Ogami Stone Notebooks with paper made from stone

stone notebooks

Ogami notebooks are created in Milan, Italy, using a revolutionary process that produces paper entirely from limestone and ecological resins, creating a durable but smooth surface that makes writing on it a unique experience. “The pen floats across the paper.” This innovative process produces paper that is whiter, lighter, softer, and silkier, yet tear-resistant, and more durable than traditional paper. Unlike paper, Repap is waterproof and can be erased cleanly for re-use. A perfect ecologically sound (Americans still use about 71 million tons of paper per year — only 63 percent of which is ever recycled) companion to apps. like Evernote. (via.)

MobileMe seems to be up

For years I derided Apples’s .Mac and with their recent relaunch of the web service as MobileMe they appear to have fixed a number of my criticisms. Worth checking out if you use a Mac but may not be a compelling choice if you are already entrenched in a Gmail/ Online storage set-up. I may give the free trial a try to see if it’s useful for my family.

MobileMe keeps all of your information in an online server, or “cloud.” So no matter where you go or what device you use, everything is always in sync.
At me.com, you can check your email, change your calendar, and edit your contacts. You can also share photos and documents. Accessible anywhere, me.com is an ad-free suite of web applications — Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, and iDisk — that are elegant and easy to use.

MobileMe Features

Times Feed Reader

Times is an interesting feed reader for the Mac which introduces a novel interface fashioned after a newspaper. At least an online newspaper. Most feedreaders, like my current favourite Netnewswire, take their inspiration from email. NetNewswire is great for research but not so pleasant for reading throroughly a predetermined set of sources. This may be Times strength, as it’s perhaps best suited for those who actually read each headline versus those who skim and scan.
I came across this program at an interesting time as I just started to develop a very Web 1.0 news site for my own use. I’m tired of the constraints news sites place themselves under and prefer to read my news in a single legible column. Something which is surprisingly absent from almost all news sites I frequent. I like reading sites in a web browser and despite a laundry list of bugs, Times is good enough to give me pause. I’m going to give it some time in my daily schedule and see if it works well enough.
Some further write-ups on this app.:
A short review of Times for Mac
‘Attractive, inventive new $30 news reader for the Mac. I don’t think it’s for me, but it’s interesting’. DF
Introducing Times

MailTags for Apple Mail

Another in a long list of productivity enhancements I have tried, MailTags actually worked by allowing me to connect Apple Mail to iCal, something that Apple should have done in the first place. I haven’t tried this latest release as I am still using Tiger but I haven’t found Apple mail to be fast enough for robust email management anyway. Gmail is far faster. Your mileage may vary.

Indev’s MailTags 2.2 is a plug-in for Apple Mail that enables metadata tagging of email. This release adds compatibility with Leopard’s Mail 3.0 (including tagging of notes and RSS items) and also introduces a modular architecture for future enhancements.

MailTags. Via MacIntouch.

Sync iCal and Google Calendar

Spanning Sync provides two-way synchronization between Google Calendar and Apple iCal., makes it possible to connect Google calendar to your iPod, and by syncing through Google Calendar, share calendars among multiple Macs. The latest release (1.2) adds faster syncs and inheritance of iCal default alarm for events synced from Google Calendar. It’s $65.00 (expensive) for Mac OS 10.4.8 and up.

Get your address book contacts into Gmail

I came across this little gem of a utility during a futile attempt to leave my laptop at home while traveling. One main problem with doing so is that I don’t have ready access to all my contacts when I am abroad. I keep everything in Apples Address Book app. and there is no really convenient way to sync this with Googles Gmail. A to G solves this problem and it’s free!

A to G is a simple, free utility for Mac OS X that exports your Apple Address Book contacts into a Gmail-readable text file. Once exported, simply click Import in the Contacts section of your Gmail account, choose the file you exported, and you’re done!
A to G will bring over your contacts’ phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, companies, job titles and notes so that you can have info you need wherever you have Gmail.

A to G

3 alternatives to the new Dot Mac

There was a slew of other product updates from Apple on Tuesday including .Mac which now features 10 GB of total storage for a yearly fee of $99 ($79.99 at Amazon). Except for it’s tight integration with all of Apples software .Mac still comes up short compared to similar offerings elsewhere (but it’s coming much closer).
Online back-ups and file sharing are pretty important, especially so when you tend to work in different locations.
Here are the products I either use now or have in the past. All of these work well or extremely well with a Mac.
Strongspace – “Strongspace is a safe place to gather, store, back-up and share any type of file. You can upload and download files via SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), HTTPS (web browser access over Secure Socket Layers) and even RSYNC over SSH (a rapid, low bandwidth way to “sync”).”
Bingodisk – “Joyent’s BingoDisk is an on-line disk service that gives you 100, 50, 25, 15 or 10 gigabytes of disk storage on Sun’s amazing X4500 platform. BingoDisk comes with one user account and the ability to serve files from a public folder (for images, podcasts, whatever) over WebDAV with no restrictions on bandwidth for a super-low price!”
Mozy – Features include: Open/locked file support, 448-bit Blowfish encryption, 128-bit SSL encryption, Automatic or scheduled backups, New and changed file detection, Block level incremental backups, Bandwidth throttling, File versioning, and public or private key encryption.
If you are technically inclined Amazon S3 is an excellent choice but it requires quite a bit of effort to get it working seamlessly with a Mac. Obviously this is far from a comprehensive list – look to Lifehack for that – but these products have proven to work very well for me in the past.

Ta-da List for iPhone

37signals released a version of their popular Ta-da List for the iPhone over the weekend. It’s not different from the version you would use on your desktop, it shares the same data, it’s just optimized to fit on the iPhone screen. Seems like the perfect app. for a device such as this. Expect a flurry of new and old apps. created for this iconic device in the near future. Via Daring Fireball.

Online iTunes Back-up

I’ve been experimenting with using Amazon S3 as a way to have cheap offsite back-up for photos, music, and project files. Though there are start-ups and software available to make using this option less painful for the non-developer it’s still a less than ideal experience. It’s a challenging project if you want to diy.
Bandwagon looks like an alternative and judging from what I have read it might even allow you to interface with S3. They have a weblog where you can track their development.
Bandwagon. Via Swissmiss.