Monica, the CRM to make you a better friend

Monica is my new favorite software. It’s a CRM to “organize the social interactions with your loved ones.” In the few weeks I’ve used it, Monica has done a great job proactively encouraging me to be a better friend.

Monica is also open source on GitHub with an active community. It’s clear how this has influenced what the product is. I’d love to see Régis Freyd (the creator) turn Monica into a viable business too. This would ensure its long-term sustainability, and also help solve for product gaps (e.g. hiring for design polish).

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Software I use, December 2018 edition

In October, I bought a new MacBook Pro and did a fresh install. I took notes on the software I installed with the hopes of sharing them with the world (as I did in 2014 and 2011). It’s now December and I finally have time to write the blog post. Busy!

Continue reading “Software I use, December 2018 edition”

Software I use, October 2014 edition

On Zack’s indirect suggestion, I’ve decided to do a clean install of Yosemite. As I wait for Yosemite to download, I thought I’d do an itemization of the software I’m using these days. The last time I did this was January 2011 — fun to see how some things change and others remain the same.

Writing code and leading development teams is my full-time job. For local development, I use Vagrant and Salty WordPress. I was using VMWare Fusion for a while, but the filesystem caching issues drove me back to Virtualbox. I edit files with Sublime Text 3 running the Colbalt 2 theme. iTerm 2 (full-screen mode, duh) tames my terminal windows. Only on a rare occasion do I have to open Cyberduck to SFTP somewhere.

On the command line, my life is complete with ZSH, autojump, Git, hub, and WP-CLI. I consider every day I don’t have to use Subversion to be a good day. Most projects I’m on use Github with a as-simple-as-possible feature branch pull-request workflow.

Bartender wrangles my menu bar into submission. If I didn’t have it, my menu bar would be overrun with icons for:

  • 1Password – The only sane way to use passwords these days.
  • Quickcast – Shareable screencasts in just a few minutes.
  • Glui – Annotated screengrabs. Far superior to Skitch.
  • Alfred – Maybe obsoleted by Yosemite.
  • RescueTime – Keeps track of which applications I’m using. I mostly use it for the weekly email summaries.
  • Sidestep – Securely your internet traffic over any SSL connection.
  • Flux – For the rare occasion I have the computer on past 7 pm.
  • Clocks – Menu bar clock replacement for those who always be coordinating in multiple timezones.
  • Caffeine – Jiggles your mouse when you need your screen to stay awake. Useful when giving presentations, etc.
  • Crashplan – Affordable service for keeping everything backed up in the cloud.

Skype and Slack are open everyday. I’d like to say Slack is over-hyped, but they’ve done a really nice job. Sometimes I remember to open Linkinus to idle in various open source project IRC rooms.

How I run my business is really a post in itself. Harvest is indispensable — I use it for sending estimates, time tracking, and billing. Things is awesome for keeping track of what needs to be done and when. A long time Remember The Milk user, I love having a dedicated desktop application for task management. Mailplane is the best way to deal with email in 2014.

Oh, last but not least, I use a mid-2011 13 inch Macbook Air with a 256 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM. It’s the best computer I’ve ever owned.

Scripting my application launch process

Every day for work, there’s several applications I always use. The other day, I put together a quick and dirty bash script for opening all of them at once.

I’m terribly inexperienced at this, so don’t poke fun, only offer good suggestions for improvement…

[sourcecode language=”bash”]

# Open all of the requisite applications
echo ‘Opening Chrome’
`open /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/Google`
echo ‘Opening Skype’
`open /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/`
echo ‘Opening Sparrow’
`open /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/`
echo ‘Opening Linkus’
`open /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/`
echo ‘Opening Adium’
`open /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/`

Fixing Growl notifications in v1.3

For one reason or another, upgrading Growl to v1.3 causes all sorts of mayhem. Growl v1.3 is a new, paid application that’s different software from the previous preference pane. The only instruction I saw when I upgraded was to run the uninstaller for the preference pane. After a bit of trial and error, I discovered there’s a couple more steps you’ll most likely need to do to get things working properly again.

First, download and open Growl Version Detective. You’ll see something like this:

Select each application Growl supports and upgrade the framework version to 1.3. Notifications should start working again.

Second, if you use Skype, you need to tell Skype to use Growl instead of its internal notifications system:


The second step finally quells unstoppable notifications of contacts signing in and out of Skype.