Three in a Row


After settling in at my new desk yesterday, I decided to take the DisplayLink adapter the kind folks there sent me a few months back back to the office and set up half of my workspace like so:

That’s Entourage on the far left1 running on the DisplayLink screen, Google Reader covering up the top secret stuff on the laptop panel, and Preview and Evernote on the middle. The paperclips stuck to a magnetic strip on the back are, in fact, our set of ‘official SIM removal and factory reset tools’, and the full keyboard is on its way out given that I find the MacBook Pro’s to be excellent.

(The other half of my workspace is a pretty decent window overlooking the Gare do Oriente, and I use it for reading printed materials and fooling around with more secret stuff. I am beginning to like having a clean desk – or rather, half of it – and will surely try to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.)

The DisplayLink beta drivers for the Mac work fine, and although I didn’t play full screen video given my lack of inclination to put up with that anywhere, I did sneak a peek at Dr. Horrible (which I had never come across before, and promptly bookmarked for watching after dinner), and the Hulu player worked fine. There is hardly any noticeable performance difference for standard office use and the drivers seem rock solid, but I wouldn’t enthusiastically dragging large windows around – the whole thing becomes somewhat Vistaish.

In the meantime, you might be curious about my using Evernote after this post. The answer’s pretty straightforward – since Evernote for the iPhone got an upgrade to enable note editing today, I decided to try it out again for the remainder of the week. On-device editing makes it a lot more useful (as in better than zero usefulness) for me on the iPhone and my current note taking solution based on TiddlyWiki is a trifle hard to sync across machines, so there is an opportunity here.

I still don’t rate it highly in terms of security and can’t for the life of me figure out why the Mac version can’t yet do exactly the same things like using local processing for OCR as the Windows one (no, I don’t think doing that server-side is a good idea, thank you very much), but based on today’s usage I would rate it as useful enough as a drafting board for my posts when I’m on the move and for composing bug reports when I’m using my laptop for testing and am disconnected from the ‘regular’ Internet.

But the lack of an offline mode on the mobile app annoys me tremendously, as does its reliance on Safari for authentication and some preference settings. It still isn’t anywhere near perfect.

1 No, I don’t really trust it with my e-mail – I use Outlook over Citrix, but sometimes it’s useful to have something to fish out attachments from the Exchange server and it acts as a sort of Spotlight proxy to the content there.


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