherlands. And after reading about all the hacks that are spreading the net right now, I jumped in. On eBay I found someone from California who had plenty of iPhones on offer. I did a winning bid. And now I am waiting for the parcel to arrive. I guess coming Monday is D-Day.
Then the hacking starts. I already downloaded all necessary programs, manuals and what have you. While reading I entered a complete new world (while familiar with hacking gadgets) where Jailbraking and other intriguing terms rule. This needs to be done, while in The Netherlands the iPhone would otherwise be a very expensive iPod. I am planning to keep you all posted on my experiences. Now I’ll wait in anticipation for the überhyped gadget to arrive.

update September, 26th: The seller @ eBay is very uncommunicative at the moment. He sent me a tracking-number, but this appears to be invalid. No response up until now on my requests for clarification… This might become a lesson in “how to handle when a transaction on eBay goes wrong. I’ll keep you posted….

My iPhone arrived. Read the posting here.

GSM Doorbell: simply genius

waleli.JPGIt is true that great inventions are in fact rather simple. And so is the GSM Doorbell. This is the kind of invention you could have imagined yourself. But you didn’t. And neither did I. Connecting your GSM to your frontdoor (bell and lock) is in itself so simple, though so practical. Imagine: you won an eBay-auction and the postman is delivering the package at home. But your are not there. The postman ring (twice?) and your doorbell connects with your GSM. You can speak to the postman, asking him to leave the package at the neighbour’s. Or ask him to come back tomorrow, when you are home. And this example is also truly practical: the kids are earlier home than you thought. (Or: your are stuck in a traffic jam and too late to be home in time). They simple ring the doorbell. You hear it’s your kids and you open the door from your GSM. Truly an invention that makes you wonder why it wasn’t there earlier. I mean: how long do we use frontdoors and cellphones?

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